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Archive for the ‘Survivors’ 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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Create Dunkin’s Next Donut.

How about this for a DVAM (Domestic Violence Awareness Month) creation donut?

 

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Domestic Violence is no joke. Glamour and the National Domestic Violence Hotline are working on a campaign called, “Tell Somebody Campaign”. Click on the video below to learn more about what you can do to help stop domestic violence in your area.

http://www.glamour.com/tell-somebody/video/2011/05/tell-somebody-help-put-an-end-to-relationship-violence

#DVWarrior

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As one that has Lymphedema in the legs since 2004, I just love it when folks can come up with creative solutions to the fashion of having to wear  unslightly compression garments, which always lead to questions of “What did you do to your leg/arm?”  “Is it going to go away?”  “Is it just water retention?” etc, etc.   Although this isn’t going to work for me with my lymphedema in my legs, it is nice to know that someone out there is thinking outside of the box to come up with some fashionista hints.

“My name is Debbie and I am a two-time survivor of early Breast Cancer.” I am also in the daily trenches of surviving BC’s chronic ‘dirty-little-secret’ of Lymphedema. LE is indeed a potentially life ending diagnosis, but beyond that little attention getter, it poses a daily & never ending array of life-challenging agonies, concerns and frustrations. Don’t be surprised if you’ve never heard of LE. Based on my experience & that of a goodly number of my ‘swell’ LE friends, neither has much of the medical community. Grrrrrrrrrrr.

Like my early BC diagnosis, I am also in the short-end of the LE pool and I’m making it my daily work to stay here. Due to my various surgical procedures plus radiation and its aftermath plus a variety of other complications and set-backs, I have lymph nodes that no longer function properly. Ya never know how significant your lymph nodes are — until they get rearranged and quit smiling. My right arm (and yes I am right handed) no longer feels like it’s mine. It doesn’t feel like it belongs to me. It’s heavy. It tires. It’s dingy, pingy, Grumpy, sleepy and several of the other seven dwarfs as well, tho not Sneezy. I have a whole host of protective, proactive behaviors and exercises. You don’t even want to know about the threat from mosquito bites, I kid you not! Genuine threat the skeeters. Grrrrrrrrrrr.

The long and the short of it? I need to protect my effected arm by wearing a compression sleeve. I also wear other compression garments for various reasons and purposes, but that’s a whole different story and post. Today is about summer. Heat. Ugly sleeve. Intrusive questions from total strangers. [Like the waiter who looked at my compression sleeve and said with an air of knowing superiority, “Drug addiction issues, eh?” Nothing like an insightful waiter. How could I make that up?] This post is about my occasional desiring not to be a billboard for BC/LE. Going under-cover. Yes and fashion! Being the fashion maven that you’ve come to recognize here, you know how fashion plays a large part of my mindset. Here’s what I wrote last month over at BCO.

When we were in Europe, earlier this spring, EVERYONE was wearing scarves. Scarves were available EVERYwhere, in every possible design.

I bought a 6 foot scarf that is made of one continuous piece of ‘pre-pleated’ fabric which measures about 20 inches in it’s natural/scrunchie state. It measures about 40 inches when the fabric is pulled to it’s max width or flattened.

Anyhow. Quite by accident, while in Europe I wrapped the scarf around my compression sleeved arm while wearing a tank top. A little tuck here and there and I could have one ‘naked’ arm and one bare shoulder. VOILA!!!!!

For the first time in the summer I felt like I didn’t need to be ‘on guard’ from total strangers asking what I’d done to my arm. Oh happy day!!

Today, a delightfully warm summer day in the low 80’s, we went to see “Jersey Boys” and I decided to use my European scarf idea again & wanted it not to flop/slip around so much –with me tugging. So I made the scarf into a ‘tube’ by sewing it closed at one edge to slide my compression sleeve’d arm into and then just draped the rest of the length of the scarf around my neck. The sewing it shut/tube is a more permanent solution for using the scarf as a dressy hiding spot. I hope that this makes sense.

I have been experimenting with scarves for the last month.

Having enough length in the scarf seems to be the real solution — especially for the body-draping concept. I hope that the illustration gives the impression of just a scarf draped oh so casually across the shoulder (to the on-looker.)

The tube affair is the real camouflage.

As you may be realizing, I am now at the point of wearing just a sleeve for ‘everyday’ sitting at the theater events. I still wear my gauntlet when doing anything physical, flying etc etc.

I think with enough material in the scarf you could put a little stitch in the very end to create a mitten effect and still hide an entire gauntlet with ease.

The response from my LE cyber-friends round the globe has been awesome. They like it! They like it! I share here, just in case someone googles up LE and fashion (yeah, right!) My original post from BCO has been moved to the site specific for LE created by a trio of the kindest, most brilliant women on the planet called Step Up, Speak Out. It is an end-all, be-all site for support info and all things LE.

I hope that my sharing the same idea here, in this format gives some of my dear friends and supporters just a little further insight it what it means to be a survivor on a daily basis. If the post accomplishes that in the mind of one reader I have met my goal for the day.

***Oh and one more thing!!! When in doubt, out in the real world, if you meet someone with a “difference” in their appearance, count to 10 before you launch into a series of questions or insightful comments a la my waiter. If there’s any wondering at all on your part, you can always fall back on the tested and true voice of your Nana, “If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all.” The classics are indeed classic for a reason.

via RainbowsWithinReach: Lymphedema Fashion Scarf.

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Lymphedema-in-the-News/127336167284700

 

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Symptoms of Compassion Fatigue

Some of the tell tale signs of compassion fatigue are listed below.

Lack of enjoyment in day to day activities

Not deriving any joy from things that used to excite the person earlier

Difficulty in concentrating in any task

Feelings of anxiety and perpetual fear

Feelings of irritability triggered by trivial things

Isolation from family and friends

Detachment from work and life

Inability to take big or small decisions

Lack of interest in work

Avoidance of certain situations and people at work

Unprovoked outbursts of anger

Constant feeling of dread and imagination of doom

 

Causes of Compassion Fatigue

Some common causes of compassion fatigue are listed below.

Interacting with and taking care of terminally ill patients day in and day out

Caring for a physically or mentally challenged child

Counseling grief stricken families in times of grave environmental disasters

Counseling victims of sexual abuse

Working in a help line to support and encourage trauma victims

Working in close association with mentally challenged people

Providing support to people suffering from depression

via Compassion Fatigue Causes.

 

As an advocate the key to success is being able to balance compassion so that fatigue is avoided, or if it occurs that it is quickly diverted and conquered.  I am fortunate that I work at a place that takes “wellness” seriously and we are allowed to go into a wellness session for almost 2 hrs each month paid for and flexed time away from the phones, giving one an option and opportunity to balance a 40 hr work week on the phones with folks in various crisis situations  with some downtime to take care of you (the advocate).

Sometimes the wellness sessions would include meditation methods, a bit of art therapy, a bit of learning of various techniques that we can also share with the callers, some yoga, some zumba, pottery making, learning to laugh, and so much more.

More important is to take application of the things learned from the wellness sessions to make a better quality of your own life.    Healthy eats, exercise/movement, quiet time, time to voice and be an activist outside of the work environment, and so much more.

A great book that wasn’t mentioned in the connective article to read about compassion and taking care of yourself is a book called 

Trauma Stewardship: An Everyday Guide to Caring for Self While Caring for Others

 by Laura Van Dernoot Lipsky and Connie Burk, which can be found on Amazon.com.  It’s definitely a worthwhile book to read and may become your “Bible” beside you if you are a caregiver in any aspect.  Their website is something that is valuable for continued support in your own journey for continued caregiving of others — http://traumastewardship.com/.

What ideas do you have to focus upon to combat compassion fatigue in your everyday life and continue on the enjoyment of the journey of Caregiving in the sense that it is really meant to be?  Would love to hear more ideas from you.

 

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Kathryn’s Story

Please join me in the fundraising effort for this organization, the Lymphatic Research Foundation who strives to find a cure for Lymphedema.

In 2004, when a suburban hit me in an intersection and spun me around, my knees hit the steering wheel hard.  At the time, I didn’t have medical insurance; just the PIP insurance with your normal coverage of auto insurance policy.  When it was discovered a month after the accident that my swelling in my legs was simply not going to go away, it was only a beginning to a journey of learning how to be an advocate for myself.  The hospital granted me a grant for 10 treatments, but anyone who knows anything about lymphedema, 10 treatments is clearly not enough.  I was left on my own to wrap my legs and utilize a small pump and try to get the swelling to go down on my own without any insurance coverage.

By the time that I gained health insurance in 2008 through my employer when transitioning from a full time relief employee to a full time permanent employee, my legs were getting out of control and I was beginning to develop some pressure wounds.  After 3-6 months of physical therapy, aqua therapy, and transitioning from the ace looking compression bandages get up to the juxt-a-fit garments, and the approval of a flexitouch pump, I finally was able to have a better guide, control and understanding of what to do for maintaining my condition.

To this day, I still walk about with garments on both legs, although the right leg is far worse than the left, and tennis shoes that are way to big for me ordinarily (because of the wraps, I have to wear much larger shoes).  I have some sights on a new garment that comes in black and cheaper than the ones that I presently have, however, are supposed to work even better.  Hopefully, I won’t have the $500 annual garment purchase, plus the additional $100-200 I purchase each month in various specialized stockings that I have to wear with the garments.  Keeping my fingers crossed.  At least, if they are in black, they might be less noticeable.  For the past 7 years, everyone seemed to look at me with strangely while I continued to wear these garments day in and day out for the past 7 years, going on 8.

During the past years, I have been a strong advocate, learning more and more how to speak up for myself and try to make sure that I have the latest in the developments to ensure that there is continued progress without any set backs.  I’ve also promoted latest and greatest news on my Lymphedema in the News page on facebook and have become one of the admins in a patient’s only page (private) on facebook where we work to encourage and inspire one another.

In additon, I have had other lymphedema advocates come on my blogtalkradio show called, Beyond Words Live, to share updates about HR 4662 bill that is the national legislation concerning helping to defer the high costs of treatments towards the lymphedema patient.  It is critical that there is attention to this bill because, if lymphedema is left untreated, it poses a much higher health risk — such as the awfully painful pressure wounds that can run deep past the fatty tissues underneath the skin layer, exposing it to the opportunity for more infections, etc.

My story is one of many stories.  This is not lympoma or any form of cancer, although it can often result from having radiation treatments necessary to combat cancer.  Many other folks have many other causes — some trauma situated causes like mine — many others have other situations that have occurred to where the lymph nodes were damaged in some other way; and, in some cases, too, there are some hereditary links to this long lasting condition.

I come to you today to ask that, even if you can only contribute $5, it is $5 more towards the research that can be done to find a cure.  Thank you for reading my story and considering helping the cause.  I look forward to being able to tell the foundation that I exceeded my goal in raising funds for the much needed research.

Thank you!!

Kathryn

via Personal Fundraising Page for Kathryn Benefiting the Lymphatic Research of the Lymphatic Research Foundation!.

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The National Child Traumatic Stress Network provides a great fact sheet resource to Domestic Violence  and Children:  Questions and Answers for Domestic Violence Project Advocates, answering such questions as:

How do children react to domestic violence?

What are some typical short-term responses?

What about children’s responses in the long term?

What are the factors that help children recover?

What should parents tell their children about domestic violence?

How much information is enough but not too much?

What should a parent tell a child about the parent who was abusive?

How can advocates protect children from adult information?

How should parents respond to and cope with their children’s feelings about them?

What are some strategies for managing children’s behaviors that may occur in families with domestic violence?

How can advocates determine when a child needs more help?

and,

What is secondary trauma and how does it affect me?

 

 

Click on the link below to learn more:

http://www.nctsnet.org/sites/default/files/assets/pdfs/DomViolenceFactSheet_final.pdf

 

 

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Domestic violence cases seem to prevail in spite of all the efforts of the advocates across the United States and throughout the world; however, that doesn’t stop the advocates from continuing to try.  One focus has turned its head towards the affects upon childhood trauma.  One such foundation taking this focus in their hands is the Makers of Memories with its public policy initiative:

The Makers of Memories Public Policy Initiative, launched earlier this month in Washington DC, has already begun to develop momentum towards our two key objectives of:

1) raising awareness about the problem of childhood exposure to domestic violence; and

2) developing a set of solutions to address this problem.

Participants from a wide range of national nonprofit organizations have agreed to collaborate on the educational content and distribution of our documentary film project, 43 Million Secrets, and have contacted us to explore ways that we can work together to motivate leaders and policy makers to take action to provide support and assistance to children who experience domestic violence. We also are exploring programmatic initiatives with these organizations. Some of the individuals and organizations we have engaged to collaborate on our work are featured below in the images from our meeting in Washington DC on June 14.

via Makers of Memories.

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Marsys’ Law created as a result, in California, when a woman was lured back to her ex-boyfriend who claimed wanted to get back with her and make up but in actuality had a shotgun ready to kill her when she entered his home.   This event was a great opportunity to learn more.

PASADENA – The Pasadena Police Department will host a free Crime Victims’ Clinic from 8:30 a.m. to noon Saturday in the second floor assembly room at the department headquarters, 207 N. Garfield Ave.

The clinic will offer information on the Crime Victims’ Bill of Rights Act (Marsy’s Law) passed in 2008, giving victims of crimes and their families 17 constitutional rights.

Workshop participants will include the Pasadena Police Department, Justice for Homicide Victims, Pasadena Superior Court, L.A. District Attorney’s Office, Bailiff’s Office, Victim-Witness Assistance Program; Peace Over Violence and Crime Stoppers.

The clinic is being coordinated, organized and planned by Police Specialist III Patricia Magallanes.

via Crime victims’ rights to be discussed at police clinic – Pasadena Star-News.

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Recently attended a child custody inservice presented by Barry Goldstein and Dr. Mo Hanna (who, incidently co-authored the book called Domestic Violence Abuse and Child Custody).  Dr. Hanna also speaks to childhood trauma in her part of the presentation.  The statistics presented in this video by Makers of Memories foundation are, indeed pretty staggering and worth taking note.  In a quest to end domestic violence, we must take a look from all perspectives to really figure out a solution to end it forever.

Please reveiw and let me know what you think.


YouTube – 10 Shocking domestic violence statistics for 2011.

See also for more information:

http://domesticviolenceabuseandchildcustody.com

http://blog.makersofmemories.org/

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Being a lymphedema patient myself, and having a wonderfully doting and caring boyfriend who acts as my daily caregiver, I can appreciate reading this lymphedema patient’s daughter’s point of view as a caretaker.

I love the title of the blog as well — DREAM FOR A CURE… 🙂  This is definitely a common theme among all lymphedema patients and caregivers because this lymphedema condition isn’t necessarily a temporary condition but one that is a lifetime commitment to keep it from becoming a dangerous and lethal situation if left untended.

Be sure to take a glimpse at this blog and learn more about this condition that so desperately needs a cure. 🙂

Dream For A Cure….

 

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One of the most creative and latest/greatest social sites being placed out on the world wide web recently is a site called, Soul Needs!

It really works on getting to know people for their wholesome goodness, as well as a place for each and every person to come and explore fitness by way of the mind, body and soul.

Create your own profile.

Explore the “Circles”, various communities centered around specific topics or needs for fulfillment — or, create your own.

Take the many quizes available on the site to explore where you stand with your mind, body, and soul.

There are also other areas in development — entertainment and events, to begin with.

If you are wanting something a little more fulfilling than the social sites you have been to lately, you really should take the time to explore this more by clicking on the link below:

 

SoulNeeds Beta – Dashboard – txbluebonnet.

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Everyone needs a place to go to where they can heal, be safe to talk, and empower others along their healing journey.  For those traveling the healing journey due to domestic violence issues, Facebook’s page called, Domestic Violence Voices, offers just one such place.

It’s just a great feel good place with a great community spirit.

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On June 19, 2010, I interviewed author, Shelly Beach:

This author wrote the book SILENT SEDUCTION SELF-TALK: CONFORMING DEADLY THOUGHT PATTERNS TO THE WORD OF GOD. Whether or not that you actually believe in God (maybe you just believe in a higher power of some sort), techniques that Shelly Beach puts into play in her book should indeed ressonate with you, or someone you know. It is easy enough to fall victim to the self-talk that we do to ourselves, which leads oftentimes to low self-esteem and gives an abusive personality power and control edge over our lives. We need to empower ourselves to become stronger so that no one takes control of ourselves and allow us to lead the lives that we so richly deserve. Please join me in welcoming Shelly Beach to our show today and feel free to join in the chat during the show.

BEYOND WORDS LIVE – MEET AUTHOR SHELLY BEACH June 19 2010 9a CST 06/19 by Kat X Beyond Words | Blog Talk Radio.

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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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On May 29, 2010, I interviewed Danielle Joy, an author with a personal story to share.  Take some time to listen to her story when you have a chance.

Danielle Joy Linhart writes the FROM DEEP WITHIN – BLIND AND BRUISED book straight from her heart, which makes it very straight to the point; however, she has written in a format that is an easy read, and one that can certainly ressonate with any teen going through any degree of teen datingabuse. Please join me as Danielle shares her story on our show and tells more about her book, of which a portion of the proceeds are going to help the National Teen Dating Abuse Helpline (http://loveisrespect.org)! The last paragraph on her backcover of the book states, “As a survivor, I want to help those being harmed or whos might be harmed, and to educate those who can help prevent a violent relationship. This book has been a path to self-discovery, to close the chapter on that part of my life. I feel as though I have re-lived the abuse all over again. At times, I had to stop writing, but I am glad I continued because there is a chance I will help someone in need.” How true! It is hard to write book about something that was so painful in your life; it is wonderful that Danielle has managed to get past that to share her story. I can’t wait to share this guest with you. Chat room will be open for discussion too. 🙂

BEYOND WORDS LIVE – MEET DANIELLE 05/29 by Kat X Beyond Words | Blog Talk Radio.

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On May 22, 2010, I interviewed Marilyn Bray, an advocate in Sexual Assault who also shared her own personal story.

Marilyn Bray serves as the epitome of becoming a huge advocate for non-violence, inspired by her own personal experience and has become a catalyst for the new movement of survivors to talk candidly about their journeys, sharing their experiences and become empowered by the truth. Since 2001, Marilyn’s journey toward empowerment and professional growth evolved into advocating and helping those in anguish from being “victims” or rape and sexual assault. She has become actively involved in SOAR SPA, The Clothesline Project, Take Back the Night, survivor workshops and women’s perspective workshops, among many, many other things. Currently, Marilyn serves on an advisory role to Men Stopping Violence Against Women Intiative, recently started in Tampa by a group of concerned men wanting to be a part of the solution. Her story has been shared in SELF MAGAZINE, as well as more recently in the November issue of MARIE CLAIRE MAGAZINE. Please bring a warm welcome to Marilyn has she shares with us her story of survival and her mission of advocacy.

BEYOND WORDS LIVE – MEET MARILYN BRAY 05/22 by Kat X Beyond Words | Blog Talk Radio.

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On May 15, 2010, I inteviewed Hadayai, who talked more about Muslim women and their survivorship:

Domestic violence knows no age, race, gender, sexual orientation, etc – including no culture is immune from domestic violence occurring in their relationships as well. The guest today also has her own show on BTR, but comes to my show to talk more about her story and how it relates in the Muslim Community. In fact, she states that “any association with feminism is alienating in Muslim cultural circles … and… confidence from women has been slow in coming.” We hope to help demonstrate the need of understand cultural struggles when trying to help those victimized by domestic violence situations to seek help. Please join us while Hadayai talks about her mission to enact upon her, simple and huge, vision: “Give Muslim women the tools to change their climate by changing themselves” stemming out of her own experience with domestic violence and her compelling need to fill a need to help others in similar situations. Her goal through the program she founded in Georgia (here in the United States) in 1997 is to “end the silence about domestic violence and to help abused Muslim women and children with shelter, food, and clothing, as well as teach them strategies for self sufficiency – how to be confident in speech, mannerisms, and body language.” Come prepared to understand additional dimensions of struggles found in those encountering domestic violence.

BEYOND WORDS LIVE – MEET HADAYAI 05/15 by Kat X Beyond Words | Blog Talk Radio.

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On May 8, 2010, I interviewed Lauri Allen, who is a survivor, as well as part of the Private Quarters comapny.  She told an amazing story.  Please feel free to listen to her show when you get a chance:

Unbelievable turn of circumstances is a great way to describe Laurie who will be talking to us today. I have been enjoying getting to know Laurie and learning more about what she is doing today with her role at Private Quarters (an organization supporting domestic violence survivors) and part of a documentary in progress called BY A THREAD, as well as her personal experiences involved in domestic violence and why she has been so adamant to advocate for change. She states that she is on a mission to share her story as how she became safe in her own skin, as well as just her story of domestic violence on a whole. There is a certainly level of abuse and violence that women hear about on the news, in the obituaries, the obvious and repeated, daily and nightly abuse; however, there is another level of abuse that is hidden, forgotten about and not on the radar because it may not be thought of as “that bad”. At what point does it have to be “bad” to do something about it, after all? What about those less than obvious signs that lead you down a path of abuse and violence that young and mature women don’t understand and don’t know to look for? Those are the masses we need to reach and educate, speak to and empower! Please join us on May 8th, 2010, at 2pm CST to hear what Laurie has to say to empower all our listeners to changes in our lives.

BEYOND WORDS LIVE – MEET LAURIE 05/08 by Kat X Beyond Words | Blog Talk Radio.

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On April 17, 2010, I hosted this interview with Julianne. Hoping that you take time to listen to her amazing story:

 

Julianne will discuss her own personal experiences with domestic violence, as well as her involvement in the development of domestic violence programs in rural America, as well as some dilemmas and issues surrounding reaching those in the rural america about resources available to them too. Domestic violence in rural America is a perplexing issue because the batterer will often go to great lengths to alienate and isolate a victim — oftentimes, this includes moving them out to the most remote area that they can where the victim has little access to communication with the wide world, as well as their friends and family members. How can we possibly reach these folks? Be sure to tune in and perhaps we’ll hear some creative ideas that you, as a listener, can proactively do as well.

 

BEYOND WORDS LIVE – MEET JULIANNE 04/17 by Kat X Beyond Words | Blog Talk Radio.

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On April 3, 2010, I hosted this radio show with Denise Wolford.  Just catching up on what I have been doing in the past few years:

I’m very excited to present to you a show with Denise Wolford who has been dedicated to working towards ending domestic violence through her ministry, All Women Marching for Hope! Denise will share with us her story that led her to where she is today, as well as tell us more about her ministries for hope for freedom from domestic violence in this world. Just about a month ago, on March 6th, she was found marching in the streets of the community of Dallas, along with many supporters and Carolyn Thomas. She will be taking their march in other communities as well. Learn more about domestic violence and some avenues for proactive action. Look forward to seeing you at the show on April 3, 2010!

BEYOND WORDS LIVE – MEET DENISE WOLFORD 04/03 by Kat X Beyond Words | Blog Talk Radio.

 


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Information to be passed around and acted upon:

 

Glamour Launches “Tell Somebody” Relationship Violence Awareness Campaign In Honor of Yeardley Love

Today is the one year anniversary of the death of UVA student Yeardley Love. (Note our blogpost about Yeardley Love’s death and what to say to someone you care about here.)

To honor the one-year anniversary of her death, Glamour is encouraging women to talk about relationship violence—both to ask for help and to offer it without judgment. Glamour‘s Tell Somebody campaignis aimed at raising awareness about the secret that kills four women a day in the United States—relationship abuse. Over the course of an average year in twenty-first-century America, more than 1,400 women will be murdered by someone they’ve loved. Glamour asks: Why are women more likely to be killed by their boyfriends now than they were 35 years ago? And what can we do to reverse the trend?

In an exclusive Glamour/Harris Interactive representative, online survey* of 2,542 women ages 18 to 35—single, living with a partner and married—a full 29 percent said they’d been in an abusive relationship. Another 30 percent said they’d never been abused but then went on to acknowledge that, at some point, a partner had viciously hurt them: from verbal degradation to being strangled or threatened with a knife. View the top findings from the survey athttp://glmr.me/jKUWxq.

The Tell Somebody campaign kicks off in Glamour‘s June issue with an exclusive interview with Vice President Joe Biden and Dr. Jill Biden. Also included in the feature are family photos of Yeardley Love that serve as a reminder that the women we hear about in the news are much more than just headlines. Many brave women came forward to tell their stories—and 62 percent said that having the support of a friend, family member or coworker helped them “get through the relationship safely.” 

The message here? Tell Somebody. Ther feature includes exactly what to say to a friend or loved one who may be in an abusive relationship.(Note our blogpost about Yeardley Love’s death and what to say to someone you care about here.)

“The fact that abusive relationships have actually gotten more deadly for young women in the 21st century is not only confounding—it’s maddening,” says Cindi Leive, editor-in-chief of Glamour magazine. “Glamour wants to encourage all young women to start talking about this violence. Our message is simple: If you, or a friend, are in a dangerous relationship, Tell Somebody.”

Young celebrities like Emma Stone and Ashley Greene, are also joining the campaign, coming together to create an awareness video highlighting shocking statistics and underlining the message of the campaign: If you or a friend is suffering, Tell Somebody. To see the video, along with a moving series of exclusive videos of survivors, go to http://www.glamour.com/tell-somebody/video/2011/05/tell-somebody-help-put-an-end-to-relationship-violence.

There is an easy way everyone can help: In 2010the National Domestic Violence Hotline received 281,787 calls, but due to a lack of resources, 83,027 of those calls went unanswered—that’s more than 1,590 calls per week. We can change that. Glamour, the Avon Foundation for Women and the Avon Speak Out Against Domestic Violence program—an initiative that has donated more than $30 million globally to reduce domestic violence since 2004—are working to make sure that no call goes unanswered from now through October, which is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. “Women need to have someone who will listen,” says Katie Ray-Jones, director of the National Domestic Violence Hotline. “We know that for about 85 percent of our callers, it’s their first time ever telling their story.”

Glamour is asking people to make a $10 donation by texting TELLNOW to 85944. The Avon Foundation will match every dollar donated, up to $200,000. “It takes so much courage for a woman to pick up the phone and make that call,” Vice President Joe Biden told Glamour. The least we can do is make sure someone is there for her.

Join Glamour‘s campaign to stop relationship violence by changing your Facebook status to—Relationship violence kills 4 women a DAY in the U.S. If you or someone you know is being abused, Tell Somebody. Make sure someone is always listening by texting TELLNOW to 85944. Your $10 donation will help keep the National Domestic Violence Hotline open.

To learn more about Tell Somebody, visit glamour.com/tell-somebody.

*Survey Methodology: This survey was conducted online within the United States between March 3 to 17, 2011 among 2,542 women (aged 18-35). Figures for age, race/ethnicity, education, region and household income were weighted where necessary to bring them into line with their actual proportions in the population. Go to http://www.Glamour.com/tell-somebody for the full methodology.

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