Shock, pain, emotional distress,
This happens to other people,
to other families, not ours….
Reality sets in,
Hate, dispair, and anger take over,
How could this happen, why did this happen?
Days go by,
Acceptance and strength are surfacing,
Drive and determination take over…
Passing along what we have learned becomes important,
It becomes the focus of each day,
To help others through where we have been…
We made it as the days have gone by,
As the years have gone by, we made it,
It’s forever with us, but it is now strength…
Days go by and it no longer rules,
We rule, we have taken our lives back,
A lot has changed as days go by…..
You took enough, you get no more…
Our lives are different, but our lives are good,
We took our lives back as days go by….
Now our purpose is to help others take theirs back,
You took enough, you get no more,
We are getting stronger as days go by…..
Our voices are coming together as one,
Can you hear us? You will,
As days go by….
Our voice is becoming stronger,
Louder, as days go by,
Our voice is to be heard….
The fear is gone,
We stand as one, strong and unwavering,
We are firm on our feet….
We are one voice, one voice that will no longer be silenced,
One voice that becomes stronger and louder,
As days go by……..
Cathy Parsons Gipson
After a personal experience with domestic violence, Corbin, a sophomore international studies and economic major at UNC, threw herself into educating other young girls. Her program, Project Safe Girls, teaches girls ages 5-23 about domestic violence, sexual assault (rape, date rape, and acquaintance rape), abduction, human trafficking, stalking, healthy relationships and general personal safety and ultimately how one can protect and defend herself mentally, emotionally and physically.
Project Safe Girls will kick off training through the Chapel Hill-Carrboro YMCA’s middle school afterschool program and is expanding rapidly through other schools, throughout the nation and is striving to make the program a safety prevention course requirement in all school systems.
“I want Project Safe Girls to be widely known throughout the US, said Anny Jacoby, founder and President of The Realistic Female Self-Defense Company, of which Project Safe Girls is an official division. “Project Safe Girls will take on its own form and it will shine as it is a much needed program for all communities.”
Jacoby has worked closely with Corbin to develop the program since Corbin approached the company. As sister organizations, both programs teach women essentially the same techniques, mentally and physically, geared to specific age groups. Corbin’s project gears specifically to girls ages 5-23 enrolled in school from kindergarten to college, whereas The Realistic Female Self-Defense Company teaches females of all ages.
The first step of the course lies in the awareness portion of safety, as awareness is the first step to any form of personal safety/self-defense. Instructors teach characteristics of unhealthy vs. healthy relationships/situations. Red flags and warning signs are significant signals of potential or existing abuse. Power and Control is the dominate factor which every form of abuse centers around.
Lessons in de-escalation are taught – how to diffuse a potential dangerous/violent situation in an attempt to warn off a physical altercation. De-escalation techniques range from eye contact and a confident yet non-threatening demeanor to talking in low tones and maintaining a safe distance between the persons.
“De-Escalation starts with non-verbal behaviors,” Jacoby said. “Techniques consist of your demeanor, your presence, your body language. But the only way that an individual obtains the confidence and knowledge is by studying and understanding how an assailant thinks, how you need to be thinking, and then knowing how you can defend yourself verbally and ultimately non-verbally if needed.”
The lessons in the non-physical aspects of personal safety/self-defense form the backbone of the Corbin’s and Jacoby’s programs.
“We promote violence prevention, raising awareness and the skills to reduce susceptibility to violence,” Jacoby said. “The way that you promote prevention is through education.”
Physical personal safety/self-defense training is a major part of the female’s safety equation. Females are taught how men/assailants think, vulnerable body areas other than the groin – which men expect a female to target – and how to use knowledge as an advantage. “Fighting back is not about staying in the “ring” going ten rounds,” Jacoby said. “We fight males with knowledge, not with strength; and knowledge is a powerful tool. But you must know what your tools (mentally and physically) are and how to effectively use them.”
Fayetteville, N.C. — Cumberland County District Attorney Ed Grannis and Fayetteville Police Chief Tom Bergamine have asked the State Bureau of Investigation to look into whether social workers have turned over all of their records in the death of 5-year-old Shaniya Nicole Davis.
The girl was reported missing from her Fayetteville home on Nov. 10. Her body was found in a patch of kudzu off a rural road near the Lee-Harnett County line six days later.
She died of asphyxiation, according to preliminary autopsy results.
Mario Andrette McNeill, 29, of 2613 Pine Springs Drive, has been charged with first-degree murder, first-degree rape of a child and first-degree kidnapping in the case. Police have characterized him as a family acquaintance.
Shaniya’s mother, Antoinette Nicole Davis, 25, has been charged with human trafficking, felony child abuse–prostitution, filing a false police report and obstructing a police investigation. Arrest warrants state that Davis “did knowingly provide Shaniya with the intent that she be held in sexual servitude” and “did permit an act of prostitution with Shaniya.”
McNeill and Antoinette Davis are being held in state prisons in Raleigh for their own protection, authorities said.
The Cumberland County Department of Social Services previously looked at Davis with regard to her 7-year-old son, not Shaniya, according to her uncle, Michael Davis. The case was closed, and Antoinette Davis was able to retain custody of the boy, her uncle said.
DSS Director Brenda Jackson has previously declined to comment on the agency’s involvement with the Davis family, citing the investigation into Shaniya’s death as well as confidentiality rules for child welfare cases.
Grannis sent a letter Friday to Cumberland County Manager James Martin to notify him that he and Bergamine have requested an SBI investigation of DSS.
“Chief Bergamine has requested the SBI’s assistance to determine if Fayetteville police have received complete and accurate records from Cumberland County DSS regarding this case,” Grannis wrote. “Based upon the information provided to me and my senior staff by the Fayetteville Police Department concerning these issues, I share their concern, and I have requested the assistance of the SBI to assist us in this regard.”
In a statement released by Cumberland County spokeswoman Sally Shutt, Jackson said she would ensure that her office cooperates with authorities to resolve the matter.
Neither Jackson nor Grannis returned phone calls Monday seeking further comment.
Shaniya’s father, Bradley Lockhart, declined to comment. The girl lived with him and his sister until early October, when he allowed her to go live with Antoinette Davis.
Authorities with the state Child Fatality Task Force already are looking into any DSS contact with the Davis family. The task force studies all child deaths in North Carolina to make recommendations to legislators on changes to state laws and administrative polices to prevent future deaths.