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.
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.
Amy J. Matthews
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 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
- 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!
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!
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.
Sony Pictures released “That’s My Boy,” a movie that glorifies statutory rape between a teacher and her 13 year old student.
Numerous media outlets are reporting that Adam Sandler’s new movie “That’s My Boy” makes light of statutory rape in its depiction of a thirteen-year old boy’s sexual relationship with his teacher at school. That relationship results in the teacher’s pregnancy, a jail sentence, and Sandler’s character being forced to raise the child himself. When the child turns eighteen, he leaves home and does not interact with his father again until the eve of his wedding, when the Sandler character shows up at his home in need of money.
Some will argue in defense of this movie by stating that the story ultimately focuses on the characters’ reconciliation and that since the movie is a comedy, advocates such as organizations like Prevent Child Abuse America, Darkness to Light and Stop It Now! are taking the story line too seriously. We would suggest that these arguments are specious at best. They do not excuse the movie’s outdated views on child sexuality, and the sexuality of boys specifically, much less the long term impact of sexual abuse on children. Nor do these arguments ameliorate the fact that the corporate culture of Columbia Pictures and Happy Madison Productions is one that embraces child rape as a means for making a profit.
“It goes without saying,” stated Jim Hmurovich, President & CEO, Prevent Child Abuse America, “that Adam Sandler and Columbia Pictures would never have made a similar movie about a thirteen-year old girl and a teacher of hers, so how is it that in 2012 they still find it acceptable to make such a movie about a character who is a boy? This is a movie about rape, plain and simple, and while we could have an endless dialogue about how is this is a comedy, or a story that highlights the resilience of children, I call upon the viewing public to express their strong disapproval. Along with my colleagues from Darkness to Light and Stop It Now! we have sent the producers of the film an offer to discuss how misguided this attempt at humor is, and what message can be salvaged from this screenplay. All of us regardless of what we do in our lives have a responsibility to the children and families in this country. I suggest we figure out together how they can fulfill that responsibility in a way that supports the healthy child development of all children.”
Via Darkness to Light:
Help us send Hollywood a message that sexual abuse is not a joke.
As you know, for victims of sexual abuse, this issue is no laughing matter. Sony Pictures should stand with victims, not unite against them. At a time when child sexual abuse is finally getting the attention it deserves, Sony Pictures wants to take a huge step back by endorsing statutory rape.
I hope you will pass this petition along and keep the pressure on Sony Pictures so they will see the error of their ways.
Thanks again for your partnership in protecting children and for using your voice to speak out!
ABOUT DARKNESS TO LIGHT
Darkness to Light is a national non-profit organization with the mission to empower people to prevent child sexual abuse. We do this by increasing public awareness of the issue, educating adults to prevent, recognize the signs and react responsibly to child sexual abuse, and by engaging communities in building and sustaining child sexual abuse prevention initiatives. Learn more D2L.org.
ABOUT PREVENT CHILD ABUSE AMERICA
ABOUT STOP IT NOW!
Stop It Now! ® prevents the sexual abuse of children by mobilizing adults, families and communities to take actions that protect children before they are harmed. We provide support, information and resources so individuals and families around the world can keep children safe and create healthier communities. Read more at StopItNow.org.
Many communities “plant pinwheel gardens” each April of colorful pinwheels spinning in the wind which represents a child living in the community who was abused last year.
April is National Child Abuse Awareness Month and many local organizations offer tips on preventing abuse.
Congress first declared April as National Child Abuse Awareness Month, a time designated each year to raise awareness about child abuse and neglect, in 1983, and each year the president issues a proclamation calling on Americans to use the month to help prevent child abuse.
The first step in helping abused children is learning to recognize the symptoms of child abuse. Although child abuse is divided into four types – physical abuse, neglect, sexual abuse and emotional maltreatment – the types are more typically found in combination than alone. A physically abused child for example is often emotionally maltreated as well, and a sexually abused child may be also neglected. Any child at any age may experience any of the types of child abuse.
Child abuse leaves more than just bruises. Long after children have recovered from the physical results of any type of abuse, abused children suffer from emotional and psychological trauma that can last the rest of their lives.
Unfortunately, many bystanders witness child abuse and do nothing about it. Neighbors and friends may hear or even see child abuse happening, but don’t want to intrude or interfere with “the rights” of the parents. Such inaction can mean years of pain and heartbreak for young children who are unable to get out of a horrific situation.
Abused children need your intervention. In their helplessness, they must rely on capable adults who are willing to take a stand and get them out of an abusive environment. By being aware of child abuse, and helping to educate the people you know, you can help prevent child abuse in your community.
Identifying Child Abuse
While it is impossible to determine the presence of abuse or neglect by behavior, the following signs may signal the presence of child abuse or neglect:
- Shows sudden changes in behavior or school performance
- Has not received help for physical or medical problems brought to the parent’s attention
- Has learning problems or difficulty concentrating that cannot be attributed to specific physical or psychological causes
- Is always watchful, as though preparing for something bad to happen
- Lacks adult supervision•Is overly compliant, passive or withdrawn
- Comes to school or other activities early, stays late, and does not want to go home
- Shows little concern for the child
- Denies the existence of, or blames the child for the child’s problems in school or at home
- Asks teachers or other caretakers to use harsh physical discipline if the child misbehaves
- Sees the child as entirely bad, worthless, or burdensome
- Demands a level of physical or academic performance the child cannot achieve
- Looks primarily to the child for care, attention, and satisfaction of emotional needs
The Parent and the Child:
- Rarely touch or look at each other
- Consider their relationship entirely negative
- State that they do not like each other
Preventing Child Abuse
Learn about child abuse. Educate yourself and keep these key facts in mind:
- Child abusers can be any age, any gender and any race. They can be from any economic class, and have any level of education.
- Children are more likely to be abused by their own parents than by a stranger.
- Rarely does an incident of child abuse happen in isolation. When a child is abused once, it is likely to happen again.
- Educate your neighbors and friends about child abuse.
Stop child abuse when you see it. If you have trouble identifying the difference between child abuse and acceptable forms of discipline, learn the Federal and State laws and find resources that distinguish between discipline and abuse. Do not hesitate to contact the National Child Abuse Hotline (1-800-4-A-Child). During your anonymous call, their counselors can help you evaluate the situation and help you make a child abuse report to the proper authorities. If you are nervous about making a report, they will even stay on the line during a 3-way call to offer you support. If a child is in life-threatening danger, call 911 immediately.
It’s time that people take a stand against child abuse. Your simple actions will help prevent child abuse and give abused children hope for a brighter future.
Take care and STAY SAFE!