On The Ground

Mentors in Violence Prevention

governor and mvp kid

Governor Terry Branstad visiting our WIVP MVP pilot school to observe and congratulate school on efforts.

For the past 15 years, the Waitt Foundation and now the Waitt Institute for Violence Prevention have supported the Mentors in Violence Prevention programs in Sioux City High Schools and middle schools.

MVP is a gender based anti- violence and bullying curriculum implemented in public schools and pioneered by Jackson Katz. Katz was a pioneer of the “bystander” approach, now widely touted as a key strategy in changing school culture. Sioux City now has the highest concentration of MVP programs in the country.

Research done in Sioux City by Dr. Alan Heisterkamp, education consultant for WIVP and UNI, was published in Newsweek in 2009.

Mentors in Violence Prevention played a key role in the 5 year “Sioux City Project”.  Several surveys have been done by Dr. Heisterkamp.  See those studies here.

Governor Terry Branstad of Iowa announced an anti bullying initiative in February 2015.  The state will pilot and study Mentors in Violence Prevention, first introduced in Iowa by WIVP at Sioux City West High, in middle and high schools.  Link here.

The latest 2014 student survey, done by Dr. Heisterkamp, asked 9th grade students at a Sioux City school using Mentors in Violence Prevention  about the likelihood of their intervening in bullying and relationship violence situations, at the beginning of the school year, prior to training, and at the end of the school year.  Results are at the bottom of the page below:


At the start of the school year, if I saw a student at my school was...
Today, if I SEE a student at my school is...
Would have done something (%Yes) Will do something (%Yes)
Sexually harassing a student 78 88
Calling another student a derogatory name 75 85
Making fun of a gay or lesbian student 77 85
Hurting another student physically 81 88
Taking advantage of a student sexually 80 87
Picking on or bullying another student 80 87
Using the internet/cellphone to degrade or harass another student with words or pictures 74 82
Pressuring his/her girlfriend/boyfriend to do something sexually she/he doesn’t want to do 77 83
Pressuring his/her girlfriend/boyfriend to send him/her nude photos 77 81
Keeping his/her girlfriend/boyfriend from spending time with friends 76 84
Checking on the whereabouts of his/her girlfriend/boyfriend—trying to keep track of her/his whereabouts and what she/he is doing 72 84
Calling his/her girlfriend/boyfriend mean and derogatory names with the intent to hurt 81 87
Doing something to his/her girlfriend/boyfriend that might hurt physically 84 89
Doing something to his/her girlfriend/boyfriend that might hurt emotionally 82 87
Doing something to his/her girlfriend that might hurt socially with friends 79 86
Arguing in what seems to be a violent way 79 87
Gossiping and spreading rumors about others 76 86