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:  Those who tell the stories rule the world.(Hopi American Indian proverb an sometimes attributed to Plato)

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Dear Engaged Bystander:   Here is a great event that you can go to in person or see online.  On November 10, 2010;  from  6:00pm - 8:00 pm EST, there is a FREE Film Screening of THE LINE, a documentary by Nancy Schwartzman.  This screening will be a great event that you can see online or in person.  The

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Dear Engaged Bystander:  Myth or Fact?  I always come up against people who convincingly state that the recidivism rates for ALL sex offenders is close to 90%. From all of the research I have seen, this is simply not true. And from the anecdotes I have heard, I also believe that it is just not true. So why do people deny the science about those who sexually abuse? 

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Dear Engaged Bystander: When there is scientific consensus, why do people still deny science (e.g., climate change doesn’t exist, vaccines cause autism)? 

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Dear Engaged Bystander: Yale likes to think that when they speak the world listens. In this case, the world is listening to an incredibly disturbing incident. If you have not heard, on October 13, a group of pledges from a Yale fraternity marched through a part of the Yale campus where most of the freshman women are housed chanting “No means Yes, Yes means anal!” They continued with “My name is Jack, I’m a necrophiliac, I f*ck dead women, and fill them with my semen.

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Dear Engaged Bystander: I am deeply moved by the groundswell of responses from across the country to this growing bullying epidemic among teens. We can learn so much about how individuals, organizations and communities are using the horror to mobilize parents, teachers, schools, churches and others responsible for teens to take these suicides seriously and send a clear message that respect must be the bottom line. 

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 Dear Engaged Bystander: I think that some of my best work is when I step out of the sexual violence prevention world and see how others are making a difference. I am on a social marketing list serve which talks about how to use private sector marketing concepts (e.g., the 4 Ps of marketing: product, price, place, and  promotion) to make the world a better place.

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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 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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