I keep Moving Forward: *Not allowing My past to Chart the Future*

“If you are always trying to be normal, you will never know how amazing you can be.”    Maya Angelo I am a Survivor My grandparents unconditional love pulled me from the abyss. After years of Therapy, I have a clear heart, no anger or self loathing. Not forgiving….forgetting, to allow myself to move forward. Over the years, people brought sunshine into my life. You were like Angels dropping in when I needed a push or pat on back. My mother and stepfather physically and emotionally abused me until 12 years old. My stepfather beat my mother almost daily starting with hitting her head side to side down the hallway, the hallway ended at my room. Everyone in the house lived in hell, I got an extra dose. As a small girl, I dreamed my father would save me from the traumatic abuse. The dream was over, he started sexually abusing me as a child. It was innocent at first or so it seemed. At 12 years old I moved to my father’s. It’s impossible to wrap your head around sexual abuse at any age. In 1992 my father committed suicide. Estranged since my teens, we talked several times before his death. He called delusional and paranoid. Saying someone was tapping his phone. He told me about committing suicide, I told no one. The news devastated Granny her only child was dead. With a closed casket service it’s hard to reconcile death when you can’t […]

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A Mother’s Guilt

      Daughter My Birthday wish for You I hope that every candle brings a new wish. I hope the Smile that lights your face stays there all year-long. I hope everything  you’ve dreamed it will come true. I hope you know how much I love You and how proud I am of you. Happy Birthday With So Much Love. Card from my Mother You can’t give back what you took from my life. Xx  M

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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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Faded Memories II *From Melody to Mody*

I was born with healthy lungs and strong personality  My parents chose Melinda Melody 1963. Melody was my fathers idea. To this day, my mother calls me Melody. I thought it was emotional abuse. In truth, She hated my father and used the name he chose. Emotionally  broken down to unconditional love of my grandparents. God Blessed me with my grandparents, I can’t repay you with words. What I can do is support others. I became a Minister and started a charity. God give me the strength to mentor children. xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx Living in a household with child abuse and domestic violence, the days without violence can disappear. The memories, faded memories can trigger deep pain if the door is open. My trigger thru me in the abysses from listening to a song listened to hundreds of times. I felt like a bomb landed in my lap, the arrival created complete chaos.  The memories were part of the chaos in my life. Shortly after the divorce from my father, my mother married shortly and my father married later. My brother and I called him the Nazi. He was an alcoholic, possessive and we marched to his beat. The verbal abuse started and shortly escalated to domestic abuse. We walked on eggshells constantly. A couple years into marriage my mother finds out he was married before with two children. We starting going to Houston regularly without knowing why. He was fighting the mother for […]

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New Resources for Hispanic Women

Para obtener información sobre la Sala de Ayuda en espanol, haga clic aquí.  Xx  M Dear Friend, Today I’m proud to announce a new and very critical service for Spanish-speaking survivors: a confidential peer-support chatroom. La Sala de Ayuda (Helproom) is now open on Wednesdays and Saturdays from 7 to 9 pm ET. This service provides the kind of help that can make such a difference in a survivor’s healing process-the knowledge that they are not alone and the opportunity for survivors to support one another. Last year, the National Sexual Assault Hotline expanded to serve Spanish-speaking individuals. Today, Spanish-speaking survivors and loved ones are able to: *Read RAINN’s top content in Spanish *Chat one-on-one with a trained support specialist *Access peer support with fellow survivors Rosie Juarez, moderator In the words of Rosie Juarez, who moderates La Sala de Ayuda, “Often in the Spanish-speaking community, there is a fear of sharing your story-a fear that you won’t be believed or find the right support. On La Sala de Ayuda there is only support. There are other survivors who let you know that you’re not alone.” Rosie Juarez and Josue Melendez will moderate the service and ensure confidentiality. Josue Melendez, moderator Learn more from La Sala de Ayuda staff about how this new service works, and why it’s so critical for Spanish-speaking survivors and their loved ones. Con gratitud, Candice Lopez, Director of the National Sexual Assault Hotline PS -Tweet about […]

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Could you hit your child?

Original post 3/2014 Both of my parents and stepfather abused me. We’re not talking spanking, we’re talking banging your head into the wall. I am 100% for discipline, accountability and house rules. You see children who have involved parents and the childs demeanor. I see parents yelling at the child while grocery shopping, belittling them in front of strangers. What we can’t see is child abuse. Child abuse is a taboo topic for most. My mother physically and emotionally abused me. I never told anyone, not even close family. I walked on eggshells at home. My first attempt at suicide was at 9 years old.  One morning I went to make breakfast and my mother told me I could not wear those jeans to school. This was the early 1970’s I was in 7th grade and probably argued with her. All the years my mother abused me, I never hit back. This morning was different. She started calling me a slut. She came to grab me and I hit her in the face. We were fighting and my stepfather walks in. Picture a 100 lbs. 12-year-old with braces getting hit in the mouth with a fist by of grown man. The inside of my mouth was bleeding from the braces breaking the skin. I had a bruise from nose to chin and some blackness around the eyes. I was not allowed to go to school for several days. When I returned most of the bruising […]

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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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My Husband Threw Acid In My Face

NEW CHANGE.ORG PETITION READING MADE ME WANT TO WORK HARDER ON WOMENS RIGHTS AROUND THE WORLD. After having lived for seven years with an abusive husband, I decided it was time to leave. I didn’t think I would survive another year if I stayed, so in 2011, I walked out the door and broke the crippling silence and isolation the abuse had made me feel. I felt empowered and free, and finally looked forward to my future. But because I left my marriage, my husband considered me “disobedient” and, therefore, worthy of punishment. So one day, when he called me to pick up my children at his house and suddenly acid was thrown at my face and body. The next thing I knew, my face felt as if it were on fire. My skin was literally melting away. He thought he would break my spirit, but he only made me stronger. Since my attack, I have been fighting to put an end to this horrific practice in my country of Uganda, and I need your help to do it. Please support our petition by asking H.E. President Yoweri Museveni Kaguta to sign the Toxic Chemicals Bill into law. That is my story, but there are many more, each one as harrowing as the last. Acid violence occurs around the globe and isn’t specific to race or religion. My country, Uganda, has some of the highest rates of acid violence. In […]

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In 24 hours 29,520 people became victims of domestic violence or sexual assault..20 people a minute by someone they know!

JOYFUL HEART FOUNDATION Dear Friend, In the 24 hours since I emailed you, 29,520 people became victims of domestic violence or sexual assault. The statistics are staggering: Every minute, 20 people are physically abused by an intimate partner. Every two minutes, someone is sexually assaulted. One in three women experience sexual or physical violence in their lives. One in four girls and one in six boys are sexually abused or assaulted before their 18th birthdays. This violence is preventable. And healing is possible. Yesterday, I wrote to you about Joyful Heart’s signature retreat programs and the work we are doing to make this healing experience available to even more survivors. Can you help us? Your gift today will guarantee that more survivors benefit from Joyful Heart’s retreats—and take the next step in their healing journey. 29,520 people in the past 24 hours. 20 people in the minute it took you to read this note. You can help change it today. Please, give what you can. With gratitude, Maile Zambuto Chief Executive Officer Joyful Heart Foundation

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Care of the Adult Patient after Sexual Assault *NEJM Report*

New England Journal of Medicine Care of the Adult Patient after Sexual Assault Judith A. Linden, M.D. N Engl J Med 2011; 365:834-841  September 1, 2011DOI: 10.1056/NEJMcp1102869 This Journal feature begins with a case vignette highlighting a common clinical problem. Evidence supporting various strategies is then presented, followed by a review of formal guidelines, when they exist. The article ends with the author’s clinical recommendations. The author, Judith A. Linden, M.D. has written one of the most comprehensive medical reports on the care needed after Sexual Assault. The report is quite long, I’ve included the link. www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMcp1102869 If interested in receiving their newsletter www.nejm.org XO  M

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Throw Back Thursday *Memories…Good Times…Regrets*

When introspective, I fall in to music. Music defines a time and space. The memories are not all good, many are from rough times in life. No one knows what each song means to me or why, the answers locked away. A  favorite U2 song is ” Running to Stand Still”. Etched in my soul, reflecting on my life.  Pull up a chair or lounge with a lover, Enjoy the beverage. I would pick a Merlot to relax and take in the moment.    XO  Warrior 

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No More Excuses Provides Weekly Update * Truth From The Media? *

NO MORE EXCUSES No More publishes weekly updates allowing us to hear “The Rest of the Story”. Information we may not know, the good, bad and ugly. The Joyful Heart Foundation started No More Excuses which focuses on Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault.    No More educates, advocates and lobby’s for Survivors Human Rights. Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault are two hot issues. I walk away asking did the media share the news? Was the news common knowledge among a certain crowd? The Joyful Heart Foundation and No More reminds me how little information the media includes in “The Story”.    XO  Warrior WHAT’S MAKING HEADLINES THIS WEEK? Ray McDonald’s 2nd Domestic Violence Arrest: Former Chicago Bears defensive end Ray McDonald has been arrested for domestic violence and child endangerment following an assault on a woman who was holding a baby early Monday morning at an apartment in California. This is McDonald’s second arrest for domestic violence charges. #ChicagoSaysNOMORE to McDonald: Following his arrest on Monday, the Chicago Bears terminated their contract with him, after making the controversial decision to sign him in late March. Bears guard Kyle Long tweets “Good riddance” to his former teammate. Josh Duggar, star of the TLC reality show 19 Kids and Counting, admitted to sexually abusing at least five girls when he was 15 years old. While his parents are calling the abuse “bad mistakes” that Josh made as a “young teenager,” we’re saying #NOMOREexcuses: the sexual abuse of young girls […]

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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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Joyful Heart's Project End The Back Log Needs Your Help *9,000 Rape Kits still on shelf*

Dear Friend, In October, we first told you about The Accountability Project, our initiative to uncover the extent of the rape kit backlog in cities across the United States. From the first four cities that provided data to us—obtained through public records requests—we discovered more than 12,000 untested rape kits sitting in storage facilities. Today, we’ve expanded our knowledge about the rape kit crisis nationwide with the release of data on the number of untested kits from five additional cities: Charlotte, North Carolina: 1,019 kits Jacksonville, Florida: 1,943 kits Kansas City, Missouri: 1,324 kits Portland, Oregon: 1,931 kits San Diego, California: 2,873 kits In total, over 9,000 more kits. We commend these cities for sharing their data with us. Transparency and yes, accountability, are the first steps toward reform. Survivors deserve the chance for justice. They deserve everything we can give to help them heal. Now that these jurisdictions have shared the number of untested rape kits in storage, we hope they will take the necessary steps to test these kits, investigate and prosecute these cases, engage survivors with care and compassion, and ensure the backlog never reoccurs. The fact remains that there is more about the rape kit backlog that we don’t know than we do know. There is no comprehensive, national data on the nature and scope of the rape kit backlog. Few state governments and no federal agencies track this data. Across cities and counties, there are […]

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Throw Back Thursday * Triple Shot Best of Best U2 *

I look at the global influence of U2 today, it’s hard to think of them as young choir boys. Bono’s strong religious beliefs shine thru many top hits. Moment of Surrender grabs me not wanting to let go. Grab a relaxing chair, sip your drink till fill some warmth. Get ready rock, Then come down slowly with Moments of Surrender. I hope you enjoy the tunes and have great weekend.  XO  Warrior 

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Dr. Christoph Correll on Antipsychotics and How to Keep Kids Healthy

I was excited to find a doctor talk about the treatment medications for mental illness and side effects including weight gain. His approach is working with the lowest amount medication and stay very aware of the metabolic issues. I’m a firm believer mental illness effects everyone in family and their peers. He shares ideas on how to work with/off set the weight gain. After thirty plus years with Bipolar Disorder, taking over 40 medications, weight gain is a given with certain types of drugs. If you have a child,spouse or family member with mental illness please watch the video together to open dialog. Young girls have many pressures with weight already. Open dialogue may help down the road. He provides a short overview of types of drugs with high risk of weight gain or metabolic problem.

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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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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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New NO MORE PSA Running During Super Bowl This Sunday

NO MORE Friend, It’s only been a couple days since we shared the exciting news that a new NO MORE PSA is running during the Super Bowl this Su‌nday, and there’s already been a huge positive response. “How can I help?” This is probably the question YOU’RE going to get while you’re watching the game on Sunday, so we thought we’d send along a few quick tips to help you speak up about these issues and provide you with ways you can help loved ones affected by domestic violence or sexual assault. Tip #1. Start a conversation by telling your friends that 1 in 3 women and 1 in 7 men have experienced domestic violence, and 1 in 5 women and 1 in 16 men have experienced sexual assault at some point in their lifetime. This is a great way to get the point across that these issues are serious and that many people we love have been affected by domestic and sexual violence. (If your friends want to read more about these statistics, you can point them here: Avon’s 2013 NO MORE Study.) Tip #2. Speak up when you hear offensive comments that degrade women, men, or victims of abuse. Hey, it’s a Super Bowl party — there’s a good chance that someone is going to make some inappropriate remarks. The best thing you can do is speak up and tell them that you’re not comfortable with that kind […]

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Mother leaves 8 year old at county hospital *Reposted from June 2014*

It’s interesting the events our mind suppresses or forgets. I have no problem or emotion talking about the physical and emotional abuse at the hands of my mother and step father. I have disassociated memories of sexual abuse by my father. I know it. My therapist and I have talked about it, she doesn’t push and knows if the door opens I’ll talk. What I will not do is force my mind and body to endure pain it’s not ready for. I have a good perspective on what I’ve survived and the methods our mind uses to deal with our deepest pain. I’m not sure if this particular memory was forgotten or suppressed. I had no emotion as my therapist was almost brought to tears. I saw a story on the news about a 8-year-old girl tortured by her parents in some way. I don’t recall the circumstances. I always plan what I want to talk about but this day was different. I sat down and the memory of the little girl crossed my mind. I asked her if she had heard the story then adding my thoughts. I started to cry which I do easily for others in pain. As we talked about what type of parent would do that, a childhood memory flooded over me. The tears dried and it was if I was talking about someone else. When I was 8 years old I started having terrible […]

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Open Your Top Drawer And Heart To Support Domestic Violence Shelters

Soma Intimates and the National Network to End Domestic Violence are partnering during the Soma Bra Donation event. From January 8th thru February 4th Soma stores are collecting bras with the goal of collecting one million bras. Bras are the most needed yet least donated item of clothing for women. All bras collected will benefit your local domestic violence shelter. To get more information visit soma.com/givebras XO Warrior

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What can we learn from Alaska's law on Domestic Violence……

I flipped to the National Geographic channel to find Alaska State Troopers one day. Watching was a blessing. The show opened my eyes to ending  domestic violence. Ending domestic violence is happening now, not somewhere in the future. We have to raise our voices louder and demand the same protection for all abused in other states. Below are notes taken while watching several episodes. Fairbanks, Alaska has the highest number of domestic violence cases in the America. Domestic violence calls dispatch to Troopers as top priority status. Everyone on scene interviewed, once established as domestic violence case, it’s an automatic assault charge and trip to jail. Other charges will follow based on situation. This is a very condensed version of what I watched: A fight escalates, the female screaming loudly to get out of house. Punched multiple times, raped and once outside pulled by the hair back into house. When police arrive she’s in front yard in bra and panties, visible marks of being hit in face, crying and trying to convince police nothing happened. Troopers receive education on domestic violence behavior. One officer goes in to house with gun drawn. The second keeps lightly pushing, why is she in the front yard in her bra and panties with visible marks to her face. The male taken to side of house, interviewed, handcuffed and lead to car. Officer’s provide jacket to cover herself  and support, she tells what happened leaving out being raped. Her disheveled appearance tips one […]

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"Help me, I don't know if I'll be alive tomorrow" ** Trigger Warning **

By sharing photos of one woman’s face over the course of a year, this video conveys a powerful message that needs to be shared. “One photo a day in the worst year of my life” was created by the Croatian government in response to a danger that many women across the globe live with every day. The harrowing message is made even more impactful by the sign the woman holds up at the end. It reads, “Help me, I don’t know if I will be alive tomorrow”. I applaud the Croatian Government for taking a stand of Domestic Violence.  A special thanks to Heather at The Starting End.   XO Warrior Warning: the video contains graphic images towards the end.    http://www.reshareworthy.com/one-photo-a-day-for-one-year

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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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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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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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Memories of Childhood Abuse Flood To The Surface Discussing Domestic Violence

Two of my blogging sister’s are going through a very rough time with their ex’s. Memories flood in of my childhood as a pawn for my mother. I thought I had a good understanding of Domestic Violence, I was wrong. My stepfather beat my mother almost daily, constant verbal abuse which would cause her emotional abuse. What really hit home is how the abuse of a parent trickles down to the kids. I thought the memories of my mother were in the past. I never looked at myself as living in a house with Domestic Violence. I’m blinded with hatred towards my mother for abusing me. These emotions come to the surface yet there is no sympathy for her. The realization my friends are going through the same difficulties is blinding. I was the pawn, not the mother watching her children in agony with no recourse. I have felt anger and cried so many tears for my friends. I see their pain and remember what it was like for me as a child. I’ve gone from crying to full caregiver mode, wanting to help. I’m so emotionally involved wanting to help anyway possible. As you can see from a conversation with one of my friends, I’ve gone overboard. Looking at what they are facing with the ex, I saw for the first time I was a pawn in my mother’s game. I lived in a home with Domestic Violence. Another form […]

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No More Excuses SVU Marathon 6/22/14 "Stop the Violence"

In honor of Father’s Day, and all the men who have joined the movement to say NO MORE to Domestic Violence and sexual assault, join us for the NO MORE Excuses Marathon, next Sunday, June 22nd on USA Network. Tune in for special messages from the Law & Order: SVU cast, including special new videos Watch for the star-studded NO MORE PSAs There’s an extensive list of resources available. Mariska Hargitay who plays a cop on SVU, gives a special address. Mariska started the Joyful Heart Foundation in 2004 with the mission to help heal, educate and empower survivors of sexual assault, domestic violence and child abuse. NO MORE and End the Backlog are featured programs of the Joyful Heart Foundation. KNOW THE FACTS WHAT IS DOMESTIC VIOLENCE? Domestic Violence is a pattern of behavior used to establish power and control over another person through fear and intimidation, often including the threat or use of violence. Some signs of an abusive relationship include: Exerting strict control (financial, social and/or appearance). Needing constant contact including excessive texts and calls. Insulting a partner in front of other people. Extreme jealousy. Showing fear around a partner. Isolation from family and friends. Frequent canceling of plans at the last-minute. Unexplained injuries or explanations that don’t quite add up.   Warrior

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