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Archive for the ‘violent crime prevention’ Category

“Emotional Self Defense”??? #MLK50 #YouTubeShooting….

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Disclaimers: I’m NOT a clinically or credentially  trained professional in medical, mental health, law enforcement and/or  in public safety. IF anyone you know is in crisis and is a danger to themselves or others,  please contact law enforcement immediately, on my previous blog to this one, I have dozens of national links and one global link on my previous blog.

Unfortunately, the above disclaimer wouldn’t have done any good, yesterday.

I’m talking about the attempted potential mass murder and suicide of a shooter at the You Tube Headquarters in San Bruno, California, yesterday.

Her family did the right thing.

And this blog and my intentions isn’t to cast blame on anyone but the shooter.

And ask once again, could’ve anything been done to prevent this, well with initiatives, at least and what they need to look like, at this point.

But because as an activist, while I rely on quotes and the work of Dr. Martin Luther King, to help inspire me. I’m going to look at using some of his work, to help in hopes that at least some of these tragedies can possibly be prevented, that go beyond gun control and mental health awareness, which I believe in, I just don’t believe it’s enough.

On this 50th anniversary of MLK’s assassination, I’m looking to his work tonight, to bring out his wisdom and kindness in such a scary digital age, 5 decades later to see if any of these tragedies can be prevented, possibly.

I had thought yesterday after the shooting and the news coverage, once the shooter was identified as being dead, I’d leave this alone.

I spent yesterday morning running errands and had an afternoon appointment when I came home to decompress and lots of times I do that by watching You Tube, as I have a paid account (YouTube Red) and no cable.

Only when taking a quick break to check on email, about 20 minutes after it started to trend about an active shooter situation.

But the motives and end results, where in this case, one of the victims is still in critical condition, these happen too often with different motives of the shooter and different degrees of horrifying end outcomes.

I spent most of my morning yesterday, explaining in random details to the person helping me run errands, prior to the tragedy yesterday, of explaining why I do something in regards to murder/suicide prevention, as a blogger and activist.

I don’t think I’m the most qualified (hardly), but it’s something that’s now almost becoming a daily horrifying tragedy in the United States with varying opinions arguing who’s the more right but no professional insight from those trained in dealing with abnormal/trauma psychiatry or psychology.

The above quote by MLK I think could do a lot in preventing these tragedies from occurring, as far as teaching forgiveness, kindness and empathy and and how to productively deal with rejection and rage, from the time people are young.

But when talking about this tragedy on Facebook, I brought up something and it’s something to consider.

I have to wonder if some of these tragedies are based in an abhorrent/abnormal mindset of “emotional self defense” of the worst kind.

Meaning people when feeling wronged, it’s okay to be upset, it’s not okay to take away people’s inherent right to peace of mind, not at the expense of others, nor at the expense of human life, EXCEPT when people are in a situation of mortal danger, but some people are not seeming to rationally realize this, at this point.

I have the expression about myself that I’m “damaged but not dangerous” and while there’s a lot of things I don’t like about myself or my life and while I’m pondering if there’s more I can do to be a more productive human being, I can say that trying to help people learn in a constructive way, from my own personal tragedies, may have not led to physical wealth and the ultimate in personal success, but I can feel at least a small sense of pride, that what I went through, it wasn’t in vain.

And I’m not saying that all people should be this way, I do believe people have to find their own way in the world, but whether or not someone is capable of forgiveness, they shouldn’t be capable of such short sighted but irrevocable revenge, especially when it comes to loss of life, in situations that aren’t literally a matter of life or death, if EVER.

As I’ve said before in previous blogs, I use the internet to have some quality of life, I don’t think it’s good for people who even make a living on social media, to make a life or live life on the multiple platforms of social media, that are now available to us.

And that mental health and/or fitness (which yes, it’s possible, even when having different mental illnesses) and agility, is EQUALLY important as physical health.

And also as I’ve said in recent blogs and blogs for years now, on the topic of mass murder and murder/suicide rooted in rejection and rage (or for ANY reason), teaching that there is no shame in getting help for oneself and maybe we need to teach people how to help themselves, get acute professional help, whenever it’s possible, before they hurt and/or kill themselves and others.

So when I’m sad that we live in such a divided angry society with a growing daily body count of innocent others, I’m going to continue to ask myself “What would MLK do???”.

So that he didn’t die in vain and the many people now, who are continuing to die because of deadly violent rage.

And maybe it would help others, to do the same.

Peace….

Note: Blog being published on 4-4-2018. Constructive input welcomed. No hate, please.

And while it makes me nauseous to have to say this, if one can’t find comfort and wisdom in the works of MLK, there’s always Mr. Rogers, K?

Thanks!!!

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At one time, a family of 8, but in the end, a family completely wiped out #hartfamily …

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Disclaimers: I’m not a clinically trained professional in medical, mental health or credientialed in public safety, law enforcement and in social services.

The ONLY reason why I keep writing these blogs about domestic murder/suicides is that they keep happening and there is NO specific initiative in place. I found one murder/suicide initiative that was started 20 years ago, but it was only in respect to female partners being killed by their male partner.

I don’t know how many more people have to innocently die, especially when whole entire immediate families are dying this way, without more initiatives in place for prevention and/or rehabilitation.

I ask respectfully though, I do these blogs, where my immediate family knows somewhat of why I keep doing this, but they are really private people and in hopes of making sense and there being a greater purpose that we went through wasn’t in vain.

But an activist/blogger who purposely doesn’t want a lot of attention and is disabled, I’m limited on what I can do. I hope those who have more resources or stories of where they were in crisis but got help before irreversible tragedy happened or clinical trained professionals in abnormal psychology, can speak up on ideas, if it’s possible for prevention.

I will say my normal disclaimer, if you or someone you love, is in DANGER of hurting themselves or others, please seek immediate acute help by calling 911 (or because I’m read outside of the U.S and North America emergency services in your area or looking up http://www.befrienders.org) immediately.

Editorial Note: This majority of this  blog was written on 3/29/2018, I hesitated in publishing it under the assumption that it was a domestic murder/suicide, even though it had the signs of one until more data was released, that I just caught today. It was unclear at the time of publishing due to conflicting news, of where it is possible that there were 3 surviving children, it still doesn’t change the nature or the point I’m trying to make in the blog, it’s still beyond tragic.

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I had just noticed the story, yesterday. Where a family of 8, where they had MN roots like I do, but were living on the West Coast, that the 2 parents and 3 of their children, their bodies earlier this week were found, after their vehicle had gone off a road into the Pacific Ocean.

Because the family had 3 other siblings, it’s now being suspected they died, as well, even though their bodies haven’t been found yet.

There has been talk because the mothers had a recent child neglect/abuse claim against them, if that was the motive, possibly, of their deaths.

When family and friends of the victims were interviewed, they were noted to be nice people who were activists for positive change, even though some of their neighbors found some of the behaviors in the parents questionable, as far as the children not being taken care of properly.

None of the above am I making any judgement nor at the same time, excusing.

While I remember the good mother I was 20 years ago, I also remember the neglectful mother I became a little over 10 years ago, when in medical and mental health crisis.

While I’ve written many blogs about that period of time, in hopes to remove stigma, I’ve written many more blogs about domestic murder/suicide that involve children, there is one topic that I have NOT brought up when it comes to these horrific tragedies, that I do have to wonder, if it places apart, even though I don’t and will NEVER understand it.

I remember when I was that shamefilled terrified mother of 2, worried about the possibility of my children being taken away, while I somewhat was aware of the fact, that my parents or sisters would never let that happen, I also was terrified if something should happen where my kids would be taken away and be put in a system, where they be physically assaulted or raped.

I knew after having a past history of doing both volunteer work in a battered woman’s shelter and also facilitating a single parent support group, that is hard working as our Department of Human Services staff are, they are extremely overworked, underpaid and underappreciated.

That hasn’t changed since 1988/89 when I was a volunteer at that battered woman’s shelter, in 1998 when I worked as a single parent faciliator of a support group with my local YMCA (when one is considered a mandated reporter, just like I consider myself now, being such a serious activist but responding to personal queries for medical/mh help) and it was the same when I found myself 10 years later, with my own CPS and APS case in 2007 for hoarding and a brief one, post suicide attempt in 2008, where I didn’t fight where my children were going to be, only fought my potentially being committed.

Although my CPS worker in 2007 did see that there was love in my home and my kids’s basic needs were being met and she met with me weekly for months prior to my case being discharged, as well as I was ordered to be in therapy and that manditory cleanup, which she helped participate in.

It’s not for me to second guess that the kids were NOT immediately removed from their home.

If parents seem loving but are struggling, the last thing DHS/CPS  (or any similar agency in one’s locale) is rip kids from a loving home, even if it is unstable and sometimes doing that can be more traumatic for a child and/or children than leaving them with their parents.

The point I’m trying to make and unfortunately we may never know in these circumstances of why this family was wiped out or in other cases where it seemed like loving parents that I’ve wrote about (or even families that I haven’t) take out their entire family including children, is maybe due to some kind of HORRIBLY misguided sense of LOVE.

I can’t even try to wrap my head around that, though.

I can understand where people feel so trapped that sometimes and I’m choosing my words, very, very, very carefully, that suicide can not only feel like it’s the only choice that someone can make for themselves, it’s not necessarily hate based but out of compassion for one’s self, depending on their degree of suffering.

But ending someone elses life, ever or especially in a case, where it’s one’s child or partner, I don’t understand that and am only trying to, identify potential motives in these tragedies,  to be a better activist in the name of prevention of these horrible tragedies that keep happening over and over again.

If I had a chance where I’d have the opportunity, which I will NOW, as far as this blog being written, I’d beg someone to get serious help before hurting themselves and others, let alone killing them.

I’d beg them to see that even in our worst trying times, things can get better, even if it may take a long time, but that no one has the right to take the peace of mind or to take the right of life FOR  someone else.

I don’t see in this case, unless it comes out that the parents involved talked to someone else about the problems and or concern of what the tragic end outcome was in this case, that it could’ve necessarily been prevented.

But for a family that adopted children in hopes to give them a better life, as well as the good things they did throughout their lives (which unfortunately ultimately doesn’t matter, if one or both parents were responsible in the deaths of their children) and for their lives, ultimately, to end in the worst way possible,

I hope this can start a dialogue and a movement for prevention and rehabilitation initiatives, so that this ENTIRE family, like families before them, didn’t die in vain.

It just goes beyond the scope of my comprehension of any one human beings last memory of being murdered, but especially by someone who they love more than anything.

And that’s probably why I won’t stop blogging about this, until major initiatives are in place, for prevention of these horrific tragedies, happening over and over again.

Note: Please, only constructive feedback is wanted. I honestly wish I had more resources at my disposal to do more in prevention than blogging about it. Thanks!!!

Things that are helpful to know for non-locals coming to Minneapolis (and/or Minnesota) for Superbowl 52/ #SBLII……

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http://www.salvationarmynorth.org

http://www.ststephensmpls.org

http://www.redcross.org

http://www.gtcuw.org

http://www.aeonmn.org

http://www.childrenscancer.org/zach

http://www.mnsuperbowl.com

(Trigger Warnings: My opinions are strictly my own. While as a disabled activist I try to raise money and/or awareness for the first 6 above links (the 7th is to help those who are traveling to Minnesota/Twin Cities for the events and/or leading up to Superbowl 52) are/or much different than those who strictly advocate for the homeless and/or affordable housing.

But in NO WAY represent in any manner, other than trying to support non profits, of what I say in my blogs, to try and help others.

Also, I come from the perspective of “respectfully agreeing to disagree”

My hopes are that for those who are visiting Minnesota and/or the Twin Cities area, have a happy and safe time, here, as well as how they can help those who might be in need, if they choose to do so, in the safest and most efficient way possible, is not congruent with other activists who are more vocal and present than I am .

While I defend others right to disagree with me, even with as much at stake when it comes to homelessness and/or public safety, I feel strongly enough to state my point of view, do whatever you feel is right to you, as long as doesn’t interfere with another’s right to feel safe and supported,  whether you are  local or just visiting.

Lastly, my disabilities and lack of income (as well as I’m having technical difficulties, as of late), prevent me from linking websites or videos, in my blogs or breaking the subject matters covered in this blog, into separate blogs.

Safety and first aid tools can be found by using search engines such as Google (I be a “Google Girl, as well as Local 5 local guide for Google under Unstapled Lisa) or helfpul training videos can be found  on You Tube.

But at this point in time, I’m still choosing NOT to monetize anything I do on social media, although at the end of this below, if I can help in a way that’s time consuming, I’m not going to turn down renumeration for my time…

Anyhow…… Thank you in advance, for reading this blog, (hopefully in it’s entirety )as it’s only meant to help…)

Here we go…

The poor disabled blogger who has high end tastes, wants to welcome and empower those who are scheduled or thinking about visiting the Twin Cities, for either Superbowl 52 and/or the many exciting events extended in the Twin Cities area (which would include Dakota/Scott counties, which I’m also familiar with, where concerts promoted by
Nomadic Live at Mystic Lake Casino in Prior Lake, that’s outside of Hennepin (Minneapolis) and Ramsey (St.Paul) counties).

I’ve happened to reside in the core of the Mini-Apple, for the last 5 years. I’ve lived in Minnesota (I was born in Brooklyn about 984 years ago) for the last 43 years. I have lived though, 4 1/2 blocks away from U.S. Bank Stadium for the last 5 years.

Being currently a poor disabled person who should’ve been a successful small business owner, who comes from an upper middle class backround, I kinda have a unique perspective on things.

Where I live and how I feel about Downtown Minneapolis, isn’t any different.

I know what’s great about the Twin Cities and what’s NOT so great.

What I am hoping to accomplish with this blog, is multi-fold:

I want people to have the best possible experience that multiple planning commissions have invested a lot of resources in, that benefits as many people as possible.

Including those who don’t have a voice, which is the nature of most of my blogs and the “armchair activism” that I do on the internet for different causes.

Here are my “Golden Rules” for visiting Minnesota for 52 and/or the activities planned for it (and the beauty is, it could pretty much apply to where you live or anywhere you visit) although the links in the blog are either MN or Twin Cities specific, except the Red Cross one.

1. Treat people like how you want to be treated when you’re at home:

I live super duper close to U.S. Bank Stadium. I don’t live in it, though. If you wouldn’t want people yelling and screaming your neighborhood for ANY reason, at any time of the day, please keep your noise level IN the stadium and/or public spaces where it’s encouraged.

But realize BOTH Downtown Minneapolis and St. Paul, are a mix of commercial and residential properties, sometimes co-existing  on the same block.

Downtown Minneapolis, as well as surrounding suburbs and counties, are very diverse of people of all walks of life. Maybe some people like it loud, lots of us, do NOT.

2. Please do NOT directly feed/finance the homeless:

No, I’m not a jerk. I believe strongly in helping the less fortunate, which is a category I actually fall in, but again, have not monetized ANYTHING I do on the internet (well other than this blog, possibly).

However…. IF everyone I know who claims to care about the homeless, gave to non profits versus a homeless person, directly, could probably house BOTH temporarily and permanently the homeless and less fortunate, dozens of people could have access to both temporary and permanent shelter, for about a year.

Not only that, it does  present a safety risk for the samaritan and it also unfortunately, I’ve seen this happen, provide a safety risk for the homeless person who one chooses to give money to.

If I am to be truthful, I usually if I’m staying in Downtown Minneapolis (or St.Paul) purposely look like a deranged lunatic. It’s not because I get pleasure out of scaring innocent people. I just get sick of being asked for money, sex and drugs all the time (and I’m not laying blame on the homeless for that). I’m just saying, it happens to work for me, just to say that I don’t have any money, whether it’s true or not, isn’t anyone’s business but my own.

I just politely look someone in the eye, say “I’m sorry, I don’t have any money” and quickly move on. I personally don’t feel the need to tell the truth to any stranger looking for something for me and I give, even with being poor both my time and money to those in need. By donating time and money to non-profits.

Again, this is with more than just the samaritan’s safety in mind. But unfortunately, people leave themselves wide open, for the potential to be robbed, because while sometimes, it’s possible, that homeless looking or professing person, may really ONLY needs a quarter, once you open your purse or wallet and give to them, you run the risk of getting asked by another person, who won’t take no for an answer, who sees you do that.

If there is something though, that rubs you the wrong way about those who are less fortunate, the 6th link is for The Zach Sobiech Osteosarcoma Fund at Children’s Cancers Research Fund. I’m kind of the mindset that if I can give to hospital that’s associated with a hospital chain that treats also adults and in my case, this particular adult, like total crap, if you don’t have empathy for those who are poor and/homeless, you can feel good about yourself in trying to help ERADICATE children’s cancers. I picked Zach, in about 9 other blogs that I explain in great detail, previous to this one.

Which brings me to the next topic…..

3. Learn safety tricks and first aid:

There are many videos for those who have time constraints or lack of money to learn how to best protect yourself. Minneapolis and St. Paul are not the U.S. hub of major crime, but it does happen here, like it could ANYWHERE.

I found because of my own disabilities, to feel less helpless and more empowered, to watch accredited and trained people’s videos on safety and first aid, so I would feel less helpless in an emergency or crisis situation of many kinds .

But also know that both the State of Minnesota, almost any city that could expect to have visitors, have excellent trained first responders to help in a true emergency. There’s also 10,000 (yes, you read that correctly TEN THOUSAND) people who volunteered to help visitors get help that they may need to have the best experience as possible, for the activities and/or leading up to 52.

And I’m about to say something that’s kinda contradictory. I do when I see visitors, it’s kind of like my own “random act of kindness” that I do, when I’m out and about, that’s not activism related, will offer to take pics of people who look like they’re tourists (well partially that’s driven by a few people trying to contort themselves to get in a selfie near a landmark and they’re seriously risking an ER visit, okay, I’ll stop being snarky).

Truthfully that’s not a good idea, to ask someone or it’s a risk you take, if someone doesn’t have good intentions, by giving them your smartphone to take a pic.

Also, don’t keep phones, hotel keys, car keys all in the same location, on your person. That way, if something bad happens, which hopefully it won’t, you won’t be out of EVERYTHING, should you get robbed. If you will be traveling with a group people, keep your valued possessions in different places on your person, than the others that you’re traveling with.

But personally, I think it’s a good idea for EVERYONE, who’s capable of operating a digital device, to take the ONE hour of your life, to learn various safety defense actions and emergency first aid. I can get the various reasons why people don’t have the resources to get certified, but I don’t understand how anyone cannot learn something that might save a friend or a loved one, by just investing a small amount of time that provides tools to save one’s life or another.

4. ASK FOR HELP AND/OR INSIGHT, IF YOU NEED IT:
Again, see above paragraphs. But also note, we earned the “Bold North” rep, for a reason. There are many resources for tourists on my 7th link above. While it’s good to have confidence in some things, if you’re new to snow or cold weather, ask for advice from people you trust, the volunteers and the tons of law enforcement or even me.

I’ve been to major cities outside of the Twin Cities, such as Miami/Ft.Lauderdale, New York City (not since my teens, tho), Las Vegas (almost 2 1/2 years ago) and London (England and Paris, France, almost 22 years ago and I’m not trying to be braggy) and got around fairly easily (in da olden days).

As well as I did get around extremely well, for a disabled chick, in Vegas.

While it might feel embarrassing,  even though there’s a ton of help for example with public transportation, and/or  if you’re renting a car, for example and SNOW or extreme cold, is new to you, don’t chance it. You’re not only risking your life, but those who ride in car with you and/or who has to share the road with you.

While a lot of steps have been taken for example, with accomodations, to make them as safe and scam free as possible, if you need help, PLEASE ASK.

Also have backup plans, in case something goes awry. Again, there’s a ton of help offline and you can also ask your social media buds who are local.

I know for me, personally, I’d rather answer the same question, 63,251 times than someone feel stupid and not ask for help and it causes harm to them, a loved one or an innocent bystander, and I’m NOT the only person who feels that way.

Because while most people are reasonable, and realize that you’re only asking the question for the first time, if someone’s going to be a jerk, what they have to say, doesn’t matter, anyway, RIGHT?

So, please ask for help, if you need it.

5. Lastly… :

This blog is with the best intentions, as I said previously, to help as many people as possible. While it’s true that I don’t monetize my internet or social media, in any way, I wouldn’t turn it down, either. I wouldn’t expect any kind of renumeration, for helping someone,  via email, if it takes 5 minutes. More than that, or more in depth type of help, feel free to try and negotiate and/or offer some kind of  compensation.

Hopefully this blog helped. I get that I’m super wordy, and if you’re new to my writing, I get that my syntax, among other things, could be better, but they’re NOT, because again, I have a bizarre set of complex medical, mental health and cognitive disabilities.

Also note, I’m amenable to constructive criticism. Nasty comments though, will NOT be posted….

Additionally, I do feel bad, as there are groups of people, that I hope to do more activism for, in the future, such as veterans. Right now though I am doing the best I can, to help as many people as possible.

But if one is so inclined to help a Minnesota based veteran, the following link, can help….

http://www.mac-v.org

And for those who have just a quick question that needs to be answered and/or in the rare case, if it’s someone’s a bariatric surgical patient who’s visiting the Twin Cities for the festivities of and/or Superbowl 52, I can be reached at my email address of unstapledlisa@gmail.com.

I apologize, as I re-published blog, while unfortunately, it made it even more wordier, it was necessary to best help as many people, as possible.

And unfortunately, with having both tech and WP issues, required publishing the blog, more than ONCE (well, three times to be exact and here’s to hoping the 3rd time is the charm)……

#StigmaKills – The Sexual Predator/Victim Edition….

http://www.rainn.org
http://www.thehotline.org
http://www.suicidepreventionhotline.org 1800-273-8255
http://www.befrienders.org

What I’m about to have to say, is bad enough…It’s actually tragic…

The current social climate I have to say it in, is ALMOST as bad.

In multiple ways, for multiple reasons. Let me explain…

Very, very, very carefully.

Because the nature of the activism that I do, is usually suicide prevention, oriented, while I blog about all things mental health, including rape and sexual harassment (especially this year!!!), I had worried and wondered when, not if, someone either an accuser or the accused would die as a result of this, either in the form of murder or suicide.

Well, let me clarify that. I’m already know that people have gotten murdered for raping someone else’s loved one, people have died in domestic rape and assault situations both victims and perpetrators and people who have been accused and or convicted or people who’ve been violently raped have died by suicide.

And maybe somebody has already died this year (either a victim or a perpetrator) but it’s been buried in the news, we are constantly bombarded with, even for someone like me, who’s rarely on social media and on limited platforms.

I hate to say this, as it’s of personal nature and it’s honestly NOT meant to be self serving and it can be potentially hazardous to someone’s emotional health, if I don’t choose my words carefully AND if someone doesn’t read them just as carefully.

I’ve already discussed about my own rape in 1996, talking about it in greater detail than I would’ve already liked (as I really would’ve not liked to have to talk about it at all) and I made my peace with it, in my own ways, a LONG time ago.

Only going public about it, in hopes to help others.

I would NEVER want to hinder the progress that the #MeToo movement has made, which was WAY long overdue, nor they or anyone is to blame for the nature of this particular blog, and that I need to make CRYSTAL clear.

But I’ve had to relive my rape way more in 2017, than I ever did in 1996, when it actually happened.

Over and Over again. Due to the nature of social media.

Okay, I can live with that.  And not die from it, either. And I’m not being glib.

But I’m only saying this, while the #MeToo movement was SO necessary, I can’t be the only one, where I’m glad that it’s occurred, but it’s also been a trigger, that I can be okay with, but be sensitive to the fact or just aware, that while those of us, who’ve had to survive trauma like that, want all stories to be told, but it’s causing some of us to have to relive traumatic events, over and over again, as a result.

I’ve done all the soul searching in my case, where other than it being a VERY traumatic life event, it hasn’t played into any kind of self destructive behavior, like it can for other victims of rape and physical assault, as I had the same vices going out of my rape, that I did going into it, that’s the only reason why I’m mentioning it, in this particular blog.

And again, I’m trying to choose my words carefully.

As I strongly believe everyone’s (victims) stories need to be told. And while my blogs, won’t ever lead to a national dialogue (which to me, is kind of scary to me, as I really have no desire to go “viral”) it does help people talk about things that are strongly stigmatized, which is my goal, even if it’s private or helps them get the help they need.

HOWEVER, as I said in a MAJOR blog that I wrote about Harvey Weinstein and victims of rape and sexual harassment, there needs to be a dialogue on how we can best all help ALL people.

Including the predators themselves. Whether it’s in prevention or rehabilitation initiatives, for those who ARE willing to get help.

IF you do the math, most women know another women, if not a man, who’s been a victim of sexual harassment and/or rape.

In my case, where I am an activist who deals with body diversity issues and while I’m not a a clinically trained professional, I’m already fully aware of that both people of weight and anorexics, it stems from trauma caused by rape, assault and harassment, regardless of gender, socio-economics, in every age group, relationship (i.e. familial,professional or stranger) and in every religion.

So, if most, if not all of us know, someone who’s been a victim of these crimes, we obviously know someone who’s possibly done this.

Even if we DO NOT know, that they’ve actually done this.

Or sometimes people do know someone who’s done this, that they love now, who has this in their past (or present), and they can’t tell due to stigma, nor can offenders talk about what they might have done in the past, that could currently come back to haunt both them and their victims.

And that could be a deterrent on why they don’t seek professional help, either for preventative or rehabilitation purposes, due to the potential consequences.

And I’m not even going to elaborate in detail, the conversations we aren’t having about those who are victims and predators, not in the public eye, where more discussion is needed to help eliminate if not reduce rape, assault and harassment, for those who don’t have anything to lose, like the people of power, who are celebrities, as well as that there needs to be more discussion on the fact that assault victims aren’t always women abused by men. Females can be predators of either gender, and at any age.

But the above paragraph, is another in blog in itself.

I was already thinking about the potential for both victims and perpetrators might already be prone to the potential of suicide, in the last couple of months and ironically had wondered this, as this morning, when I got a phone call from a friend.

My friend had a friend, someone I had met briefly, a few years ago, for like 2 minutes.

While my friend and I had talked about unusual behavior of this friend (i.e. no-show on a job of over 2 decades) a few days ago, I was extremely  concerned.

My friend had found out today, that their friend had died last week, due to suicide, due to concerns of a past sexual assault allegation, allegedly.

Now, I’m going way out of my way to protect everyone’s identity, as they didn’t ask for me to write this blog.

I’m only writing it, because now I know someone who’s died this year, from a perp perspective and I’m sure he’s not the only one who has contemplated or will do this.

But, because  I have a serious responsibility as an activist, to not only have a voice for those who don’t have one, but to make sure I don’t cause further harm, in this case, with this topic, to those who’ve been victims of a sexual harassment or rape, too.

We need to talk about this.

We need to have support services in place. That serve and help EVERYONE.

That it hurts people, whether you care about this, based upon whether or not you like or care about the outcome of the victim and/or of the accused and/or perpetrator of these crimes.

We can’t continue to try people in the court of social media, especially in cases for people who either are victims that come forward or perpetrators who are terrified of something like this going public, so they commit suicide because they can’t or they actually DO NOT see another way out.

I’m not saying that those who’ve committed sexual harassment or rape, shouldn’t have consequences, like people in power, who are in the public eye, or any perpetrator,like we’ve seen, such as losing their careers.

Or that they shouldn’t face further consequences, in a court of law.

But it shouldn’t be okay, that people are okay with someone dying for a grope, they did a long time ago, and felt so much shame, that they would rather die, than face their family, when being scared that it was going to come out, either.

And again, it bears repeating,  I’m NOT trying to do, in any way, any kind of sexual harassment and/or rape victim shaming, which I find repugnant.

But there’s a very good reason that sexual harassment and even more heinously, the crime of  rape, usually doesn’t come with the death penalty.

We need to talk about this more so that more people, even if they aren’t so innocent, don’t die as a result, while remaining respectful to their victims.

(I do need to say, when talking about the above, I’m not talking about predators/perpetrators  who have no remorse for crimes they commit and/or who are violent and/or habitual offenders, but it’s not for me, as an activist, to say what they are due as a punishment, either)

Otherwise, there are going to be more families, blindsided, like this particular family, who now has to deal with the aftermath of a loved one who tried and convicted himself and then killed himself.

And there will be also sadly, victims of rape and sexual assault, who due to the nature of social media bullying having to be buried, too.

Note: Please ask for clarification, if one is a victim of sexual harassment or rape, before making any negative assumptions about this blog.

Also, comments that are not constructive in nature, will NOT be posted.

IMPORTANT Addendum: There are things I need to say, a little over 36 hours after publishing this blog, that I can’t go back in, without “muddying” it, even more.

One thing that I’ve tried to make clear not just in my activism in talking about rape and sexual harassment, but other mental health issues, is about the possibility, if it’s possible, with initiatives and open dialogue for PREVENTION.

Prevention of suicide. Prevention of rape and sexual harassment, as it applies to this blog.

As we have taught kids, from the time they are young,  how to describe and identify a “a good touch” versus a “a bad touch”.

But we haven’t done nearly enough in both kids and adults is talk about more means on how to prevent in the first place, so it doesn’t start at home, doesn’t  end up in schools or on the grounds, in a park, places of worship and in the workplace, to name a few.

I knew when I wrote this, it’s too soon to discuss this, though even though a couple of hours ago, a Kentucky congressman died due to suicide among allegations of molestation of a minor child.

And while I feel sad for the family and friends of both the victim and the congressman, as well as more victims that will come out and truthfully, more accused and/or perpetrators might die, so I stand by what I say, there is something else I have to say, that I would’ve rather not.

Most of my blogs, sometimes talk about the issues I’ve been up against, because I’m limited in what I can say about those I love the most.

But because it has relevance, I’m hoping that I will be forgiven, but I want it understood from the victim perspective, I get the enormous amount of damage and pain this topic causes victims.

My 14 1/2 year old daughter has been a victim of sexual harassment, groping by a peer and bullying.

And while I was a suburban kid, while I was bullied anywhere I went at her age, by words, I could take the bus, to lets say, where I live now, in Downtown Minneapolis, because then it was fun and less physically unsafe thing to do for an unaccompanied teenage minor, like it is now.

While my daughter lives in a upscale neighborhood though and she can be trusted, we live in a society, that many cannot be trusted and for that reason,she is very RARELY left or allowed to be alone, in a public setting, because of what she’s been through, as it applies to the bullying and harassment.

So if there was any doubt from a victim’s perspective of my not being extremely sensitive and empathetic, I hope there isn’t now, because I don’t think of just my daughter and son, I think everyone who’s been a victim.

 

 

another day, another massacre….

Important Disclaimer: PLEASE, if anyone you know, is capable of hurting themselves and/or has the potential to hurt or kill themselves or others, PLEASE seek immediate emergency assistance from law enforcement and/or medical/mental health professionals. IF you’re not sure, but just suspect someone is capable of causing harm to another/many, contact local emergency authorities i.e 911, who have staff that are properly trained in these potential crises to engage EMS/Crisis Intervention Teams and various Law Enforcement department/agencies,  if necessary…

samhsa-disaster-distress-helpline2
http://www.nami.org
http://www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org  1-800-273-9255
http://www.211.info
http://www.befrienders.org

“Babe, I shot the kids'”…

I wasn’t going to talk or blog about  the above quote or tragedy, when a few days ago, a young mother in Texas, fatally shot her 2 daughters.

I wasn’t going to blog about the NYC terrorist attack, on Halloween.

Not because they don’t matter. All these tragic multiple fatalities whether they origin from human or other natural disasters, they ALL matter.

But here I go again, or more like here we go again, as a society, not even a month has gone by, not even a week has gone by, another tragic massacre occurred today, where a man shot and killed over 26 people and another 20+ were wounded, in a church, in a small town outside of San Antonio, Texas.

Is this just going to be our new normal? Not just nationally but globally? People will be randomly massacred, in their workplaces, schools, social gatherings, hospitals and places of worship to name of few, with NO end in sight?

I’m heartbroken for the victims and survivors of all these tragedies. I’m heartbroken for those who have to worry that it’s becoming a more clear and present danger that more innocent people will die, including those we love and ourselves, that this will become an epidemic.

I, obviously,  lack the qualifications necessary to take this on, other than hoping to start a dialogue by blogging about these tragedies and I don’t have it in me, to address each and every single one of them, even though they matter to me, like they matter to so many and they really should matter to everyone.

But the one thing that I actually CAN do and hopefully by saying what I have, when discussing repeatedly about mental health/domestic terror  issues that cause fatalities in others, is to be very CLEAR that we cannot become numb or apathetic, because it’s too scary to have to think about it happening to so many innocent lives being lost for so many different reasons.

Because it’s too scary to think, that the reality is, it’s becoming more apparent that this could happen to someone we love, where they are murdered in a massacre of any kind.

Or in a domestic situation. Or due to road rage. Or the many reasons that factor into these tragedies, that seem like they are not within the realm of our control.

Apathy can work wonders when hatred leads to hateful words that harm others.

Apathy cannot help, when it comes to hatred that causes someone to ACT in a manner that causes harm or death.

My sympathies and prayers go out to all the victims and their families and friends so tragically effected by all these tragedies and the tragic massacre that took place, today at First Baptist.

Note: At the time this blog is being published, the mass murderer/domestic terrorist, has just been identified, although his motives are unknown.

I’m kindly asking, if a dialogue should take place, as a result of this blog, I realize that he used guns to commit this horrific tragedy, but I choose to identify him a different way, not just the “Texas Church Shooter”.

As I believe that it’s getting people NO WHERE, where if the only dialogue people are capable are having is ONLY based upon gun control when it comes to these heinous acts.

And instead of talking about the victims, people are digitally verbally eviscerating one another based upon weapons and too much attention is placed on the murderers, and NOT the victims themselves or the need to talk about WHY people are commiting these tragedies versus HOW, let alone on prevention, IF they are preventable.

So if that’s the only type of dialogue people choose to have with this blog, please do so, somewhere else. Thanks.

Editorial note: Blog published on 11-5-2017

 

“Why didn’t you fight back?!?” #MeToo #WhyIDidntFightBack

Sigh…

I really didn’t want to write this blog. I figured my last blog, I’d do the topic justice regarding rape and sexual harassment and why people don’t come forward to report sexual harassment and rape, regardless of socio-economics, gender and ages of the perpetrators, among many other factors.

I figured I’d do what I can, to help others and then be able to walk away.

Shortly after I published my blog, the ONLY hateful thing I got about what I wrote, was someone, insinuating that it would’ve been “unlikely” for me to be a rape victim and asking me to define, what I  “defined”  as rape.

Which relcutantly I did, by additionally adding a clarification, on my last blog. It wasn’t to help myself. It was with great trepidation, as I explained that both my parents and my children are on the internet, including my teenage daughter, who has NO idea that this has happened to me. And NO ONE had known all the details, the VERY little I’ve talked about this both in my personal life and the little I’ve brought up, as an a activist/blogger.

I’ve seen though enough misguided dialogue on social media and the media in general,that I will explain a few things about how not only is it insensitive at best, but at worst, it re-victimizes victims of rape and sexual harassment when it’s questioned and debated ad nauseum, why they don’t fight back.

Let alone say anything at all, and maybe this will add necessary feedback to what’s needed in the dialogue of prevention of rape and sexual harassment, as well as making it a safer society for victims to come forward.

When I was raped in January of 1996, I didn’t fight back, because while I was very heavy, my rapist had 40 lbs on me and also had said he wouldn’t hurt me if I didn’t.

He also had an established career in the MILITARY (I’m not demonizing his profession in any way, other than it was why I didn’t feel it would’ve been worth the risk to fight back).

I had a young child, to think of. Who then, I couldn’t be his mother, if I was DEAD. I didn’t trust the fact he said he wouldn’t hurt me physically, because for one, he already had and while I was seriously violated physically and emotionally, I at least didn’t increase my odds, of unrecoverable physical injury or death, which I’m not blaming those who do fight back and seriously hurt, if not killed, (of course,if it prevents rape and assault, I’m grateful that was that person’s result)  it’s just my mindset at the time, was I had to survive this and go on with my life, in hopes that I could at least walk away from this.

I’ve seen since my experience in the mental health system, people though who are 90 lbs be able to beat the crap out of someone’s a foot taller and 100 lbs more than them, due to RAGE.

So all I have to add at this point, while the dialogue that’s happening is SO necessary, be VERY careful on what people say either clearly or insinuate, of why others should’ve fought back or that if they were in that situation that they would’ve, is extremely HARMFUL.

For more than one reason, as I’ve tried to highlight.

I can’t speak for everyone who’s been a victim and/or would rather consider themselves just a survivor of rape and sexual harassment, of why they didn’t fight back and or what their triggers going forward, are.  I can only speak for myself. Only they can tell you their stories and hopefully they will be listened to, with sensitivity and their physical and emotional safety, going forward.

But I’d ask, for those who’ve NOT experienced any type of rape, physical assault or harassment, aren’t a clinically trained professional and/or law enforcement professional who hasn’t worked with victims, of choosing words carefully when you question any aspect of an assault, no matter what the circumstances ARE.

Especially, especially, ESPECIALLY, when it comes to “Why didn’t you fight back?!?!”

Note: I’m pubishing this blog, with great tredpidation, in hopes it helps others. I do the activism that I do, to help other people. I’m not saying I’m better or worse than anyone, in my case, where with my disability sets, I don’t monetize anything that I do, nor do I crave being in the spotlight in any way.

I feel strongly enough, that it’s worth for me to try to help others by chiming in this dialogue, to risk attention, this way. I’m only doing so, because I truly believe it can help other people.

I’m also making it clear, with like most of my blogs, any comment that’s not constructive and respectful, will NOT be published. Thanks!!!

Edit/Additional Note: When I created #WhyIDidntFightBack, it was to open the door of giving victims/survivors a means of telling their stories, not being able to forecast of how many people will read this blog.

The horrible messages that society and the media SHOULD NOT be promoting, when discussing Harvey Weinstein, rapists, rape victims, assault and sexual harassment….

http://www.rainn.org

Trigger Warnings: If you or someone you know is in danger of hurting someone else, please seek acute medical/mental health treatment and or contact law enforcement. If you’ve been a victim of rape or sexual harassment know that in addition to the links above, that there are multiple avenues of support for people to get support and recover from the trauma physically and mentally that this can cause, if in acute need, please get acute help from a professional, in an appropriate setting. The same could be said, though if it happened a long time ago and have decided to get support, now.

Goddamn it!!!

I didn’t want to  have to write this blog. I thought for how much discussion about rape and sexual harassment was being discussed by public figures I adore, I wouldn’t have to say the following, below.

That someone I’d adore who’s in the public eye,would bring this up, but sadly that hasn’t been the case, so here we go…

I like most people (and being an activist who tries to remove stigma) has been horrified like most decent people, when it came out that Harvey Weinstein, a powerful Hollywood mogul had raped, sexually assaulted and harassed multiple women for decades, both actresses, female reporters and other women have now come forward.

Since the story broke, it’s leading to a very necessary dialogue we have to have as a society regarding rape and sexual harassment, both in the workplace and out of it.

It’s easy to go for the jugular, or in this case, above and below Harvey Weinstein’s  neck, as far as making derogatory statements that are justified about what he did, but also what he looks like.

And that is the REASON for this blog. In seeing in the media the jokes about his looks and his weight, sends a HORRIBLE multi-complex message, to perpetrators and victims alike, that while his money and power was something that allowed him to get away with despicable crimes he perpetuated on his victims,for decades. And if the looks and fat shaming of a rapist, if that reasoning for hate on rapists or murderers existed, exclusive to that population, ALONE, I probably wouldn’t lose much sleep at night, but it isn’t and that mindset hurts millions of innocent people regardless of their size.

Let me explain.

As it  sends a very misguided and dangerous message that only not attractive men are perps in these horrible crimes but that only conventionally attractive or beautiful women can ONLY be victims.

Rape and sexual harassment can have victims of both women and men. That isn’t being questioned. It shouldn’t be perpetuated in any form that someone who is not considered by society’s stringent standards of beauty, that people who aren’t considered conventionally attractive aren’t victims.

We saw this exemplified last year, when women spoke out against Donald Trump, who had said to the effect of “Look at her, like I’d even want that?!?!”.

I’m in no way wanting to change the good that’s coming out of the national dialogue about rape and sexual harassment both in the workplace and outside of it.

It just needs to be expanded on and it needs to include that we have to have to establish and educate that both rapists and their victims can be of all ages, all genders and all shapes, sizes, personal and professional relationships and within consideration of what’s considered attractive and in all socio-economic backrounds.

That we need to educate people on how to get help for their predatory violent behavior and have resources in place for that, in helps for prevention.

We have to have more resources and a safer and evolved society that realizes that there are victims of all ages, genders, races, religions and shapes and sizes.

And to start this education, from the time people are young.

I remember when I was 25, as a young mother participating in Early Childhood Family Education, that we once watched a video, about “Stranger Danger” of how to teach our children that you cannot go by the way someone looks, to determine whether or not is a danger. I really wish something like that existed now, where it’s more needed than ever.

When I was raped, at the age of 26,  I didn’t say anything because I was fat single mother of 1 and my rapist was someone who was considered attractive, as well as accomplished.

I didn’t think anyone would believe me and in my life, other than a blog or two, where I only started mentioning it, was because a rape victim, who was victimized repeated at a young age by her brother, had gone viral.

I only personally healed from that, unconventionally, because I spared myself further trauma by NOT talking about it. Because I could chalk up my rapist as an asshole, as in my case, he didn’t know anything but my name and my phone number. I couldn’t have beared to put what I went through out there to the  people who I care about and risk whatever unsupportive thing they may have had to say about it.

And that’s AWFUL, as it applies to me. And I can’t be the only person who’s had to have that mindset.

I feel obviously then, heartbreakingly awful for the victims of any rape, incest, physical assault and sexual harassment. I think that the bravery of Harvey Weinstein’s victims or anyone who comes forward is commendable, but also and his victims stories and his heinous actions, have to be the start of a much more comprehensive dialogue on rape and rape victims, where ALL victims of rape,incest  and sexual harassment can safely tell their experiences and have the opportunity for support and healing.

But we can’t make inroads of prevention of rape,incest  and sexual harassment without more resources for discussing openly on the complex multi-faceted why people rape and sexual harass without blaming their victims and to have treatment options before they ever offend. That perpetrators and victims are of all ages, genders, sexual preference, races, religion, socio-economics, individual perceptions of attractiveness and shapes and sizes.

Note: I have both as an activist and a personal investment in the reasons that played in the need for me to write this blog. If you want to find out how much hate there is, towards unconventional people who are victims of rape and physical assault, try looking for a meme, like I did, before writing this blog.

It’s a bunch of hateful bullshit that makes mockery of the idea of rape in people who aren’t considered conventionally attractive fat or thin. That’s hurtful to any human being who’s been violated physically and/or emotionally with rape and harassment and it hurts everyone.

Additional Note/Clarification/Edited after receiving anonymous hate:

I didn’t realize I had to spell out what happened to me, personally, of what I define as rape. I normally don’t do this, because not only do I have parents on the internet, so are my children.

I met someone unfortunately in their home, on 1/1/1996, a blind date, that was supposed to lead to going out to lunch. I realized the very second, I walked into that man’s home, that I made a mistake, it was a gut instinct and said I had a headache and needed to go home. He forcefully  grabbed by the arm and said I wasn’t going anywhere. I said please no, but I didn’t fight him, because he said he wouldn’t hurt me if I gave him what he wanted and kept  quiet.

So the specifics of my rape was forceful vaginal and anal penetration that led to bleeding and oral that led to gagging that I held back my vomit, to not further upset him. Did he beat me up or cause any further injury other than when he grabbed my arm and then physically violated me, that way? NO. When he was done, he said I could go and I left.

I couldn’t cry or show being upset, right after it happened,  either, when I left, because I had to pick up my 2 1/2 year old son, who was being babysat by my parents. I couldn’t cry or be upset, when I got home, because I didn’t want to upset my son. I went to work the next day and went on with my life. I was NOT okay, for the first 6 months afterwards, but I couldn’t show it.

This is what I mean when and why people are afraid go forward with their stories about rape and sexual assault. IF a woman is attractive, she’s asking for it. Or there’s many other consequences such as the victims of Harvey Weinstein, have showed why those women didn’t say anything.

If she’s not considered attractive and deemed unfuckable, by most people, it’s not believable an attractive accomplished man would do that. And if both attractive people and people who aren’t considered attractive, they get blamed should they press charges, if the charges stick and they are put on trial, right along with the people who commit these crimes. And it’s worse now that victims get tried in the court of social media.

Unless people are more evolved and understand the dynamics of rape and sexual harassment. It’s about humiliation. It’s about power, regardless of socio-economics. Rapists and sexual harassers can be parents, they can be children of any age, they can be family members, spouses and significant others, they can be doctors, teachers, fellow students, friends, police officers, members of the clergy of any religion, among many other populations.

I guess if someone felt the need to question in a derogatory way, I hope they only chose me. I hope they realize the harm, because it wasn’t asked in an innocent way, that I don’t choose to talk about the specifics of it normally, the little I do now, as an activist who works with people who have PTSD issues as a result of both childhood and adult trauma, because it isn’t helpful to either myself or who I’m trying to help as I don’t want people in medical and mental health crisis, to have to worry about me, as well as what I said about my parents and my kids being on the internet.

So whoever felt that need to do that, congratulations for not being a rapist or someone who’s capable of violent crime.

You still are an asshole that could work on your regard and trying to have empathy or at least apathy, for human beings, because if you can’t be part of the solution, don’t try to make people’s problems worse for them!!!

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