Two more children dead, another mother on her way to jail. Maybe. Maybe not. But in all likelihood, 29-year-old Shaquan Duley will spend time behind bars. In 1985, if I had followed through with my own plan to drive my car over a hillside, or connect a hose from the Read more…
One of the most serious problems facing the world is the ongoing demise of journalism. As one newspaper after another makes its final print run, and reporters walk away wondering what to do next, a sad fact escapes the masses: If investigative journalism, that traditional method of gathering hard news, Read more…
Why must they return to the scene of the crime? That’s a question I’ve wondered about more times than I count: Rihanna has apparently done it (in the past) with Chris Brown, just as Whitney Houston did with ex-husband Bobby—that other infamous Brown. Ditto for Tina Turner, whose escape took Read more…
After pondering the Bristol Palin pregnancy revelation for several days, I realize the need to wrap two serious issues with the potential to be deadly into one post: teen pregnancy and dating violence. They’re not only connected, they’re so closely interwoven that you can’t talk about one without the other.
I say this because of the recent study I wrote about in July. Commissioned by Liz Claiborne, Inc., it found that pre-teens (“tweens”) as young as 11-years-old are dating AND becoming victims of violence in the process.
Such violence can and does lead to pregnancy, as a 1995 Alan Guttmacher Institute study found. It revealed men age 20 or older fathered 66-percent of the babies born to teen mothers. Which makes it, by definition, child abuse. This problem hasn’t gone away; it’s just been swept under the rug until just such a time as this: The daughter of Alaska Governor Sarah Palin is about to become an unwed mother (until she marries her teenage boyfriend, Levi Johnston).
Because a national audience is focused on a young woman who, by all rights, should be given the dignity of bearing her child in private, and also because the national teen pregnancy rate spiked in 2006 for the first time in 14 years, there is no better time to talk about the repercussions of teen dating and pregnancy than now.
The other consequence from teen dating can be seen by what happened to Sami Hightshoe and Lindsay Burke: Sami was repeatedly sexually abused in the woods behind her school and in her own home by her boyfriend, from the age of 14 until she finally found a way to end the relationship—with a restraining order against the guy. To protect Sami, her family had to spend $6,000 in legal fees.
To help educate and increase awareness about domestic violence, many events are slated around the country this month, including some here locally. At the bottom of this list are my speaking engagements in October. Please feel free to attend ~ and bring a friend! One of the most difficult topics Read more…
THE deaths of 12 miners in the Sago Mine disaster and then four additional miners in other mines made international headlines. But below the radar, unemployment and uncertainty in the U.S. coal mining industry leak an invisible poison, claiming silent and stoic victims in the frustration and rage of domestic Read more…
Domestic Violence and Human Rights
Did you know
- In just two minutes, you can change her life in a profound way?
- If you don’t listen, she may never speak up again?
- You may be the only lifeline she has?
Dr. Jane Schaller came back a different person from war-torn South Africa in 1985. Her experience led to Physicians for Human Rights, a Boston-based group that believes health professionals have a great moral and ethical influence on human rights issues. Schaller, who has documented the effects of war on children, as quoted in the Journal of the American Medical Women’s Association (Vol. 52, 1997), says:
“It is true that one doctor cannot end a tyranny, make all children well or end all torture used against innocent human beings. But one physician can make some difference, and a group of physicians or other health professionals can make a great deal of difference…”
In this country, there is another war going in, one in which many, many women and children are victims.