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.
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.
Amy J. Matthews
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
- 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!
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.
This post is for females of ALL ages.
There are two primary types of self-defense methods: proactive and reactive. Ideally, you will employ a combination of proactive self -defense methods and not have to rely on your reactive self-defense methods for dealing with potential violence and attackers.
What is Proactive Self Defense?
As the name implies, proactive self-defense are techniques you use before someone attacks you. Being proactive should prevent a dangerous or violent situation from happening and gives you time to put space between you and the possible assailant. For example, if you’re walking down the street and see someone who looks a bit suspicious or who otherwise makes you uncomfortable you have the opportunity to employ proactive self-defense. You can cross the street so you’re walking on the opposite side as the individual you’re unsure about. You can go into a store or public place if you’re in a location where that is possible. Proactive self-defense gives you the opportunity to possibly avoid a confrontation.
When you’re aware of what’s going on around you and of potential dangers, you have time to think about a strategy if a threat occurs. If an attack seems like it’s about to happen, you can make sure you are ready to act giving yourself a better chance at stunning the attacker rather than waiting until he or she is attacking you before trying to make a move.
Being proactive means you’re paying attention to your surroundings. If you’re walking with your head in the clouds and your MP3 player blaring in your ears, you give up your opportunity to be proactive and avoid a potentially dangerous or violent situation. Get the ear buds OUT OF YOUR EARS unless you are in a gym. Do not voluntarily take any of your senses away at any given time.
What is Reactive Defense?
Once you’ve been attacked, the opportunity for proactive defense is gone and now you must employ reactive self-defense methods in order to get away from the attacker. If someone jumps on your back while walking through a dark parking lot, you’re going to have an awfully hard time digging the pepper spray out from the bottom of your bag and spraying an attacker while he or she is attacking you. (I do not promote weapons such as pepper spray, guns, etc. = false security.)
Once you are being attacked the only thing you can do is react to the situation. You have no time to prepare or possibly prevent the situation from happening. Reactive self-defense techniques include physical fighting and attempting to outrun an attacker.
Now take a moment and ask yourself, would you rather be proactive or reactive? Not a tough choice but how many females actually know or learn how to be proactive? The number of females that know how to effectively protect and defend themselves is a small percentage to those that do not.
Any type or form of self-defense begins with knowledge and education. Prevention is the key, being proactive. Unfortunately we are not born with this knowledge, we are born with instincts but we have to be educated on the correct way to use them and how to physically defend ourselves.
I have a challenge for each of you. For one week, set a “daily” Google alert for domestic violence, sexual assault, rape, teen dating violence, abduction, bullying, stalking, murder and any other form of abuse or assault that you can think of that occurs over and over and over, hourly, daily. Read each alert that you get in your email. I mean go to the link and read the horrific reports that you receive. Read each one at least twice. Feel the pain, the turmoil; go to that dark place and put yourself in the victim’s situation. Then go look in the mirror and look at yourself and tell yourself that you have not been given a “free pass” to the possibility of being victimized. Yes, you are special but you must get your head out of the sand and realize that you are not exempt. If you are not educated, if you are not proactive nor know how to be you don’t have a snowballs chance in hell that you would survive an assault. You see anyone can and is victimized. Victimization does not discriminate.
So what do you do now? The majority of females will do nothing, absolutely nothing. Why? Because they have the mentality that “it won’t happen to me”. This post is meant to be a major wake-up call and I pray that I am reaching someone out here.
Google the murder of Jayna Murray in an upscale yoga store in Bethesda, Maryland on March 11, 2010 . When the report originally aired it was reported that two employees were assaulted and one, Jayna Murray was murdered during a botched robbery which escalated. This crime circulated on Saturday when the employee’s were found by a co-worker. Bethesda, surrounding areas, the entire country – females went into panic mode. How could this happen in Bethesda of all places? How could this have happened to Jayna, she was an awesome, sweet, loving person? And, her co-worker assaulted, alive but would live with this horrific crime for the rest of her life.
The country went into a tail spin, stunning everyone. The media went crazy and females everywhere were actively seeking some kind of self-defense training because FINALLY THEY GOT A WAKE-UP CALL!
Why in God’s name does something terrible have to happen for females to get it? Why does it take horrific crimes to be committed against females that gain media attention to make you/them look past their noses?
We now know that Jayna and her co-worker, Brittany Norwood was not sexually assaulted and Norwood has been allegedly charged with Jayna Murray’s murder. But……..what if? What if these two women were sexually assaulted, beaten, murdered and tied up? Can you even begin to imagine?
Now…..things are quieting down because Jayna wasn’t assaulted and murdered by a male. Females will go about their business and become complacent. SHAME ON YOU/THEM!
Perhaps if a victim is educated and knows how to “effectively and realistically” defend herself it doesn’t matter if her assailant is a male or female she would have a fighting chance. Don’t you think?
In order kids to drive, drivers of any age have to attend so many hours of classroom study and must drive with an instructor a set number of hours BEFORE obtaining a license to drive alone. In reality, what are the states teaching these new drivers??????? Defensive driving! Bingo! While driving you are taught to ALWAYS be watching out for the other drivers, anticipating their moves while driving.
I leave you with this thought……..since we teach DEFENSIVE driving techniques why in the world wouldn’t every female want to be taught HOW TO PROTECT AND DEFEND HERSELF? A car can be replaced, a life cannot whether in a car or from an assault.
Do something for yourself, don’t make your parents “make” you take a personal safety course (that’s another post as to what to look for in an effective course). You are not invincible, you are human!
March 21, 2011 Jayna Murray’s Parents Speak Out on GMA:
Jayna never mentioned the woman, Norwood to them. As the news broke of Jayna’s murder and spread thoughout the D.C. suburb that a killer was on the loose, Mrs. Murray said, “It’s the rumors that kill and it just burns you inside.” The family of Jayna Murray is healing through launching a foundation to remember the adventure seeking young women who loved to go bungee jumping. Jayna’s father reflects upon Jayna’s life stating, “One (Jayna) of the most fearless people I’ve every known in my life and that’s the objective as a father can get. I really admired her for everything she did and everything she represented.”
The family has created the Janya Troxel Murray Foundation to remember Janya’s life. For more information on the Janya Troxel Murray Foundation or to send a donation please send your donation to: The Janya Troxel Murray Foundation, P. O. Box 9492, The Woodlands, Texas 77387.
Keeping Jayna, family and friends in our thoughts and prayers. Blessings.
Your comments, feelings and thoughts are welcome. Please leave a comment.
Take care and STAY SAFE!