Tag Archive: transportation

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:


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:


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.”


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.






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!






When I was a kid I would come home and tell my parents someone beat me up and I was asked…what did you do wrong.

I’m an adult…and my child comes home (knowing my child has mental disabilities) and says he got hit by another boy. Being a boy, and knowing how boy socialization works, I ask him what did he do wrong.

One sounds careless to the victims feelings. One sounds intelligent sounding…yet also careless to the victims feelings. Even though I know that when a boy walks up to another boy and the 2nd boy doesn’t move, the next thing is going to be, “what’s your problem?”, a push, a hit, and a fight. Is this the correct way of acting…NO!  Is this ok…NO!  However, every boy will tell you it’s normal.  The problem is how it is handled – the victim is made to be the person who is in the wrong.

The victim is never the person in the wrong!!!  This is very hard to understand to our world where we constantly ask the victim: What did you do to make this happen.

This is even worse when it is a DV victim. They asked the person to love them, and the person decided to hurt them.

Just like my son asked to be able to be on the sidewalk at that moment and the other boy decided to hurt him.

Just like I only asked to be left alone to humm while I did my work, and another boy decided to punch me.

All three the victim was blamed!!

Where are we taught these ideas?  Here’s a good idea where:



How do we stop this victim blaming?


This article depicts a common problem in our world…a problem that asks men to be “men”….no matter at what cost.

A young neighbor of mine was told by his mother and older brother that he must go fight…even through his please of not wanting to, they droned in the ideals of “manhood” into him: “you have to be tough”, “you can’t let people push you around”, “you have to be a man” , “you better not stop fighting till someone is one the ground, the one left standing wins”, “I’ll get you a reward for winning and for doing this.”

These and many more statements filled with derogatory comments alluding to the fact that if you’re not a man, you’re either a girl or a piece of a woman’s genitalia. As the words got more harsh, the words begin to be spit at the 11 year old.  In the end, he rode away on his bike ready for the fight that he didn’t want to go to with tears streaming out fo his eyes.

As this article says:  “This kind of manhood striving is driven by a contradiction: To be a real man in U.S. society, one must have or display power—the capacity to exert control over one’s self and the surrounding world—but the fact is that most men in a capitalist society have little or no power. For most men, striving for manhood status is an attempt to evade this contradiction, to escape the psychic pain it causes.”

The pain that it causes is pushed down into more violence and sexualization, so that these men feel no pain, and it is transferred to the violence or a insatiable sexual appetite to cover up the pain.

However, as the article continues to say…in the work place this is what is asked for: “Most American men know perfectly well the qualities they must display to be considered fully creditable as men: power, competitiveness, and toughness. This turns out to be enormously useful for generating profit. Just give men opportunities to display manhood in these ways and they’ll do things that add to the bottom line, even if it’s to their own detriment.”

In the end, “this what capitalism exploits, what it uses up, in the quest for profit is human bodies. This occurs in both the workplace and the marketplace. One way to enhance the exploitability of male bodies is to instill in them the desire to be men. The trick is to make feelings of self-worth contingent on the ability to display the qualities culturally defined as signs of being a real man.”

Being a real man and being a good man is most important…and the article goes on to show that we are not creating “good men”, we are creating this testosterone drunk view of what a man should be, based on archaic social structures of societies like Sparta and Ancient Greece.

This view of a “real man” is propagated even further through reality TV which shows and depicts what kids and young adults see as “real” people. If they are real people, they are famous, they are rich, they can do anything they want – that is how to be.

So in the end…this article asks us to decide whether this view of a real man is helping our society or simply destroying it?:






There is a video contest going on!!!

The whole premise is:

Seeing My World through a Safer Lens

Soo, seeing your world in a safer community.

Seeing your world safer than you can imagine!!!

According to the website:

In commemoration of the 20th Anniversary of the CDC National Center for Injury Prevention and Control (Injury Center), we are hosting this video contest to answer the question, “What does Injury and Violence Prevention Look Like in My Community?”

The “Seeing My World through a Safer Lens” video contest asks injury and violence professionals, students, and the general public to create a short video that shows injury and violence prevention in their neighborhood, community, state, or region.

You can pick any of the following topic areas to show what injury and violence prevention looks like in your own community.

CLICK to learn more about each of the injury and violence prevention topics:

Motor Vehicle Safety


Home and Recreational Safety


Violence Prevention

Traumatic Brain Injury


Grab a phone, grab a camera, grab a video camera, grab some elses video cvamera (NO STEALING!!!) and go out and film!


Enter the contest by July 15, 2012.

Well it has happened again.

I was giving out the blog’s website….opt4.wordpress.com

The people looked at me and asked…what is opt4?  That’s kind of weird name.

I explained that it was because we are opting for a better nonviolent loving world.

So after over 120 posts, i figure it’s a good time to talk about what opt4 really means…..since it seems to boggle the mind so.

The actual definition of Opt – 1. to make a choice; especially : to decide in favor of something (Merriam-Webster)

Synonyms for opt: choose, conclude, determine, figure, name, decide, resolve, settle

The idea behind using the word opt is that we are opting or choosing to do something. We are opting to actually get off of our butt and make a difference. However, the first question that comes to mind when we decide were going to do something is…what are we going to do.

Knowing this, at the end of most of the blogs I have what I call opt4 statement. These are calls to action. These are to answer…what are we going to do now that we have read this post.

Readers – we must opt to do something about the violence that is affecting over 1.5 million people per year, and when you take into consideration the second-hand abuse (like a child watching her mother get beat up) the numbers are close to 6 million people per year.  that number is huge and cries out for someone to do something!

opt 4 doing something towards preventing domestic violence.

opt 4 promoting healthy loving relationships.

opt 4 counseling abusers so that they understand why they need to change.

opt 4 educating all…all…all..all…all of the young people you know about the problems of domestic violence.

opt 4 eliminating gender roles (a leading cause of domestic violence).

Opt 4 eliminating all violence.

opt 4 creating your own blog and start talking about ways to prevent, things you’re doing to prevent, and why you’re working so hard to prevent.

opt 4 creating a website geared towards prevention of domestic violence.

Opt 4 peace in all ways.

Opt 4 watching your own mouth and stopping any violent words from coming out.

Opt 4 getting more happiness and less violence on TV.

Opt 4 constantly talking about preventing domestic violence to everyone and anyone.

Opt 4 talking about prevention soooo much, everyone wants you to stop talking about it.

opt 4 making posters about what a healthy relationship looks like and hanging them all over the city!

Opt 4 doing anything to promote healthy relationships.

Opt 4 starting or being in a slut walk.

Opt 4 starting or being in a anti-dv march.

opt 4 loving and accepting people.

Opt 4 taking a stand against all forms of power and control…including bullying!

Opt 4 changing the world so our grand kids don’t have to go through what we see everyday.

Opt 4 peace.


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