We Need To Stop Focusing On the Mental Health of Mass Shooters

By Deborah DoroshowDeborah Doroshow is a physician and historian of medicine at Yale University and the author of “Emotionally Disturbed: A History of Caring For America’s Troubled Children.”May 20 In the two decades since the massacre at Columbine High School, digging into the psychology of mass shooters has sadly become an all-too-familiar habit — now something we seem to do almost weekly. After the Virginia Tech shooting in 2007, media coverage pointed to the shooter’s odd behavior as a child and his near-mutism as a college student. After the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., in 2012, newspapers described the shooter as “withdrawn and meek” and suggested that he might have had Asperger syndrome. The two people responsible for the shooting at STEM School Highlands Ranch in Colorado on May 7 are already the subjects of forensic investigation of their presumed troubled pasts. This practice is not just a phenomenon of the post-Columbine era of mass shootings. It has its roots in the early 20th century, and it represents an effort to shift blame and find an area of consensus after massacres that could otherwise force uncomfortable conversations. In the process, this practice fosters stigma against one of the most vulnerable groups of Americans: the mentally ill. In the late 19th century, reports of mass shootings were typically very brief. But by the turn of the century, coverage grew more detailed, often describing how the shooter had […]

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Honor Killing? Father Murders Own Daughter For Taking Muslim

Universal Life Church <newsletter@themonastery.org> Father Murders Daughter: “Honor Killing” Sends Shockwaves Through Community It’s a deeply painful personal answer based on religion. There is no one answer. Was this a case of Domestic Violence or Honor Killing. We are a diverse World. We have to make decisions based on our religious beliefs and know there is another view. What should his punishment be? https://www.themonastery.org/blog/2017/07/honor-killing-father-murders-own-daughter-for-taking-muslim-boyfriend/?utm_source=Newsletter&utm_medium=Email&utm_content=Father+Murders+Daughter%3A+%22Honor+Killing%22+Sends+Shockwaves+Through+Community&utm_campaign=Aug+2nd+2017

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Andy Warhol’s “So Sweet” *Live For Today*

Original post 5/2014 I had to buy this Warhol because it was the complete opposite of my childhood. I saw the happy little girl and thought about me in kindergarten. She’s carrying a bag of candy and a good report card, again not me. What makes it so special is my mother told me I was stupid all the time. I began to believe her. You look in the corner and see “So Smart”, words I love to hear. I wasn’t stupid, just carrying a heavy load. No kindergartener can handle the burden of that secret. Warrior

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Forced Sex Camps Train Girls for Child Marriage *Women and Children Have Rights*

Forced Sex Camps Train Girls For Child Marriage In Zambia And Mozambique Reuters By Emma Batha CASABLANCA, May 21 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – Girls as young as eight in Mozambique and Zambia are forced to go to camps where they are shown how to please a man in bed in order to prepare them for married life, activists said at an international conference on ending child marriage. These sexual initiations begin once menstruation starts and sometimes involve sticks being inserted inside the girls, Persilia Muianga of international aid agency World Vision said. She added that some mothers force young daughters to sleep with a man in the belief this can bring on menstruation. Anglican priest Jackson Jones Katete said initiations in Zambia happen among girls between the ages of eight and 13, and may involve girls being cut by women for not performing sexual movements correctly. “You … pay these (elderly) women to do this torturing to your child,” he said, adding that men do not want to marry girls unless they have been initiated. “Immediately the girls come out of the camp, they are saying … you are now ready for sex. And then the men come … and then they begin to do the betrothals.” The training, which can last a week and is shrouded in secrecy, also teaches girls about hygiene, domestic duties and how to conduct themselves in the community, Muianga said, adding that community leaders […]

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Stop Prison Abuse *Investigate Florida Prison In Darren Rainey's Death*

Change.org Petition Please read the original petition. I wanted to cry and vomit reading how Darren was brutally murdered. How can two prison guards ignore Darren Rainey beg for his life? Original Petition http://wp.me/p45hs8-pw . The prison and two prison guards have not faced charges for the death of Darren Rainey. Please support our new petition Steven Wetstein Miami, FL Dec 5, 2014  Friends, Thanks greatly for all your support to date. We are still working hard for a federal investigation of the Darren Rainey case. Florida Department of Corrections Secretary Mike Crews resigned last month, under the pressure of the numerous cases of brutality toward prisoners that have come to light, starting with that of Darren Rainey. Unfortunately, Crews’ number two, Timothy Cannon, who has spent 25 years in the DOC, has been appointed as interim DOC Secretary. Please support Stop Prison Abuse Now’s new petition, at https://www.change.org/p/richard-scott-appoint-independent-department-of-corrections-secretary?just_created=true, urging Governor Rick Scott to appoint a different permanent DOC Secretary, one who is independent of the system they must reform. Richard Scott: Appoint Independent Department of Corrections Secretary After a string of brutal inmate deaths–like that of Darren Rainey , who was locked into a scalding shower until he died–Florida… HTTPS://WWW.CHANGE.ORG

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Throw Back Thursday **Pink Floyd, The Allman Brothers and American Indians** A Strong Message of Survival

The Pink Floyd video brings thoughts, dreams and surviving to mind. I fly in my dreams and have for as long as I can remember. Watching the guy get the courage to fly is like our internal struggle to survive. Survivors continue to battle the struggle, the difference is they have learned to fly. The other message not lost on me is the American Indian appearing, building his confidence to fly. I am Cherokee and would have liked to fight their battles. Everyone has a story. If you are lacking confidence to jump the last hurdle, you’re in good company. Survivors dedicate themselves to helping you fly. There’s a line in Seven Turns on the Highway, Love Is All That Remains The Same. It reminds me the journey never ends, we have to keep living. By living we are going to hit unexpected turns. When we have the right people in our life, they take the journey with us. Surviving is a life long learning experience. Personally I love watching the American Indians dance, wondering what the dance means.   XO Warrior  

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**URGENT** 10,000 Signatures Needed By Oct. 18th To Improve Veterans Employability and Reduce Suicide Risk

CHANGE.ORG https://www.change.org/p/robert-a-mcdonald-us-dept-of-veterans-affairs-improve-veterans-employability-to-reduce-suicide Improve veterans employability to reduce suicide. Petition by BATTLE-BRO **URGENT. PLEASE SHARE – WE NEED 10,000 SIGNATURES BY OCT 18TH** Every signature sends an email directly to the personal inbox of the Secretary of the VA, Robert A McDonald. There are an average of 22 veteran suicides each day in this country: it’s staggering and a shameful indictment of us as a society. These men and women have risked and lost their lives for the freedoms we enjoy. One of the principal factors in bringing a veteran to this tragic decision is unemployment and the inability to support their family. Though veterans re-enter civilian life amply qualified for a host of jobs, there has been no bridging mechanism that translates their military skills to employer-friendly vernacular. This from the Washington Post is a perfect explanation of the problem: “Today, unemployment for veterans who’ve served since September of 2001 hovers just over 8 percent. For the economy at large: 6.1 percent. The gap between those two numbers speaks to several challenges: The military trains service members in many jobs with close but imperfect civilian corollaries, leaving veterans with the right job skills but the wrong certifications. Military service demands other skills that civilian jobs don’t (managing violence, repairing weapons, defending convoys). But where that unfamiliar experience entails universal qualifications (leadership, judgment, communication), employers don’t always know how to recognize them.” BATTLE-BRO – the Veteran call-a-day network combatting suicide – […]

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As the dust cleared on 9/11/01, America took comfort knowing our flag was still there ** God Bless America Land Of The Free**

The tragic events of 9/11/01 will forever remain etched in my mind. It’s with a heavy heart I celebrate the lives taken and those left behind to grieve. I think of the men and women of our military bravely fighting for our freedoms. The cost of freedom is high. Let us not forget as we sip our Starbucks, a soldier will die today and a family is left behind. A soldier who hasn’t seen his newborn son. Let us not forget the innocent lives lost in war zones and the pain families suffer. The pain and agony of losing a loved one is universal, it’s a human feeling regardless of the language spoken.  M    

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Important Update Or Lack There Of On Change.org Petition**Let's Send Our Collective WP Voice**

Countless hours spent making phone calls and letter writing to Federal and State Officials have fallen on deaf ears. Overwhelming support has rallied behind Sgt. Andrew Tahmooressi petition yet more is needed. Please take a few minutes to read, sign and pass to all you know. We can turn the injustice around. The comments were taken from letter written by Pastor Rich Tidwell. Sgt. Andrew Tahmooressi, has been unjustly imprisoned in a Mexican federal prison for nearly 5 months on weapons charges after accidentally crossing the border with legally purchased U.S. registered weapons. Since his incarceration, I often find myself imagining what it must feel like languishing in a foreign high security prison, surrounded by unfamiliar faces, suffering from PTSD, malnourished, and unable to effectively communicate with others. Andrew’s plight should not be a burden carried alone as his treatment by Mexican officials demonstrates how any American could potentially be treated should one of us make a similar mistake. His sufferings could easily be shared by ourselves, our siblings, our families, our friends and our countrymen… a fearful thought to say the least. Furthermore, Sgt Andrew Tahmooressi is a decorated veteran, saving the lives of multiple Marines during combat. He is a man who has fought injustice on our behalf, actively securing our American liberties after volunteering to make the ultimate sacrifice should his nation need him to. He is a man worthy of our rescue and a man our nation […]

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Steubenville High School: Remove Convicted Rapist From Football Team**Is Football More Important Than Gang Rape?**

TRIGGER WARNING: This petition pertains to the sexual assault of a minor. “I feel that he’s earned a second chance.” That’s what Steubenville High football coach Reno Saccoccia has to say about his decision to welcome convicted rapist Ma’lik Richmond back to his team. The facts of the Steubenville rape case in 2012 were already horrendous. A teenage girl was repeatedly and publicly sexually assaulted by boys on her school’s football team. Pictures and video were taken and the victim was shamed on social media. Coach Reno Saccoccia allegedly tried to cover up the crime and continued to let the perpetrators play on the team even after it became clear that they had committed these acts. This case was a clear-cut instance of rape culture, where a community prioritized the success and protection of its football team, and dismissed incidences of rape under the guise of ‘boys will be boys.’ Now, Ma’lik Richmond – who was found guilty of raping a minor while she was unconscious – is out of jail and and Coach Saccoccia has put him right back on the Big Red football team. While he was never charged with attempting to cover up the crime it’s clear that Saccoccia still doesn’t understand the seriousness of his players’ crimes. In his words: “[Richmond’s] one of 55 players that are in good standing with their teammates and their coaches.” This cannot be tolerated. We as a nation are tired […]

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NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell Announced The New Policy For Players Who Commit Domestic Violence **VICTORY**

This is an update to Change.org petition to Stop Violence Against Women, from woman who started petition. Victory Today NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell announced a shift in the NFL’s policy regarding the punishment of players who commit domestic violence. Players will be suspended for six games for the first offense and indefinitely for a second offense. I’m thrilled that the NFL listened to the fans and I’d like to thank everyone who signed my petition and all of the journalists who continued to follow this story. The NFL has finally taken real action on domestic violence and it’s because we stood together and said this simply isn’t acceptable anymore. This is a huge moment of recognition for survivors and their advocates and it came about because of people like you who were willing to take a stand. Thank you for using your voice to make change. We at WordPress must leverage the NFL’s decision to make our voice heard on all petitions regarding Violence Against Women. The NFL is setting the tone for change. Please go directly to Change.org and look under Domestic Violence to see active petitions. I will keep you informed as they roll across my desk. So proud to stand shoulder to shoulder with you.  M

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Update on Change.org Petition To Stop Female Genital Mutilation (FMG) in America **First Victory**

This petition disturbed many bloggers. Alarming the community to learn the practice of Female Genital Mutilation (FMG) was happening in America. I find the savage practice disturbing for any female in any country. Please sign if you haven’t already and send to everyone you know. Thank you.  M First Victory Over the past few months, more than 220,000 of you have signed this petition, urging the American government to end the practice of female genital mutilation (FGM) in the United States, and commission a prevalence report on FGM’s impact on women and girls. https://www.change.org/p/end-fgm-now-protect-girls-from-getting-cut-and-support-victims-of-female-genital-mutilation-in-the-usa

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Psychiatric Prisoner Dies After Being LOCKED IN SHOWER FOR TWO HOURS AT WHAT TEMPERATURE? **Graphic**

Important Change.org Petition It’s not unusual for me to get jacked up reading the news or having a few choice words on the subject. Blowing a F@#&* gasket with my stomach rolling in disgust is unusual. It’s unacceptable no one was held accountable in this horrific crime. Two men responsible for Psychiatric prisoners killed man by locking him in the shower for two hours. The water temperature was 180 degrees. How does someone decide to torture a Mentally Ill man to death? Two people ignored his screams of pain, ignored as he begged for his life. After he was dead another prisoner had to clean the shower. The details to graphic for me to write. The inmate cleaning the shower will have horrific images to scar him for life. Their actions are deplorable. I can’t stop thinking of the family’s grief and anger. I hope you’re mad as hell, disgusted and ready to hold the prison and two workers accountable for their actions. Please sign the petition asking for justice and pass to everyone you know. We can’t accept abuse on any level Mentally Ill or not. If we do nothing, we lose civility. Thank you.   M Petitioning Attorney General Eric Holder Investigate the 2012 death of Mr. Darren Rainey, a mentally ill Florida prisoner who died after prison guards locked him into a 180-degree shower. https://www.change.org/p/attorney-general-eric-holder-investigate-the-2012-death-of-mr-darren-rainey-a-mentally-ill-florida-prisoner-who-died-after-prison-guards-locked-him-into-a-180-degree-shower On June 23, 2012 Darren Rainey, a 50-year-old mentally ill state prison inmate in Miami-Dade County, […]

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Important Change.org Petitions Need Your Support **Violence Against Women**

I only post petitions from Change.org that really disturb me. I feel strongly you want to see the injustice and take part in forging change. There are so many in my e-mail I can’t do individual post for each. I’m asking you to click on the links below or go directly to http://www.change.org to check currents petitions. Sign up for direct notices if you like. There are many opportunities to make your voice heard. One signature can make a difference. I will post an update on petitions which have seen victory and positive change. We have to make our collective voice heard, violence is not acceptable and people will be accountable for their actions with proper penalties.   M Violence Against Women NFL must update policy against violencee. https://www.change.org/p/roger-goodell-nflcommish-set-consistent-punishment-guidelines-for-nfl-players-who-commit-violence-against-women High School Violence Against Women https://www.change.org/p/steubenville-high-school-remove-convicted-rapist-from-big-red-football-team End Teen Dating Violence https://www.change.org/p/south-carolina-state-senate-pass-sierra-s-law-to-end-teen-dating-violence-in-south-carolina  

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Wrong Turn Lands U.S.M.C. Sgt. Andrew Tahmooressi in Mexican Federal Prison

Change.org Petition Update Here is the link to sign the petition at Change.org   https://www.change.org/petitions/release-u-s-m-c-sgt-tahmooressi-imprisoned-in-mexico Petitioning John Kerry (Secretary of State) Release U.S.M.C. Sgt. Tahmooressi imprisoned in Mexico Petition by Jill Tahmooressi My son Andrew Tahmooressi is a Marine veteran fighting for his life and freedom in a Mexico jail after being wrongfully imprisoned for over a month after he accidentally crossed the border with three legal US purchased firearms in his truck. Andrew suffers from PTSD and had just traveled from Florida to San Diego to seek V.A. evaluation where he was diagnosed in March and started his treatment plan. He had all of his belongs in his car with him, including three firearms as he was searching housing and hoping to secure employment. On March 31 he got lost while driving, made a wrong turn in the border town of San Ysidro, CA and within yards of that wrong turn, found himself approaching the Mexican Customs lane with no obvious way to turn around. Stopping, he states immediately, “I got lost, made a wrong turn. I do not want to be here. May I go back to the border (USA)? I have 3 weapons in my vehicle.” Instead he was arrested and imprisoned on weapons charges even though the ATF traced the firearms back to him within days. Andrew’s tours took place in (2010 & 2012) Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF) Marine, and he is a Reservist until 8/24/2016 in the […]

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That's What We Do We're Americans* Join Warrior, Red Skelton, Oliver North and Ray Charles For the Festivities*

Words can not express the gratitude in my heart for the men and women who keep America strong and free. I would like to tell every soldier they are not forgotten. Since I’m not about to travel to the middle east, remember you have a loyal supporter in Texas. Lets not forget the wars are not over. Soldiers are fighting at home with burns, amputation, PTSD and many other life altering challenges. Now that you know I carry you in my heart, let’s party.    Warrior  

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Operation Infinite Justice "Where the Stars and Strips and the Eagle Fly"

I saw the video this morning, memories flashed, I found my notes. This is for all the heroes including victims and families. Sending out big hugs.   9/11/01 Notes I made as horror unfolds. The face of America and the free world has changed. America is under attack by terrorist. Four planes hijacked, two planes crashed in to both World Trade Center buildings. Not long after a plane crashed in to Pentagon and one crashed in field in Pennsylvania. Both towers fell to ruble, a shocking sight. As the buildings crash the air looked like a volcano. Fatalities are high. The fire’s rage on at Pentagon. We learned plane crashed in PA targeting White House. Airforce One possible target, no information on how. The second day airspace locked down. The reaction from around the world is amazing. Even China has provided their support in the event of war. We have committed to use what ever means we have to fight terrorist. Bomb threat for Empire State, bomb dogs picked up a positive reading. Manhattan is a war zone. Several buildings evacuated, no other incidents. I’m embarrassed by the people who deface Mosque. So many not displaying flag. Doesn’t seem right to turn television off. It’s so hard to process what happened this week. What’s financial impact, how devastating ? I heard my first helicopter since Tuesday. My mind flashed, how would Dallas respond? Do we have the protection needed? It’s been a […]

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Children Restrained or Secluded 267,000 Times School Year*Most Have Disabilities or Mental Illness*

My Two Cents This a brief update from NAMI, National Alliance Mental Illness. I can’t wrap my head around 267,000 students restrained or secluded, the majority with Disabilities or Mental Illness. It’s not a punishment I can get on board with. The parents are accountable for their children and how they act in school. Do parents have alternative schools? My mind is over flowing with questions. Do schools have a process, is the process monitored, by who, documented, are there defined actions, limitations? Are teachers and principals discussing the process of punishment with parents face to face? Are parents notified before school starts? Is the child involved in meetings to give input and ask questions? What grades are included or all?  How many offences allowed before the child needs to transfer to school capable of meeting their needs. Is a detailed report required for each incident and discussed with parent? Do the disabled students understand why their being punished? Are the disabled students from a different learning environment? Which organization determined this punishment was Best Practices? Are investigations performed by governing organization? I strongly believe parents are accountable for their children which includes providing an appropriate learning environment. The other students deserve a healthy learning environment. I feel like all students lose with this policy and abusive.   Warrior  ********** NPR just wrote an article that highlights the need for immediate action to regulate restraint and seclusion in our nation’s schools. Data from […]

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Thank You For Signing Petition! Meriam Yehya Freed After Sudanese Appeals Court Ruling

Petition Update on Sudan prisoner Meriam Yehya Government of Sudan: Don’t execute Meriam Yehya Ibrahim for being Christian #SaveMeriam received 985,603 supporters.  23 Jun 2014 — Today a Sudanese appeals court ordered Meriam’s release from the prison where for months she’s been awaiting execution for her refusal to renounce her Christian faith. The decision comes after almost a million people from around the world — including you! — signed my petition on Change.org that added to the chorus of international voices demanding justice for Meriam. Over the past few months world leaders like David Cameron, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, and John Kerry, the United States Secretary of State, have spoken out against Meriam’s imprisonment, and media coverage of her story has raised an important conversation about religious freedom and women’s rights around the world. I started my petition after I saw how the #BringBackOurGirls campaign, focused on freeing 276 girls kidnapped in Nigeria, got over a million signatures and launched a global movement that spurred governments to take action. Now, thanks to our voices, a young mother and her children have been freed from prison and the right to religious freedom is a little bit safer. Over the next few days we will be monitoring reports from Sudan; we cannot let our guard down until we are sure Meriam is home with her family and safe from other threats. But let today’s events be a message to the […]

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Speak Your Mind! Call Congressional Members 6/12/14 Urging to Co-Sponsor "KEEP ALL STUDENTS SAFE ACT"

Please remember there are no Federal Laws in place to limit the use of restraints and seclusion in Schools nationwide. Many times children with disabilities and mental illness have to deal with the trauma, trauma they don’t understand. We have to set standards to protect our children.  Warrior Tomorrow is our national call-in day so advocates all over the country can call their Senators and Representatives and ask them to co-sponsor the Keeping All Students Safe Act (S. 2036 and H.R. 1893). These bills greatly restrict the use of restraint and seclusion in our nation’s schools to protect children from harm. There are no federal laws regulating the use of restraint and seclusion in schools. Numerous media stories and various reports have documented the harm, trauma and even death that have occurred from the use of restraint and seclusion in schools. Restraint is being used in alarmingly high numbers on students with disabilities, including those living with mental illness. Effective alternatives exist to reduce and eliminate the unnecessary use of restraints and seclusion and protect students and staff. These bills support alternatives that provide students with a safe and positive learning environment. Call Today! Please call your Congressional members and urge them to co-sponsor the Keeping All Students Safe Act. Thank you for your dedication to mental health advocacy!  

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'Keeping All Students Safe Act' National Call-In Day June 12th

There are stories almost weekly of schools using restraint or isolation on children deemed unruly. No federal law regulates these actions. I see both sides of the issue however another approach is urgent. As a person with mental illness, I can not imagine the long-term scars on children who receive this type of treatment. Please mark your calendars, it’s just around the corner.  Warrior Keeping All Students Safe Act (S. 2036 and H.R. 1893) National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) is working with a coalition to end restraint and seclusion in schools. The coalition has organized a national call-in day on June 12th so advocates all over the country can call their Senators and Representatives and ask them to co-sponsor the Keeping All Students Safe Act (S. 2036 and H.R. 1893). These bills greatly restrict the use of restraint and seclusion in our nation’s schools to protect children from harm. There are no federal laws regulating the use of restraint and seclusion in schools. Numerous media stories and various reports have documented the harm, trauma and even death that have occurred from the use of restraint and seclusion in schools. Restraint is being used in alarmingly high numbers on students with disabilities, including those living with mental illness. Effective alternatives exist to reduce and eliminate the unnecessary use of restraints and seclusions and protect students and staff. These bills support alternatives that provide students with a safe and positive learning environment. Call June 12th! Please […]

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Funding Update for Rape Kit "End The Backlog" FY2015

A Step Closer to Landmark Reform  Today, we have moved one step closer to achieving landmark rape kit reform. This morning, the Senate Appropriations Committee approved $41 million in its FY2015 Commerce, Justice and Science spending bill to address the rape kit backlog. The Senate’s actions follow on the heels of last week’s vote by the House of Representatives for this historic level of funding in its new spending bill. The new program will provide communities with the vital resources they need to help end the backlog at law enforcement agencies throughout the country, with a focus on investigating cases and re-engaging survivors in the process. As we begin the final push to ensure this funding is passed by the full Senate, we urge you to join the thousands who have already taken action and made their voices heard.Write to your Senators and urge them to support this funding as the bill moves through the Senate. Send your letter here. Thank the members of the Senate and House Appropriations Committee leadership who prioritized this funding. Share your tweets here. Help spread the word about the rape kit backlog and our efforts to end it with your community. Get started here. Funding for comprehensive rape kit reform sends a message to survivors that they—and their cases—matter. It sends a message to perpetrators that they will be held accountable for their crimes. It demonstrates a commitment to survivors to do everything possible to bring healing […]

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Translators for US Military in Afghan and Iraqi Face Taliban Kill List

Petitioning US Congress Pass the Afghan Allies Protection Extension Act Petition by Matt Zeller Fairfax, VA Join me in supporting a critical visa program to save the lives of interpreters in Afghanistan who have helped US troops like me. In 2008, I was serving as an Embedded Combat Adviser in Afghanistan when my interpreter, Janis Shinwari, and I were caught in the middle of a firefight. He took swift action when a combatant shot at me and saved my life. But beyond that specific incident, Janis served a critical role for me and all the other troops serving in Afghanistan. Thousands of Afghan nationals like Janis have served as interpreters to assist US troops in communicating in real-time and providing a cultural link between the troops and Afghan nationals. But like Janis, many of these interpreters find their lives at risk for their work with US troops. Janis was placed on a Taliban kill list and had to go into hiding with his family. Thankfully, legislation passed in 2009 (the Afghan Allies Protection Act) created a Special Immigrant Visa (SIV) program to help these interpreters escape to safety in the US. Janis and I learned the hard way that the program had a number of flaws. It took years — and Change.org petition — to help Janis finally secure his visa. Thankfully, Janis and his family have resettled in the US. Since then, we’ve started an organization to help resettle Afghan and […]

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Bullying: Not Old Fashion Fighting Anymore

Bullying: Resources for How to Get Help This documentary explores Americas teen-bullying epidemic. Millions of kids are relentlessly demeaned and physically attacked at school every day. Parents of victims and educators say that a change must take place and everyone can help. Below is a list of resources to help stop bullying and cyberbullying. For Everyone: The Bully Project, and ‘Billy’ Movie: The documentary film that sparked a nationwide movement to stop bullying offers stories of those who were bullies and resources for parents, teachers, kids and communities for how to deal with and stop bullies on their website. “Bully,” which follows the lives of five U.S. students who faced bullying on a daily basis at school, including two who commited suicide as a result, will be in theaters on March 30, 2012. Stop Bullying Now!: A resource website sponsored by the U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services that addresses the warning signs of bullying, how to talk about bullies, how to report bullies and cyberbullying and offers a 24-hour help hotline for victims at 1-800-273-TALK (8255). For Children and Teens: Teens Against Bullying: Specifically created to help teens learn about bullying, how to appropriately respond to it and how to prevent it. Kids Against Bullying: Specifically created to help elementary school children learn about bullying, how to appropriately respond to it and how to prevent it. STOMP Out Bullying!: A national anti-bullying and cyberbullying program for kids and teens. National […]

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Dating Violence, Stabbed 32 Times and Survives

By MELISSA DOHME CBS NEWS May 30, 2014, 2:15 PM 48 Hours: Dating violence survivor tells story My name is Melissa Dohme. I am twenty-two years old and I live in Clearwater, Florida. On January 24, 2012, I found myself surrounded with family, covered in bandages, connected to machines, with tubes down my throat, praying and thanking God for saving my life. Hours before this moment I was lying alone in the road outside my home, covered in blood, taking what I thought would be my last breath. I had just been viciously attacked, beaten, and stabbed 32 times. How could this happen? Looking back three years prior, I remember the exact moment I met this extremely charming, sweet, and funny guy named Robert Burton. When we started dating, everything was perfect, but as I prepared for my high school graduation, things began to change. Robert became extremely jealous, controlling, and short-tempered. I was going through verbal and emotional abuse throughout our two-year relationship without knowing it was abuse. The violence turned physical in the last few months, and by then I felt completely trapped. He would tell me if I was to leave or tell anyone about the abuse, he would kill me, my family, and himself. He began attempting suicide to scare me, but would stop and threaten me with weapons to prove he was serious. One night, I had the opportunity, courage, and strength to run away and call the police–and […]

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Sudanese Mother Mariam Yehya Ibrahim Gave Birth in Prison to Baby Girl

May 27, 2014 Thank you so much for signing the petition to #saveMariam. This morning Mariam gave birth in prison to a baby girl. Her husband has not yet been allowed to visit Mariam and her newborn baby. Her young son also remains with her in prison. Media reports (http://yhoo.it/1nsb5Z6) state that she will be able to nurse her baby for two years before her death sentence. Please continue to share the petition information with everyone you know. They can sign at: http://www.change.org/saveMariam.  Thank you. The Sudanese government postponed killing Mariam for not denouncing her Christian faith.  In an effort to show how generous Sudan is, Mariam can nurse for two years and take care of 20 month old in prison before her death sentence. As an America, a Christian and human, this story breaks my heart. It’s not one situation, it is the culture of women are not worthy. I’m so happy she is alive but can only imagine the stress on her and the children. If she makes it two years without being raped or beaten it’s a miracle. I pray our collective power of shining a bright light on the issue will let her go home. What about the children, I haven’t read any statements about where the children will go upon her death. This is a terrible crime against humanity. This type of abuse is rampant in the area for Women. Terrorist run the county. I will keep focused […]

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Sudan Sentenced (Flogging/Death) Women 8 months Pregnant For Not Recanting Christian Faith

Please read the horrific story of a Sudanese mother, doctor and Christian sentenced to flogging and death unless she recants her Christian faith. Mariam is 8 months pregnant and has a two-year old son.   Government of Sudan: Don’t execute 8 months pregnant Mariam Yehya Ibrahim for being Christian By Emily Clarke Malmesbury   Sign Emily’s Petition at Change.org   Mariam Yehya Ibrahim, a Sudanese mother, doctor and Christian, has been sentenced to flogging and death unless she recants her Christian faith. She is 8 months pregnant and has a two-year-old son. Please, join the international community in asking Sudan not to execute her for being a Christian. Ibrahim is charged with adultery on the grounds that her marriage to a Christian man from South Sudan is considered void under Shari’a law, for which the penalty is flogging. She’s also charged with apostasy, or abandonment of religion, for which the penalty is death. Mariam is the daughter of a Christian woman and Muslim man. She was raised Christian after her father left. However, Sudanese law mandates that children born to Muslim fathers are considered Muslim. The fact that a woman could be sentenced to death for her religious choice, and to flogging for being married to a man of an allegedly different religion is abhorrent. Call upon the government of Sudan to respect the right to freedom of religion! Sign Emily’s Petition on Change.org   The person (or organization) who started […]

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Yemen votes on Child Rights Act which includes end of Female Genital Mutilation

Yemen is looking to end child marriages and FGM through the Child Rights Act. The new law would establish minimum age of 18 for marriage and end FGM. A positive vote will meet minimum International Human Rights standards. Yemen is leading the way to end the horrific use of Female Genital Mutilation. My hope is other countries take notice and intact similar laws.   Yemen law on child brides and FGM offers hope of wider progress. The smooth passage of legislation outlawing child marriage and female genital mutilation is key to Yemen’s long-term prosperity. Schoolgirls in Sana’a, Yemen. A new law promises to protect under-18s from marriage. Yemen is poised to vote on a comprehensive Child Rights Act over the coming months, which would ban child marriage and female genital mutilation (FGM). The new law would establish the minimum age for marriage as 18, in line with the international human rights standard. Fines would be imposed on guardians, signatories, marriage officials and any other witnesses aware of any contravention. The push for official legislation on such issues has been endorsed by Hooria Mashhour, the Yemeni human rights minister, and supported by others in government. If approved by the prime minister and cabinet, the legislation would go to a parliamentary vote. However, successful passage of the law is far from certain. In 2009, an attempt to make 17 the minimum age of marriage for girls was blocked by traditional and religious leaders and the parliament’s sharia committee. The […]

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Washington Doesn't Want to Talk About Vaginas

Jaha Dukureh is a survivor, driven with incredible inner strength. This article is a great follow-up to the post I wrote on Female Genital Mutilation.  This is the worst form of abuse on children and women. I can appreciate bringing traditions when moving to America. Female Genital Mutilation is a tradition not excepted in America. The violence and violation of children and women is illegal, not a tradition America has ever followed and is inhumane. Most people are not familiar with Female Genital Mutilation, now is a good time to educate yourself and others. Jaha’s clitoris and labia removed and her vagina stitched leaving only a small hole to urinate and menstruate. Sex is very painful.This procedure is Type 3 FGM. It is a long post but please read her brave and motivating story. Please sign the petition on Change.org. She is a survivor and want’s to teach Americans what to do to stop FGM in America. The Futures Without Violence website http://exchange.futureswithoutviolence.org is a great resource to offer support and educate.  From the Futures Without Violence Website. Jaha Dukureh: ‘In Washington, they don’t want to talk about Vaginas’ An Atlanta woman who is a survivor of female genital mutilation is leading a campaign for the US to take action on a brutal practice happening in its own backyard. Jaha Dukureh does not give up easily. When, aged just 15, she was sent to New York from Gambia for an arranged marriage, it looked like […]

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Terrorist Convert Hundreds of Schoolgirls To Muslims? NOT!

Does BoKo Haram think we are ignorant? What child would not comply with a machine gun pointed at her? We are not ignorant and you will be held ACCOUNTABLE. If you were one of the almost 300 schoolgirls kidnapped almost a month ago by terrorist, wouldn’t you say anything with machine guns pointing at you? I don’t believe for one minute over 100 girls asked for a terrorist group to convert them from Christian to Muslims. They are not given a choice, they received instructions to get in front of cameras and say what we rehearsed or you’re dead. These brave girls are being held hostage in the jungle by terrorist group BoKo Haram. They did not go voluntarily and have not had any choices since their school burned down. What cowards, dressed as Police Officers to convince the girls to go with them. The group is also responsible for killing 1,500 in the last month. The level of violence has escalating. I know terrorist are not trustworthy, THEY ARE TERRORIST. They are not terrorist bringing of goodwill to Nigeria. They are suggesting a trade, the girls for clan members in prison. This morning I heard the President is considering negotiating. From where I sit, it’s a death sentence. It shows the government does not want to get its hands dirty. Almost 300 schoolgirls and the blood of 1,500 people are on your hands. Why is the government of Nigeria sitting on its hands. […]

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Take Action for Children's Mental Health

National Alliance of Mental Illness Advocacy Update on National Children’s Mental Health Awareness Week 2014 TAKE ACTION for Children’s Mental Health National Children’s Mental Health Awareness Week, May 4-10, helps raise awareness around children’s mental health. This week NAMI joins communities around the country in raising awareness about the mental health needs of America’s youngest citizens. It is a week to focus on children and youth living with mental illness and to come together to advocate for a full array of effective services and supports for children affected by mental illness. View activities you can do to support Children’s Mental Health Awareness. TAKE ACTION for Children’s Mental Health Below are bills that you can take action on to tell your members of congress to prioritize children’s mental health. The Mental Health In Schools Act (S. 195 and H.R. 628) The Mental Health in Schools Act is critically important legislation that provides federal funding to increase the availability of comprehensive school-based mental health services and supports and builds effective links between schools and the community mental health system. This legislation will improve the early identification of mental illness by funding school and community-based mental health services and linking students with effective services and supports so they have the chance to thrive and reach their full potential. TAKE ACTION The Keeping All Students Safe Act (S. 2036 and H.R. 1893) This bill greatly restricts the use of restraint and seclusion in our nation’s […]

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Terrorist BoKo Haram and Nigerian Government #BringBackOurGirls

I met two women bloggers living in Nigeria last week while looking for information on the kidnapped schoolgirls. They welcomed me with open arms and were patient answering all my questions. I wanted an understanding of the country in hopes of making sense of almost 300 schoolgirls being kidnapped. Not to mention 1,500 people killed this year by terrorist group Boko Haram. Without knowing the history of the country it is difficult to understand the dynamics, corruption and terrorist groups operating in the country. Nigeria is one of the largest African nations and is Christian and Muslims. I think getting the facts from people on the ground versus me or the media is more important. I’ve included links to the wonderful women who helped me immensely. http://maureenoblaq.wordpress.com http://musingsofahappymortal.wordpress.com ******************************************* Change.org There’s a powerful petition taking off on Change.org and we think you might be interested in signing it: Live link at end of post. All World Leaders: Bring Back Nigeria’s 200 Missing School Girls #BringBackOurGirls. In Nigeria, over 200 girls were recently abducted from their boarding school and plans are reported of them being selling them as brides for $12 each. I am calling on the world to unite and save them. The abducted young girls are being affected by a conflict they did not create, and their voices need to be heard. I can only imagine what these 200 girls have been through, and their government is not doing nearly enough […]

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Free to Fly

My emotions are raw today. It’s 4:45 pm and still in my pajamas. I’m sad and confused. When buried memories bubble up I work hard to lock them back up. I saw the ladybug on the roses, it brought the biggest smile. The excitement was enough to grab the camera. A smile is a great distraction, half a smile is better than none. All I can give is a half-smile today. Guilt took over, guilt tells me I’m lazy and my husband is going to leave me. I know it’s the illness talking but it hit me hard today because I was weak. Melinda

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