Tag Archive: boyfriend


The primary prevention committee went out and spread peace at the Largo Touch a truck!!!

It started with a pretty simple idea:

Get kids to draw and color what they think peace is. Then ask them to let us display it for all to see, so that everyone sees what peace really looks like.

So we started with this:

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We asked the City of Largo, FL USA to allow us to have a table at an event called Touch a Truck.  This is an event where tons of people, and especially kids, come to the park and get to get in and explore tons of awesome vehicles like Firetrucks, Ambulance, Sky crane, Semi truck, Dumptruck, Garbage Truck, City bus, there was even a Helicopter that flew in.

We asked kids and adults if they wanted to color what their peaceful place looked like. A few people came over, and colored a picture, and promptly took it with them. We asked each person if they’d like to keep it or let us display it for everyone to see.

Our wall of peace started slow:

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Then it began to build and more and more people started to show up. It was amazing!!!

As the kids drew, we asked them what peace looked like to them. They gave us amazingly awesome answers:

“when I’m happy”

“when there’s no hitting”

“when everyone is getting along.”

“when we are all smiling”

“when I like me”

As we asked them, we also asked the parents and they gave great answers as well.

“In the bathtub”

“relaxing on my front porch”

“when multiple generations and nationalities get together.”

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There was one moment that just amazed me. There were 6 languages Russian, Arabic, Czech, Albanian, Spanish, and English all being spoken at the same time. All of the people were laughing, drawing, helping their children, and helping eachother.

Moms and dads both were helping their children. The kids were showing parents who really didn’t want to be there, that they had displayed their art on this “awesome” peace wall. They showed their relatives, their friends, and everyone they could. That was their stuff and they were helping create peace.

Everyone at the booth: Frieda, Shelba, Dawna, Prisscila, Chad, MJ, E.V, Jacob all helped everyone realize what peace was for them. We talked to them about what a healthy relationship looked like. We talked to the adults and the kids about how to create peace and nonviolence in our homes, our lives, and in our community.

More and more kids and adults gave us their pictures. They put feathers on them, they colored with markers and crayons, the glitter ran out, the stickers ran out, and there was more joy and happiness than many people have ever felt in their life.

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This is what the primary prevention committee does. We come together to prevent violence, promote peace and healthy relationships, and bring that message to our community.

In the end, over 200 people were at our table talking about, seeing, feeling, and experiencing what true peace really is.

This does not include the 100’s of people that walked by the booth, saw the pictures and were compelled to comment about how wonderful this is! With this event we have affected hundreds of people!

 

 

 

 

 

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An annual tradition…superbowl.

Let’s put up an example…a scenario if you will. Let’s pretend (it’s not a far stretch) a young 10-12 year old girl is sitting with her family to watch the supwerbowl. When the following things happen, it’s acceptable and it’s normal.

An annual tradition….sexism at the superbowl. Sexism with the cheerleaders. (Yeah, they are wearing those skimpy clothes to get the fans to cheer. Really?  It’s the superbowl. These are tickets people save for years to get, or do it one time in their life. This isn’t a high school game where nobody is cheering….this is the biggest football game in the US. There’s no excuse for them to be dressed like that except to show off their body parts.) Sexism with the half time show. (Do we really need to show women dancing around in lingerie and strip club gear? Does this have anything to do with entertainment…or does it have to do with showing women as mere body parts again. Plus, women are ok with it…those women are, so it must be acceptable.) Finally sexism in the commercials.

Our friends at the Date safe project have written a post on those commercials:

http://www.datesafeproject.org/2013/sex-tv-commercials-and-the-super-bowl/?inf_contact_key=d4fd3a466116799df8a2b26ea630a68b02c40aa8bb976342113ca380beb5a64d

Check it out.

Now, let’s get back to our 10-12 year old girl.  What did her society, media, parents, youtube, friends, and the news all say….that was a great game, and the performances were unbelievably great.

Girl heard: This is how to be a girl. This is what women do. This is how women dress. This is how women behave. This si what YOU are suppose to do.

Are you ok with that?

This is a video of sexism that has happened in 2012.

By ads…NO!

By the news.

By the the officials of our country.

By the senators/congress/leaders.

By the news.

By the media!

The sexism and attack on women and women’s bodies this year was appalling!

This is a call to action to stop this nonsense!

30 sexiest ads of 2012 as done by adrants.com   

(Caution!!!!  These are ads that are deemed “sexy” therefore you will see gratuitous focus on women’s bodies. Click at your own risk.  However, all of these ads were on TV at one point or another during 2012.  )

There is a very good reason I put this link here. We experience the world through our senses. Eyes and ears play a very big role in this experience. Through the eyes and the ears we get over 60% of all stimuli needed to experience our reality. Feelings can be created with a combination of using our eyes, ears, and brain – the brain will then create a visceral feeling we can actually feel on our skin. Taste and smell are so interrelated that they are often left off this spectrum, but that’s ok because in many experiences they are only 30% of our sensations – and the brain does wonders filling that part in too.

But wait…if we are experiencing our lives through these mediums, that means TV and ads actually create and develop the way we see the world. BINGO!!!

(BTW – Scent is intricate in creating a relationship…but we are being taught to bypass that for visual. It has been found that if we bypass our sense of smell when it comes to a relationship – we have very little basis for that relationship other than physical.)

Since this is true – The advertising agencies are selling us a “reality” that is simply not a reality. However, they are engaging our entire brain to make sure we see it as reality. This is fine and dandy when you know it….

BUT MOST PEOPLE DON’T KNOW IT!

Therefore, you have people looking at these ads, porn, and TV shows that all show women as mindless bodies walking around wanting only us. Then men are taught that these mindless bodies is what they are suppose to want. They go out in search of these mindless bodies (hence the cat calling, and street harassment – see it’s ok, because women aren’t real people, (yep you guessed it) they are just mindless bodies) and then are disappointed when these mindless bodies speak.

However, when the speaking happens…advertisement, TV, and movies are here to save the day again. They have taught men that it’s ok not to listen, just as long as you say the right thing to be able to touch more of the bodies you’ve been taught to lust after.

In the end, it becomes very frustrating that everything we see says we should be able to have and should want the mindless bodies….but they all have minds.

However, male privileged has taught us that we don’t have to listen to this nonsense…we can use power and control to create fear, and then the mindless bodies will act right.

Then we have domestic violence!

Is this jump too radical…not according to the brain science that we are unearthing on a daily basis. This is a culmination of data from the likes of great speakers such as Jean Kilbourne – creator of the Killing Us softly videos, and her multiple books about the perception of women and how that perception creates violence.  There is also the Media Literacy Campaign that shows time and time again how the media creates views and ideas of our own reality that is often not a reality it all.

So what do we do?  Contact each and every one of these businesses that ok’d these advertisements and say…NO!  This is not ok!

When we speak in one voice, we end the problems and the violence!

 

love2I was visiting a friend of mine in an “Assisted Living Facility”.  She is an able-bodied woman who can do a lot of things, but she is forgetful and her 2 strokes have left her footing not what it use to be. After the 6th fall – she decided she needed some help.

well, as I was there she was showing me all the awesome things that were around the complex. She also showed me the bus schedule to EVERY cool place anyone of the 70+ age range would want to go. We eventually ended up at the shuffle boards, it seems the whole place eventually gravitates to this area during sundown. It also helps that the shuffle board area looks out at the Gulf of Mexico…a great place to hang out and watch the sun go down over the water.

One of her friends, Glady, asked me what I did for a living. I explained that I educated people about preventing domestic violence.

ge1Her eyes grew twice their size, then slowly dropped to their normal volume. She sighed and went back to watching the sun. A few minutes later, she touched my arm again and asked what the statistics were now.  I explained they were 1 in 4 women would be a victim and 1 in 9 of men would be a victim. She sighed again.

Just as the sun peeped out of existence and people started to wander home, she patted me on the shoulder. She smiled and told me this story written down the best I can remember:

purple3When I was a young gal I helped battered women…my mom as the first person I helped. I told my grandpa what was happening. Grandpa came over with a shotgun, there was a struggle and the next day mom and I patched three holes in the hallway. However, dad was never seen again and mom smiled a lot more. When I was 19 i got a job as a secretary for a hospital. A woman came in with a split lip that needed 5 stitches from a fly ball.  This was 1951, there weren’t many women out playing ball those days. She sat down and told me her tale of abuse – I was flabbergasted this happened to more people than just my mom. I told her to call her dad…he’d do something. But she was fatherless. The nurse sewed her up, and she left.

In 1961 I became the first victim advocate, and I opened my house to any woman who needed help. My husband helped, and we built an add on that looked like barracks for people to live. He and I got weapons permits and weapons to match…those men didn’t come around after some buckshot went over their head. Then I got on the women’s lib bandwagon…I even have some of my old buttons. That was the day…we were really doing something.

animal abuseNow, I hear that this is still going on and the stats are even worse. How sad is that!  Then she raised her voice: How long do we have to fight this________  ________ ____________ abuse? (You can fill in the cuss words) I worked to end abuse and maintain women’s rights for decades, and my husband died still at his desk at a women’s shelter as I did an intake form. Up and had a heart attack right then and there.

How long does this have to go on?

When I got done listening to her, I was amazed! her question was very heart-felt and a question I have to ask many many times.

love3In Pinellas County,  there are two women who are directors of Domestic Violence centers. they have both spent their years fighting for the rights of women and fighting to keep their centers open. They have held victims hands as the blood ran from their face. they have stood next to victims as their abuser yells and glares at them in a court room. they have lobbied congress, the senate, and the state. They have enacted laws, legislation, and movements that are remembered and used to this day.  They, like Glady, were on the lines when women’s rights and VAWA were being decided and discussed. they have made money, they have given money, they have given their voice, and their lives to end domestic violence once and for all.

Both of these ladies began their career working to help victims, create gender equality, and end domestic violence. Now, both of them are close to retirement age, and we are still working towards the same end that Glady was working towards so many years before them.

How long does this have to go on?

How many children have to be taught to act like this?

How many homes must be destroyed?

The real question – How will we, the next generation, change this status quo?

 

 

 

 

 

When will Domestic Violence end?

When will the abuse stop?

These are questions asked by victim again and again. They endure the pain, they endure the abuse, they endure the shame…and then they do it again and again and again and again!  After the bruises and the pain starts to heal they ask:

When will the domestic violence end?

When will the abuse stop?

These are questions asked by our DV shelters and prevention professionals. When is this all going to stop?  when will this end?  We take tons of people in every day. The ratio of 1 in every 4 women are in an abusive relationship has been found in multiple studies and data information…but what is really going on?  Why do the number keep happening?

A big reason is people like this priest in Italy:

http://news.msn.com/world/italian-priest-sparks-outrage-over-blame-of-women-for-violence-3

When a person decides to make comments that it is the victims fault…

When a person decides to make comments that a woman’s role in the abuse she suffers is how she takes care of the abuser…

When we want the finger to pointed at the victim…

When we are telling the abuser that what they did is right, but what the victim did was wrong….

When we say that the way a person acts will cause people to hurt them…

We are increasing the likelihood of this happening again. We are taking the blame of the “violent one”. We are deciding that the victim is always at fault. This can’t happen!!!

Then to add these statements to the mouth of a respected church official…it is coming from the pulpit. Essentially coming from “god”. Really people?  We can’t do this!

God does not say beat people up, hurt people, abuse people….those are actions of mortals and men. Those are actions that are not condoned in any way shape or form.

when we start publicly blaming the victim of abusive crimes…we tell the abusers that their actions are ok.

Are we seriously telling the abusers that their actions are ok?  What do you think?

 

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Happy 11th day of prevention..I’m glad you’re here!

On the 11th day of prevention I…

thanked everyone who I know that are respectful, nonviolent, and promote domestic violence prevention!

THANK YOU!!!!!

Those people who do the right thing all the time are often not thanked. Everyone loves being thanked for what they believe they should be doing…this kind gesture will go a long way in the coming year.

Please make sure you watch to the end of the video!

Ellen’s video speaks for itself!

This blog has commented on this stuff before…but this typifies the feeling we at opt4 have about these gender specific merchandise that seems to come our every year…..it needs to stop!

We have it everywhere…pink scooters that come with stickers of flowers and bunnies, pink houses that says “you can be the mommy”…what if i want to be the daddy…the pronouns you and I are pretty significant when marketing and advertising.

We have to end these gender specific nonsense that points out that women are so vastly different from men. The reality is…the genders are A LOT most alike than we want to admit.

If you want to talk about gender specific, here are a few of the ONLY items that are gender specific:

Ladies: Tampons, Pads, moon cup (and yes men, you can buy them…it’s ok. Stand proud that there is a woman that believes in you that much), reproductive health stuff. Also…bras, girl diapers, and…that’s about it.

Men: jock straps, nose hair and ear hair trimmers (somehow women just don’t have this problem as much…or they’re better at hiding it), prostrate health stuff, testicular health stuff, and….that’s about it.

So lets band together to start writing letters, making youtube videos, etc about gender specifics going away. bye bye now.

 

 

 

The power and control wheel was created to explain domestic violence.

We can say that domestic violence is caused by power and control all we want, but the reality is…most of us don’t know what power and control looks like.  That’s where the power and control wheel fits in…it helps us understand all the ways someone is able to exert this onto us.

The equality wheel was the logical antithesis tot he power and control wheel. However, when we are talking about equality we should also be talking about nonviolence.

Nonviolence is simply the absence of violence. However, it’s also the absence of violent words, images, and displays. Unfortunately, we don’t often pay attention tot he rest of the violence that is around us all the time. this violence WILL influence us, change us, and recreate ideas in our mind that our society seems to think are acceptable.

A perfect example of when violence seeps into our normal speech is seen here:

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No doubt the creators of this equality wheel were good people and meant the very best. No doubt they would never ever hurt a single person. BUT…the normalized violence in our world influenced them to add words to the bottom that promotes domestic violence.

The word beat…unless used in a musical way…is VIOLENT!  There is no other way to see it. Even the phrase “can’t be beat” has violent origins. It’s is a statement that explains that a person can’t be “beat” because they are immune to pain or “beating”.

If we are striving to make this world a better and less violent place, we must start with our language and ourselves!

http://www.avdaonline.org/index.cfm?fuseaction=news.details&ArticleId=7

This an article from AVDA – a domestic violence prevention center looking to change the way we help survivors and prevent violence in our world.

They have commented on the world of masculinity and the how we promote violence in the male world.

The current definition of masculinity promotes aggression, strength, domination and power, stripping young boys of their freedom to express a full range of emotions without ridicule.  Young men experience verbal attacks on their “manhood” when they are not measuring up to societal standards of masculinity.  They are denied the ability to express sadness, sorrow, pain, and fear.  In the words of Byron Hurt, an award-winning documentary filmmaker, published writer, anti-sexist activist, and lecturer, “until we stop telling boys that they cannot cry, or show emotion, or that they have to be tough and powerful, and in control of people and things; and until we stop sending men the message that we cannot show vulnerability, or express our anger, sadness, disappointment, fear, and rage in healthy ways, we will continue to see this kind of hypermasculine aggression, which perplexes only those who do not make the connection between masculinity, violence, and guns.”

Their views are so important and so many others.

Together we can all prevent domestic violence and violence in general.

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