Dear Engaged Bystander: Ten stories for 10 years of incredible work by the National Sexual Violence Resource Center. I hope that you will join me in wishing the NSVRC a very happy 10 year anniversary.  
 

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Dear Engaged Bystander:  I had the chance to talk with an incredible activist last week, Cassandra Thomas.  She shared her perspectives on why she cares so deeply about the bystander issue.  I hope you enjoy reading this as much as I enjoyed having the chance to talk with her.  Warmly, Joan 
 
Why were you willing to be our first interview? (And thank you for doing that!)

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Dear Engaged Bystander: Abraham Toure is being called a hero by local police for helping a rape victim who screamed for help. He says, he is not a hero, what he did is "just normal human behavior… I was thinking I could only imagine how scared this girl must be. I was just thinking, 'What can I do to help her?'"

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Dear Engaged Bystander:  Here is another story of a hero, someone deciding to act.  It is a wonderful story of a bicyclist:

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Dear Engaged Bystander: We don’t often hear about male on male sexual abuse on college campuses. And according to one expert, that is part of the problem. Shira Tarrant acknowledges her reluctance to speak out initially and said that she was compelled to speak up because sexual assault breeds in a Petri dish of silence. 
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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 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: 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:  A few months ago, I had the pleasure and privilege to interview Cassandra Thomas , Director of the Houston Area Women Center for her incredible story of hope.  In her story, she certainly busted my own stereotype of a college fraternity when some friends at a fraternity literally pulled her from a car because she was drunk, with a guy she did not know and they also knew she was recovering from a recent rape.  Cassandra’s honesty about this event is both moving and profound.  She also takes this story and the commitment of these young men into her work today where s

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Dear Engaged Bystander:  If you have not read the book, Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Some Die by Chip Heath and Dan Heath, it is well worth your time to at least take a look. You can also hear an interview on the Today Show  or NPR's Morning Edition. Some say that it is going to be the next book to read after The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell. 
 
 

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