Domestic Violence Awareness Day – Bloggers Unite

Domestic Violence Awareness Day

Domestic Violence Awareness Day

Domestic Violence Awareness Day – Bloggers Unite

Domestic Violence is a growing problem around the world; do your part to help save people from abuse.

If you feel you are in physical danger immediately call 911 or the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-787-3224.

Cycle of violence

Domestic abuse falls into a common pattern, or cycle of violence: Cycle of violence

  • Abuse — The abuser lashes out with aggressive or violent behavior. The abuse is a power play designed to show the victim “who is boss.”
  • Guilt — After the abusive episode, the abuser feels guilt, but not over what he’s done to the victim. The guilt is over the possibility of being caught and facing consequences.
  • Rationalization or excuses — The abuser rationalizes what he’s done. He may come up with a string of excuses or blame the victim for his own abusive behavior—anything to shift responsibility from himself.
  • “Normal” behavior — The abuser does everything he can to regain control and keep the victim in the relationship. He may act as if nothing has happened, or he may turn on the charm. This peaceful honeymoon phase may give the victim hope that the abuser has really changed this time.
  • Fantasy and planning — The abuser begins to fantasize about abusing his victim again, spending a lot of time thinking about what she’s done wrong and how he’ll make her pay. Then he makes a plan for turning the fantasy of abuse into reality.
  • Set-up — The abuser sets up the victim and puts his plan in motion, creating a situation where he can justify abusing her.

The Full Cycle of Domestic Violence

A man abuses his partner. After he hits her, he experiences self-directed guilt. He says, “I’m sorry for hurting you.” What he does not say is, “Because I might get caught.” He then rationalizes his behavior by saying that his partner is having an affair with someone. He tells her “If you weren’t such a worthless whore I wouldn’t have to hit you.” He then acts contrite, reassuring her that he will not hurt her again. He then fantasizes and reflects on past abuse and how he will hurt her again. He plans on telling her to go to the store to get some groceries. What he withholds from her is that she has a certain amount of time to do the shopping. When she is held up in traffic and is a few minutes late, he feels completely justified in assaulting her because “you’re having an affair with the store clerk.” He has just set her up.

Source: Mid-Valley Women’s Crisis Service

Your abuser’s apologies and loving gestures in between the episodes of abuse can make it difficult to leave. He may make you believe that you are the only person who can help him, that things will be different this time, and that he truly loves you. However, the dangers of staying are real.

Domestic abuse often escalates from threats and verbal abuse to physical violence and even murder. And while physical injury may be the most obvious danger, the emotional and psychological consequences of domestic abuse are also severe. No one deserves this kind of pain—and your first step to breaking free is recognizing that your situation is abusive. Once you acknowledge the reality of the abusive situation, then you can get the help you need.

Signs of an abusive relationship

There are many signs of an abusive relationship. The most significant sign is fear of your partner. Other signs include a partner who belittles you or tries to control you, and feelings of self-loathing, helplessness, and desperation.

To determine whether your relationship is abusive, answer the questions in the table below. The more “yes” answers, the more likely it is that you’re in an abusive relationship.

SIGNS OF AN ABUSIVE RELATIONSHIP
Your Inner Thoughts and Feeling Your Partner’s Belittling Behavior
Do you:

  • 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?
Does your partner:

  • humiliate, criticize, or yell at you?
  • treat you so badly that you’re embarrassed for your friends or family to see?
  • ignore or put down your opinions or accomplishments?
  • blame you for his own abusive behavior?
  • see you as property or a sex object, rather than as a person?
Your Partner’s Violent Behavior or Threats Your Partner’s Controlling Behavior
Does your partner:

  • have a bad and unpredictable temper?
  • hurt you, or threaten to hurt or kill you?
  • threaten to take your children away or harm them?
  • threaten to commit suicide if you leave?
  • force you to have sex?
  • destroy your belongings?
Does your partner:

  • act excessively jealous and possessive?
  • control where you go or what you do?
  • keep you from seeing your friends or family?
  • limit your access to money, the phone, or the car?
  • constantly check up on you?

Types of domestic violence and abuse

There are different types of domestic abuse, including emotional, physical, sexual, and economic abuse. Many abusers behave in ways that include more than one type of domestic abuse, and the boundaries between some of these behaviors may overlap.

Emotional or psychological abuse

Emotional or psychological abuse can be verbal or nonverbal. Its aim is to chip away at your feelings of self-worth and independence. If you’re the victim of emotional abuse, you may feel that there is no way out of the relationship, or that without your abusive partner you have nothing. Emotional abuse includes verbal abuse such as yelling, name-calling, blaming, and shaming. Isolation, intimidation, and controlling behavior also fall under emotional abuse. Additionally, abusers who use emotional or psychological abuse often throw in threats of physical violence.

You may think that physical abuse is far worse than emotional abuse, since physical violence can send you to the hospital and leave you with scars. But, the scars of emotional abuse are very real, and they run deep. In fact, emotional abuse can be just as damaging as physical abuse—sometimes even more so. Furthermore, emotional abuse usually worsens over time, often escalating to physical battery.

Physical abuse

When people talk about domestic violence, they are often referring to the physical abuse of a spouse or intimate partner. Physical abuse is the use of physical force against someone in a way that injures or endangers that person. There’s a broad range of behaviors that come under the heading of physical abuse, including hitting, grabbing, choking, throwing things, and assault with a weapon.

Physical assault or battering is a crime, whether it occurs inside or outside of the family. The police have the power and authority to protect you from physical attack.

Sexual abuse

Sexual abuse is common in abusive relationships. According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, between one-third and one-half of all battered women are raped by their partners at least once during their relationship. Any situation in which you are forced to participate in unwanted, unsafe, or degrading sexual activity is sexual abuse. Forced sex, even by a spouse or intimate partner with whom you also have consensual sex, is an act of aggression and violence. Furthermore, women whose partners abuse them physically and sexually are at a higher risk of being seriously injured or killed.

Economic or financial abuse

Remember, an abuser’s goal is to control you, and he will frequently hurt you to do that. In addition to hurting you emotionally and physically, an abusive partner may also hurt you in the pocketbook. Economic of financial abuse includes:

  • Controlling the finances.
  • Withholding money or credit cards.
  • Giving you an allowance.
  • Making you account for every penny you spend.
  • Stealing from you or taking your money.
  • Exploiting your assets for personal gain.
  • Withholding basic necessities (food, clothes, medications, shelter).
  • Preventing you from working or choosing your own career.
  • Sabotaging your job (making you miss work, calling constantly)

Domestic violence warning signs

Take Precautions

Call 911 or the police in your community if you suspect a case of domestic violence.

It’s impossible to know with certainty what goes on behind closed doors, but there are some telltale signs and symptoms of domestic violence and abuse. If you witness a number of warning signs in a friend, family member, or co-worker, you can reasonably suspect domestic abuse.

  • Frequent injuries, with the excuse of “accidents”
  • Frequent and sudden absences from work or school
  • Frequent, harassing phone calls from the partner
  • Fear of the partner, references to the partner’s anger
  • Personality changes (e.g. an outgoing woman becomes withdrawn)
  • Excessive fear of conflict
  • Submissive behavior, lack of assertiveness
  • Isolation from friends and family
  • Insufficient resources to live (money, credit cards, car) Domestic Violence and Abuse: Help, Treatment, Intervention, and Prevention
  • Depression, crying, low self-esteem

Reporting suspected domestic abuse is important. If you’re afraid of getting involved, remember that the report is confidential and everything possible will be done to protect your privacy. You don’t have to give your name, and your suspicions will be investigated before anyone is taken into custody. Most important, you can protect the victim from further harm by calling for help.

Stretching & Stress

Stretching & Stress

When you see a cat doing an outrageous stretch that makes you chuckle, you may not realize these stretches are important for its health. Likewise, regularly stretching your own muscles improves flexibility; prevents muscle stiffness, strain and soreness; and leaves you feeling refreshed.

Because stretching improves blood flow throughout your body, it’s important for muscular health, and it’s the cheapest way to relieve stress. Taking just 15 minutes out of your day to stretch can be incredibly therapeutic — both for your muscles and your mental well-being.

If you sit in front of a computer most of the day, you not only face the mental stresses of your day, you can build up extreme tension in your back, neck and shoulder muscles. It’s important to take a few minutes every couple of hours to stretch — you’ll feel more productive and alert, and you’ll feel less stress.

Here’s a simple stretch you can do in your office to relieve tension and stress. Stand with your feet together and your arms at your side. Slowly exhale, and bend your body at the waist allowing your head and arms to hang loosely toward the ground (your upper body should be completely relaxed, as though your arms, neck, shoulders and torso have “gone limp”). Stay in that position until you have completely exhaled the air from your lungs. As you inhale, slowly stack one vertebra on top of another to stand up straight. When you get to your shoulder area, gently roll your shoulders back and very slowly straighten your neck until your head is upright. Then slowly exhale through your mouth. Not only does this simple stretch refresh all parts of your body, it encourages proper posture and opens your chest cavity for optimal breathing.

It’s important to listen to your body as you stretch. If a particular motion is painful, make the necessary modifications so you don’t over-exert yourself. Keep at it, because the more you stretch, the easier it gets, and the more flexible you’ll become. (Always consult your doctor before beginning any exercise program.)

Make That Change

What do you see when you look in the mirror?

What do you see when you look in the mirror?

Man in the Mirror by Micheal Jackson

I’m gonna make a change,
for once im my life
It’s gonna feel real good,
gonna make a diference
Gonna make it right…

As I, turn up the collar on
my favorite winter coat
This wind is blowing my mind
I see the kids in the streets,
with not enought to eat
Who am I to be blind?
Pretending not to see their needs

A summer disregard,
a broken bottle top
And a one man soul
They follow each other on the wind ya’ know
‘Cause they got nowhere to go
That’s why I want you to know

I’m starting with the man in the mirror
I’m asking him to change his ways
And no message could have been any clearer
If you wanna make the world a better place
(If you wanna make the world a better place)
Take a look at yourself, and then make a change
(Take a look at yourself, and then make a change)
(Na na na, na na na, na na, na nah)

I’ve been a victim of a selfish kind of love
It’s time that I realize
That there are some with no home, not a nickel to loan
Could it be really me,
pretending that they’re not alone?

A willow deeply scarred, somebody’s broken heart
And a washed-out dream
(Washed-out dream)
They follow the pattern of the wind ya’ see
‘Cause they got no place to be
That’s why I’m starting with me
(Starting with me!)

I’m starting with the man in the mirror
(Ooh!)
I’m asking him to change his ways
(Ooh!)
And no message could have been any clearer
If you wanna make the world a better place
(If you wanna make the world a better place)
Take a look at yourself, and then make a change
(Take a look at yourself, and then make a change)

I’m starting with the man in the mirror
(Ooh!)
I’m asking him to change his ways
(Change his ways – ooh!)
And no message could have been any clearer
If you wanna make the world a better place
Take a look at yourself and then make that..
(Take a look at yourself and then make that..)
CHANGE!

I’m starting with the man in the mirror
(Man in the mirror – Oh yeah!)
I’m asking him to change his ways
(Better change!)
No message could have been any clearer
(If you wanna make the world a better place)

(Take a look at yourself and then make the change)
(You gotta get it right, while you got the time)
(‘Cause when you close your heart)
You can’t close your… your mind!
(Then you close your… mind!)
That man, that man, that man, that man
With the man in the mirror
(Man in the mirror, oh yeah!)
That man, that man, that man,
I’m asking him to change his ways
(Better change!)
You know… that man
No message could have been any clearer
If you wanna make the world a better place
(If you wanna m
ake the world a better place)
Take a look at yourself and then make the change
(Take a look at yourself and then make the change)
Hoo! Hoo! Hoo! Hoo! Hoo!
Na na na, na na na, na na, na nah
(Ooooh…)
Oh no, no no…

I’m gonna make a change
It’s gonna feel real good!
Come on!
(Change…)
Just lift yourself
You know
You’ve got to stop it,
Yourself!
(Yeah! – Make that change!)
I’ve got to make that change, today!
Hoo!
(Man in the mirror)
You got to
You got to not let yourself…
brother…

(Yeah! – Make that change!)
You know – I’ve got to get
that man, that man…
(Man in the mirror)
You’ve got to
You’ve got to move! Come on!
Come on!
You got to…
Stand up! Stand up! Stand up!
(Yeah! – Make that change)
Stand up and lift yourself, now!
(Man in the mirror)
Hoo! Hoo! Hoo!
Aaow!
(Yeah! – Make that change!)
Gonna make that change…
come on!
You know it!

This song is indeed about people suffering and the cruelty of the world, but it goes way deeper.  It says the only way that you can change the world is if to change yourself! Why is it that we care more about Paris Hilton in jail than the child soldier in Uganda? Why is it that it’s more important to watch the Grammy’s than to go on an AIDS walk? Ultimately, we have to face ourselves and change our attitudes for the world to be a better place. If we as a society were more sympathetic to others around us, if we put others first before ourselves, then with that, a change will occur.

You know it!
You know it!
You know it…
(Change…)
Make that change.

Man in the Mirror MP3

Preventive Services for Healthy Living

Preventive Services for Healthy Living

What can I do to keep myself healthy?

The choices you make about the way you live are important to your health. Here are some choices you can make to help yourself stay healthy:

healthy-living-woman1

What can my doctor do to help me stay healthy?

In addition to treating you when you are sick, your doctor can follow a program designed to help you stay healthy. This program tells the doctor which preventive services are needed for people at different ages.

  • Don’t use any form of tobacco.
  • Eat a healthy diet.
  • Exercise regularly.
  • Drink alcohol in moderation, if at all.
  • Don’t use illegal drugs.
  • Practice safe sex.
  • Use seat belts (and car seats for children) when riding in a car or truck.
  • See your doctor regularly for preventive care.

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What is a “preventive service”?

A preventive service might be a test, or it might be advice from your doctor. Preventive services can include the following:
  • Tests (also called screenings) to check your general health or the health of certain parts of your body
  • Regular measurements of weight, cholesterol levels and blood pressure
  • Advice about diet, exercise, tobacco, alcohol and drug use, stress and accident prevention
  • Immunizations (“shots”) for both children and adults
  • Special tests at certain times in your life, such as during pregnancy and after age 50

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Will my doctor tell me which preventive services I need?

Yes. Follow your doctor’s advice about checkups, about healthy life choices and about medicines that prevent health problems, such as blood pressure medicine. Preventive services are sometimes offered in your community (for example, blood pressure tests at the local shopping center). If you’re not sure you need the service being offered, ask your doctor.

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Who pays for preventive services?

Most health insurance companies pay for at least some preventive services. If you aren’t sure what your insurance will cover, read your health plan’s patient manual or call the health plan’s office.

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What preventive services do women need?

Adult women should have their weight, blood pressure and cholesterol levels checked regularly. They should also have a Pap test at least every 3 years to screen for cervical cancer starting at age 21 or approximately 3 years after they have sex for the first time. After the age of 40, women should have a mammogram every 1 to 2 years to screen for breast cancer. After the age of 50, they should also be tested for colorectal cancer. These are routine tests that everyone should have. If your doctor orders these tests for you, it does not mean he or she thinks you have cancer. Your doctor will also make sure you have all the shots you need.

Your doctor may give you advice about exercise and diet. For example, your doctor may tell you how much calcium you need to prevent bone problems, or he or she may talk to you about taking folic acid before you get pregnant and lowering the fat and cholesterol in your diet. Your doctor may also give you advice about alcohol and drug use and sexually transmitted infections. As you get close to menopause, your doctor will talk to you about hormone replacement therapy. Your doctor may also talk to you about injury prevention practices, such as using seat belts and having smoke detectors in your home.

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What preventive services do men need?

Adult men should have their weight, cholesterol levels and blood pressure checked regularly. Men older than 50 should be tested for colorectal cancer. If your doctor orders this test, it does not mean he or she thinks you have cancer. This is a routine test that everyone should have. Your doctor will also make sure you have all the shots you need.

Your doctor may talk to you about the importance of diet and exercise, testing for prostate cancer and avoiding alcohol, tobacco, drugs and sexually transmitted infections. Your doctor may also talk to you about injury prevention practices, such as using seat belts and having smoke detectors in your home.

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What preventive services do children need?

Shots are one of the most important preventive services for children. Shots (also called vaccines) protect children from diseases such as polio, measles and mumps.

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A note about vaccines

Sometimes the amount of a certain vaccine cannot keep up with the number of people who need it. More info…

Your doctor will check your child to make sure he or she is growing and developing properly.Your doctor will tell you what you can do to keep your child’s teeth healthy.Your doctor may also give you advice about how to keep your child safe from accidents and injuries (for example, using car seats and seat belts and keeping your child away from poisons and electric outlets). Your doctor will also talk to you about teaching your child healthy eating habits and exercise habits. Your doctor can tell you how to teach your child about the dangers of drugs, alcohol and tobacco. You can also ask your doctor for tips on how to talk to an older child about avoiding pregnancy, sexually transmitted infections and AIDS.

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Other Organizations

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Source

Written by familydoctor.org editorial staff.

American Academy of Family Physicians

Reviewed/Updated: 08/07
Created: 09/00

Bloggers Unite World Aids Day

Bloggers Unite

Bloggers Unite

I’m over a month late, but Dec 1, 2008 was Bloggers Unite World AIDS Day.  Better late than never.

More than 33 million people are living with HIV worldwide, including 2.5 million new cases in 2007 alone. For the United States, the latest numbers indicate that more than 1 million Americans are living with HIV-and one in four of them did not know it.
Behaviors associated with drug abuse are among the main factors in the spread of HIV infection in the United States.

Drugs can change the way the brain works, disrupting the parts of the brain that people use to weigh risks and benefits when making decisions.

This site connects you to information about the link between drug abuse and HIV infection. It contains information for young people, parents and teachers, and the media with links to our latest research findings and news updates. Read on to Learn the Link between drug abuse and HIV and to help us Send the Message.

January is National Blood Donor Month

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January is National Blood Donor Month

Start off the new year right, by donating blood to the Red Cross or your local blood bank in honor of National Blood Donor Month. The process only takes an hour of your time, and results in lifesaving platelets or pints of blood for those in need.

Hundreds of thousands of healthy people with good, visible veins  donate blood every year. I have seen the Red Cross donation truck parked at shopping malls, grocery store parking lots, and schools and there are donation centers located nationwide. All blood types are needed and with more traffic accidents happening during the winter season, clean backup blood is sparse this time of year.

The first month of the year has been recognized as National Blood Donor Month since 1970. According to the American Association of Blood Banks, now known as AABB, in the United States every day, “approximately 39,000 units of blood are required in hospitals and emergency treatment facilities for patients with cancer and other diseases, for organ transplant recipients, and to help save the lives of accident victims.” The AABB works in conjunction with the American Red Cross and America’s Blood Centers and their main goal is to help those in need of blood, especially in harsh winter environments due to illness, accidents, and unforeseen weather conditions.

In order to donate blood, you have to meet certain donor requirements. The most important is that you must be at least 17 years old in order to give blood voluntarily, although some states do consent at 16 with written parental consent. You must be at least 110 pounds, you should be healthy meaning without infection, not on antibiotics, without a fever, and generally feeling well on day of donation. You may only donate if you have not given blood within 8 weeks.  The rest of the guidelines are available here from the American Red Cross.

CEO of America’s Blood Centers, Jim MacPherson says that a major shortage during the cold season could risk lives if people don’t try to donate on a regular basis. “To avert critical blood shortages this winter, we need citizens across the country to schedule an appointment to donate blood…. Blood has a shelf life of only 42 days, which means it constantly needs to be replenished. Donors can give blood every 56 days, or six times a year.”

Teachers and students around the country can also benefit from blood donor month without even having to donate blood. Because elementary age students are unable to donate, donation centers offer classes and demonstrations on how a blood bank works including the different types of blood, the blood donation process, all while providing a community service and an informative lesson plan for schools and home school families.

By inviting a spokesperson to talk to your class or organizing a field trip to your local blood bank, teachers can inspire their students to do more in the future and donate themselves. If you are too young to donate or have non-viable veins like me, you can still help by offering a monetary donation or simply by volunteering your help during this important donation window. Once the New Year is over, the champagne is gone, and the parties are cleaned up, think about donating blood this January, you might even get a slice of pizza or a free t-shirt.

Happy Merry Everything!

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Happy Merry Everything!

Happy holidays, incredible people!

No matter how you choose to celebrate the season, I hope you’re staying warm and feeling loved and remembering to honor your own sweet and shining self.  I am going to try to increase my blog posts where I can have more reader inflow.  If you like my blog, I encourage you to subscribe, comment, and even tell others about this blog so that you can share the optimism throughout this wonderful holiday season.

Thank You!

Jacob