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!
- Paperback: 286 pages
- Publisher: Ice Cube Press
- ISBN#: 978-1888160673
- Foreword by Diane Fanning, Award winning true crime author of Mommy’s Little Girl
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:
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!
Friday, October 5: Writing is a Crime, Diane 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 Pie, Heidi Hiatt
Tuesday, October 9: NeilSchori.Com Pastor Neil Schori
Wednesday, October 10: Losing Austin, Finding Myself, Anita Sullivan
Thursday, October 11: Safe Relationships Magazine, Sandra L. Brown, MA
Friday, October 12: Statement Analysis: Peter Hyatt
Tuesday, October 16: Crime Wire with Dennis Griffin LISTEN LIVE
Wednesday, October 17: Justice Cafe
Thursday, October 18: Danielle Pierre
Friday, October 19: Washington Times, Paula Carrasquillo
Monday, October 22: PamelaChapman.Biz Pamela Chapman
Tuesday, October 23: The Roth Show Blog, Dr. Laurie Roth
Wednesday, October 24: AnnyJacoby.Com, Anny Jacoby
Friday, October 26: Doc Bonn Blog, Dr. Scott Bonn
Monday, October 29: Cynthia Caron
Tuesday, October 30: DonnaGore.Com, Donna R. Gore “LadyJustice”
Thursday, November 1: Crime, She Writes, Cathy Scott
Friday, November 2: BurlBarer.Net, Burl Barer
Monday, November 5: Survivors Justice, Patricia McKnight
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!
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.
Check out DV Awareness Project for ideas on DVAM events & resources.
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
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.
A Victim’s safety always needs to come first and foremost.
Take care and STAY SAFE!