Category Archives: Self Defense

What Do You Say To A Woman With Two Black Eyes?

Apparently the answer to that question is: Remember how much you love your abuser. Sound absurd? I thought so too, but according to Wisconsin Rep. Don Pridemore, you don’t need to leave the abusive household, or find resources to help you, you just need to rekindle your romance. Enjoy this little gem from RH Reality Check.

 

Wisconsin Lawmaker: If You Are Being Beaten, Just Remember the Things You Love About Your Husband

If you need any further proof that we are in the midst of a full-on patriarchal biblical-religious war on women, a Wisconsin lawmaker is happy to provide it.

According to Yahoo News, Wisconsin Rep. Don Pridemore helpfully suggests that, rather than divorcing an abusive spouse, you should try to remember the things you love about the guy while he is beating you up.

In Wisconsin — yes, the same state where lawmakers have introduced a bill penalizing single mothers for being unmarried — a Republican state representative has come out against divorce for any reason — even domestic abuse.

Instead of leaving an abusive situation, women should try to remember the things they love about their husbands, Representative Don Pridemore said. “If they can re-find those reasons and get back to why they got married in the first place it might help,” he told a local news station.

Yahoo continues:

Pridemore — who, coincidentally, is a co-sponsor of Republican state Senator Glenn Grothman’s “being single causes child abuse” bill as well as a controversial voter ID bill that was ruled unconstitutional earlier this week.

Grothman now asserts that not only is single parenthood a factor in child abuse, women in particular are to blame for it.

Basically, if you are female, Mr. Grothman and Mr. Pridemore feel you are worthless once you leave the delivery room. According to Yahoo, “while [Pridemore] thinks women are capable of caring for a family “in certain situations,” fathers are the only ones who provide structure and discipline. If they don’t grow up with married biological parents, Pridemore says, “kids tend to go astray.”

Uh-huh.

And what’s his excuse?

Source: http://www.rhrealitycheck.org/article/2012/03/23/wisconsin-lawmaker-you-are-being-beaten-just-remember-things-you-love-about-your

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Women’s “m.powerment”

I do a lot of things with my time- one of those things is work for a company that has an initiative to help end domestic violence and partner violence through educational programs and grants. (I keep a link on the right hand side of this blog that will bring you to that site.)
Wednesday night I was briefly featured on News 12 NJ for my work with mark and the m.powerment campaign. Here is a (poor quality) video of that news story:

If you would like to take part in the m.powerment campaign I want you to know- 100% of the proceeds from sales go to the campaign and NOT me. I do not make money off of m.powerment campaign, I promote it because I believe in it’s message.


What Your Ad is Really Saying

And the victim blaming continues. I understand that the central message behind this campaign is ending dangerous drinking behaviors- but this group is going about this message very, very incorrectly. This article is reposted from ‘Feministing’.

PA Liquor Control Board to teens: Rape is your fault, and your friends’ fault!

The Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board recently released a new ad campaign, Control Tonight, that attempts to curb teen drinking. Their case? Don’t drink too much, or else you’ll get raped, but hey–that’s your fault, because we warned you!

One ad features a young girl’s legs, underwear around the ankles, as she lays on what appears to be a bathroom floor. The text reads, “She didn’t want to do it, but she couldn’t say no.”

The campaign even blames the victim’s friends–the Control Tonight website reads:

“Calling the shots starts with you. What if you didn’t watch out for your friends during a night of drinking?”

The campaign blatantly shifts the blame onto victims and friends, and away from the very person who deserves it: the rapist.

While the board may have had good intentions, these ads show that rape culture is alive and well in our society. Alcohol is definitely a huge factor when it comes to sexual assault, but in no circumstances is it ever the victim’s fault. Again we see our culture continuing to teach “Don’t get raped!” instead of “Don’t rape.” And instead of teaching people how to make sure they’re properly getting consent from someone they’re hooking up with, our society perpetuates a mindset that makes women feel guilty for a crime committed against them.

Call or email the PA Liquor Control Board and ask them to pull the campaign: 1-800-453-PLCB (1-800-453-7522), or contact@controltonight.com

The ad:

 

Source: http://feministing.com/2011/12/07/pa-liquor-control-board-to-teens-rape-is-your-fault-and-your-friends-fault/?utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter


Get Over Rape

A friend posted this piece from the Huffington Post website. I unfortunately do not have a direct link, so I cannot provide the source link for you, but I do have the author’s name: Ms. Eve Ensler.  I find her words to be strong, direct, emotional and biting… and also true. Being exposed to women and men who have had their lives shattered by assault and rape allows you to see a side of the world that most people never seem to even acknowledge. Seeing the writing of women like Ms. Eve Ensler moves me and nearly compels me to believe that there is hope for change in the attitudes surrounding assault. The change I hope for can only be brought about by all of us- all of us who stand against rapists, not victims.

“I am over rape.

I am over rape culture, rape mentality, rape pages on Facebook.

I am over the thousands of people who signed those pages with their real names without shame.

I am over people demanding their right to rape pages, and calling it freedom of speech or justifying it as a joke.

I am over people not understanding that rape is not a joke and I am over being told I don’t have a sense of humor, and women don’t have a sense of humor, when most women I know (and I know a lot) are really fucking funny. We just don’t think that uninvited penises up our anus, or our vagina is a laugh riot.

I am over how long it seems to take anyone to ever respond to rape. I am over Facebook taking weeks to take down rape pages.

I am over the hundreds of thousands of women in Congo still waiting for the rapes to end and the rapists to be held accountable.

I am over the thousands of women in Bosnia, Burma, Pakistan, South Africa, Guatemala, Sierra Leone, Haiti, Afghanistan, Libya, you name a place, still waiting for justice.

I am over rape happening in broad daylight.

I am over the 207 clinics in Ecuador supported by the government that are capturing, raping, and torturing lesbians to make them straight.

I am over one in three women in the U.S military (Happy Veterans Day!) getting raped by their so-called “comrades.”

I am over the forces that deny women who have been raped the right to have an abortion.

I am over the fact that after four women came forward with allegations that Herman Cain groped them and grabbed them and humiliated them, he is still running for the President of the United States.

And I’m over CNBC debate host Maria Bartiromo getting booed when she asked him about it. She was booed, not Herman Cain.

Which reminds me, I am so over the students at Penn State who protested the justice system instead of the alleged rapist pedophile of at least 8 boys, or his boss Joe Paterno, who did nothing to protect those children after knowing what was happening to them.

I am over rape victims becoming re-raped when they go public.

I am over starving Somalian women being raped at the Dadaab refugee camp in Kenya, and I am over women getting raped at Occupy Wall Street and being quiet about it because they were protecting a movement which is fighting to end the pillaging and raping of the economy and the earth, as if the rape of their bodies was something separate.

I am over women still being silent about rape, because they are made to believe it’s their fault or they did something to make it happen.

I am over violence against women not being a #1 international priority when one out of three women will be raped or beaten in her lifetime — the destruction and muting and undermining of women is the destruction of life itself. No women, no future, duh.

I am over this rape culture where the privileged with political and physical and economic might, take what and who they want, when they want it, as much as they want, any time they want it. I am over the endless resurrection of the careers of rapists and sexual exploiters — film directors, world leaders, corporate executives, movie stars, athletes — while the lives of the women they violated are permanently destroyed, often forcing them to live in social and emotional exile.

I am over the passivity of good men. Where the hell are you? You live with us, make love with us, father us, befriend us, brother us, get nurtured and mothered and eternally supported by us, so why aren’t you standing with us? Why aren’t you driven to the point of madness and action by the rape and humiliation of us?

I am over years and years of being over rape.

And thinking about rape every day of my life since I was 5-years-old.

And getting sick from rape, and depressed from rape, and enraged by rape.

And reading my insanely crowded inbox of rape horror stories every hour of every single day.

I am over being polite about rape.

It’s been too long now, we have been too understanding.

We need to OCCUPYRAPE in every school, park, radio, TV station, household, office, factory, refugee camp, military base, back room, night club, alleyway, courtroom, UN office. We need people to truly try and imagine — once and for all — what it feels like to have your body invaded, your mind splintered, your soul shattered.

We need to let our rage and our compassion connect us so we can change the paradigm of global rape.

There are approximately one billion women on the planet who have been violated.

ONE BILLION WOMEN.

The time is now.

Prepare for the escalation.

Today it begins, moving toward February 14, 2013, when one billion women will rise to end rape.

Because we are over it.”

Aside from the advocacy and women’s self defense, I also take part in an initiative created by mark cosmetics- an initiative called m.powerment.  M.powerment is a philanthropic initiative dedicated to breaking the cycle of dating abuse and partner violence. Since its creation in 2008, m.powerment by mark has raised over $750,000 to support programs that provide preventative training and education. Currently mark offers 4 items for sale to support this cause- 100% of the net proceeds of each item’s sale is donated to the m.powerment campaign- and a Domestic Violence Resource guide is sent out with each item purchased. If you would like to support the m.powerment campaign please click here.


Topeka- Still Taking Steps Backward

The conversation continues in Topeka; pay close attention to this part of the article, “”They need to invest in headstones, because these women are going to end up in cemeteries,” Dombrowski told the station. She said she was hit with a crowbar in a domestic violence incident classified as a misdemeanor 16 years ago.” Unbelievable that Topeka is still entertaining this. Domestic abuse is a CRIME.

Suspected domestic abusers go free as Topeka city, county officials bicker over funds

by Liz Goodwin

A bitter argument over money in Topeka, Kan., means that city and county authorities have neglected to prosecute or charge people suspected of domestic battery since Sept. 8.

In other words, the local justice system has spent a month effectively sending the message that misdemeanor domestic assault will go unpunished–at least for now.

The dispute started last month, when Shawnee County District Attorney Chad Taylor announced that a 10 percent budget cut to his office in 2012 meant he would no longer be prosecuting any of the city’s misdemeanors, effective immediately. Topeka city council members say they can’t afford the estimated $800,000 yearly cost of prosecuting those misdemeanorsand jailing offenders–and that they want the county to continue carrying out misdemeanor prosecutions as it has for the past 25 years. The county continues to insist that the jurisdiction for these prosecutions should shift to city prosecutors, but the Topeka City Council says that none of the city’s five attorneys has any recent experience prosecutingdomestic violence cases.

Next week, the council will vote on a measure that will strip domestic battery from a list of crimes that are illegal in the city. The vote is a tactical bid to force the county to take those cases on again.

City Council member Larry Wolgast told The Lookout he’s opposed to that tactic, since there’s no guarantee that the county will actually prosecute domestic battery cases just because the city decriminalizes the offense. But Wolgast also says the city cannot find the money to prosecute the cases themselves. “If we could just solve this by taking them over, that would be great to do. But the people aren’t there,” he said. He added that the most severe cases of domestic battery would be written up as felonies, which are still prosecuted by the county.

Karen Hiller, another City Council member, tells The Lookout that the county already has the resources needed to prosecute these kind of cases, while the city–which doesn’t even have its own jail–would have to build from the ground up. Taylor would need an extra $200,000 to continue prosecuting them, while the city would have to spend nearly $1 million.

“How could we possibly do this on 10 minutes notice?” she said.

A domestic abuse survivor and activist, Claudine Dombrowski, told Fox4 that the city is sending the messagethat it’s OK to beat your wife or husband.

“They need to invest in headstones, because these women are going to end up in cemeteries,” Dombrowski told the station. She said she was hit with a crowbar in a domestic violence incident classified as a misdemeanor 16 years ago.

Wolgast says he’s not sure when the jurisdictional dispute will end. When asked to address potential victims of domestic abuse whose perpetrators are not being prosecuted, he said: “We’re working to solve the situation. I don’t know what more I can say at this point.”

According to James Anderson at the Topeka Police Department, city authorities have arrested 20 people on suspicion of misdemeanor domestic battery since Sept. 8. Anderson said he doesn’t know how many were charged, but Shawnee County court data suggests that all of the suspected offenders were released and not charged. One man was arrested twice over the month, both times on suspected domestic battery, and released both times. Their cases will be brought up for prosecution again once the city and county resolve their dispute, according to Hiller.

In Kansas, domestic battery is definedas “intentionally or recklessly causing bodily harm by a family or household member against a family or household member,” or intentionally physically contacting a family member in a “rude, insulting or angry manner.” The third time someone is convicted of domestic battery within five years, the offense becomes a felony.

Source: http://news.yahoo.com/blogs/lookout/suspected-domestic-abusers-free-topeka-city-county-officials-161404729.html


Domestic Violence- Not a Crime in Kansas?

A friend shared this piece from thinkprogress.org, and I had to post it here. This type of thing offends and saddens me on so many levels. Read on:

Topeka, Kansas City Council Considers Decriminalizing Domestic Violence To Save Money

By Marie Diamond

Faced with their worst budget crisessince the Great Depression, states and cities have resorted to increasingly desperate measures to cut costs. State and local governments have laid off teachers, slashed Medicaid funding, and even started unpaving roadsand turning off streetlights.

But perhaps the most shocking idea to save money is being debated right now by the City Council of Topeka, Kansas. The city could repeal an ordinance banning domestic violence because some say the cost of prosecuting those cases is just too high:

Last night, in between approving city expenditures and other routine agenda items, the Topeka, Kansas City Council debated one rather controversial one: decriminalizing domestic violence.

Here’s what happened: Last month, the Shawnee County District Attorney’s office, facing a 10% budget cut, announced that the county would no longer be prosecuting misdemeanors, including domestic violence cases, at the county level. Finding those cases suddenly dumped on the city and lacking resources of their own, the Topeka City Council is now considering repealing the part of the city code that bans domestic battery. […]

Since the county stopped prosecuting the crimes on September 8th, it has turned back 30 domestic violence cases. Sixteen people have been arrested for misdemeanor domestic battery and then released from the county jail after charges weren’t filed. “Letting abusive partners out of jail with no consequences puts victims in incredibly dangerous positions,” said Becky Dickinson of the YWCA. “The abuser will often become more violent in an attempt to regain control.”

The YMCA also said that some survivors were afraid for their safetyif the dispute wasn’t resolved soon. Town leaders and the district attorney all agree that domestic abuse cases should be prosecuted — but no one would step up to foot the bill. The city council is expected to make its decision on decriminalizing domestic violence next week, but the back-and-forth over funding has already put battered women and their families at increased risk of harm.

Domestic violence is still at epidemic levels in the United States, and too few cases are prosecuted as it is. According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, one in four womenwill be a victim of domestic violence. And domestic abuse is a crime that damages entire communities, not just women. Witnessing violence between one’s parents is the strongest risk factor of transmitting violent behavior from one generation to the next: boys who witness domestic violence are twice as likely to abuse their own partnerwhen they grow up.

And while not prosecuting domestic violence cases may seem to save money in the short term, it actually has staggering financial consequences. The health-related costs of domestic violenceexceeds $5.8 billion each year. Nearly $4.1 billion of that is for direct medical and mental health care services, and nearly $1.8 billion are for the indirect costs of lost productivity or wages. Victims lost almost 8 million days of paid workbecause of the violence.

It should go without saying, but apparently doesn’t, that preventing domestic abuse is essential to promoting communities’ economic and social well-being. That the Topeka City Council would even consider such action is a heartbreaking illustration of the consequences of austerity.

 

I have trouble expressing my disgust with Topeka Kansas.  The phrase ” Letting abusive partners out of jail with no consequences puts victims in incredibly dangerous positions,” is a GROSS understatement and I cannot believe that this is even a consideration in Kansas. Releasing an abuser can, and in most cases, IS a death sentence for the victims of abuse. This provides no safety for the abused; and for the victim, I’m sure this seems like a punishment for their cry for help. The police are required to act in a domestic abuse situation, but now they will have no choice but to turn the abuser loose. This is insulting for the police force and a complete disservice to the men and women who worked and fought for the recognition of the true crime of domestic violence.

Domestic violence occurs in 1 out of 4 relationships! Not to mention most survivors of domestic abuse do not come forward so that statistic of ‘1 in 4’ isn’t even accurate enough to paint the picture of just how many men and women are faced with violence from an intimate partner. Violent offenders should not be released back into the population with all charges dropped simply because the state cannot handle the cost- domestic abuse is a violent crime, committed by violent offenders. I hope Kansas has plenty of plots open in their cemeteries, because they will be needing them. Disgusting.

Source: http://thinkprogress.org/justice/2011/10/06/338461/topeka-kansas-city-council-considers-decriminalizing-domestic-violence-to-save-money/


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