Archive | June 2014

Workplaces Respond to Domestic Violence

woman with cellphone

Every 9 seconds in the US a woman is assaulted or beaten. Around the world, at least one in every three women has been beaten, coerced into sex or otherwise abused during her lifetime. Most often, the abuser is a member of her own family. Domestic violence is the leading cause of injury to women—more than car accidents, muggings, and rapes combined.

Everyday in the US, more than three women are murdered by their husbands or boyfriends. Ninety-two percent of women surveyed listed reducing domestic violence and sexual assault as their top concern.  Domestic violence victims lose nearly 8 million days of paid work per year in the US alone—the equivalent of 32,000 full-time jobs.

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The costs of intimate partner violence in the United States alone exceed $5.8 billion per year: $4.1 billion are for direct medical and health care services, while productivity losses account for nearly $1.8 billion. In the fall of 2010, the Obama administration launched a new initiative to assist employers to respond to domestic and sexual violence. Workplaces Respond to Domestic and Sexual Violence: A National Resource Center is a new initiative that makes it easier for employers to adopt policies to support and protect employees who are victims of domestic and sexual violence.

The National Resource Center’s website includes but is not limited to: information on work place violence, guns and the work place, and union responses. The new Workplace Resource Center was created by a partnership of seven national organizations led by the Family Violence Prevention Fund.

Serious Computer Users

For further information on the new national center, visit Workplaces Respond to Domestic and Sexual Violence: A National Resource Center’s website at http://www.workplacesrespond.org/.

Photo credit: Microsoft Clip Art

National HIV Testing Day 2014

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It’s estimated that more than 1.1 million Americans are living with HIV, yet nearly 1 in 5 (20 percent) are not aware of their status. National HIV Testing Day (NHTD) is an annual campaign to encourage people of all ages to “Take the Test, Take Control.” This year, National HIV Testing Day is June 27, 2014.

Too many people don’t know they have HIV. In the United States, nearly 1.1 million people are living with HIV, and almost one in six don’t know they are infected. Getting tested is the first step to finding out if you have HIV. If you have HIV, getting medical care and taking medicines regularly helps you live a longer, healthier life and also lowers the chances of passing HIV on to others.

healthy relationships

Getting tested and knowing your status can be a crucial step in continuing to lead a vibrant, productive life and helping end the spread of HIV/AIDS—so get tested.

Source(s): Living Room

Photo Credit: Microsoft Clip Art

Every 9 Seconds

Woman with Man

Every 9 seconds in the United States a woman is assaulted or beaten. Around the world, at least one in every three women has been beaten, coerced into sex or otherwise abused during her lifetime. Most often, the abuser is a member of her own family.

Everyday in the US, more than three women are murdered by their husbands or boyfriends. Domestic violence is the leading cause of injury to women—more than car accidents, muggings, and rapes combined. Studies suggest that up to 10 million children witness some form of domestic violence annually. Nearly 1 in 5 teenage girls who have been in a relationship said a boyfriend threatened violence or self-harm if presented with a breakup. Ninety-two percent of women surveyed listed reducing domestic violence and sexual assault as their top concern.

Distressed

Everyone has a right to be safe. Toward that goal, it is important to create a safety plan. There are many helpful safety planning websites for adult and teenage victims of domestic as well as elder abuse victims. Because October is National Domestic Violence Awareness Month, we will focus on the importance of creating a safety plan for victims of domestic violence in this post. If you are in an abusive relationship, it is particularly important to create a personal safety plan and to share it with others.

 Hurt Woman

Research indicates that if you have been battered in your present relationship, you should understand that you are never safe. Perhaps, you may feel that the abuse has ceased and the relationship is improving because the batterer promised to change. You may even convince yourself that the abuse will end if you are the “perfect” partner. Persons who abuse their partners do not just “stop” the battering behavior. In fact, research indicates that often abusive behavior increases over time. The abusive incidents tend to occur more frequently and the level of violence escalates. As a result, it is critical to create a safety plan.

For further information on the creation of a personal safety plan for victims of domestic violence here is a list of a few very helpful websites: http://www.safehorizon.org; http://www.domesticviolence.org; http://www.thesafespace.org; and http://www.acadv.org; and http://www.thorpe.ou.edu.

Photo credit: Microsoft Clip Art

Legally Confronting Bullying Conduct

asian lawyers

In response to the increasing number of deaths associated with bullying, there have been anti-bullying laws enacted across the country. Forty-four (44) states and the District of Columbia have enacted anti-bullying laws. Seven states have criminal sanctions which attach to bullying. States have created systems to investigate claims of cyber bullying that help police and school officials to better ascertain the circumstances of each occurrence and prosecute or punish the culprits to the fullest extent of the law.

The law enforcement community has responded to this growing phenomenon by seeking to diligently enforce the anti-bullying laws and working with the community to raise awareness about this pressing problem. Additionally, students, parents, educators, administrators, some elected officials and other concerned citizens have been advocating for better laws to address this growing problem. Their collective advocacy efforts have been relatively successful nationwide.

Latino Students

After the death of Tyler Clementi, New Jersey enacted an “Anti-Bullying Bill of Rights”. New Jersey’s recently enacted “Anti-Bullying Bill of Rights” is intended to eliminate loopholes in the state’s first anti-bullying law, enacted in 2002, that encouraged school districts to set up programs to combat bullying but did not mandate it. The new law requires training for most public school teachers, administrators and other employees on how to spot bullying and mandates that all districts form a school safety team to review complaints. School districts will be graded by the state on their efforts to combat the problem.

Under the Anti Bullying Bill of Rights, administrators who do not investigate reported incidents of bullying will be disciplined, while students who bully could be suspended or expelled. School employees will also be required to report all incidents they learn of, whether they took place in or outside of school. The effective implementation of this law should serve to provide children and youth with a sense of safety and freedom from being intimidated or harassed.

Boy Drinking Milk

The Obama administration has joined the efforts to combat bullying. His administration is directing resources for the express purpose of reducing bullying in schools and to raising awareness around its ramifications, and, of course, to countering its negative impact. Toward that end, the White House convened a conference on preventing bullying, on Thursday, March 11, 2011. The Obama administration launched of a new website, http://www.stopbullying.gov, devoted to bullying prevention. There are other resources available to combat bullying including but not limited to: the Cyberbullying Research Center website.

The Cyberbullying Research Center website provides information about the nature, extent, causes, and consequences of cyber bullying among adolescents. The Center’s overarching goal is to bring sound research about cyber bullying to the forefront; and serve as a clearinghouse of information concerning the use and misuse technology by adolescents. (Cyberbullying Research Center).

teenager

For further information on cyber bulling, there are several websites you can visit including but not limited: http://www.fightcrime.org; http://www.bullypolice.org; http://www.healthline.com; http://www.cyberbullying.us; http://www.stopbullying.org; http://www.stopbullying.gov; http://www.isafe.org ; and others.

Source(s): §2 – C.18A:37-13.1 §1 – C.18A:37-13.2 §16 – C.18A:37-15.3 §§17; http://www.njleg.state.nj.us/2010/Bills/AL10/122_.PDF. Fight Crime.org; Bully Police USA, Inc.; Healthline.com; Politics Daily; MyFoxPhilly.com;NJ.com; Cyber Research Center; Stop Bullying, Inc.; i-Safe, Inc.; “NJ Assembly, Senate Passes “Anti-Bullying Bill of Rights’ in Wake of Tyler Clementi’s Death” November 22, 2010, NJ.com; “Rutgers Student Tyler Clementi Commits Suicide After Video Voyeurism”, October 5, 2010, Star Ledger.

Photo credit: Microsoft Clip Art

Fathers Day 2014

Fatherless Children

Parents play an integral role in the development of their children either directly or indirectly. In recognition of the important roles played by parents in the lives of their children, we honor and celebrate mothers in the month of May on Mother’s Day and fathers in the month of June on Father’s Day. This year, Mother’s Day was held on Sunday, May 10, 2014 and Father’s Day is Sunday, June 15, 2014.

Each year, for the past thirty-two (32) years, in the United States, on the third  Sunday in the month of June, we honor and celebrate the contributions that fathers make in the lives of their children. Dr. Sigmund Freud is reported to havesaid that, he could not think of any need in childhood as strong as the need for a father’s protection.

For a growing number of American children, they have not known the love, protection, and guidance of a father. Social science research has shown the devastating impact of fatherless homes on the lives children. Data indicates that children in fatherless homes experience more major challenges in life than those who grow up with a father at home. The following statistics on children in fatherless homes are alarming and should give any father pause when thinking about his children.

Incarceration Rates. “Young men who grow up in homes without fathers are
twice as likely to end up in jail as those who come from traditional two-parent families…those boys whose fathers were absent from the household had double
the odds of being incarcerated — even when other factors such as race, income,
parent education and urban residence were held constant.” (Cynthia Harper
of the University of Pennsylvania and Sara S. McLanahan of Princeton University
cited in “Father Absence and Youth Incarceration.” Journal of
Research on Adolescence
14 (September 2004): 369-397.)

Poems - Hug

Suicide. 63% of youth  suicides are from fatherless homes (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Bureau of the Census)

Behavioral Disorders. 85% of all children that exhibit behavioral disorders
come from fatherless homes (United States Center for Disease Control)

High School Dropouts. 71% of all high school dropouts come from fatherless  homes (National Principals Association Report on the State of High Schools.)

Educational Attainment. Kids living in single-parent homes or in step-families report lower educational expectations on the part of their parents, less parental monitoring of school work, and less overall social supervision than children from intact families. (N.M. Astore and S. McLanahan, American Sociological Review, No. 56 (1991)

Juvenile Detention Rates. 70% of juveniles in state-operated institutions come from fatherless homes (U.S. Dept. of Justice, Special Report, Sept 1988)

Confused Identities. Boys who grow up in father-absent homes are more likely than those in father-present homes to have trouble establishing appropriate sex roles and gender identity.(P.L. Adams, J.R. Milner, and N.A. Schrepf, Fatherless Children, New York, Wiley Press, 1984).

boys

Aggression. In a longitudinal study of 1,197 fourth-grade students, researchers observed
“greater levels of aggression in boys from mother-only households than from boys in mother-father households.” (N. Vaden-Kierman, N. Ialongo, J. Pearson, and S. Kellam, “Household Family Structure and Children’s Aggressive Behavior: A Longitudinal Study of Urban Elementary School Children,” Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology 23, no. 5 (1995).

Achievement. Children from low-income, two-parent families outperform students from high-income, single-parent homes. Almost twice as many high achievers come from two-parent homes as one-parent homes. (One-Parent Families and Their
Children
, Charles F. Kettering Foundation, 1990).

Delinquency. Only 13 percent of juvenile delinquents come from families in which the biological mother and father are married to each other. By contrast, 33 percent have parents who are either divorced or separated and 44 percent have parents who were never married. (Wisconsin Dept. of Health and Social Services, April 1994).

Criminal Activity. The likelihood that a young male will engage in criminal activity doubles if he is raised without a father and triples if he lives in a neighborhood with a high concentration of single-parent families. Source: A. Anne Hill, June O’Neill, Underclass Behaviors in the United States, CUNY, Baruch College. 1993”[i]

7 Handcuffs

If you want to make a meanigful difference in the lives of children and youth in homes where the fathers are absent, you can support the very necessary work of nonprofit organizations such as Big Brothers Big Sisters and/or Boys and Girls Club. Big Brothers Big Sisters has a 100 year history of providing quality youth mentoring services that have proven to have a measurable impact in the lives of: the youth served, their families and their community. Boys and Girls Club’s mission is to “…enable all young people, especially those who need us most, to reach their full potential as productive, caring, responsible citizens.”Every day, these agencies are changing the perspectives of children and enabling them to see the world around them in a more positive light. With that newfound point of view, they can see their potential more clearly and dream bigger about their future. Get involved in a child’s life.

Sources: Boys and Girls Club’s website. Big BrothersBig Sisters’ website. Indystar.com. “Father’s absence takes heavy toll on children”, Editorial, June 18, 2011. “Statistics on Fatherless Children in America”. Wayne Parker, About.com Guide. Photo credit: Microsoft Clip Art.


[i] “Statistics on Fatherless Children in America”. Wayne Parker, About.com Guide

June is National Hunger Awareness Month

National Hunger Awareness Month is held in the month of June. The overarching objective of National Hunger Awareness Month is to educate communities nationwide that hunger exists throughout the year not just during the holiday season. 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. In one of the wealthiest nations in the world, the prevalence of childhood hunger is a national travesty and for many a well kept secret.

For families in need, the summer months present special challenges because they rely on the free and/or reduced school breakfast and lunch programs to provide essential meals for their children during the school-year. These feeding programs are either not available during the summer months or offered only at select school locations making it challenging if not  impossible for many families in need to access. With that said, it is important for us to remember to make donations to local community food banks on a routine basis because countless families often turn to these institutions to help feed their families particularly in these very difficult economic times.

Approximately, one in four children in America is food insecure. As is aptly stated in the materials by Share Our Strength i “No Hungry Kid”, “…their bodies may not be rail thin, nor their bellies bloated like their counterparts in other countries, but they’re at risk of hunger all the same. They lack the energy to learn, grow, and thrive.” It is a well known fact that proper nutrition is vital to the growth and development of healthy children.

Statistics on Childhood Hunger in the United States:

  • According  to the USDA, over 17 million children lived in food insecure (low food security and very low food security) households in 2009. ii
  • 20%  or more of the child population in 16 states and D.C. are living in food insecure households.  The states of Arkansas (24.4 percent) and Texas (24.3 percent) have the highest rates of children in households without consistent access to food.(Cook, John, Child Food Insecurity in the United States: 2006-2008. iii
  • In 2009, households that had  higher rates of food insecurity than the national average included  households with children (21.3 percent), especially households with  children headed by single women (36.6 percent) or single men (27.8 percent), Black non-Hispanic households (24.9 percent) and Hispanic households (26.9 percent).v

These heartbreaking facts about the prevalence and the face of hunger in America have drawn the attention of many people including but not limited to Oscar winning actor, Jeff Bridges. Jeff Bridges is serving as the national spokesperson for the “No Kid Hungry Campaign”. To ensure that every child has the opportunity to achieve success, we must first ensure that their most basic needs are met.

To get involved in an anti-child hunger campaign or to gain further information on the prevalence of childhood hunger in America, visit www.share.org, http://www.feedamerica.org, and http://www.nokidhungry.org.

Sources: U.S. Dept. of Agriculture; U.S. Census Bureau; Feeding America (online); Rhoda Cohen,  J. Mabli, F., Potter,Z., 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; www.share.org; www.feedamerica.org; www.nokidhungry.org; and Food Research and Action Center.

Photo credit Microsoft Clip Art

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iIn 1984, Share Our Strength, was started by the brother and sister team of Bill and Debbie Shore started the organization with the belief that everyone has strength to share in the global fight against hunger and poverty, and that in these shared strengths lie sustainable solutions.

iiRhoda Cohen,  J. Mabli, F., Potter,Z., Zhoa. Hunger in America 2010. Feeding America. February 2010.

iiiNord, Mark, M. Andrews, S. Carlson. United States Department of Agriculture/Economic Research Service, Household Food Security in the United States, 2008.

iv Cook, John. Feeding America. Child Food Insecurity in the United States:2006-2008.

vNord, Mark, M. Andrews, S. Carlson. United States Department of Agriculture/Economic Research Service, Household Food Security in the United States, 2009.