Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Killing Us Softly

I have seen the first and second of Jean Kilbourne's movies before. I watched Killing Us Softly 3 last night in class. Here is a preview.

Thursday, February 5, 2009


White Ribbon Against Pornography

White Ribbon Against Pornography Month

Pornography degrades and dehumanizes both female and male participants; and,

Pornography presents youth with false and distorted image of human sexuality, devoid of love, commitment and responsibility; and,

Pornography features and promotes rape and other anti-social behaviors in an era of increasing sexual violence and an epidemic of sexually transmitted disease; and,

According to a study conducted by the Crimes Against Children's Resource Center, the percentage of Internet users ages 10-17 who were exposed to unwanted pornography in the previous year increased from 25 percent in 2000 to 34 percent in 2005; and,

Children are increasingly molesting other children in imitation of what they have seen in pornography; and,

According to a survey conducted in 2004 by the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse, 45 percent of teens have friends who regularly view and download pornography from the Internet; and,

The United States Supreme Court has rules that obscenity is not protected speech under the First Amendment; and,

Federal and State obscenity laws have been enacted against hardcore pornography to protect public safety, public health and public morality; and,

A poll conducted by Harris Interactive in November 2005 found that 77 percent of adult Americans surveyed supported the Justice Department's crackdown on obscene materials; and now therefore be it,

*Stats taken from,1607,7-168-23442_25488_43769-175208--,00.html

Friday, January 2, 2009

Violence Against Women in the United States

Violence Against Women in the United States
Article taken from: (

MURDER. Every day four women die in this country as a result of domestic violence, the euphemism for murders and assaults by husbands and boyfriends. That's approximately 1,400 women a year, according to the FBI. The number of women who have been murdered by their intimate partners is greater than the number of soldiers killed in the Vietnam War.

BATTERING. Although only 572,000 reports of assault by intimates are officially reported to federal officials each year, the most conservative estimates indicate two to four million women of all races and classes are battered each year. At least 170,000 of those violent incidents are serious enough to require hospitalization, emergency room care or a doctor's attention.

SEXUAL ASSAULT. Every year approximately 132,000 women report that they have been victims of rape or attempted rape, and more than half of them knew their attackers. It's estimated that two to six times that many women are raped, but do not report it. Every year 1.2 million women are forcibly raped by their current or former male partners, some more than once.

THE TARGETS. Women are 10 times more likely than men to be victimized by an intimate. Young women, women who are separated, divorced or single, low- income women and African-American women are disproportionately victims of assault and rape. Domestic violence rates are five times higher among families below poverty levels, and severe spouse abuse is twice as likely to be committed by unemployed men as by those working full time. Violent attacks on lesbians and gay men have become two to three times more common than they were prior to 1988.

IMPACT ON CHILDREN. Violent juvenile offenders are four times more likely to have grown up in homes where they saw violence. Children who have witnessed violence at home are also five times more likely to commit or suffer violence when they become adults.

IMPACT ON HEALTH AND SOCIAL SERVICES. Women who are battered have more than twice the health care needs and costs than those who are never battered. Approximately 17 percent of pregnant women report having been battered, and the results include miscarriages, stillbirths and a two to four times greater likelihood of bearing a low birth weight baby. Abused women are disproportionately represented among the homeless and suicide victims. Victims of domestic violence are being denied insurance in some states because they are considered to have a "pre-existing condition."

LEGISLATION. In 1994, the National Organization for Women, the NOW Legal Defense and Education Fund, and other organizations finally secured passage of the Violence Against Women Act, which provides a recordbreaking $1.8 billion to address issues of violence against women.

SOURCES:"Violence Against Women: A National Crime Victimization Survey Report", U.S. Department of Justice, Washington, D.C., January 1994."The National Women's Study," Crime Victims Research and Treatment Center, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, SC, 1992."Five Issues In American Health," American Medical Association, Chicago, 1991. Bullock, Linda F. and Judith McFarlane, "The Birth Weight/Battering Connection," Journal of American Nursing, September 1989.McFarlane, Judith, et. al., "Assessing for Abuse During Pregnancy," Journal of the American Medical Association, June 17, 1992.Federal Bureau of Investigation statistics, 1992.Sheehan, Myra A. "An Interstate Compact on Domestic Violence: What are the Advantages?" Juvenile and Family Justice Today, 1993.Sherman, Lawrence W. et al. Domestic Violence: Experiments and Dilemmas, 1990.A study of five cities -- New York, Chicago, San Francisco, Boston and Minneapolis -- by the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, published in 1992

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Friday, August 29, 2008


Did you know that one in eight women will be abused in her lifetime?
Did you know that there is no social, ethnic, cultual, religious, or financial boundary that defines an abuse victim?
Did you know that not all abused women are ugly, uneducated, weak, shy but that most of them used to be described as smart, funny, strong, well-liked, confident, pretty, beautiful, happy?

Did you know that while there is no single trait to make one vunerable to abuse, there are some common factors?
  • Growing up with an abusive or domneering parent (while a major factor it does NOT mean she has to spend her life in abusive relationships)
  • Physical or emotional distance from family and friends
  • Low self-esteem and/or chronic depression
  • Strong desire or need to be in a relationship
  • Almost blind trust of others; sees only good in people
  • Shyness or timidity
  • Insecurities abaout self nd abilities
  • Feelings of loneliness or a fear of being alone
  • Kind-heartedness, especially toward unpopular or unwanted people
  • Avoidance of making own decisions
  • Strong belief that the man is the "head of the household"
  • Recent traumatic experience such as a death of a loved one
  • Sense of perfectionism-- always wanting to be and do their best

A woman can go from the happy, cheerful, outgoing person she has always been to the scared, timid, lonely person in just a matter of a few short weeks. However it usually takes longer for friends and family to see how serious the situation is. The sooner the signs are noticed, the sooner intervention can happen. There are some common characteristics to look for.


  • Suddenly changes her dress/appearance
  • Avoids contact with friends or family
  • Suddenly changes behavior; stops doing things she used to enjoy
  • Spends all of her free time with him
  • Cries a lot over insignificant things; has trouble focusing on normal tasks
  • Complains abaout her abuser but gets defensive when someone else does
  • Believes she is the cause of the anger/violence
  • Feels guilty about the relationship
  • Is stressed often with physical symptoms
  • Accepts violence or anger as normal or denes that it exists
  • Panics when asked to make a decision or give opinion, especially about the abuser
  • Fears worse violence or death if she leaves
  • Holds to the "good times" and believes that is who the abuser really is

Because you can't determine if a woman is being abused by one single test, you must look for things to tell you what is going on. Look for changes in her behavior, mannerisms, and feelings. These are good warning signs. Pay attention to how you feel. If you feel that something is wrong, it probably is.

*Taken from the book "Not Another Sarah" by Sarah E. Southerland ch. 25

Friday, July 18, 2008

This is the hardest post of the abuse types to write. I have left it to last because of this. (I also needed to wait until he was out of town. This form of abuse has affected me more than any of the others.

Unless stated otherwise, this post is taken directly from the book, Not Another Sarah pgs 133-134

Sexual abuse is the least reported but most insidious form of abuse, and often has the most devastating effects. It arouses powerful feelings that are then distorted and manipulated to make the victim feel guilty. Sexual abuse leaves horrible feelings of shame and mistrust that often inhibit a victim's ability to maintain a close relationship (physically intimate or not) wih another person. The scars of sexual abuse frequently linger far beyond any physical injuries and go beyond damaged self-esteem. It may take years before a victi is able to recognize and understand the distorted feelings and perceptions she carries in response, and even then it often requires specialized counseling to create a healthy understanding of intimacy and sex.
An abuser will seek to maintain control over the victim through:
  • Forcing or pressuring her to have sex
  • Stimulating sexual felings within her through unwanted touching
  • Pinching, slapping, grabbing or poking her breasts and genitals
  • Forcing her to view pornography
  • Degrading or ctiticizing her sexual ability and/or body parts
  • Using sex as a manipulation, punishment,reward or argument
  • Forcing her to participate in perverted, unusual or painful sexual activities

End of quotes from the book. The rest of this post is mine.

I married a man that was victimized by a neighbor when he was 6. I didn't know about that until 18-20 years after the marriage. I did, however, know that his father gave him pornographic materials when he was 12. I was young and thought that marriage and love could overcome his addiction to porn and sex. How very wrong I was. It has now become his favorite abuse form.

Some examples of his early abuse: he would get up in the night and go to his hidden stash of porn and then come back and undress me while I slept. I would wake up to him doing this. I then had to finish what he started or he would wake the baby with his anger and keep me awake until he got what he wanted.

He left me alone with 5 kids under the age of 8, me pregnant, sick with toxemia unable to get out of bed without going into premature labor and/or dying while he went to a strip club.

He has snuck into the bathroom while I was showering and took a picture over the shower rod. I happened to tip my head back to rinse my hair just as he did this, so I was able to confenscate the camera and delete the picture.

If it is the weekend, you can be sure there will be a fight about sex and how I "have to give it to him because he wants it" If he has been viewing his favorite sights it can get bad fast. When I say no, he starts pressuring and threatining and getting more and more angry. If you have ever seen an addict in the throws of needing a fix, then you can imagine his anger and lust at this moment. He will do and say anything to get what he wants. If he is just arguing and pleading, then I ignore him and go about my day. It is when his need for a fix turns him angry that I cannot ignore it because he will take it out on the kids.

I really really hate it because I am the one that ends up hurt, angry, defiled, sad and I feel like a common prostitute, except without the money to show for it. I know that there are many that will ask again- why do you stay? But that is again, a private matter between me and the Lord. There is a reason, I don't have to like it, but He (the Lord) helps me to make it bearable until I can leave.

I say often how much I hate men, how horrible they are and that once free of this marriage I would never marry again. But in my heart I know that is not true. I love men and know that many are kind and good. It is this one part of a new marriage that scares me the most because I am used to being compared to the perfect airbrushed women.

He attended a meeting for sexual addicts for about 3 months as a condition of him being able to come back into my life. He then decided that he wasn't like those men, he wouldn't do the homework assigned, and then he just quit going because he was "cured". I could tell for a long time that he was not "doing anything" but the stress and tension was very strong. I could also tell as soon as the viewing of porn started again. And then about 2 weeks ago I walked in the bedroom and he slammed his laptop shut. After some "discussion" he opened it to let me see what he was "working" on. He tried to turn it off before I could see, but I finally had the proof that I needed. No longer is it my word against his. I feel that the time for leaving is close now.

As Sarah stated, this is the most under reported type of abuse. For me it is because we are married and those that you report it to don't always believe that it is abuse. Police often say that it is just the wife being angry at her husband and using this as a way to get back. Often times a councelor will say that the wife has issues and needs to stop using not having sex as a way to get back at her husband or as a way to control him. Even bishops do not understand this problem. They don't understand how a man that goes to church and helps so many in the congregation could be doing something that is horrible and then the wife gets blamed and told to change her attitude. And then we are the victim all over again and so we stop talking.

But when we stop talking, we allow the abuse to keep growing. I have learned that I need to document every incident, tell whomever I need to tell (parents, bishop, friends). Educate myself and pray, pray, pray. I know that this is wrong, I know that it is not about me even though it affects me and my children. I also know that it does not have to continue and that he will be held accountable for it. As soon as the things that I am putting in place are there, I will leave. And it will be ok.

Monday, June 30, 2008

Not Another Sarah

I got this e-mail from Sarah Southerland, author of "Not Another Sarah"

Dear Sandy,

A few weeks ago, my publisher notified me that they plan to clearance out the remaining 2,000 copies of my book, Not Another Sarah, in an attempt to free up warehouse space. The publisher has generously offered to sell the books to the NAS Foundation for $2.00 each, well below the cost of publication. The only requirement is that payment must be made by the middle of July.Since the book came out three years ago, I have noticed that the organizations that need the book the most are the least able to buy copies. With your help, the NAS Foundation can buy copies of the book and get them to these organizations (women's shelters, juvenile detention centers, prisons, victim's advocates, etc.) at no cost in an effort to help victims and perpetrators of domestic violence. The NAS Foundation is currently accepting donations that will be used to purchase copies of Not Another Sarah from the publisher for distribution. Will you help by sending a small donation of $5 to $10 (or more if you are able) to the NAS Foundation at the address listed below? All donations are tax deductible. If you would like copies of the book sent to a specific organization, please indicate this with your donation.Thank you so much! With your contribution, these books will go to the people who need them the most!

Sincerely,Sarah Southerland

NAS Foundation
PO BOX 557
Bountiful, UT 84011