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Dear Engaged Bystander:  Every day, there are stories of engaged bystanders taking action. Just this week, I read a letter to the editor in my local paper about the assistant manager of our small Taco Bell/KFC restaurant who saw a car hit a young woman on a bicycle and rushed out of the building to help. The author said: “Thank God this woman [the general manager] was able to act in a quick manner. She not only called 911, but she held the victim’s hand, instructing her not to move to prevent further injury, to take deep breaths, calm down, and that help was on the way.” 
 

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Dear Engaged Bystander: Most of you will be familiar with the story of Phoebe Prince of South Hadley, MA. She recently committed suicide after weeks and month of bullying by both boys and girls in her high school. From her death and the suicide of a young boy in Springfield, MA from bullying a new law was created in Massachusetts to encourage education, ensure that each school develop policies about bullying, and mandate reporting of bullying as well. 
 
 

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Dear Engaged Bystander: I love this story because it is about two close friends I deeply care about.  One think I love about them is that they speak up whenever they feel they need to.  In this case, I also love that they come up with a solution that 1) let them take action and 2) shared the responsibility with a person in authority.  I hope you too will find this a useful illustration.  
 

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Dear Engaged Bystander: I was incredibly moved by the story Cassandra Thomas told me. So I wanted to include this (again) in my blog of ten stories to celebrate 10 years of NSVRC’s great work. Here is her story:  
 

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 Dear Engaged Bystander:  When we talk about engaging bystanders in preventing sexual violence prevention, we nearly always talk about moments when boundaries have been violated, someone has been harrassed, or when the harm is done.  The element often forgotten is clearly stating and reinforcing healthy sexual development, healthy relationships and healthy boundaries. 
 
In the booklet I wrote for NSVRC, "Engaging Bystanders in Sexual Violence Prevention" I described a continuum of behaviors for bystander engagement.  The first box is: 
 

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Dear Engaged Bystander: The most powerful work that I have done in my career was to create public dialogues between survivors of child sexual abuse and abusers (Tabachnick, 2004). I first created these forums while working with Stop It Now. Over time, I have created many public dialogues in churches, community rooms, and conferences. For each of these events, I had the privilege to collaborate with survivors who had spent years working through the trauma they ha
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Dear Engaged Bystander: You may have this experience too. When you do this work, friends and family call to talk about situations they face with their kids and often ask for advice. My brother who is a family practice doctor has the same experience… 
 

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Dear Engaged Bystander:  I believe that our leaders need to model how to step in, they need to actively acknowledge the everyday heroes in our lives, and they have to call out the people who decide to do nothing. 
 
What would that look like? 
 

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Dear Engaged Bystander:  Listening to stories is my passion – I learn so much from hearing how people cope, how people change, and I am especially moved by the strength and courage it takes to emerge into a new life after experiencing profound trauma. Stories are the way that people make sense of themselves and their world (Shannon, 1995). Throughout my career in prevention, I had the privilege of hearing hundreds of stories from families and friends who cared deeply enough to reach out for help. These are the stories that I carry wit
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