Wednesday, October 7, 2009

UnSilenced: Our Responsibility


I find it to be very disturbing that 1 in 4 women will experience Domestic Violence in their lives and yet there is still little to no personal responsibility taken by the rest of us to help. In this era of having access to quick information, being "connected" 24/7 to our friends, and super fast travel of online "support" for the myriad of "good Causes" it is a shame for us to not be just as eager to share support for the "cause" of Ending Domestic Violence.

I guess for us to properly call for an end to Domestic Violence we would first have to admit there is a problem. Hundreds of thousands of us have yet to admit that Domestic Violence IS a problem and that only adds to the problem. We decide to believe that it is not real and that it does not happen or worse yet that it does not affect ME.
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Domestic Violence is real and it is happening.

As you read this a women, maybe even someone you know, is becoming a victim of Domestic Violence. In fact, a woman is beaten every 15 seconds here in the United States.
So often we ignore or choose not to understand what Domestic Violence really is. I guess that is why we have allowed this type of behavior to become so "normal". We have even begin blaming the victims by saying, "Well, if it is that bad she should just leave, " or "What did she do to deserve that,". Why are we so judgmental towards the victims for "not leaving"? As if it is the victims fault for getting beat.

We need to stand in the way of Domestic Violence and stand up for the millions of victims that dont have anyone else. Victims are many times separated and alienated from their family and friends and anyone else who should be in a position to help. That is why it is up to ALL OF US!

A few ways we can help the victims by getting the word out.
They need to know that they are not alone and that we will not stand by and watch while they are victimized over and over. We need to make every effort to research ways to get involved in our community. We can find out ways to aide in writing and enforcing stronger penalties for abusers and higher quality help for victims. We can honor the survivors who have broken the silence and encourage others to do the same.

There are many things we can do to support those affected by domestic violence but the best thing we can do is not turn our back any longer.


To immediately report abuse call the National Domestic Violence Hotline
800-799-7233

Today's Names of Texas women who were murdered by their intimate partner in 2008
Brenda Yelton, 46 Pearland d. 4-25-08
Brenda Lee Nunez, 17 Brownsville d. 02-09-08

Jaime Dawn Meyer, 41 Clay Co. d. 09-19-08

Mary Sue Doyle, 54 Altoga d. 4-22-2008

Amanda Jo Earheart-Savell, 30 Plano d. 6/05/08
Jennifer McCallum McKinney d. 04/09/08
Suanne Childress, 48 New Braunfels d. 12/30/08
Nancy Shields, 53 New Braunfels d. 7/17 08
Joy Tomerlin, New Braunfels d. 7/30/2008
Denise Banks, 59 Bangs d. 8-20-08

Norma De la Rosa, 38 Cameron Co. d. 8-11-08
Maura Marroquin, 23 Harlingen d. 1-01-08

Monday, October 5, 2009

UnSilenced: A Lesson To Our Children


Children are affected by Domestic Violence in both direct and non direct ways. Domestic Violence rarely happens in a home without a child witnessing it take place.

Each year an estimated 3.3 million children are exposed to violence. Almost 50% of the men who abuse their wives also abuse their children, and male children growing up in an abusive home are more likely to become abusers when they are grown. Children exposed to any type of family violence are also at a higher risk to become addicted to drugs and alcohol.

We owe it to the next generation to help set them on the right path now. We need to become active in recognizing abuse in our homes, our communities and our workplaces. We need to break the cycle of Domestic Violence by putting an end to the abuse that has grown rampant in America.

If we won't stand up against the violence today, then what lesson are we teaching our children?




Sunday, October 4, 2009

UnSilenced: What is Domestic Violence?



Domestic Violence occurs when one person in an intimate relationship exercises power or controlling behavior against the partner through psychological, physical, verbal, or sexual abuse.

Domestic Violence is a unbiased epidemic. It knows no racial, ethnic, socioeconomic, or educational boundaries. It is impossible to consider a victim of Domestic Violence "typical". Domestic Violence happens everywhere and in every type of relationship.

While Domestic Violence can happen to anyone, including men, it is the leading cause of injury to WOMEN between the ages of 15-44 in the United States.

More women are injured by Domestic Violence in the US, than car accidents, muggings, and rapes, COMBINED.

Dating Violence or Relationship abuse happens between two individuals who are in a dating relationship.

Violent relationships start at an average age of 15.

1 in 3 teenagers will experience physical violence in their dating relationships.

40% of teen-aged girls know someone who has been abused or beaten by a boyfriend.


Physical and or sexual abuse against adolescent girls in dating relationships increases the likelihood that the girl:
  • Will abuse drugs and/or alcohol
  • Develop an eating disorder
  • Consider and/or attempt suicide
Many times we make the mistake of justifying abuse by saying "that is just how they are", or "they always have drama". Sometimes we even find ourselves asking "why doesn't the victim just leave".

What we need to be asking is How can we help her.

It is up to all of us to help recognize, and help end Domestic Violence.

Today's Names of Texas women who were murdered by their intimate partner in 2008
Samantha Herrera, 21 San Antonio d. 10-03-08
Paula Meadows, 35 San Antonio d. 3-25-08
Francisca Mendez, 46 San Antonio d. 11-11-08
Christine Mora, 36 San Antonio - d. 1-26-08
Debbie Perez, 42 San Antonio - d. 02-21-08
Gwendolyn Robinson, 43 San Antonio - d. 09-19-08
Kimberly Tello, 18 San Antonio - d. 12-24-2008

If you are a victim of abuse, or know about abuse happening please call the

National Domestic Violence Hotline at 800-799-7233 or for other info for your state visit - http://www.ndvh.org/get-help/help-in-your-area/#T


Friday, October 2, 2009

UnSilenced: Presidential Proclamation in Support of Ending Domestic Violence




THE WHITE HOUSE

Office of the Press Secretary
___________________________________________________________________________
For Immediate Release October 1, 2009

September 30, 2009

NATIONAL DOMESTIC VIOLENCE AWARENESS MONTH, 2009
- - - - - - -
BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

A PROCLAMATION

Domestic violence touches the lives of Americans of all ages, leaving a devastating impact on women, men, and children of every background and circumstance. A family's home becomes a place of fear, hopelessness, and desperation when a woman is battered by her partner, a child witnesses the abuse of a loved one, or a senior is victimized by family members. Since the 1994 passage of the landmark Violence Against Women Act, championed by then Senator Joe Biden, our Nation has strengthened its response to this crime and increased services for victims. Still, far too many women and families in this country and around the world are affected by domestic violence. During National Domestic Violence Awareness Month, we recommit ourselves to ending violence within our homes, our communities, and our country.

To effectively respond to domestic violence, we must provide assistance and support that meets the immediate needs of victims. Facing social isolation, victims can find it difficult to protect themselves and their children. They require safe shelter and housing, medical care, access to justice, culturally specific services, and economic opportunity. The Family Violence Prevention and Services Act supports emergency shelters, crisis intervention programs, and community education about domestic violence.

In the best of economic times, victims worry about finding a job and housing, and providing for their children; these problems only intensify during periods of financial stress. That is why the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act provides $325 million for the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) and the Victims of Crime Act (VOCA). This funding will supplement the Federal VAWA and VOCA dollars that flow to communities every year, and enable States, local governments, tribes, and victim service providers to retain and hire personnel that can serve victims and hold offenders accountable. These funds will also bring relief to victims seeking a safe place to live for themselves and their children.

Victims of violence often suffer in silence, not knowing where to turn, with little or no guidance and support. Sadly, this tragedy does not just affect adults. Even when children are not directly injured by violence, exposure to violence in the home can contribute to behavioral, social, and emotional problems. High school students who report having experienced physical violence in a dating relationship are more likely to use drugs and alcohol, are at greater risk of suicide, and may carry patterns of abuse into future relationships. Our efforts to address domestic violence must include these young victims.

During this month, we rededicate ourselves to breaking the cycle of violence. By providing young people with education about healthy relationships, and by changing attitudes that support violence, we recognize that domestic violence can be prevented. We must build the capacity of our Nation's victim service providers to reach and serve those in need. We urge community leaders to raise awareness and bring attention to this quiet crisis. And across America, we encourage victims and their families to call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE(7233). Together, we must ensure that, in America, no victim of domestic violence ever struggles alone.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim October 2009, as National Domestic Violence Awareness Month. I ask all Americans to do their part to end domestic violence in this country by supporting their communities' efforts to assist victims in finding the help and healing they need.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this first day of October, in the year of our Lord two thousand nine, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-fourth.

BARACK OBAMA

UnSilenced: A month of Domestic Violence Awareness



October is National Domestic Violence Awareness Month and I am committing to a month long blogging campaign to expose the stark realities we are all responsible for caused by the epidemic of Domestic Violence.

Domestic Violence is emotional, financial, mental, as well as physical and sexual; it stems from one person's need to control another in order to feel powerful. Everyone needs to know that Domestic Violence is a choice by the Abuser to threaten and carry out these threats with violence towards their spouse and family.

Domestic Violence occurs in every community, every city and in every state. Domestic Violence can happen to any one of ANY race, age, religion or gender and affects people of ALL socioeconomic backgrounds and education levels.

NO ONE IS IMMUNE.

In 2008, there were 193, 505 family violence incidents reported just in the State of Texas. Texas also accounted for 136 (11 each month) deaths directly related to Domestic Violence which is almost 3 MORE deaths per month than in 2007.

This has to END.

We can not keep allowing ourselves to think this does not exist or that it is just a "women's" issue. It is a problem plaguing every aspect of society. We have to learn to not only recognize Domestic Violence we also have to have the courage to stop it when we see it happen.

We can no longer sit by and act like it is "none of our business".

The safety and well being of our neighbors, our doctors, our kids teachers, our local coffee shop baristas, our grocery store clerks, our co-workers, our friends and our own family is all of OUR BUSINESS!


Today's Names of Texas women who were murdered by their intimate partner in 2008
Myra Jenkins Beggs, 58 Bastrop d. 11-20-08
Rosie Finley Graham, 56 Temple d. 3-08-08
Diana Mota, 31 Killeen d. 4-12-08
Lovera Campbell, 28 San Antonio - d. 10-07-08
Tanya Clark, 55 San Antonio - d. 07-17-08
Kaylee Stewert Garza, 17 Universal City - d. 12-01-08

Please join me in sharing in Domestic Violence Awareness Month with your friends and family on facebook, your blog, or anywhere you can think of.

If we can make a difference in one life it will be worth it. I promise


To immediately report abuse call the National Domestic Violence Hotline
800-799-7233

For more info on Domestic Violence or DVAM, please visit these resources
Texas Council On Family Violence



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Genesis Women's Shelter

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