Domestic Violence vs PTSD

First of all, to all the men and women who have sacrificed for our country, I thank you. I am a pacifist but you have given much to America. Second of all, thank you to all of the spouses, parents, and friends of a soldier who went away to fight in a war. I hope they came home whole and well. If your military person did not, I thank you from the bottom of my heart for what you have lost. It isn’t enough, but I hurt for all the men, women and families and friends who have an empty spot in their hearts. Be proud of them. I am just sorry that the human species feels a continuing and constant need to be violent. War doesn’t solve anything. May all of America’s sons and daughters who have passed, rest in peace.

Recently, Sir Patrick Stewart was in Texas doing a press conference, and a woman asked him a question.  His answer is a revealing look at both Domestic Violence and PTSD in soldiers returning from the war front.






The ultimate truth is that violence and war solve nothing. They actually intensify what is wrong in the world.




Arlington Cemetery, Washington DC, America

Domestic Violence Must End

You Can Help End Domestic Violence

You Can Help End Domestic Violence

According to the US Department of Housing and Urban Development domestic violence is the third leading cause of homelessness among families. If a couple has a violent argument in the home, it is usually the woman and children who flee. They flee with little but what is on their backs. This is another reason why Domestic Violence Shelters are so important. They can place the women and children into temporary housing. Most can then also help them to find housing for her and the children. In my long experience I have never known a man to leave unless he is the victim.
Survivors of domestic violence face higher rates of depression, sleep disturbances, anxiety, flashbacks (PTSD) and other mental disturbances. Many are too ashamed of being beaten to go to a doctor or mental health worker and ask for help.

Stop Family Violence

Stop Family Violence

Domestic Violence contributes to poor health in survivors. Chronic conditions such as heart disease, gastrointestinal disorders can become more serious due to repeated battering. Fear and anger build up in the victim and the stress can lead to other health issues.

Among women brought to an Emergency Room after being beaten, were socially isolated, and had fewer social and financial resources than women who were not abused. Part of the emotional abuse is social isolation. The victim is cut off from friends, family, therapists, neighbors because the abuser needs to have total control over the victim. Abusers don’t want women to hear there is a place to go and get help. i often would put the hotline number on a piece of paper and pass it to the victim without being seen. Each city has a hotline number and you can help save a life by getting the number and gently putting it into a woman’s hand.

Without help, girls who witness domestic violence are more vulnerable to abuse when they are teens and young adults. Without help, boys who witness domestic violence, are far more likely to become abusers of their partners and/or children as adults. This continues the cycle of violence into later generations.


There is Never a Reason to Hit Another Human Being

There is Never a Reason to Hit Another Human Being



Guns and Domestic Violence

Originally posted at Ms.Blog,

The impact of gun violence on victims and survivors of domestic violence cannot be overstated. The statistics are chilling: Approximately 2 out of every 3 domestic violence homicides are committed with firearms; the presence of a firearm in a domestic violence situation increases the likelihood of homicide by at least 500 percent. At least 44 percent of mass shootings are domestic violence-related, and 61 percent of all femicides committed by men wielding guns in 2013 were related to domestic violence .

These statistics are only the most publicized, easily quantifiable manifestations of the intersection between domestic violence and firearms. Guns are used to terrorize far more often than they are used to kill. A survey by the National Domestic Violence Hotline found 16 percent of respondents’ abusers owned firearms. Of respondents whose abusers owned guns, 67 percent percent believed their abusers were capable of killing them.

These statistics are staggering, yet they are more than numbers—they are people. My colleague, Rob Valente at the Hotline, quotes two survey respondents. One respondent disclosed that her husband owns over 100 guns. She never knows where the guns are, or how many guns he is carrying at any given time. Another respondent tells of repeatedly waking up at night to the sound of her abuser releasing the safety on the gun he is holding to her head.

Recognizing the role of firearms in domestic violence, Congress passed the Lautenberg Amendment prohibiting people convicted of misdemeanor domestic violence or people subject to permanent domestic violence protective orders from owning firearms. In enacting this prohibition, Congress took into account two important factors that differentiate domestic violence from other forms of violence: 1) Domestic violence misdemeanors are frequently pled down from felony charges and involve felony-level violence; and 2) Domestic violence is a pattern of behaviors rather than a single incident, so there is a high likelihood an abuser will reoffend.

Although the Lautenberg Amendment saved countless lives, it is no longer adequate; society has changed and the law must be updated to reflect these changes. Under existing law, the definition of domestic violence only includes abuse perpetrated by a current or former spouse, cohabitant or biological co-parent. Dating abuse does not trigger the firearm prohibition, despite the fact that current or former dating partners commit approximately half of all domestic violence homicides. Likewise, people convicted of misdemeanor stalking are not prohibited from owning firearms, although stalking is a key indicator of lethality; a 10-city study found that 76 percent of women killed by intimate partners were stalked before being murdered, and 85 percent of women who survive murder attempts were stalked.

Democratic Sen. Amy Klobuchar’s Protecting Domestic Violence and Stalking Victims Act of 2015and its companion bill from Reps. Debbie Dingell (D-Minn.) and Robert Dold (D-Ill.), Zero Tolerance for Domestic Abusers Act, expand the existing domestic violence prohibitor to include dating abuse and stalking. These narrowly focused domestic violence bills could save countless lives without infringing on the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding Americans. We at the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, our colleagues at other organizations, advocates across the country, victims and survivors call on Congress to demonstrate their commitment to ending domestic violence by passing these two bills. The time for talk is over—it is time to take a stand!






If a man or a woman stays in a violent home, their life will continually rotate around the cycle of violence. Help is available. Look at this cycle and see if it is familiar to you.

If a man or a woman stays in a violent home, their life will continually rotate around the cycle of violence. Help is available. Look at this cycle and see if it is familiar to you.



The woman who has nodded to me from her porch

for weeks, still nodes now, bobs her head

leading me inside to see

21 grandchildren posed on a shelf,

sills full of colored glass.


Twice, I heard, she left her husband

and then returned


He stays outside with the dogs,

hollering them away from the barn.


Chickens flutter and squall,

leaving patches of brown feathers.


She says she’s been nodding 26 years.

The doctor calls it ‘the trembles’

but she knows something sharper

is pecking her brain.


Twice his fists have hit,

knocked her against the wall.

Twice she’s returned


to faces of grandchildren

perfectly still in the tilt

of their frames, glass

shining on every sill,


to hens squawking themselves into trees

whenever a dog comes near.

She sweeps up the puddles

of brown and white feathers

that fear send flying,


pours them into ticking

to cushion her relentless,

affirming head.

–Betsy Sholl






Arden, North Carolina. Photograph and copyright by Barbara Mattio 2015

Arden, North Carolina. Photograph and copyright by Barbara Mattio 2015

But he only…

It’s hard when sheltered little girls start to grow up and get interested in boys, and boys return the interest.  You only want to really talk about positive things with your daughter, because she’s your little girl and you cannot imagine adult types of things happening to her.

Then it’s time for the first date, and she’s excited and going on and on about how good looking he is, and how sweet he was when he asked her out, and you’re thinking “Good.  Because that’s what my daughter deserves.”  Not that you’ve told her that.  She should know that.

She goes out on the date and he’s a perfect gentleman, and everything is storybook.  She’s so happy she’s giggling as she goes about the house, talking on her cell phone to her girlfriends.

After about a month of dating, he asks her to go with him to a dance.  She’s very excited and “I can have a new dress, right?  Can I have a new dress?  Can we go shopping, Mom, please?”  And of course, the answer is Yes.

You go shopping with her, and you find the perfect dress: it covers in all the right places; it’s something your own mother would have approved of for you, and she looks beautiful in it.  So, you figure, that everything is fine.

The night of the dance, he picks her up wearing a tux, has a corsage for her and promises you and your husband that he will have her home promptly at midnight.

You’re confident in him, because he’s never broken a curfew in the month that they’ve been dating.

He returns her home at 12:05, but that’s hardly worth mentioning.  She comes in and she’s happy, she says she’s happy and says she’s tired and wants to go to bed.  You wish her a good night’s sleep and off she goes.

In the morning, when she awakens, she calls her girlfriends, and tells them that he pushed her last night.  He got upset because, while he was getting punch for her, a boy from her Chemistry class came over and was talking to her about the last lab they’d had, and how crazy their teacher is.  She was laughing with the boy, because she agreed.  Her boyfriend, as he was walking back to her with the punch in hand, saw her laughing and talking with this other boy.  The lab partner excused himself and walked away when her boyfriend returned.

Her boyfriend asked: “Who was that?  What did he want?”

She replied: “Oh, nothing we were just talking about Chemistry.”

He accused: “You were laughing.  Looked like you were having a good time.”

She told him it was no big deal, and then his face darkened and he pushed her.

She didn’t fall to the floor or anything, but she felt scared.  He had never been anything but gentle with her, until last night.

Another phone call comes in to her cell phone; it’s her boyfriend, she has to talk to him.

He’s sorry.  He shouldn’t have pushed her.  He wants to make it up to her by taking her to the movies tonight.

She says, yes, and gets ready.

You notice that she’s all bubbly and happy again, and wonder what the dark cloud had been that you’d noticed earlier, while your daughter was on the phone to her friends.  Maybe it was just those teenage hormones.

You don’t ask.

She goes to the movies and they have a wonderful time.

About a week goes by, and she’s walking down the hall in school, with a bunch of her classmates — boys and girls.  One of the boys is her Chemistry lab partner.  Her boyfriend is looking for her, and he sees her having fun with all of these people, and with that one boy from the dance, laughing and talking with her.

He can’t see anything else but the just the two of them.  Laughing.  Together.  Very together.

He walks up and grabs her and drags her away from everyone else.  He’s holding her arm so tightly, as he pulls her to her locker to talk, that he leaves bruises.

“You’re hurting me!  Stop!”

He begins to rant.  He accuses her of cheating on him with her lab partner.

She’s confused; her lab partner is just a friend, she doesn’t know why he’s upset.  And he’s hurting her.  She tries to pull away.

His hand reaches back and slaps her face, and calls her a whore.

Nothing like this has ever happened to her before.  She doesn’t know what to think or what to do.

She tells him to leave her alone, and she stalks off to class with her arm hurting and her face red, still feeling the handprint.

During class, she’s distracted, thinking about what happened.  How could this have happened to her?  Why would he do this? He’s always been so gentle, so charming.

And she thinks, she must have done something wrong.  He said she had, she shouldn’t have been talking to those kids, that boy.  She didn’t mean to be doing anything wrong.  But that’s what upset him, so she must have been doing something wrong.  Right?

Over the next few weeks, she pulls away from her friends, gradually and steadily.  Her grades go down a little bit, but not enough for her teachers to worry, to call her parents.

You don’t know.

Then, it’s spring.  She comes down for breakfast with a turtleneck on.  It’s a beautiful, warm spring day.  You ask her why the turtleneck?  It’s a beautiful morning!

“I’m cold,” you’re told, tersely.

She’s running late, she doesn’t want to talk, and she hurries out the door before you can ask anything more.

She’s running from herself, but you don’t know that.  She’s running from a situation that she just can’t understand.  She’s afraid, and you can almost see that, but you can’t understand why.

What you don’t know is, the night before, on their last date, her loving boyfriend tried to choke her.  The turtleneck is covering the bruises on her neck.  She knows you would never allow her go see him again if you knew.

But he loves her.  He told her he did; well, after he choked her.

And she loves him.  Well, usually.

She wants to ask one of her old girlfriends if this had ever happened to them.  But it was embarrassing.  What if it hadn’t happened to them?  What if they thought it was her fault, if they knew she did something wrong?

She can’t talk to you.  You’ve never talked about anything like this.  You’d never understand.

She decides to just keep the information to herself.

Six more months go by.  He asks her to go steady. She eagerly says yes, but there’s a little voice inside that’s saying, “Run.  Run.”

He tells her that now, she will be His.  And no one can every interfere with them.  He’ll take care of her, she won’t need anyone else, because she has him.

Several more months pass.  They have a horrific argument and your little girl comes home.

Her face looks like pulp.  He punched her this time, and she cannot hide this from you.

He had the right to do it, he said, because she belongs to him.  They were going steady, after all.

You see her.  “What happened?” you ask, and for the first time in months, she tells the truth.

But she still thinks it’s her fault.  He always says she’s stupid and ungrateful and a burden to him, and she’s lucky he loves her at all.

But he does love her.  He says.  Between the punches.

“Do you love him, this boy?” you ask.

“I..I think so,” she says, and she starts to cry.  “I don’t know,” she admits and you hold her.

“Mom, I’m scared.”

And your heart breaks.

This young girl has found herself in a spot many young girls find themselves in.  They think that abuse is only broken bones or going to the hospital.  That’s never happened to her.  He only pushes.  Only shoves.  Only yells. He’s only REALLY hit her once.

What these girls don’t understand is that a slap, a push, a shove, twisting her arm, punching her face; belittling and calling her names; separating her from her friends — isolating, it’s called — it’s all abuse, battering.

They don’t understand that they are in danger, and this one person is the person they should be terrified of, and should get away from.

Hopefully, after talking to a counselor with or without her parents, and dating some other young men who treat her with the respect to which all young women are entitled, she will learn that she did not deserve the violence her now ex-boyfriend introduced to her life.

Hopefully, in the future, the men that she picks will not be abusers, and she will not spend years of her life living in violence in fear.

But  you could have helped, long before it started.  You could have talked to your daughter, let her know with words and actions that she IS special, and worthy of love.  You could have told her that no one ever has the right to push her, or shove her or call her names, and if they do, she should always come to you.  That you will always be there, and you will always listen, and that you would never think…

She deserved it.

Because she never could.

Because NO ONE ever deserves to abused.





Power and Voice

The newest stats for Domestic Violence are that 1 in every 4 women will be physically abused at sometime in her life. So if you have 3 friends, and you yourself have not experienced physical abuse, then one of your 3 friends likely has. This can happen in any relationship you are in. A friendship, dating, even being married. An estimated 1.3 million women have been victims of Domestic Violence by an intimate partner.

Emotional and physical abuse are choices that the abuser makes for him/herself. There is a cycle of violence and this cycle includes a honeymoon period when the abuser is sorry; even to the point of tears, presents are given, and loving words cross the lips. These behaviors hold the victim in the relationship very often. Not always. It depends on the victim.


Power is something the abuser wants. This is borne out statistically. He/she wants the victim to always be somewhere he knows about. A sense of fear is created for the victim but also it is confusing and mind-boggling because the person you see is not the same personality that others see. They get the charming, thoughtful side. They see the tender, loving person. They do not see the person who sent you to the ER.


Voice is the ability of a human being to set boundaries and to choose to spend time with friends, neighbors and family. Isolation is the act of removing a victim from communication and association people from their support system. Terror and fear often close a victim’s mouth. S/he often feel alone, helpless and hopeless. If any of this sounds like your life, you are in danger. You need to get to a safe place. Most cities these days have shelters for victims and their children. There is legal help and counseling.


Don’t stay.


You are not alone.


You are not guilty of anything.


No matter what the abuser says…




Unlearning to not Speak

Blizzards of paper

in slow motion

sift through her.

In nightmares she suddenly recalls

a class she signed up for

but forgot to attend.

Now it is too late.

Now it is time for finals:

losers will be shot.

Phrases of men who lectured her

drift and rustle in piles.

Why don’t you speak up?

Why are you shouting?

You have the wrong answer,

wrong line, wrong face.

They tell her she is womb-man,

babymachine, mirror image, toy,

earth mother and penis-poor,

a dish of synthetic strawberry ice cream

rapidly melting.

She grunts to a halt.

She must learn again to speak

starting with I

Starting with We

starting as the infant does

with her own true hunger

and pleasure

and rage.    —Marge Piercy, feminist author and poet



Human Trafficking Continues

Former Sex Slave Says Kayla Mueller Was Killed By ISIS, Not An Airstrike

Yazidi girls share insight about the American aid worker’s time in captivity.

Several Yazidi girls who were imprisoned by Islamic State militants spoke to the BBC recently about American aid worker Kayla Mueller’s time in captivity.

One of the girls, who gave her name only as Amshe, claims that the Islamic State was responsible for Mueller’s death, based on a conversation she had with Haji Mutazz, the group’s second-in-command. Mutazz was holding Amshe as a sex slave.

The Islamic State, also known as ISIS had previously claimed that Mueller was killed in an airstrike by the U.S.-led coalition against the militant group.

Mueller was an American aid worker who began working on the Syria-Turkey border in 2012. ISIS captured her in Syria in August 2013.

The BBC interview, published Thursday, focuses on accounts by Dalal and Susan, two young Yazidi girls who escaped from Islamic State captivity and have since returned to northern Iraq. The girls say they met Mueller when all three shared a prison cell. Their recollections reveal previously unknown details about Mueller’s time as an ISIS prisoner.

U.S. officials told Mueller’s parents in June that the group’s leader, Abu Bakr al Baghdadi, raped Mueller “repeatedly” while she was in captivity. Dalal and Susan confirmed this to the BBC.

The two girls said Mueller told them that after she was kidnapped, her fingernails were pulled out in an effort to torture her into confessing that she was a spy.

Mueller used notebooks to write of her travels in India and France, and kept busy by reading books. She had learned some Arabic from Islamic State members, according to Susan.

The girls also recounted how caring Mueller was. “When IS brought food for us, Kayla ate very little,” Susan said. “She didn’t want us to be hungry.”

Mueller shared stories about her life in the U.S., while the other two told her of their own lives back home.

When Baghdadi would call for Mueller to pay him a visit, Dalal said she would come back “shaken,” according to the BBC. He allegedly told Mueller that he would behead her unless she married him. Baghdadi subsequently married her and raped her, Dalal explained, though he never referred to her as his slave, the way he did with a Yazidi girl he also raped.

Baghdadi paid extra attention to Kayla, the girls said, and gave her a Quran and a wristwatch as gifts. He dressed her in all black and banned other men in the house from looking at her.

But other men took interest in Kayla, too, Amshe said. Mutazz made Mueller his sex slave as well, viewing her as a trophy because of her American nationality.

That’s also the reason Islamic State leadership ultimately killed Mueller: Amshe says Mutazz told her it was an effort to seek revenge on thee West.




Human trafficking continues to spread its own brand of evil across the planet. ISIS is not taking responsibility for girls being forced into prostitution or being forced to marry ISIS soldiers. There is so much going on in the world right now. There are natural disasters, mass murders, kids dying from heroin. Millions of people live in violence and fear.


There are so many people running for President that it looks like the Indie 500. The items we use for every day life such as food are escalating in price. There are even pockets of Leprosy in our world. There are actually hundreds of thousands of infected people world wide.


There is terrorism, mass murders, Mental health problems are on the rise. So it is easy to allow a problem such as human trafficking to go by the wayside. It is easy to forget the women and children stolen and sold like cattle. Slavery on our globe is alive and well and we need to be alert for people who look like they are terrified or might be trying to send you a look which cries HELP.


There are many things we can do. We can notify the police when a situation looks suspicious. We can listen to women who are being abused at home and advise them to call a Domestic Violence hotline for help. We can be compassionate and look out for others. We can spend our money feeding the poor. We can all do a little volunteer work every week or month. We can let these difficult problems continue or we can all help fight them each in our own way.


All I ask, is for everyone not to turn away from human trafficking, realize that our citizens don’t need guns, and keeping kids in school is vital for their futures. Domestic Violence needs to be eliminated and every human being needs to know that they are important and it is their right to live in freedom.


One day at a time, let us all do one thing to create a world where slavery and violence are defeated.

Let us make a world for ourselves in which all people thrive and flourish in.








Slavery - Human Trafficking

Slavery – Human Trafficking



human-trafficking-children-concept-photo-missing-kidnapped-abused-hostage-victim-girl-hands-tied-up-rope-emotional-32279879 (1)




human slavery