Posted in Awareness

Domestic Violence and Covid19

The coronavirus pandemic has resulted in domestic partners and families spending more time together at home.

Not surprisingly, being in such close proximity for extended periods of time has resulted in higher stress levels. That raises a concern:

Are people in the same households more likely to intimidate or physically hurt one another?

If domestic abuse is already a problem in a relationship, the coronavirus pandemic might be making it worse. An abusive person may use this situation to exert more control over a partner.

Know that shelters are open do not stay in an abusive relationship

Look Out for Warning Signs

Put a plan together if someone you are living with is:

  • being verbally or emotionally hurtful.
  • threatening you.
  • having episodes of explosive anger.
  • harming animals. 

Steps You Can Take to Keep Yourself and Others Safe

  1. Find a place you can retreat to safely. Avoid the bathroom or kitchen.
  2. Enlist support from a trusted friend or family member you can call.
  3. If necessary, use a code word or phrase to indicate you need help.
  4. Memorize phone numbers of people and agencies you might need to call in an emergency.
  5. Make sure you can easily access:
    • cash.
    • identification (Social Security card and driver’s license).
    • birth and marriage certificates.
    • credit cards, safe deposit box keys and bank information.
    • health insurance information.
    • any documentation, photos, medical or police reports relating to previous episodes of abuse.

Call you local DV Shelter or Hotline for help

1-800-799-SAFE

Posted in Awareness

October Is National Domestic Violence Awareness Month

I am a survivor and advocate of Domestic Violence. I am so glad I lived and finally ended the cycle of violence.

After I finally left my first husband for good, I went to counseling and attended a women’s dv support group to what I call deprogram my brain from all the negativity and abuse I experienced for 10 years.

Over time I healed and went on to become a volunteer then a group coordinator, then I presided over the support groups spoke to incarcerated women, churches, police,women’s organizations and I then became a DV Shelter manager and did this for for at least a decade. That was my 1st calling. I think as we live and experience things in our life we get different callings. That was definitely one of mine. To go out educate anyone and everyone on DV (domestic violence)

My first marriage was never really a happy marriage. Yes there were happy times but if I look back I felt more like a hostage than an equal partner in a marriage. This man I married shown me a side of him I never saw when we dated, or else I never would have married him.

I was a battered wife and it all started about 2 weeks after I was married. I arrived home from work 90 minutes later than usual because we were so busy at work and my husband went off. He called me a whore, bitch, slut at that point he didn’t hit me. But the verbal abuse I experienced for being late at work was just ridiculous. We didn’t have cell phones in the 1980s.

You know why he went off ? Because dinner wasn’t ready. Of course I apologized.

It wasn’t long before I became his personal punching bag. I was hit , punched, kicked, slapped, more times than I can count and I’m grateful I’m alive, because I came close to death a couple times.

National Domestic Violence Awareness Month is an annual designation observed in October. For many, home is a place of love, warmth, and comfort.

It’s somewhere that you know you will be surrounded by care and support, and a nice little break from the busyness of the real world. But for millions of others, home is anything but a sanctuary.

The U.S. Department of Justice estimates that 1.3 million women and 835,000 men are victims of physical violence by a partner every year.

Every 9 seconds, a woman in the U.S. is beaten or assaulted by a current or ex-significant other. 

1 in 4 men are victims of some form of physical violence by an intimate partner.

Here’s another shocking statistic: the number of U.S. troops killed in Afghanistan and Iraq between 2001 and 2012 is 6,488. The number of women who were murdered by current or ex-male partners during that same time frame is 11,766, according to the Huffington Post.

That’s almost double the number of people who were killed fighting in the war. People who are in an abusive relationship will stay with their partner for a number of reasons:

  • Their self-esteem is totally destroyed, and they are made to feel they will never be able to find another person to be with.
  • The cycle of abuse, meaning the ‘honeymoon phase’ that follows physical and mental abuse, makes them believe their partner really is sorry and does love them.
  • It’s dangerous to leave. Women are 70 times more likely to be killed in the weeks after leaving their abusive partner than at any other time in the relationship, according to the Domestic Violence Intervention program.
  • Statistics suggest that almost 5 percent of male homicide victims each year are killed by an intimate partner.
  • They feel personally responsible for their partner, or their own behavior. They are made to feel like everything that goes wrong is their fault.
  • They share a life. Marriages, children, homes, pets, and finances are a big reason victims of abuse feel they can’t leave.

Please I beg you if you are in an abusive relationship get the hell out , don’t walk …..run

Make a plan slowly hide money a few pieces of clothing in a duffle , copy all important documents like birth certificates for you and the kids , marriage license, restraining orders, social security cards for all of you. If you have to flee and you will…. you will need these to get some for of help with say public assistance,medical, court help etc…..

Keep them with someone you trust completely who will not tell anyone.

It will never be better it will get worse. Sorry doesn’t mean shit when you keep getting kicked, pushed,punched,slapped, called names like bitch,cunt,whore etc…

You are told so much bullshit that plays mind games that over time you begin to believe all his crap like no one will ever love you, your nothing, your lucky I love you because who else would.

The topper is after your beat and bloody or slapped They look at you and say …..you made them do that to you. If you …… fill in the blank

Would have only had dinner ready

Or the house cleaner or didn’t spend so much at the grocery store.

Or why did you have to open your mouth.

They find every way to blame you … nothing is ever their fault and often they hit you for no reason. It’s all about control and their own low self esteem.

They don’t want you to succeed,they discourage you from bettering yourself.

They don’t want you to go to school, Hell they don’t want you to see your family or your friends!

They want to alienate you so all you have is them. Then they beat you call you names.

It’s like being in a war you are brainwashed and tortured by the enemy – but the enemy in this case that is hurting you torturing you is your spouse or significant other.

Being in a DV situation can physically and emotionally harm the kids, some females grow up to be abused and some males will grow up to be abusers and vice versa.

When you are in a domestic violence situation especially women you are a significantly higher risk of experiencing PTSD,depression, anxiety,substance abuse and thoughts of suicide.

Don’t believe all the I’m sorry it will never happen again. It will happen again and each time will be more violent than before.

How many times do you need to hear I’m sorry it will never happen again?

You matter, you were not put on this earth to be someone’s punching bag. You were not born to be verbally abused, physically abused, psychologically and or financially abused.

You were put here for a purpose but being abused wasn’t it. I know you are tired, exhausted and just ready to give up. Or you may be in denial. I know exactly how you feel and so millions of other women.

Put your hand on your heart, feel that? That is your heart beat…. you are alive for a reason. That reason is not to be a punching bag.

I know you may love this person and think he loves you too and he will change. He mostly likely WONT. If you love someone you don’t beat them down you lift them up.

Do NOT be as foolish as I was and stay for 10 years because of fear and the lack of self esteem that came from being told we didn’t matter , we were worthless….nothing.

You are somebody special you have a purpose, that purpose is not to be abused by someone else ….you must get out before you are killed or critically injured.

Working in a Domestic Violence Shelter to me was a privilege. I was blessed with the opportunity to help other women get out and make a plan to get out. These were women of all races, religions, economic and social backgrounds. From a politicians wife, to the cops wife to the preachers wife to the single mom to the teenager in an abusive dating relationship.

They have a special place in my heart because I know what they feel.

So what is Domestic Violence? Domestic Violence is a violent or controlling behavior by a person toward a family or household member, usually towards an intimate partner. Although the partner is the primary target, violence is often directed toward the children and pets as well. Approximately 95% of domestic violence victims are women. It is a learned behavior. Abuser and victims come from all walks of life, races, income levels and ages.

There are many types of abuse:

  • Verbal: Yelling, name-calling, threatening to hurt or kill, criticizing your appearance, belittling, constant blaming
  • Emotional: Social isolation, neglecting physical or emotional needs, abusing pets, accusations of an affair, monitoring telephone conversations, criticizing family and friends, embarrassing you in front of others
  • Sexual: Unwanted sexual advances, committing rape or incest, forcing you to have sex with others, forcing pregnancy or abortion.
  • Psychological: “Brainwashing”- a person’s self-worth is destroyed through harassment, threats, deprivations of food and sleep
  • Physical: Hitting, kicking, punching, slapping, inflicting injury with weapons, homicide
  • Economic: Withholding financial information, controlling money & bank accounts, making you account for every expenditures.

I dealt with many bruises on arms legs big ass bumps on the head from so many blows to the head,, a black eye here and there , busted lip, pushed from a moving car, hand broken in 5 places, kicked with steel toe boots, cornered he loved yo corner me then punch or slap me on time I was punched and pushed so hard my head went through the glass on our front door I had to have over 120 stitches and my head was wrapped as if I just had brain surgery I lost so much blood I almost passed out, blood was going all over and then the I’m sorry came out of his mouth, all I remember was saying I hope I die so you go to fucking prison, then I will be finally free. This happened when my daughter was asleep in the other room and thank God his nephew came over he cleaned all the blood up off the floor and wall, taped cardboard over the glass on the front door and stayed with my daughter who was asleep, she was maybe 4 or 5. Hard to remember exactly.

I could have died that night.

At the ER they asked what happened he immediately said I fell. I told them to get him away from me. The police came and removed him from the ER.

On the way out he said remember how your getting home and it’s fine he will go alway and pack and be gone before I’m done getting stitches.

That was code for bitch shut up our daughter is home and he’d take her.

He always threatened to take her that’s why I had her now live at my parents. And even though I saw her daily it was not the same.

I told the nurse what happened , but lied to the doctor stitching me up. He knew he looked at me and said you could have died consider a plan to get out. I told him my daughter is home with our nephew how much longer as code to him to please don’t keep lecturing me I will get out when it’s right.

After I was all stitched up I actually got back in the truck and went home my head felt as if I was never going to be the same. How was I going to go to work in 4 hours? My parents are going to freak out.

I called my mom after he went to work told her I wasn’t feeling good and could she come pick up her granddaughter, she said they could asked what was wrong I said nothing really just not feeling well. She said did that bastard hit you again? And when am I going to leave ….. just what I didn’t want to hear another lecture to make me feel yet stupider.

When they came to pick up my daughter who cried when she woke up and saw my head. I told her it’s ok mommy hurt her head and I will be ok in a few days. But grandma and papa was coming to get her so I could go to sleep and heal my boo boo.

It was clear she wanted to stay with me and I wanted her to stay, but in case he came home and wanted to fight again I can’t have her in the cross fire.

My dad cried when he seen me. My mom teared up and my dad said please come home, I told him it will be worse right now if I come home. Because he will just come there like before.

I told my dad I will plan to leave soon. He went and bought us dinner so I didn’t have to cook and I think it was his way of letting my husband know I see what you did and I’m watching you.

That was just one of hundreds of incidents over 10 years.

Please get out while you can……

More posts weekly for the month of October

Posted in Awareness

Every 9 Seconds

Every 9 seconds, a woman in the U.S. is beaten or assaulted by a current or ex-significant other.

There are 86,400 seconds in a 24 hour period. That means every day approximately 9,600 women are beaten or assaulted .3,504,000 a year.

Here’s another shocking statistic: the number of U.S. troops killed in Afghanistan and Iraq between 2001 and 2012 is 6,488.

The number of women that were murdered by current or ex-male partners during that same time frame is 11,766, according to the Huffington Post. That’s almost double the number of people that were killed fighting in war.

Every 98 seconds, another American is sexually assaulted.

People who are in an abusive relationship will stay with their partner for a number of reasons:

-Their self-esteem is totally destroyed, and they are made to feel they will never be able to find another person to be with.

-The cycle of abuse, meaning the ‘honeymoon phase’ that follows physical and mental abuse, makes them believe their partner really is sorry, and does love them. But their partner will do it again.

-It’s dangerous to leave. Women are 70 times more likely to be killed in the weeks after leaving their abusive partner than at any other time in the relationship, according to the Domestic Violence Intervention program.

-They feel personally responsible for their partner, or their own behavior. They are made to feel like everything that goes wrong is their fault.

–They share a life. Marriages, children, homes, pets, and finances are a big reason victims of abuse feel they can’t leave.

Domestic Violence Awareness Month evolved from the “Day of Unity” held in October 1981 and conceived by the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence. The “Day of Unity” soon evolved into a week, and in October of 1987, the first National Domestic Violence Awareness Month was observed.

HOW TO OBSERVE

Use #DomesticViolenceAwareness to post on social media. Sometimes, people don’t know if they are really in an abusive relationship because they’re used to their partner calling them crazy or making them feel like all the problems are their own fault. Here are a few ways to know if you’re in an abusive relationship that you need to get out of.

1. Your partner has hit you, beat you, or strangled you in the past.

2. Your partner is possessive. They check up on you constantly wondering where you are; they get mad at you for hanging out with certain people if you don’t do what they say.

3. Your partner is jealous. (A small amount of jealousy is normal and healthy) however, if they accuse you of being unfaithful or isolate you from family or friends, that means the jealousy has gone too far.

4. Your partner puts you down. They attack your intelligence, looks, mental health, or capabilities. They blame you for all of their violent outbursts and tell you nobody else will want you if you leave.

5. Your partner threatens you or your family.

6. Your partner physically and sexually abuses you. If they EVER push, shove, or hit you, or make you have sex with them when you don’t want to, they are abusing you (even if it doesn’t happen all the time.)

HISTORY

Domestic Violence Awareness Month evolved from the “Day of Unity” held in October 1981 and conceived by the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence. The “Day of Unity” soon evolved into a week, and in October of 1987, the first National Domestic Violence Awareness Month was observed. In 1989 Congress passed Public Law 101-112, officially designating October of that year as National Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Such legislation has been passed each year since.

If you are experiencing domestic abuse, please seek , talk to friend or family member a counselor, a teacher.

Fact in Ohio – a portion of all money for marriage license fees goes to a domestic violence shelter in that county in Ohio.

3113.34 Additional fee for marriage license used for financial assistance to shelters for victims of domestic violence.

In addition to any fee established under section 2101.16 of the Revised Code for the issuance of a marriage license, the probate court shall collect and deposit in the county treasury a fee of seventeen dollars for each marriage license issued. This fee, plus the thirty-two-dollar fee collected under division (D) of section2303.201 of the Revised Code as additional costs in each new action or proceeding for annulment, divorce, or dissolution of marriage, shall be retained in a special fund and shall be expended only to provide financial assistance to shelters for victims of domestic violence and only as provided in sections3113.35 to 3113.39 of the Revised Code.

Effective Date: 12-09-1994

If you are in danger, call 911.

Please remember to give and donate to your local domestic violence shelter all year long but especially at Christmas as many often leave with just the clothes on their backs.

Important Links and Apps

Links- National DV Hotline DV Hotline

National Rape and Sexual Assault Hotline

App Aspire News When Georgia Smiles

Posted in Me To, Sexual assault, Sexual Misconduct

No Means No

Even long before the Cosby-ORiley-Weinstein scandals there was sexual misconduct harassment and unwanted fondling and sexual assault against women and men in the workplace.

I’m glad we’re finally talking about it and doing something about it. But really what the hell took so long?

The Weinstein scandal has sparked a national conversation about sexual misconduct and prompted others to come forward with accusations ranging from groping to rape against what we called prominent men.

Ed Westwick, House of Cards star Kevin Spacey, actor Ben Affleck and former President George H. W. Bush ,Hamilton Fish just to name a few.

When will men and women finally understand no means no and trying to control women and men and their careers by demanding sexual favors is unacceptable always has been unacceptable and always will be unacceptable.

The definition

Sexual misconduct encompasses a range of behavior used to obtain sexual gratification against another’s will or at the expense of another. Sexual misconduct includes sexual harassment, sexual assault, sexual abuse, and any conduct of a sexual nature that is without consent, or has the effect of threatening or intimidating the person against whom such conduct is directed.

I have been an advocate against violence, abuse, sexual abuse since 1989.

I repeatedly tell college students that go to frat parties and also my friends who go to bars clubs never put a glass down at a party or bar , always use the buddy system when going to parties actually I️ think a few friends should stick together, never let the other be alone and never go upstairs at a fraternity party.<

now you can also are likely to be assaulted is in your dorm; you are most vulnerable the first few weeks of the semester; and your attacker is most likely to be a friend or acquaintance.< strong>In 2015 a study found over 20 percent of all women surveyed experienced unwanted sexual contact while attending college. This confirmed earlier findings from a survey conducted between 2005 to 2007, in which one in five women reported being sexually assaulted since entering college.< strong>While you can never completely protect yourself from sexual assault there are some things you can do to help reduce your risk of being assaulted.< Be aware of your surroundings. Knowing where you are and who is around you may help you to find a way to get out of a bad situation.

▪ Try to avoid isolated areas. It is more difficult to get help if no one is around.

Walk with purpose. Even if you don’t know where you are going, act like you do.Don’t be busy on your cell . Pay attention to where you are and who is around.Before getting in your car as your walking towards it look under it.

Trust your instincts. If a situation or location feels unsafe or uncomfortable, it probably isn’t the best place to be.

Try not to load yourself down with packages or bags as this can make you appear more vulnerable.

Make sure your cell phone is with you and charged and that you have money for a cab.

Don’t allow yourself to be isolated with someone you don’t trust or someone you don’t know.

Avoid putting earbuds in both ears so that you can be more aware of your surroundings, especially if you are walking alone.

When you go to a social gathering or party, go with a group of friends. Arrive together, check in with each other and leave together.

if you must drink which I️ personally am against, Practice safe drinking. Know your limit. Do not leave any beverages unattended or accept drinks from someone you don’t know or trust (this includes non-alcoholic drinks). And never drink if your under age for one it’s illegal two it’s illegal.

Have a buddy system. Don’t be afraid to let a friend know if something is making you uncomfortable or if you are worried about you or your friend’s safety. Listen to your gut . And if your friend is trying to convince you to stay in potentially dangerous situations maybe you need to look at who your friends really are.

▪ If someone you don’t know or trust asks you to go somewhere alone, let him or her know that you would rather stay with the group.Walking/Running ▪Make sure your cell phone (if you have one) is easily accessible. ▪ Have enough money for cab fare should you need it.

▪ Take major, public streets and paths rather than less populated shortcuts.

▪ Avoid dimly lit places and talk to authorities if lights need to be installed in an area.

▪ Avoid walking/running alone whenever possible.

▪ Carry a small noisemaker (like a whistle) and/or flashlight on your person.

▪ Remain mentally alert and aware of your surroundings.

▪ Plan your route and know what “safe” places are on it (police stations, hospitals, etc.).

Driving ▪ Keep your doors locked.

▪ Have extra car necessities (oil, jumper cables, etc.).

▪ Try not to wait until the last minute to fill your gas tank; always keep it at least half full.

▪ Have your keys ready when you go to unlock your car.

▪ Plan your route and know what “safe” places are on it (police stations, hospitals, etc.).

Taking the Bus ▪ Be alert at bus stops when waiting for them to arrive.

▪ Use the bus schedule to avoid waiting for a long time at a stop.

▪ Plan your route to use the busiest, best-lighted stop possible.

▪ If someone is bothering you on the bus, tell the driver or use the emergency signal.

▪ If you feel uneasy about getting off at your usual stop, stay on until the next stop or wait until the safest stop.

Home Safety ▪ Keep house doors locked, even when you are at home.

▪ Install a security system (if possible) and use it.

▪ Install outside lighting system (with motion detectors).

▪ Do not prop open doors or windows.

▪ Close blinds/curtains at night.

▪ Keep car doors locked, even in your own driveway or garage.

At Parties ▪ Be aware of rape drugs.

▪ Try not to leave your drink unattended.

▪ Only drink from unopened containers or from drinks you have watched being made and poured.

▪ Avoid group drinks like punch bowls.

▪ Cover your drink. It is easy to slip in a small pill even while you are holding your drink. Hold a cup with your hand over the top, or choose drinks that are contained in a bottle and keep your thumb over the nozzle.

▪ If you feel extremely tired or drunk for no apparent reason, you may have been drugged. Find your friends and ask them to leave with you as soon as possible.

▪ If you suspect you have been drugged, go to a hospital and ask to be tested.

▪ Keep track of how many drinks you have had.

▪ Try to come and leave with a group of people you trust.

▪ Avoid giving out your personal information (phone number, where you live, etc.). If someone asks for your number, take his/her number instead of giving out yours.

If Someone is Pressuring You If someone is pressuring you to engage in sexual activity, it is important to remember that being in this situation is not your fault. You didn’t do anything wrong, it is the person who is making you uncomfortable who is to blame. But if you need to get out of an uncomfortable or scary situation here are some things that you can try:

Trust your instincts. Don’t feel obligated to do anything you don’t want to. “I don’t want to” is always a good enough reason.

Be true to yourself. Do what feels right to you and what you are comfortable with.

Have a code word with your friends or family so that if you don’t feel comfortable you can call them and communicate your discomfort without the person you are with knowing. Your friends or family can then come to get you or make up an excuse for you to leave.

Lie. If you don’t want to hurt the person’s feelings it is better to lie and make up a reason to leave than to stay and be uncomfortable, scared, or worse. Some excuses you could use are: needing to take care of a friend or family member, not feeling well, having somewhere else that you need to be, etc.

▪ Try to think of an escape route. How would you try to get out of the room? Where are the doors? Windows? Are there people around who might be able to help you? Is there an emergency phone nearby?

▪ If you and/or the other person have been drinking, you can say that you would rather wait until you both have your full judgment.

I️ say this from experience.

I️ was a freshman in high school.

And one night I was at a pep rally at my high school and just wanted to leave early. We didn’t have cell phones in the late 70s.

I️ only lived maybe 8 blocks up the road see I walked home. There were a bunch of senior guys drinking and Joy riding in a car. Started howling and shouting comments of a sexual nature at me and I️ ignored them and they kept driving.

I️ breathed a sigh of relief and thought what fucking pigs they were. I️ could never understand why all the guys lined these asshole jocks.

So I️ kept walking and suddenly up a side street comes the same car of guys. I️ crosses the road and I️ was tackled. I️ had by now 4 of them on top of me grabbing me and trying to get my pants off. Yes I️ was screaming and fighting back .

All of a sudden I️ hear this guy yell get the duck off her now.

He ran over to me and grabbed me here it was my friend who was home from the military, he shielded ne and I️ was so relieved.

God only knows what would have happened to me if he didn’t show up.

No I️ didn’t report it hell I️ didn’t even tell my parents because I was afraid I wouldn’t be allowed to go anywhere. I️ wondered was it how I️ was dressed, or did I️ say anything to them to make them think I️ wanted this?

Hello no I didn’t.

I️ did tell my mom finally and she was very understanding and supportive.

If anything like this ever happens to you please tell someone right away.

It’s not your fault