No Such Thing As Elements of Provocation!

domestic violence

Domestic Violence Wheel of Control {He said that while men “have no business putting your hands on a woman,” he had tried to tell women in his family, “Let’s make sure we don’t do anything to provoke wrong actions.” He also referred to “elements of provocation” and implied that women should “do what we can to try to prevent the situation from happening.”During his apology on Monday morning, Smith acknowledged that “my words came across that it is somehow a woman’s fault.”via ESPN suspends Stephen A. Smith for one week – Jul. 29, 2014.}

As the result of a violent attack on me a couple of years ago, I have become a warrior to stomp out violence against women. I have started petitions, shared my story, and joined others crusading against this crime that affects us all. So, I was appalled to read that sportscaster Stephen A. Smith, who I once respected, said such a heinous thing about why women get attacked by men. Nothing a woman says or does warrants such violence! EVER! There is NO SUCH THING AS ELEMENTS OF PROVOCATION! If he or any man believes this, I pray for the women in their lives because they are all in danger. The Wheel of Power and Control list all the ways men manipulate and abuse women and it is behavior often passed down from the home environment. Don’t get me wrong, men get abused as well but the majority of violence is perpetrated against women. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) list domestic violence as a public health issue. On average 24 people per minute are victims of violence ranging from rape, physical violence, or stalking by an intimate partner in the United States, based on a survey conducted in 2010. This has to stop! People in any position of power or in the public eye should know better than to cultivate this culture of violence. Unfortunately, in recent years, we have seen an increase in misogynistic attitudes from our leaders and some of those attitudes have been shockingly applauded by women. These attitudes have resulted in a “war on women” that covers everything from reproductive issues to the almost non-renewal of the Violence Against Women Act. We have to take a stand, women and men alike, against this public health crisis. It’s effects are far-reaching all over the world in the form of human trafficking, female genital mutilation, and gender specific abortions. I feel in addition to Stephen A. Smith’s one week suspension, he should be required to volunteer in a battered woman’s shelter or attend support meetings to learn about domestic violence. He claims his statement came out wrong. I do not believe that. He needs to get counseling to discover why his statement “came out wrong.”  Until he takes steps to understand the manipulation, misogyny, anger, and passive aggressive behaviors behind the violence, his apology is hollow.

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Two Words – WE WON!

Attention! The Violence Against Women Act Has been successfully renewed thanks to the Senate (stupid House of Reps). I heard it on the evening news also but they always get the story wrong or skew information to a sensational direction. I couldn’t be happier for everyone involved! As Sheila said, we still have a long way to go and the fight is never over!

From: Sheila M. Thomas

5:55 PM (11 minutes ago)

Hello Everyone,

Monday, February 25, was my birthday; I turned 53. Today, I received the best birthday present ever–the news that the Senate version of the Violence Against Women Act passed the House, after the House failed to pass its own version of the Act [1]. This means that all women-including LGBT, undocumented, and Native American victims-will receive the protections offered by this bill. 

I hope each of you know that this victory would have never been possible without the support each of you showed by calling your respective U.S. Representatives.  

But we are not finished.

Members of both the senate and house will be asking for your vote; and, as voters, we have a responsibility to send to Washington a Congress that can legislate for ALL people, not just the few. Therefore, I urge you to check the voting records of your Congress members here: 

http://clerk.house.gov/evs/2013/roll055.xml.

Then, if possible, get to know a little more about the people who are asking you for your precious vote.

I want each of you to know what a pleasure it was working with each of you–together–to get this important piece of legislation passed and I hope we will continue to stay in touch with one another.

Many blessings and goodness to each, 

Sheila

Sources: 

1. “House Sends Violence Against Women Act to President’s Act,” ABC News, February 28, 2013

http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/politics/2013/02/house-passes-violence-against-womens-act-on-to-presidents-desk/  

 

The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy. — Martin Luther King Jr. 

 

Calls Needed: ALL Women and ALL Victims of Violence Must Be Protected

Today I received the following via email from Signon.org and MoveOn.org Civic Action:

Hello Everyone,

Last Thursday, a group of women and men and I delivered a copy of our petition to re-authorize the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) to Speaker John Boehner’s office in Troy, OH. Although we did not speak directly to Mr. Boehner, we were very clear that we wanted the expanded version of VAWA, authored by the Senate, to go to the House floor for a vote.

Unfortunately, this did not happen. Instead, GOP House members authored their own version, which excludes protections for LGBT victims, encumbers protections for immigrant victims, and waters down protections for Native American victims. In Troy, we emphasized that VAWA is not a political issue, it is a human issue—it is the right of all victims of violent crimes to be protected, regardless of age, race, sexual orientation, or nationality. This blatant discrimination appears to have become the status quo of certain GOP Congress members—this is unacceptable and must be stopped.

The House will be voting on this bill TOMORROW, Thursday, February 28, and according to Politico, the Republican version of the bill is losing steam and the GOP has already announced that they may allow a vote on the Senate version of the bill if their version doesn’t get enough votes.  Now it is more important than ever that we tell our Representatives to protect all women and support the bi-partisan, Senate version of the bill.

Can you call your Representative right now?

Call 202-224-3121.

Here is a sample script, “”Hi [Representative], I am calling to ask you to pass the Senate’s expanded Violence Against Women Act. All women — including those who identify as LGBT and Native American — deserve protection.”

In 2003, the CDC published that yearly, approximately 1.3 million women and 835,000 men are physically abused by an intimate partner.  According to the Violence Against Women Online Resources, immigrant women often remain in violent relationships because their abusers threaten to report their undocumented status to Homeland Security, which would result in deportation. Furthermore, LGBT victimization is underreported due to fear of homophobic officers or fear of being outed to family, friends, or co-workers—LGBT intimate partner abuse is not covered under any hate crimes legislation.

Worst yet, the National Task Force to End Sexual and Domestic Violence Against Women published that 34% of American Indian and Alaska Native women will be raped in their lifetimes and 39% will be subjected to domestic violence in their lifetimes.  Sadly, on some reservations, Native women are murdered at more than ten times the national average. And, contrary to myth, the Tribal Law and Order Act and the Indian Civil Rights Act are not sufficient to solve the epidemic of violence against Native women.

In fact, current law does not address the jurisdictional gap in Indian Country that leaves these women without justice. In these cases, tribal law enforcement have no authority to intervene because the abuser or perpetrator is non-Indian and the State has no authority to intervene because the victim is an Indian; and the Federal government, with its exclusive jurisdiction, will not intervene on what they consider to be a misdemeanor crime.

Can you watch this 30 second video about VAWA and then call your Representative right now?

Watch now http://front.moveon.org/you-will-be-asked-to-do-something-after-you-watch-this-30-second-video/

Then call 202-224-3121.

We are asking Congress to hear our voices and protect all women against violence.  At this point, our petition is over 219,000 signatures strong and 2014 will be an election year for many of the members of this Congress. The next time we speak, let it be with our vote—it is time to elect a Congress that is truly for ALL the people.

Sheila

I just want to know how these fools living in glass houses think this is ok? Just trifling and vile! I wish these idiots could live like a victim for just one day and see how it is to be abused and treated like dirt! Actually, I think dirt is treated better than victims of domestic violence. NO ONE deserves to be beaten or tortured psychologically! NO ONE! Enough is enough! The cycle of violence continues because these misogynistic jerks want to discriminate against folks!  I guess they learned nothing from the Burning Bed movie!

 

We wish this was a joke -Right-wing politicians in the House blocked the reauthorization of Violence Against Women Act (VAWA)!!

This is what we’re up against: A group of well-financed and extremely mobilized conservative advocacy groups have come together to fight the reauthorization of the life-saving Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) because it is “bad for men.”

Seriously. In a statement to reporters, Heritage Action and FreedomWorks called VAWA “unprecedented, unnecessary and dangerous,” and said “Under VAWA, men effectively lose their constitutional rights.

Domestic violence is the leading cause of injury to women—more than car accidents, muggings, and rapes combined. Three women die every single day as a result of domestic violence.

The VAWA has helped save countless lives and helped reduce violence by 67%.

Right-wing politicians in the House blocked the reauthorization of VAWA for the first time in history last year and they are gearing up to do it again.

The good news? We can stop them. If we can spread the word that House conservatives are blocking legislation to reduce domestic violence because “it’s not fair to men,” we can create a political firestorm no politician will want to get caught up in. To do it, we’ll need to reach out to local reporters, mobilize UltraViolet members in key districts, and run ads in the homestate papers of the members of Congress who are standing in the way.

After the 2012 election, conservative politicians know that they alienated women voters. And they know that they can’t afford to do that again. That means no local politician will want to be seen as standing in the way of a bill that reduces violence against women.

That’s one reason why the Senate is expected to pass the expanded VAWA with a strong bipartisan vote in just a few hours. And why 17 House Republicans have sent a letter to Speaker Boehner to bring that bill up for a vote–something that could be a game-changer in the fight to reauthorize VAWA. But too many House conservatives are still refusing to act.

These members of Congress have gotten away with blocking VAWA for the last year simply because the media and voters in their home districts don’t know that they are blocking the bill–and if we can get ads up and voters mobilized in these districts, we can change that.

Since VAWA has been law it has:

Strengthened federal penalties for repeat sex offenders and created a federal “rape shield law,” which prevents offenders from using survivors’ past sexual conduct against them at trial.

Trained over 500,000 law enforcement officers, prosecutors, and judges every year to ensure they understand the realities of domestic and sexual violence.

Established the National Domestic Violence Hotline, which has answered over 3 million calls and receives over 22,000 calls every month; 92% of callers report that it’s their first call for help.

We can’t let politicians get away with blocking VAWA one minute longer.

Thanks for speaking out!

Sources

1. Conservative Advocates: Violence Against Women Act Unfair To Men, Talking Points Memo, February 11, 2013

2. Domestic Violence Statistics.

3. “Factsheet: The Violence Against Women Act,” The White House, accessed January 24, 2013

4. VAWA Reauthorization: House Republicans Urge Boehner, Cantor To Pass Bipartisan Bill, The Huffington Post, February 12, 2013

5. “Factsheet: The Violence Against Women Act,” The White House, accessed January 24, 2013

via Ultraviolet http://www.weareultraviolet.org/about

Take Action Congress!

I just signed a petition urging Congress to pass an expanded version of the Violence Against Women Act immediately. Can you join me and sign at the link below?

Shamefully, conservatives in Congress let this law expire last year. It’s been in effect since 1994, and helped millions of women get out of abusive and dangerous situations. But last year it expired.

Leaders in Congress just reintroduced it in both the House and Senate. However, it includes provisions to expand help to the most vulnerable populations, including members of the LGBT community and Native American women–the very things conservatives objected to last year. So a huge public outcry is needed to make sure Congress acts.

I hope you’ll join me and sign the petition. And forward this to your friends also!

http://act.weareultraviolet.org/sign/vawa2013/

Thanks.

Adam Ate the Apple of His Own Free Will! STOP PUNISHING WOMEN!

So, this morning I woke up feeling like something was about to happen. I was hoping it was something good. But alas, I was disappointed because on the way to take care of my BFF, who has been ill a while, I encountered a total bast@rd holding this woman in a headlock punching her in the face! On my way to my friends, I stopped at the gas station and donut shop. I felt I was running late so I was going to go the fastest route down a major thoroughfare but something just nudged me to go the way I always do-down the back streets. I’m glad I listened to that nudge! The lady is screaming in spanish for help as he is punching her. As I pulled over and dialing 911, she managed to wiggle out from under his arms but he grabbed her again and was trying to wrestle the phone and keys out of her hand. I got out of the car to try to help her and when he saw me, he took off on foot. I was still on the phone with the 911 operator and I gave her a description of what he was wearing and the direction he was headed. She took my name and verified the number I was calling from and assured me help was on the way. So why did I have to call 911 AGAIN???? I told the second operator that he was getting away and no one had arrived! Apparently a women getting punched repeatedly in the face wasn’t a priority. When the officers finally arrived, I gave them a description and pointed to which way he went and they took off after him but didn’t find him. Then 3 more units showed up-2 female officers and 2 more males. I was informed that earlier in the morning, as she was trying to drop off her kids at school, he assaulted her there as well! She called for help and NO ONE CAME! Now, you would think when a 911 distress call comes from in or around a school, they would swarm in light of what happened at Sandy Hook Elementary! But NOOOOO!!! And YES people ABUSE has a direct correlation to what happened at Sandy Hook ( see related article below). Dallas’s finest FAILED to act and a women suffered 2 attacks in one morning! Being a victim of a violent assault, you can imagine the pain and hurt that surfaced witnessing the same thing happen to this woman. I was treated like the criminal in my assault and I feel she was handled in the same manner. While we were waiting for the police to arrive, 3 of the residents surrounding this intersection came out to help me help her. She didn’t speak much English so they helped translate and verify what I witnessed. One of the people even went and brought her some hot tea because Dallas is experiencing arctic weather this week. It made me feel better that the citizens of Dallas cared more than the people who are sworn to protect and serve! The Dallas Police Department is full of misogynistic men and complacent women who think women bring these things on themselves! But I am here to tell you that is the WRONG attitude! A lot of women do not even report their assaults because of such attitudes. It only happened to me once but that was one time too many! The heart can’t help who it becomes attracted to and no one signs up to be abused! But in our world, women aren’t built up enough to feel their worth and fight the craptastic attitudes that have permeated society since Adam and Eve! God gave us free will and no one held a gun to Adams head and told him to eat the damn apple! He did that of his own free will!!!! But women have been vilified for the fall of man since then although it was MAN’S fault they got kicked out of the garden! God didn’t just kick Eve to the curb; he kicked them both out! We have had to listen to that misogyny during a harsh election season and it is time for it to cease! The Violence Against Women Act still hasn’t been renewed! WHY? Because the misogynist won’t let it be renewed! They don’t care if it was their mother or sister or daughter because they have probably been abusive toward their own or have friends that are! What other explanation could there be? I cannot fathom what thought process these men and some women take to conclude protecting folks against abuse isn’t a good idea! The loss of life and feeling of insecurity put on these women affects generations. Women are the glue that holds a society together and if we don’t put a cap on  the glue, the elements will dry it up and things will fall apart! Do we want things to continue to fall apart? I pray for this woman that she may have peace and be able to get away from the violence and raise her children to fight against abuse! I pray for all women and children who are victims of violent crimes and the I pray for the people who perpetrate these acts of violence. I pray the cycle be broken and we don’t continue to condone such behavior! I pray the people who perpetrate these acts of violence get the mental help they need to understand the root cause of the problem. The problems start early from childhood and that needs to be addressed to stop the cycle of violence. In the meantime, we need to be diligent and help those who have fallen victim and make sure our women and children are protected! There are many petitions floating around to get attention to this issue and I have added one more!  I created a petition to The Texas State House, The Texas State Senate, Governor Rick Perry, The United States House of Representatives, The United States Senate, and President Barack Obama, which says:

“Create a registry and require those who have committed violent acts (assault of any kind including but not limited to physical, sexual, and emotional abuse) against women and children to register including those on a deferred probation status.”
Will you sign this petition? Click here:
I had no warning and the next woman who meets the man from this morning will have no warning unless something is done to change the system. Will you stand and fight with me and the thousands of other victims of a violent crime? I pray you do!
#VAWA
@DallasCrime
@DallasPD
@Dallas_Observer