Rehtaeh Parsons was 17 years old when she took her life. She had been shamed and humiliated following the sexual victimization by a group of boys two years prior. The Nova Scotia prosecutor claimed insufficient evidence to prosecute. Now we have a child gone, due to bullycide. Sadly, the Nova Scotia government has gone into damage control mode, which may be too little too late.
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March 8, 2013, International Women’s Day – President Barack Obama recently signed into law the Violence Against Women Act Reauthorization, which also contained the Trafficking Victims Protection Act Reauthorization. No country is immune to Violence Against Women. In Ethiopia, 81% of the women believe it appropriate for a husband to beat their wife, while in Guinea, 60% believe it reasonable for a wife to be beaten for saying no to sex; and in Vietnam, a recent study demonstrated that true cost of violence against women was costing the country nearly 1.4% of its GDP.
The combined bill passed through both houses last week (28 Feb 2013), with The Senate voting 93-5 and The House voting 286 to 138. The passage of the TVPRA follows 2.5 years of congressional debate, rewrites, exclusions and inclusions. The bill was presented to President Obama for signature on 4 March 2013.
Bailey O’Neill, passed away, the day after his 12th birthday. Bailey had been injured in January 2013 during an incident which occurred at Darby Township (PA) School, in which he had his nose broken and suffered a concussion; over the course of the ensuing weeks he began suffering seizures. Bailey’s parents brought him to hospital, where Bailey was placed into a medically induced coma so as to allow medical personnel the opportunity to diagnose the cause of his seizures. According to Bailey’s family, he was “jumped” by two students during recess at the school; the two students who attacked Bailey received two day suspensions from school following the January incident.
Super Bowl XLVII is coming to New Orleans – You can be aware, and make it more difficult for the criminal element to operate within the fringes of the Super Bowl. If you are a the Super Bowl and you see a child proffering themselves up for sex, please don’t turn your head – call 911 – or call the National Human Trafficking Hotline – 1-888-373-7888 – or visit the web site Free-NOLA
It was a sad day in La Grande, Oregon on 28 January. The family of Jadin Bell, took him off life-support and he passed. Who is Jadin Bell? Jadin was a 15-year old high-school sophomore who had tried to commit suicide on 19 January by hanging himself in the playground of Central Elementary school. What may have driven Jadin to take his life?
All is not peachy down in Georgia, specifically Savannah, the Hostess City of The South. On January 11, 2013 (coincidentally Human Trafficking Awareness Day), the Department of Justice, indicted 12 individuals for the sex trafficking of women from Central America and Mexico who had been duped into thinking they were coming to the US in pursuit of the American Dream, not a trafficker’s induced nightmare.
n the United States, ~25,000 women become pregnant through rape each year. In 27 states there are no laws which protect the custodial rights guaranteed to the mother of the resulting child.
This morning, I, like so many others across the globe, sit with tears streaming down my face and into my lap as I think about the 26 souls who are now in Heaven on a direct path from the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, CT. I can not possibly imagine the angst the families ...
I recently viewed an wonderful infographic full of not-so-wonderful data: “Equal Education, Unequal Pay” from the good folks at “Learnstuff.” This infographic depicts numerous data points which highlight, regrettably, the disparity between men and women wages. The real eye-opener to me was, regardless of the level of education obtained, men always earn more than the woman of equal skill-set. In fact, according to this infographic, the difference is 17.8% less for a woman. I have a problem with this. Do you?
On Friday, 30 November 2012, two miscreants (Terrence Williams and Charles Deville Nash) were sentenced to extended stays within the federal prison system for trafficking young women within Western Washington, and to/from other states. The pimps would advertise the availability of their victims via advertisements on Craig’s List and Backpage (see my prior piece: Sex Trafficking & Exploitation 2012 – Village Voice). According to the US Department of Justice, “both men controlled young women, advertising them on the internet, transporting them to “dates,” taking their earnings and through verbal or physical violence forcing them to continue in the sex trades.”
Liberty County prosecutors described Jared Len Cruse as one of a “pack of dogs” who gang-raped an 11-year-old Cleveland girl, while the defense likened the girl to a “spider” who lured men into her web.
On this Black Friday, the Friday where we have 1 in 6 food-insecure, let us get our collective acts together and spend some of that Retail Therapy energy on hunger in America.
On the 18th of October, the Mayo Clinic Center for Social Media announced the publication of “Bringing the Social Media #Revolution to Health Care” (Mayo Clinic) – for those involved in the health care vertical and with social media responsibilities you owe it to yourself to get this book. More than 20 individual contributors made ...
The stalker, may he burn in hell, a male predator on-line convinced a 12-yr-old Amanda whom he befriended in a chat room to flash her breasts over an internet connect and did a screen grab of the event. For the next few years, he continually threatened and then followed up those threats with action sharing the photos of Amanda within her peer population when she declined to do whatever he was demanding of her – via Facebook where he had set up alias accounts and assimilated himself into Amanda’s new circle of friends. Where could Amanda and her mother taken some direct action?
The suicide death of 15 year-old Amanda Todd was a preventable and tragic event. Her mother, Carol Todd, has asked that her daughter’s death be used as a means to prevent the death of another child. Our children need to understand that suicide is not the coping option. That one can survive being bullied. That we all make mistakes, that we all are stronger when we have a support system to lean on. Chris Pirillo, a man who I admire very much, has a suggestion – a one-day conference for children to learn that bully victims can and do survive and most importantly for them to know that life is worth living. I am supporting Chris in his effort to put such a conference together. I solicit your support, spiritual, fiscal, and participatory.
Today is the day of the girl – October 11, 2012. Education is the key to moving the millions out of abject poverty. Today, there are 250 million girls in poverty asking for an education. Learn more…
Freedom is seldom free – served to remind all of us why we were serving our nation abroad. It also served to remind us that our freedoms, such as religious freedom and freedom of speech, are not universally enjoyed. “When Christians are subject to insults to their faith, and that certainly happens, we expect them not to resort to violence. When Hindus or Buddhists are subjected to insults to their faiths, and that also certainly happens, we expect them not to resort to violence. The same goes for all faiths, including Islam.” “We can pledge that whenever one person speaks out in ignorance and bigotry, ten voices will answer. They will answer resoundingly against the offense and the insult, answering ignorance with enlightenment, answering hatred with understanding, answering darkness with light; that if one person commits a violent act in the name of religion, millions will stand up and condemn it out of strength.”
Labor Day is celebrated in honor of each and every one of us – the workers. It is an inclusive celebration. A remembrance of the efforts and success in bringing to our existence acceptable wages, fair and suitable working conditions, non-discriminatory hiring.
Of the 925 million in this world who live with food insecurity every day, 528 million of them live in the Asia and Pacific regions. Think about that number it is over 50% of those who deal with hunger on a daily basis. That is 339 million more than sub-Sahara Africa.