Domestic violence is a private family matter between a husband and a wife.
■ Domestic violence is a crime against society.
■ About 1 in 3 American women have been physically or sexually abused by a husband or boyfriend at some point in their lives. (Commonwealth Fund, Health Concerns Across a Woman’s Lifespan: the Commonwealth Fund 1998 Survey of Women’s Health, 1999)
■ In 1996, 30% of all female murder victims were killed by their husbands or boyfriends. (Federal Bureau of Investigation, 1997)
■ 40% to 60% of men who abuse women also abuse children. (American Psychological Association, Violence and the Family, 1996)
Women and men engage in domestic violence at approximately the same rate.
According to the U.S. Department of Justice, between 1998 and 2002:
■ 84% of spouse abuse victims were females, and 86% of victims of dating partner abuse at were female.
■ Males were 83% of spouse murderers and 75% of dating partner murderers.
■ 50% of offenders in state prison for spousal abuse had killed their victims. Wives were more likely than husbands to be killed by their spouses: wives were about half of all spouses in the population in 2002, but 81% of all persons killed by their spouse. (Matthew R. Durose et al., U.S. Dep’t of Just., NCJ 207846, Bureau of Justice Statistics, Family Violence Statistics: Including Statistics on Strangers and Acquaintances, at 31-32 (2005))
Domestic violence only happens to poor women and women of color.
■ Domestic violence happens in all kinds of families and relationships. Persons of any socio-economic status, culture, religion, sexual orientation, marital status, age, and sex can be victims or perpetrators of domestic violence.
Some people deserve to be hit.
■ No one deserves to be abused. The only person responsible for the abusive behavior is the abuser.
■ Physical violence is against the law.
Alcohol, drug abuse, stress, and mental illness cause domestic violence.
■ Domestic violence is a learned behavior.
■ Abusers choose to abuse his/her partner.
■ Alcohol use, drug use, and stress do not cause domestic violence. The afore-referenced conditions might exist in a relationship where domestic violence is present, but they do not cause the violence. Abusers seek to find excuses for their violence.
■ Domestic violence is rarely caused by mental illness, but it is often used as an excuse for domestic violence.
If the relationship is abusive, she would just leave.
■ There are many reasons why women may not leave. Not leaving does not indicate that the relationship is healthy.
■ Research has taught us that leaving can be very dangerous for victims of domestic violence. Actually, in some cases, the most dangerous time for a woman who is being abused is when she tries to leave.
Domestic violence is not a problem in my community.
■ Research indicates that women worldwide experience domestic violence.
For information on domestic violence, visit the National Domestic Violence Hotline website http://www.thehotline.org or call 800-787-3224.
Source(s): Matthew R. Durose et al., U.S. Dep’t of Just., NCJ 207846, Bureau of Justice Statistics, Family Violence Statistics: Including Statistics on Strangers and Acquaintances, at 31-32 (2005). Commonwealth Fund, Health Concerns Across a Woman’s Lifespan: the Commonwealth Fund 1998 Survey of Women’s Health, 1999). Federal Bureau of Investigation, 1997. American Psychological Association, Violence and the Family, 1996. U.S. Department of Justice. The National Domestic Violence Hotline website. Photo Credit Microsoft Clip Art
Nichelle Mitchem Poses the Question, “Who is Caring for an Ever Increasing Number of Our Nation’s Poorest Children?”
In the United States, child abuse and/or neglect are growing public health issues. The few cases of abuse and/or neglect which appear in the press are only a small part of this pressing public health issue. Many assert that a notable portion of the child abuse cases are not reported to police or social service agencies. What we do know about the prevalence of child abuse is as follows:
• 1,740 children died in the United States in 2008 from abuse and neglect.1
• 772,000 children were found to be victims of maltreatment by child protective services in 2008.1
In response to concerns regarding abandonment, abuse, and or neglect of their grandchildren, a growing number of grandparents have become full-time caregivers for their grandchildren. The 2000 United States Census indicates that 4.5 million of our nation’s poorest children reside in grandparent-headed households and that number is escalating rapidly. Data indicates that approximately one-third of these children have no parent present in the home. The number of children in grandparent-headed households has increased 30 percent since 1990.
Research data indicates that in New York, there are 297,239 children living in grandparent-headed households which constitutes 6.3% of all the children in that state. Twenty-eight (28) percent of these grandparents live in households without the children’s parents present. The literature on this phenomenon suggests that there are probably many more children in informal care arrangements residing with their grandparents than the data can capture.
AARP indicates that the majority of grandparents rearing grandchildren are between ages 55 and 64. Approximately 20 to 25 percent are 65 or older. While grandparent-headed families cross all socio-economic levels, these grandparents are more likely to live in poverty than are other grandparents. AARP materials also state that there are eight times more children in grandparent-headed homes than in the foster care system.
Although the phenomenon of grandparents raising grandchildren is neither novel nor new, this emerging social issue is garnering a great deal of national attention due to its impact on the welfare of an ever increasing number of our nation’s children. The rise in the number of grandparent headed households is due to serious family problems. The reasons for the increase in grandparent headed households include but are not limited to: abandonment, child abuse and neglect, substance abuse, teenage pregnancy, death, divorce, incarceration, AIDS, and the parent’s lack of employment.
Caring for their grandchildren can have life altering consequences for the grandparents. Many grandparents have not planned to raise a second family or may be retired and living on a fixed income. Having sufficient income or resources to provide housing, food, clothing, medicine, and school supplies for their grandchildren may be of critical concern. Research indicates that children raised by their grandparents are more likely than children in traditional foster care to live in poverty, to have special health and educational needs, and to lack access to health care.
While grandparents have played a significant role in the lives of their grandchildren for generations, the increasing numbers of grandparents with responsibility for their grandchildren and the rise in social factors necessitating this arrangement have created millions of vulnerable families with unique needs. For further information on the topic of grandparents raising grandchildren or to get help, please call or visit the website of: AARP’s Grandparent Information Center: 202-434-2296; and Generation’s United: 202-289-3979.
Sources: Children’s Defense Fund website, AARP’s Grandparent Information Center website, US Census Bureau, Generations United website, Children’s Bureau, Administration for Children and Families, Child Welfare League of America, Center for Disease Control & Prevention, National Child Abuse Hotline, Child Welfare Information Gateway, FRIENDS National Resource Center, and the National Scientific Council on the Developing Child.
1. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration on Children, Youth, and Families. Child Maltreatment 2008 [online]. Washington (DC): Government Printing Office; 2010. [cited 2010 Apr 8]. Available from: http://www.acf.hhs.gov.
Photo Credit: Microsoft Clip Art
National Women Build Week is an initiative of Habitat for Humanity which challenges women to devote at least one day to the effort to eliminate poverty housing. National Women Build Week brings together women from all walks of life to address the housing crisis facing millions of women and children worldwide. This year’s, National Women Build Week is being held from April 30, 2011 to May 7, 2011. Habitat indicates that, women build projects are regularly held across the United States and in more than 30 countries.
Women can and do make a difference in their communities by building homes and raising awareness of local housing needs. According to the Habitat for Humanity’s website, this national annual event is typically held the week leading up to Mother’s Day. These dates are significant to many volunteers, as families with children make up a significant portion number of those in need of adequate housing. According Habitat, this national annual event has helped to construct more than 1,800 houses.
During National Build Week, men may still volunteer. This annual event is not about excluding men, but rather including women in being part of Habitat’s tangible and hands-on solution. Volunteer with your local Habitat affiliate. Your support is vital to helping Habitat achieve its mission. As Habitat reminds us, together, we can make safe, decent, and affordable housing a reality for those in need. For further information on this annual event, please visit Habitat for Humanity’s website.
Photo credit: Microsoft Clip Art
Source(s): Habitat For Humanity website.
Food security is necessary to lead a productive, healthy, and active life. It has been reported that more than forty-nine (49) million Americans lack reliable access to the food. Childhood hunger is a growing reality in America. According to the USDA, over seventeen (17) million children lived in food insecure (low food security and very low food security) households in 2009. ii. In one of the wealthiest nations in the world, the prevalence of hunger is a national travesty.
Approximately, one (1) in four (4) children in America is food insecure. The United States’ 2009 food insecurity rates were high for one of the world’s wealthiest nations. Due largely to safety net programs, the 2009 rates did not rise steeply above their 2008 levels. The federal programs that helped to prevent child hunger include Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC); the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP); and school breakfasts as well as lunches. These federal feeding programs provide critical assistance to indigent children, youth, and families in crisis. In one of the wealthiest nations in the world, the prevalence of hunger is a disgrace.
In response to what many have termed as unjust proposed federal budget cuts that will disproportionately impact poor and hungry people in the United States and abroad, a broad based coalition launched a fasting, prayer, and advocacy campaign to protect funding for programs serving the most vulnerable members of society. In the first week of April, it was reported that this public awareness campaign started with over four thousand (4,000) citizens and the coalition has continued to grow.
According to MoveOn.org, more than thirty-thousand (30,000) people participated in a rolling fast to protest what some have termed the immoral budget cuts Republicans are pushing in Washington. The fast participants included twenty-eight (28) progressive members of Congress. By fasting in solidarity, the campaign participants sought to make the suffering of desperately poor children, youth, and families visible to policymakers.
The prayer, fasting, rallies, marches, vigils, and teach-ins held in April were about sending the message that balancing the budget on the back of the most vulnerable persons in our society is simply unjust—and the need for that message has never been greater. The budget agreement—now public—contains cuts to critical programs but does little to make corporations and the rich pay their fair share.
More than half of the thirty-eight (38) billion dollars in cuts target education, labor, and health programs. The worst cuts and riders did not make it into the budget—but some assert that was the plan all along to propose the unthinkable, threaten to shut down the government, and then walk away with cuts that would have been as unfathomable just a few months ago.
Now some elected officials are pushing for a new round of proposals to make far deeper cuts to education, nutrition, health care, and other essential programs—while giving even bigger tax breaks to millionaires and corporations. And this time, after winning so much in the last round, some portion of the elected officials at the federal level actually have a shot at getting every last cut they want.
We, as a nation, cannot address our long-standing fiscal challenges by cutting very necessary programs and services for the most vulnerable members of our state. Instead of cutting necessary programs, we must raise taxes on corporations and the wealthiest members of society. Like the hard working citizen’s in the United States corporations and wealthy Americans must pay their fair share of the tax burden. Additionally, to reduce the deficit, many have called for cuts in the defense department. Many assert that redundancies and overall waste account for a significant portion of the defense budget.
If federal funding for programs serving the most vulnerable members of our society is important to you, it is imperative that you let your elected officials know your position on this issue. To find the name and contact information for your: US Senator, you can visit the Senate Information website at http://www.senate.gov/…/contact_information/senators_cfm.cfm; and for the House of Representatives you can visit this website http://www.writerep.house.gov.
Sources: U.S. Dept. of Agriculture; U.S. Census Bureau; Feeding America (online); Rhoda Cohen, J. Mabli, F., Potter., Zhoa. Hunger in America 2010. Feeding America. February 2010; Nord, Mark, M. Andrews, S. Carlson. United States Department of Agriculture/Economic Research Service, Household Food Security in the United States, 2008 and 2009; Cook, John. Feeding America. Child Food Insecurity in the United States: 2006-2008; http://www.share.org; http://www.feedamerica.org; http://www.nokidhungry.org; “Fasting, Prayer & Budget Cuts”, Business Wire, March 23, 2011; Progressive Leaders Fast Over Budget Cuts, Dayen, David, April 1, 2011; and the Food Research and Action Center. “Historic Spending Cuts the Centerpiece for Final Continuing Resolution (CR) for Fiscal Year 2011,” House Committee on Appropriations, April 12, 2011. http://www.moveon.org/r?r=207753&id=26909-18765278-r3CfB8x&t=4. “Budget deal: Cuts of $38 billion include accounting gimmicks, target Obama priorities,” the Washington Post, April 12, 2011. http://www.moveon.org/r?r=207751&id=26909-18765278-r3CfB8x&t=5
i. Rhoda Cohen, J. Mabli, F., Potter,Z., Zhoa. Hunger in America 2010. Feeding America. February 2010.
ii. “Historic Spending Cuts the Centerpiece for Final Continuing Resolution (CR) for Fiscal Year 2011,” House Committee on Appropriations, April 12, 2011. http://www.moveon.org/r?r=207753&id=26909-18765278-r3CfB8x&t=4
iii. “Budget deal: Cuts of $38 billion include accounting gimmicks, target Obama priorities,” the Washington Post, April 12, 2011. http://www.moveon.org/r?r=207751&id=26909-18765278-r3CfB8x&t=5
Verizon collects no-longer-used cell phones, batteries, and accessories and either refurbishes or recycles the phones. The refurbished cell phones along with three thousand (3,000) minutes of wireless service are provided to victims of domestic violence free of charge.
For many women violence and danger are their constant companions. Research indicates that one in four women will experience domestic violence in her lifetime.[i] Indigent women are more vulnerable. As woman rebuild their lives, the refurbished cell phones serve as a link to supportive services in a time of crisis.
The pervasive problem of domestic violence takes everyone to make it stop. Consider donating your used cell phone— you could possibly save someone’s life. In honor of Earth Day 2011, you should consider donating your used cell telephone, battery, and/or charger. For information about Verizon’s cell phone donation process visit: http://aboutus.vzw.com/communityservice/hopeLine.html.
Sources: [i] Tjaden, Patricia & Thoennes, Nancy, National Institute of Justice and the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention, 1993, “Extent, Nature and Consequences of Intimate Partner Violence: Findings from the National Violence Against Women Survey,” (2000). Hopeline
Photo Credit: Microsoft Clip Art
This year, Earth Day is being recognized on Friday, Apr 22. It is intended to inspire awareness and appreciation for the earth’s natural environment. Celebrate Earth Day everyday. Do not throw out gently used items and goods that are still working and in great shape. Keep them out of the landfill by donating them. When we donate items, our earth awareness can not only decrease the already exploding landfills but also serve to improve the quality of life for many of our nation’s most vulnerable persons. Let’s all be good stewards of this beautiful place we call our home.
Photo credit: Microsoft Clip Art