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NSVRC Blogs by Joan Tabachnick

Dear Engaged Bystander:  The xCHANGE is a really unique opportunity to talk with Dr. Victoria Banyard, a nationally recognized expert on bystander intervention and the lead researcher of the UNH program, Bringing in the Bystander.  Here are the details:


Dear Engaged Bystander: I want to introduce a leader in the men’s movement, a trusted colleague and a good friend (yes I do have a strong bias here), Rob Okun. Rob has been involved in pro-feminist, anti-violence men’s work for the last two decades and is currently the editor of a wonderful magazine, Voice Male. I had the chance to ask his perspective on men, violence and the opportunities offered through bystander engagement.


Dear Engaged Bystander: I was hooked on this new journal article because they created their program, Engaging Bystander Approach (ERB) with the understanding that it was essential to add the word “engaging” because the term bystander, alone may conjure a passive or negative image of men and women who witness a problem and do nothing.


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: 

Dear Engaged Bystander: When I give talks, I think that the hardest concept to get across is that our current frame for decision-making is wrong. Talk with anyone who sees something that makes them uncomfortable (e.g., a man pushing against a woman breasts in a NYC subway or a neighbor taking pictures of all the young girls at the public pool) and the decision they are trying to make is “to do something or do nothing”.  I think that when we are uncomfortable, we need to decide WHAT is the best and safest thing for me to do in this situation. And there ar

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.”  

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.  



Dear Engaged Bystander:  Here is the second part of a great conversation with Marianne Winters of Graphix for Change.


Dear Engaged Bystander: I have a teenager at home and I see how Facebook, texting, instant messaging and so many other social media tools are the mode of communications in their nearly 24/7 world. We often hear about the negative impact of these emerging technologies through bullying stories. I asked a national expert, Marianne Winters of Graphix for Change to talk about these same tools as an opportunity for bystander interventions.