Still Living The Dream of Non Violence

Several years ago it was a personal goal of mine to start a national non profit that would serve as a guide to preventing and reducing violence.
I am reminded each year as we celebrate the legacy of Dr Martin Luther King Jr. That there is still a need for a voice in the desert of incivility and injustice that too many times in America ends up turning into a violent tragedy.
Dr King reminded us that it is not our race or ethnic background that causes hate. There is hate abound among ethnic and religious cultures through our great land.
To come to grips with the real issue we must all examine our hearts and our character to judge what our real intentions are.
This is a time for more civil discourse among all Americans. We will not reduce violence by our attitudes, we will work to reduce violence by our true character.
We will reduce it in the words of Dr King through the “Content of our Character ”
Let there be peace on earth and let it began with me !

Bobby Kipper
Director NCPCV

Violence and Economic Development

Every community across America is jockeying for valuable economic dollars. The issue of funding local services and quality of life greatly depends on the overall safety in a community.
The White Elephant in the equation seems to rest in the area of violent crime. And the greater issue is that statistics alone do not tell the whole story.
A large measure of safety and security in any community is the perception of violence. Citizens are slow to pay attention to overall crime statistics. What they focus on is the way they feel about their own personal safety.
No one wants to live in a community where you say “Honey cover me while I get the milk “.
This is the primary reason that the National Center is solutions focused with the prevention of violence in mind. Violence has a lasting impact on communities and one area that may never be truly measured is economic development.
Bobby Kipper
Director NCPCV

Dating Violence Prevention in the Green Zone

The American Medical Association reports that 1 out of 5 teens has at some point been physically or sexually assaulted by a dating partner. This national statistic is both sad and shocking. An alarming 81 percent of parents surveyed believe that dating violence is not a major issue.
February is National Dating Violence Prevention Month. To acknowledge this event the National Center for the Prevention of Community Violence has introduced a new prevention program called Green Zone Relationships.
The program allows those who are in unhealthy relationships to recognize the situation and make a positive change.
The new initiative is going to be introduced nationwide and is being piloted at Menchville High School and Christopher Newport University in Newport News Virginia.
Contact us to start Green Zone Relationships in your schools.

Bullying in the NFL: How Much a Part of the Culture is This?

The recent revelation concerning bullying within the Miami Dolphins organization has led us to question whether this type of behavior is a part of team and locker room culture or is it an individual event? The circumstances that surround the ongoing taunting and harassment of Jonathan Martin is an indication that greater problems could exist not only within this organization but the league as well. It is important to establish that the concern of this behavior goes beyond a simple incident to an overall question of the status of the climate that exists within the team concept. Bullying historically is not established as an isolated incident, but a repeated pattern of abuse. One would find it hard to believe that grown men under an established leadership with foundations of individual expectations would feel free to get to the point of hostile and bi-racial slurs. The belief that this is simply an issue of “men being men” would allow us to excuse a man’s behavior in most workplace and group settings. I have learned through the years that culture sets climate. What is allowed and accepted by the leadership of any organization, whether it be a business or a sports team, actually becomes the cornerstone of the expected behavior. If individuals are not expected to maintain a level of professionalism as they go about their duties within any organization, then behavioral issues tend to shortly follow. The need to set the tone to impact or change a culture of bullying and aggressive behavior begins at the top. The concept of “team” in our society in pure definition is meant to overcome a lack of civility through a connectedness toward competition. Our team mates are central to being successful in this competition. Racial slurs become more than an issue of making men tough. It goes to the heart of the issue of human rights in a society which is guided by certain established principles. This should translate in the eyes of leadership of any organization that “right is right” and “wrong is wrong.”

Bullying And The Road To Violence

For years I have been discussing how Violence Is A Process And Not An Event. The issue of Bullying is certainly a part of that process. Everyday in America someone is seriously injured due to the process of disrespect that we commonly label Bullying. My concern is that we sometime hide behind a term that really does not expose it’s true impact. The term Bullying means something different today then 10 years ago. Some how we water down Victimization by creating labels. “He or she was not abused they were just Bullied”. This cultural denial leads to repeat acts of civil discord which in the end becomes Violent.
We can’t accept the path that leads to creating victims no matter how little or small the infliction. To deny the hurt is just to act as another Bystander.

Bullying Hits Home

Recently I had the opportunity to be interviewed in Florida following the tragic suicide of a 12 year old due to cyberbulling. This tragic event occurred following repeated pleas to school officials and others to intervene in the situation. Have we turned into a society of bystanders ? After writing a book on Bullying and speaking constantly about the subject I can’t help but think of my own middle school daughter.
In my Fox interview out of Tampa my heart was captured by the perplexing question as to why tragedy due to the lack of civility has to arrive at such an early age.
We allow kids today to exist in an underground empire of social networking without controls or balance. To all the parents that read this ,our lack of intervention to the inappropriate behavior in social networking may be the biggest act of by standing in our society. Will you be a champion and help your child understand and navigate social networking or will you be just another bystander ?

5 Ways to Protect Your Kids From Online Bullying

Man subject to cyber bullyingYour children face challenges that you never had to deal with growing up. A recent tale of cyber bullying involved Audrie Pott, a 15 year old California teenage who committed suicide after pictures of her rape circulated around social networks when her rapists uploaded them. While not all cyber bullying is taken to this kind of extreme, it’s something that is pervasive among adolescents.

According to DoSomething.org, 48% of teens have been the victim of cyber bullying, and 70% of teens have seen an example of cyber bullying. Cyber bullying is a complex problem. Some states, like New Jersey, establish strict anti-bullying laws to cut down on cyber bullying. New Jersey laws, according to the NPR, include a crime-stopper hotline that accepts cyber bully reports from students, a training program to teach students the signs of bullying, and schools are rated on their level of bullying. While state and federal legislature attempts to solve the cyber bullying problem, you have several ways to help on your end.

  1. Educate yourself on the attack methods of cyber bullies. You might not be a texting addict or a Facebook lover, but understanding how students communicate on these services is essential to understanding how a bully can harass your child.
  2. Track behavioral changes in your children. A marked difference in behavior indicates some sort of problem, and may be an early warning sign of cyber bullying.
  3. Watch for anxiety related to answering text messages or getting on social networks. If your children is being harassed through these sites, they might be afraid to log in and check their messages.
  4. Talk to your child to see if they will tell you about any potential bullying activity. If possible, friend their social network accounts or have access to the accounts so you can find out what your child is doing online.
  5. If your children don’t want to talk to you about their online activities, using an Internet monitoring solution may be necessary. These types of software often allow you to lock down Internet usage, blocking sites and monitoring exactly what’s going on when your child uses the Internet.

Another issue with cyberbullying that many parents don’t consider is the potential for identity theft. When a student is getting cyber bullied, he may give out personal information, usernames, and passwords that could lead to his identity information being compromised. Identity theft has many repercussions according to Equifax. Your child may have credit cards taken out in their name, or have the cards sent elsewhere so they never even know they exist. This could greatly affect their credit rating. A service like Lifelock.com monitors this information and provides security measures to stop identity theft from happening.

The internet is a powerful tool, but it is also a powerful weapon in the hands of cyber bullies. While you can’t prevent your child from encountering it entirely, you do have the power to mitigate the damage that it can cause.

Making the Distinction Between Self-Esteem and Selfish Esteem

This issue is well articulated by Jon Siebels, the Guitarist of Eve 6, in his blog on the Huffington Post, “School Bullying: To End It, We Must Change Our Culture”.

“When I think of bullies,” Siegel writes, “the first thing that comes to my mind is that a bully is someone who is overcompensating for low self-esteem or self-worth; however, studies have suggested that the opposite is true.”

“In the corporate world people throw their fellow employees under the bus to get a promotion, and at our schools kids harass each other for being different”

In the ’80s and ’90s there was a big push for parents to promote self-esteem in their kids. Have we taken this too far? Are we teaching our kids that believing in oneself has to come at the expense of belittling others? Is this what they are learning by the way that we treat others?

“Dictionary.com has two definitions of ‘self-esteem.’ The first is ‘respect for or a favorable opinion of oneself,’ and the second is ‘an unduly high opinion of oneself; vanity,’ he observes.

“The second definition seems to be the more accurate one today. The term should probably be changed to ‘selfish-esteem.’ ”

“We’ll do whatever it takes to make ourselves appear in a more favorable light. Just take a look at message boards across the net. There is an unbelievable amount of hate being posted on these sites. In our political races the candidate who wins is the one who makes his opponent look the worst. In professional sports, teams are dominated by one or two power players. In the corporate world people throw their fellow employees under the bus to get a promotion, and at our schools kids harass each other for being different,” Siebels notes.

Instill self-esteem, but also make your children aware of the dangers of letting their real sense of self worth get knocked out of the way by too much selfish ambition.


Bobby Kipper and Bud Ramey have co-authored two books and numerous articles on the crisis in youth violence plaguing our culture, addressing “best practices” for making a difference in the gang crisis and bullying epidemic that is impacting an entire generation. Over 4,400 young people committed suicide last year, largely due to the bullying epidemic. Their books, No BULLIES : Solutions for Saving Our Children from Today’s Bully and No COLORS : 100 Ways to Stop Gangs from Taking Away Our Communities, offer advocacy for at-risk youth.

Bobby Kipper, Director and Founder of the National Center for the Prevention of Community Violence, is a career law enforcement officer with extensive experience in the area of preventing youth and community violence nationwide. His background includes working on a number of key national initiatives with the White House, Congress, and the Department of Justice.

Bud Ramey is the 2010 Public Affairs Silver Anvil Award winner of the Public Relations Society of America—the highest public affairs recognition in the world. His grassroots public affairs and humanitarian successes and advocacy for at-risk youth stretch across three decades.