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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Watch The Moment Angelina Jolie Stands Up For Women Worldwide To The UN

Violence against women and rape are tools of war and fuel conflict. And it is unbelievable how little attention the international community pays it. Angelina Jolie is a committed activist who seems to genuinely care about using her star power to shed light on the issue — and I was pleased to hear her appeal to the United Nations Security Council to stop sexual violence in war zones

via Watch The Moment Angelina Jolie Stands Up For Women Worldwide To The UN.

 

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. 

 

One Year Ago Today….

On this day, October 19, 2011, 1 year ago, my life was turned upside down and I lost everything. A person with a history of violence, allowed by a system that failed to acknowledge or take any action to curtail his behavior, assaulted me. This had never happened to me before and I hope it never happens again! The day of the assault was like any other day. I was competing an assignment for my Master’s degree and the work was due before midnight. This person came over to hang out and we were going to have dinner once I finished my work. I didn’t know he had been drinking and popping 4 mg Xanax prior to his arrival. Without going into the violent details, he beat me and choked me to within an inch of my life. I did lose consciousness but I am not sure for how long. All I remember is being pushed back by my ancestors and them telling me to fight! Oh and I fought! I fought hard! I was able to get away from him and hold him at bay with a kitchen knife. He kept coming at me and lunged into the knife. That is when he stopped. I called 9-11 and locked myself in the bathroom. Once the police arrived, the tide turned and I was arrested for assaulting him even though I was bloodied, bruised, and couldn’t speak from being choked. I went into respiratory distress from the choking because I have asthma and the police called me a liar and refused me medical treatment. My inhaler and nebulizer were in full view on the countertop and yet, the police still refused me medical treatment. I wear a medical alert necklace and they said it was fake! Yes, my dear people, the police screwed the pooch on this one! I now became the suspect and my attacker was being treated as the victim. By the time someone with a brain became in charge and figured out I truly was the victim it was almost too late to apprehend my attacker from the hospital. But they got him but didn’t keep him for long. No, he was a short but repeat visitor to the system. You are probably wondering how it got this far and how he slipped through? Well, they sent him to anger management classes but that only taught him how to mask his behavior. It taught him all the keywords and actions that enabled him to fool his next victim-me! There were no warning signs or actions to alert me of the impending violence that was to befall me. His actions matched the words coming out of his mouth! I had no reason to doubt the validity of the stories he told or the life he had led. He shared he had a DWI and I checked on it out of curiosity and the system showed he was telling the truth. But his truth was shallow at best. I found out, after the fact, that he had violently attacked two other women. But THAT INFORMATION was absent from the system records because they placed him on deferred probation both times. They sent him to classes to help him be a better person and channel his anger into more constructive ways. But what they failed to do is getting to the root cause of why he was violent toward women. I’m not sure if he didn’t share this information with his counselors or they just overlooked it, but his Father was violent toward his Mother, Sister, and him! In order for my attacker to cope with these demons, he drank and took a lot of medication. Apparently, together! This triggered the violence in him. But no warning of any kind would alert me to how violent he would get or had previously gotten. He told me he was in AA and went to church and he even attended church with me once. I took him at his word and there was nothing to contradict his gentile behavior toward me. There was no public record of his violence to be seen by me or any other unsuspecting woman he would encounter. The information is still not public because the system let him walk away with probation again in spite of the fact I nearly lost my life to his violence. You are probably asking how did he get away with it again? Not because of me! I wanted him to go to prison! He managed to convince those same counselors and the same judge that he was suffering from a mental disorder as if that was supposed to excuse his purposeful choice to drink, take drugs, and beat up women! In spite of my pleas to these same counselors and the same judge NOT to let him out, my words and tears fell on deaf ears. They gave him deferred probation again. I have a protective order but it isn’t worth the paper t is written on. He was ordered to stay far away from me by two different judges yet, he violated the order not once, not twice, but three times! I called the police and they failed to take action. I went to visit the District Attorney (who is a woman and should know better) also failed to take action. Shortly after he was released, he was picked up by another county on previous probation violations stemming from an evading arrest charge that was tied to one of his previous attacks. I thought for a brief moment that just might be done after all! I contacted the District Attorney in this other county and he led me to believe they were going to throw the book at him and give him the 5-10 he was supposed to get for almost killing me. But alas, that too was a humongous fail! Not only did this other county lie to me, but they had already pled him to 1 year time served and let him walk again! I currently have no idea where he is even though as a victim I am supposed to be notified at all times of his movement. I was told this would happen to ensure my safety but I haven’t been notified once! All the information I have is because I bugged the crap out of the court system. Victims of violence have no redress and are treated like they are the criminals. Victim’s rights are 4th fiddle at best. I have never been reimbursed for any of the medical bills associated with this violent act and I probably never will see that money. My insurance covered 2 days of treatment before it expired. The rest was out-of-pocket. As a result of not getting reimbursed, my credit is now shot again from the outstanding medical bills. Thousands of dollars in medical expenses from 4 MRI’s, Ophthalmologist treatments, and medication for pain continue to pile up. By law, I had to present my employer with a copy of the protective order and they fired me the same day. Yes, it is against the law for them to do that but they had deeper pockets than me and I couldn’t find an attorney with balls enough to take my case for the police misconduct or the unlawful termination. I lost my apartment but the saving grace on that is it will not appear on my credit because of the protective order. I was never called to testify and my letter to the court was never read into the record. I was kept out of all of the proceedings even though I was the one being affected by the outcome! I have spent the last year (because time starts over based on events that happen in our lives) trying to rebuild my life. It will never be the same but it is my prayer that it will be better than it was. I have a new career in spite of this persons best efforts to squash my spirit, I have made new friends, started new projects, became addicted to Polyvore.com, and I have a new resolve to get the word out about victims rights or the lack there of! I have previously posted the petition to create a complete registry of violent offenders against women and children on my blog and I hope you will take a second look, sign it, and pass it on to all your friends and family (see below). I pray none of you endure any type of violence nor do any of your loved ones. In the days ahead, I will continue my fight via social media to get action taken towards ending violence against women and children or anyone for that matter. Violence is never the answer but if attacked, defend, defend, and defend yourself!

 

I created a petition to The Texas State House, The Texas State SenateGovernor 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:

http://signon.org/sign/violence-against-women?source=c.em.cp&r_by=4838231

 

 

Subject: Violence Against Women and Children Registry

I was a victim of a violent assault in 2011 and the court system allowed my attacker to walk free against my wishes. He has a history of assault against women but that information was not readily available to me. Had his complete criminal history been listed when I ran a background check on him, I would have NEVER entertained his acquaintance.

That’s why 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:

http://signon.org/sign/violence-against-women?source=c.em.cp&r_by=4838231

Thanks!