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Police Continue to Seek Help in UNC Student, Faith Hedgepeth’s Death…

March 11, 2013 Comments off

faith

Faith Hedgepeth was a biology major at the University of North Carolina who was found dead in an apparent homicide on Sept. 7, 2012.
 

Chapel Hill police continue to investigate the death of Faith Danielle Hedgepeth, a 19-year-old UNC student whose body was found in her apartment in early September.

Early in the investigation, and without releasing details about the cause of Hedgepeth’s death, police indicated they believed her death was not the result of a random act of violence.

Hundreds of students gathered on Sept. 10 in the Pit to mourn. Hedgepeth, who grew up in Halifax County, had long been active in the American Indian community.

Over the following weeks, little new information emerged. In early January, police shared additional information.

A statement issued by the Chapel Hill Police Department said the investigation had found that Hedgepeth and her roommate had been at a local nightclub, The Thrill, in the early hours of Sept. 7. They also said that Hedgepeth was last known to be alive at about 3 a.m. at the apartment she shared with her roommate and that DNA evidence collected at the apartment was left by a male suspect.

Investigators have consulted other agencies, including the FBI’s Behavioral Analysis Unit, leading them to believe that:

  • The homicide suspect was familiar with the victim and may have lived near the victim in the past.
  • The suspect was unaccounted for during the early hours of Sept. 7, 2012.
  • The suspect may have made comments regarding the victim to close associates in the past.
  • There may have been some change in the suspect’s behavior after the murder (to include an unusual interest in the case) or a change in his performance at work or school.

A reward of up to $39,000, including $25,000 pledged by the Board of Trustees, has been offered for information leading to an arrest. The police department has appealed to anyone with information about the death to call the police department’s tip line at (919) 614-6363 or the Chapel Hill-Carrboro-UNC Crime Stoppers at (919) 942-7515. Calls to Crime Stoppers are confidential.

Hedgepeth was part of the Haliwa-Saponi American Indian Tribe in Warren County. At Carolina, she was involved with Unheard Voices, an a cappella group; Carolina Indian Circle; and Alpha Pi Omega sorority.

She received a Gates Millennium Scholarship and an Alston-Pleasants Scholarship to attend UNC.

Via CBS News Crimesider

Take care and STAY SAFE!

Signature

My Letter to Michelle Obama by Amy J. Matthews…

October 28, 2012 1 comment

Dear Mrs. Obama:

I am writing to you today because I respect you very much, and I know how important both the issues of Domestic Violence and the right of everyone to have Affordable Health Care are to you.

I want to introduce you to an amazing woman and advocate Susan Murphy- Milano. Susan is currently dying of Cancer due to the lack of Health Insurance. Everywhere she applied for help turned her down and she was informed that she did not qualify for their services. I know you agree that there is something terribly wrong when a country as great as ours can let this happen to anyone, yet alone someone who has devoted her entire life to saving the  lives of others and without once thinking about what it could mean to her own.

Susan grew up in Chicago, the daughter of a 30-year veteran Chicago Police Detective and Violent Crimes Investigator Phillip Murphy. Susan’s father murdered her mother in 1989 and then turned the gun on himself committing suicide.  His intent was to kill his daughter as well. On the way to the house to try to save her mother something made her take an unexpected turn on the way. This decision is the only reason Susan is alive today. Had she taken her normal route Susan would not be with us now! Susan lived a life of trying to keep her mother alive her entire life and after her mother was murdered she devoted her entire life to saving others.

This most amazing woman is now on her last days after putting up a good fight. I am writing you today because I know you care. I know you care about the women and children in this country, the state of our health care, and every person’s God given human right. It is not just women and children that Susan has saved; there is no gender bias when it comes to abuses towards another.

Susan is the leading expert on Domestic/Intimate Partner Violence, and at the time when she discovered she had Cancer she was already in stage 4. This all happened just as her lifelong dreams were coming true. Susan is the women who mentored Rev. Neil Schori , Stacy Peterson’s Pastor and taught him everything he knows about Intimate Partner violence. Together they created The Evidentiary Abuse Affidavit    which is a legal document that can be used in court as legal testimony even if the victim is murdered or missing.

This tragic news about Susan came just as her lifelong work was getting known. Susan was getting invitations from law enforcement agencies all over the country to come and train Law Enforcement and first responders what to look for when they answer a call, or respond to a crime scene.  She was preparing to start working at a University where she was given Carte Blanche and offered full use of the Universities resources to help her with her work. She did not apply to work at this University they came to her asking her to please come and head this project. Susan was offered her own Television Show which was scheduled to air this winter.  Again she was approached by the producers she did not seek them they sought Susan. These are just a few of the triumphs that have a major impact in the field of Intimate Partner Violence!  Susan was now in high demand all over the country. But her work was suddenly halted in its prime due to her health.

Susan had a good chance to recover had she had the treatment she needed. This is a disgrace and an embarrassment for this Country which I know you and the President both agree. I am so sorry that the President’s Health plan has been fought against and has not been put into place. This is something that may have saved not only the life of this amazing woman but could have saved countless other people both through Susan’s work and the health plan combined.

This is what Susan said when she made the announcement about her Cancer:

“My dreams and hard work are now becoming reality.
In early fall there will be a national announcement about the Intimate Partner Violence Institute with two major universities.

A national conference and training hosted by the Naperville Christian Church is scheduled for the first week of October on the Evidentiary Abuse Affidavit for law enforcement, prosecutors and first responders.

The Evidentiary Abuse Affidavit APP will be at the Apple Store on Monday July, 2, 2012.

Holding My Hand Through Hell will be released nationwide October 1, 2012.

Everything will still happen as scheduled”.

Susan Murphy Milano June 27 2012

Please check out these links and Google her name for more on Susan. I know you will love her as much as I do and as the countless women she has saved

Susan’s Cancer blog Conquering Cancer which she started to try to change the way society looks and Cancer treatment

Susan’s Main Blog  Susan Murphy Milano’s Journal to educate the public on Intimate Partner Violence

Document the Abuse website for the Evidentiary Abuse Affidavit 

Susan’s latest book “Holding My Hand Through Hell” is about her life and what it was like for her growing up in an abusive home.  She wrote this book for the purpose of helping others who are living the same hell that Susan grew up living in.  After reading this book people will know why Susan is the who she is.

See Susan’s other books here

Chicago Tribune article and interview with The Rev. Neil Schori.

Listen here to Rev. Schori interview after the trial of Drew Peterson

Susan Murphy Milano and her work in Chicago. Please watch this video and you will see the great work she has done in the past!

Thank you for taking the time to read this and listen to the interviews.

I would like to invite you to the Facebook prayer page for Susan. You will be in awe of the outpouring of prayers and thoughts of people whose lives were changed just by knowing her.

God Bless you and The President for all the work that has been done and is being done to make our lives better.

Sincerely,

Amy J. Matthews

Book Release, Susan Murphy-Milano – Holding My Hand Through Hell…

October 24, 2012 Comments off

Susan Murphy-Milano once again has gone over and beyond the call of duty in her most recent released book, Holding My Hand Through Hell.

Susan, a “Success Survivor” herself of victimization and a well known Advocate in the Domestic/Intimate Partner Violence arena takes you on the ride of her life.  Ladies and gentlemen……………HOLD ON! and get ready for the read that you will not be able to put down!

Susan has never been an open book.  She has seldom opened up, never allowing the women in crisis, her close friends nor others to see or hear the damning side of her life that existed from the time she could remember. 

It was nationally known that her father was a decorated detective in the Chicago Police Department.  He killed her mother and then himself after many years of dealing the many forms of abusive power at her mother, brother and herself.   Susan was hell bent that she was going to make a difference in our society and that she does.  Yes, her father was hidden behind the blue badge, everyone covered up for him and/or turned their cheek rather than to slap his ass in jail with charges that would have stuck.

Susan has made sure in her book, Holding My Hand Through Hell that no stone was left unturned.  This book is graphic and extremely detailed, but guess what…..domestic/intimate partner violence and child abuse is graphic, raw, ugly and nasty.  One never knows when it may rear it’s ugly head.  This book can be overwhelming at times but yet……there is inspiration throughout her life that is shared.

I have personally witnessed Susan in “crisis mode” with victims who reached out to her.  Susan is always twenty steps ahead of the assailant, compassionate but firm as she instructs the victim exactly what to do and how to get it done.  Keep in mind that no victim ever died on her watch.  When assisting in solving homicides she is always on target, she would sniff out the perp just like a K9.  Susan doesn’t ever back down, yes she walks the walk and most definitely talks the talk.  When a mission presents itself to Susan she immediately goes into survival mode.  Survival mode is what Susan has known all of her life all too well.  To witness her in this mode is simply breath taking.

Holding My Hand Through Hell also proves to us all that God is always present in our lives and Susan has proved this over and over.  God was with her through every trial and tribulation; God has a purpose for each and every one of us.  We may not understand at the time while in the pain but eventually when we realize the purpose we must act upon it and follow God’s plan.  

Susan’s Murphy-Milano‘s testimony proves that she never gave up on God, she could have but never turned her back on her spiritual Father.  In turn he has used her story to make a major difference in countless lives.

**********************************************************************

At this time Susan is slipping away from us after suffering from Stage IV cancer.

May you feel God’s loving embrace as He wraps His arms around you protecting and guiding you on your journey home.  Blessings my friend.  I love you.

**********************************************************************

Holding My Hand Through Hell is available at:

Ice Cube Press

Amazon

Barnes & Noble

Take care and STAY SAFE!

“FEMALES & GUNS”, Myths=Excuses / Facts=Reality

October 23, 2012 Comments off

Even though I have shot guns since I was in junior high school, had a concealed carry permit in my lifetime and I support the Right To Bear Arms; I do not support the myth, “I own a gun and that is the best possible method of self-defense. If someone attacks me, I can use it to protect myself.”

Let’s take a look at why not……the facts/reality of such myth. First, I say congratulations! I have heard this comment from females and males on behalf of the women in their lives with a cavalier attitude – all thinking/feeling that if owning a gun is the only sufficient method of personal safety/self-defense. Weapons are advantageous and necessary when situations demand their use. Our military are not equipped with bottles of pepper spray, really loud whistles and table knives. Our soldiers are armed with top-of-the line deadly weapons in order to fulfill their duties to be able to fight defensively during wartime. Good common sense.

Supporting the right to bear arms comes in when you wake up in the middle of the night, you hear a strange noise, having a gun safely in your night stand is a good thing. You will probably have enough time to make a 911 call; get your weapon, gather up enough courage to head toward the direction of the noise and attempt to intimidate and stall him until the police arrive. A gun is a handy when it is used with KNOWLEDGE, GOOD JUDGMENT AND RESPECT. Most important…….it’s best IF you have time to use it.

Realistically, when you are attacked by an assailant, it happens without warning. You are not given the smallest margin of time to prepare your defense. I don’t care what your weapon of choice is you will not be given the time necessary to pull it out and use it. If you are unexpectedly pushed or ambushed to the ground, even if you have your weapon in your pocketbook, it’s not going to help the situation. When faced with predicaments the call for immediate personal safety training/self-defense, only two thing are readily available – your MIND AND BODY. That’s all you have.

Guns are useful in certain situations or as a means of intimidation; the odds of being able to access a weapon in enough time so that it retains its benefits are pretty damn slim. A gun in your safety box or save at your home won’t help you when someone attacks you while you are jogging in the park.

Learn how to use yourself as a weapon and you might not have to worry about owning a gun. This same principle applies to any weapons – including pepper spray, Mace or knives.

Food for thought…….why do you think our military and law enforcement are taught “hand-to-hand combat” extensively in training? Simple answer…….they may not have enough time to draw their weapons to defend themselves in an altercation. They must know how to protect and defend themselves “realistically” with their minds and bodies rather than depending on their weapon.

So, why wouldn’t you do everything in your power to learn how to use your mind and body “realistically” to defend yourself?

Take care and STAY SAFE!

Warning Signs of Teen Dating Violence…

October 15, 2012 1 comment

Warning signs to watch out for teen dating violence include: sudden loss of interest in activities, low grades, changes in appetite, changes in sleep patterns, loss of regular friends and drastic changes in clothing.

Often victims will wear long sleeves, long pants and scarves to hide bruises and marks. If you as a parent suspect that your teen is in an abusive relationship, encourage zero tolerance for inappropriate dating behaviors.

If you suspect that your teen is being violent to their dating partner, talk to them. Let the teen know that love is about respect. Sometimes it is difficult to realize that your child is being mean or violent. Do not allow aggressive behavior in the home. Talk to the teen about emotional abuse and how it is unacceptable in any relationship. You could say something like, “It bothers me when you yell at so-and-so.” Express concern and talk to the teen about appropriate behavior. You may even want to seek professional help for your teen.

Teen dating violence is a problem that parents can help prevent. Talk to teens about the different types of violence. Be alert for warning signs and let the teens know that you care. Most of all, show teens the appropriate way to behave by being respectful and caring towards other people.

Encouraging teens to have healthy relationships before they begin dating is important. Be aware and keep the lines of communication open with teens about their relationships.

Signs of an abusive relationship

There are many signs of an abusive relationship. The most telling sign is fear of your partner. If you feel like you have to walk on eggshells around your partner—constantly watching what you say and do in order to avoid a blow-up—chances are your relationship is unhealthy and abusive. Other signs that you may be in an abusive relationship include a partner who belittles you or tries to control you, and feelings of self-loathing, helplessness, and desperation.

To determine whether your teen relationship is abusive, ask her/him to answer the questions below. The more “yes” answers, the more likely it is that your teen may be  in an abusive relationship.

Your Inner Thoughts and Feelings

Do you:

  • feel afraid of your partner much of the time?
  • avoid certain topics out of fear of angering your partner?
  • feel that you can’t do anything right for your partner?
  • believe that you deserve to be hurt or mistreated?
  • wonder if you’re the one who is crazy?
  • feel emotionally numb or helpless?

Your Partner’s Belittling Behavior

Does your partner:

  • humiliate or yell at you?
  • criticize you and put you down?
  • treat you so badly that you’re embarrassed for your friends and family to see?
  • ignore or put down your opinions or accomplishments?
  • blame you for his/her own abusive behavior?
  • see  you a property or a sex object, rather than a person?

Your Partner’s Violent Behavior or Threats

Does your partner:

  • have a bad and unpredictable temper?
  • hurt you, or threaten to hurt or kill you?
  • threaten to commit suicide if you break up with him/her?
  • force you to have sex?
  • destroy your belongings?

Your Partner’s Controlling Behavior

Does your partner:

  • act excessively jealous and possessive?
  • control where you go and what you do?
  • keeps you from seeing your friends or family?
  • constantly checking up on you?
  • excessive texting or calling you?

If your teen is afraid for her/his safety or has been assaulted by her/his partner please dial 911 or call the National Domestic Violence Hotline, 1-800-787-3224.

Take care and STAY SAFE!

HOLDING MY HAND THROUGH HELL by Susan Murphy Milano

October 7, 2012 Comments off

This poignant well-written book tells the story of a police officer’s family and a daughter’s quest for justice long after the heart-wrenching murder of her mother. Susan Murphy Milano embraces a legacy of unconditional love and faith to triumph over a life plagued with unspeakable abuse and pain.

Based on a true story, told with the flow of a novel, spiced with frank wisdom and with, Holding My Hand Through Hell encourages the reader to immerse themselves into this family s life and is an inspiration to become an advocate for change in this world we all share.

Holding My Hand Through Hell will incite discussion, debate, and heightened awareness about hope, survival, abuse, murder, and its impact on our society. In the end, it will leave readers both applauding this woman as well as wondering how she escaped, sometimes at the eleventh hour. Twenty years later, she has realized that God must have been holding her hand through hell, delivering her from the evils of her life in order to save others.

“Raw and riveting Holding My Hand Through Hell starts fast and never lets up. In this powerful memoir, author Susan Murphy Milano throws open her personal closet so that we see what drives this woman to tirelessly champion voiceless victims and the people who love them”…… Steve Jackson, NY Times best-selling author.

About Susan Murphy-Milano

SUSAN MURPHY MILANO is a specialist in intimate partner violence and works nationally with domestic violence programs, law enforcement and prosecutors providing technical and consulting services in “high risk” domestic violence and stalking related cases.  Her principal objective is to intervene before a victim is seriously injured or killed.  Utilizing a procedure which she devised, the Evidentiary Abuse Affidavit© Murphy Milano’s clients are all still alive.

SUSAN MURPHY MILANO is the author of DEFENDING OUR LIVES (Doubleday 1996), MOVING OUT, MOVING ON (Kind Living Press 2008), and TIME’S UP (Dog Ear Publishing 2010) which guide those in abusive relationships to a place of freedom and safety.

Susan’s quest for justice was instrumental in the passage of the Illinois Stalking Law and the Lauternberg Act.  She has been prominently featured in newspapers, magazines, radio and television including: The Oprah Winfrey Show, Larry King Radio, ABC’S 20/20, Justice Files, E-True Hollywood, CNN, Sunday Today Show Profile, Women’s Day, Family Circle, US News and World Report to name only a few.   She has frequently participated in guest media commentary panels on major news programs.

To learn more about Susan and her work, please visit the following sites:

SusanMurphy-Milano.Com

DocumentTheAbuse.Com

HoldingMyHandThroughHell.Com

Facebook….Twitter….LinkedIn

Holding My Hand Through Hell

Book Tour Stops:

Thursday, October 4: Official Launch from Heartland Fall Forum with Jillian Maas Backman and Ice Cube Press Publisher, Steve Semken on radio show, Change Already!  

LISTEN TO PODCAST

Friday, October 5:  Writing is a CrimeDiane Fanning (wrote the foreword)

Saturday, October 6: Shattered Lives with Donna R. Gore LISTEN LIVE

Monday, October 8: Truth, Justice, and All-American Allergen-Free Apple PieHeidi Hiatt

Tuesday, October 9: NeilSchori.Com Pastor Neil Schori

Wednesday, October 10: Losing Austin, Finding MyselfAnita Sullivan

Thursday, October 11: Safe Relationships MagazineSandra L. Brown, MA

Friday, October 12:  Statement AnalysisPeter Hyatt

Monday, October 15: HopeForHealing.Org and GayleCrabtree.ComGayle Crabtree

Tuesday, October 16: Crime Wire with Dennis Griffin LISTEN LIVE

Wednesday, October 17: Justice Cafe

Thursday, October 18: Danielle Pierre

Friday, October 19: Washington TimesPaula Carrasquillo

Monday, October 22: PamelaChapman.Biz Pamela Chapman

Tuesday, October 23: The Roth Show BlogDr. Laurie Roth

Wednesday, October 24: AnnyJacoby.ComAnny Jacoby

Thursday, October 25: Amy Elk, Voice Over Actress, and Justice for NiqueAmy Elk

Friday, October 26: Doc Bonn BlogDr. Scott Bonn

Monday, October 29: Cynthia Caron

Tuesday, October 30: DonnaGore.ComDonna R. Gore “LadyJustice”

Thursday, November 1: Crime, She WritesCathy Scott

Friday, November 2: BurlBarer.Net, Burl Barer

Monday, November 5: Survivors JusticePatricia McKnight

Via ImaginePublicity

1 is 2 Many

October 2, 2012 Comments off

 

Despite the significant progress made in reducing violence against women, young women continue to face the highest rates of dating violence and sexual assault. In the last year, one in 10 teens has reported being physically hurt on purpose by a boyfriend or girlfriend. One in five young women has been sexually assaulted while in college. In response to these alarming statistics, Vice President Biden launched the 1 is 2 many campaign last year. This campaign focuses his longstanding commitment to reducing violence against women specifically on teens and young women ages 16-24. By targeting the importance of changing attitudes that lead to violence, and educating the public on the realities of abuse, the Obama Administration is leading the way to stop violence against women before it begins.

President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden join with Eli Manning, Jeremy Lin, Jimmy Rollins, Evan Longoria, David Beckham, Joe Torre and Andy Katz in this PSA to raise awareness about dating violence.

Thank you to all of the participants in the video for sending a loud message that must be heard by all.
Take care and STAY SAFE!

OCTOBER IS DOMESTIC VIOLENCE AWARENESS MONTH

October 1, 2012 2 comments

As Domestic Violence Awareness Month begins I have been thinking of what awareness means to our families, friends and communities.

For hotline and court advocates who respond to crisis calls and provide ongoing support to victims, awareness means seeing the pain that family violence creates for those caught in its grip, as well as celebrating the courage it takes for individuals to rebuild their lives and regain the sense of self after enduring emotional or physical abuse from a loved one. For many community members, awareness may mean seeing friends or family members struggle with this issue now or from the past and getting information about how to help them. For young people it may mean learning about what to expect in a healthy intimate relationship through programs such as “Save the Date” or other programs being offered. Communities and Advocates all around are working diligently to bring awareness of and to prevent and end domestic violence.

The message of advocacy and awareness deserves a wider audience as there is a mix of responses to the epidemic. Those who interact and support the cause know the importance of the work that is being done and are committed to helping organizations continue to provide high quality free services in English and Spanish. Unfortunately, many people are unclear about who the domestic violence agencies are, where they are and what they do. Domestic violence awareness extends beyond the specific month designated for this purpose.

Ways for you to contribute and get involved are:

  • Let your friends and businesses you patronize know what Domestic Violence is, who and what the agency in your community are and what they do. Thank those who support your local agency.
  • Involve your church or favorite civic group in this work through an educational or fundraising event.
  • Make your voice heard in the local media and at election time to advocate for resources for survivors and supportive legislation.
  • Stop by your local Domestic Violence agency and meet their wonderful staff.
  • Volunteer your time or resources to help support community education, office or hotline needs.
  • Serve on a board committee to help with events, fundraising and other activities.

It is imperative that we work together toward the effort, explore ways that we can work together to make our families and communities more peaceful and nurturing for everyone.

I extend many thanks to all who give their time, knowledge and spirit to this work and mission.

Check out (Google them if necessary) events in your community and consider attending:
Take Back The Night
(an international rally and march that is organized in local communities with the purpose of unifying women, men, and children in an awareness of violence against women, children and families.
Beards BeCAUSE – Clean Shaven Party
Beards BeCAUSE is a unique, fun, and successful fundraiser while raising awareness about the issue of domestic violence and making a positive impact and contribution to United Family Services – Shelter For Battered Women
Annual Candlelight Vigil & Memorial
Honoring statewide DV-related homicide victims this past year
Domestic Violence is a Men’s Issue
Join other men (and women) step up to take a pledge turning the tide against violence of women and girls.
Change is Gonna Come
Screening & Community dialogue – this event will screen a play performed at the Lincoln Theater in Washington, DC written by Vickie Evans capturing domestic violence in the church. An open community dialogue will follow.

Nationally:
Check out DV Awareness Project for ideas on DVAM events & resources.

North Carolina:
The North Carolina Coalition Against Domestic Violence statewide theme for North Carolina’s Domestic Violence Awareness Month is “Domestic Violence Affects Everyone: Everyone Can Make A Difference” North Carolina calendar of events

Presidential Proclamation — National Domestic Violence Awareness Month, 2012

NATIONAL DOMESTIC VIOLENCE AWARENESS MONTH, 2012

- – – – – – -

BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

A PROCLAMATION

For far too long, domestic violence was ignored or treated as a private matter where victims were left to suffer in silence without hope of intervention. As we mark the 18th anniversary of the landmark Violence Against Women Act, authored by Vice President Joe Biden, we reflect on how far we have come. We have made significant progress in changing laws and attitudes, providing support to survivors, and reducing the incidence of domestic violence. But we also know that we have not come far enough, and that there is more work left to be done. During National Domestic Violence Awareness Month, we stand with all those who have been affected by this terrible crime, recognize the individuals and groups who have stepped forward to break the cycle of violence, and recommit to putting an end to domestic violence in America.

Despite considerable progress in reducing domestic violence, an average of three women in the United States lose their lives every day as a result of these unconscionable acts. And while women between the ages of 16 and 24 are among the most vulnerable to intimate partner violence, domestic violence affects people regardless of gender, age, sexual orientation, race, or religion. Tragically, without intervention, children exposed to such violence can suffer serious long-term consequences that may include difficulty in school, post-traumatic disorders, alcohol and drug abuse, and criminal behavior.

My Administration remains committed to getting victims the help they need, from emergency shelter and legal assistance to transitional housing and services for children. We are also working to stop violence before it starts. Last year, agencies across the Federal Government held town hall meetings nationwide to promote men’s roles in ending violence against women. Through Vice President Biden’s 1is2many initiative, we built on that progress earlier this year by releasing a public service announcement that features professional athletes and other role models speaking out against dating violence. This April, I directed leaders throughout my Administration to increase efforts to prevent and combat domestic violence involving Federal employees and address its effects on the Federal workforce. Since August, the Affordable Care Act has required most insurance plans to make domestic violence screening and counseling available as a preventive service for women — without co-payments, deductibles, or other cost-sharing. And most recently, we developed a new initiative to reduce domestic violence homicides through high risk screening and linking victims with services. Moreover, my Administration looks forward to working with the Congress to strengthen and reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act.

While government must do its part, all Americans can play a role in ending domestic violence. Each of us can promote healthy relationships, speak out when we see injustice in our communities, stand with survivors we know, and change attitudes that perpetuate the cycle of abuse. We must also ensure that survivors of domestic violence know they are not alone, and that there are resources available to them. I encourage victims, their loved ones, and concerned citizens to learn more by calling the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE, or by visiting www.TheHotline.org.

This month, let us renew our efforts to support victims of domestic violence in their time of greatest need, and to realize an America where no one lives in fear because they feel unsafe in their own home.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim October 2012 as National Domestic Violence Awareness Month. I call on all Americans to speak out against domestic violence and support local efforts to assist victims of these crimes in finding the help and healing they need.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this first day of October, in the year of our Lord two thousand twelve, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-seventh.

BARACK OBAMA

A Victim’s safety always needs to come first and foremost.

Take care and STAY SAFE!

UNC Chapel Hill, NC on HIGH ALERT! A murder and a sexual assault of two students within a week…

September 16, 2012 Comments off

UNC students are on alert, about an attack on a female student.

Chapel Hill Police say they’re looking for a suspect described as “a college-aged white male.”

The police say they got the report Saturday afternoon, and the victim says she was sexually assaulted in the early morning, off, but near the school grounds.

All the students we talked to had already gotten the message about the possible threat.

Nisha Walton read the warning to us, off her cell phone. She and other U.N.C. students got the warning from the school’s “Alert Carolina” about the sexual assault of a female student.

Walton said, “Most of the alerts that I have gotten have been concerning sexual assault on females. I wouldn’t say it’s something that’s common on campus, it’s usually off campus.”

Police say this most recent one also happened off campus, at a nearby home.

On Sunday, Chapel Hill Police patrolled the downtown area close to the school.

Students say they’ve learned it’s best to travel together to stay safe. Walton said, “I usually do group activities on campus, and not go somewhere when it’s like late at night or early in the morning, cause there was an incident when a girl was running and some guy tried to attack her.”

Male students say they’re worried too. Student Reddy says he also got the email saying a woman had been sexually assaulted.

Reddy said, “I am concerned, yeah campus safety is a problem, but I think the campus does have a lot of safety measures in place. And I think they do a good job for the most part. But incidents like these are problematic.”

The students praise the school for keeping them in the loop, even in cases where crime happens off- campus.

Shelby Rawlins, a UNC student , said, “I definitely think that they have to do, they have to be extra cautious. So I think that’s why they put out the email, but I definitely feel, like I feel safe enough.”

We’ve asked Chapel Hill Police for a copy of the incident report, and will release more information as we get it. Police ask people who know anything about the alleged crime to call Crimestoppers at (919) 942-7515.

Meanwhile, UNC is asking its students to keep watching the “Alert Carolina” website for updates. That website is alertcarolina.unc.edu.

UNC-Chapel Hill sent out the alert Saturday warning of a sexual assault reported near campus.

The alert said Chapel Hill police were investigating a report from a female student that she’d been assaulted in a residence near campus in the early morning hours Saturday.

The suspect was described only as a college age white male.

Chapel Hill police Sunday declined to provide any more details.

The campus alert said UNC police were asking anyone with information to call 911 or contact the Chapel Hill-Carrboro-UNC CrimeStoppers at (919) 942-7515. Information can also be submitted online at http://www.crimestoppers-chcunc.org.

Via NBC17

A week ago, UNC lost a fellow student, Faith Danielle Hedgepath:

Chapel Hill Police are investigating the death of a UNC student identified as Faith Danielle Hedgepeth, and at this time they are treating the incident as a homicide.

“Police received a call after the victim was discovered in her residence at 5639 Old Chapel Hill Road, which is the Hawthorne on the Hill apartment complex. Friends contacted police after they located the deceased around 11 a.m,” said Lieutenant Kevin Gunter. “At this point police do not believe this was a random act.”

Hedgepeth was a biology major from Warrenton, N.C, and a waitress at the Red Robin in Durham. She died just three weeks away from her 20th birthday.

WCHL’s Ran Northam was on the scene Friday afternoon and spoke to residents of the Hawthorne on the View Apartments. UNC staff member Dustin Bray returned home from work to find his apartment building inaccessible.

“I just got home and I guess there’s something going on here. I can’t get into my apartment right now,” said Bray.

Bray lives in the 1500 building where the incident took place.

He says he didn’t know anyone in the building but is concerned for his safety and if it is a murder, he says he will leave.

“I don’t know if I can do that or not, but I will break my lease if there’s something like that happening here. I’m moving out. I’m not going to deal with that. It’s right next to my apartment. I will leave.”

Christine Shia resides in the 1400 building which is directly across from where the incident occurred. She says she didn’t know the residents of the unit police were investigating but she says maintenance workers were there working on the unit recently.

Shia says she often saw people out and about, but didn’t know anyone by name.

“Everybody is pretty quiet over there- definitely students,” said Shia.

The apartment complex had not released any information to residents as of 4:45 p.m. Friday.

9/13/12 Update:

Faith’s homicide records have been sealed.

Chapel Hill police have ruled out a self-inflicted or accidental death in the case of UNC student Faith Danielle Hedgepeth — though they have yet to release new details about the homicide investigation.

On Monday, a Durham County Superior Courtjudge sealed several documents pertaining to the case at the request of Chapel Hill police.

Sgt. Josh Mecimore, spokesman for the Chapel Hill Police Department, said the judge sealed multiple search warrants and the 911 call alerting police that Hedgepeth’s body had been found.

As of Tuesday, an autopsy had not been completed. But Mecimore said the preliminary autopsy results — which would likely determine a cause of death in the case — are not public under state law.

Mecimore said police requested the documents be sealed to protect the integrity of the investigation.

“There are a lot of details that only someone involved would know, outside of our investigators,” he said.

“It’s useful in interviewing folks to not have the general public know those details,” he said. “It could compromise our investigation.”

Frank LoMonte, executive director of the Student Press Law Center, said sealing several entire documents — especially 911 calls — is unusual in most cases.  “The law recognizes in very narrow circumstances that it’s OK to seal records,” LoMonte said. “That doesn’t justify a blanket sealing.”

Chapel Hill police have said they don’t believe the slaying was random or that the community faces a threat.

But as of Tuesday night, no arrests or suspects had been announced in the case. A cause of death also has not been released.

Chapel Hill police set up a tip line for people to provide information related to Hedgepeth’s death, and Mecimore said they are investigating leads .

LoMonte said police often benefit from releasing information about investigations.

“When you have an unsolved murder, there’s definitely a duty for either the police to either warn people or reassure people,” LoMonte said.

“You don’t want people to dangle in uncertainty.”

Raleigh attorney Hugh Stevens, of the firm Stevens Martin Vaughn and Tadych, which has represented The Daily Tar Heel in court, said sealing documents in cases like these is not unusual.

“We’ve seen it with some regularity in high profile homicide cases,” Stevens said.

“Generally speaking, the justification is that releasing information impedes investigation into finding the perpetrator.”

Chapel Hill police and Orange County District Attorney Jim Woodall also had several documents — including search warrants and an autopsy report — sealed after the murder of Student Body President Eve Carson in 2008.

“Sometimes it’s very much justified depending on the facts, but you don’t know the facts because it’s sealed,” Stevens said.

Via Daily Tarheel

Take care and STAY SAFE!

Authorities missed chances to stop a rapist, Sandusky who preyed on children for years…

June 17, 2012 Comments off

Yet evidence and testimony from the trial show there were plenty of people, not just those at the highest levels of Penn State university, who had ample opportunity to stop a man accused of violating 10 boys over 15 years:

A janitor failed to tell authorities he allegedly caught Sandusky performing oral sex on a boy in a campus shower a dozen years ago.

A district attorney with a reputation for prosecuting cases involving children and sexual abuse victims declined to charge Sandusky over a 1998 molestation allegation even though the detective who investigated thought it was a solid case. The DA, Ray Gricar, disappeared in 2005 and was declared legally dead last year.

School district officials were skeptical of abuse claims brought by the young man known in court papers as Victim 1 because, the accuser testified, Sandusky was considered to have a “heart of gold.” Victim 1’s allegations eventually triggered the state investigation that produced charges.

— One accuser testified he screamed out for help at least once when Sandusky’s wife, Dottie, was in the house. He doesn’t know whether she heard his cries.

— And, famously, coaching assistant Mike McQueary saw Sandusky having what he believed to be anal sex with a young boy in 2001. But his report to Athletic Director Tim Curley and Vice President Gary Schultz went nowhere. McQueary’s dad testified that during a conversation, Schultz said he was suspicious of Sandusky, and NBC reported this week that emails between former university President Graham Spanier and Schultz aiming to keep McQueary’s allegation from going further were turned over to the attorney general.

— Others also saw Sandusky engaging in behavior that was at least odd, if not criminal. Longtime assistant coach Tom Bradley walked into the shower when one boy was with Sandusky, the accuser testified, and a wrestling coach told jurors he saw Sandusky and a child rolling on the floor.

— Several accusers said their parents or caregivers failed to grasp what was happening to them. Victim 4 testified that one weekend he did not want to go with Sandusky and told his mother, “I’m pretty sure he’s gay,” but she dismissed the idea. “She said, oh, whatever, this is just one of your lies,” he told jurors. He also said at one point he told his grandmother to tell Sandusky he wasn’t home when he called.

The testimony of eight of the 10 alleged victims named in a grand jury report prompted disgust and revulsion from Penn State alumni and others who took to Twitter last week to express their dismay — and to call for the heads of anyone involved in concealing abuse. “Anyone who knew and didn’t report should burn!” tweeted one.

The sad part is that most children know their abuser. Parents are concerned with letting their children outside to play, fearful that someone will abduct them or worse. But really, they should be concerned with the people their child interacts with on a daily basis. These are the people that abuse children (for the most part).  Our job is to guard against those who would prey on children.

The description — “sickening” of adults using young people to satisfy their sexual fantasies — isn’t harsh enough.

Take care and STAY SAFE!

In part via Associated Press

Taking a bold effort to reach into communities across the country, Anny Jacoby is a Prevention Specialist and an authorized Facilitator for Stewards of Children through the Darkness to Light program, an organization whose mission is to train adults in every community to responsibly attack the issue of child sexual abuse.

Please contact Anny to schedule Children’s of Steward’s training or to arrange a Prevent Now! meeting for your community.

anny@annyjacoby.com

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