Monday, February 25, 2013

Helping a Friend

It is sometimes hard for a person in an abusive relationship to leave or end the relationship. It is also hard to know what you can do to help someone you care about who is being abused. Even if you want to do everything you can to protect that person, the choice to leave an abusive relationship or not can only be made by the person going through the abuse. But, there are some ways you can help the person you know find their own way to escape abuse and be safe.

The serious and painful effects of domestic violence could impact the victim wanting to end their relationship. They may have been told the abuse was their fault and they feel responsible. Even though the relationship was abusive, they might feel sad and lonely when it’s over. And there are many different reasons why victims stay, they may break up with and go back to the abuser many times. Remember that it may be hard for them to talk about the abuse.

Here are some tips that can help you safely use your cell phone:
                        Don’t be afraid to reach out to someone who you think needs help. Tell them you are concerned
                         for their safety and want to help.

                        Be supportive and listen patiently. Acknowledge their feelings about their relationship.

                        Help them recognize that the abuse is not “normal” and is not their fault. Everyone deserves a
                         healthy relationship without violence.

                        Focus on your friend or family member, not on the abuser. Even if the person stays with their
                         abusive partner, it is important that they still feel comfortable talking to you about it.

                        Be respectful of your friend or family members’ choice about the relationship.

                        Give them resources in their community that can give them information and guidance.

                        Help them develop a plan to end their relationship safely.

                        If they break up with the abuser, keep being supportive of them after the relationship is over.

                        Even when you feel like there’s nothing you can do, don’t forget that by being there and by being
                         supportive and caring-you are already doing a lot. 

Monday, February 18, 2013

Cell phones and Abuse

Cell phones are a great way to keep in touch with friends and family. But, they can also play a role in teen dating abuse. Because phone calls, texting and messaging allow you to be in constant communication, cell phones can be a powerful tool for abusers to monitor and control their girlfriends or boyfriends day and night.

If you are feeling threatened or suffocated by your partner’s endless need to keep track of you, it may be a sign that you are in an unhealthy and probably in a dangerous relationship. If the person you are with says or does anything that makes you scared, makes you feel bad about yourself, or tries to controls you, it is verbal or emotional abuse. It doesn’t matter if the person is online or by phone, abuse is the same. You have the right to be in a safe and healthy relationship, free from all types of abuse.

Some tips that can help you safely use your cell phone:

                        Remember, it is always okay to turn off you phone. (just be sure your parent or guardian knows
                         how to contact you).

                        Do not answer calls from unknown numbers. Your abuser can easily call you from another line if
                         he/she suspects you are avoiding them.

                        Do not respond to tough, harassing, abusive or not very nice texts or messages. If you respond, it
                         will encourage the person who sent the message. You won’t get the person to stop-and your
                         messages might get you in trouble and make it harder to get a restraining order or file criminal

                        Many phone companies can block up to ten numbers from texting or calling you. Contact your
                         phone company or check their website to see if you can do this on your phone.

                        Remember that pictures on cell phones can be easily shared and passed around. Be careful what
                         images you take and send out.

                        It may seem harsh, but if the harassment will not stop, change your phone number. 

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Why It Matters

Each of the partners supporting Teen Dating Violence Awareness and Prevention Month believe that every young person deserves a safe and healthy relationship, no matter who they are or who they love.

A Silent Epidemic

We are living in a world where one in three students report experiencing some form of abuse, and more than 2/3 never report that abuse to a caring adult. A world where young people in more than 35 states still lack unfettered access to legal protection or other assistance to end an abusive relationship. A world where over 80% of school counselors report being unprepared to address incidents of abuse. This tells us – dating abuse isn't just a big issue. It's a growing epidemic.

The Effect of Dating Violence

Less attention to academics. Increased exposure to drugs and alcohol. A greater likelihood of teen pregnancy. Growing isolation. Sexual assault. Even one of these things can have a profound impact on the physical, social and emotional growth of a young person. Together, they create a perfect storm that not only affects the victim of abuse, but their friends, families, schools and surrounding communities. 
And it goes beyond preventing the actual violence. Parents need to feel comfortable talking to their kids about these issues. Schools need to take steps to become better prepared to address incidents on campus. Communities need to rise up and say NO MORE.
Thankfully, there are so many examples of where we’re getting it right, where we’re really making an impact. With your help, we can all work together to ensure that everyone knows this is a big issue.

Need Help?

Do you have questions about your relationship? About a friend's? Visit loveisrespect and you'll find interactive quizzes, information on all your relationships quizzes and the ability to speak to a trained peer via chat, text or phone, 24/7. Or call 671-477-5552, the National Dating Abuse Hotline at 1-866-331-9474 or the National Domestic Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE (7233)

If you're experiencing abuse, contact:

Click here to chat live with an online representative

Monday, February 11, 2013

Online/Digital Relationships

Social networking sites, like Facebook, Twitter and Tumbler allow you to stay in connected with your friends and increase your social circle. But they can also allow others to monitor your life and use information to hurt you. And because you provide personal information on profiles, blogs, and message boards, these sites may possibly be very dangerous.

It is important to wise and have healthy relationships, whether they are with people you know in person or online. When people talk about using social networking sites safely, they usually focus on strangers or predators. But you are just as likely to be harassed or abused online by someone you know. There are ways to have fun online and stay safe at the same time.

                        Don’t do or say anything online you won’t say in person.

                        Only post things you are okay with people seeing and knowing. Phone numbers and addresses
                        will let people contact you directly, things like school and team names, landmarks and photos
                        may also make it easier for people to find out where you live, hang out or go to school.

                        Remember, it’s not just about you. If you post information or photos about your friends or family,
                         they can be at risk.

                        Don’t respond to harassing, abusive or negative comments. It won’t make the person stop and it
                         could get you in trouble or put you in danger.

                        Use the privacy preferences to keep your page as private as you can.

                        If you are in or coming out of a dangerous relationship, don’t use any form of technology to
                        contact your abuser. It can be dangerous and may be used against you in the future.

                        Save or keep a record of all harassing or abusive messages, posts, and comments in case you
                         decide to tell the police or get a protective order.

                        Never give your passwords to anyone other than your parent or guardian. It’s a good idea to
                         choose passwords that aren’t easy to guess, do not use the same password for all your accounts,
                         and to change passwords regularly.

                        It may seem crazy, but if the abuse and harassment will not stop, changing your username and
                         email address may be your best choice.

                        Always report inappropriate behavior to the site administrators.

                        Trust your instincts! If you think something is wrong or are feeling threatened, tell someone who
                         can help. 

Thursday, February 07, 2013

Special Feature
Most teenagers do not experience physical aggression when they date. However, for some teens, abuse is a very real part of dating relationships (Teen Dating Violence: A Closer Look at Adolescent Romantic Relationships, National Institute of Justice, 2008).
Studies investigating the effectiveness of programs to prevent dating violence are beginning to show positive results. Most programs focus on changing knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors linked with dating violence and also address the skills needed to build healthy relationships. In one rigorous National Institute of Justice-funded study, for example, school-level interventions reduced dating violence by up to 50 percent in 30 New York City public middle schools (Prevention and Intervention of Teen Dating Violence, National Institute of Justice).
The Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) defines dating violence as follows: violence committed by a person who is or has been in a social relationship of a romantic or intimate nature with the victim and where the existence of such a relationship shall be determined based on a consideration of the following factors:
  • The length of the relationship.
  • The type of relationship.
  • The frequency of interaction between the persons involved in the relationship.
From 2004 through 2009, Congress designated the first full week in February as National Teen Dating Violence Awareness and Prevention Week. Beginning in 2010, the U.S. Department of Justice worked with the Senate to designate the entire month of February as National Teen Dating Violence Awareness and Prevention Month.
To help bring greater awareness to the dangers of teen dating violence, NCJRS shares with you the Teen Dating Violence Special Feature, an online compilation of publications and resources on the topic.

Monday, February 04, 2013

What are the symptoms of Tuberculosis?

Most people who become infected with the bacteria that cause tuberculosis actually do not present symptoms of the disease. However, when symptoms are present, they include unexplained weight loss, tiredness, fatigue, shortness of breath, fever, night sweats, chills, and a loss of appetite. Symptoms specific to the lungs include coughing that lasts for 3 or more weeks, coughing up blood, chest pain, and pain with breathing or coughing.

How is Tuberculosis diagnosed?

Tuberculosis diagnosis usually occurs after a combination of skin, blood, and imaging tests. The most common diagnostic test is a simple skin test called the Mantoux test. The Mantoux test is made up of a small amount of purified protein derivative (PPD) tuberculin that is injected into the forearm. After 48 to 72 hours, a doctor or nurse looks for a reaction at the injection site. A hard, raised red bump usually indicates a positive test for TB. Blood tests may also be used to determine if the TB is active or inactive, and microscopic sputum analyses or cultures can find TB bacteria in the sputum. Chest x-rays and computer tomography (CT) scans are also used to diagnose TB. If the immune system traps the TB bacteria and creates scar tissue, this tissue and the lymph nodes may harden like stone. This results in a rounded marble-like scars that often appear on x-rays and CT scans. However, if these scars do not show any evidence of calcium on an x-ray, they can be difficult to distinguish from cancer .

Although anyone can get infected with TB, some people are at a higher risk, such as: 
                        Those who live with others who have active TB infections.
                        Poor or homeless people
                        Foreign-born people who come from countries with TB being common
                        Older people, nursing home residents, and prison inmates
                        Alcoholics and intravenous drug users
                        Those who suffer from malnutrition 
                        Diabetics, cancer patients, and those with HIV/AIDS or other immune system problems
                        Health-care workers
                        Workers in refugee camps or shelters