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Archive for the ‘Sexual Assault’ Category

Being a survivor from domestic violence can mean many things to many different people. Here is my story, and my journey after that in order to have a voice in helping others through a variety of advocacies that I do.

National Domestic Violence Survivor Law Project

The story of my past experiences with domestic violence and how I have moved forward throughout the years to provide advocacy to others.

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On June 12, 2010, I interviewed Michele who also had an incredible survivor story from many perspectives.

Against all odds is the best three words that I can describe this surivor of domestic violence after hearing about and reading her story. She is a product of extremely young parents that were ill-prepared for parenting (her parents being involved with drugs and prisons) and various struggles leading prior her own domestic violence relationship. She is an incredibly strong woman now and I know you will want to hear her story and her amazing story of survival!

BEYOND WORDS LIVE – MEET MICHELE JUNE 12 2010 9aCST 06/12 by Kat X Beyond Words | Blog Talk Radio.

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Received Oprah’s “Today’s Mission Calendar Inspiration” email today wherein in the first paragraph it states about the January issue, “Let the hot air out of the self-esteem balloon–and find a more stable basis for carrying yourself through the world.”  What a great quote!

Wow!  Isn’t that a formidable quest at times???  A more stable basis for carrying oneself through the world???  After all, our world as we might know it gets shaken up all the time — divorce, marriage, becoming pregnant, realizing you can’t have children, in a domestic violence situation (whether it be physically or emotionally OR even if it doesn’t directly involve you but involves someone that you love or have as a friend), illnesses, deaths, etc.  We don’t plan on these events happening in our lives (directly or indirectly) but many are destined to be inevitable to happend, after all wherever there is life, there is also death around us.

For some, it can feel like a never ending cycle.  “Let me off of this roller coaster ride, please!” some will say; others, will not feel the affects of the roller coaster rides of life in general because they live ever so protected lives whereas many of us will feel small in comparison.  After all, how is it that they can have such even keel lives and others don’t?  I certainly don’t see “Hurt me!” written on the foreheads of victims nor do I see “Immortal!” written on the foreheads of those seemingly completely escaping the vast majority of the effects of the rash, bumby roller coaster ride.

How does one truly set out to find oneself more stable for carrying oneself through the world? 

* Having one job that can support yourself and your family?

* Advocating for the future of others?

* Having a job that allows you to afford to be able to spend more time with your family?

* Decluttering life’s “treasures” from one’s home?

* Having an income that will provide for a possibility that you actually have a savings for those emergencies and/or to set aside for retirement — so that one can truly enjoy retirement?

* Vowing to live healthier?

* Having opportunities for vacation time so that one can truly enjoy life?

* Restoring one’s faith in humanity?

* Having an opportunity to make time to enjoy doing things that one enjoys doing besides just working, sleeping, working, and sleeping?

What in the world is it going to take to make one more stable in order to carry themselves in the world?  What would it be for you?

For me, it would be to find that perfect balance in life where I can work to have the bills paid and a bit left over for savings, while having enough time to continue doing the things I enjoy doing — ie,  being with family and friends, blogging (go figure, huh?), artistic endeavors — as well as achieving the things that I want to do — ie, writing the book that is swarming in my head and waiting to be put into print, traveling to other countries that I haven’t been yet to (Belize, Equador, Scotland, Ireland, and Peru), building a modest home in the countryside, and finding a mate to share the rest of my life with one day (someone, that I can see us sitting in our rockers on our porch on our countryside home and just reminiscing about the good things in our lives when we become too old to move around like we had in the last 40-50 years of our lives).   Obviously, though, not all of those things can be accomplished in 2008 — or, can it?  We all must realize our limitations without letting our visions of our limitations stimy our growth. 

I am not sure that one can ever truly find that “perfect balance in life”, but surely one can attempt to try, can’t they?

Goals are nice, but getting them put into action seems daunting at times; sometimes, appropropriately determining one goal in particular is more important that setting many that will merely set us up for failure of being able to accomplish anything.  The purpose of having a New Year’s Resolution, after all, can be to light that fire of inspiration below ourselves to motivate ourselves to move forward from whatever level of instability that we have had in our lives in the past to empower us to move towards the level of stability that we all really truly desire.

Do you have a goal that you are going to put into action?  What might that be???

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“Grace will lead me home” – the title of the book she is promoting and speaking out about domestic violence, bringing home to a lot of victims of domestic exactly the fears, trials and tribulations that they have faced and feared.  Check out her story in these YouTube videos:

 

 

[YouTube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xcZg2_BDZKo]

– Robin Givins Story, Pt 1

 

 

[YouTube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7SkgsHX2g0w]

– Robin Givins Story, Pt 2

 

 

[YouTube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RVFaEJDO_zs%5D

– Robin Givins on ABC  (NOTE: sad to see the hate comments left on this video)

  

“You have to talk about it to conquer it!” – Robin Givins

(what a great quote!!)

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I certainly hope so.  Texas has been aggressive against sites, such as MySpace.com, to provide them with the Sex Offenders on their sites, especially after having to sue them for their accountability after some children were attacked by sexual predators when they went to meet them in person.  I am sure that will only make the sex offenders try to be a little more clever in hiding their identities, but at least there will be some cooperation from MySpace to hand over the names and identities used on the sites so that the authorities can crack down on these offenders who are not allowed to be on the computer sites as part of their agreements to be living among society.

Will this completely protect our children on such sites from all sexual predators? Not likely from all as some have merely not been caught — yet.  However, any steps moving in aggressive measures  is certainly a pro-active measure indeed and holds those sites accountable!

Reported:

MyFoxAustin, MySpace to Share Sex Offender Data

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Your say is needed to make sure that DV programs are funded.  Lifetime is pushing the petition to be signed and states the following:

Tell Congress to fund critical programs that help thousands of victims of domestic, dating and sexual violence

Sign the Petition In just a single day, domestic violence programs served nearly 50,000 adults and children in the United States.* These programs provide emergency shelter, counseling and legal services critical to families trying to escape abusive homes and break the cycle of violence.

Every 2.5 minutes another American is sexually assaulted.** Rape crisis centers, schools and clinics across the country offer medical assistance, counseling and prevention programs.

Today, these lifesaving programs are in jeopardy if Congress does not decide to fully fund the landmark Violence Against Women Act of 2005, which Lifetime viewers helped to make law.

You can help again! Make your voice heard by signing this petition to urge Congress to give the funding needed to keep the doors of shelters, rape crisis centers, and prevention programs open and ready to rebuild lives and make communities safer.

Sources:
*”Domestic Violence Counts,” National Network to End Domestic Violence, March 2007
**RAINN (Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network), calculation based on United States Department of Justice National Crime Victimization Survey

http://www.lifetimetv.com/endviolence/signthepetition/

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When does a Protective Order become more than “Just a piece of paper”? When you advocate for programs like this come into place in your state!! See the following article

Worldly Inquiring Mind “iWIM” 😀

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I can understand that there is a reason to be quiet about notification rather than send the residents into a panic; but, geez this apartment complex needs to exercise some sense. They are talking about an alleged sexual assault (just because it is alleged doesn’t mean that it didn’t happen; just means that the crime suspect is innocent until proven guilty).

Is the apartment complex going to sit there until all the facts are in? Perhaps, at least, a confirmation that a report has been made (either to their office or to the police authorities).

Are they going to wait for trial before they announce that the sexual assault predator was on their property? Now, that would indeed seem preposterous as everyone knows that the trials can take for-ever to come around and the suspect may or may not be actually found guilty from a matter of 6 months to a year, perhaps more — all depending on the caseload upon the Courts already — although everyone is entitled to a “speedy trial”.

What about the children of the residents who tend to play outside (sometimes even unintended)? Wouldn’t it make sense that the parents be notified so that they can keep an extra close eye on their children outdoors. After all, how can the apartment complex make the decision that just because the alleged MO might have been an adult to adult situation; how could they determine that the predator was someone who prefer children but merely found an opportunity of an adult?

What about those who tend to come in after sunset? Don’t they deserve to know that, while they probably do exercise caution and basic awareness of their surroundings, they might want to exercise an extra set of caution and awareness? How can the apartment complex (even if it is based on the Austin Police Department’s Detective recommendations) assure that the predator won’t continue to prey? Are they really willing to make that risk?

How would their ownership insurance of the property feel about the increased risk caused by the lack of response and concern to the safety of their residents? I think that they would be extremely alarmed by the slow reaction time of the management.

In Fox’s article, Neighbors Upset with Police for Not Being Told About Sex Assault, they mentioned:

Neighbors are angry and frightened after they say Austin Police left then in the dark about a sex crime in their own backyard. Residents at the Jefferson at Canyon Creek Apartments in Northwest Austin say they learned about the sex assault from the local news one month after the crime occurred. As FOX 7’s Foti Kallergis reports, the sexual assault suspect is still on the run.”

In Fox’s subsequent follow up article (appearing on the site on the same day), Sex Assault Suspect Still on Run, stated:

“One month after a man sexually assaults a woman in Northwest Austin, police have released a sketch of the suspect.

Investigators say last month, a woman was walking her dog near the Jefferson at Canyon Creek Apartments in the 11000 block of Four Points Drive shortly after 1:00 a.m. Police say just as she was opening her door to get into her apartment, a man came behind her, forced his way in, and sexually assaulted her.

 

For the last month, the victim has been working with A.P.D. to help identify the man.

 

He is described as:

 

White male
21 to 22-years-old
6′ to 6’2”
Muscular build, clean cut
Last seen wearing a baseball cap and long sleeve shirt..

 

Police describe him as a preppy fraternity boy meets construction worker. The victim was also able to describe a class ring attached to a chain and a thick belt buckle. You can see the police sketches of the suspect and his belongings in the photos associated with this story.

 

At this time detectives believe it was an isolated incident and even say the suspect may be living at the apartment complex.

 

“[The suspect] said he was very intoxicated, so he could have been someone who was coming home from drinking or something. It was more of a crime of opportunity than someone who was hiding out,” says Det. Scott Stanfield with the Austin Police Dept.

 

If you recognize the person in the sketch, you are asked to call the A.P.D. sex crimes tip line number at (512) 974-5095.”

A few things bother me, besides the story and story’s follow up have been posted on the same day, that (1) the incident occurred several months ago, (2) lack of response of the apartment management to notify the residents about the incident having occurred on the property a month ago when it occurred, (3) lack of duty of care from the management to make the residents safe, (4) them presuming that it might just be an isolated incident, and the possibility that the alleged perpetrator may live on the property.

Because I do live in Austin, I heard Channel 42’s News mention the name of the apartment complex of Tintara at Canyon Creek in their news broadcast tonight and on the video, while the stories written mention Jefferson at Canyon Creek. They are really two separate properties although they have access between the two properties since they are owned by the same owner, which is really a moot point. There are neighboring apartment complexes, residential neighborhoods, and businesses that deserved the right to know as well. As soon as they had the composite sketch, they should have posted it at the mailboxes of all the communities and windows of all the businesses. The chances that they would have the perpetrator by now would have dramatically increased by the prompt action.

Of course, the news broadcast mentions that the victim had just come along to the police station to provide a sketch description of the perpetrator this week; however, the sketch should have been released immediately.

UPDATE: Tintara Management respond as per Channel 42’s News, but blames the security officer for just notifying them of the incident. Somehow, I don’t think that the residents are going to be comforted any by that response read on the station.

UPDATE:  More information and details about the sexual assault crime from Austin Police Department.

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It is all over the news that the Miss America, Lauren Nelson, was all talk and vying more for a PR stunt rather than have the intent to testify to the courts in Suffolk County, New York, about the child predators they caught with regard to them thinking that they were going to come to a home where they intended to have sex with a 14yo, posed by her pictures.


America’s Most Wanted’s producers were quick today to respond and put a spin on the rumors flying by stating:

“Despite the information to the contrary that appears in an article in Newsday, according to the Miss America Organization neither Lauren Nelson nor her representatives have told the Suffolk County District Attorney — or anyone else — that she would refuse to testify in any of the cases in which she participated. We don’t know why the D.A. would make the comments attributed to him without knowing all of the facts.

 

“It is important to note that the Suffolk County Police were in charge of every aspect of the investigation that was featured in our broadcast. The accused predators who were arrested during the taping of this episode of America’s Most Wanted were taken into custody at the discretion of the Suffolk County Computer Crimes Unit.

“We believe that our work speaks for itself, and we believe in letting the legal system take its course.”

Lauren Nelson has also posted a video blog stating about her involvement with the sting and how comfortable she was with the process and speaking with the perpetrators. I am not sure that “comfortable” should have been expressed; after all, isn’t that what Patty Hearst said of her captors when she was allegedly kidnapped??? Just the first thought that sprang in my mind as she was talking and watching her body language and always keep looking down as if she weren’t totally telling the truth or, perhaps, a staged response. Check it out and let me know what you think??

I am not sure who to believe at this point. America’s Most Wanted certainly has a reputation to uphold and they don’t want to be going down in history as staging a sting that was a farce to improve the status of this new Miss America, which is why I am not surprised that they so very quickly posted a statement on their website.

I had, too, posted a posting after watching the sting that aired last Saturday, entitled “America’s Most Wanted Safety Center” under the “Internet” tab on this blog site. I felt that she was being sincere then; I just hope that she wasn’t planting seeds for a PR ploy and wasn’t honest in her campaign. I guess we will soon see how true to her word this Miss America is when she proves the “proof in the puddin'” by either testifying – or, not.

In the meantime, I might be heading back to the blog posting, entitled, “Person of the Week: Lauren Nelson” and see if the blogger has a different opinion of her now that this conflict rumor has started flying!!

Question: If she doesn’t testify, will this put a poor limelight upon her alone or the America’s Most Wanted as well??? Just curious as to what you might think…

Question: Do you think that the convictions of these predators can be successful – even if she doesn’t testify???

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I am working two shifts today and writing this in between calls and multi-tasking with other things that I am working on as well. The fact that I am able to do this is good because that means that there aren’t as many crisis callers today.

Yesterday was a wonderful day spent looking for bluebonnet photo opportunities, as well as photos for my Cross Project. The Cross Project was interesting as I was welcomed by many Churches (not of my own faith denomination) to go into their Churches and take photos. As such, I met a lot of interesting folks along the way. (The Cross Project photos have been updated, although I have a few more to add later when I create a page for my bluebonnet photos I took yesterday.) The icing on the cake was having fajitas with my daughter and her significant love. I had so much fun there.

This morning, at work, we encouraged one of our coworkers to go home because she was sounding sickly. Another coworker came in a bit later. When we told him that we had encouraged the other coworker to go home, he shared with us a story about being in the subways in NYC. He stated that a very determined woman was walking through the subways pushing her way through, all the while spraying lysol ahead of her just to make sure that she wasn’t going to get sick! Sometimes, I feel like that at times; being sick is no fun indeed, although I don’t get sick too often.

On another note, today is sunny and very windy. North Texas (Dallas/Fort Worth area) had two tornados hit last night. While it is windy here in Austin (central Texas), it is very nice out there and doesn’t appear to be the type with tornado capacity; hopefully, it will remain to be a very nice day. We need that for a change!! I am also sure that the SafePlace Walk this morning is very appreciative of the wind and sun; it certainly makes for beautiful weather to walk in and make an impact on awareness for domestic violence and sexual assault programs. I am envious; it looks gorgeous outside of the window in our office.

Okay… just completed the Bluebonnet Project!  Check it out! 😀

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Worldly Inquiring Mind “iWIM” 😀

Check out pictures from last year’s SafePlace Walk (2006) to see the excitement and fun that you will have at this year’s Safe Place Walk (2007) who raises funds for domestic violence and sexual assault programs in the Austin area. See you all there on Saturday, April 14th!

[rockyou id=38423391&w=426&h=320]

Don’t forget to also check out my Cross Project that I am working upon as well. It is a collection of photos of crosses that I am, currently, finding throughout the Greater Austin Area.   I am seeking out a publication commitment as well for part of this project.  Any ideas/suggestions, please let me know.

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Worldly Inquiring Mind “iWIM” 😀

The site has been updated with additional domestic violence, stalking, sexual assault, healthy living, teen dating helps and sites, as well as a links to articles on domestic violence, predator safety, child internet protection, and so much more.  Come take a look and explore.  While the site is still under constant construction, it is shaping up with a lot of useful information, spiritual guidance, and self-help sites.

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in the Worldly Inquiring Mind site.  I have updated this site within the last few days with a variety of resources concerning advocacy and self help, shopping, healthy living, Texas history, Texas Travel, Publishing, Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault, Missing Children, Spiritual Growth and oh so much more.  Be sure to come and explore soon what you might be missing!!

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