Displaced by Violence, Columbian Women build their own City


Traditionally women have been seen as and forced to be second class citizens. All throughout written history, they have been expected to obey their husbands, accept any and all violence. They have been supposed to tolerate adultery. They have been made to feed their families with little or no help from their man. Marriage was a business arrangement to solidify relations between countries, as a mediation between warring clans or families. Marriage also used to require a bride price. Marry my daughter and I will give you 10 horses, 12 goats, and 6 bracelets of silver. We like to think times have changed but women continue to cook, clean, have babies and never speak about anything important.

Violence is happening around the world to men, women and children, but the women and children carry the brunt of the scars of the violence. Women may not look strong, but millions are strong. This is the story of such women and what they chose to do when violence drove them from their villages.

To the bravery and strength of every woman who surmounts her poverty, illiteracy, and homelessness and carves out for herself and her children a better life: I say you are heroines. Be proud of yourselves and children be proud of your Moms. Their strength keeps you all alive. Their bravery has shown the people of Colombia that women and children do matter. It shows that violence does not always win.

Displaced by violence, Colombian women build their own city

 

 

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Are You Being Battered in Your Relationship?


Everyone who is in a healthy relationship knows it will have its ups and downs.  But not all relationships are healthy.  How do you know whether or not your intimate partner is a potential batterer? Let’s look at some truths. Was your partner ever abused as a  child? These children can grow up to be abusers or victims because they watched it while they were growing up.

 

Was their father violent? Violence breeds batters. The batterer will grow up thinking that abuse is a norm in a relationship.

 

Have they ever show violence against other people?

 

Did they physically abuse you or an ex in a past relationship? Physical abuse during dating is a guarantee of abuse in the relationship. There is overwhelming evidence that after one beating there will be more to follow. As time passes, the beatings will become more severe and more frequent. The abuser may begin to also beat the children. In truth, you can’t change them, so don’t marry them or continue in the relationship.

 

Does the batterer play with guns or use them to protect themselves?

 

Does the abuser lose his temper frequently and more easily than seems normal? An inability to handle frustration is a warning buzzer indicating future physical violence. If relatively small frustrations set them off, such as someone pulling ahead of them in traffic, the abuser probably will not be able to handle many of the frustration of a normal marriage or relationship. The abuser will lose their temper and scream or blow their top. Abusers are people who cannot handle frustration and they will turn to violence as a solution to what they perceive as problems. If someone punches walls, breaks objects including ones with great sentimental value to you, or throw items in a rage, they will likely turn on their intimate partner one day.

 

Does the batterer commit acts of violence against objects and things rather than people?

 

Are they cruel to animals including the family pets? If pets often die or run away, this is a warning to you.  Anyone who savegely beats a pet or kills one is a potential abuser.

 

Does your intimate partner drink or use drugs to excess?

 

Does the partner demonstrate an unusual amount of jealousy when you are not with them? Is your partner jealous of family and friends who are in your life?

 

Are you required to spend all of your time with them or do they require to be notified of every place you go during the course of your day? It may feel flattering at first and you will be told it is because your partner just loves you so much and misses you intensely, but it is signal and a way to control.

 

If your partner gives you advice, do they become outraged if you make your own decision?

 

Does your partner seem to have a Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde personality?  Is you partner charming and gracious and the fun person at the party when you are out and a screaming yelling monster at home? Is your partner someone you just can’t please?  You never do the laundry right or cook what they like to eat, or you are a bad cook or housekeeper, you don’t make enough money or look good enough. An inability to be pleased, and tendency to always blame someone else for unhappiness indicates that they are a potential abuser.

 

Is there a sense of overkill in his beatings and in his kindness? Are their actions — good or bad — bigger than life?

 

Do you feel fear when your partner becomes angry with you or someone else? Do you adjust your behavior to calm them down or to prevent them from becoming upset?

 

Do they cling to rigid stereotypes of what men and women should look like or act like? Do they demean you if you fall short of the standards?

 

Do they have a poor self-image? Beatings often occur when they feel that their stereotypical role is being undermined.

 

If you answered yes to any of these questions, then you may be in an abusive relationship. It will not improve and you and any children should get out. No matter where you live, here in America or in another country, find out what options you have. Make a go bag. Pack clothes, money, passport, medical information, medications for you and children, don’t hesitate to flee. Your life may depend on it. Find out what support you can receive from the legal system and use it. Show your children that no one ever has a right to hit, slap, kick, or punch you or them. Many places have domestic violence shelters that will house you, give you options, talk with the children, give you ideas about a job or an apartment. The volunteers and staff in these shelters are often victims themselves.. Even if they are not themselves survivors, these people are trained to know how to help ou save yourself and your children.  They will help you through the entire process.

 

Namaste

Barbara

 

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DV used to be called the "silent scream" Speak up now for your life and your children's lives..

DV used to be called the “silent scream”
Speak up now for your life and your children’s lives..

 

 

 

Freedom from fear and violence

Freedom from fear and violence

Protests against Cologne Sex Attacks


Violence and fear are the way some people try to control others.  Woman are often the victims of male hatred. Rape has no connection to sex. It is a political weapon in times of war. In the everyday, it is all about power and control. It is also part of the global war against women. Middle Eastern countries often want complete control of women and that is what they are trying to accomplish.

When a woman is raped she feels violated, humiliated and shamed. Some are angry and some feel that they are dirty. Some will report a rape and some are too ashamed. Some don’t want to be near even a husband or a boyfriend.

All are victims and not to be blamed. None of them should have to hear “you shouldn’t have been there” or “your skirt was too short” or “a group of women out like that, in the night, are just asking for it”. She shouldn’t be shamed, must not be blamed for the power hungry cowardly acts of the men who treat women like possessions and do not recognize that women are people to be treated with respect. The women raped in this story will need time and support to heal from this trauma.

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Police clash with protesters angry about Cologne sex attacks

Updated 6:55 PM ET, Sat January 9, 2016

Berlin (CNN)German protesters angry about the New Year’s Eve mob sex attacks and muggings in Cologne, Germany, clashed with police on Saturday.

Cologne police responded with tear gas and water cannons after right-wing groups threw beer bottles, firecrackers and stones at officers in riot gear. Several officers and a freelance journalist were injured, police said, though the extent of their injuries were not known.

About 500 of the approximately 1,700 demonstrators supported Pegida, an organization that opposes immigration of Muslims from the Middle East, police said. A counter protest against Pegida was also held.

Fifteen people were arrested but that number may grow as videos are viewed, police said.

Many of the protesters were angry at police response to the attacks as well as the influx of migrants and refugees into Europe.

“Where were you on New Year’s Eve?” one protester yelled at police “Why didn’t you protect those women?”

Thirty-one people, most of them North African or Middle Eastern countries, have been charged in the attacks. Of those, 18 have been identified as asylum-seekers.

Cologne police said they received a total of 379 complaints about New Year’s Eve in Cologne, with about 40% being investigated as sex crimes. Other European cities reported similar rashes of sex crime reports.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has condemned the attacks in Germany as “disgusting, criminal acts” deserving of a decisive response. But she did not back down on her commitment to welcome refugees who obey German laws and pledge to integrate into German society.

In Cologne, where many of the attacks took place, a police spokesman confirmed that Chief Wolfgang Albers was fired Friday. Albers’ dismissal came amid criticism of his department’s handling of the violence.

One victim of the Cologne violence told CNN there were too few police on the streets to prevent attacks.

“We ran to the police. But we saw the police were so understaffed,” the victim said. “They couldn’t take care of us and we as women suffered the price.”

Spiegel Online reported that groups of men prevented officers from reaching those crying out for help.

“The events of New Year’s Eve like a spotlight once more highlighted the challenge we face in a new aspect that we had not really looked at before,” Merkel said Saturday in Mainz, at a meeting of her conservative CDU Party.

Merkel garnered international acclaim for her decision to welcome many of the hundreds of thousands of Middle Easterners who have made the journey to Europe this year in search of safety, food, work and a better life.

But Merkel stressed Saturday that Germany’s welcome was not unconditional.

“We, of course, expect from the refugees who come to us, those seeking protection, that they have the will to integrate, that they strive for integration,” she said.

Her response showed a determination to avoid repeating what are broadly viewed within Germany as the mistakes officials made with regard to Turkish “guest workers” after World War II. Because it was assumed that arrangement was temporary, virtually no attempt was made to learn (or teach) the language, customs and mores of the new home country.

The mistakes of that era echo through Germany to this day. Generations later, some families of Turkish origin living in Germany do not speak German, and forests of satellite dishes are all aligned to receive Turkish TV broadcasts. Many young third- or fourth-generation Turks lack a sense of belonging, a sense of being German, even though their grandparents were born in the country.

Cologne mayor criticized for advice to avoid men

And Merkel continued to say the newcomers were welcome.

Tough prosecution of wrongdoing, she said, “is in the interest of citizens of Germany, but it is just as much in the interest of the large majority of refugees who are here with us and, therefore, it is absolutely right.”

Those who break German laws may forfeit their right to residency and to asylum, she said.

Germany is going through experiencing recriminations over who should have prevented the attacks and whether someone was asleep at the wheel.

Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere has criticized the response of Cologne police, and German Justice Minister Heiko Maas was among many who expressed disapproval of Cologne Mayor Henriette Reker for advising women to keep “more than an arm’s length” away from unknown men.

Reker later said the comments had been taken out of context.

Cologne police spokeswoman Christoph Gilles told reporters Friday that 170 criminal complaints had been filed related to the apparently coordinated attacks, “at least 120 of which have a sexual angle.”

An 80-person investigative team is looking at 250 videos with about 350 hours of footage, Gilles said.

The 31 suspects charged include nine Algerian nationals, eight people from Morocco, five from Iran and four from Syria, German interior ministry spokesman Tobias Plate said. Two are German citizens, while one each comes from Iraq, Serbia and the United States.

Other German cities experienced similar attacks the same night, including the northern city of Hamburg, where more than 50 incidents were reported.

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.

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

 

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   REST IN PEACE

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

 

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Guns and Domestic Violence


Originally posted at Ms.Blog, msmagazine.com

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!

 

 

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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.

Farmwife


Farmwife

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

 

 

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

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