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
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!
VICE PRESIDENT JOSEPH R. BIDEN TO DISCUSS ISSUE OF DATING VIOLENCE AND SEXUAL ASSAULT AFFECTING TEENS AND YOUNG ADULTS, LIVE ON “THE VIEW,” TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 27
Barbara Walters and Bill Geddie, executive producers of the ABC’s Daytime Emmy® Award-winning talk show, “The View,” announced that Joseph R. Biden, the 47th Vice President of the United States, will be the special guest, live, TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 27 (11:00 a.m.-12:00 noon, ET). The Vice President will focus on the threat of dating violence and sexual assault that continues to exist for teens and young adults across the country. The Vice President’s appearance is part of “Red, White & View” continuing the show’s commitment to political guests and discussions.
The author of the landmark Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), Vice President Biden has led the effort to combat violence against women for over 20 years. He continues the cause today leading the fight from the White House.
Over the past year, in response to the high rates of violence and abuse that continue to face young women under the age of 24, Vice President Biden has refocused his long standing commitment to reducing violence against women specifically on teens and young adults. Under the Vice President’s leadership, the Administration has undertaken a wide range of new and innovative efforts to address the issue. Just last week, in a video message released via Twitter and YouTube, Vice President Biden launched the “1is2Many” project calling on high school and college-aged students to share their ideas on preventing dating violence and sexual assault at schools and on their campuses.
Dating abuse isn’t always as obvious as bruises and beatings. In fact, if you don’t know any better, some of the most common forms of relationship abuse might seem like the way that boyfriends and girlfriends are supposed to act.
That’s why it’s so important that you learn the signs of abusive relationships as soon as you start dating. If any of the signs below are true for your relationship, get help. The following signs can be applied to abused males as well by girlfriends. Victimization DOES NOT discriminate.
1. He Constantly Checks In on You
If your sweetie’s attentive and asks you about your life, that’s fantastic. But if he constantly calls you and expects a full report on where you’ve been and who you’ve been with, then something more sinister’s going on.
2. He Lies to You
Relationships can’t survive unless you trust each other, and if your partner abuses that trust by lying to you, it’s a relationship that isn’t worth keeping. A couple of white lies are forgivable. Lying regularly, or lying about important stuff, is absolutely not.
3. He Won’t Let You Talk to Other Guys
Don’t stand for this form of relationship abuse. You’re allowed to talk to anyone of any gender you want. If your sweetie is suspicious of something, he should have a mature conversation with you about it, but he’s not allowed to control your behavior.
4. He Threatens to Hurt Himself
When someone tells you something like, “I’ll kill myself if you break up with me,” they’re using fear and guilt to manipulate you. Any threat should be taken seriously, so speak to a parent or counselor about it. But you don’t have to play along.
5. He Loses His Temper Quickly
Everyone gets mad sometimes, and that’s okay. But if your sweetie snaps at you over the tiniest things and blames you for things that aren’t your fault, then something’s wrong (and it’s not you).
6. He Embarrasses You in Public
No one who loves you (or even likes you a lot) should ever make you feel bad about yourself. Doing it in public – by calling you names or making fun of you when other people are watching – is especially cruel, and you don’t have to stand for it.
7. He Forces You to Have Sex
Sex doesn’t just mean intercourse. It can mean a whole range of sexual activity, including oral sex or even just touching. If your partner forces you to do anything physical that you don’t want to do, get out of the relationship.
8. He Keeps You Away From Your Friends
Abusers are pretty smart. They know that if your friends found out the truth, they’d tell you to get out of the relationship lickety-split. By pushing your friends away, abusers are trying to protect themselves. Don’t let them.
9. He Looks at Your Phone
No one – not even the love of your life – has the right to monitor your calls and texts. And you’re allowed to be in contact with whomever you want (even your exes). If your sweetie disagrees, he’s trying to control you, and that’s a form of abuse.
10. He Does Anything That Scares You in Any Way
This could mean physical violence, the threat of violence, harsh words or dangerous behavior of any kind. Bottom line: if you’re scared to be around someone – even someone you love – don’t be around them any more. Break it off right away.
A powerful message being sent to Whoopi by Wendy Murphy.
It’s time to take a stance as to how the media portrays victims. Every single day there is victimization. Any woman that has the guts to come forth in hopes of shining a light for others is a hero in my opinion. Perhaps if some of “these people” just walked a mile in a victims shoes they just might have a slight understanding of the pain caused.
AN OPEN LETTER TO WHOOPI GOLDBERG
Yesterday on “The View”, you said Roman Polanski pleaded guilty to “unlawful sex with a minor”, but it wasn’t “rape rape”. So I’ve been wondering –
What the hell is “rape rape”?
I know you said your point was to articulate the nature of the crime to which he pleaded guilty – which is entitled “unlawful sex with a minor” – but you said it was somehow DIFFERENT from “rape”.
“Unlawful sex with a minor” IS the crime of child rape in California.
So again – I ask you – how is “rape rape” different from “rape”?
Regular folks understand “rape” to mean “sexual penetration without consent” – and of course, consent is irrelevant when the victim is a child.
The law says “rape” means: “sexual penetration”.
The dictionary says “rape” is: “forced sexual intercourse”.
No matter which definitional source you use, Whoopi, Polanski “raped” his victim.
So I’m trying to understand what you meant when you say it wasn’t “rape rape”.
Did you mean to say it wasn’t “real rape”?
What wasn’t “real” enough about the crime for you, Whoopi?
A 45 year old man forced his penis into a 13 year-old child’s vagina – and then he forced his penis into her anus. Is this “rape” but not “rape rape”?
The victim was not only a child, she was also intoxicated because Polanski gave her booze and drugs before the crime. The child protested – told him to stop – but he continued. She was incapacitated to a point where she could barely walk, much less defend herself against her 45 year-old attacker. Is that enough for “rape rape”, Whoopi?
What would have done it for you? If he’d used a knife? If he’d jumped on her in a dark alley instead of a bed? If it had happened at a homeless shelter instead of the mansion of a famous Hollywood actor? If he’d had to remove a trenchcoat before committing the crime, rather than silk underwear from a fancy shop on Rodeo Drive?
What if the victim had been a little black girl he grabbed from a triple decker in the poorest part of Los Angeles? Would that have been “rape rape”, Whoopi? Or would you have still offered the same lame excuse you came up with on The View – that “people in other countries see things differently” when middle-aged men force themselves on children.
If it’s true that 13 year-old kids in France are so disrespected they can anticipate being attacked by men – you can and should condemn the practice – not chalk it up to a “cultural difference” – as if to suggest that the United States might evolve one day to a period of enlightenment when we will be “liberated” enough to celebrate the sexual abuse of children.
Your audience is filed with women who need and deserve the empowerment that is possible in a show like yours. Cultural values are created, in part, through the dissemination of ideas. You had a chance to explain to millions of people why the personal autonomy, bodily integrity and liberty of all women and children is at stake when even one rapist is not held accountable for his actions. At a minimum, you could have explained how backward we really are in this country – and how the epidemic of rape and child sex abuse serves as a kind of domestic terrorism that interferes with the freedom of millions of people who are affected by the disproportionate failure of our legal system to redress sexual violence. According to a study submitted to Congress in support of the Violence Against Women Act in the 1990s, by then Senator Joseph Biden, only 2% of rapists spend even one day behind bars. Violence against women and children is grossly underreported and underprosecuted, and the data consistently shows that crimes against property are punished much more harshly than crimes against female bodies.
Rather than highlight this profound and pervasive injustice, you bemoaned the fact that Mr. Polanski was compelled to flee the United States after pleading guilty to child rape, but before being sentenced, because he was about to be go to jail for “a hundred years”.
Although many people would argue he deserved such a sentence (and under California law today, but not back then, drugging and raping a child would expose Mr. Polanski to a mandatory minimum term of 25 years behind bars) because he was allowed to plead guilty to only one of six felonies with which he was originally charged – he faced no more than four years behind bars, and some reports say the judge intended to impose a sentence of only a few weeks of incarceration.
Mr. Polanski arrogantly decided that he shouldn’t spend any time in jail, and he fled this country spinelessly for a nation he knew would not extradite him for his crime. If it’s true, as has been reported, that he took off because he thought it was unfair that he should go to jail after his lawyer worked out a “no jail” deal with the prosecutor, he had a right to withdraw his guilty plea and go to TRIAL – not FRANCE.
That Mr. Polanski would show such disrespect for this country’s legal system is a reason to punish him MORE, not less, for his crime. It may be a decades-old case, but it bears stating the obvious that the law should not reward fugitives for their successful efforts to evade justice.
Nonetheless, Mr. Polanski is a man of wealth and influence, and child victims of violence don’t vote or have any money. Which is why people like you, Whoopi, are so quick to say things that degrade children. Admit it Whoopi, you’d be talking out of the other side of your mouth if filmmaker Polanski were garbageman Polanski.
Next time, try reading the Constitution BEFORE speaking on this topic. There’s nothing in there that says people of power and influence should not be held accountable for their crimes. In fact, try focusing on the 14th Amendment for a few minutes – especially the part about how all citizens are entitled to the “equal protection” of the laws. Then try reading some of our most basic court decisions that discuss how the law is supposed to protect the weak, and deter the cunning.
You have a 13 year-old granddaughter, Whoopi. What does she call you? “Nana”? “Grandma”?. What if she told you that she had been “raped” by a 45 year-old man who stripped her naked and then penetrated her private parts even as she cried “no”. Would you correct her for using the word “rape”? Would you say, “sorry sweetheart – what happened to you was not a ‘rape rape’”.
No matter how hard some people try to make the crime seem harmless – – it really is quite simple if you think about it the way someone famous once did: “rape is to sex what a punch in the mouth is to a kiss”. It’s true that not all punches knock teeth out – but nobody ever says “it wasn’t a ‘punch punch’”.
I will say one thing, Whoopi – in your defense. Maybe we SHOULD give up the term “rape” altogether, and start calling it “bodily enslavement”. We could put it in the Constitution instead of the statute books as a violation of fundamental civil rights.
I’m thinking if we had initially codified the crime in law where it truly belongs – under the umbrella of civil rights – you might have stopped yourself before saying “it wasn’t a violation of civil rights civil rights”.
Can you see how dumb that sounds, Whoopi?
I hope so – because you are an important voice for women and children and I want you to sound smart.