Posts Tagged ‘women’

Domestic Violence Awareness Month
Image by heraldpost via Flickr

As October Domestic Violence Awareness Month comes to an end, I wanted to share with you a YouTube trailer that I came across which tells the story of a young woman’s tragic death at the hand’s of her husband.  Amy Homan McGee was a young mother who suffered years of abuse and control by her husband and was tragically shot and killed by him when she finally took control of her life.

Amy’s co-workers were aware that she was being abused and helplessly stood by not knowing what to do to help her.  Her story can be seen on PBS, or you can order the DVD. While I have not seen the special, nor am I being compensated in any way by PBS or Verizon, who funded this special, from watching the trailer I think that we can learn how to help our co-workers if we suspect they are the victims of domestic violence by watching this story.

In California, employees are protected from losing their job under the California Labor Code 230-230.1 as amended by 2000 Cal. Stat. 487 where victims of domestic violence are protected against discharge or discrimination for taking time off to seek protection orders or other judicial relief to help secure their own or their children’s safety or welfare.  Firms with 25 or more employees must also allow workers job-guaranteed leave to seek medical attention for domestic violence-related injuries; obtain services from a domestic violence shelter, program or rape crisis center; receive psychological counseling; or participate in safety planning.  The employee must give reasonable notice, if feasible.  The employer may require certification of domestic violence: a police report, protection order, documentation from court or from a medical professional, domestic violence advocate or counselor.  To the extent the law allows, the employer must maintain the employee’s confidentiality.  An employee whose rights under this provision are violated can file a complaint with Dept. of Labor Standards Enforcement. They are also entitled to unemployment benefits.  Workers who must leave their jobs to protect themselves or their children from domestic violence – “good cause” under the law – are eligible for unemployment benefits.  The employer’s reserve will not be changed if the employer informs EDD of the circumstances within ten days of being notified of a claim. California Unemployment Insurance Code 1030, 1032, 1256.  For more information about breaking the silence on domestic violence, click here.

If you are the victim of domestic violence or you are the co-worker of a victim of domestic violence, I hope that the above information is helpful to you and that you are aware of the help that is available.  A great place to start is at the California Partnership to End Domestic Violence.

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Did you know that women make up nearly 50 percent of the American workforce, and in almost two thirds of American families women are the primary or co-breadwinner. But even in 2010, women only earn 77 cents on the dollar compared to men, and women are still underrepresented in the highest levels of management.

Here are just a few of the important steps the Obama Administration has taken to help support women throughout their education and careers:

Train and educate women for quality jobs. The President has focused on opportunities for training and educating all Americans for the jobs of the future. For example, women, who make up the vast majority of nurses and about half of all medical school enrollees, will benefit from the $320 million in healthcare workforce development grants in the Affordable Care Act.

Promote economic expansion and job growth for women. Under the Recovery Act, nearly 12,000 SBA loans have been made to women-owned small businesses, helping to get much needed capital into the hands of women entrepreneurs.

Support working women at home and in their jobs. Through the Recovery Act’s Make Work Pay tax credit, 74 million American women had an average of $600 more in their pocketbooks in 2009. In addition, the President proposed nearly doubling the Child and Dependant Care Tax Credit for middle class Americans. The President is committed to equal pay for women; in fact the first bill he signed into law was the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act.

Support women in retirement and between jobs. From July 2008 to August 2010, 6.9 million women and their families were helped by the extension of unemployment insurance. Social Security plays a vital role for retired women who make up 58 percent of all beneficiaries, and President Obama is committed to strengthening and protecting it.

Amplify’d from www.whitehouse.gov

Women are a growing share of our workforce, our entrepreneurs, and our innovators. As the majority of college graduates and nearly 50 percent of the workforce, women are in the position to drive our 21st century economy. Women are an increasing share of breadwinners for their families. In almost two thirds of American families, women are either the primary or co-breadwinner. 

The fact is that women also face a number of longer-term challenges to workforce participation including the wage gap and female underrepresentation in higher levels of management. Further, specific groups of women including single mothers, retirees and minorities face additional challenges.

The NEC report outlines the economic landscape for women today and details many of the ways the Obama Administration is committed to strengthening America’s economy and providing opportunities for women across the country.  The Administration has implemented and proposed policies that form a comprehensive plan to support women at all stages of their education and careers. For example, we have a number of polices that focus on training and educating women to prepare them with the tools and education to compete in the workforce. In addition, women owned businesses have benefitted from the Obama Administration policies including tax credits through the Small Business Jobs Bill, the HIRE Act, the Recovery Act and the TANF Emergency Contingency Fund. 

For these reasons and many others, I am proud of this Administration’s efforts on behalf of women.  As you may know, the first bill signed by President Obama was the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act. Shortly thereafter the President and this Administration appointed 2 women to the Supreme Court, strengthened Title IX and Equal Pay enforcement, and increased funding to help victims of domestic violence.  In my role as Chair of the White House Council on Women and Girls, we have strived to make sure that all of the President’s major initiatives have helped women – from the Recovery Act, to the Affordable Care Act, and Wall Street Reform.

We understand that times are tough and there are many challenges ahead.  But, we also know that together we can make a better future for the next generation of women.

Valerie Jarrett is Senior Advisor to the President and Chair of the White House Council on Women and Girls

Read more at www.whitehouse.gov

 

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month, otherwise known as DVAM.  As domestic violence is on the increase, I wanted to focus on two groups, teens and returning war veterans.

TEENS AND WHERE THEY CAN TURN FOR HELP  

Many teens do not understand or recognize the signs of abuse and don’t know where to turn for help.  For instance, in a healthy relationship, you would never feel guilty about having your own friends and interests, feel pressured to spend time with your boyfriend/girlfriend when you would rather be doing something else, keep opinions or comments to yourself to keep the peace, or change your behavior to avoid fighting with your boyfriend/girlfriend.  If you have questions about whether your relationship is a healthy one, there is confidential help available.

Loveisrespect.org is designed to assist teens and young adults using the technology they use the most, the phone, the web and chat.  There is anonymous 24/7 help available to young men and women, along with their friends and families, by phone at 866-331-9474 or TTY 866-331-8453.  They can also chat in a one-on-one, confidential conversation with a peer advocate between the hours of 4 pm and 2 am.  All advocates are trained to offer crisis intervention, safety planning, and referrals from a database of over 4,500 resource providers.

Educating our youth about domestic violence is important to break the cycle of abuse.  If you are a teen or parent of a teen and you have any concerns, there is a wealth of information available at loveisrespect.org.

VETERANS AND THE HELP AVAILABLE

As our young men and women begin returning home from the war, there are many adjustments for them and their families.  The experience of combat may lead to startle responses or trauma triggers.  Flashbacks and nightmares can interrupt sleep and normal activities, and they can be upsetting not only to the veteran but their families.

Witnessjustice.org is a national nonprofit organization that provides support and advocacy for victims of violence and trauma.  They can be reached at 800-4WJ-HELP.  At their website you will find specific help for U.S. Military personnel and families affected by the conflicts of Iran and Afghanistan. One of the organizations available for veterans is Giveanhour.org which gives free confidential mental health services for these veterans and their families.

Also available is the ComingHomeProject.net.  There programs are also free to U.S. Military personnel and their families and is confidential.  Cominghomeproject.net is devoted to providing compassionate expert care, support, education, and stress management tools for Iraq and Afghanistan veterans, service members, their families, and their service providers.

In past war times, when our veterans returned home there was no place for them or their families to get assistance that was confidential.  Now, there is assistance and at no cost to our veterans.

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BEVERLY HILLS, CA - FEBRUARY 15:  (FILE PHOTO)...
Image by Getty Images via @daylife

I am sure by now you have all heard some, if not all, of the recordings released in which Mel Gibson is allegedly ranting and raving at his baby mama.  While I have never condoned domestic violence and have written many times about it and how it seems to be increasing among celebrities and even amongst the legal community itself, I am having a hard time with what is going on in this matter.

Mel Gibson has so far, remained very quiet about these recordings.  I read today that the police are now opening a case and reviewing the allegations against Mr. Gibson.  Apparently, these recordings were part of a child custody dispute between Mr. Gibson and Oksana Grigorieva and were sealed.  The police have now received a copy of this sealed recording.

As someone who works in the legal field, my question is when and how were these recordings made?  Did Ms.  Grigorieva have a court order that allowed her to record Mr. Gibson or were these recordings made without his knowledge?  Don’t get me wrong, if the recordings that have been released are in fact accurate and if there is domestic violence of Ms. Grigorieva by Mr. Gibson, he should be held accountable, no matter how wonderful an actor he is.  Abusing another human being should never be tolerated!  What should also not be tolerated is illegal recordings of another and then these recordings being leaked to the public.  It will be interesting to see how this matter moves forward and believe me, I will be paying attention to it.

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Did you know that according to the Greeting Card Association, an estimated one billion valentine cards are sent each year, making Valentine’s Day the second largest card-sending holiday of the year. (An estimated 2.6 billion cards are sent for Christmas.)

Approximately 85 percent of all valentines are purchased by women. In addition to the United States, Valentine’s Day is celebrated in Canada, Mexico, the United Kingdom, France, and Australia.

Valentine greetings were popular as far back as the Middle Ages (written Valentine’s didn’t begin to appear until after 1400), and the oldest known Valentine card is on display at the British Museum. The first commercial Valentine’s Day greeting cards produced in the U.S. were created in the 1840s by Esther A. Howland. Howland, known as the Mother of the Valentine, made elaborate creations with real lace, ribbons and colorful pictures known as “scrap”.

This does not include the flowers or candy sent for Valentine’s Day.  One has to wonder with our economy the way it is this year, how it will affect the sales of cards, candy and flowers.  How will you celebrate Valentine’s Day this year, or will you?