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Staying Safe: Advice for Teens and Parents about Toxic Relationships

Date: May 7, 2017
Time: Sunday Forum 9:15 AM – 10:15 AM
Location: Garden City Community Church, 245 Stewart Avenue, Garden City (Long Island/Nassau County), NY 

Fee:  Free

General questions about directions, contact: Church office tel: (516) 746-1700, or church website at www.theGCCC.org

Questions about the event, contact: Robin Boyle Laisure, email: boyler@stjohns.edu

Program Description

This forum is designed for high school seniors, young adults, and those who care about them.

It outlines the various degrees of social influence and how to guard against the manipulative techniques of coercive control exerted by gangs, sexual predators, swindlers, destructive cults, and other dangerous individuals and groups that target school campuses and other places where teenagers and young adults gather.

It identifies the difference between ethical influence, which leaves people in charge of their own choices, and undue influence, which fuels their fears and keeps them isolated from others, rendering them even more vulnerable to exploitation.

Presenters are: Professor Robin Boyle Laisure, St. John’s University School of Law, who will draw upon her recent scholarly publications by explaining common patterns of behavior between high-demand cultic groups and human trafficking, and legal avenues for redress; Andrea Laisure, a Garden City high school senior, will present her Girl Scout Gold Award topic by providing advice for teens and parents; and a representative of NJ Safe & Sound, who will focus on how to identify and avoid abusive relationships.


Professor Robin Boyle Laisure, JD, is a full-time member of the faculty at St. John’s University School of Law, where she has been teaching for 23 years. Her articles, essays, and book chapters have appeared in legal and other academic publications. She wrote a chapter on cults and human trafficking in the recently published book, Human Trafficking: Emerging Legal Issues and Applications (Lawyers & Judges Publishing Co., 2017). Last fall, her article, “Employing Trafficking Laws to Capture Elusive Leaders of Destructive Cults,” was published in the fall 2016 issue of Oregon Review of International Law. Prof. Boyle presents regularly at national and international conferences on topics concerning cults, human trafficking, and undue influence in high-demand groups, as well as on topics relating to law school pedagogy and legal writing. She resides in Garden City with her husband, Skip; daughter, Andrea; and son, Corey. Robin is an active board participant with the GCCC.

Andrea Laisure is a senior at Garden City High School, and is currently working on her Gold Award Project for Girl Scouts. Her project, Staying Safe, involves speaking to children of all ages about various levels of stranger safety and awareness. In her presentations, Andrea emphasizes the importance of educating the public and teens on dangerous liaisons. Recently, Andrea met with NY Assemblyman Edward P. Ra (R-19) about developing legislation to address these issues.

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