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Being Proactive vs. Reactive IS a Choice

March 22, 2011 2 comments

This post is for females of ALL ages.

There are two primary types of self-defense methods: proactive and reactive. Ideally, you will employ a combination of proactive self -defense methods and not have to rely on your reactive self-defense methods for dealing with potential violence and attackers.

What is Proactive Self Defense?
As the name implies, proactive self-defense are techniques you use before someone attacks you. Being proactive should prevent a dangerous or violent situation from happening and gives you time to put space between you and the possible assailant. For example, if you’re walking down the street and see someone who looks a bit suspicious or who otherwise makes you uncomfortable you have the opportunity to employ proactive self-defense. You can cross the street so you’re walking on the opposite side as the individual you’re unsure about. You can go into a store or public place if you’re in a location where that is possible. Proactive self-defense gives you the opportunity to possibly avoid a confrontation.

When you’re aware of what’s going on around you and of potential dangers, you have time to think about a strategy if a threat occurs. If an attack seems like it’s about to happen, you can make sure you are ready to act giving yourself a better chance at stunning the attacker rather than waiting until he or she is attacking you before trying to make a move.

Being proactive means you’re paying attention to your surroundings. If you’re walking with your head in the clouds and your MP3 player blaring in your ears, you give up your opportunity to be proactive and avoid a potentially dangerous or violent situation. Get the ear buds OUT OF YOUR EARS unless you are in a gym. Do not voluntarily take any of your senses away at any given time.

What is Reactive Defense?

Once you’ve been attacked, the opportunity for proactive defense is gone and now you must employ reactive self-defense methods in order to get away from the attacker. If someone jumps on your back while walking through a dark parking lot, you’re going to have an awfully hard time digging the pepper spray out from the bottom of your bag and spraying an attacker while he or she is attacking you. (I do not promote weapons such as pepper spray, guns, etc. = false security.)

Once you are being attacked the only thing you can do is react to the situation. You have no time to prepare or possibly prevent the situation from happening. Reactive self-defense techniques include physical fighting and attempting to outrun an attacker.

Now take a moment and ask yourself, would you rather be proactive or reactive? Not a tough choice but how many females actually know or learn how to be proactive? The number of females that know how to effectively protect and defend themselves is a small percentage to those that do not.

Any type or form of self-defense begins with knowledge and education. Prevention is the key, being proactive. Unfortunately we are not born with this knowledge, we are born with instincts but we have to be educated on the correct way to use them and how to physically defend ourselves.

I have a challenge for each of you. For one week, set a “daily” Google alert for domestic violence, sexual assault, rape, teen dating violence, abduction, bullying, stalking, murder and any other form of abuse or assault that you can think of that occurs over and over and over, hourly, daily. Read each alert that you get in your email. I mean go to the link and read the horrific reports that you receive. Read each one at least twice. Feel the pain, the turmoil; go to that dark place and put yourself in the victim’s situation. Then go look in the mirror and look at yourself and tell yourself that you have not been given a “free pass” to the possibility of being victimized. Yes, you are special but you must get your head out of the sand and realize that you are not exempt. If you are not educated, if you are not proactive nor know how to be you don’t have a snowballs chance in hell that you would survive an assault. You see anyone can and is victimized. Victimization does not discriminate.

So what do you do now? The majority of females will do nothing, absolutely nothing. Why? Because they have the mentality that “it won’t happen to me”. This post is meant to be a major wake-up call and I pray that I am reaching someone out here.

Google the murder of Jayna Murray in an upscale yoga store in Bethesda, Maryland on March 11, 2010 . When the report originally aired it was reported that two employees were assaulted and one, Jayna Murray was murdered during a botched robbery which escalated. This crime circulated on Saturday when the employee’s were found by a co-worker. Bethesda, surrounding areas, the entire country – females went into panic mode. How could this happen in Bethesda of all places? How could this have happened to Jayna, she was an awesome, sweet, loving person? And, her co-worker assaulted, alive but would live with this horrific crime for the rest of her life.

The country went into a tail spin, stunning everyone. The media went crazy and females everywhere were actively seeking some kind of self-defense training because FINALLY THEY GOT A WAKE-UP CALL!

Why in God’s name does something terrible have to happen for females to get it? Why does it take horrific crimes to be committed against females that gain media attention to make you/them look past their noses?

We now know that Jayna and her co-worker, Brittany Norwood was not sexually assaulted and Norwood has been allegedly charged with Jayna Murray’s murder. But……..what if? What if these two women were sexually assaulted, beaten, murdered and tied up? Can you even begin to imagine?

Now…..things are quieting down because Jayna wasn’t assaulted and murdered by a male. Females will go about their business and become complacent. SHAME ON YOU/THEM!

Perhaps if a victim is educated and knows how to “effectively and realistically” defend herself it doesn’t matter if her assailant is a male or female she would have a fighting chance. Don’t you think?

In order kids to drive, drivers of any age have to attend so many hours of classroom study and must drive with an instructor a set number of hours BEFORE obtaining a license to drive alone. In reality, what are the states teaching these new drivers??????? Defensive driving! Bingo! While driving you are taught to ALWAYS be watching out for the other drivers, anticipating their moves while driving.

I leave you with this thought……..since we teach DEFENSIVE driving techniques why in the world wouldn’t every female want to be taught HOW TO PROTECT AND DEFEND HERSELF? A car can be replaced, a life cannot whether in a car or from an assault.

Do something for yourself, don’t make your parents “make” you take a personal safety course (that’s another post as to what to look for in an effective course). You are not invincible, you are human!

March 21, 2011 Jayna Murray’s Parents Speak Out on GMA:

Jayna never mentioned the woman, Norwood to them. As the news broke of Jayna’s murder and spread thoughout the D.C. suburb that a killer was on the loose, Mrs. Murray said, “It’s the rumors that kill and it just burns you inside.” The family of Jayna Murray is healing through launching a foundation to remember the adventure seeking young women who loved to go bungee jumping. Jayna’s father reflects upon Jayna’s life stating, “One (Jayna) of the most fearless people I’ve every known in my life and that’s the objective as a father can get. I really admired her for everything she did and everything she represented.”

The family has created the Janya Troxel Murray Foundation to remember Janya’s life. For more information on the Janya Troxel Murray Foundation or to send a donation please send your donation to: The Janya Troxel Murray Foundation, P. O. Box 9492, The Woodlands, Texas 77387.

Keeping Jayna, family and friends in our thoughts and prayers. Blessings.

Your comments, feelings and thoughts are welcome. Please leave a comment.

Take care and STAY SAFE!

Phylicia Barnes disappeared from Baltimore a month ago; police have no leads

February 1, 2011 1 comment

They did all the things that siblings do when they get together after having been months and miles apart. They went shopping for slippers and chatted about hairdos. They visited their grandmother for Christmas. They sat up late watching movies and eating cookies.

“You know, being sisters.”

Deena Barnes stresses that point in interviews, including her most recent on an Internet radio program, trying to dispel stories swirling about strange men and alcohol in her Northwest Baltimore apartment in the days before her younger half-sister, Phylicia, disappeared on the afternoon of Dec. 28.

More than a month after the 16-year-old from North Carolina went missing wearing her new white slipper-boots, Baltimore police say they have no idea what happened to the track star and honors student who had planned to graduate early from high school and attend Towson University.

As promising leads fizzle, and searches turn up nothing, the baffling case has taken a toll not only on Phylicia’s family but on police as well.

“This is a young girl who was well-liked in high school,” said the lead investigator, Detective Daniel T. Nicholson IV of the homicide unit. “She was doing what any young person would do, visiting her family . . . and she vanished from the face of the earth. That’s hard to believe.”

Nicholson, a 17-year police veteran who has two daughters, said he’s in daily contact with Phylicia’s father, who travels between Baltimore and his home in Atlanta, and with her mother in Monroe, N.C. His biggest fear, he says, is that “it’s not going to be a happy ending.”

Authorities have repeatedly questioned a dozen people who they said had access to Deena Barnes’s basement apartment, including Deena’s ex-boyfriend, the last known person to see Phylicia alive.

Police searched more than three dozen locations, put up billboards, sought national media attention, staffed a round-the-clock hotline and drained sewer water from an old well in a shed. Not a single credible clue or sighting has emerged, they said.

Detectives have said there is no history of family trouble that would cause the teen to run away, no history of drug or alcohol use or abuse, no emotional issues.

Even more troubling, they say, is that no one has reported seeing her since her sister’s ex-boyfriend reported her asleep on the living room couch. The ex-boyfriend now has an attorney; police said several of the people they’ve talked to have retained legal representation.

Phylicia Barnes’s relatives are torn. They want media attention but are reluctant to grant interviews.

Phylicia’s mother, Janice Sallis, has accused 27-year-old Deena of condoning alcohol use and allowing men to come and go from her apartment when Phylicia visited.

The missing girl’s father, Russell Barnes, has denounced Sallis.

The day Phylicia disappeared, Deena said she left for work and texted and talked with Phylicia several times during the morning. Another sister, Kelly Barnes, had planned to pick up Phylicia that afternoon.

Deena said in the radio interview that she spoke to her ex-boyfriend, who said Phylicia was sleeping on the couch when he left. Kelly said she repeatedly tried to contact Phylicia between 12:30 and 1:30 p.m., but got no answer.

Deena returned to the apartment about 6 p.m., she told the radio interviewer, and found her sister missing. She called Kelly first, thinking the two were together, then called her father, other relatives, her ex-boyfriend and friends.

At 7:30 p.m., she called police.

Anyone with information on the disappearance of 16-year-old Phylicia Simone Barnes is urged to call Baltimore police at 855-223-0033. The toll-free number is staffed 24 hours a day. Phylicia is about 5 feet 8 inches tall and weighs about 120 pounds. She was last seen wearing a blue pea coat with a hood, a turquoise thermal shirt, blue jeans and white slipper boots and was carrying a caramel-colored purse. Police urge anyone who thinks they have seen Phylicia Barnes to call 911.

Respectfully submitted via The Washingtonpost.com; By Peter Hermann

Missing… FINALLY Phylicia Barnes Case Gets National Attention

January 12, 2011 3 comments

Baltimore MD. Last week authorities in Baltimore were at a loss for tips and leads in the case of missing Phylicia Barnes. They had made reference to the fact that the case had not gotten national attention. That has changed now.

The Nancy Grace Show featured the case last night and will be covering it again tonite. CNN’s Headline News has also been running spots today about the case. A public outcry for coverage by people online has been ongoing. This service contacted several of the major news channels requesting coverage as a part of that online campaign. But is it too little too late?

Reportedly Baltimore Police Spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said “I feel like we missed our golden window in trying to find her, not that we don’t appreciate the efforts, but it would have been great if we had gotten a little more exposure when this was one or two days fresh”. He also said he was grateful for the coverage that the case has now been receiving.

Authorities believe Phylicia has been abducted. They are hoping that someone will see her photo and remember seeing something.

She has been missing over 2 weeks now and today is Phylicia’s birthday. She turned 17 years old today and her whereabouts remain unknown. This must be an especially hard day for her family emotionally. Our thoughts and prayers, along with 10s of thousands of others across the nation, are with them and Phylicia. We all hope for her safe return. There has been Facebook site set up for Phylicia here Pray For Phylicia Barnes.

Authorities have set up a special tip line. Anyone with information on Phylicia Barnes’ disappearance should call 855-223-0033.

Radio Amber Alert Video – Phylicia Barnes

Related: Sanity Gurlz Vie To Get Media Attention for Phylicia Barnes

Respectfully submitted via Internet Radio Amber Alerts News Service

Text Messages Become a Growing Weapon in Dating Violence, Part 3…

July 1, 2010 1 comment

Text Messages Become a Growing Weapon in Dating Violence, Part 3…

Last year, Maryland passed a bill to encourage — rather than require — school districts to teach the topic. It was less than what Bill and Michele Mitchell, who lost their 21-year-old daughter, Kristin, to dating violence, wanted. But it was a start, and the couple from Ellicott City will continue to push, they say.

Bill Mitchell says he hopes that more young people will begin to see warning signs where his family did not.

Just hours before she was killed in 2005, Kristin had texted her boyfriend: “You are being ridiculous. Why cant i do something with my friends.”

He later found and heard about other texts, including one that asked why she had gone to her class rather than spend time with her boyfriend. Kristin was in her senior year at St. Joseph’s University in Philadelphia and graduated three weeks before her death.

Says Mitchell: “Text messaging, in the wrong hands, has to be about the worst thing that’s come along when we’re talking about dating violence and controlling personalities.”

Being tracked

In a recent survey, nearly one in four of those ages 14 to 24 reported that partners check in multiple times a day to see where they are or who they are with, and more than one in 10 said partners demanded passwords, according to a survey by the Associated Press and MTV.

One challenge is that many teens do not view excessive texting as a problem and may not recognize abusive behaviors. “If you’re getting 50 messages an hour and you want 50 messages an hour, that’s not a problem,” says Marjorie Gilberg, executive director of Break the Cycle, which works to end dating violence. “But if you’re getting 50 messages an hour and you don’t even want one, that’s very different.”

These sorts of topics are addressed through a teen help line called Love Is Respect and several national awareness campaigns, including MTV’s effort on digital abuse, A Thin Line, a joint effort on digital dating abuse called That’s Not Cool and the initiative Love Is Not Abuse.

In California, Jill Murray says her cases have included a 16-year-old whose ex-boyfriend paid four friends to help him text when he was asleep or at work. “It was like psychological torture.”

Murray urges parents to pay more attention to their children’s texting lives, checking to see how many messages they get, at what hour and from whom. “Parents don’t know this is going on whatsoever,” she says.

Text Messages Become a Growing Weapon in Dating Violence…Part 2

June 30, 2010 Comments off

Text Messages Become a Growing Weapon in Dating Violence…Part 2

As a parent, Lynne Russell thinks the privacy of text messaging helped obscure the danger that her daughter, Siobhan “Shev” Russell, 19, faced. The teenager from Oak Hill, Va., was killed by her boyfriend in April 2009, 10 weeks after delivering a graduation speech at Mountain View Alternative High School.

Later, Lynne Russell and her husband found scores of texts, some disturbing, that Siobhan’s boyfriend, now 18, had sent. “I don’t think she recognized the warning signs, and we didn’t see the signs until it was too late,” says Russell, who plans to start a dating-violence awareness campaign in the fall.

A federal survey released this month showed one of 10 high school students nationally reported being hit, slapped or physically hurt by a boyfriend or girlfriend during the previous year. In Maryland, which did a similar survey, one in six said they were hurt.

Although such surveys do not show a rise in violence, the texting culture has changed the experience.

In Rockville, a woman in her 20s was so closely tracked that her partner insisted that she text him photos to prove her whereabouts — each with a clock displaying the time, says Hannah Sassoon, coordinator of Montgomery County’s domestic violence response team.

Katalina Posada, 22, a recent graduate of the University of Maryland, says one of her friends is frequently texted by a jealous boyfriend. “It’s like the 20 questions a parent would ask,” she says, adding that she finally told her friend: “This isn’t right.”

Textual harassment is getting more attention as concerns about dating violence mount. In the past several years, about a dozen states have passed or are considering laws to bring dating violence education into schools.

The legislative push comes partly from parents such as Gary Cuccia, a Pennsylvania father whose daughter, Demi Brae, was killed a day after her 16th birthday in 2007. Cuccia says his daughter had broken up with her teenage boyfriend, whom the family thought of as likable, if a little jealous.

In the days before Demi’s death, Cuccia would later learn, her ex-boyfriend texted her again and again: “You know you can’t live without me,” he wrote. “U need to see me.” And: “I’m ballin my eyes.”

When Demi finally agreed to see the boy, he came over when she was alone and stabbed her 16 times in her living room.

Her father says he thinks that the largely private nature of texting is an important aspect of the problem.

“When I was growing up, we had one phone in the whole house, and if you were fighting with your girlfriend, everybody knew about it,” Cuccia says.

Text Messages Become a Growing Weapon in Dating Violence…Part 1

June 29, 2010 Comments off

Text Messages Become a Growing Weapon in Dating Violence...Part 1

The text messages to the 22-year-old Virginia woman arrived during the day and night, sometimes 20 or 30 at once. Her ex-boyfriend wanted her back. He would not be refused. He texted and called 758 times.

In New York, a 17-year-old trying to break up with her boyfriend got fewer messages, but they were menacing. “You don’t need nobody else but me,” read one. Another threatened to kill her.

It is all part of what is increasingly called “textual harassment,” a growing aspect of dating violence at a time when cellphones and unlimited texting plans are ubiquitous among the young. It can be insidious, because messages pop up at the sender’s will: Where r u? Who r u with? Why didnt u answer me?

“It’s gotten astonishingly worse in the last two years,” says Jill Murray, who has written several books on dating violence and speaks on the topic nationally. Especially for those who have grown up in digital times, “it’s part and parcel of every abusive dating relationship now.”

The harassed often feel compelled to answer the messages, whether they are one-word insults or 3 a.m. demands. Texts arrive in class, at the dinner table, in movie theaters — 100 or more a day, for some.

Harassment is “just easier now, and it’s even more persistent and constant, with no letting up,” says Claire Kaplan, director of sexual and domestic violence services at the University of Virginia, which became the focus of national attention in May with the killing of 22-year-old lacrosse player Yeardley Love.

Police have charged Love’s ex-boyfriend, George Huguely V, also 22, with first-degree murder and allege that he removed her computer from the crime scene as he fled. Police were investigating whether Huguely sent Love threatening e-mails or text messages.

Kacey Kirkland, a victim services specialist with the Fairfax County Police Department, has seen textual harassment in almost every form: Threats. Rumors. Lies. Late-night questions.

“The advances in technology are assisting the perpetrators in harassing and stalking and threatening their victims,” Kirkland says.

In the case involving the 22-year-old who received 758 messages from her ex-boyfriend — all unanswered — the harassment led to stalking charges and a protective order, Kirkland says.

Harassment by text is only one facet of abusive relationships, which often involve contact in person, by phone, by e-mail, and through Facebook or other social networking sites.

Warning signs hidden

“What technology offers is irrefutable evidence of the abuse,” says Cindy Southworth, founder of the Safety Net Project on technology at the National Network to End Domestic Violence, who says it helps in court and is hoping for an increase in conviction rates.

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