September 12, 2013 – Brooklyn, NY – Fall is a time for beginnings.  It’s back to school time for the Relationship Abuse Prevention Program (RAPP), for Relationships are Elementary and for the 150 children in Center Against Domestic Violence shelters.  These programs can transform children and teens from victims to survivors to peer advocates; they teach young people skills to stand against bullying and teen relationship abuse by becoming responsible bystanders.

Two years ago, the Center’s Fall Breakfast at the Harvard Club looked at Bullying in the 21st Century.  We hosted a panel that included a RAPP social worker, a DA at the intersection of cyber-crimes and harassment, a survivor whose landmark case forced Google to release her harasser’s email address; a human rights advocate; and an intermediate school principal.  Everyone at the table agreed that bullying took a great toll on bystanders, and saw these witnesses as key to stopping bullying.  Acting to end the abuse they witnessed stopped bystanders from feeling powerless and ended their own victimization.

This fall we are taking a look at bullying through yet another lens.  On October 18 we will host a breakfast conversation with Slate senior editor and New York Times Magazine contributor Emily Bazelon.  Her highly acclaimed book, “Sticks and Stones: Defeating the Culture of Bullying and Rediscovering the Power of Character and Empathy” explores teen bullying, what it is and what it isn’t, and how the rise of the Internet and social media make the experience more challenging.   She charts the experiences of bullied children and describes successful anti-bullying measures.  In “Sticks and Stones” Ms. Bazelon, a lawyer who is a Senior Research Scholar and Truman Capote Fellow for Creative Writing and Law at Yale Law School, reviews jurisprudence on bullying, and examines both the virtues and the pitfalls of treating bullying as a crime.  “Sticks and Stones” describes what parents can achieve, what schools can achieve, and what may come of the shifting power differential among parents, schools and social agencies.   She will be in conversation with a Center RAPP Coordinator, a veteran social worker stationed on a high school campus to  teach teens how to have healthy relationships.

Please join us on October 18 at the Harvard Club of NYC for breakfast and great conversation.  Purchase tickets here.