Dear Engaged Bystander:  We say it rarely happens, but sometimes a stranger does show up and takes a girl right from her front yard. As a parent, I can say that this is my worst nightmare. In Fresno this week, Gregoria Gonzalez pulled up in an old pick up truck and grabbed an 8 year old girl from her front yard while she was playing with friends.   

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Dear Engaged Bystanders:  I have some new heroes in Maine.  In case you have not seen the story, 5 female students heard another student at Husson College in Bangor Maine call for help.  They all jumped in to wrestle away the knife from her attacker, call the police and hold him imoblie until the police could arrive. 

Jennifer Hladik, one of the principle bystanders said she realized the importance of self defense, knowing what to do and how to do it:

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Dear Engaged Bystander:  I have always questioned why good people can do horrible things and what motivates someone to go out of their way to help someone they don't even know.  As I watch what pops up through various list-serves, etc. I am intrigued by the research that is not directly within the field of sexual violence. 
 
I recently came across the Heroic Imagination Project.  It is a project of Dr. Philip Zimbardo who you may know thought the Standford Prison Experiments.  In their words: 

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Dear Engaged Bystander:  If you have not yet heard, the NY Times (and a number of other publications) wrote a story about a horrific case of an 11 year old child being raped by as many as 18 boys and young men.  The case has rocked the lives of a small community in Texas.  
 

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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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Dear Engaged Bystander: Where ever I travel, I look for stories. I hear them all of the time, but then one story really touches my heart. Maybe it is the pain that I am feeling with the number of suicides by gay teens. Maybe it is because my son was bullied in 6th grade. Maybe it is the hope that someone else will help us care for our kids and that one person can make a huge difference. What makes this story so mesmerizing to me is that the special someone who steps out of her comfort zone can be the popular girl in her senior year. 

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Dear Engaged Bystander, A friend just sent me the NY Times article about a 15 year old girl who was physically attacked in Seattle while four security guards looked on and did nothing. The video is astonishing, but  I decided NOT to post it here – you can easily find the YouTube link within the NY Times article.   
 

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Dear Engaged Bystander:  I had a wonderful opportunity to talk with Alan Berkowitz to learn more about what he is focusing his work towards these days.  If you don't know of Alan, he is an internationally recognized expert on bystander behavior, violence prevention and social justice issues; author of Response Ability:  A Complete Guide to Bystander Intervention; and always an inspiration to talk with. 

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Dear Engaged Bystander:  I had the chance to talk with Lauren Sogor who showed, very concretely how it is often the little things that cause the shifts we need in our society.  Here is what she had to say: 
 

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Dear Engaged Bystander:  As my year as the NSVRC blogger comes to a close, I thought about who are the people who can provide insights to carry us all forward. Jackson Katz immediately came to mind. He is one of the first to apply bystander thinking, interventions and strategies to prevent sexual violence. So I am thrilled to have had a chance to speak with him and add his words to these last few blogging days. For those of you who don’t know Dr.

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