Posts Tagged ‘child abuse’

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month and I am proud to have my good friend and colleague Eric G. Young, who is a retired California attorney, as my guest blogger on this personally important subject.  Eric formerly handled family law matters and is a tech/social media enthusiast.  

An Event Of Significance – Domestic Violence Awareness Month

By:  Eric G. Young, Guest Blogger

These days, every month – if not every week or even every day – has one or more events associated with it.  Although they are not holidays in the traditional sense, these events include national or state-recognized advocacy events, commemorative or historical celebrations, and annual education or fund-raising efforts. Some are recognized by special legislation; others are just quirky, highly individualized events (of every kind and type) devoted to a group’s interest.

October is “Domestic Violence Awareness Month,” so this month is no exception.  Sponsored by the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, Domestic Violence Awareness Month had its origins in 1981 as a “Day of Unity,” to organize and empower abused women and their children.  Subsequently, the first Domestic Violence Awareness Month was observed in 1987.  In 1989, the first Domestic Violence Awareness Month Commemorative Legislation was passed by the U.S. Congress. The “Day of Unity” is celebrated on the first Monday in October.

Because so many annual events are recognized, one might find himself or herself anesthetized to yet another commemorative event.  Unfortunately, this may be particularly true when the event highlights something we would all rather not talk about, or from which we would rather look away.

When we consider an event focusing on eradicating violence, however, we are considering something entirely unique.  Violence against a spouse, children, parents, significant other or even companion animals are criminal acts that shatter families.  As a childhood survivor of domestic abuse, I can attest, first-hand, that such acts thrive in the shadows of secrecy, humiliation and fear.

Events like October’s Domestic Violence Awareness Month seek to dispel these shadows, enlighten society and empower victims.  For that reason, it is not just another event.  Domestic Violence Awareness Month is an event of significance we can all agree is worth marking and remembering, speaking out and writing about, listening to and advocating for.  Domestic violence will continue to exist if and only if we convince ourselves not to talk about it, divert our eyes and ears, or let others bully us into submission.

Because of its potential to reach even the most remote parts of our globe – coupled with an ease of using a variety of media in its approach – social media continues to play a prominent – if not pivotal – role in combating domestic violence.  For example, CopyRanter recently ran an article that graphically – and provocatively – illustrated social media’s ability to educate and empower.

Here are a few clips from the article.  We strongly encourage readers to check out the full article here, however, as each of the entries are well worth taking a look.

In an article in the New York Times, it was reported that a bill, written under the direction of the House majority leader, Eric Cantor, Republican of Virginia, would cut $40 billion from the food stamp program over the next 10 years.  It would also require adults between 18 and 50 without minor children to find a job or to enroll in a work-training program in order to receive benefits.

“It’s a sad day in the people’s House when the leadership brings to the floor one of the most heartless bills I have ever seen,” said Representative James McGovern, Democrat of Massachusetts. “It’s terrible policy trapped in a terrible process.”

The measure has little chance of advancing in the Senate, and Senator Debbie Stabenow, Democrat of Michigagan and the chairwoman of the Senate Agriculture Committee, called it “a monumental waste of time.”

Yes, the federal government has budget problems, but children didn’t cause them, and cutting anti-hunger investments is the wrong way to solve them,” said Bruce Lesley, president of First Focus Campaign for Children, a child advocacy group.

This to me, is a sad bill designed to hurt our nations children.  I agree that changes are needed in the food stamp program, but this is not the way to do it.  I wonder how others feel about this?

Did you know that the Domestic Violence Awareness Month evolved from the first Day of Unity observed in October, 1981 by the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence.  The intent was to connect battered women’s advocates across the nation who were working to end violence against women and their children.  In October 1987, the first Domestic Violence Awareness Month was observed. That same year the first national toll-free hotline was begun. In 1989 the first Domestic Violence Awareness Month Commemorative Legislation was passed by the U.S. Congress. Such legislation has passed every year since with NCADV providing key leadership in this effort.

In October 1994 NCADV, in conjunction with Ms. Magazine, created the “Remember My Name” project, a national registry to increase public awareness of domestic violence deaths. Since then, NCADV has been collecting information on women who have been killed by an intimate partner and produces a poster each October for Domestic Violence Awareness Month, listing the names of those documented in that year.

The Centers for Disease Control announced last week findings from a ground breaking study that indicates domestic and sexual violence against American women at epidemic rates that affects “on average, 24 people per minute are victims of rape, physical violence, or stalking by an intimate partner.”  I was shocked to read these statistics.

As the grandmother of two young women, this concerns me.

In the first case brought by a survivor of domestic violence against the U.S. before an international human rights tribunal, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) found that the United States violated the human rights of Jessica Lenahan (formerly Gonzales) and her children. The decision underscores that the U.S. is failing in its legal obligation to protect women and girls from domestic violence.

In June 1999, Jessica Gonzales’ three young daughters, ages seven, nine and ten, were abducted by her estranged husband and killed after the Colorado police refused to enforce a restraining order against him.

Although Gonzales repeatedly called the police, telling them of her fears for her daughters’ safety, they failed to respond. Hours later, Gonzales’ husband drove his pick-up truck to the police department and opened fire. He was shot dead by the police. The slain bodies of the three girls were subsequently discovered in the back of his pickup truck.

Gonzales filed a lawsuit against the police, but in June 2005 the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that she had no Constitutional right to police enforcement of her restraining order. She then filed a petition with the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, saying that the inaction of the police and the Supreme Court’s decision violated her human rights.

In another study, nearly 4,600 U.S. children were hospitalized with broken bones, traumatic brain injury and other serious damage caused by physical abuse in 2006, according to a new report, making child abuse a bigger threat than SIDS.

For more information for California residents,  you can go to the California Partnership to End Domestic Violence website here.   You can locate a Domestic Violence shelter in your area on this website or you can call the 24 hour hotline at 1-800-799-7233.   If you know someone who needs help, you can also call the hotline.

I previously wrote about the California dad who threw his son off of a tour boat in August 2011 and was arrested for child endangerment.  See the post here.  He was convicted of child endangerment and was sentenced to 3 years probation, 1 year in a child abusers treatment program and 180 days in a Veteran’s Administration residential treatment program.

No jail time for California father who threw son off boat – CNN.com.

Are you aware that in 2008, 772,000 children were victims of abuse and neglect?  Nearly 2,000 of those children died. By providing states and local communities with new tools to identify and treat abuse and neglect, CAPTA-funded services will continue to protect children across the country.  Prevention efforts will help parents by addressing high risk-factors like substance abuse, mental illness and domestic violence.

Domestic violence still affects 1 in 4 women in states and territories across the country.  FVPSA funds nearly 1,700 shelters and service programs for victims of domestic violence and their children.  It also supports the National Domestic Violence Hotline, whose staff and volunteers answer more than 22,000 calls for help each month and link victims with the resources they need to rebuild their lives.

The following members of Congress whose leadership was essential to CAPTA and FVPSA’s passage are: Senator Tom Harkin, Senator Mike Enzi, Senator Lamar Alexander, Representative George Miller, Representative John Kline, Representative Carolyn McCarthy, and Representative Todd Platts and more particularly Senator Chris Dodd and Representative Gwen Moore, who were the lead sponsors of FVPSA and who worked so hard to ensure the bill passed this year.

As a woman, I would like to thank the members of Congress for ensuring that this bill passed this year and thank President Obama for reauthorizing this important act too.

Father throws baby out of car onto freeway- no remorse – Instablogs

Posted using ShareThis

This story is unbelievable.  I read an article last evening that stated that the man responsible for this act was not the father of the infant.  Today they are saying he is the father.  Regardless, tossing a helpless infant into the roadway is unconscionable.  What we have heard so far, is that the baby’s mother is a victim of domestic violence by this man and in his anger, he took the child and drove off tossing him out of the car in the middle of the night on a dark roadway.  I am sure we will hear more about this.