Dear Engaged bystander:  I just finished reading the most recent issue of Partners in Social Change (PISC) focused on “Bystanders: Agents of Primary Prevention.” What struck me about this publication by the Washington Coalition of Sexual Assault Programs were the underlying values that thread through each and every one of these articles.  Values of:

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Dear Engaged Bystander:  I’m all for the bystander approach and it seems as if the bystander strategy has taken a firm hold in the violence prevention field. I see many merits of the approach including reducing defensiveness in our conversations with men and boys, giving tools to address and interrupt problematic behaviors and attitudes on the spectrum of violence and empowering individuals to see themselves as part of a community response to violence.   Wherever we have tried using the bystander approach there have been important shifts in our communities towards holding perpetrators acco

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Dear Engaged Bystander: 50 years later, the impact of a bystander to child sexual abuse could not be more profound. Imagine finally making the decision to talk about incest with your elderly aunt – only to find that she is willing to listen, acknowledge your reality and loving say “I am happy to hear you know it was not your fault.”  
 

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Dear Engaged Bystander:  I was reading through a newsletter today from MassCOSH (MA Coalition for Occupational Safety and Health) and found a great teen peer leadership award.  Jobs with Justice recognized TL@W Peer Leaders for their ground-breaking sexual harrassment campaign and their support for workers and unions. 

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Dear Engaged Bystander:  Jackson Katz wrote a wonderful article for the Huffington Post called “What to Say to Boys and Men about Big Ben.” In the article, he outlines 11 excellent points about how to talk about Ben Roethlisberger, the star quarterback of the Pittsburg Steelers. For those of you who might not remember, Mr Roethlisberger was accused of raping a young woman in a bar bathroom while his bodyguards stood outs

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Dear Engaged Bystander: I recently received a notice that said: “Tell the Super Bowl Host Committee: Don't be a bystander to child trafficking.” Of course I had to read it. 

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Dear Engaged Bystander:  In this blog, I invited Jennifer Rauhouse of Peer Solutions to talk about her work to engage bystanders in sexual violence prevention.
 
Joan: Can you tell me about your approach to bystander intervention: 

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 Dear Engaged Bystander:  I have been hearing about the series of suicides by gay teens in the last few weeks. I grew up in New Jersey, at a much earlier time when gay issues were just emerging, playing the viola from 2nd grade into college. So the suicide of Tyler Clementi hit me especially hard. 

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Dear Engaged Bystander:  Do you think about what a difference the environment can make to ensure safety for all of us? How an organizational culture keeps children safe. Or a college culture is why women can feel safe going out at night? Most of us who work in this field talk about these concepts all of the time. Yet I find that others look at me with this blank stare. I think that it is often hard to see what needs to change in our environment when it is simply the world you have known your whole life. 
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