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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Twenty Minutes of Rape

Information provided by RAINN SHARE THIS ARTICLE: Twenty Minutes of Rape June 22, 2016 “I so admire this woman, who had the guts to expose what she is going through and share it with the world.” Representative Cheri Bustos (D-IL) offered these thoughts on a night when a bipartisan group of 18 members of Congress stood in solidarity, each reading parts of a victim impact statement written by the survivor of a brutal sexual assault that occurred on Stanford University’s campus in 2014. The story has resonated around the world. In March of 2016, 20-year-old Brock Turner was convicted of three felony counts: sexually penetrating an unconscious person with a foreign object; sexually penetrating an intoxicated person with a foreign object; and assault with an intent to commit rape. Despite the finding of guilt and the brutal details of the crime—which involved a college party, an incapacitated and unconscious victim, and bystanders intervening when they discovered the victim behind a dumpster not far from campus—Judge Aaron Perksy decided to impose a sentence of only six months. This sentence was far less than the six years recommended by prosecutors, and only one-quarter of the normal two-year minimum sentence. Persky avoided minimum sentence by finding that “unusual circumstances” existed. The short sentence shocked many, as did a statement written by the perpetrator’s father defending his son’s “20 minutes of action.” Bringing national attention to the case, CNN anchor Ashleigh Banfield spent more […]

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Texas Senator John Cornyn: ISIS Must Be Stopped

Share your thoughts with Senator John Cornyn at http://cornyn.senate.gov/. Contact him whether you live in Texas or not. He is a Senior lawmaker and serves the lead on several committees. THE LONESTAR WEEKLY This week we mourn the victims of the horrific terrorist attack in Orlando and their families and friends, and express our appreciation for the first responders who bravely responded to this tragedy. As a country, we now must come to terms with the reality we face: the attack in Orlando was not a random act of violence, but a calculated act of terror. And, the risks of future attacks on American soil are rising, not falling. It’s not enough to just stop terrorists from buying guns; we must give law enforcement the tools they need to thwart an attack before it happens and take those suspects off the streets. Too often, the FBI and other law enforcement officers have to operate with one hand tied behind their backs because they can’t access key pieces of information in a timely manner. The President and his national security team think the threat posed by ISIS is something they can merely contain. But ISIS must be destroyed, and it’s long past time the Obama Administration presented a credible, aggressive strategy to do so and prevent future terror attacks on American soil.

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Brock Turner Gets Six Month Jail Sentence For Sexual Assulting Unconscious Woman..Rape is Rape

I’m sick to my stomach after reading how Brock Turner serves only six months in jail for Raping an unconscious woman behind a dumpster. If you think raping is okay, you need help. The Judge is accountable for the low jail sentence.  Rape is Rape.  Xx  M The Stanford Survivor Has a Name. It’s “My Hero.” JUNE 10, 2016 | BY MAILE ZAMBUTO | FILED UNDER JHF BLOG > OUR ISSUES SEXUAL ASSAULT IN OUR WORDS FROM THE CEO I first learned about Brock Allen Turner’s sentence for sexually assaulting an unconscious woman behind a dumpster on the Stanford University campus at the time everyone else did: last weekend. As the coverage was unfolding, I was with Mariska, members of our Joyful Heart Foundation staff and volunteers filming a local series of our NO MORE PSAs for Hawai‘i Says NO MORE. From morning into the night, we gathered at the Hawaii News Now studios in Honolulu and what we saw during the filming was brave, strong, and compassionate person after person, standing up for each other, for the people they love, for their partners, wives, husbands, children, neighbors, friends, mothers, and fathers, for people they’ve never met, for themselves. They were standing up to say NO MORE to the beliefs and attitudes that misplace blame on survivors, excuse those who cause harm, and allow institutions to look the other way. And outside of that room, the same thing was happening. […]

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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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Dear Mr Fantasy

My fantasy about life with High School boyfriend started the day we met. Our relationship was on and off until my late 30’s. He had to marry me, then go back to wife. The last time we talked, he was moving out, filed for divorce, leased an apartment, later started to move in with me. I should include, I bought the ring $12,500, he would repay. HA! He gave new meaning to word jealous. I went to FL for business, had several presentations to finish. I stayed over a Saturday for the discount. The baby man said “I stayed over Saturday instead of paying more to be with him” I watched the Stars go for second Stanley Cup. One afternoon his wife wanted to talk. Be gone a hour or two. At 11:00PM, I called asking when coming home? Reply, later! I had to restrain from hurling my favorite pissed off words. He laid key on table, said he was going back to wife. After he left, I bursted in tears and threw his stuff on the porch. He emailed me the secret years later. His view, if you accuse someone of cheating, you get free pass. He didn’t go back to wife, the free pass got pregnant. She worked for him at Police Department. He would lie before tell the truth. Fantasy over! My choice last words, fuck off. We fell “love at first sight” in 9th grade, his mask melted many […]

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Joyful Heart’s Male Survivor PSA Series

NO MORE Excuses: The Male Survivors Series We recognize that male survivors are met with persistent and harmful responses: That sexual abuse can’t happen to guys. That they just need to get over it. That guys wouldn’t “let” that happen to them. In 2016, Joyful Heart partnered with Viacom and 1in6, a leading organization that provides support and information to adult male survivors of childhood sexual abuse, released a new series of video and print ads—adding to a suite of print ads released in 2014—specifically addressing the myths and excuses that male survivors hear. They invite men who have experienced unwanted or abusive sexual abuse in childhood, and those who care for them, to visit 1in6.org for help. In case you missed it, I wanted to share our new series in Joyful Heart’s groundbreaking, celebrity-driven NO MORE PSA campaign developed in partnership with 1in6, a leading organization providing support and information to male survivors of childhood sexual abuse, produced by Viacom and created by Rachel Howald and Young & Rubicam. The PSAs are already airing across Viacom’s networks, and tomorrow, you’ll be able to see them during the eighth #NOMOREexcuses marathon of Law & Order: SVU on USA Network, starting at 1pm/12c. WATCH THE NEW VIDEO http://www.joyfulheartfoundation.org/programs/education/no-more/psa-campaign/no-more-excuses-male-survivors-series#sthash.cIxU9PCn.dpuf Today, I wrote on our blog about why we’ve been partnering with USA for these marathons since 2014. We already know that television and media have the power to shape and change attitudes. And […]

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Good Times Gone Bad

I started Looking for the Light on 2-22-2014, exactly 22 years after my father’s suicide. Every year on the date, my emotions/logic are so conflicted. I stopped drinking years ago but every year I get drunk, my coping mechanism. I thought my dad was cool as a child and we had lots of fun. My father had no clue how to parent, it was scream or give in. My brother and I where seeing my father every two weeks. My father (married) had a girlfriend and liked to party, 8:00 p.m. on Saturday nights he would head out. We were left with our step mother and step brother. It was boring for me. I remember the weekend well. I got dressed, put on my stepmother’s make up and said I’m going with you. He said no at first but it was the well ask me again type of no. I said I had to get out of the house. I’m 9 years old but I looked older, not that much older. I received a lot of attention from the guys and it made me feel good. It made me feel pretty, when I got older the memories screwed up my view of relationships. Being the life of the party was great. I know there were several men who would have slept with me if I’d let them. My dad had one club he liked, I became a regular. He would find a couple of […]

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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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Brother witnessed Child Abuse of only sister * Everybody Hurts*

Original post 3/2014 Everyone suffers in an abusive environment. Our house was always in chaos. An alcoholic stepfather who abused my mother and a mother who abused her daughter. There were three other children in the house who saw the abuse, heard the screams and threats. I used to think the victim was the only person with scars. At 9 years old I survived almost daily beatings by taking drugs, plenty of alcohol and trying to kill myself. It never occurred to me my brother suffered from witnessing the abuse. My brother’s scars are from seeing our stepfather beat our mother. Dragging her down the hall beating her head from side to side. Putting a knife to her throat saying he would kill her. Most of their fights ending in front of our bedrooms. We had front row seats to hell. My mother abused me, the methods escalated as I aged. I heard stories of abuse as early as six months old. I don’t think my mother was trying to kill me. She’s like the women on the news who allow their kids to die. She didn’t push my head under the water but would have crocodile tears if I drowned accidentally. One weekend driving back from Houston we passed the exit to my mother’s house. I had strong emotions about my brother not me. I didn’t understand the emotions. It hit me like a train, my brother was not physically […]

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I almost Killed my Father

Original post 4/2014 I’m writing the post with the outcome first. It made sense to me when reliving it. The tides turn It’s beyond comprehension why my probation officer saw hope in me. I gave her no reason, I had lost hope in myself, in life for that matter. I didn’t speak one word to her for seven months. I attended weekly meetings for possession of a handgun. I was a bad ass in my mind. I had to see a psychiatrist several times. I was smarter than my age at 12 years old. The psychiatrist asked me how many children I wanted. Without blinking I said none. “I wouldn’t take a chance on beating my children”. She said statics show abused people are less likely to abuse their children. I’d been sexually abused and beaten all my life. Stats meant nothing to me. The State wanted me in a boot camp type facility. My probation officer fought hard to find a less destructive facility. She felt a boot camp style would make me worse. She was right, I was wound very tight. If I can plan my father’s death what stops you from hurting a stranger. My grandmother knew about a convent that was for bad girls when she was younger. My probation officer Ruth Barrier agreed it was a better environment. I might reform in this setting. The down side, it cost $2,000 a month back in 1975 and my grandparents […]

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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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Throw Back Thursday *Wild Child Days*

Reading a post earlier brought back memories of my drug addicted wild child days. My boyfriend was a dealer so I did everything but a needle. Many scary times living with my father. I ran away, he pointing a 357 magnum at the friends he could find. Threatening to kill them if lying. Good thing he didn’t know I was crouched in the front passenger floorboard. I never forgot the music we were getting stoned to. LET’S ROCK AND ROLL   Xx  M

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New Survey: Sexual Violence Big Problem on College Campus

RAINN  Rape, Abuse, Incest National Network   National Sexual Assult Hotline 1.800.656.HOPE(4673) (September 29, 2015) – A new survey of 150,000 students at 27 universities finds that 11.7% of students reported experiencing “nonconsensual penetration or sexual touching by force or incapacitation” since enrolling. The survey, by the Association of American Universities with support from Westat, is the largest of its kind. While the AAU survey results are similar to those found in other, smaller studies, there was significant variability among universities polled. The University of Michigan and University of Southern California, for example, reported rates of sexual violence nearly double those at Cal. Tech and Texas A&M. According to the report, “Undergraduates identifying as TGQN (transgender, genderqueer, non-conforming, questioning, or not listed on the survey) had the highest rates (12.4%), followed by undergraduate females (10.8%), and graduate (professional) TGQN students (8.3%),” compared to about 4% of males surveyed. Two of the biggest factors influencing incidence of sexual assault were the involvement of alcohol and drugs and class year. “Among freshmen, 16.9 percent of females reported sexual contact by physical force or incapacitation. This percentage steadily declines by year in school to a low of 11.1% for seniors,” the report says. Source: “Report on the AAU Campus Climate Survey on Sexual Assault and Misconduct” (Westat, 2015). The survey also measures cases involving sexual touching, the use of coercion, and the lack of affirmative consent (categories that may include many non-criminal acts). Using […]

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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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When Does RAPE Become RAPE? *You Might Be Surprised*

At nine years old my brother was my buddy. If someone was my brothers friend, they were mine. I was a tomboy and all my girlfriends lived to far away to play after school. Our gang of misfits would walk the creek nearby, play football, ride bikes, the normal kid activities. Walking home from school I noticed a couple of friends. One invited me in to the house, he had  something to show me. Several other guys were in foyer. I didn’t think anything about the numbers of people there, I just wanted to see what he had. He already owned a crocodile, I was thinking what can top that. Before I could blink, guys were holding me down, ripping my clothes off,  being choked. Every one violated me. I was crying and screaming for help as they choked and hit me. I cried as they touched and hurt me. Begging to let me go, when I was let go my mind was whirling, confused and body in pain. At nine years old I didn’t know about rape. I knew what they did was wrong. I had no one to tell. I aged a couple of years and realized that was gang rape. I was not a willing participant and not allowed to leave. I was held down, clothes ripping off, touching and kissing me. Each one put their fingers inside me, forced their penis down my throat. Every violation […]

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Ted Talk-What My Religion Really Says About Women

I became interested in other cultures after meeting two Jordanians in High School. Both were so generous, answering every question asked of them. I heard about the Muslim religion for the first time. My dream of traveling the world meant learning other cultures. I thank both for sharing the beauty of Jordan and opening up to me as a friend.  I have no agenda to offend anyone or call out any religion as good or bad. I continue learn other cultures and religions, it’s my life goal.  XO Melinda

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Right4Girls *Marks Pivotal Step Fordward In Fight Against Trafficking*

Fighting to end trafficking is a complex issue. We may not see the change ourselves, we do have to start the ball rolling. We have to understand why trafficking is happening and widely excepted in many countries. I’ve included a link to original article.   XO  W http://www.marketwatch.com/story/rights4girls-jvta-marks-a-pivotal-step-forward-in-the-fight-against-trafficking-2015-05-19

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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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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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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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Biden Talks About Rape Kit Initiative the Sexual Assault Kit Initiative (SAKI)

RAINN UPDATE  (March 19, 2015) — “Testing rape kits should be an absolute priority for the United States,” declared Vice President Joe Biden after touring a Maryland State Police crime lab responsible for analyzing evidence for crimes of sexual assault. Biden was in Baltimore to draw attention to the Sexual Assault Kit Initiative (SAKI), which will award up to $24 million to local law enforcement agencies working to test rape kits and investigate open cases. President Obama’s Fiscal Year 2016 budget proposal also includes $20 million for backlog-related research at the Justice Department, and $105 million for reducing the DN A backlog and related purposes. Rebecca O’Connor, RAINN vice president for public policy, and Smith have been lobbying Congress to communicate the importance of not cutting funding. “At a time when the national spotlight is trained on the rape kit backlog and efforts to move more rape kits from law enforcement evidence rooms to public crime labs for testing, it’s imperative that Congress provide at least level funding for this critical program.” Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-MD), who joined Biden, urged the public to remember that “behind every kit, there’s a victim, and behind every victim there’s a predator. When you get a predator off the street, you not only do justice to the victim, but [prevent “future crimes].” Mikulski is the top Democrat on the Senate Appropriations Committee. Rape survivors Debbie Smith, after whom the primary federal DNA law is […]

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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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One huge step for mental health care and suicide prevention programs *WP WE DID IT*

CRITICAL UPDATE FROM NATIONAL ALLIANCE ON MENTAL ILLNESS (NAMI) The Clay Hunt SAV Act Passed! Thank Your Members of Congress! Thank you for your mental health advocacy! Thank you for contacting your Senators and Congressmen to make your voice heard. Thank you for your support of suicide prevention for our military and veterans community. Your phone calls, emails and tweets helped to pass the Clay Hunt Suicide Prevention for American Veterans (SAV) Act unanimously through both the Senate and the House. The bill is now on its way to be signed by President Obama. Among other things the Clay Hunt SAV Act requires an annual assessment of mental health care and suicide prevention programs at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and implements a pilot loan forgiveness program for psychiatrists that agree to serve in the VA. Please pass the thanks along to your Senators and Congressmen.

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Stalking Awareness: Spotlight On Marianne Bezaire * Marianne is a true Survivor*

If you’ve been stalked, you understand why the hair on my neck went up reading Marianne Bezaire’s nightmare. Starting in my late 20’s I was stalked for six years. The trauma on my family gut wrenching, we lived paralyzed by fear. At the time women being stalked received similar attitudes from some law enforcement agencies as rape survivors.  XO Warrior 1 in 6 women – and 1 in 19 men – have experienced stalking at some point during their lifetime 66% of female stalking victims are stalked by someone they know 46% of stalking victims fear not knowing what will happen next 29% of stalking victims fear the stalking will never stop 1 in 8 employed victims lose time from work as a result of their victimization 1 in 7 stalking victims move as a result of their victimization* For survivor Marianne Bezaire, these aren’t just statistics – she experienced it all personally when an acquaintance became her rapist, and then her stalker. Marianne was drugged and sexually assaulted at a friend’s party. When she woke up the next morning and drove herself home, her attacker followed her and discovered where she lived. This was the beginning of an awful ordeal that involved the stalker breaking into her home, blackmailing her with information he found while reading her personal journals, hacking into her computer and email, and more. Marianne says she lived in fear of what he would do next, […]

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RAINN National Update *Silent No More, Make Your Voice Heard*

RAPE, ABUSE & INCEST NATIONAL NETWORK=RAINN New Congress, New State Legislatures, Consistent Theme: Combating Sexual Assault (January 28, 2015) — With the start of the 114th Congress and, across the nation, new state legislative sessions underway, federal and state policymakers are pledging to make sexual violence a major focus of their work. “RAINN’s public policy team is currently working with hundreds of members of Congress and state legislators,” says Rebecca O’Connor, RAINN’s vice president for public policy. “We expect to see a lot of action from our best allies in Congress to advance ongoing priorities and new legislation.” O’Connor says there are three questions she’s been hearing frequently from legislators. 1. “How should schools handle sexual assault cases?” What is the role and responsibility of a college or university in the fight against sexual violence? What standards should apply to investigations, and when and how should law enforcement be involved? How can we best protect students from these crimes and support those who are victimized? These are just some of the questions in a debate that a White House Initiative elevated to the national level last year. “We’re working closely with federal lawmakers to shape legislation that will be re-introduced this session and is sure to once again make front-page news,” says O’Connor. 2. “What can be done to end the backlog of rape kits?” The secret is out: Untested rape kits are a national problem. While good progress has […]

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Covenant House Keeps Homeless Kids Off The Streets

Help us get homeless kids off the streets. Your action on Change showed sex trafficking victims that they are not alone. In fact, they have an important new ally. Some experts estimate that every year, 100,000 children — many of whom are homeless — are forced into prostitution in the United States. They have lived through unspeakable pain, and have nowhere and no one else. But they do have Covenant House… and now they have you. At Covenant House, we provide vital shelter and lifesaving support to every kid who shows up on our doorstep. Working in 27 cities across 6 countries, we reach tens of thousands of kids in need every year by getting them off the streets and into the safety of our shelters. How we reach homeless kids Raising community awareness Searching for kids in the most dangerous parts of town Creating change at the local, state & federal levels Visiting schools to promote prevention 36,154 kids were saved last year. Just like you, we believe that every kid deserves a safe place to live and the support and resources to build a future of love, hope and success — no matter who they are, where they’re from or what they’ve been through. In the coming months, our kids are going to need your support. Whether it’s helping to get legislation passed or making sure we’re prepared for extreme weather and other emergency situations, you can protect […]

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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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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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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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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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Tell Your Senators To Support Suicide Prevention For Our Military And Veterans

NAMI, National Alliance on Mental Illness Needs your help. Call your Senator and tell them to support the Clay Hunt SAV Act. Tell Your Senators To Support Suicide Prevention For Our Nation’s Military and Veterans In one of the first actions in the new Congress, the House passed HR 203, The Clay Hunt Suicide Prevention for American Veterans (SAV) Act. This legislation requires annual assessment of mental health care and suicide prevention programs at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and implements a pilot loan forgiveness program for psychiatrists that agree to serve in the VA. The bill passed unanimously – demonstrating the strong bipartisan support for addressing gaps in mental health and suicide prevention programs at the VA. NAMI strongly supports the Clay Hunt SAV Act. We are asking you to keep this momentum going by calling your Senators today. Tell them how important this bill is to the mental health care system for our country’s military and veterans. Our nation’s military and veterans have protected us for decades; it’s time we help protect them. Contact your Senator today, Take Action

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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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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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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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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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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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5 year old shots and kills another 5 year old with family gun **Ignorance is no different than parent shooting the child**

Why aren’t parents with guns using gun locks, keeping guns in a safe, child proofing and not going to jail when their child shots and kills someone? I believe everyone has the right to own a gun and use for self defense.What I can’t get my head around, is why are children/teens gaining access to guns. There are headlines weekly about children/teens gaining access to parents guns. This is fixable and impacts all children/teens. Why does another child have to die for ignorant behavior of a parent. The article is from a British Newspaper, Pierce Morgan tweeted the article to his followers with less than kind words about America. It’s sad, I had to agree with him. The killing of a child with your gun is no different from you pulling the trigger. Parents need  a life sentence for killing the child. This is my opinion, if you have another please comment.  Warrior http://www.upi.com/Top_News/US/2014/08/01/5-year-old-girl-in-Idaho-shot-dead-by-another-5-year-old/1421406904662/

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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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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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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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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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Get the Media out of the Trenches!

Post written 2/7/06 It’s relevant today as the day written. Time to dust it off. Let’s hear what you think. This week several journalist, American and Iraqi soldiers died in an attack while outside their vehicle doing an interview. Journalist Bob Woodruf isn’t even back to work from his brush with death and now a competing station loses several employees. Media giants will do anything to boost ratings and bottom line. If employees and soldiers have to die, it’s the cost of doing business. One of the top female journalist was gang raped in Egypt, being pulled by each limb. She later said thoughts of being pulled apart crossed her mind. Then put on a happy face and went right back to Egypt. How can we set back and accept this? How can the CEO of these corporations live with blood on their hands? How can shareholders not hold them accountable? It is a shame profits drive them to allow journalist to make a decision to put their life in danger. The military shares responsibility, now is time to review policy on the sheer number of journalist on the ground, embedded with troops and reporting from hot zones. Journalist have chronicled wars from behind the lens for years. It is important to have the current news today and for history.You’re not casting the next Reality Show. It’s war or hot zone, journalist are endangering the lives of soldiers, locals and […]

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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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