Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

1 comments Posted by Hannah at 6:47 AM

Some people may have seen Lifehouse Skit, but I found a different version this week. I wanted to post it as my present to you! I know some of you may have have the best day due to domestic violence within the home, but always know that God is there for you.


Happy Holidays, and God Bless

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Choices to Abuse, and Domestic Violence

0 comments Posted by Hannah at 10:01 AM

Economic CrisisI have been reading alot of stories about how domestic violence maybe on the raise due to our economic issues in the world presently. There are all kinds of circumstances in which could escalate domestic abuse, but we need to be realize that didn't CAUSE a person to abuse. It just gave the abuser an excuse to show their true colors.

Because it Matters was speaking on this as well.

My perspective of it from the inside at the time was that his anger was because of his stress, issues at work, because he lost his job, because he couldn’t provide for his family like he wanted to, etc. But here’s the nugget — I excused, or made excuses for, his rages and actions, based on the circumstances. This is the same thing he always did. His rage was always because I did…, the kids did…, if you would only….

Rage and other personal emotions and actions are always a personal choice. They are not something that happens to a person against their will. They choose to behave that way — even if they genuinely believe otherwise. They can choose NOT to behave that way — even if they genuinely believe otherwise.

There is no medical condition and no circumstances that excuse anger, rage, violence, verbal abuse, name calling, etc. You may doubt me, but this is a fact. It took me a very, very, very long time to learn this myself. Somehow a whole lot of other people in the world, even people with bi-polar disorder (a common excuse) or other medical conditions, manage to learn to be responsible for their behavior under even worse circumstances, without abusing those around them. Somehow other marriages, comprised of two imperfect people, manage to exist for entirely lifetimes without rage, anger, disrespect, violence, etc.

When Danni spoke about bi-polar it stuck a cord within myself as well. We had to deal with the fact my husband had a severe medical condition that wasn't ever going to get better. Matter of fact it will always get worse due to its nature. I see circumstances in which others use medical conditions as an excuse for themselves. I see spouses allowing themselves to stay in awful situations due to the fact they feel they can't even separate due to this. How would they survive? How can someone in their right minds LEAVE their spouse in that type of situation! They need HELP! I remember being paralyzed by that, because I knew one day he would need constant care. It was my responsibility as a wife to care for him. He raged because he didn't feel good, and that he was frustrated over his limitations. He was in constant pain, and because he didn't feel good....etc. BOY I had all kinds of excuses! I just never could separate the two. Abusive nature - medical condition. They don't go hand in hand. I just felt I had to put up with it due to his illness.

As the years went by I learned that I was wrong in that thinking, because of circumstances that happened directly to me. The first was the my father who was terminal. I remember a fight my parents had one day in the hospital, and both of them called me about it. It was a stupid fight, and they both could giggled about it later. Dad was on high levels of meds that caused him to be diabetic, and after a day of testing and landing in the hospital again due to his terminal condition they brought in dinner. On that dinner plate was cookie, and my father had a HUGE sweet tooth! My mother took the cookie off his tray, and my father's ugly came out! It was clear he wasn't feeling good, tired, and he was outright ticked off that she had the NERVE to take that cookie off his tray! She wasn't hospital staff - SHE wasn't his doctor! If that cookie is there HE can EAT IT! Dad was downright nasty, and my mother stayed as calm as she could. She finally told him she was leaving before she said something she would regret! His reaction wasn't good, and as she left she told him to call her when it was time to DRIVE him home - she wouldn't return until THEN!

This was out of character for both of them, and I think the stress of things just got to both of them. Mom called me to tell me about what happened as she was starting to feel badly about what she had said to him. I told her it was good she left before it got worse! She told me she had to do errands the next day, and she would return to hospital later on that day. She hoped he would be in a more reasonable mood. She wanted to make sure she was as well as she didn't want to fly off the handle again. I don't think she FLEW off the handle, but I do think she was hurt by him attacking her over a COOKIE! I just reminded her that man can 'high maintaince' when he is really sick, and I'm sure he didn't mean what he said. I knew Dad would be DYING of guilt later on that night! LOL I didn't tell her that part, but I was correct! Dad called later on that night to speak to me. Told me what a big jerk he was to her, and how she wasn't coming back the next day and HOW he deserved this due to his behavior! He went on and on about how she was the best caregiver a person could have, and my father was just dying inside over how he could act so ugly over a cookie! How she was correct about NOT eating it, but it looked so GOOD after what he had been though that day. Dad was beside himself over this behavior, and the way he spoke to me it was genuine. The next day mom showed up after errands - and Dad sweating thinking she wasn't coming - and they quickly made up!

To me that story was a normal one of the stress of illness getting the best of both of them, but both realizing it and making it better after things settled down. My father was agony over how he treated her, and you could hear in his voice over the phone. I remember mom calling later saying how he was just all over her with apologies, etc. THAT to me is a normal stress - people can be ugly and get past it. My situation was always worse, and that resolution never came. It was to be excused away, and I stuffed it to deal with as I felt I had to.

The second big trigger for me was when I needed major surgery for myself. I had been putting it off for sometime, and waiting for his health and the kids to grow older in order to do this. The time came and he did his best to make it one of the worse experiences of my life. His power and control came full force as he knew I was helpless to do anything about it. They way he treated me and the children was just downright evil! HOW dare I make him do more than he should have to, and HOW dare I get to the point where he must care for ME and the children full time.

I do remember doing something that was rather smart beforehand, and I listened as God nudged me to do so. I remember finding strength within me to admit to some people that I would need help. I didn't come right out and say WHY, but it was strong enough that people I knew personally and in business made sure they did the best they could during this time. Ladies from church came and took my kids to school and home. Other parties came with 'ready made meals' for our freezer. Everyone calls me during lunch hours to see if I needed anything. I was VP for a business organization at the time, and I remember the treasurer called while he was driving past my home. Called to check on me, and realized I needed my meds from pharmacy. My husband made sure he was coming home late enough to question if he could pick them UP or not! The treasurer did this instead, and arrived about the same time and my husband did. He thanked him for the medicine, and told him that he was sick again and soon it would 'his turn'. That reaction was quick telling to my business associate, and I noticed people were more attentive at that point as well.

I realized that there was never going to be a 'my turn' for me. I think I knew that beforehand, but I don't think I was ready to say it out loud. I remember before going into the operating room, and the staff was coming to place the IV in my arm tears started to come down my face. My mother was with me that day, and said "She never did like needles!" It wasn't the needles I was afraid of. It was the fear of what would happen to me once I woke up. My fear finally came to the surface.

YES I'm sure the economy does drive out the worse in people, but doesn't it cause domestic violence? I hardly think so. Denial and the system failing is one reason WHY domestic violence happens.Probation system failed; Roschelle Woyee died.
You read stories like this, and this had nothing to do with the economy. You read about this type of thing alot, and yet stories of how the economic woes will now make things worse. Domestic violence happens alot even when the economy of the world would be at its best. I think Danni said it best:

The abuser is an abuser because that is their choice - the circumstances just give them another chance to show it.

The economy gives them that chance. The economy it seems just give the world another excuse to stay in their denial about their choices. YES there will be more domestic violence as the economy gets worse, but choices is what makes it happen.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Woman At The Well - Lessons about Domestic Violence

0 comments Posted by Hannah at 6:14 AM

Lessons from the Woman at the Well is another current book that is on the market geared towards women within the church dealing with domestic violence.

BibleForums has a thread in which she writes out some of things she has learned from the past, and it does start out a bit rough. I feel it has some very sound advice, and she goes answer questions on the thread itself as well.

If you would like to read the author's personal testimony she has posted that as well!

Betty Ashanti Davis I felt did a wonderful job of writing on the thread, and she addressed some of the attitudes we write about here on this blog. Her book is worth checking out as well! In the up coming weeks I will be speaking about a number of others I have read as well about domestic violence in the church.

I understand the author is currently working on getting a website together as well, and I wish Betty Ashanti Davis and her new book Lessons from the Woman at the Well must success! Its so neat to be seeing so many authors finally coming forth, and writing about domestic violence and church. Remember Emotional Abuse, Verbal Abuse, Sexual Abuse along with other forms are also forms of domestic violence.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Accountability within the Church

0 comments Posted by Hannah at 11:13 AM

Rebecca Hancock has been in the news a lot lately, and its brought church discipline into the limelight. I know for myself I did struggle with this, and not because I don’t realize that Jesus wouldn’t condone having relations with your boyfriend out of wedlock. Scripture is clear about this subject. To me it was the way she described the events that bothered me.

I’m NOT going to say that I’m 100% right here, but there are items in this story that do tend to bother me. I got the impression that she had been a member of this church for sometime, and during this time she was given a mentor. I think that’s awesome! She spoke of how she never realized how they deal with church discipline, and that portion was never made clear to her. I don’t know if she was new Christian, and she had never heard of such a concept. If they do indeed use this tool, and if you look at the size of their membership it can’t be uncommon to know about it. To me this would be discussed if in nothing else but general terms, so people would know that the flock does keep each other accountable, etc. They would also realize it has happened before.

If she walked into a church, and this was made clear to her that they do this it would make the story a bit different. I don’t know how long she has been a believer, nor do I know how long she has studied the word. I don’t know if discipline actions were mentioned before she entered a relationship with a mentor. What is just general, or was it specific? To me it does make a difference, because you don’t want people walking into something blind. You would be surprised at things people didn’t realize was clearly sin in God’s eyes.

She mentioned how she told her mentor about her relationship, and how her mentor did rebuke her on this. To me discipline is a very fine line item, because you need to be very careful and loving the way you do this. The way the world is people aren’t always crystal clear on where the line is, and the last thing you wish to happen is for them to RUN in the opposite direction. It must be done with understanding, love, grace, and a willingness to help them in their struggle in this area. NOW I realize that some people can walk away, and not look back. There are others that this step isn’t so easy, and that is an area I feel the church body can be very helpful and supportive. I have seen this happen myself, and it was with different type of sins. Lets say you have an alcohol issue. At times people can’t just jump on the wagon, and stay there for life. Was she helped in this area with her unbelieving boyfriend, and her own urges with a mentor that was willing to listen and help her there? I don’t know if she was or not. It doesn’t really go there.

The next step she speaks about was the time her mentor asked her into a room to speak with her, and she entered to find a group of ladies that approached her about her sin. The part that bothered me about this portion was the comment, “I was at your house when you didn’t come home all night.” Do they have a habit of following people around? Checking up on them in this way? Waiting outside the boyfriend’s place or her place to see if she returns at night? That kind of stuck me funny, and if I felt that church members were stalking me in this fashion that would make me uncomfortable as well. I realize that some people no matter how nicely you approach them they are going to get defensive, but we really don’t know about how she was approached. That one portion did make me wonder I will admit. At this point she told them she was leaving the church never to return.

Now if things were handled properly I can understand the follow up calls by the pastor. You do hope that people will cool off, and think about what had happened. You also have an opportunity once again to help them in this struggle. If this woman KNEW what the purpose was of a mentor program within this church, and she KNEW that dating an unbeliever and then sleeping with him would set off alarms I don’t understand her reaction. She knew what she was walking into. I would HOPE they don’t just pick and choose which parties they decide to do this to. The church it sounds like did persist in communication, and then was asked to leave them be. They didn’t wish further communication, and she would NOT be returning to the church. She spoke of how she struggled with ending this relationship with her boyfriend, and the question does come up did she just choose to sin outright? On the other hand was she helped in that area in regards to support within the fold with this struggle? I have seen in the past that people are thrown scripture, and left alone after that. To me they aren’t fulfilling their end of things if they do this. We are to come along side of people, and help them and support them in this issue.

The last portion was the letter she was sent stating that they were going to bring her issue to the church, and have her removed as a church member. Nothing was mentioned about shunning, but some may question that. I don’t believe scripture calls for that personally. God always leaves that door open, and with shunning you are closing it off. To me God wishes you to turn from your sin freely, and not feel coerced into this. He wants you to do this out of obedience of God’s word, and that you have made a decision to live your life his way and not the world’s way. It’s a decision he wishes you to make personally, and with your whole heart. I see to many people do things in very manipulative fashions, and it seems acceptable because it’s a means to the end. To me that is NOT what God would wish. I guess once again I see a very fine line.

I do not understand her decision to bring this to the media. She states that she didn’t realize the discipline process, but if she tried a number of times to end the relationship as she mentioned you have to wonder. On the other hand, was it a matter of them using her as an example? Their church seems large enough that it wouldn’t be unusual for others to be removed from the church. Do they follow this process for everyone? As you know we speak a lot of domestic violence here, and I wonder if they would deal with that in the same fashion. I guess that is WHY I wonder if they did handle this properly. We see a lot of parties – both men and women – being hurt by this process that wasn’t handled properly. Why go to the media if you don’t want your sins brought before the church, but are willing to tell the world about them? That makes me wonder if she truly cares about what her children think, and about the process to begin with!

To me there isn’t enough information to go on. The world doesn’t have an issue with people sleeping their boyfriend, but within the church body most know this isn’t acceptable. That’s just the way it is. Most people know that God’s word is very clear on this. If she knew enough about the process within her church, and just didn’t feel that they would go for it then she needs to take it. If she was left with support like a lot of domestic violence victims are, “If you just submit more things would be dandy!” neither of them are within the guidelines of what scripture calls for.

Personally, I don’t have an issue with accountability. I think there should be more of it, but sadly we don’t use it properly a lot of the times. Most of the time I don’t see it used at all. Reading this story made me waffle. Was the process done properly with the correct intent? Did she just run because she didn’t want to live God’s way no matter how much loving support she got? The story made me struggle in both directions.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Senseless and Complacent - Domestic Violence Laws

9 comments Posted by Hannah at 7:36 AM

Denise and Louisa at Christmas

Barbara's Tchatzkahs called my attention to yet another example of a complacent attitude towards victims of attack, and then another senseless attack on another family member. Domestic Violence laws are to protect, and they seem to do the opposite at times. Most of the time domestic violence is a misdemeanor, but when a family member was attacked instead of the partner of domestic violence perp? Its attempted murder - which isn't a misdemeanor. Does that make any sense at all? The xgirlfriend was attacked with a hammer, and was classfied as a misdemeanor. The sister was shot in the face - that wasn't ... it was attempted murder. I don't know about you but if someone came towards me and hurt me with a hammer - I would assume it was kill! WOULDN'T YOU?

BARBARA'S TCHATZKAHS had a post today about a story of a family that has been repeatedly victimize by an abuser. Its strange to me at times HOW people can just take this so lightly! Its ALL over the place as well!

Alegre's Corner is also chiming in!

Free Us Now Mentions:

When a woman is savaged attacked with a hammer in her own home, she is not “battered”. She is the victim of ATTEMPTED MURDER. When another family member is shot by this man it is ATTEMPTED MURDER.

Can you imagine? Someone takes a hammer to attack you with, and the laws called that being battered and your attacker? He gets 3 months in jail! NOW if that same man comes back after being in jail, and shoots your sister in the face - WELL that's DIFFERENT! Its attempted murder!

The Confluence started her first sentence by saying:

The trials of Job are not limited to biblical sheepherders.

Then continues later:

Domestic violence is a sensitive subject for many people. I don’t know why it should be. You shouldn’t be allowed to commit violent acts against another human being no matter what degree of relationship exists but violence is often tolerated in marital situations. Still, it is imcomprehensible that an attacker would be allowed to roam free after he heartlessly attacked a cancer patient with a hammer. That this man had the ability to shoot her sister with a shotgun is simply unbelievable. Where were the local police? The New Jersey justice system? How can targets of domestic violence sleep easily if their predators are not actually restrained? The attackers in instances such as these seem to be operating with a single minded obsession, as if they are determined to remove a weed from their garden. It’s irrational anger projected onto a hapless target. If the crazy worldview of the attacker can’t be changed, the attacker himself needs to be locked up.

Sensitive nature seems to be correct. I just don't get it. Attempted murder means an attack that could have taken the life of another human being. Is the hammer not good enough? Betty Jean Kling now has both of her daugther's fighting for their lifes.

Free Us Now is wishing to draw attention to this, and wants to start a Louisa Law! I have agree! Just because a man, woman or child has known or been in any kind of relationship with someone that attacks like this shouldn't be handed a misdemeanor under the guise of Domestic Violence. They are mininizing the worth of human life! I mean what are these laws trying to say? Its less senseless to attack someone you know in this fashion than a stranger? To me both are senseless, and to me handing a misdemeanor charge is enabling it to happen again. My prayers are with this family!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Tackling domestic abuse in Syria

0 comments Posted by Hannah at 9:51 AM

Stop Honor Killings
had an article I just found:

Throughout her 25 years of marriage, Olfat, was regularly beaten and humiliated by her husband. Yet she never complained to anyone for fear of tarnishing her family’s reputation.

“I suffered a great deal of psychological and physical violence,” said Olfat, now a 49-year-old mother of four. Her husband was always accusing her of having relationships with other men as an excuse to hit her.

Following in the steps of other victims of domestic abuse, Olfat decided to put an end to her ordeal. She recently separated from her husband, after her children had all married and left home.

Although it was a taboo subject for a long time, violence against women is now being denounced in the Syrian media and other public forums as a reprehensible form of behaviour.

In the past few years, the Syrian government has held several conferences designed to raise awareness about domestic violence. However, the current public outcry against the abuse of women is mainly the result of efforts by civil groups

Over the last year, local associations have been running a number of projects to help women speak out about the aggression to which they are subjected.

This new assertive stance against domestic violence is helped by the fact that social attitudes are changing.

“The fact that more women are educated, go to work and are financially independent empowers them to reject violence when it is inflicted on them,” said Rouba Hamoud, a Syrian lawyer and women’s rights advocate.

A study conducted in 2006 by the Women’s Union, an umbrella organisation, indicated that one in four Syrian women suffered abuse of some kind, whether physical, verbal, psychological or legal. Other field studies suggest that only one out of every 250 cases of domestic violence is ever reported.

One successful initiative, launched by a group of Christian nuns in November 2007, is a free hotline which women can call if they suffer violence at the hands of their husbands, fathers or brothers.

The Trust Hotline, so far the only one of its kind, provides victims with practical advice on how to stand up to abusers, and informs them about their legal rights. As well as psychological and legal counseling, women may be offered a temporary refuge in extreme cases.

The service is run by the Sisters of the Good Shepherd and funded by donations to the Catholic Church in Syria. When it started, the hotline received 20 phone calls a month; the average number has now reached 230.

“Our aim is to empower a woman to find the inner strength to help herself,” said Rahada Abdoush, one of six volunteers working on the hotline.

Abdoush said the women who call up are generally anxious at first, so the volunteers try to reassure them that all calls remain totally anonymous.

“At the end of each call, we tell the victim she can call us back any time and we’ll do our best to assist her,” she said.

Abdoush sometimes refers victims to a psychologist or a social services adviser, and can even put them in touch with a lawyer who will handle divorce cases pro bono.

The Good Shepherd nuns also provide a shelter for abused women who have no family they feel they can turn to. At the five-room refuge in Damascus, the women receive psychological help and financial support until they become capable of facing life again. They can also learn a handicraft like knitting to help make them more independent.

Hotline staff appear on Syrian television talk shows regularly to draw attention to their work. In the past year, several articles have been published in the press describing the assistance that abused women can get.

Domestic violence has become a widely-discussed issue in the Arab world, and satellite TV channels carried repeated slots designed to raise awareness of the issue last month, to mark the international day dedicated to combating violence against women.

In Syria, analysts say there is some way to go before the silence that still surrounds domestic violence is broken. They say that stronger government policies are needed, not just initiatives by non-government groups.

“Domestic violence is seen as a private matter in our society,” said Nihad Tuhmaz, a professor of sociology at the Baath University in Homs. “The idea of a hotline is new to our society, which doesn’t usually take new things on board easily.”

Tuhmaz said that most of the women who dared to use the hotline and talk about their problems are educated, and in any case many others, especially in rural areas, do not have access to this kind of help.

Umm Ammar, who is from a village near Homs, is still grieving for her daughter, who died recently after her husband hit her with a shovel. Her daughter remained in a coma in a hospital in Tartus for ten days before dying..

“She used to come to us in tears every time her husband beat her up badly,” said Um Ammar. “Once, her skin was badly bruised because her husband had tied her up with a thick rope.”

The husband is now is custody.

The lack of laws that specifically address domestic violence remains an obstacle to change. Local human rights advocates have worked on designing a draft law to address this issue and lobby for the protection of abused women. The Syrian government has still not made any steps to endorse the law.

There is also growing pressure to change laws under which those convicted of so-called “honour crimes” against female family members they accuse of immorality get more lenient sentences than the standard penalties for criminal assault.

(Syria News Briefing, a weekly news analysis service, draws on information and opinion from a network of IWPR-trained Syrian journalists based in the country.)

I realize this is a muslim country in alot of ways, but I have to wonder if soon some muslim organizations may start popping since a Catholic organization has NOW broken the ice so to speak.

It wasn't to long ago that that other countries that claim to be Christian ones just started hotlines themselves. They have a long way to go, and I realize cultural aspects also will play a part in this growth. It wasn't to long ago that the USA felt this was a family matter as well. HECK I remember that attitude when I was growing up, and NO I'm not retirement age yet! LOL! Okay we didn't turn a blind eye to honor killings, but I grew up in the south and we turned a blind eye to other things. We have bruised image as well!

I pray for this organizations funding and manpower, and their eduation reaches the hearts and souls that hear it! I'm Christian but I would lie if I didn't say my heart didn't break for those in different parts of the world, and of different faiths that don't have what I have available now. Even unperfect and far from what is needed - still more than those in fear of honor killings, and their husbands feeling entitled to kill.

I will admit I love the study of other faiths, and that is why I don't always focus on my the one that I feel inside. I studied them in college - a Christian college - and it just intrigued me. It still does! I feel that if education and awareness was able to placed in other parts of the world - their faith organizations and overall soceity may begin to view women in a different manner. We don't have kitchen 'accidents' that are overlooked as often in other parts of the world. We don't have honor killings that are encouraged. To think that all those women covered head to toe with a black garment as you see on the television can be harmed if so much as their ankle shows. They can be punished if someone rapes them. I don't believe that all muslims believe in such things, but in certain areas of the world I do believe education and awareness would help so many families.

I pray for them as I do others, because I feel Jesus would wish me to do that. Tackling domestic abuse in Syria? OH yes - and in all areas of the world as well! I will continue until the sufferings stops!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Entitlement of an Abusive Mind

5 comments Posted by Hannah at 7:35 AM

When I speak to those that I know that don't have to deal with domestic abuse, or should I say don't really recognize its there is always one word they can relate to ENTITLEMENT! I remember once sitting waiting for another party to show up for a business lunch one day, and the gentleman that was there was talking about his girlfriend's xhusband. It wasn't out of vindictive nature or really anger. It was more confusion over his behavior towards NOT her, but their children they had together.

Entitlement cartoon Pictures, Images and PhotosIt seemed like a rather new relationship at the time, and he remembers how she was thankful for his help with the dinner dishes. I mean REALLY thankful almost shocked that he would do that at all! He mentioned - as he shook his head in amazement - how this man had certain hours placed aside that she was 'allowed' to vaccum so it didn't interrupt his television viewing. His peace and quiet that he needed in the evenings so he could relax. He really seemed disturbed at his views on how he would only pay for college for one child, and NOT partcipate in the other ones need for tuition. THAT child stayed at his home more often, and had the luxury of sleeping his basement. He now had a new wife, and 'their' children slept upstairs. He was done with them - his older children. The way he spoke to them, and about them just sent this man's head swimming that he could treat his own children this way.

'Why does he think that was okay? I mean WHAT do you call that you know?' he said to me.

"Entitled mindset! That's what you call it."

"That fits him to a tee! WOW never thought about that before!" he responded.

They have this sick entitled mindset that feels they are over basic morality.

O.J. Simpson Bronco police chase Entitled You remember this scene? I remember flying into California for a wedding, and we were all glued to the TV for a short period of time in the bar in the reception hall because of the outright shock we were all in! I liked OJ Simpson, and my heart just sank as I saw him drive down that highway. The highway wasn't even far from the reception I was at. We did all RUSH back to our seats when the wedding party arrived!

I remember as the trial when on I was getting a huge sick feeling in my gut! That man I felt was a handsome football player RETIRED was actually capable of murder.

That wave to the jury in THANKS when he got found not guilty.

Excuse me I'm writing had an article that reminded me of his whining speech that the recent trial that he was found guilty.

The entitlement of the abuser was a bit toned down, but it came shining in for me! I take that back - I'm sure he was more humbled by his jail stay now that I think about it.

As "Excuse me I'm writing" stated:

“Your honor, I stand before you today sorry. I didn’t want to hurt any of these guys. I know these guys. These guys have eaten in my home. I’ve done book reports with their kids. I’ve sung to their mothers when they were sick. You know I wasn’t there to hurt anyone. I just wanted my personal things and I realize that was stupid of me. I’m sorry.“

I came here to claim my stuff that I knew was here. I wanted to get the stuff that was stolen from my family, and get the people I knew stole it RED HANDED from my family!

He goes on to paint one the victims of his crime as someone who tricked him the past, and even tried to get him to do PORN videos. He was attempted to tear down this witness, and YET he forgave him for spreading rumors in the tabloids about the porn that never happened...and he just YELLED at him for it - and of course forgave him! Others that burned him he yelled and forgave them as well. Hugged their kids and their kids called him!

He just asked others to come with him, and stand behind him as he yelled at those that stole from him. Stand behind him and help him collect his things that they had stolen from him. IF they didn't let them remove his things he would call the cops!

It was his fault because he knew the characters of some of the parties he brought with him, but he in NO WAY meant to hurt anyone. lol he was only going to YELL at them, and get his stuff!

He felt he was confronting FRIENDS and retriving his property! He didn't realize he was doing anything illegal! All the rest of them except one that came with him? They all volunteered - they WANTED to go! Oh yes - and alot of I'm SORRY!

He was humbled by the jail experience some I'm sure, but his entitled mindset was there as well. HE was the victim - NO one would help him - HE JUST WANTED HIS STUFF BACK!

Why do I see entitlement? The judge in response reminded him that this trial was pretty easy due to the fact EVERYTHING was recorded! NOW if you didn't know that everything was recorded his little show for the judge may have had some people thinking, "He should have his STUFF back! He only went to GET it!"

Yet the tapes show he didn't just want his stuff back he wanted to keep it from the 'gold diggers' as he put it. The Goldman's from his older mess that involved domestic violence!

The planning was taped!
The event was taped!
Phone calls were taped!
Conversations were taped!
Video tape of him going IN!
Video tape of him going OUT!
The party AFTERWARDS was taped!
EVERYTHING on this case was on tape!

It was HIS own words that were heard thruout all those events that brought him there to the seat in her courtroom!

THEY hear it all! What came out on the tapes was the evidence was overwhelming against him.....and yet HE was only after his stuff, and he wasn't going to HURT anyone!

The event inside the hotel room wasn't just a 'I just want stuff' type of conversation! He felt entitled to GO and GET HIS STUFF by FORCE! If you hear his whine beforehand he was 'entitled' to do this! No one was helping him the way he wanted help so he was going to TAKE IT!

If you watch his reaction when the judge was speaking to him it was almost like, "Oh COME ON! Give me a BREAK!" In the first video you she her telling him he is NOT stupid but basically arrogant and ignorant.

In the second video you can see his 'sighs' and the rolls of the eyes. She just doesn't understand - he just wanted his stuff back. He wasn't going to hurt them. HIS STUFF is all he wanted! His actions were entitlment to WHAT he wanted! OJ Simpson - even tho there is overwhelmly evidence - and HE KNEW THAT - just sits there and say I just want my STUFF back! It was all done so innocently!

Entitlement of an Abusive mind isn't what I call a gender issue, but its clear as day for me during this last trial for OJ Simpson. Unlike most abusive people his charm, and twisting of facts didn't work this time. They were all taped. His pleads of what happened were a bit different if you listen to the tapes.

I remember I was on the phone recently talking to my mother about this trial. I mentioned that alot of people feel its partly payback over the last HUGE issue he had. She giggled at me, "Remember Hannah he was found NOT guilty! They didn't do a great job at his trial. That's why it happened the way it did." I giggled back at her, "COME ON! You know he was guilty! I'm not saying I agree with them and the payback...YOU know he was guilty don't you?" "I think he was, but he was found NOT guilty!" LOL Mom always trying to be that politcally correct!

I asked her if she saw his entitlement. Did she see that entitled mindset of this abuser. "Hannah after what the judge said, and if they listened to the tapes? Who could miss it!"

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Emotional Abuse Verbal Abuse Message Board

8 comments Posted by Hannah at 6:42 AM

Recently I knew board has popped up, and I wanted to point it out due to the fact it also has a section for people of faith! It seems to be the traffic is quite good, and if you are needing input quickly this would also be a good source of support.

I know I have mentioned others in the past, but I wanted to introduce you to a new one. It seems also very well moderated.

Our Place

Monday, December 15, 2008

Patriarchy Leaves the Broken Behind

2 comments Posted by Hannah at 2:51 PM

The bible speaks alot about the oppressed and broken people of this world. God's word tells us to help the oppressed, neglected and abused.

I was reading today about some ladies mentioning Michael and Debi Pearl, and I'm sure they have some awesome things to say on certain subjects but on abuse within the home they are clearly naive. On the brew*crew the poster wrote about how this legalistic way of thinking can do more harm than GOOD! Domestic Violence within a Christian marriage is possible, and it does happen ALOT with a good article noted by The Dorcas network! There are days in which I have energy to take on those that mention its a rare thing, because if you look at the numbers it happens just as much as it does in the within the protective bubble within the church.

At times I get this impression that people are using the shelter of the church so they don't have to deal with life's uglies. I don't think that is what God had in mind when he spoke of separate. I realize some are stronger in some areas than others, but to avoid all contact isn't healthy either!

The uglies of the real world can't get in if I only have friends from church.

The uglies of the real world can't affect my children that are home schooled or only go to Christian schools.

The uglies of the real world can't come into our minds if we only see God Gloried movies, read book from Christian authors.

If separate ourselves so much from the real world as a protective measure for one we can't REACH the others, and two we don't truly realize the reality of the world. The reaction of people that DO come in with all the world's uglies like domestic violence can't be that picture perfect image that the bubble needs to have to be safe. Emotional abuse, Verbal Abuse, Sexual Abuse, Physical abuse all go on within the doors of the church. The victims when they start to question or get strong enough to face facts are pushed away, and told to HUSH basically.

Adventures in Mercy wrote an very powerful article I felt. When God Leaves The Broken Behind: Biblical Patriarchy’s Biggest Problem

If there is one thing different about this God of ours, it is that He goes after the ones that all the other groups forget, or purposely exclude, or even outrightly despise. He’s the God who leaves the 99 to go get the 1, who will search the house for the lost coin, who will hear the prayers of a sinner because of the sinner’s humility, yet closes off His ears to the one who basks in his own righteousness. He is the God of whom women sing, “He opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” Yet, in the name of this very God, we are handed books or “doctrines” or systems of thought that promote exaltation of the strong. What happens to the weak when they cry out for help? The advice to them goes something like,

“Try harder. Do more. You didn’t do it the right way. Try harder. The problem is you, not the system, never the system. If it fails you, that’s only because you failed it. Try harder. Do more.”

And if you dare to ask where Jesus went in all of it, you will be scolded and reminded of your failure. Because if you would have just tried harder, Jesus would have blessed you. The verse in Titus is rewritten, and the new song is, “Sanctification by works, not of grace, lest any man should think the power came from God.” Work harder. Do more. And for God’s sake, don’t question the authority of the system. You’ll never get your picture in the magazine that way.

abused closeup bruised brokenYES if you try harder, and be a better servant things will turn around for you! If you wouldn't do things that make him so mad you can avoid the bruises. If you would do things to GIVE and not GET maybe he wouldn't be so frustrated! He is the HEAD, and he is the authority in your home - blessed are those that respect that role!

I have said this before and I will say it again - I have to wonder if a huge scandal like the sexual scandal of the Catholic church when it comes to women dying due to what the church demands of the women doesn't finally wake UP the church!

Those within the protective bubble try hard to get that area neat and clean. Their husbands may be good men, and realize the responsibility of their role. They are NOT Mr. Demand man, and are quite loving to their children. Its when you have women within that bubble that ask questions, and mention things that aren't right within the home that get blasted! They are rebellious, and they gossip about their husbands! They don't understand submit, and they can't respect the HEADSHIP within the home! As was noted within that article followers are quick to announce their stand against abortion, but when it comes to abuse within their own fold? They fall flat, and have no mercy for those that are oppressed!

Thus says the Lord, ‘Do justice and righteousness, and deliver the one who has been robbed, deliver him from the power of his oppressor” - Jeremiah 22: 3a

Patriarchy, in some homes, concentrates all power into the hands of an oppressor. What happens to the wife when she speaks out, if she ever does? She is told to hush. She is told that respectful women won’t talk about it. She goes to her bookshelf of marriage books for help, for counsel, for guidance. There, she reads books that counsel her to be more submissive, that her husband’s behavior will change if she can just reach the right level of submission. She reads books that tell her to speak in a child-like tone and to act like a young girl, to help her husband feel important. She reads books that tell her that good wives will never never NEVER speak about their husband’s in a negative way, no matter what. “Biblical” patriarchy isn’t delivering this woman from her oppressor. It is handing her to him on a platter, and telling her to smile cheerfully while they’re at it, or God will not be pleased.

It amazes me at times the hoops that those ask others to jump though so that the men can feel their role in a proper fashion. Those behaviors are NOT to be talked about, because they belong OUTSIDE the bubble! Is it any wonder WHY these women go secular? They may bite and pray that the Lord will deliver them out of oppression, but they also know it will not be with the hands of the church to help in that area. Their job is to make sure she is saintly enough to be inside their bubble of protection, and if she steps out of that to much sadly alot of people are shunned.

I'm sure part of it may be fear of being attacked, or threaten by the abuser as well. You read about missionaries all the time that place their lifes in harms way in order to honor God, but most of us won't even go near that place. We have our own families to worry about. We have a hard enough time keeping them inside the bubble safe and warm.

I have seen so many state this isn't the way patriarchy is suppose to operate. It doesn't mean POWER and CONTROL! Yet if you look at how it is dealt with when trouble is brewing...WELL...and the saying goes, "Actions speak louder than Words!" We are all human, and none of us should be placed in a the position of unquestioned authority on this earth. God is the only one that can hold that role.

bruised Patriarchy leaves the broken behind when they refuse to confront sin. Patriarchy leaves the broken behind when they ignore the bruises on the outside and those within. When you get to legalistic about this they add to those bruises, and to me it seems like punishment for dirty mess you brought into the bubble.

This is what patriarchy gives to men like that. Complete and total power. What does it give to their wives? Hell. A hell that is “God’s Way,” a hell that is, “Biblical,” a hell that they are required to smile about, to accept with joy. If women in homes like these wonder whether patriarchy really is God’s way, they are told that they are walking in rebellion, have left the Scriptures, are being deceived by Satan or even have left the faith.

Is a system God’s way, when it creates more oppression than was there before? Is a system God’s way, when it leaves the weak and the broken in a state of being worse off than before? Is a system God’s way, when it takes the healthy and pulls them down, limb by limb—when it offers condemnation instead of healing, derision towards the wounded, even as it inflicts the wounds, instead of compassion and mercy?

What answer does the patriarchy camp have for these thoughts of mine? I don’t know. I am one of the weak and the broken. They have no ears for people like me.

Is this not the fact which I choose, to loosen the bonds of wickedness, to undo the bands of the yoke, and to let the oppressed go free, and break every yoke? - Isaiah 58

Patriarchy allows the Holy Hush to happen, and Patriarchy leaves the broken behind.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Emotional Healing - how you get there?

1 comments Posted by Hannah at 8:52 AM

Emotional healing to me is a step by step process. I know I began to realize and finally own certain aspects of this as time went by. Its not something that comes all at once, but you do know when you finally took that big huge step at times! I remember in the past I would receive threats of how our home would be taken away from me. How he would get everything, and I would be left with nothing. This was a huge fear for me, and above all he knew that would scare me...and that is the reason he used it! Legal issues and rest didn't come into play in my mind, and it wasn't the fact that he would have everything that scared me either. I worked hard for this home, and all the things that went with it. I was constantly told I never did enough, and how he has done most of it. He always had the upper hand. The reality of this was very different, but to me it was a huge sense of fear. He also knew that, and it was a great tool to use when he needed it.

When I finally realized that the 'home' and rest wasn't worth the pain I had to endure to keep it things changed. I'll never forget that sense of freedom when he once again screamed about how the home was his, and he can throw us out into the cold and keep everything. He was prodding me for a response, and he got one that I don't think he was expecting, "I don't care." I can't tell you how that one small statement lifted this huge ROCK off my shoulders. Even his response about how I never care about anything didn't effect. Our life and this emotional abuse wasn't worth the house. It wasn't worth holding onto 'things'. Life would be a struggle, and normal types of pain and uglies that alot of others deal with would take its place. The walking on eggshells, and watching my words, and keeping the children silent, and watching the state of the house would all be gone! The screaming and the belittling, mocking, and attempting to take away my sense of "ME" wouldn't be an issue. I would have a safe house, and I could make my own mistakes without being torn to shreds over it.

emotional healing
At that point he was right about one thing - I DIDN'T CARE! I didn't care about one thing he said! I didn't care about one opinion he wanted me to own. I didn't care if I was this piece of poop he claimed he married. I didn't care because he wasn't worth NOT being able to hold on to what little I felt I had at the time. It would take a long time and huge struggle to get things MY way, but the price I would pay would be different. I felt it was worth it. I didn't care. It was a great feeling!

His threats like this didn't do what they were intending to do in the future. The legal issues at that point about how his threats were different as well made that 'I don't care' moment even stronger. I took a huge stride that day, and I will never forget it. I will never forget how that 'I don't care' felt, and how lovely it was to own it. His 'you never care about anything' was a joke to me. NOPE! I just didn't care about him or the house! I realized it was his way of trying to hold that control he needed for whatever reason, and in my I don't care moment he wasn't going to have it.

I guess I could have held on to all the obstacles that were ahead of me, but I choose not to go there for now. It was a huge sense of emotional healing for me, and that sense of control over me was finally gone. I wanted to marinate in the feeling. I didn't care....what a lovely set of words!

The first step of that emotional healing led to others, and I started to see this man a bit different. YES He was a bully, and YES he could scare me at times! I learned after a while everything he said had motive behind it, and I had been manipulated for a long time. I wanted to change that and start to stand up for me, and I didn't care about the price. That lead to another step in emotional healing for me. I do remember that I went a bit overboard with that I don't care for a while, and I'm not sure if it was to drive him nuts...or if I just needed it. I know both were true!

Keep in mind at times once they realize they are losing control they may try to show remorse in their own way. In my case he isn't the type to claim this change, and try to what I call "hoover" you. Hoover to me is like the vaccum cleaner - they try to suck you back into their world. I know some call it the honeymoon stage, but not everyone gets flowers and candy type of response. Celebrate Your Freedom had a humorous explanation I felt regarding this aspect, and it shows their motive in this arena as well.

Sanctuary for the Abused has article that goes into much more detail that my huge step towards getting my 'ME' back as I put it then! As you work towards that emotional healing marinate in those I don't care moments! I don't think it was a true I don't care - I just didn't care in the sense me meant it. It was so freeing! I took my control back that day, and I didn't care what he thought about that!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Exercise-a-thon for Domestic Violence

0 comments Posted by Hannah at 10:30 AM

Focus Ministries has a mention on their home page about a fund raiser the are doing for the ministry.

FOCUS Ministries is a not-for-profit organization devoted to offer hope, encouragement, education, and assistance to women who are struggling in difficult circumstances, especially dysfunctional marriages, spousal abuse, separation or divorce.

Based in Illinois, FOCUS Ministries provides help for women suffering the horror of domestic violence and for those who want to help.

They are asking others to have fun with an Exercise-a-thon, and that means ANYTHING you find FUN! Choose any exercise (run, bike, walk, skip, jump rope, swim, play tennis, baseball, football, lift weights, etc.), set your own goal, raise pledges, and take action against domestic violence!

They also have included a pre-printed form for you organization's use!

Just print off the FOCUS Exercise-a-thon form, fill in your name and address by the participant’s name, raise support, exercise, and then send in the completed form with the funds raised. Checks are to be made out to FOCUS Ministries and sent to P.O. Box 2014, Elmhurst, IL 60126. A tax deductible receipt will be given. If you have questions, please email at We want to thank you for your support of this ministry.

Focus Ministries has alot of helpful information on the site for both the parties who need to reach out, and those churches that wish to support them.

Exercise-a-thon for Domestic Violence....what an awesome idea!

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Jesus Heals Abuse

0 comments Posted by Hannah at 8:51 PM

I wanted to call people's attention to a woman I know that has been working with abuse victims online. Her site is called, "Jesus Heals Abuse". I have known Minister Jacky Hughes for a number of years, and she has a big heart for the Lord. She is from the UK, and if you enjoy listening to podcasts Here is Jacky Hughes Message of Love about her site.

There is also a rather new board that was created in which as a spiritual section to it, and Minister Jacky Hughes posts there as well. Its Called, "Our Place" Keep in mind at this point the board is rather new, but it does have alot of regulars. As this section is noticed the traffic will increase as it was just added on as a new portion.

If you are interested in Minister Jacky Hughes Story that is available, along with a devotional for the abused that seems very popular!

Minister Jacky Hughes has done alot of good online, and she also works offline with people as well. YES She is an ordained minister - at least I think that is what they call it in the UK as well. I remember her going to school some years ago, and we were all thrilled for her when she finished!

Jesus Heals abuse is a nice resource, and if you feel the need to chat with a minister directly I know she would be open to that as well! If you know of other places that this resource could be spread around - it would be appreciated I'm sure!

Monday, December 08, 2008

Angel Food Ministry

0 comments Posted by Hannah at 7:46 PM

Times are tough, and at times we all need a little help! I wanted to point out Angel Food Ministry that are about to give you over $100 worth of food for about $25.00 - $30.00! It can't hurt around the time we need a little extra for the holidays as well. Everyone is welcome! There are no conditions and you may buy more than once box of food!

Angel Food Ministry has a website, and you can search for the nearest location near you! I pray that this would be an awesome resource for those of my readers dealing with domestic violence, emotional abuse and verbal abuse!

Friday, December 05, 2008

Religion can play role in domestic abuse

2 comments Posted by Hannah at 7:40 PM

The wrote a really good story on how religion can play a NOT so good role when it comes to domestic violence.

Religion can play role in domestic abuse
By Mike Ford, The Delphos Herald
Published: Saturday, November 15, 2008 Print E-mail By MIKE FORD
The Delphos Herald

Christian churches are a staple of many communities across the region and the nation. They provide valuable moral guidance, support and social services.

However, the religion can have a negative psychological affect when a person who never feels “good enough” is caught in a cycle of “sinning,” repenting and praying for forgiveness only to “beat themselves up” for repeating the cycle. Regardless of how bad the behavior really is, the guilt and shame can be perpetuated by religious beliefs and manipulated by an abusive spouse.

The Delphos Public Library will host a talk on the subject at 6:30 p.m. Monday by Kathy Boaz, the director of Van Wert Crisis Care. She oversees a 20-bed shelter where abused women can stay for 90 days while transitioning out of an unhealthy relationship, if they choose to not return to it. She says there are several ways religion can be harmful, including denial.

“A lot of times, the church may not welcome discussion. I know a woman whose church does not want to believe she’s in an abusive relationship because they know him and think he’s a very nice, likable guy. Well, he is a very nice, likable guy. However, in the home, you have other things that do take place and, sometimes, a church doesn’t want to face the situation and this makes it hard for the wife to come forward. It’s a very taboo subject that nobody wants to talk about and the women are afraid of being ostracized in church,” she said.

When a husband with control issues uses his wife’s religious beliefs against her, he can gain further control over her. She may feel as though God will withhold approval if she fails to submit to her husband’s “authority” as God’s “head” of the household. Boaz says this can prohibit her from giving herself permission to leave the abusive relationship.

“They feel like they need permission to leave and they don’t get it sometimes. I know a woman who got very upset with her pastor. She said ‘wait a minute; I’m the victim and you’re making me feel like it’s all my fault.’ That made it very difficult for her to go back to that church and sit under that pastor,” she said.
An unhealthy approach to religion can reinforce a person’s poor self-esteem by placing a heavy emphasis on performance, which can contribute to a co-dependent dynamic in the home.

“When a woman is in an abusive relationship, there is almost always some form of co-dependence that hinders her recovery process. It becomes very difficult for her to separate from him; I call it a ‘soul tie.’ The two have a deep bond and she feels very attached, or tied, to him. That tie isn’t usually broken when she leaves the relationship and most people don’t even know they need to break a soul tie. Then, they go on to repeat their behaviors by gravitating toward the same type of man because the soul tie was never broken. This is why women will look for the same type of man they just left. They’re conditioned to it and it’s familiar; it seems normal to them,” she said.

Not only does this factor in for the individual but it often spreads to children.
“What we often see at the shelter is second and third generation of abused women - it’s normal to them. A woman may not even recognize it as abuse because it may not be as bad as what her mother went through,” she said.

Boaz also says many abused women become confused and “don’t even know who to listen to anymore.” However, the confusion is not limited to domestic violence.
“Everything has a ‘voice.’ Everything in your life speaks to you and you have to permit yourself to take control over who you allow to speak to you and who you’re going to listen to. By the time women come to us, they have the self-talk in their head, the voices of friends and the voices of family members. Everybody is telling them what they should do. It drowns out the sound of their own voice and they need to be able to just be quiet so they can sort through things and find their own voice again,” she said.

Boaz says breaking destructive cycles requires a great deal of effort to overcome one’s conditioning.

“You have to radically change paths if you want to truly be free. If you’re in an unhealthy relationship, it will require effort to make a change because it won’t seem natural. You’re conditioned to bad habits and patterns. You have to change your thought patterns. You have to make different choices concerning your surroundings and the people you allow to be around you in order to get a different outcome. If you keep doing the same things, you’ll keep getting the same results. You have to take control over your conditioning and that’s not easy,” she said.

Religion does play a role in domestic violence, and I hope that more churches educate themselves so they don't play the wrong one.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Why won't you help me?

0 comments Posted by Hannah at 8:15 PM had a story I found in which we speak of here. I hate to say this, but I have to wonder if it will take a lawsuit....and maybe even a death to get control of the church's thoughts on domesti violence.

In Pursuit of Happiness: Elizabeth's Story, 'Why Won't You Help Me?' Save Email Print

Posted: 4:31 PM Nov 20, 2008
Last Updated: 11:21 PM Nov 20, 2008
Reporter: Liz Hayes
Email Address:

For many people experiencing difficulties in life, reaching out to their church or community of faith seems like a good move.

But one area victim of domestic violence says that wasn't the case for her.

Continuing our series, 'In Pursuit of Happiness,' Liz Hayes shares Elizabeth's story. She's a woman who contacted her church when she discovered she was in an abusive relationship, but says they blamed her.

"I have wanted to be married and be a mother ever since I was a little girl. I love having a family. I want to be married, I want to have all my children live with me. I don't have that right now," she said.

44-year-old Elizabeth didn't have the perfect childhood, but as a married woman things got really tough after tragedy struck....the death of the couple's 8-month-old daughter.

"At her funeral the pastor said through this experience you will either become bitter or better."

She says her husband began attacking her emotionally after the enormous loss. On the anniversary of the child's death... the couple had a disagreement. According to police reports, it escalated to violence.

Elizabeth says her husband grabbed her and threw her onto the bed, her head crashing into the wall.

"He then came on top of me, he had me down with one arm, I was on my side and he began to beat me with his fist, including a punch in the head."

She screamed for her daughter to call 911.

"I took the phone from her and I dialed 911. My husband ran to the phone base and unplugged it."

Elizabeth's husband was arrested. A religious woman, she reached out to their church for help.

"When I went to the church one of the responses was, "Are you sure that he hit you?" "Yes, I'm positive he hit me."

"He has been in church leadership positions, in which he has been highly respected."

She soon discovered her social circle was slipping away.

"We like the way he looks in public, so he must be that way with you."

"My integrity has been questioned, my interpretation of the events has been questioned, and I have been repeatedly told that what he's telling me is correct."

She says the church leaders caused more pain to an already painful situation, adding churches need to become more educated on domestic violence.

"Please help me. I can't take this anymore and I don't know what to do, will you please help me?"

The court system, however, did help.

Her husband plead guilty to battery and was sentenced to one year probation and counseling.

Elizabeth discovered The Women's Community and for once felt validated.

"For the first time I felt like someone understood what I was saying. I had no idea what this power and control was all about."

And Elizabeth says she has a new church community where she is finding the support she needs.

But she says things are still tough. She and her husband are separated, plus she endures physical therapy for her injuries. However, she's finally in control of her own life and will forever be in pursuit of happiness.

Why won't you help me? I wonder what the church says now that they are plastered on the news!

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Domestic Violence with a sandwich is funny I guess.

5 comments Posted by Hannah at 11:32 PM

I was reading In the shadow of your wings about a story of a women driving down the highway with her infant son in the back, and her boyfriend instead of HITTING her decides to nail her with his sandwich.

In The Shadow of your wings mentioned MSNBN in the blog post, but if you look around - its all over the place!

The joke? Was it a CLUB sandwich? We aren't sure what type of SANDWICH he hit her with! Yeah - really funny!

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. - A man faces a domestic battery charge after allegedly hitting his girlfriend with a sandwich as she was driving on Interstate 95 on Friday. Police said the 19-year-old man became angry and hit the woman in the arm and face with a sandwich, knocking her glasses off.

The victim nearly lost control of the car because she couldn't see the road and the man then allegedly ripped off the rear-view mirror and used it to shatter the windshield.

The man was freed on $7,500 bail.

Police haven't said what type of sandwich was involved.

Domestic violence isn't a joke! It wasn't just MSBBC it was the same story all over the internet, and I find it tasteless personally.

The telegraph had a bit of a different take on things.

This their HA HA picture of the sandwich, and a caption below stating, "Not clear what type of sandwich was used"

Emmanuelle Rodriguez, 19, was reportedly picked up by his girlfriend and seven-month-old son from his mother's house in Port St Lucie, Florida.

The alleged incident took place on Interstate 95, as the couple were travelling north to their new apartment in Fort Pierce.

Following an argument, Rodriguez knocked off his girlfriend's glasses and nearly caused a traffic pile-up.

According to the report, the victim told police that Rodriguez got angry while she drove and "started to hit her in the arm and striking her in the face with a sandwich, knocking her glasses off her face."

The victim nearly lost control of the vehicle because she couldn't see the road. Rodriguez then ripped off the rear view mirror and used it to beat and shatter the windshield. She exited I-95 and told Rodriguez to get out and get his mother to pick him up.

According to, Rodriguez told investigators that he argued, and he "didn't want to hit her so he threw a sandwich at her striking her in the face knocking her glasses off."

The type of sandwich thrown was not disclosed in the report.

Rodriguez was released on £5,000 bail from the St Lucie county jail, according to the report.

I have to wonder WHY the type of sandwich was so important, and HOW they could make light of this? I'm sure the judge would wish to be CLEAR on that in order to figure out what kind of sentence he needs. What is grilled cheese better?

Associate Press is the one that started this junk, and then all our POPULAR no brain news release places decided to follow suit!

They seriously want to talk about something NOT so politically correct? The journalist that say the PUBLIC AS A RIGHT TO KNOW! Well News Media - you have a right to know that is down right insulting.......and HOW dare YOU! Can we call for your resignation? How about your job? Can we BRAND you forever like you do others? What about all the 'lets follow suit' places like Fox news that didn't have an issue posting this little FUNNY! You have local news stations, and other news media all posting the 'Police won't say what type of sandwich!" story! dared to say, "To much Mayo?"

Here we have a 19 year old father in a moving car going highway speeds - gets mad at his girlfriend while his child is in the back - and strikes her. Then decides to strike her with a sandwich almost causing an accident. Takes the rearview mirror and crashes the windshield.....and she has enough GOOD sense to drop his butt off and tell him to GET OUT and has him arrested.......and these NEWS outlets think its funny to mention the type of sandwich?

Domestic violence with a sandwich is NOT funny! We have complete morons I guess in the press that seem to think needing to know what type of sandwich was involved is worth mentioning as well. How is that NEWS worthy? Why would the public NEED to know about the TYPE of sandwich? Do they have no class at all?

Victims aren't innocent - they like the drama!

5 comments Posted by Hannah at 1:40 PM

I have been reading a thread on about an author that had written a book about domestic violence. Her writing touched me very much, and I guess I should have realized that in time - someone would mock what was happening in people's lives. I will be honest I doubt the poster meant to mock, but to me that is how it was received. I guess this subject makes me sensitive, and it is heart breaking to me over the years. It wears me out at times, and I wonder at times if it would be better just to walk away.

There was a time in which I was so enraged over how abusers tear victims and their families life's apart. I will admit there was almost hate there. As the years went on God showed me that I must learn to pity them as well due to their broken nature. My heart slowing started to change, and I realized if we didn't address them the cycle of violence would continue on. We have to address both portions, and I personally should give rat's butt what the stats are about gender! It doesn't matter to me - abuse doesn't have gender. If anyone is abused its wrong in my eyes, and God is never pleased with abuse.

I grew up going to church, and I had a family that was totally involved. My parents were the type that brought faith into I would say almost every aspect of our lifes. To me the church was a sanctuary. People - like God - that saw the sin in their world that breaks people. They would be that haven to go to if they were in trouble. I will admit I was very naive in that aspect. I'm not saying the church was there to solve all their issues, and take away the consequences of them. That would be unrealistic, but a strong support system in place can do wonders in the lifes of the broken.

When domestic violence started in my own life I reached out, and I found secular help as people would put it. I received things I needed at time, and my path to healing had begun. I was still this scared rabbit, and I remember going into a huge anger stage in my life. I will say at times that anger comes back over things I see, read, and experience in my life. Its nothing like the past, because that anger almost ran my life. I guess righteous anger took over at some period.

I'm NOT going to sit here and tell you all my opinions are right on the mark. At times I think I see the world in much different lenses as most. Abuse doesn't filter into every aspect of my life, but the cause of domestic violence and faith are ingrained in me somehow. I can have a big mouth, and can be very loud at times. I know I shatter that Christian bubble of how life is to look, and I know it rubs on people at times. Most of the time people characterize me as the most laid back person they ever knew. They tell me I'm levelheaded, and have a gift to see both sides that others may never have. I remember a couple of counselors telling me I had the unique ability to detach at times that most people will never grasp. I think those were gifts God gave me in time in order to be on the journey that raises such passion within me. I will never be one of the biggest voices, or even well or anywhere close to that! That's okay! I know some of the things I have written about gave others hope, and validated what they felt at times but were afraid to admit. I think that is awesome! It starts their journey, and no one can minimize that part EVER! WOO HOO! Thank you JESUS!

I do have one HUGE sore point! I ranted and raved about it on an earlier post. Church Leadership's perfect example of how they don't have a clue! Irresponsible ignorance just drives me crazy! I would never write about subjects that I had done no research on whatsoever! When you deal with something extremely dangerous you need to make sure you get your facts straight!

ladies, the man is not talking to the men here. He doesn't have to adress the brokeness of the man, he is dealing with the wife and her actions. He did a very good job doing this. You see we do have a choice to submit even to an abusive husband. God says to do it but we still have a choice. It is our actions as women he is dealing with.

I would like to see his write up to the men, which I am sure he has one.
There is a much truth to this thread but there is an underlying lie too many are believing also. Many men out there are jerks, but lets face it, with all the drama we as women put out, there are very few that are innocent. Women get into relationships they should have never been in in the first place. They don't have the blessing of their parents, and they don't usually really know the guy they marry.

I read that first paragraph about the discussion about the article I posted about, and I felt my blood pressure going UP! We have a choice to submit to an abusive husband? I guess that is true, but the poster really meant - as to say its what you should do - is what drove me right over the top! How this author KNEW what he was talking about, and its okay to write about all the uglies sins a woman can do to drive their partner to abuse. Do people drive others to drink as well? Do we FORCE our partners to get into porn? Do we shove drugs and booze down their throats with our actions? We can't MAKE them do anything! Part of our walk with Christ is to learn self control, and to grow into a better person. We are to strive to become as Christlike as possible. This author handed ammo to the abuser, and if I were guessing it will be an article they use to drive home the message of WHO is in control and WHY! Is that making it worse or better?

I have to admit the type of advice above will send victims back to their homes to TRY a bit harder, and you know how I view that? I call it the Christian form of the 'honor killing'. Its not in the form of honor to God as we are called to do. Its to honor what they view as important. I mean remember victims aren't 'innocent' here! They do the drama! The church can't use education and any form of common sense here! They can't see the broken person behind the anger, and you know what else? ABUSERS love the way the church handles this stuff! They THRIVE on it! Oh boy Oh BOY OH BOY - she will come home now, and they told her to OBEY ME (evil snicker)! Victims at times will lash back in ways because of the pressure, and the church has no problem making sure they POINT those sins out as SOON as they happen! We will dissect every portion of it, and use that 'Christian's are called to judgement' part to rub their noses in it. What they never do once again? They never really touch on the rage that it is ingrained within the abuser. ABUSERS LOVE hearing about how she got pummeled from the church again, and the church don't realize they just added gas to their tank! They added FUEL their FIRE of hate, contempt and now they handed them a HUGE blessing of justification! The church will say, "That's NOT what we meant!" Guess what? The abuser doesn't take it the way you MEANT! He is to busy relishing it to really give a poop about the rest of what you have to say. Why? His broken nature and his entitlement. Now we watch the Christian in the bubble crowd throw up their hands, and tell the victim, "We will pray for you" as they walk out the door.

No one is innocent in this world. No one is clean as a whistle! To say that victim's drama helps this be brought upon themselves is excuses. To say if you can't handle the suggestions the author brought on, and realize if you don't do them you could be provoking someone is just an excuse. Telling others that they have a choice to submit to an abusive spouse is SIN! We know what that will mean to the abuser...that SUBMIT part, and the abuser is smiling with glee...that's the sick part no one wants to admit. You can't tell the abuser that either! Their next suggestion about sitting down with the abuser, and calmly having this discussion isn't going to happen due to their brokenness. That part the church ignores as well. They throw up their hands, pray, and walk away thankful they aren't in this mess. THANK GOD they didn't make the wrong decisions! We listened to our parents, and didn't RUSH into something! YEP to me our version of the honor killing! People remain in dangerous situations with no support over the honor of keeping the marriage together for the church! They are slowing killed off emotionally, physically so the marriage stats can be viewed better by the world. It amazes me that lack of humbleness when it comes to that. They can't admit they made this huge error of judgement, and tried to use their spiritual pixie dust to make it go away.

I was on the phone today with a friend, and I told her I need to NOT get upset over this stuff. I responded to the poster, but I will admit I had to rewrite it about 4 times before it didn't sound downright rude! I wasn't diplomatic either I will admit. My friend told me that it gets me mad because I lived the 'lie' and I know the damage it does. I see the damage the 'lie' does to others, and responses such as that remind me of the lack of empathy that they shouldn't have. It did make me feel better, but I will admit I should have just walked away! Below is my triggered response. lol NOPE I wasn't innocent, and I'm sure someone will attempt to spank me over that! I think my friend is correct in what she said. Ignorance does trigger me badly, and the 'lie' does enrage me. As I was ranting to her on the phone I will getting myself more and more upset! LOL I finally stopped when she giggled at me, 'Hannah YOU are getting me MAD NOW!' Tee hee! I was getting myself worked up a a bit, and told her I couldn't go back there for a while. I knew what it would do to me. So HERE you go world - my NOT so innocent, triggered by the lie and angered at the honor killing of Christians for the SAKE of marriage! Enjoy! (insert raspberries)

I think we both realize he isn't addressing the men. That's quite clear. I don't think myself or anyone else would give the spiritual green light for the behavior he mentioned either.

I disagree if you are talking of the sin of domestic violence that you are NOT to address the broken nature of the person that is commiting that legal crime. Remember it is illegal. He is a criminal in the eyes of the law, and the behaviors that the man listed aren't going to save his behind in the front of a judge. Are you saying they should? They should in the eyes of the church? Would God agree with that? I don't think so. God would wish this broken person to be healed from the urge to hurt others in the sense. No one should submit to being abused due to some sin someone else feels they have commited against them - even if they DID do it! There is no excuse, and what this author left out is their doesn't have to a sin involved in order to be abused. Ask a victim of child abuse or other victims of violence crime! They shouldn't have to be abused because they didn't get their parents approval or went to fast into the relationship either. That is giving excuses so people don't have to deal with it.

Victims are about as innocent as you and I are. Its NOT okay in my eyes to blindly sit back and allow abuse because they didn't have the tools that others did at the time they married. Once they are healthy enough to start making changes in their say you made your bed way back when in the days you were not innocent and didn't have the tools to make the decision we as soceity feels you should have made. Chances are very good that man or woman you are speaking to came from abused home, and felt they did better than their parents did. Come to find out their spouse was just a better charmer. Allowing those people to stew in their juices of past generations doesn't stop the cycle of violence - it allows it to continue. Don't you see that?

Allowing the jerk man as you put it and the drama lady no hope to grow and become healhier because its easy to blame them isn't going to make this world a better place. Standing up and confronting sin, and having no toleration for it will. We aren't going to make any changes in this world unless we grow a backbone, and encourage others to do the same.

When one starts to grow we need to encourage that, and not tell them they aren't innocent. You have a choice to submit to abuse. Not everyone grew up in the Christian bubble, and were geared to make good choices. If that was the requirements of the Christain life maybe we need to list that on the door before people walk in. They will then have the choice if they want to see if they should take the risk of being denied fellowship.

I'll never forget the day I realized that I had been lied to all my life by what I had been taught in the church. I saw them handing over extra burdens to the abused instead of helping. I thought it was just a mistake. WHen I realized the denial was so deep and so thick I can't tell you how hard I cried, and how completely heart broken I was. I felt betrayed! My parents had told me if I was ever in trouble to go to your church fellowship. I never realized that there was conditions on that - I was that naive! I'm passionate about this because I see this HUGE error, and I don't know HOW to turn on the light! Both parties need to be healed, and they need separate help! They didn't bring this on themselves, because the world of broken people raise broken children. No one is innocent, and they shouldn't have to be to receive help. That help at times needs to be more than words and prayers.

SOceity at times is also blinded by denial, but the church in my eyes should be more step ahead of that denial. Instead I see the holy hush where there should be a shattered silence. I refuse to validate any of the sins that man listed, but to say that is an excuse for domestic violence.....that is where I draw the line! You see you don't have to any of those things on the list to be abused, and NO people aren't innocent either! There is a video on youtube regarding a 20/20 show. She spoke of how she landed in her hole, and how she felt she landed there. If you listen to how he addressed her in the video you can see clearly the irrational mindset of domestic violence. She didn't do a darn thing except ask him what he wanted for lunch! He instructed his son to pick up a video camera to tape him berating and abusing his wife. Why? To use a a tool for family night to show the kids what a bad person mommie is. That's the reality of domestic violence - its a sick broken mindset of the abuser. We need to stop making excuses for them. She was scared to reach out, and unless we figure out a way of fixing that bottleneck so it feels safer to others.......that will also continue the cycle of violence. We need to help them feel strong enough to face it. To grow past it. Those kids in the video will struggle all their lifes to make sure they don't follow their parents NOT so innocent path. We need to tell people we will be there no matter what path they go down, and stop throwing out the spiritual pixie dust as a solution.

End of Hannah's not so innocent and drama filled rant for the day!

Monday, December 01, 2008

Disabled Neglected Victims of Domestic Violence

0 comments Posted by Hannah at 12:57 PM

Women's Enews I thought had a good article about disabled parties, and the limited resources they have to reach out for help.

Feds Focus on Disabled as Hidden Victims of Abuse
Run Date: 11/28/08
By Annemarie Taddeucci
WeNews correspondent

Women with disabilities often feel left out of domestic-violence shelters and unable to communicate with hotline operators. A national meeting in December may help spotlight a hidden population of abuse victims and survivors.

(WOMENSENEWS)--Domestic violence among women with disabilities rarely if ever gets this kind of national attention.

But next month, representatives from 150 programs that receive funding from the Department of Justice's Office on Violence Against Women will meet in Nashville, Tenn., to discuss this particular safety problem.

Cindy Dyer, executive director of the Office on Violence Against Women--which provides $10 million in yearly funds to state and community organizations--said the focus of the Dec. 16-17 meeting will be on improving coordination between disability-service providers and the array of institutions involved with domestic violence: battered women's shelters, the police and the courts.

"One thing we do know is that we need to be able to provide a victim with all the different services that she needs wherever in the system she falls," said Dyer.

Dyer said women with mental disabilities are a particular concern because abusers will often consider them less likely to report abuse or be believed.

Karen, a woman with multiple physical and congenital disabilities, said that has been true in her own case.

Because she feared being identified by her current abuser, she only agreed to be interviewed if her real name was not published. She said service providers have been unwilling and unable to help her.

"I've been abused by caregivers, family, boyfriends, nurses and doctors, and even by other disabled people my entire life," Karen told Women's eNews recently. She was contacted through an online support group for people with disabilities.

'I've Been Turned Away'
Karen said she has been forced to deal with counselors with no training in disability issues, including social workers on an abuse hotline. "Battered women's programs have literally turned me away because of my disabilities," she said. "My church gave me the cold shoulder as well."

Karen thinks service providers often don't consider the possibility of domestic violence among people with disabilities. She said she is often told that she must be exaggerating and her abusive caregiver is the one who is treated like an "overstressed victim."

"It's made out to be my fault because I haven't done the 'sensible' thing of resigning my life and moving into a nursing home."

While men with disabilities are susceptible to domestic abuse the problem is worse for women because they, as a group, are five to eight times more likely to suffer from domestic violence by intimate partners than are men, according to the U.S. Department of Justice.

Women in the United States with disabilities are significantly more likely to suffer from domestic violence than are other women.

Estimates differ, but the Atlanta-based Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported in October that 37 percent of women with disabilities report intimate partner abuse as compared to 21 percent of women without disabilities.

This figure does not include violence suffered at the hands of caregivers or family members who are not intimate partners.

Many Shelters Inaccessible

Many battered women's resources are not accessible to people with disabilities. Safe havens and the legal system may not be equipped to deal with a victim who is deaf or cognitively impaired, for example.

The Office for Women in Westchester County, New York, is beginning to move into this neglected area of abuse prevention.

In partnership with the Westchester County's Office for the Disabled, the women's office is currently conducting one of the first local studies in the nation on rates of abuse among women with disabilities.

The joint effort--which works with shelters and other providers of nonresidential services for sufferers of domestic violence--hopes to gain more information about such incidences among residents of Westchester County. The agencies were founded five years apart about three decades ago.

Camille Murphy, director of the Office for Women, said the idea arose when she and her colleagues noticed over the years that "although all of our shelters are accessible, the use of them by disabled people had become real."

Last spring, Westchester County was "able to turn a direct focus on the issue," says Murphy. Soon thereafter surveys were sent to 350 police departments, elected officials, battered women's shelters and disability service providers.

To date the county has collected about 10 percent of the surveys and expects to complete the data collection process in January 2009.

Murphy said 70 percent of those women with disabilities surveyed so far have been abused by caregivers, including both family members and professionals.

When the research is complete, Murphy said she and her colleagues hope to better understand how to provide services that address the unique needs of domestic violence victims who have a disability.

Murphy says that in addition to encouraging community outreach, Westchester County expects to be able to create a "more formal network of service providers," who will have been trained in disability sensitivity and accessibility issues in order to more directly concentrate on these needs.

Model of Comprehensive Services

One group that might provide Murphy with a model is New York City's Barrier Free Living. Established over 25 years ago, it offers comprehensive services for people with disabilities and has been recognized by the U.S. Department of Justice as one of 12 model programs in the country.

The organization runs two programs for people with disabilities who are affected by abuse.

Freedom House, in operation since 2006, is the nation's first totally accessible crisis shelter. Offering food, clothing and occupational therapy, the safe haven has strobe lights that serve as alarms for deaf individuals, Braille signage for the blind and a completely wheelchair friendly design.

It was developed for both abuse survivors with disabilities and those survivors with children who have disabilities. In short, the shelter primarily serves individuals and families affected by disability and domestic violence, housing 95 residents at a time for up to four-and-a-half months.

Nonresidential intervention services--such as counseling and safety planning--are provided by the Secret Garden, the second program run by Barrier Free Living.

Secret Garden services include help with placement in residences, lining up future home care, medical care and schooling for children.

Between the 44-apartment Freedom House and the intervention services of the Secret Garden, Paul Feuerstein, president of Barrier Free Living, estimates that the organization served 2,000 victims of abuse last year, most of whom were women and children.

"We have worked with women from 13 different states and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, who have come to us for services because they haven't been able to find the accessible shelters where they are," Feuerstein said.

Annemarie Taddeucci, a quadriplegic, is a writer and journalist, as well as a graduate student in the forensic mental health counseling program at John Jay College of Criminal Justice.

This story, part of our New Writers Program, was funded by the McCormick Tribune Foundation.

Women's eNews welcomes your comments. E-mail us at

This story linked to another one that spoke of an organization that will be helping those that are disabled

Women's Silent Pleas Are Heard by Seattle Facility

Run Date: 11/20/06
By Molly M. Ginty
WeNews correspondent

Seattle has opened the first transitional housing facility in the United States for deaf domestic violence survivors, with special alarms to signal for help. Fourth in "Dangerous Trends, Innovative Responses" eight-part series.

(WOMENSENEWS)--Faith Stinson never heard the screams.

When she opened her bedroom door, she found her 6-year-old son trembling and sobbing in the hallway. Her boyfriend had berated the boy, then locked him outside her room. Stinson, who is nearly deaf but who was not wearing hearing aids at the time, didn't hear the barrage of insults or her son wailing and pounding on her door.

"My ex tormented my son, made scenes in public and stalked me while I was at work," says Stinson, a Seattle writer whose name has been changed to protect her privacy and safety. "Through it all, he took advantage of his hearing and my inability to catch everything others said."

One night in September, Stinson's ex raped her. Shortly afterward, she and her son moved to A Place of Our Own, a new program that is run by the Seattle nonprofit Abused Deaf Women's Advocacy Service and that houses deaf women and their children as they transition from leaving their batterers to living independently.

"A Place of Our Own is the first of its kind in the United States, and probably in the world," says Marilyn Smith, the facility's director, who is deaf herself and who helped found Abused Deaf Women's Advocacy Services in 1986 after a local deaf woman was murdered by her husband. "Deaf victims deserve a housing program that is designed specifically for them and where they are among other deaf victims in an environment that is deaf-friendly."

Abused Deaf Women's Advocacy Services is helping to launch replication projects in 15 communities across the nation in Austin, Texas; Columbus, Ohio; Denver; Des Moines, Iowa; Detroit; Honolulu; Minneapolis, Minn.; Philadelphia; Rochester, N.Y.; Salt Lake City; Tampa, Fla.; Washington, D.C; in the states of Wisconsin and Vermont; and in the San Francisco Bay Area. It also has 28 other communities on its waiting list.

"This program fills a critically important niche," says Nancy J. Bloch, CEO of the National Association of the Deaf, based in Silver Spring, Md. "It serves as an exemplary model for others across the nation to emulate."

Universal Violence Rates

Deaf and hearing women experience domestic violence at roughly the same rate, with 1 in every 4 women affected during her lifetime. Women--whether gay or straight--are the victims in 85 percent of cases, according to the Washington-based National Coalition Against Domestic Violence.

For both deaf and hearing women, the cycle of violence is the same: an eruption, a period of making up and restoring calm, the buildup of tension, then the next explosion. The pattern can be difficult to break because it becomes the norm, and also because of extenuating factors: children, money, housing and the stubborn hope that the situation might change.

But for the hard of hearing, who number 28 million in the United States, there are added complications.

"Victims may be unable to convey the truth to police or social service providers who don't speak sign language," says Smith, who was raped as a college student but whose attacker was not arrested because police could not understand her signing. "The abuser may even act as translator and repeatedly insist that nothing is wrong."

Emergency response teams that rely on 911 calls are not always designed to communicate with the deaf, and cell phones can only be used by the hearing.

If the abuser can hear, he may more readily find higher-paying work than his victim. Like Stinson's ex, he may be the breadwinner and homeowner in the relationship. Finding housing without the abuser can be daunting. Hard-of-hearing people seeking rental apartments face discrimination in 50 percent of cases, according to a 2005 governmental study.

"These are barriers to self determination that don't exist in the broader environment," says Cathy Hoog, an advocate specialist at A Place of Our Own.

Text Telephones and Interpreters

Over the past two decades, Abused Deaf Women's Advocacy Services has trained emergency personnel to identify deaf domestic violence victims and has put text telephones on Seattle's streets and American Sign Language interpreters in its police precincts.

It has created support groups, educational workshops and housing referral services for deaf victims. It has provided community education to 22,000 deaf and hearing people in addition to the thousands of deaf citizens it has served through the national deaf domestic violence hotline it helped create.

In August it launched A Place of Our Own, which is designed to accommodate 19 deaf women and their children. Costing $8.6 million to build and created with support from foundations, individuals, the city of Seattle, King County and the state of Washington, the facility has a projected annual operating budget of $1.5 million. The program recently received a $350,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Justice, and will use this money, appropriated through the Violence Against Women Act, to hire three more employees and bring its total staff to 19.

Currently managed by the YWCA of Seattle's King and Snohomish counties, the program expects to operate autonomously in three years.

Each of the facility's apartments includes TTYs--teletypewriters that enable the deaf to use the telephone--and lighting systems that signal children's cries, doorbells, fire alarms and telephone rings.

Open Sightlines and Communal Design

The 32,256-square-foot, four-story building offers open sightlines so clients and staff can sign and lip read while in different rooms. Communal areas such as the dining room, study and garden are designed to promote interaction and build community among residents.

Staff members are fluent in American Sign Language and either have experience working with the deaf or are deaf themselves. Working with clients one-on-one and in groups, they provide therapy, parenting classes, child care, job skills training, and legal and medical advocacy.

"All of this makes this a safe place for deaf victims, and makes them less tempted to go back to their abusers," says Rob Roth, a member of the program's steering committee and the former director of San Francisco's Deaf Counseling, Advocacy and Referral Agency.

The facility accepts clients who earn 30 percent of Seattle's median income--setting its income limit at $18,700 for one mother and a single child--and charges clients less than 30 percent of their income in rent. Residents and their children may stay for up to two years.

So far the facility has only four residents, but administrators expect to be at full capacity by December.

Clients already have success stories to share. There is the boy who no longer slaps his mother to get her attention, as his father did. There is the progress made by Faith Stinson and her son, who are launching a new life together.

"I'm undergoing counseling to work through the changes that have affected both of us," says Stinson. "This is a place where both of us can feel secure and safe."

Molly M. Ginty is a freelance writer based in New York City.

Women's eNews welcomes your comments. E-mail us at

This series is supported by a special grant from Mary Kay Inc.

I'm thankful that programs are starting to pop up for the disabled neglected victims of domestic violence. I hope and pray such programs continue to grow and reach out to those that feel cut off from others.

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