Mary M. Moynihan, PhD is one of the co-founders of Prevention Innovations Research Center at the University of New Hampshire. She served as the Prevention and Evaluation Coordinator of PIRC from 2006-2018. Her current work includes co-authoring, with her PIRC colleagues, research inclusive of gender non-binary and sexual minority populations; the first-of-its-kind study examining bystander intentions and behaviors among community college student populations; and research on the prevalence of and campus climate surrounding sexual violence on community college campuses.
Dr. Moynihan has co-authored a number of peer-reviewed publications and co-created many of the quantitative measures used to assess bystander-related knowledge, intentions, attitudes, and behaviors to prevent or intervene in situations of sexual violence, relationship violence, and stalking. She is one of the co-creators of the innovative and rigorously-evaluated Bringing in the Bystander® In-Person Program and the Know Your Power Bystander® Social Marketing Campaign. Both the program and social marketing campaign emphasize prosocial bystander intervention approaches based on the belief that everyone in the community has a role to play in ending sexual and relationship violence. PIRC researchers experimentally evaluated the effectiveness of the Bringing in the Bystander® In-Person program one year after administrating the curriculum. Notably, this was the first study to have found positive behavior changes as long-lasting as 12 months following an educational workshop that engages bystanders in preventing and intervening in situations of sexual violence.
Dr. Moynihan has worked on a number of PIRC projects funded by the US Office of Victims of Crime, Office of Violence Against Women, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention of Injury, National Institute of Justice, US Army, New Hampshire Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence, New Hampshire Department of Justice, and Stop It Now! (National nonprofit organization focused on preventing child sexual abuse by training bystanders how to recognize perpetrators and which actions to take). In 2014, PIRC was identified by the White House Task Force to Protect Students from Sexual Assault as a key research center in the United States for scientific investigation of the prevention of and intervention in campus sexual assault. Many of these projects involved partnering with practitioners, as well as informing policymakers and other stakeholders, about the rigorous methods used for confirming the validity and reliability of the results of these programs for ending sexual violence, relationship violence, and stalking.
Dr. Moynihan began her work focusing on researcher-practitioner collaborations in 1990 when she held a Post-Doctoral Fellowships at the Mary Ingraham Bunting Institute (now the Radcliffe Institute) at Harvard University. Since that time, she has frequently collaborated with practitioners who work with victims/survivors of sexual violence. Her fellowship project, interviewing, and then relating recommendations from, practitioners working with women (e.g., advocates, social workers) for creating and sharing research that would be helpful for practitioners like themselves and their clients. Moreover, conveying their suggestions to policymakers informed them of the critical need of supportive policies and laws for protecting and assisting women like their clients (e.g., victims of domestic and sexual violence, those living in poverty or otherwise economically- or socially-marginalized).
In 1991, following from her fellowship project, she co-organized the colloquium series, Making Connections: Women, Researchers and Policymakers, funded by the Institute for Policy and Social Science Research, at UNH. Since that time, the inclusion of researcher-practitioner collaborations has continued to be a part of much of her work. Notably, the creation, development, and implementation of the Bringing in the Bystander® In-Person Program was initiated by researcher-practitioner collaborations.