Keep Students Safe From Sexual Assault & Enforce Title IV

Change.org Petition   Ask Betsy DeVos to keep students safe and enforce Title IX This petition will be delivered to: U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos Senator Lamar Alexander The current Administration is planning to weaken the enforcement of Title IX, a move that would be devastating for students especially those who are LGBT and of color. Survivors and our allies across the country are coming together to ask Education Secretary DeVos to listen to survivors, keep students safe, and enforce protections Title IX has long provided. Join Know Your IX and End Rape on Campus and ask DeVos to commit to the following : Maintain the Department of Education’s guidance documents clarifying schools’ legal responsibilities to prevent and address sexual harassment under Title IX Continue to recognize preponderance of evidence (i.e. “more likely than not”) as the appropriate standard of proof in campus sexual harassment investigations; Maintain federal transparency in Title IX enforcement by continuing to publish lists of schools under investigation for Title IX violations and those who have claimed religious exemptions allowing them to discriminate against LGBT, pregnant, and parenting students DeVos will have the power to enforce Title IX protections and ensure that every student is able to attend school without fear of violence. It’s up to us to make sure that she does. Mahroh Jahangiri Executive Director, Know Your IX https://www.change.org/p/dearbetsy-keep-students-safe-and-enforce-title-ix

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I want all WP friends to join me for a large celebration, party hats, clowns, kazoos, dancing Queen

I celebrate my 7th year blogging anniversary and turn 53 in four days. Neither occasion are important on their own. What make this year so special is I’m alive. So many of you prayed , sent well wishes yet never treated me different. I started my first blog to help grieve my granny’s death. Flash forward, I’m blessed learning other cultures around the world. Blogging with millions of people at WP there are opportunities to learn, share and clarify the misunderstood. The most important lesson learned is people are generally good. I’m free to write my thoughts, some will not agree, others will not. We need different perspectives to broaden our mind. Thank you for making every year a good one. I appreciate the kind thoughts, asking how I’m doing and treating me normal. I hope to see you in the years to come. Party On!!!!! Pass the milk please! Hugs Melinda

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Child Marriages, life of beatings and Sexual Assault by husband

  When I was 14 years old, I was kidnapped for a marriage to a much older man, as depicted in the film Difret. On the day I was abducted, I was raped by my would be “husband.” I knew I had to fight back and escape the first chance I got. I was taken to a hut and locked up. When I received another visit from my abductors I saw my chance. When he was suddenly called away, he left his gun leaning against the wall and the door unlocked. My father had taught me how to fire a gun, so I took it and ran. When he and his friends chased me, I shot him. It was the most terrifying, horrible ordeal of my entire life — and I’m one of the lucky ones. I was accused of murder and after 2 years in the courts, the judge ruled that it was, in fact, self-defense. My trial led to a re-examination of this tradition and the Ethiopian government is now working to end child marriage and female genital cutting by 2025. In addition, the African Union recently launched a campaign to end child marriage across the continent. I am now dedicating my life to working on this issue and to give voice to the screams of unheard rural women and girls. I don’t want to see the same story happen to any more girls. And yet, it still is. […]

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Hearding Chickens awarded Survivors Blog Here with The Versatile Blogger Award

heardingchickens.wordpress.com/2016/02/05/the-versatile-blogger-award We’re thrilled to receive The Versatile Blogger Award from Herding Chickens. If you have not stopped by http://www.herdingchickens.wordpress.com, today is a great day to start. Her personality shines through her writing. Her and  husband have adopted two children. She shares the successes and struggle of Adoption. She’s a generous person. Seven Answers Paola’s Answers Writing is my therapy. It heals my soul and makes me feel less lonely I’d love to understand why I spend the whole week waiting for the Friday and the entire year waiting for the spring. Melinda’s  Answers I think a snake will bite me every time I enter the garage. I don’t read instructions I’m a chocolate addict A Hawk family returns every year to lounge in our bird bath. I’ve named every generation, Hawke I love the wildlife in our neighborhood. The Big Revel! https://sheldonkleemanartworks.com https://apatientvoice.com http://www.charlypriest.wordpress.com http://www.aheartafire.wordpress.com http://www.coffeegrounded.com https://mytwosentences.com http://www.insightsbipolarbear.com http://www.firefly1275.wordpress.com  

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The import from previous Blog is completed *Adding close to 500 additional post*

Time to celebrate!!!! Bring your kazoo, streamers, silly string and lots of cupcakes. I can finally say Looking for the Light has merged with Looking for the Light Blog. The conversion took longer than expected. Now Looking for the Light (previous) blog completes the transition to http:lookingforthelightblog.wordpress.com. The conversion added almost 500 new post dating back to 2005. I have learned a valuable lesson, starting a new site and importing post from previous blog will give you grey hair. The confusion during the holidays was crazy for me and many followers. I appreciate those who stayed with me. Many people didn’t know where my blog would be the next day. Neither did I, every morning was a guessing game. A special thanks to friends and followers, we completed the journey from hell. Xx  M  

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Change.org Victoires Change Lives Around The World *Here are 2015 Hightlights*

Change.org Melinda – Happy New Year! As we ready ourselves for the year ahead, we’re taking stock of all that you changed in 2015. More than 22.8 million of you were a part of the more than 4,500 victories that enacted new laws, overturned unjust convictions, and made life better for people around the world. This video shows just a handful of the amazing things our community accomplished in 2015: http://blog.change.org/feed/you-changed-the-world-in-2015? Didn’t contribute to one of these victories? You have more than 350 days to make your mark on 2016. So, as you’re making your resolutions, take a moment to think about what you want to see change in the world this year. Then, start your own petition! Starting and promoting your campaign on Change.org is simple: Write your petition, address it to the relevant decision maker, and start sharing your campaign with family and friends. Send your petition to your local media to get public support. Deliver your signatures to the decision maker and urge them to take a stand on your campaign. Change.org is a powerful tool for those who want to see change in 2016. Make it your resolution to make change today. Start your petition now. The Change.org team

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Suicide is SECOND leading cause of Death in college-age students *Los estudiantes universitarios de suicidio

Suicide is the second leading cause of death in college-age students. In a recent study, one in ten students admitted to having considered suicide. My name is Conner Mertens. I am a sophomore at Willamette University and a placekicker for the Willamette Bearcats. Last year, I became the first active college football player, at any level, to publicly come out about my sexuality. Before doing this, I felt isolated by my secret. I had to constantly watch what I said and how I behaved, and endure the normal locker room culture that often included homophobic language and behavior. In those moments of profound loneliness, I wanted help, but felt I needed to steer clear of anything that, at the time, I thought made me seem weak (therapists, school counselors, etc.) Had I known then about an anonymous, judgment-free hotline I could call to get the help I so desperately needed, I might not have felt that same self-loathing, isolation. Still, I was lucky. When I finally decided to be true to myself and come out publicly, my coach, team and entire school rallied behind me. I finally had my depression under control. Unfortunately, many college students don’t get this relief, and too many of them choose a permanent solution to this temporary problem by taking their life. That’s why I am asking two of America’s largest university systems, the University of California and California State University, to include suicide hotline […]

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Help women and girls who have been kidnapped by ISIS * *الرجاء مساعدة الآن

Important Change.org Petition Petitioning President Barack Obama Help the women and girls from my home town who have been kidnapped by ISIS Feryal Pirali and Yazda, a Global Yazidi Organization. My name is Feryal. I live in Lincoln, Nebraska, but I grew up in a small town in Iraq called Sinjar. Last August, ISIS kidnapped thousands of women and girls from my hometown. For a year, ISIS has tortured and raped them. Many are teenagers just like me. Please urge President Obama to help save 3,200 women and children from my community — some as young as 11 — who were captured by ISIS, and have been raped and tortured for the past year. I and my family are part of the Yazidi, an ancient religious minority who live mostly in Northern Iraq. Because the Yazidi are not Muslim, ISIS extremists want us exterminated. I and my parents were able to escape, but most of my friends and family couldn’t. I think constantly about the girls my age who I was friends with growing up, who are now being raped every day by ISIS extremists. They can be saved. In fact, 1,800 have escaped or been rescued — but there are still 3,200 Yazidi women and children being held by ISIS. The Yazidi and the local government in Iraq want to rescue them too, but they don’t have the resources they need to get them out. If the United States […]

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Books Matter *Anti-Defamation League Update By Change.org *

Books Matter: An update from ADL by the Change.org team Jun 1, 2015 — The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) would like you to support and share with others the launch of their exciting new education initiative for educators and parents which uses children’s books as a mechanism to discuss bias, prevent bullying and promote discussion and awareness of diversity and social justice. Anyone who has ever read to or with a child knows that books have the potential to create lasting impressions. Beyond their educational benefits, books have the power to instill empathy, affirm a sense of self, teach about others, transport one to unfamiliar places and inspire action. “Books Matter: The Best Kid Lit on Bias, Diversity and Social Justice” is a bibliography of over 600 books organized into 11 categories and reviewed by ADL’s anti-bias education experts. The categories include anti-bias, bullying awareness, anti-Semitism, racism, religious bigotry, gender and sexism, genocide and the Holocaust, LGBT people and issues, and social justice. As part of the initiative, ADL is also featuring a series of podcasts including interviews with children’s authors whose works are highlighted in the Book of the Month. http://www.adl.org/education-outreach/books-matter/#.VWzIH1xViko Books Matter

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No Justice for Darren Rainey's death by two prison guards…Prison Reform Now

Change.org Update on Prison Reform Bill and Darren Rainey’s death. Steven Wetstein Miami, FL Apr 22, 2015 — Friends, I’m passing on a message from a George Mallinkcrodt, a member of Stop Prison Abuse Now who has advocated constantly for prison reform by speaking to Department of Corrections Secretary Julie Jones, to each legislator, and by testifying at legislative hearings, all in the search for justice for Darren Rainey. We’ll be contacting you in the coming days as legislation on prison reform faces further votes. Many thanks to you all. Thanks, Steve Wetstein A Message From George Mallinckrodt: For those who don’t know, I worked as a psychotherapist in the psychiatric ward where Darren Rainey was killed by guards. Since I came forward in a Miami Herald story in May 2014, I’ve been active as a full-time human rights activist and an advocate for the humane treatment of inmates in the Florida Department of Corrections. I’d like to personally thank all who have signed Darren Rainey’s petition. June 23rd will be the three year anniversary of his death – still no arrests or coroners’ report. Be assured, we’re not giving up. Of immediate concern is the passage of a meaningful prison reform bill by Florida lawmakers. Another thanks goes out to people who’ve called or emailed legislators. I’ve sent key Senators and Representatives suggestions that I posted on my blog. Please keep contacting them. http://www.georgemallinckrodt.com/blog.htm No matter what happens in […]

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Nine year old Hiba with Down Syndrone now allowed to attend same school as brother

WORDPRESS MAKES A DIFFERENCE CHANGE.ORG PETITION UPDATE We Won!! Saadia Qureshi Glendale Heights, IL Apr 22, 2015 — After a 5 hour heated resolution meeting, the school district agreed to send Hiba to her home school of Churchill Elementary in Glen Ellyn beginning in August. Hiba will finally be able to attend school with her little brother!! It took almost 2 months, 14,000 signatures, and $1,800 +, which you all helped us raise. We are so humbled and grateful for everyone’s support. This could not have been possible without you. So thank you from the bottom of our hearts for helping us give our daughter a voice and an opportunity to live and work to her highest potential. By the way, due to safety concerns at her current school, we decided to home school Hiba for the next six weeks (until the end of the current school year). If you or someone you know has experience homeschooling their child in Illinois, we would appreciate any tips, advice, resources you can give us to help us during this next chapter of our lives. Feel free to email us directly at qureshis22@gmail.com.

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RAPE IS NOT OK Petitioning Mary Fallin Hear Oklahoma House Bill 1362

Change.org Petetition https://www.change.org/p/mary-fallin-hear-oklahoma-house-bill-1362 We are a group of mothers, fathers, students, and concerned citizens in Oklahoma. We urgently need your help to make sure that a crucial bill to help stop the rape and victimization of young girls in our state is heard in the Oklahoma State House. HB 1362 is a vital bill that will make sure that victims have support, that school officials are trained to handle these situations, and that our students are effectively taught about consent and proper boundaries. It is essential that this bill is passed, not just for the safety of Oklahoma’s students, but also as a signal to the rest of the country that this type of legislation is needed to protect all of our young people. House Bill 1362 successfully made it out of the Common Education Committee on Tuesday, February 24th — but now the real fight begins. The next step is a vote on the house floor, and if the bill is voted down it will be two more years before this essential legislation can be reintroduced. Last fall, we organized the group Yes All Daughters after three teenage girls in our hometown of Norman, OK were raped by the same classmate and then bullied out of school after they reported their assaults.We organized a peaceful protest and the school district responded by creating a task force to address issues related to victimization and bullying. The perpetrator was arrested following […]

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Vote for stronger punishment against Domestic Violence in South Carolina–Pass Bill S3

Change.org Petition      https://www.change.org/p/south-carolina-state-senate-take-action-to-save-victims-of-domestic-violence? Vote for stronger punishment against Domestic Violence in South Carolina My name is Melissa Davis Walker, I am a survivor of domestic violence and I am tired of living in a state with the highest rate of domestic violence in the country. We need laws that protect victims from the people that abuse them. Currently, the laws are failing victims and they make little sense. First time offenses hold a 30 day sentence. But if you beat a dog, you could get up to 5 years. Tell Governor Nikki Haley and the South Carolina legislature that victims deserve stronger laws that protect them from the threat of domestic violence, pass Bill S3. For 13 years, my five children and I lived in fear. My husband threatened, beat and choked me for the duration of our marriage, and I felt like the law couldn’t protect me. It was only when my son bravely confided in a school official after my husband pointed a loaded shotgun at his head, that we finally got the legal support we needed to put him behind bars. If he had only been charged for attacking me, he would be walking free today, and I might not be here to tell my story. South Carolina is ground zero in the domestic violence fight. The toll of domestic violence is especially high on women. The state has the highest rate of female murders […]

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Don't allow our daughter to be segregated because of her Down Syndrome

Change.org Petition Petitioning Andrew Eulass, Michelle Gallo, Dr. Paul Gordon Don’t allow our daughter to be segregated because of her Down Syndrome The first thing you might notice about our daughter Hiba is that she has Down syndrome. But to those who know her, Hiba is a beautiful, intelligent, and compassionate 9-year-old. She loves math and her favorite show is “Doc McStuffins.” If you ask Hiba what she wants to be when she grows up, she will tell you “a doctor.” This is not surprising considering how much she loves helping people. As her parents, we see a child with all the potential of any other child. Unfortunately, her school system has kept Hiba segregated from other students and it has taken its toll on her education and spirit. All they seem to see is a child with Down syndrome. Down syndrome does not define our daughter. We are asking Glen Ellyn School District 41 to allow Hiba her legal right to be fully integrated and allowed to learn alongside “typical” students at Churchill Elementary. For the past 5 years, Hiba’s education has been spent in isolated, 1-on-1 settings. It has been painful to watch Hiba not be responsive to this education approach. She has become depressed, withdrawn, and as a result, hasn’t performed well in her studies. Hiba knows she is being treated differently and separated from the “normal” kids. Districts across the US have diversified the classroom to […]

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BRING BACK OUR CHIBOK GIRLS–ONE YEAR LATER

Please read the update on the Chibok, Nigerian girls. We are reaching the year mark of the 275 school girls being kidnapped by terrorist group BoKo Haram. Look in your heart to see how you can help. Thank you. PETITION UPDATE Our Chibok Girls – One Year Later Ify Elueze Bonn, Germany Mar 31, 2015 — On Tuesday, April 14, it’ll be one year since our Chibok Girls were abducted. Lend your voice so we can connect supporters of our Chibok Girls in different communities around the world for coördinated action. This is obviously a critical time in our advocacy to amplify our voices and remind the world that they are yet to be rescued. Our Chibok Girls have received support from ALL over the world and we need to harness all the support to build a powerful VOICE for them. Our girls NEED us to keep the pressure on. If you would like to participate in an event, host an event in your city, or would like to be connected with others, please fill in the form on the official BBOG Nigeria website – http://www.bbogfamily.ng Thank you. The BBOG Family On Tuesday, April 14, 2015, it’ll be one year since our Chibok Girls were abducted. Lend your voice so we can… HTTP://WWW.BBOGFAMILY.NG

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DA Fred Bright Responds To 14 year Old Charged With Prostitution

Response from DA Fred Bright April Childs Watkinsville, GA Jan 26, 2015 — Here is the response from DA Fred Bright concerning this case. “We fully recognize that the 14-year-old child involved is a victim. Our office does not arrest individuals and was not consulted about the case initially. From the time we first received this file, we expected no active prosecution against her and our only goal has been to obtain counseling, treatment, care, and protection, which she is now receiving. On December 1, 2014, we, along with the child and her lawyer requested, and the Juvenile Court Judge agreed and signed an order to hold her case in abeyance. That order means that her case is automatically dismissed upon successful completion of treatment, counseling, and care. These services will hopefully rehabilitate her so that she can get the help she needs. We have reviewed the matter and met with the law enforcement officers from the Georgia Bureau of Investigation and Eatonton Police Department who conducted the investigation. The State is prosecuting the adult defendants for statutory rape and related charges when appropriate. The cases against the adult offenders are expected to be presented to the next Grand Jury in Putnam County scheduled for March, 2015 for indictment. We hope these prosecutions will protect her and other youth of our communities in the future. Yesterday, I spoke to the Attorney General and his specialist in Human Trafficking, who will […]

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Senate Approves VA Committee Clay Hunt Act *WP helped make this happen*

Senate VA Committee Approves Clay Hunt Act! Share Our Petition! Anthony Pike with Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America Jan 27, 2015 — Last week the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee unanimously approved the Clay Hunt Suicide Prevention for American Veterans (SAV) Act as its first legislative action of the 114th Congress. Now we’re headed to the full Senate and need your help. Can you share the petition to your networks on Facebook and Twitter? We’ve made it easy — all you have to do is click the links below: Share on Twitter: http://bit.ly/1JBA2sy Share on Facebook: http://on.fb.me/1CGlbZw Over 30 Senators are now sponsoring the Clay Hunt SAV Act! So please continue sharing our petition so that more sign on and the Senate brings this important bill to a vote as soon as possible. Thank you for your support!

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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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New PSA #StrongerThanStigma in partnership with Brandon Marshall's Foundation

http://bringchange2mind.org Start the conversation. Change the stigma. We are incredibly excited to share our new PSA, #StrongerThanStigma, with you! Produced in partnership with Brandon Marshall’s foundation, Project 375, this campaign features four men who have each made mental health advocacy a part of his platform. These headliners are Brandon Marshall, NFL All-Pro wide receiver for the Chicago Bears; Michael Angelakos, lead singer of indietronica band Passion Pit; Wayne Brady, comedian and actor; and Ben Scrivens, NHL goalie for the Edmonton Oilers. Each shares his story, and encourages men to start the conversation and end the stigma. For the past thirty years, the rate of suicide among men has been three to four times that of women. Traditionally, however, men have shied away from talking about their feelings because it is viewed as weak. In addition to a reluctance to seek help, men have higher levels of isolation, higher rates of drug and alcohol misuse, are at a greater risk for homelessness, display more externalized and destructive behaviors, and are more involved with the criminal justice system. Underlying many of these experiences are complex psychological problems, but we rarely empathize with their causes. We want to erase stereotypes, create a new narrative by raising awareness of the mental health problems that men face, encourage dialogue, and promote help seeking behavior. We hope that you will be a part of this significant opportunity to talk about the harmful and pervasive discrimination that […]

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14 year old prostitute needs help not prison *Please sign Change.org Petition*

change.org Don’t Charge Victim Of Child Abuse  Petitioner April Childs  Watkinsville, GA Earlier this month, Georgia Police busted a prostitution ring involving 11 men and a 14-year-old girl. Not only do they plan to prosecute the child predators, but they have charged the 14-year-old victim with prostitution as well. Sixteen is the age of sexual consent in Georgia. District Attorney Fred Bright is charging a statutory rape victim with a crime she’s not legally old enough to commit. Help me tell him child prostitution victims need help, not prison. My name is April Childs. I am a parent and Georgian, and I work as a forensic interviewer of children. My job entails interviewing victims of child abuse and sexual assault. I can take their testimony and transmit it to prosecutors so the victims don’t have to endure the stress and humiliation of taking the stand and seeing their accuser. I have worked with more than 500 children and helped them tell their story to officials so their abusers could be duly prosecuted. That’s why I was so shocked when I heard about Chief Kent Lawrence and District Attorney’s Bright’s plan to charge this young girl with prostitution, further victimizing her and punishing her for an act she couldn’t have legally consented to. What the Ocmulgee Judicial Circuitplans to do with this young girl goes against any legal, therapeutic or even common sense protocol. The law–both federal and state–recognizes that children do […]

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SPEAK UP FOR EQUALITY IN MENTAL ILLNESS HEALTHCARE

CHANGE.ORG PETITION UPDATE Fix Mental Healthcare Theresa Kinley Norcross, GA Jan 6, 2015 — I would like to thank everyone who signed or commented on my petition to Cigna. Unfortunately, Cigna is quite accustomed to people complaining about the level of care they provide–or don’t provide–to their premium paying customers; they simply blocked the petition and signatures. The insurance companies’ behavior has finally received some attention from the media, specifically a 60 Minutes piece about Anthem denying care to the seriously mentally ill. I would like to build on that momentum by launching a website dedicated to the stories of those who, in addition to battling serious mental illness, must also battle their insurance companies to get treatment. To the insurers trying to cut costs these people don’t matter; we know they do matter. I would like to encourage anyone with a story to tell about the their experience in dealing with an insurance company while seeking treatment for a mental illness to visit http://fixmentalhealthcare.wordpress.com  to submit your story. Thank you again and God bless you all. Fix Mental Health Care Fix Mental Health Care Mission Statement: With this website we are seeking to raise awareness of the harm the health insurers do to those… HTTPS://FIXMENTALHEALTHCARE.WORDPRESS.COM

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273 Days Since 273 Young School Girls Kidnapped By BoKo Haram's

Update on Change.org Petition Boko Haram’s ‘deadliest massacre’: over 2000 children, women, elderly- all dead in Nigeria Ify Elueze Bonn, Germany Jan 11, 2015 — In two days, it would be 273 days since 273 young secondary school girls were taken from the safety of their boarding school and families. It would also be one week since over 2000 children, women, men and elderly people were massacred in a town called Baga, in the north-eastern part of Nigeria (400km from Chibok where the girls were kidnapped in April); and two days since a 10 year old girl who was strapped with a bomb, blew up in a busy market, killing 20 people and leaving many others injured. International reports have it that hundreds of bodies – too many to count – remain strewn in the bush in Nigeria from the extremist attack in Baga that Amnesty International described as the “deadliest massacre” in the history of Boko Haram. For over five days, Baga and 16 other nearby villages were pillaged and burnt to the ground by members of the Boko Haram sect. The response of the Nigerian government to this issue has been poor as the country is preparing for political elections. In less than five weeks, it’s citizen would be voting for their next set of leaders. It would seem that there is a real war going on in Nigeria, but only the Nigerians aren’t fully aware of this […]

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No One Left Behind*Thank you for helping Afghan translators like Janis' who saved Matt Zellers life in combat*

I can think of no better day to receive news Congress heard our call from the Change.org petition.  AMERICA HOME OF THE BRAVE   XO Warrior Thank You For Helping Veterans Matt Zeller Fairfax, VA Nov 11, 2014 — I hope this finds you well. Last summer, you helped us get Congress to pass an additional 1,000 visas for our Afghan allies. Thank you – you helped us save countless lives. You may also recall the story of how Janis, the Afghan translator who saved my life in combat, finally got his visa to America last year. Janis’ story was only the beginning. There are thousands more like him. Together, we started No One Left Behind, an organization that helps Afghan and Iraqi translators gain their U.S. Visas and provides them assistance getting resettled in America. Here’s a quick video about our organization: This Veteran’s Day, we wanted to thank you for your support. Since January we’ve helped resettle over 40 Afghan families in the United States. Your generosity allowed us to pay for their housing, furnish their homes, help them gain employment, and in several cases, even buy cars. You helped fulfill America’s promise to take care of those who so graciously took care of us. For that, we remain forever grateful. We hope to resettle another 30 families by January. With your help, we will. To help us resettle these families, please contribute today: https://nolb.nationbuilder.com/contribute -Cheers, Matt No […]

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UPDATE: Inprisoned Since June In Solitary Confinement Ghoncheh Ghavami Found Guilty in Tehran, Sentenced To One Year In Prison.

Thanks to everyone who read Ghoncheh Ghavami’s story and signed the Change.org petition. I hope this is not the last chance we have to make our voices heard. I’ve included the original Change.org petition at the end of the latest developments.  XO Warrior  Iran Jails British-Iranian Woman Ghoncheh Ghavami Over Men’s Volleyball Protest AP | By ADAM SCHRECK Posted: 11/02/2014 10:48 am EST Updated: 11/03/2014 11:59 am EST DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — An Iranian-British woman detained while trying to attend a men’s volleyball game in Iran has been found guilty of spreading propaganda against the ruling system and sentenced to a year in prison, her lawyer said Sunday. Britain immediately raised concerns about Ghoncheh Ghavami’s trial. The case highlighted the limits to free expression inside Iran and efforts by authorities to enforce strict interpretations of Islāmic norms despite a policy of greater openness being pursued by moderate President Hassan Rouhani. The 25-year-old woman’s brother, Iman Ghavami, said the family had hoped she would be set free based on time already served since her June arrest. They are still trying to get official details of the verdict, he said. “We’re disappointed and kind of shocked. We really hoped she’d be released,” he told The Associated Press. Ghavami’s lawyer, Mahmoud Alizadeh Tabatabaei, said in an interview that a court found her guilty of “propagating against the ruling system.” Tabatabaei said he was shown the text of the verdict but is still […]

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Marine Sgt. Andrew Tahmooressi Released from Mexican Prison ** We Made A Difference **

My heart overflowed with joy to read Andrew was released from prison. I heard about his imprisonment thru a Change.org petition from his mother. Her pain growing everyday, her resolve grew even stronger, she was a true fighter. She fought for her son, the way I imagine any loving mother would do. We will never know their pain, we can feel overjoyed and celebrate his release. She is a Hero to me, she didn’t sit back, she fought everyday to make the boulder start to roll. Thank everyone who signed the petition, we made a difference.  XO Warrior Marine Sgt. Andrew Tahmooressi freed from Mexican jail, immediately returns to US U.S. Marine Sgt. Andrew Tahmooressi, jailed more than 200 days in Mexico, was freed by a judge Friday and immediately returned to the U.S., his family said. Tahmooressi, 26, who served two tours of duty in Afghanistan, had been held since March 31, when he said he mistakenly crossed into Mexico with three legally-purchased and registered guns in his truck. A court-appointed psychiatrist confirmed that Tahmooressi has Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. Family spokesman Jonathan Franks said the judge released him without making a determination on the charge against him. He had been held initially at a prison outside Tijuana, then was moved to a prison outside Tecate. His family released a statement Friday night saying, “It is with an overwhelming and humbling feeling of relief that we confirm that Andrew was […]

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British Iranian Ghoncheh Ghavami Held In Solitary Confinement in Tehran For Attending World League Volleyball Match**Iran Has To Make Next Move**

CHANGE.ORG https://www.change.org/p/david-cameron-hassanrouhani-bring-my-sister-home-freeghonchehghavami#share @David_Cameron + @HassanRouhani Bring my sister home #FreeGhonchehGhavami Iman Ghavami London, United Kingdom Since June 2014 my younger sister is in solitary confinement in Tehran. She was arrested for going to a men’s volleyball match. Ghoncheh is a British Iranian dual citizen. She was there to watch a game. She was arrested because of a misunderstanding. Amnesty International has called for an Urgent Action for my sister. Amnesty believes Ghoncheh has been put under psychological pressure and been told she “would not walk out of prison alive.” The Foreign and Commonwealth Office has said it was “aware of reports” of her imprisonment but its diplomatic powers are limited in Iran. We know that the UK Government has the power to do more to help Ghoncheh. Past cases have shown us that when pressure is applied Government will take more action. Every signature and share will bring my sister closer to home. Will you help end this nightmare for my family? —————— خواهر کوچکترم از نهم تیر در انفرادی به سر‌می‌برد. غنچه به خاطر رفتن به ورزشگاه والیبال دستگیر شد غنچه به آن جا رفته بود تا بازی را تماشا کند. دستگیری او یک سوتفاهم است با امضای این نامه به من کمک کنید تا خواهرم را دوباره به خانه برگردانم —————— I’m a distressed brother who is fighting to bring her sister home. My sister is a law student in University of London. She should not have been […]

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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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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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Cigna Denies Cochlear Implant to Disabled Three Year Old Nikki **Speak Up for Justice**

Change.org Cigna: Approve coverage for my daughters cochlear implant My daughter Nicole was born with several health issues. In her first four months of life she had three bowel surgeries, one heart surgery, bacterial meningitis, and we learned that she would need a liver transplant. We also learned that Nikki suffered from undetermined hearing loss, however during that time the doctors and her family was focused on life saving procedures. Nikki is now three years old (almost 4) and she has neuropathy in her left ear and has been pronounced profound deaf in her right ear. We have been fortunate to be able to send Nikki to the Atlanta Speech School, which has worked wonders with her speech ability. However, her speech pathologist, therapist, teachers, and doctor have determined that Nikki has reached a plateau and will not likely improve in her speech or hearing abilities. Based on her doctor recommendation along with the advisors at the speech school, we requested Cigna (my employer provided insurance) to cover the cost of the cochlear implant. Cigna denied to cover the implant based on information provided and we appealed. The initial reason Cigna denied coverage was stated that Nikki’s hearing loss was not significant enough and she had not utilized hearing aids for at least a three-month period. During the appeal Cigna was informed that Nikki had in fact utilized hearing aids in both ears for more than two years, and her […]

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Non-Violent 1st Time Drug Offender Spends *Life in Jail Without Parole*

 Change.org  There’s a new petition taking off on Change.org, and we think you might be interested in signing it: My name is Heather Minor and on February 6, 2001, when I was 7 years old, my life took a horrible turn when my father was sentenced to life in prison for a nonviolent drug offense. Without clemency from President Obama, he will die in prison. When my father, Ricky Minor, was given his sentence I didn’t realize I was about to begin a journey that would become a new “normal” way of life for me – growing up without a father. Even though my dad was a first time nonviolent drug offender, under mandatory minimum sentencing laws he was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole. On that same day, my mother was also arrested. My whole world as I knew it was completely destroyed. At the age of seven, both of my parents were taken away from me, and from that point forward I was raised by my elderly grandparents. I am now 21 years old, the first in my family to graduate from high school, and taking additional classes to improve my life. However, while I am trying to make the best of my life, the realization that my father will die alone in prison is too much for me to fathom. My father was suffering from a drug addiction and trying to cope with […]

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