I spend so much of my time talking about various online events for continuing education that I sometimes forget 1.) that some people still have money to actually go to trainings and conferences; and 2.) that there's really no substitute for the networking and collegial interaction that goes on at trainings and conferences. For those of you looking at spending some budget funds on live events, March and April are traditionally packed with good stuff, and this year's no exception, no matter what region you're in:

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Dear Engaged Bystander, I think that one of the biggest mistakes human service/advocacy programs make is in believing that if you give someone enough information, it will change their behaviors. I have a lot of great information about exercise and eating right, yet I sit at my computer for hours with chocolate at my side… 
 
So if information alone is not enough, what are the factors that encourage a bystander to take action?
 

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Dear Engaged Bystander:  In case you did not hear, Prevent Connect will be holding two online reading clubs based upon the NSVRC publication "Engaging Bystanders in Sexual Violence Prevention."  (See announcement below.)  What is great about this online event is that it will give you a sense of how this book can be used by book groups throughout your community.  I used it in my own book group and was amazed by the stories I heard from women I have known for years.  I encourage

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Dear Engaged Bystander, There is a lot one can do about this day.  Eating chocolate for sure.  But remember that being an engaged bystander means reinforcing the positive as much as intervening when behaviors have gone bad.  So for this day, 1) talk with someone you love about healthy relationships, 2) take a moment to help out someone you don't know, or 3) read about Eve Ensler's new book and video about the life, passions and feelings of girls from around the world.  Click here to see the video.  And the book description is below.  
 

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Dear Engaged Bystander,  The most rewarding project I have ever done in my real world work (e.g., not online) is to create a series of public dialogues across Vermont about sexual violence. We brought together survivors, offenders (who had successfully completed treatment), and family members in a panel discussion about prevention. In a community setting, it was incredibly powerful and profound to break the silence surrounding sexual abuse through respectful public conversations. 
 

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Dear Engaged Bystander,  if you have not seen this, NSVRC has been able to offer a discount on films with the Media Education Foundation.  They prodce some very interesting films and in particular, you may want to look at their newest film, The Line.   See the full description below. 
warmly
joan
 
The Line Campaign Description:
A one night stand far from home goes terribly wrong. As the filmmaker unravels her experience, she decides to confront her attacker.

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Over at RWJF's Future of Nursing blog, Dean Marla Salmon, from the University of Washington School of Nursing poses the question, what do we need to teach the nurse of tomorrow? This is a pretty important question, and one we have discussed frequently here at the sustainability project.

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Dear Engaged Bystander, In a recent interview with CALCASA about bystander enagement, I talked about the small ways that we can shift our thinking and the way we do our work. I mentioned a conference safety sheet and how a small change can move us away from “victim blaming” towards a more engaged community responsibility. 
 
Below is the original Safety Sheet from this conference. See if you can guess what changes make sense. 
 
Safety Tips

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Here's a practical concept for all of you managers: managing up. It's the idea of positioning people so as to accentuate the positive. You can manage up your boss, your staff and even your organization. When you think about how managing up creates an environment where people feel valued and respected, the sustainability implications become pretty clear: easier to recruit, easier to retain.
 

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Dear Engaged Bystander, I have been teaching workshops for a long time – so when I did my very first workshop about bystander engagement, I had a rude awakening. I thought it went really well, I had that nice feeling that I had connected with my audience and we all learned from that connection. But then at the end, one of the participants asked me, “But how do we get people who are not affected by sexual abuse to take action?” 
 
I had failed. 
 

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