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My Letter to Michelle Obama by Amy J. Matthews…

October 28, 2012 1 comment

Dear Mrs. Obama:

I am writing to you today because I respect you very much, and I know how important both the issues of Domestic Violence and the right of everyone to have Affordable Health Care are to you.

I want to introduce you to an amazing woman and advocate Susan Murphy- Milano. Susan is currently dying of Cancer due to the lack of Health Insurance. Everywhere she applied for help turned her down and she was informed that she did not qualify for their services. I know you agree that there is something terribly wrong when a country as great as ours can let this happen to anyone, yet alone someone who has devoted her entire life to saving the  lives of others and without once thinking about what it could mean to her own.

Susan grew up in Chicago, the daughter of a 30-year veteran Chicago Police Detective and Violent Crimes Investigator Phillip Murphy. Susan’s father murdered her mother in 1989 and then turned the gun on himself committing suicide.  His intent was to kill his daughter as well. On the way to the house to try to save her mother something made her take an unexpected turn on the way. This decision is the only reason Susan is alive today. Had she taken her normal route Susan would not be with us now! Susan lived a life of trying to keep her mother alive her entire life and after her mother was murdered she devoted her entire life to saving others.

This most amazing woman is now on her last days after putting up a good fight. I am writing you today because I know you care. I know you care about the women and children in this country, the state of our health care, and every person’s God given human right. It is not just women and children that Susan has saved; there is no gender bias when it comes to abuses towards another.

Susan is the leading expert on Domestic/Intimate Partner Violence, and at the time when she discovered she had Cancer she was already in stage 4. This all happened just as her lifelong dreams were coming true. Susan is the women who mentored Rev. Neil Schori , Stacy Peterson’s Pastor and taught him everything he knows about Intimate Partner violence. Together they created The Evidentiary Abuse Affidavit    which is a legal document that can be used in court as legal testimony even if the victim is murdered or missing.

This tragic news about Susan came just as her lifelong work was getting known. Susan was getting invitations from law enforcement agencies all over the country to come and train Law Enforcement and first responders what to look for when they answer a call, or respond to a crime scene.  She was preparing to start working at a University where she was given Carte Blanche and offered full use of the Universities resources to help her with her work. She did not apply to work at this University they came to her asking her to please come and head this project. Susan was offered her own Television Show which was scheduled to air this winter.  Again she was approached by the producers she did not seek them they sought Susan. These are just a few of the triumphs that have a major impact in the field of Intimate Partner Violence!  Susan was now in high demand all over the country. But her work was suddenly halted in its prime due to her health.

Susan had a good chance to recover had she had the treatment she needed. This is a disgrace and an embarrassment for this Country which I know you and the President both agree. I am so sorry that the President’s Health plan has been fought against and has not been put into place. This is something that may have saved not only the life of this amazing woman but could have saved countless other people both through Susan’s work and the health plan combined.

This is what Susan said when she made the announcement about her Cancer:

“My dreams and hard work are now becoming reality.
In early fall there will be a national announcement about the Intimate Partner Violence Institute with two major universities.

A national conference and training hosted by the Naperville Christian Church is scheduled for the first week of October on the Evidentiary Abuse Affidavit for law enforcement, prosecutors and first responders.

The Evidentiary Abuse Affidavit APP will be at the Apple Store on Monday July, 2, 2012.

Holding My Hand Through Hell will be released nationwide October 1, 2012.

Everything will still happen as scheduled”.

Susan Murphy Milano June 27 2012

Please check out these links and Google her name for more on Susan. I know you will love her as much as I do and as the countless women she has saved

Susan’s Cancer blog Conquering Cancer which she started to try to change the way society looks and Cancer treatment

Susan’s Main Blog  Susan Murphy Milano’s Journal to educate the public on Intimate Partner Violence

Document the Abuse website for the Evidentiary Abuse Affidavit 

Susan’s latest book “Holding My Hand Through Hell” is about her life and what it was like for her growing up in an abusive home.  She wrote this book for the purpose of helping others who are living the same hell that Susan grew up living in.  After reading this book people will know why Susan is the who she is.

See Susan’s other books here

Chicago Tribune article and interview with The Rev. Neil Schori.

Listen here to Rev. Schori interview after the trial of Drew Peterson

Susan Murphy Milano and her work in Chicago. Please watch this video and you will see the great work she has done in the past!

Thank you for taking the time to read this and listen to the interviews.

I would like to invite you to the Facebook prayer page for Susan. You will be in awe of the outpouring of prayers and thoughts of people whose lives were changed just by knowing her.

God Bless you and The President for all the work that has been done and is being done to make our lives better.

Sincerely,

Amy J. Matthews

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Book Release, Susan Murphy-Milano – Holding My Hand Through Hell…

October 24, 2012 Comments off

Susan Murphy-Milano once again has gone over and beyond the call of duty in her most recent released book, Holding My Hand Through Hell.

Susan, a “Success Survivor” herself of victimization and a well known Advocate in the Domestic/Intimate Partner Violence arena takes you on the ride of her life.  Ladies and gentlemen……………HOLD ON! and get ready for the read that you will not be able to put down!

Susan has never been an open book.  She has seldom opened up, never allowing the women in crisis, her close friends nor others to see or hear the damning side of her life that existed from the time she could remember. 

It was nationally known that her father was a decorated detective in the Chicago Police Department.  He killed her mother and then himself after many years of dealing the many forms of abusive power at her mother, brother and herself.   Susan was hell bent that she was going to make a difference in our society and that she does.  Yes, her father was hidden behind the blue badge, everyone covered up for him and/or turned their cheek rather than to slap his ass in jail with charges that would have stuck.

Susan has made sure in her book, Holding My Hand Through Hell that no stone was left unturned.  This book is graphic and extremely detailed, but guess what…..domestic/intimate partner violence and child abuse is graphic, raw, ugly and nasty.  One never knows when it may rear it’s ugly head.  This book can be overwhelming at times but yet……there is inspiration throughout her life that is shared.

I have personally witnessed Susan in “crisis mode” with victims who reached out to her.  Susan is always twenty steps ahead of the assailant, compassionate but firm as she instructs the victim exactly what to do and how to get it done.  Keep in mind that no victim ever died on her watch.  When assisting in solving homicides she is always on target, she would sniff out the perp just like a K9.  Susan doesn’t ever back down, yes she walks the walk and most definitely talks the talk.  When a mission presents itself to Susan she immediately goes into survival mode.  Survival mode is what Susan has known all of her life all too well.  To witness her in this mode is simply breath taking.

Holding My Hand Through Hell also proves to us all that God is always present in our lives and Susan has proved this over and over.  God was with her through every trial and tribulation; God has a purpose for each and every one of us.  We may not understand at the time while in the pain but eventually when we realize the purpose we must act upon it and follow God’s plan.  

Susan’s Murphy-Milano‘s testimony proves that she never gave up on God, she could have but never turned her back on her spiritual Father.  In turn he has used her story to make a major difference in countless lives.

**********************************************************************

At this time Susan is slipping away from us after suffering from Stage IV cancer.

May you feel God’s loving embrace as He wraps His arms around you protecting and guiding you on your journey home.  Blessings my friend.  I love you.

**********************************************************************

Holding My Hand Through Hell is available at:

Ice Cube Press

Amazon

Barnes & Noble

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!

“Red, White & View” – Teen Dating Violence Discussion…

September 26, 2011 Comments off

 

VICE PRESIDENT JOSEPH R. BIDEN TO DISCUSS ISSUE OF DATING VIOLENCE AND SEXUAL ASSAULT AFFECTING TEENS AND YOUNG ADULTS, LIVE ON “THE VIEW,” TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 27

Barbara Walters and Bill Geddie, executive producers of the ABC’s Daytime Emmy® Award-winning talk show, “The View,” announced that Joseph R. Biden, the 47th Vice President of the United States, will be the special guest, live, TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 27 (11:00 a.m.-12:00 noon, ET). The Vice President will focus on the threat of dating violence and sexual assault that continues to exist for teens and young adults across the country. The Vice President’s appearance is part of “Red, White & View” continuing the show’s commitment to political guests and discussions.

The author of the landmark Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), Vice President Biden has led the effort to combat violence against women for over 20 years. He continues the cause today leading the fight from the White House.

Over the past year, in response to the high rates of violence and abuse that continue to face young women under the age of 24, Vice President Biden has refocused his long standing commitment to reducing violence against women specifically on teens and young adults. Under the Vice President’s leadership, the Administration has undertaken a wide range of new and innovative efforts to address the issue. Just last week, in a video message released via Twitter and YouTube, Vice President Biden launched the “1is2Many” project calling on high school and college-aged students to share their ideas on preventing dating violence and sexual assault at schools and on their campuses.

Dating abuse isn’t always as obvious as bruises and beatings. In fact, if you don’t know any better, some of the most common forms of relationship abuse might seem like the way that boyfriends and girlfriends are supposed to act.

That’s why it’s so important that you learn the signs of abusive relationships as soon as you start dating. If any of the signs below are true for your relationship, get help.  The following signs can be applied to abused males as well by girlfriends.  Victimization DOES NOT discriminate.

1. He Constantly Checks In on You

If your sweetie’s attentive and asks you about your life, that’s fantastic. But if he constantly calls you and expects a full report on where you’ve been and who you’ve been with, then something more sinister’s going on.

2. He Lies to You

Relationships can’t survive unless you trust each other, and if your partner abuses that trust by lying to you, it’s a relationship that isn’t worth keeping. A couple of white lies are forgivable. Lying regularly, or lying about important stuff, is absolutely not.

3. He Won’t Let You Talk to Other Guys

Don’t stand for this form of relationship abuse. You’re allowed to talk to anyone of any gender you want. If your sweetie is suspicious of something, he should have a mature conversation with you about it, but he’s not allowed to control your behavior.

4. He Threatens to Hurt Himself

When someone tells you something like, “I’ll kill myself if you break up with me,” they’re using fear and guilt to manipulate you. Any threat should be taken seriously, so speak to a parent or counselor about it. But you don’t have to play along.

5. He Loses His Temper Quickly

Everyone gets mad sometimes, and that’s okay. But if your sweetie snaps at you over the tiniest things and blames you for things that aren’t your fault, then something’s wrong (and it’s not you).

6. He Embarrasses You in Public

No one who loves you (or even likes you a lot) should ever make you feel bad about yourself. Doing it in public – by calling you names or making fun of you when other people are watching – is especially cruel, and you don’t have to stand for it.

7. He Forces You to Have Sex

Sex doesn’t just mean intercourse. It can mean a whole range of sexual activity, including oral sex or even just touching. If your partner forces you to do anything physical that you don’t want to do, get out of the relationship.

8. He Keeps You Away From Your Friends

Abusers are pretty smart. They know that if your friends found out the truth, they’d tell you to get out of the relationship lickety-split. By pushing your friends away, abusers are trying to protect themselves. Don’t let them.

9. He Looks at Your Phone

No one – not even the love of your life – has the right to monitor your calls and texts. And you’re allowed to be in contact with whomever you want (even your exes). If your sweetie disagrees, he’s trying to control you, and that’s a form of abuse.

10. He Does Anything That Scares You in Any Way

This could mean physical violence, the threat of violence, harsh words or dangerous behavior of any kind. Bottom line: if you’re scared to be around someone – even someone you love – don’t be around them any more. Break it off right away.

Take care and STAY SAFE!

 

 

Habit versus Fear…Home Invasion

August 6, 2011 1 comment

At ten o’clock that night, Lindsay had checked that her doors were locked, as usual, before shutting the lights off and going to bed. She assumed she was safe within the protection of her apartment walls. A typical night coupled with a typical attitude. At four o’clock in the morning, Lindsay’s night drastically changed. Her worst fear had crept out of her nightmares and forced its way into her bedroom.

“Don’t make a sound or I’ll kill you…just do exactly what I say” — a ruthless command and a lethal threat on an innocent human being.  This was not a practical joke carried out by a friend.  It was real and it was happening to Lindsay — a tall, think, ultra-feminine woman who had always thought with confidence, “It (rape) won’t happen to me.” But there he was and there she was.

While Lindsay slept a man had broken into her locked apartment and moved silently into her bedroom.  He woke her from a peaceful sleep with the forceful words, “Don’t make a sound, don’t move.”  That statement would repeat over and over in her mind for years to come.

As this angry man, a man that she had never seen before in her life — stood over her in her bedroom; made one last reminder for her not to do anything.  Lindsay’s mind raced back to her self-defense workshop that she had taken, she was reminded of the emphasis placed on fighting back in order to surprise the attacker.

  • Don’t think of anything other than survival.
  • Look for your window of opportunity – it may be as little as five seconds – when he is vulnerable and to use it to your advantage.
  • Fight back.

And that is what she did.  She knew she needed to remain calm, assess the best time for defense, and strike.

Lindsay did just that.  As she watched his body fly across the room, Lindsay was amazed to see the shock on his face.  He was caught physically and mentally off-guard by her blow that she landed him in the chest with both of her feet, using all the force she could gather.  Lindsay had enough time to escape.  As she ran out of her apartment to get help, he ran too…not after her, but away from her.

Lindsay experienced a life-threatening situation.  It is our responsibility to ensure our own safety.  You may be wondering why Lindsay didn’t hear her intruder as there were no noises of a break-in; the man had a key from the previous tenant who lived in the apartment….previous to Lindsay. 

The landlord never changed the locks when Lindsay moved in!

Personal safety is a habit not a fear. I’ve had students tell me that their family members think that they are scared or paranoid because they lock doors even when they are home; when they go out to walk the dog and in their car.  I’ve heard many parents say that having your children’s carton images with their age and name on your vehicle window was not dangerous.  All of us in the personal safety arena agree, IT IS DANGEROUS! Ask any pedophile who wants an easy target.

The fact is, paranoia will freeze you with fear and fear is the most dangerous mindset of all.

  • Trust your gut feelings, your instincts, intuition
  • Be aware of your surroundings
  • Establish and enforce your personal boundaries
  • Exhibit confident body language
  • Incorporate safety tips into your daily routine and life

The benefits of personal safety impact your entire life in a positive manner.  “An ounce of prevention is a pound of cure.”—-Benjamin Franklin

The people who tell you or call you paranoid for being aware and safe are O-B-L-I-V-I-O-U-S!

The impact of being oblivious and not facing the fact that all type of crimes and assaults are happening on a daily basis is an individual with blinders on.  Electing not be educated or taught how to be safe is just downright ludicrous.

ob·liv·i·ous = unmindful; unconscious; unaware

Synonym – absent-minded (so lost in thought that one does not realize what one is doing, what is happening, etc.; preoccupied to the extent of being unaware of one’s immediate surroundings)

There is nothing wrong with being the brightest light bulb in the room!

What do you think?

 

Take care and STAY SAFE!

NANCY FALLING FROM GRACE…

July 9, 2011 8 comments

WWH – An open letter to Nancy Grace.

By Diana May Waldman

Dear Nancy,

You are truly grinding on my very last nerve. You’ve always gotten on my nerves, but as of lately, I can no longer bear to hear your voice. When I think about you my brain conjures up words like, “yellow journalism” and “sensationalist” and of course, “scandal monger.”

The mere tone of your voice screams dominatrix. Hey, and that’s okay. Whatever floats your boat. But, it goes beyond being a crusader, as you have self titled yourself. In my opinion, you more resemble a fire breathing dragon of bullshit.

Would I want to sit down for a cup of coffee with you? No.
Would I want to high five you and say, “Hey, girlfriend!” No.
Do I think you are true advocate for the missing?” No.

I mean, I believe you may have started out that way. But, somewhere along the lines, the glitz, the glamour of it all, the chinking of change filling up your money jar, got in the way. You fell from GRACE.

That couldn’t have become any clearer to me than during your coverage of the Casey Anthony trial.

Being a former prosecutor gives you the right to an opinion, but it never gave you the right to become judge and jury. And an opinion is not the law. Nor is a hunch. While people stayed riveted to the trial of Casey Anthony–the young mother accused of killing her daughter–they formed an opinion. People talked about it and listened for the evidence. But, see, most of us are ordinary people. We don’t have a television show. We can’t warp the minds of people or strong arm them into our way of thinking. You can and you have.

You tried Casey Anthony a long time ago and your verdict was a guilty one. Now, I am not saying that I don’t think Casey was guilty. It’s just I wanted the facts. I wanted to figure out if she was guilty or innocent from my head and not my heart. Everyone wants justice for a baby that died and was discarded like trash. I can’t say with 100% certainty that Caylee Anthony was murdered, because I don’t know. Did the evidence show me that? No. I wish I could say yes, but I still don’t know if she was murdered or killed by accident. But, you seem to have those answers.

See, I think you muddied the waters here. I think you took it too far. You were part of a careless smear campaign that created so much attention to the situation that a jury had to be selected elsewhere. You couldn’t just stick with the facts. You had already brainwashed people into believing that Casey Anthony was guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

When Casey was found not guilty, you painted a gruesome picture for your audience, speaking in that scary story voice of yours, relaying the details of Caylee’s death. Frankly, it was a really creepy bedtime story and you ended it with nostrils flaring and stating, “The Devil is Dancing tonight!” Damn, I just about pissed my pants. I sure as hell hope you didn’t tell that bedtime story to the twins last night. You were on the brink of riling people to the level of vigilante justice.

See, I still haven’t forgiven you for your statements following the suicide of 21-year-old Melinda Duckett. Remember when you interviewed her? You lured her to your show and then…BAM! You do remember, Melinda, right? She was the mother of a missing 2-year-old, Trenton. You peppered her in prosecutor style. You pummeled her with accusing questions and she couldn’t even speak. When Melinda told you that she could not answer specific questions because she was told not to, you replied, “Ms. Duckett, you are not telling us for a reason. What is the reason? You refuse to give even the simplest facts of where you were with your son before he went missing. It is day twelve.”

The very next day Melinda shot herself. Do I think you were responsible for her death. No, I don’t. Do I think Melinda was responsible for the disappearance of her son? I don’t know. Now we might never know. At the time of her appearance on your show, police stated that she was NOT a suspect at the time. My point being, you blew it.

And you made no apologies for it. You simply stated, “If anything, I would suggest that guilt made her commit suicide. To suggest that a 15- or 20-minute interview can cause someone to commit suicide is focusing on the wrong thing.”

You convicted her even after she was dead and went on to say, “I do not feel that our show is to blame for what happened to Melinda Duckett. The truth is not always nice or polite or easy to go down. Sometimes it’s harsh, and it hurts.”

You reached a settlement of $200,000 to create a trust fund for Trenton. Trenton has never been found.

I’ve also not forgiven you for what you attempted to pull during the Elizabeth Smart case. Remember Richard Ricci? He was the guy who was arrested because he worked at the Smart’s home and because he had a criminal background. You repeatedly stated that he was GUILTY. Even went as far as to say his girlfriend was involved in the cover up. You were still openly accusing him, even when he later DIED in custody. How horrible you must have felt when it was later revealed that Brian David Mitchell and Wanda Barzee kidnapped her and Ricci was an innocent man.

When asked if you felt sorry that you accused Ricci you responded by saying,” Ricci was “a known ex-con, a known felon, and brought suspicion on himself, so who could blame anyone for claiming he was the perpetrator?”

Shame on you, Nancy.

I don’t like you, Nancy. And I don’t believe you are a crusader or an advocate for victims rights. You are a wolf in sheep’s clothing. You’re a fraud, a fake and a phony. You’re a sensationalist and a judgmental bitch who has never been held accountable for her mistakes. Over 2300 people are reported missing every single day. Think of all the time you have spent spewing out all your hateful and judgmental bullshit that could have been used to make people aware of the faces and FACTS regarding those who are still missing. Think of all the hundreds of times you said, “TOT MOM” when you could having been saying, “Brian Sullivan, Derrick Hennigan, Tyler Thomas, Brittnee Drexel, Tabitha Franklin, and the names of thousands of others who are missing. Think of all the times you could have reminded your audience of Monica Caison and the C.U.E. Center and help fund REAL searchers. People who are out there searching instead of spewing hatred.

You suck, Nancy. I find you guilty of brainwashing propaganda. I find you guilty of bullying and character assassination. I find you guilty of evoking fear into people and doing it in the name of your Christian God.

You got lost in the money jar. So, say good night, Gracie. Pack it up, shut up and go home and stop exploiting people for your OWN cause.

Diana May-Waldman- Bureau Editor for Worldwide Hippies in Rochester NY. Diana is the author of A Woman’s Song. Her poetry in this book deals with the struggles facing all women and the many facets of being a woman in the world today. She is a strong women’s and children’s advocate. A true example of the Hippie movements continuing growth and sprit. Diana’s activism is an inspiration to many. http://www.facebook.com/profile

It is my honor to have Diana as my “girlfriend” whom I would love to have coffee with.  Thank you Diana for being the voice of reason and for so many advocates who are truly in the field advocating and working to make a difference.  Your work, words and advocacy is greatly appreciated.

Respectfully submitted via Worldwide Hippies and Diana May-Walman, Bureau Editor

Take care and STAY SAFE!

New TSA Screenings Represent a Threat For Survivors of Sexual Assault

November 23, 2010 1 comment

FlyWithDignity.org

For survivors of sexual assault, new TSA screenings represent a threat.  The new pat-downs and body scans can trigger “flash backs” of an assault and traumatize males, females and children recovering from a previous assault/attack.  The new TSA policies and procedures do not even give consideration to the millions of victims and survivors who travel.  This outrages me beyond words which I am sure you have gathered by now.

There is no evidence that those in charge of these decisions even gave a thought to victimization and the effect that these procedures will have or had.  Again, I understand and respect the absolute need for safety but the catch 22 is that there is no guarantee that if an individual agrees to the scan that they will not end up being patted down anyway and groped.  Hence, you are damned if you do and you are damned if you don’t.

For women and men who have already been sexually assaulted, the new screening rules—or just the threat of these rules—present a very real danger. They can be triggering events, setting off a post traumatic-stress reaction. “I started crying. It was so intimate, so horrible. I feel like I was being raped,” an anonymous rape survivor has reported.  Another rape survivor had a panic attack as an agent began touching her leg.

“After a sexual assault, it seems that many survivors have difficulty having their bodies touched by other people,” says Shannon Lambert, founder of the Pandora Project, a nonprofit organization that provides support and information to survivors of rape and sexual abuse. This fear of contact even extends to partners and, often, medical professionals. “A lot of survivors do not want to be in positions where they’re vulnerable. They put up defenses so that they can be in control of their body. In cases like this, it seems like some of that control is going away.”

If that sense of control is violated, it can lead to more than hurt feelings. There’s a physical reaction associated with a triggering incident, and the response can vary from person to person. “It could lead to a person shutting down and becoming noncommunicative, it could result in a person becoming emotionally upset, it could trigger flashbacks, not just the thoughts and feelings they experienced, but perhaps other sensory experiences,” says Jennifer Marsh, director of the National Sexual Assault Hotline for the Rape Abuse & Incest National Network(RAINN).

TSA employees are clearly not trained properly as to how to perform a pat-down WITHOUT humiliating a traveler.  The experiences that are coming forth are heart-breaking and someone needs to get a grip on the TSA workers – the pat-downs are NO JOKE!  We are seeing over and over that TSA employees have no compassion what-so-ever as being demonstrated on a daily basis.

Passengers who decline the scan are subject to a pat-down to achieve that same goal. Again, even if you agree to go through the scan there is no guarantee that you will not be required to have to have a pat-down either.  It’s a pat-down that many travelers say may be more thorough, but is also more invasive and humiliating than previous security frisks. “It was a horrifying experience. I was touched in my private parts, in my genital area, without consent and without warning,” says Erin Chase, an Ohio woman who flies several times a month. (TSA says that all airline officials should tell passengers what’s going to happen prior to a pat-down.)

I will leave you with this thought: “It is acceptable and encouraged that a TSA government official can do something to an American citizen that US military personnel cannot do to a member of the Taliban.”

Things that make you raise an eyebrow, eh?  Hmmmmmm………

Take care and STAY SAFE!