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



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human slavery

Gun Control Facts

After the many fatal shootings that have happened recently, I began looking for more information on Guns in America — looking for real facts, not just supposition.

I found a website, justfacts.com, which contained an entire webpage on Gun Control.  I’ve excerpted some of the information, and several of the provided graphs, below, for your information.  There is a great deal more information on the actual page, https://www.justfacts.com/guncontrol.asp, for those who are as interested as I am in separating gun fact from gun fiction.


I’ll be interested to see what you think of this, and if it falls in line with your beliefs — pro or con — regarding gun control










This research is based upon the most recent available data in 2010. Facts from earlier years are cited based upon availability and relevance, not to slant results by singling out specific years that are different from others. Likewise, data associated with the effects of gun control laws in various geographical areas represent random, demographically diverse places in which such data is available.


Many aspects of the gun control issue are best measured and sometimes can only be measured through surveys,[1]but the accuracy of such surveys depends upon respondents providing truthful answers to questions that are sometimes controversial and potentially incriminating.[2] Thus, Just Facts uses such data critically, citing the best-designed surveys we find, detailing their inner workings in our footnotes, and using the most cautious plausible interpretations of the results.


Particularly, when statistics are involved, the determination of what constitutes a credible fact (and what does not) can contain elements of personal subjectivity. It is our mission to minimize subjective information and to provide highly factual content. Therefore, we are taking the additional step of providing readers with four examples to illustrate the type of material that was excluded because it did not meet Just Facts’ Standards of Credibility.


General Facts


* Firearms are generally classified into three broad types: (1) handguns, (2) rifles, and (3) shotguns.[3] Rifles and shotguns are both considered “long guns.”


* A semi-automatic firearm fires one bullet each time the trigger is pulled, ejects the shell of the fired bullet, and automatically loads another bullet for the next pull of the trigger. A fully automatic firearm (sometimes called a “machine gun”) fires multiple bullets with the single pull of the trigger.[4]




* As of 2009, the United States has a population of 307 million people.[5]


* Based on production data from firearm manufacturers,[6] there are roughly 300 million firearms owned by civilians in the United States as of 2010. Of these, about 100 million are handguns.[7]


* Based upon surveys, the following are estimates of private firearm ownership in the U.S. as of 2010:


 Households With a Gun  Adults Owning a Gun  Adults Owning a Handgun
Percentage  40-45%  30-34%  17-19%
Number  47-53 million  70-80 million  40-45 million



* A 2005 nationwide Gallup poll of 1,012 adults found the following levels of firearm ownership:


Category  Percentage Owning

a Firearm

Households  42%
Individuals  30%
Male  47%
Female  13%
White  33%
Nonwhite  18%
Republican  41%
Independent  27%
Democrat  23%



* In the same poll, gun owners stated they own firearms for the following reasons:


Protection Against Crime  67%
Target Shooting  66%
Hunting  58%



Crime and Self-Defense


* Roughly 16,272 murders were committed in the United States during 2008. Of these, about 10,886 or 67% were committed with firearms.[11]


* A 1993 nationwide survey of 4,977 households found that over the previous five years, at least 0.5% of households had members who had used a gun for defense during a situation in which they thought someone “almost certainly would have been killed” if they “had not used a gun for protection.” Applied to the U.S. population, this amounts to 162,000 such incidents per year. This figure excludes all “military service, police work, or work as a security guard.”[12]


* Based on survey data from the U.S. Department of Justice, roughly 5,340,000 violent crimes were committed in the United States during 2008. These include simple/aggravated assaults, robberies, sexual assaults, rapes, and murders.[13] [14] [15] Of these, about 436,000 or 8% were committed by offenders visibly armed with a gun.[16]


* Based on survey data from a 2000 study published in the Journal of Quantitative Criminology,[17] U.S. civilians use guns to defend themselves and others from crime at least 989,883 times per year.[18]


* A 1993 nationwide survey of 4,977 households found that over the previous five years, at least 3.5% of households had members who had used a gun “for self-protection or for the protection of property at home, work, or elsewhere.” Applied to the U.S. population, this amounts to 1,029,615 such incidents per year. This figure excludes all “military service, police work, or work as a security guard.”[19]


* A 1994 survey conducted by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that Americans use guns to frighten away intruders who are breaking into their homes about 498,000 times per year.[20]


* A 1982 survey of male felons in 11 state prisons dispersed across the U.S. found:[21]


  • 34% had been “scared off, shot at, wounded, or captured by an armed victim”
  • 40% had decided not to commit a crime because they “knew or believed that the victim was carrying a gun”
  • 69% personally knew other criminals who had been “scared off, shot at, wounded, or captured by an armed victim”[22]


Click here to see why the following commonly cited statistic does not meet Just Facts’ Standards of Credibility: “In homes with guns, the homicide of a household member is almost 3 times more likely to occur than in homes without guns.”


└ Vulnerability to Violent Crime


* At the 2013 homicide rate, roughly one in every 285 Americans will be murdered in the course of their lives.[23]


* A U.S. Justice Department study based on crime data from 1974-1985 found:


  • 42% of Americans will be the victim of a completed violent crime (assault, robbery, rape) in the course of their lives.
  • 83% of Americans will be the victim of an attempted or completed violent crime.
  • 52% of Americans will be the victim of an attempted or completed violent crime more than once.[24]


* A 1997 survey of more than 18,000 prison inmates found that among those serving time for a violent crime, “30% of State offenders and 35% of Federal offenders carried a firearm when committing the crime.”[25]



accidents_fatal accidents_nonfatal chicago chicago_handguns dc england florida michigan texas




Just What is a Feminist?

I chose my subject this evening because I read a social media comment which described a feminist as a woman somewhere between an angry alien and a rabid wild animal. Now, I did not respond to the individual because I continue to work for peace and compassion in the world and in my personal world.


In case you are not aware, I am proud to be a feminist. A feminist is a woman. Just like any other woman. There are some differences. Feminists are men and women who believe females are people just like any man is a person.


Feminists  also believe in equality. They believe that both sexes are born equal. Not every man can drive a race car at 100 mph, and not every woman can turn out a perfect Beef Wellington. Feminists do look at the world and see what is wrong and unjust. Some people look and turn away because what they see is horrific. For all of the wonderful people in this world of ours, there are many who are evil.


A feminist looks at what is wrong in the world and sees it and then begins to look at how it can be changed. Whether a feminist man or woman, they will not turn away from the ugliness but will work, speak out, write, protest to change the wrong.


We, as women, have the vote because of women like Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton and hundreds of Suffragettes (feminists) worked to make Congress to give us the vote. They even went to the dire length of handcuffing themselves to the White House fence. They were arrested, and once in jail they went on a hunger strike and the media told the world and we got the vote. This is of course, a simplified version of the tale.




I became a feminist in the seventies. Abuse was the issue that ignited my heart and passion. I do not believe that one person has the right to hit another. Women and children have the right to live without violence and fear. If a woman is the abuser, she needs to face the same consequences as any man who batters.


Women have the right to make their own decisions. To marry or not to. To pick her friends. Men have control over their bodies and the government would never think to tell them what to do with them. Even the man who hires the prostitute is usually protected from prosecution, while the woman is charged and will be in jail at least overnight. The government has repeatedly tried to control women’s bodies and how we choose to use them.


A feminist is a person who feels that women should receive equal pay for equal work. We have never had this in the USA. My sister found out she was making less than the men in her department. She was, justifiably, upset.  She was doing more work than literally anyone in the company (when she left, her duties had to be spread over 5 people), yet she still made less than men with less education. Was that right? No.


Some feminists are wonderful wives and mothers, both stay-at-home mothers and working mothers. It is what they choose to be and that is great. I, myself, have nine grandchildren. I have also marched for Hard Hatted Women. Women who wanted the right to work in construction. It is their right to choose how to support themselves and /or their families.


So, like black lives matter, so do women’s lives. And for those who disagree, perhaps a long look in a mirror would be a good thing to try. Hugs, Barbara



Everyone Needs To Be Heard

I have been monitoring the murder of Freddie Gray and I was glad to see that the protests were peaceful, until yesterday.

Martin Luther King, Jr. once said:  “Violence is the language of the unheard.”

I want to share that I have personally marched and picketed up to 1995, when my husband died.  It was a very difficult time for me, after his loss, and I could no longer use my energy as I once did.  While protesting in Harrisburg, PA; Washington, DC; Cleveland, OH; and Erie, PA, as it happened, the marches and protests I participated in were peaceful.



Black Lives Matter

Black Lives Matter


As my readers know, I am a pacifist.  I believe in Peace, not war.  What does war get us?  Nothing.

I had a conversation last night with a very dear friend, and we were discussing Freddie Gray’s murder, and the protests that were beginning, at that time, to turn violent.  He made me realize that what Martin Luther King, Jr. said back in the 60’s, continues to be true:  If people are not heard; if their words and peaceful protests are not met with understanding and action, with changes for the betterment of all peoples, then there will be violence, there will be bloodshed.

This has been a very difficult time for me, because I do not believe in violence; and yet, I know that if people continue to go unheard, unheeded and undervalued by their city governments, state governments, federal government, there will be repercussions.

My friend is starting a list — he has found, so far, at least 1 young man has been killed by police everyday in the past year.  Not just black men, but hispanic men, asian men, white men; muslim men, Christian men, Jewish men.  Men from all races, religions and creeds.  It surprised and shocked me that so many young men are dying at the hands of our own police, here in the United States.



Black Lives are Important to America

Black Lives are Important to America



It is difficult to comprehend that the police have gotten to a place where they feel they have the right to take a life because they run away, or because they mouth off.  It has been a while since the police have been seen in such a bad light, but the time is here again, when police departments across the nation are losing the confidence of the citizens whom they are supposed to “serve and protect”.

My concept of “serve and protect” is to be able to maturely come to a valid assessment of a situation and to react to that situation with the best of your ability for what is within the law and what is in the best interests of the community.

I live in a suburb of Cleveland, OH, as many of you know, and a short time ago, we had a 12-year-old boy, Tamir Rice, who was playing in a park.  Someone called in a 911 call to say that there was someone acting suspiciously in the park.  A police cruiser was sent to the scene and the two officers killed this child because he was playing with a toy gun.

My heart breaks for this child and his family.  His death is something that they will never recover from, completely.

The arrival of the police and the fatal shots were videoed by a by-stander, and so much was found wrong with the behavior of the police officers, that even in my idealism, I can find no excuse for such terrible behavior.  They shot Tamir within 12 seconds of arriving on the scene.  There was no discussion, no evaluation, no attempt to diffuse the situation.  There was only immediate, permanent death.



Peaceful protests show that people want to be heard.

Peaceful protests show that people want to be heard.



In Baltimore, the protests have become violent and unfortunately no one listened to the people during the peaceful protests which occurred first.  I read a quote once that it takes war to bring about change.

I understand why this was said, but I have to believe that if we just listen to what people are saying, to their honest, peaceful words for peace and change, we can solve this together with all Americans equally voicing their opinions.



UnnecessaryViolence1Unheard people will resort to violence


If the unheard voices do not become heard, we could end up in a revolution within our shores, or another civil war; not state against state, not north against south, but the poor against the privileged, and the disenfranchised against those with power.

I have 9 grandchildren.  I do not want them to have to live through a civil war, or a revolution.

Right now, the majority of the protesters are black and they are protesting the unnecessary death of Freddie Gray.



Anger erupts as people feel they have no other options for their anger.

Anger erupts as people feel they have no other options for their anger.



If police tactics and brutality do not end, there will be protests among every racial, religious and other disenfranchised group in America.  This is never going to go away without Justice; police officers must be held accountable and responsible for their bad choices, and for the murder of people they are supposed to protect.

I want to say how badly I feel for all the young lives which have been taken for no good reason.  I want to say the police are brutalizing American citizens and should be punished for their crimes against the citizens of the United States.

In general, I believe that the police will be given the amount of respect that they give to the people they are attempting to arrest, but even if they are not, it is not right to kill those people.

My message, therefore, to community leaders across this country — to police commissioners and their officers — is to Stop Killing Young People.

If we forget the importance and sacredness of life, then we will become the barbarians that human beings once were.

Black Lives Matter.

Hispanic Lives Matter.

Asian Lives Matter.

Native American Lives Matter.

European Lives Matter.

Middle-Eastern Lives Matter.

Muslim Lives Matter.

Christian Lives Matter.

Jewish Lives Matter.

LGBT Lives Matter.

Straight Lives Matter.

Criminal’s Lives Matter.

Police’s Lives Matter.


We need to start acting like it.

An Artist and A Feminist

This Young Woman Walked Through Kabul Wearing Metal Armor To Protest Street Harassment

Artist-activist Kubra Khademi took to Kabul’s streets in a metal jacket in a defiant protest against sexual harassment.

Gun violence in America

5-year-old boy finds gun, shoots baby brother in head