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Domestic Violence Awareness MonthNot only is October Breast Cancer Awareness Month, but it’s also the unfortunately lesser known Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Silence hides violence and it needs to end now. Below are some statistics of just how rampant this problem really is. Granted, through the hard work of the people spearheading this campaign, the amount of domestic violence related homicides have decreased in number in the past few years, but until that number is zero, we haven’t done enough to raise awareness and stop the cycle of domestic violence.

From Barack Obama:

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

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

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

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

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

Some of the shocking statistics:

One quarter of women nationally have been victims of domestic violence. (The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and The National Institute of Justice, Extent, Nature, and Consequences of Intimate Partner Violence, July     2000. The Commonwealth Fund, Health Concerns Across a Woman’s Lifespan: 1998 Survey of Women’s Health, 1999)

– Between 600,000 and 6 million women are victims of domestic violence each year, and between 100,000 and 6 million men, depending on the type of survey used to obtain the data. (Rennison, C. (2003, Feb).  Intimate partner violence.  Us. Dpt. of Justice/Office of Justice Programs.  NXJ 197838. Straus, M. & Gelles, R. (1990).  Physical violence in American families.  New Brunswick, N.J.: Transaction Publishers. Tjaden, P., & Thoennes, N. (2000).  Extent, nature, and consequences of intimate partner violence.  National Institute of Justice, NCJ 181867.)

– Nearly 2.2 million people called a domestic violence crisis or hot line in 2004 to escape crisis situations, seek advice, or assist someone they thought might be victims (National Network to End Domestic Violence)

Studies show that access to shelter services leads to a 60-70% reduction in incidence and severity of re-assault during the 3-12 months’ follow up period compared to women who did not access shelter. Shelter services led to greater reduction in severe re-assault than did seeking court or law enforcement protection, or moving to a new location. (Campbell, JC, PhD, RN, FAAN. Anna D. Wolf, Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing, Protective Action and Re-assault: Findings from the RAVE study.)

Nearly three out of four (74%) of Americans personally know someone who is or has been a victim of domestic violence. 30% of Americans say they know a woman who has been physically abused by her husband or boyfriend in the past year. (Allstate Foundation National Poll on Domestic Violence, 2006. Lieberman Research Inc., Tracking Survey conducted for The Advertising Council and the Family Violence Prevention Fund, July – October 1996)

Studies suggest that between 3.3 – 10 million children witness some form of domestic violence annually. (Carlson, Bonnie E. (1984). Children’s observations of interpersonal violence. Pp. 147-167 in A.R. Roberts (Ed.) Battered women and their families (pp. 147-167). NY: Springer. Straus, M.A. (1992). Children as witnesses to marital violence: A risk factor for lifelong problems among a nationally representative sample of American men and women. Report of the Twenty-Third Ross Roundtable. Columbus, OH: Ross Laboratories.)

These statistics are simply ridiculous and it’s time to stop the cycle of domestic violence.

Here’s what you can do to help:

– Join the Women’s Resource Center. They provide assistance to women and children in the way of counseling, career placement, legal aide, and more.

– Demonstrate your support of victims by joining the Purple Ribbon Project.

– Become acquainted with the Silent Witness Initiative in your state. They promote hope, help, and healing for victims of domestic violence.

– Start a Clothesline Project or find one in your neighborhood. Give every woman the chance to be heard.

Also, you can visit these sites for more resources:

Domestic Violence Awareness Month
National Coalition Against Domestic Violence
National Domestic Violence Hot Line

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{September 30, 2009}   Stimulus Funded Puget Sound Clean Up

So, last night I saw this on NBC Nightly News:

Actually, I cannot for the life of me get this shit to embed, so go watch it here. Dammit.

Rather than piecing together small grants which could have taken 15 years or longer, this cleanup effort, organized by the Northwest Straights Initiative and funded by Obama’s stimulus package, can do so much more at one time, saving thousands of dying creatures trapped in these nets, like the Puget Sound King Crab in the video above.

Help support the clean up of Lolita’s former home and keep our oceans clean:

Department of Ecology
People for Puget Sound
Puget Sound Partnership

For more information on Lolita:

Save Lolita
Orca Network
Miami Seaprison



{August 6, 2009}   Obama A Socialist? Really?

Obama JokerFrom Greg Gutfield, host of Red Eye:

Posters of President Obama made up as Heath Ledger’s Joker with “socialism” written below have been showing up around Los Angeles and it’s being greeted with outrage-y outrage from the typically outraged.

Some are calling it racist, others are calling it “dangerous”; I’m calling it: “Steve” — which is Greg for “boring.”

The Web site Newsbusters points out that — after all — that former President Bush had been portrayed as everything from Dracula to the Joker to worse: a Texan! And, while media hacks point out that criticizing Obama is unfair because he’s only been on the job for six months, that’s bat poop.

Hatred for Bush began the moment he took office and Sarah Palin was only around for a few weeks before lefties were wearing T-shirts with her face and a vulgar word beneath it (hint: It rhymes with bunt.)

And besides, this Obama Joker face only elevates his hip persona and it’s honest. Seriously, we live in a culture where anti-heroes have replaced heroes — hence Ledger’s joker is far cooler than Bale’s Batman. (At least the Joker didn’t yell at his mom at the premiere.)

The Joker scoffed at tradition, reveled in post-modern humor and, more importantly, was played by a dead guy. You can’t get any cooler than that, even if, like me, you do Pilates wearing only body paint.

Finally, as so many Obama-lovers point out, our president is more than a president, he’s a pop culture icon — and you can’t go more than five feet without seeing a shirt, a button or a jock strap with his face plastered on it

At least with these new posters, the media has a message.

Another cultural pop-shot on Obama. If this poster was designed to be a smear campaign for Obama, I would have to say EPIC FAIL. Reportedly, Obama had one of the highest percentages of young voters…ever.

Excuse me? Was anyone awake for Halloween last year? Did you not see millions upon million of people 13-35 dressed as Heath Ledger’s Joker?

Really, I could get into the rant again about how I’m a huge fucking socialist, but why bother when you can read it here.

Honestly, I think it’s pretty sweet. I wish people were able to have a Socialist government without spazzing the fuck out. And did you ever notice that it’s always the well-to-do who bitch about Socialism? The trickle down theory has obviously worked SO WELL, let’s keep it up! Yeah, it’s worked so well, for the already rich.

You know, even with this whole health care situation at the moment…Adam and I were sitting on the couch watching the news one morning last week and there were talking about it. If it meant that every American would have health insurance, I would gladly take a percentage out of my paycheck. If taking money out of my paycheck gives health insurance to people like say, my husband, or the vast majority of my family who does not have health insurance, I’d jump on it in a heartbeat. I live paycheck to paycheck (if my paycheck lasts that long). Think about it, take ONE percent of everyone’s paycheck and with all the money grubbing-greedy bastards out there, that would end up being a lot. Like, a whole lot. If it means my husband has health insurance, PLEASE take that one percent. I’ll tell you what, I’LL take the one percent and MAIL IT TO YOU, okay? I’ll even pay for the envelope and postage!

People are now bitching about the Clunkers fo Cash For Cars program, saying that we’re just dumping our debt onto the next generation. WTF do they think has been happening for the last hundreds of years? If the goverment was so great before, can you tell me why I have no fucking Social Security?

Jesus. Every president will be worse than the last to someone. Every. Single. Time. What ever happened to working together? What I see is a lot of people complaining and not one single person proposing other options.

It’s easy to tell someone when they’re wrong, but that doesn’t make you right!

And then, there’s this. There should just be an audio clip with children shouting, “HOORAY CAPITALISM!”.



et cetera
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