Bystander Opportunity, Actions, and Inaction in Suspected Intimate Partner Violence: Differences Between Graduate and Undergraduate Students

Document Type


Department or Administrative Unit

Nutrition Exercise and Health Sciences

Publication Date



Limited research examines graduate student experiences with intimate partner violence (IPV) or bystander intervention. In this exploratory study, we compare the extent of opportunity to intervene in suspected IPV, how students tried to help, and barriers to intervention for undergraduate (n = 698) and graduate students (n = 967) at one university using data from stratified random samples of students. Graduate students indicated significantly less opportunity to intervene than undergraduate students (16.2% vs. 35.5%). Among students with the opportunity, however, similar proportions of undergraduate and graduate students tried to help, with most confronting the situation directly. Among those who did not try to help, graduate students commonly endorsed “not knowing what to do,” suggesting an opportunity to enhance prosocial intervention skills among this population through targeted bystander-based training initiatives.


This article was originally published in Violence and Victims. The full-text article from the publisher can be found here.

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Violence and Victims