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“FEMALES & GUNS”, Myths=Excuses / Facts=Reality

October 23, 2012 Comments off

Even though I have shot guns since I was in junior high school, had a concealed carry permit in my lifetime and I support the Right To Bear Arms; I do not support the myth, “I own a gun and that is the best possible method of self-defense. If someone attacks me, I can use it to protect myself.”

Let’s take a look at why not……the facts/reality of such myth. First, I say congratulations! I have heard this comment from females and males on behalf of the women in their lives with a cavalier attitude – all thinking/feeling that if owning a gun is the only sufficient method of personal safety/self-defense. Weapons are advantageous and necessary when situations demand their use. Our military are not equipped with bottles of pepper spray, really loud whistles and table knives. Our soldiers are armed with top-of-the line deadly weapons in order to fulfill their duties to be able to fight defensively during wartime. Good common sense.

Supporting the right to bear arms comes in when you wake up in the middle of the night, you hear a strange noise, having a gun safely in your night stand is a good thing. You will probably have enough time to make a 911 call; get your weapon, gather up enough courage to head toward the direction of the noise and attempt to intimidate and stall him until the police arrive. A gun is a handy when it is used with KNOWLEDGE, GOOD JUDGMENT AND RESPECT. Most important…….it’s best IF you have time to use it.

Realistically, when you are attacked by an assailant, it happens without warning. You are not given the smallest margin of time to prepare your defense. I don’t care what your weapon of choice is you will not be given the time necessary to pull it out and use it. If you are unexpectedly pushed or ambushed to the ground, even if you have your weapon in your pocketbook, it’s not going to help the situation. When faced with predicaments the call for immediate personal safety training/self-defense, only two thing are readily available – your MIND AND BODY. That’s all you have.

Guns are useful in certain situations or as a means of intimidation; the odds of being able to access a weapon in enough time so that it retains its benefits are pretty damn slim. A gun in your safety box or save at your home won’t help you when someone attacks you while you are jogging in the park.

Learn how to use yourself as a weapon and you might not have to worry about owning a gun. This same principle applies to any weapons – including pepper spray, Mace or knives.

Food for thought…….why do you think our military and law enforcement are taught “hand-to-hand combat” extensively in training? Simple answer…….they may not have enough time to draw their weapons to defend themselves in an altercation. They must know how to protect and defend themselves “realistically” with their minds and bodies rather than depending on their weapon.

So, why wouldn’t you do everything in your power to learn how to use your mind and body “realistically” to defend yourself?

Take care and STAY SAFE!

Warning Signs of Teen Dating Violence…

October 15, 2012 1 comment

Warning signs to watch out for teen dating violence include: sudden loss of interest in activities, low grades, changes in appetite, changes in sleep patterns, loss of regular friends and drastic changes in clothing.

Often victims will wear long sleeves, long pants and scarves to hide bruises and marks. If you as a parent suspect that your teen is in an abusive relationship, encourage zero tolerance for inappropriate dating behaviors.

If you suspect that your teen is being violent to their dating partner, talk to them. Let the teen know that love is about respect. Sometimes it is difficult to realize that your child is being mean or violent. Do not allow aggressive behavior in the home. Talk to the teen about emotional abuse and how it is unacceptable in any relationship. You could say something like, “It bothers me when you yell at so-and-so.” Express concern and talk to the teen about appropriate behavior. You may even want to seek professional help for your teen.

Teen dating violence is a problem that parents can help prevent. Talk to teens about the different types of violence. Be alert for warning signs and let the teens know that you care. Most of all, show teens the appropriate way to behave by being respectful and caring towards other people.

Encouraging teens to have healthy relationships before they begin dating is important. Be aware and keep the lines of communication open with teens about their relationships.

Signs of an abusive relationship

There are many signs of an abusive relationship. The most telling sign is fear of your partner. If you feel like you have to walk on eggshells around your partner—constantly watching what you say and do in order to avoid a blow-up—chances are your relationship is unhealthy and abusive. Other signs that you may be in an abusive relationship include a partner who belittles you or tries to control you, and feelings of self-loathing, helplessness, and desperation.

To determine whether your teen relationship is abusive, ask her/him to answer the questions below. The more “yes” answers, the more likely it is that your teen may be  in an abusive relationship.

Your Inner Thoughts and Feelings

Do you:

  • feel afraid of your partner much of the time?
  • avoid certain topics out of fear of angering your partner?
  • feel that you can’t do anything right for your partner?
  • believe that you deserve to be hurt or mistreated?
  • wonder if you’re the one who is crazy?
  • feel emotionally numb or helpless?

Your Partner’s Belittling Behavior

Does your partner:

  • humiliate or yell at you?
  • criticize you and put you down?
  • treat you so badly that you’re embarrassed for your friends and family to see?
  • ignore or put down your opinions or accomplishments?
  • blame you for his/her own abusive behavior?
  • see  you a property or a sex object, rather than a person?

Your Partner’s Violent Behavior or Threats

Does your partner:

  • have a bad and unpredictable temper?
  • hurt you, or threaten to hurt or kill you?
  • threaten to commit suicide if you break up with him/her?
  • force you to have sex?
  • destroy your belongings?

Your Partner’s Controlling Behavior

Does your partner:

  • act excessively jealous and possessive?
  • control where you go and what you do?
  • keeps you from seeing your friends or family?
  • constantly checking up on you?
  • excessive texting or calling you?

If your teen is afraid for her/his safety or has been assaulted by her/his partner please dial 911 or call the National Domestic Violence Hotline, 1-800-787-3224.

Take care and STAY SAFE!

UNC Chapel Hill, NC on HIGH ALERT! A murder and a sexual assault of two students within a week…

September 16, 2012 Comments off

UNC students are on alert, about an attack on a female student.

Chapel Hill Police say they’re looking for a suspect described as “a college-aged white male.”

The police say they got the report Saturday afternoon, and the victim says she was sexually assaulted in the early morning, off, but near the school grounds.

All the students we talked to had already gotten the message about the possible threat.

Nisha Walton read the warning to us, off her cell phone. She and other U.N.C. students got the warning from the school’s “Alert Carolina” about the sexual assault of a female student.

Walton said, “Most of the alerts that I have gotten have been concerning sexual assault on females. I wouldn’t say it’s something that’s common on campus, it’s usually off campus.”

Police say this most recent one also happened off campus, at a nearby home.

On Sunday, Chapel Hill Police patrolled the downtown area close to the school.

Students say they’ve learned it’s best to travel together to stay safe. Walton said, “I usually do group activities on campus, and not go somewhere when it’s like late at night or early in the morning, cause there was an incident when a girl was running and some guy tried to attack her.”

Male students say they’re worried too. Student Reddy says he also got the email saying a woman had been sexually assaulted.

Reddy said, “I am concerned, yeah campus safety is a problem, but I think the campus does have a lot of safety measures in place. And I think they do a good job for the most part. But incidents like these are problematic.”

The students praise the school for keeping them in the loop, even in cases where crime happens off- campus.

Shelby Rawlins, a UNC student , said, “I definitely think that they have to do, they have to be extra cautious. So I think that’s why they put out the email, but I definitely feel, like I feel safe enough.”

We’ve asked Chapel Hill Police for a copy of the incident report, and will release more information as we get it. Police ask people who know anything about the alleged crime to call Crimestoppers at (919) 942-7515.

Meanwhile, UNC is asking its students to keep watching the “Alert Carolina” website for updates. That website is alertcarolina.unc.edu.

UNC-Chapel Hill sent out the alert Saturday warning of a sexual assault reported near campus.

The alert said Chapel Hill police were investigating a report from a female student that she’d been assaulted in a residence near campus in the early morning hours Saturday.

The suspect was described only as a college age white male.

Chapel Hill police Sunday declined to provide any more details.

The campus alert said UNC police were asking anyone with information to call 911 or contact the Chapel Hill-Carrboro-UNC CrimeStoppers at (919) 942-7515. Information can also be submitted online at http://www.crimestoppers-chcunc.org.

Via NBC17

A week ago, UNC lost a fellow student, Faith Danielle Hedgepath:

Chapel Hill Police are investigating the death of a UNC student identified as Faith Danielle Hedgepeth, and at this time they are treating the incident as a homicide.

“Police received a call after the victim was discovered in her residence at 5639 Old Chapel Hill Road, which is the Hawthorne on the Hill apartment complex. Friends contacted police after they located the deceased around 11 a.m,” said Lieutenant Kevin Gunter. “At this point police do not believe this was a random act.”

Hedgepeth was a biology major from Warrenton, N.C, and a waitress at the Red Robin in Durham. She died just three weeks away from her 20th birthday.

WCHL’s Ran Northam was on the scene Friday afternoon and spoke to residents of the Hawthorne on the View Apartments. UNC staff member Dustin Bray returned home from work to find his apartment building inaccessible.

“I just got home and I guess there’s something going on here. I can’t get into my apartment right now,” said Bray.

Bray lives in the 1500 building where the incident took place.

He says he didn’t know anyone in the building but is concerned for his safety and if it is a murder, he says he will leave.

“I don’t know if I can do that or not, but I will break my lease if there’s something like that happening here. I’m moving out. I’m not going to deal with that. It’s right next to my apartment. I will leave.”

Christine Shia resides in the 1400 building which is directly across from where the incident occurred. She says she didn’t know the residents of the unit police were investigating but she says maintenance workers were there working on the unit recently.

Shia says she often saw people out and about, but didn’t know anyone by name.

“Everybody is pretty quiet over there- definitely students,” said Shia.

The apartment complex had not released any information to residents as of 4:45 p.m. Friday.

9/13/12 Update:

Faith’s homicide records have been sealed.

Chapel Hill police have ruled out a self-inflicted or accidental death in the case of UNC student Faith Danielle Hedgepeth — though they have yet to release new details about the homicide investigation.

On Monday, a Durham County Superior Courtjudge sealed several documents pertaining to the case at the request of Chapel Hill police.

Sgt. Josh Mecimore, spokesman for the Chapel Hill Police Department, said the judge sealed multiple search warrants and the 911 call alerting police that Hedgepeth’s body had been found.

As of Tuesday, an autopsy had not been completed. But Mecimore said the preliminary autopsy results — which would likely determine a cause of death in the case — are not public under state law.

Mecimore said police requested the documents be sealed to protect the integrity of the investigation.

“There are a lot of details that only someone involved would know, outside of our investigators,” he said.

“It’s useful in interviewing folks to not have the general public know those details,” he said. “It could compromise our investigation.”

Frank LoMonte, executive director of the Student Press Law Center, said sealing several entire documents — especially 911 calls — is unusual in most cases.  “The law recognizes in very narrow circumstances that it’s OK to seal records,” LoMonte said. “That doesn’t justify a blanket sealing.”

Chapel Hill police have said they don’t believe the slaying was random or that the community faces a threat.

But as of Tuesday night, no arrests or suspects had been announced in the case. A cause of death also has not been released.

Chapel Hill police set up a tip line for people to provide information related to Hedgepeth’s death, and Mecimore said they are investigating leads .

LoMonte said police often benefit from releasing information about investigations.

“When you have an unsolved murder, there’s definitely a duty for either the police to either warn people or reassure people,” LoMonte said.

“You don’t want people to dangle in uncertainty.”

Raleigh attorney Hugh Stevens, of the firm Stevens Martin Vaughn and Tadych, which has represented The Daily Tar Heel in court, said sealing documents in cases like these is not unusual.

“We’ve seen it with some regularity in high profile homicide cases,” Stevens said.

“Generally speaking, the justification is that releasing information impedes investigation into finding the perpetrator.”

Chapel Hill police and Orange County District Attorney Jim Woodall also had several documents — including search warrants and an autopsy report — sealed after the murder of Student Body President Eve Carson in 2008.

“Sometimes it’s very much justified depending on the facts, but you don’t know the facts because it’s sealed,” Stevens said.

Via Daily Tarheel

Take care and STAY SAFE!

Back to School: Spotlighting Campus Crimes and Violence…

July 12, 2011 Comments off

It is time to get ready for campus life, with September right around the corner.  Project Safe Girls wants you to be aware and prepared. Awareness is a good first step toward protecting yourself. Being prepared is the best defense.

Campus crimes occur much more frequently than any of us realize. Crimes on College Campuses and crimes nearby college campuses frequently go unreported and/or under reported. A recent study by The U.S. Department of Justice on The Sexual Victimization of College Women reveals some disturbing statistics. Among the findings:

  • Annually 4.9% of college Co-Eds experience a rape. In other words, the victimization rate is 49 rapes per 1000 female students.
  • When one considers that the average college career now lasts 5 years, there is a 25% likelihood of a rape between Freshman Orientation and Graduation Day.
  • This data becomes more disturbing when analyzed by the number of incidents rather than the number of victims. When the analysis is based on incident count the rate increases by nearly 30%. This takes into account women who have been victimized more than once.
  • Crimes categorized as sexual victimization other than rape touched 3.4%, or 34 per 1000, college Co-Eds annually.
  • This data also becomes more disturbing when analyzed by the number of incidents rather than the number of victims. Analyzed this way, the rate increases by a whopping 397%.
  • 9 out of 10 victims know the person who sexually victimizes them.
  • 71% of sexual victimization of college women occurs on a date – known more commonly as date rape.
  • 88%of sexual crimes against women occur between the hours of 6 pm and 6 am.
  • Sexual victimization of college Co-Eds most often occurs in a residence (on or off campus), with nearly 60% occurring in the victim’s own residence, 30% occurring in other campus living quarters and 10% at a Fraternity.
  • Overwhelmingly, data indicates that women who attempt to protect or defend themselves avoid becoming the victim of a completed rape. While protecting or defending oneself is not a 100% guarantee, it is overwhelmingly the best action to take in order to avoid becoming the victim of a completed rape.
  • In the instances where women used force or a self-defense product like pepper spray, Mace, a stun gun or a Taser, just under 31% of the attempted rapes resulted in completed rapes.
  • Shockingly, fewer than 5% of completed or attempted rapes are actually reported to law enforcement officials. Reasons indicated for not doing so include: Not serious enough to report; not clear a crime was committed; not wanting family or others to know; lack of proof; fear of reprisal by the assailant; fear of hostility by police and fear police would not believe the incident occurred or was serious enough.
  • Another frequent and unwanted violation of women on college campuses is stalking. An annual incidence rate 156.5 stalkings per 1000 Co-Eds is reported. Clearly this is a bigger problem and requires further attention, study and consideration.

If you are assaulted or in a dating violence relationship PLEASE REPORT THE INCIDENT to your campus police department AND PRESS CHARGES!  ALWAYS, ALWAYS, ALWAYS PRESS CRIMINAL CHARGES!  And, I strongly suggest that you go to the local DV or Rape Crisis agency in your college community as well as filing a POLICE REPORT WITH THE TOWN/CITY POLICE DEPARTMENTS!  Cover all of your bases.  Do not leave any rock unturned.

Too many assailants, universities and colleges are getting away with sweeping college crimes under the carpet.  DO NOT ALLOW THIS TO HAPPEN TO YOU!  Remember, YOU DID NOT DESERVE IT!  IT IS NOT YOUR FAULT!

Parents – get involved in your daughter’s safety during college.  Parents or Gals……contact me for details as we are gearing up our tour to bring personal safety training (6 hours on one weekend day) to communities everywhere!  Organizers of training’s will train for FREE!

Take care and STAY SAFE!

Telling Amy’s Story — It’s Time to Talk

December 10, 2010 Comments off

On November 19, 2010, a 20-year-old college student named Jenni-Lyn Watson was killed while she was home in New York for Thanksgiving break. Police arrested her 21-year-old ex-boyfriend, who they say was upset about Watson’s wishes to end their relationship. Police say he had left her body in a park near her home, hidden under debris.

Jenni-Lyn’s murder is a harsh reminder of the tragic reach of intimate partner violence in the United States. It also highlights the timeliness and urgency of a documentary called Telling Amy’s Story. Produced by Penn State Broadcasting and funded by the Verizon Foundation, the film tells the story of Amy Homan-McGee, a 33-year-old mother of two who was killed by her husband in 2001 when she decided to leave him after suffering years of abuse. While Amy’s four-year-old and seven-month-old sons waited in the car with her mother, Amy entered her home to retrieve some of her belongings. Her husband, Vincent McGee, was waiting for her and fatally shot her in the head.

By laying bare one woman’s story and the many opportunities to alter its outcome, Telling Amy’s Story has the power to educate, heal, empower and — most importantly — save lives. Mariska Hargitay had the great privilege of working on the film, and it has aired on nearly 300 public television stations, reaching markets covering 85 percent of the United States population.

Liz Claiborne Inc. is also in the process of releasing data from their 2010 College Dating Violence and Abuse Poll in conjunction with their groundbreaking “Its Time to Talk Day”. The survey found that 41 percent of dating freshmen and seniors have experienced violence and abusive dating behaviors in their lifetime, with more than half of those surveyed saying they have difficulty identifying what constitutes dating abuse.

These statistics from Liz Claiborne Inc., a longtime leader in the fight to end domestic violence, add important new details to what we already know: One in three women will experience physical or sexual abuse in her lifetime. More than 32 million Americans are affected by domestic violence each year. Domestic violence is the leading cause of injury to women in the United States, with women aged 16-24 most vulnerable to intimate partner violence. And three women — women from every walk of life, women like Amy Homan-McGee — are murdered by their intimate partners every day.

Mariska learned about domestic, intimate-partner and sexual violence when she started working on Law & Order: SVU. Viewers started sending her letters: “Hi, my name is Sarah. I’m 42 years old. My husband has been beating me for seven years, and I have never told anyone.” In response to the realities these letters gave voice to, Mariska started the Joyful Heart Foundation in 2004.  They have helped more than 5000 survivors find healing, education and empowerment through our retreat and wellness programs, and she is so proud that Joyful Heart is part of a movement that will change the way we talk about and behave around these epidemics.

Telling Amy’s Story and Liz Claiborne’s College Dating Violence and Abuse Poll are making important, bold and timely contributions to that movement. You have the power to do the same. Become the person in your community — perhaps the first, hopefully the first among many — who knows the signs of domestic and intimate partner violence, who knows how to respond to a victim with compassion and wisdom, and who knows how participate in creating a society where perpetrators will not be allowed to abuse with impunity and without consequence.

Learn more about intimate partner violence at LoveIsNotAbuse.com. Find airdates for “Telling Amy’s Story” here. And, most importantly, if you or someone you know needs help, call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) or TTY 1-800-787-3224, or go to TheHotline.org.

You have the power to save lives.

Respectfully submitted via Huffingtonpost and Actress, Mariska Hargitay

Anny Jacoby Invited to Participate in Local Community Initiative to Prevent Child Sexual Abuse

November 15, 2010 Comments off

Anny Jacoby will be participating in the local Chapel Hill, NC initiative for the prevention of child sexual abuse.   Invited by the  Executive Director of the Chapel Hill-Carrboro YMCA from a list of local leaders, Jacoby will be participating to initiate the Darkness to Light Stewards of Children child sexual abuse prevention program and Prevent Now! model, a combined community effort which will assist  in promoting a sustainable and accountable prevention initiative, which will help  better protect all children in the community.

According to leaders from the YMCA:

“One of the most proactive and pragmatic approaches to diminishing child sexual abuse is the education of responsible adults. Imagine a community where adults are actively working together to change a cultural norm – from one where child sexual abuse is shrouded in fear and denial and children are easy targets, to one where every child is better protected throughout the community. Now is the time for our community to be intentional and steadfast in our protective behaviors so that all children can grow up healthy and whole.”

The luncheon is scheduled for Tuesday, November 16, 2010 from 12:00 to 2:00 at Amity United Methodist Church which is located at825 N. Estes Drive, Chapel Hill, NC 27156.

Past participants of Prevent Now! meetings have found it to be an incredibly valuable experience.

Anny Jacoby is an outspoken advocate for child safety, focusing on prevention by personal safety training through both Project Safe Girls and The Realistic Female Self-Defense Company, where she offers training to females of all ages.  Jacoby strongly feels education and awareness should be taught early and expanded through the community through organizations, schools and families.

If you are interested in scheduling Anny Jacoby for speaking engagements, workshops or events in your locality, please contact:

ImaginePublicity    PO Box 14946   Surfside Beach, SC   29587   843.808.0859

Email:  contact@imaginepublicity.com              www.imaginepublicity.com

AWN Pepsi Refresh Project…NEEDS YOUR VOTE!

November 11, 2010 Comments off

AWN Pepsi Refresh Project

From Executive Director,  Sharon daVanport.

Greetings and welcome to the Autism Women’s Network. AWN is dedicated to building a community of autistic females, their families, friends, and supporters who have a place where they can share their experiences amongst a diverse, inclusive, and supportive environment.  We invite you to take a look around and join us today.

Pepsi is giving away millions in grants to refresh individuals and communities, PepsiREFRESHproject.  The PepsiREFRESHproject is looking for people, businesses and non-profits with ideas that will have a positive impact in communities and want to make changes.  Awards range from $5K to $250K.

PLEASE VOTE Daily for AWN Project FAIM [Female Autistic Insight Mentoring]


VOTE Daily for AWN Project FAIM [Female Autistic Insight Mentoring]

If you are a BLOGGER or have your own WEBSITE, please go to our AWN Pepsi Project Page and pick up a widget on the right hand side of the page to place on your webpage. THANK YOU!

AWN appreciates your daily support. Please vote for our Pepsi Grant Project by simply clicking on the following link and casting your VOTE daily: AWN Project FAIM

VOTING for AWN Project FAIM can be done via cell phone: Text* 101500 to Pepsi (73774)

Thank you friends!

AWN’s Project FAIM [Female Autism Insight Mentoring]

AWN Project FAIM [Female Autistic Insight Mentoring] Workshops will be the 1st of its kind.


  • We plan to set up 5 Project FAIM Workshops across the USA which will focus on qualities specific to females on the autism spectrum. Topics will include: peer supports, adolescence, adult life, relationships, vulnerabilities, and successful communications.
  • Project FAIM Workshops will include active supports and information for everyone (autistics, parents, educators, etc.)
  • The participants will meet renowned autistic females whereby gaining valuable insight.

How will the 50K be Used?

Budget Notes: salaries for workshop coordinators
$ 25,000 materials, speakers, rent space for workshops
$ 7,500 web development, maintenance, and online support
$ 5,000 legal fees to secure non-profit status
$ 12,500 administrative costs (incl. transportation)

 

The Jeanne Clery Act, Twenty Years Later: From Admitting to Addressing Campus Crime. Now What?

November 8, 2010 1 comment

November 8 is the 20th anniversary of the landmark Jeanne Clery Act (originally known as the Crime Awareness and Campus Security Act of 1990), named for the first year student who was brutally raped and murdered in her residence hall room in 1986 by a student she did not know. Her parents, Howard and Connie, founded the nonprofit organization Security On Campus, Inc. to steward the law and educate the public about campus safety. A basic premise of their life’s work is that when families send their children to school they have a right to know whether the environment is safe; and young adults who are leaving home, in most instances for the first time, should be accurately informed about the safety of their school.

That is why each fall since the Jeanne Clery Act, institutions of higher learning are required to release to students their Annual Security Reports – listing crime statistics for the prior three calendar years, plus key campus security policies and practices to prevent and respond to crime, as well as support victims and ensure justice. In worst case scenarios, institutions determined by the Department of Education (tasked by Congress with enforcement of the Act) to be in non-compliance may face fines of $27,500 per violation. I want to stress that the Jeanne Clery Act is not intended as strictly punitive legislation. When a school is fined, we all have failed.

Much of the problem, and certainly the solution, can be distilled to effective communication. Institutional transparency and accountability are built upon the willingness and ability to communicate. Thus, the disclosures and practices required by the Jeanne Clery Act provide a lens through which a school’s commitment and understanding of the basic safety needs and expectations of the campus community can be viewed. The Jeanne Clery Act provides a comprehensive framework that, when proactively utilized, engages the entire campus community as genuine partners in safety

The U.S. Department of Justice, in a 2008 study focusing on a recent ten-year period, found there was a 9-percent drop in violent crime, a 30-percent drop in property crime on campuses, and a 5-percent increase in the base rate of pay for campus police. Last month, Assistant Attorney General Laurie Robinson, addressing over 700 participants at a Department of Education conference in Washington, D.C., highlighted the 20th anniversary of the Jeanne Clery Act:

Colleges and universities once considered campus violence as off limits for discussion. Nothing good could come out of acknowledging crime – at least, nothing good for the administration. Meanwhile, those who were victimized were ignored and left to cope in silence, and the rest of the campus was kept in the dark about safety threats. The Clery Act helped to change that… its most positive legacy has been that it’s advanced the debate from whether to address campus violence to how to address it. Colleges and universities now are much more focused on solving a problem than on admitting one exists. This was a huge step in the right direction.

Twenty years on, higher education’s leadership must continue to expand and ensure that a comprehensive strategy reaches beyond campus boundaries. Crime is everyone’s issue. Every student, administrator, faculty member, and staff person on a college campus needs to be motivated to make changes in the campus climate towards violence and justice. Connections within the campus, and especially beyond, must be strengthened, creating a well-coordinated campus safety network in every campus community. There must be sustained efforts to step in as active bystanders, support survivors, highlight other avenues to heal, and assure raised awareness of crucial campus safety issues impacting students on every campus across our country.

The good news is that after many decades of progress — and in the face of continuing challenges such as sexual violence, stalking, and binge drinking — higher education has the leadership and experience necessary to promote practices and solutions for transforming campus culture. For all the tragic news we are faced with, what does not attract headlines are the everyday examples of dedicated, passionate individuals making positive differences on every campus. I can attest to the thousands of allies our organization has in higher education, and beyond, whom we stand shoulder-to-shoulder with when working for safer campus communities for students.

Earlier this year, Secretary of Education Arne Duncan stated how safety was a metric during his tenure as CEO of Chicago’s schools, and that his basic operating premise was “no school can be a great school until it is a safe school first.” These remarks were about bullying prevention for the K-12 education system, but also apply to higher education. Recognizing the importance of the information the Jeanne Clery Act provides for higher education, this anniversary is a poignant time to consider a National Higher Education Campus Safety Summit, bringing together the top officials from the Departments of Justice and Education, student leaders, law enforcement, public safety, victims advocates, and other experts to determine the priorities and resources necessary to implement significant, evidence-based change.

With the 20th anniversary of the enactment of the Jeanne Clery Act, a law that helps to protect over 18 million students each year, let us take stock of our priorities as a nation. In the decades ahead, how can the Jeanne Clery Act be utilized to further a genuine national commitment to transforming campus culture? From the presidents of higher education to the President of the United States, the anniversary is an opportunity to highlight progress which has been made, while setting a course to address challenges and ultimately create safer communities. Campus communities should be an example of our best aspirations and intentions for a civil society. We all should be motivated by this simple fact: great education is meaningless if we are not willing to do our best to protect the safety and well being of students.

Respectfully submitted via SOC’s Executive Director, Jonathan Kassa.

Take care and STAY SAFE!

Living for Today – Erin Merryn’s Strength to Overcome and Heal

November 8, 2010 Comments off

Healing


Eleven-year-old Erin Merryn’s life was transformed on the night she was sexually abused by her cousin, someone she loved and trusted. As the abuse continued, and as she was forced to see her abuser over and over again in social situations, she struggled with self-doubt, panic attacks, nightmares and the weight of whether or not to tell her terrible secret. It wasn’t until a traumatic series of events showed her the cost of silence that she chose to speak out-in the process destroying both her family and the last of her innocence.

Through her personal diary, written during the years of her abuse, Erin Merryn shares her journey through pain and confusion to inner strength and, ultimately, forgiveness. Raw, powerful and unflinchingly honest, Stolen Innocence is the inspiring story of one girl’s struggle to become a woman, and a bright light on the pain and devastation of abuse.

Stolen Innocence is written with conviction and clarity. [Erin Merryn] doesn’t hold back, and I respect her honesty and openness…By the end of the book, I thought I was reading passages from a much older adult than a high school senior. Erin has grown into a strong, wise, intelligent, perceptive, spiritual, caring adult.”
–Susan Reedquist, The Children’s Advocacy Center

Fans of Erin Merryn’s heart-wrenching debut memoir Stolen Innocence were left wondering what would become of an emotionally fragile Erin after her confrontation with the reality and repercussions of being a child of incest and molestation. In Living for Today, Erin chronicles how she cultivated the strength to face her abuser and eventually found relief from years of emotional restlessness, while also igniting the beginnings of a new fearless journey. Living for Today chronicles that journey, which began with the unearthing of private shame, releasing of ugly memories, letting go of guilt, and becoming the mouthpiece of millions of her generation.

In Living for Today, anyone who has felt victimized, ashamed, isolated, and silenced by their abusers will receive a roadmap for self-discovery, forgiveness, and empowerment. With real compassion and wisdom, this book can help readers overcome trauma and live fully and fearlessly for today.

TO PURCHASE ONE OF ERIN’S BOOKS CLICK THE LINK BELOW:

http://www.hcibooks.com/nsearch.aspx?keywords=ERIN+MERRYN

 

 

You can visit Erin’s blog by clicking below:

http://www.erinmerryn.net/

Your Daughters Deserve Assault Prevention Training

November 4, 2010 Comments off

Your Daughters Deserve Assault Prevention Training

I was walking home from school 10 months ago and I saw someone walking behind me. They kept getting closer so I started to run but fell over, the man grabbed me and pushed me into a house and raped me with his friends. I escaped and told my parents but they didn’t do anything about it…I’m just alone.

Could your daughter defend herself mentally, emotionally and/or physically if she were attacked by some thug or someone that she knows? Would she be able to incapacitate a male in order to escape his wrath?

I know, I know……gruesome thoughts but absolutely necessary.  It’s time for parents and kids to get their heads out-of-the sand and face reality.  Assaults, abuse and crime happens every single day and our daughters ARE NOT educated mentally, emotionally nor physically on how to be proactive or how to handle an attack.

As a parent you have to make sure that your daughters have the attitude to successfully send a “stay away” message loud and clear in whatever form necessary to stifle an attack. There is nothing wrong with pumping our daughters full of education, training and internal attitude.

Being a target of any assailant is a true fear many have as females are realizing more and more that victimization does not discriminate.

It goes without saying that every victim’s mind races during an assault. Will I be killed? Will he beat me more, rape me, abduct me or kill me? The level of terror and anxiety is enormous and causes most victims to sometimes act irrationally. Some freeze and become incapacitated from fright. Others instinctively resist and try to fight back. Others will run away if possible. This is what is known as the “fight or flight syndrome/response”. This fundamental physiologic response forms the foundation of modern day medicine. The “fight or flight response” is our body’s primitive, automatic, inborn response that prepares the body to “fight” or “flee” from a perceived attack, harm or threat to our survival.

 

The first thirty seconds are the most critical to a victim’s survival.

What Would You Do?

Most people have never pondered this question for themselves or with their family. How would you react under similar circumstances? How would you react independent or together in your family or with friends? How you naturally react depends on many factors: your sex, age, physical condition, culture, personality, how you process information, how you react under extreme pressure, special training, skills and past experience in responding to aggression. Most people do not know for sure how they would respond to a personal crisis until it occurs. Many are surprised afterward by their behavior as having been heroic, calm, cowardly, or stupid.

Would you try to overpower your assailant? Would you try to escape and call for help? Would you comply with his demands and hope that he doesn’t hurt you? Would you allow him to tie you up? Would you allow him to take you away from your home? Would you risk death?

The response possibilities are endless, but most fall into three general response possibilities. You can resist the assault, comply with all commands; or you can try to stay calm, wait, and resist, comply, or flee as the assault evolves. One thing is clear, there is not one single correct response to a life-threatening home invasion or assault of any kind. The choice is personal, based on your own assessment of your physical and mental capabilities and your belief as to the level of eminent danger.

Sometimes fighting and screaming, especially if there are neighbors or others who will intervene or call the police. It makes no sense to risk fighting if you are physically incapable of doing so effectively. Total compliance sometimes works. The assailant might leave you unharmed and just leave. However, compliance may increase the duration of the assault and therefore increase the potential for further harm. You need to thoughtfully consider how you might act under circumstances and plan accordingly.

It has been proven that with proper education and training a victim has more of a chance of escaping or deterring a potential threat if she is educated and trained in assault prevention.

Again…….What would you do?

Take care and STAY SAFE!