Heading Back to School Safely

After all the summer fun is over and done with and the school supplies have been bought, it’s now time to consider an important issue: back to school safety.

Every day millions of children take to the streets and highways to get to and from school.1 For many children this experience is a new one, and they may not understand or be able to use safety rules.

Young children do not have the same frame of reference for safety as adults do. They may not look before they leap, which is why it is so important for families to supervise young children and practice safety skills with their older children to make certain they really know and understand them. In an analysis of attempted nonfamily abductions the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children found approximately 32 percent of attempted abductions happened when a child was going to or from school or a school related activity.2 The tips noted below will help prepare for a safer journey.

  1. Teach your child his/her phone number, address, bus number, and any important information on how to contact you (parent) in an emergency.
  2. Have your child fingerprinted and have a current photograph available.
  3. Teach children to use the buddy system, whether they walk to and from school or wait at the bus stop. Instruct them to stay in well-lit areas, caution against taking shortcuts and make sure that your child understands the importance of never going out of the way. Walk the route to and from school with your children pointing out landmarks and safe places to go if they’re being followed or need help.
  4. Only cross the street at the designated areas, and obey traffic signals and other signs. Younger children should be supervised when crossing, and parents need to really ensure that they know how stop, look, and listen for any incoming cars on both directions before going across.
  5. Teach your child until he or she knows what to do when a stranger approaches: say NO, get away, and tell an adult who can be trusted about the incident as soon as possible. Tell them that they should keep a safe distance away from cars and other vehicles, including those driven by people who are supposedly asking for directions. Under no circumstances are they to get in a vehicle or come with a stranger. Teach them to report any such instances.
  6. Teach your children if anyone follows them on foot to get away from that person as quickly as possible. If anyone follows them in a vehicle they should turn around, go in the other direction and try to quickly get to a spot where a trusted adult may help them. Advise them to be sure to tell you or another trusted adult what happened.
  7. If someone else picks up your child, use a secret password for the family, and teach your children that they shouldn’t go with anyone else without that password, not even someone whom they know (like a relative or a family friend). Make them realize that the family password will always be given to an authorized messenger or fetcher, and that they should be immediately suspicious if someone appears to be just guessing or asking for hints about it. Of course, your child should also be aware that the password should never be shared with anyone; they should avoid any discussion about it.
  8. In the event your children may be lost or injured, make sure they carry a contact card with your name and telephone numbers such as work and cellular. This card should be hidden from plain view.
  9. Practice “what if” scenarios until you are convinced that your child can make good judgment calls when something unexpected comes up. Some of the more important what-if scenarios would include: what if someone tells you that a family member got in an accident and you needed to come with the stranger immediately? What if it starts to rain while you were walking to or from school? What if you suddenly felt dizzy or ill while en route to the school or to the house? What if someone takes away your phone, bag, watch, etc? Discuss every conceivable option for your child; role playing exercises are a good way to evaluate if your child really gets it.
  10. If you child will be coming home to an empty house after school, this requires an entirely different set of safety regulations. You have to make sure that your child is mature enough to know what to do in an emergency, as well as well-versed on what not to do while alone in the house. If an older child is looking after younger siblings, ensure that the child is up to this responsibility. If you can arrange it, have a trusted neighbor on hand just in case your child is afraid, uncomfortable, or unsure of what to do in a given situation. Have the child call you or message you when they get home.

 

1Fast Facts. Washington, D.C.: National Center for Education Statistics, www.nces.ed.gov/fastfacts/display.asp?id=372, accessed March 4, 2013.

2This information is based on the analysis of more than 8,000 attempted abduction incidents known to NCMEC and confirmed with law enforcement, spanning a period from Feb. 1, 2005, through Jan. 31, 2013.

 

Relationship ‘Red Flags’

We’ve all seen and read these types of lists online or in self-help books, but what’s different about this list? Well, for one, it’s specifically about relationships. But it’s also about you. Each point requires introspection and self-awareness. Because if you want to spot toxic people, you cannot focus entirely on their behavior—that’s only half the battle. You must also come to recognize the looming red flags in your own heart. Then, you will be ready for anything.

1. You feel on-edge around this person, but you still want them to like you. You find yourself writing off most of their questionable behavior as accidental or insensitive, because you’re in constant competition with others for their attention and praise. They don’t seem to care when you leave their side—they can just as easily move on to the next source of energy.

2. Uses sex as a tool for control. After first hooking you with sexual praise and flattery, they suddenly become reclusive and uninterested. They make you feel desperate, ensuring that you are always the one to initiate physical intimacy. They use insulting names like “whore” and “slut” to drive this point home. They might also openly comment on their diminishing sex drive.

3. Plasters your Facebook page with compliments, flattery, songs, and poems. They text you dozens, if not hundreds of times per day. You come to rely on this over-communication as a source of confidence.

4. Quickly declares you their soul mate. And for some reason, you don’t find it creepy. They tell you how much they have in common with you. On the first few dates, you do most of the talking and they just can’t believe how perfect you are for them.

5. Compares you to everyone else in their life. Ex-lovers, friends, family members, and your eventual replacement. When idealizing, they make you feel special by telling you how much better you are than these people. When devaluing, they use these comparisons to hurt you.

6. Lies & excuses. There is always an excuse for everything, even things that don’t require excusing. They make up lies faster than you can question them. They will always blame others—it is never their fault. They spend more time rationalizing their behavior than improving it.

7. No startle response. Total absence of anxiety, fear, and worry where there otherwise should be. They are also very easily bored by the familiar. You write this off as calm and cool, often feeling inferior and over-sensitive because you have normal human emotions.

8. Insults you with a condescending, joking sort of attitude. Smirks when you try to express yourself. Teasing becomes the primary mode of communication in your relationship. They subtly belittle your intelligence and achievements. If you point this out, they call you hypersensitive and crazy.

9. Uses social networking to provoke jealousy and rivalries while maintaining their cover of innocence. They once focused all of their attention on you, but now they post ambiguous videos and statuses to make you doubt your place in their heart. They bait previously denounced exes with old songs and inside jokes. They attend to new activity and ignores yours.

10. You find yourself playing detective. It’s never happened in any other relationship, but suddenly you’re scrolling back years on their Facebook page and albums. Same with their ex. You’re seeking answers to a feeling you can’t quite explain.

11. Surrounds themselves with former lovers and potential mates. Brags that their exes still want to sleep with him/her, but assures you there is nothing to worry about. These people make you feel jealous and give off the perception that your partner is in high-demand.

12. Hyperbolizes emotions while displaying none of them. They make passionate statements like “I’ve never felt so happy in my life” in a completely robotic voice. It sounds like an alien trying to explain how they imagine human emotions might feel.

13. You are the only one who sees their true colors. Others will think they’re the nicest person in the world, even though they are used for money, resources, and attention. They won’t care because he/she strategically distracts them with shallow praise (often done over social networking). Psychopaths are able to maintain superficial friendships far longer than their relationships.

14. Accuses you of emotions that they are intentionally provoking. They will call you jealous after blatantly flirting with their ex over social networking for the world to see. They will call you needy after intentionally ignoring you for three days straight.

15. Cannot put themselves in your shoes, or anyone else’s for that matter. You find yourself desperately trying to explain how they might feel if you were treating them this way, and they just stare at you blankly.

16. You are engaged in constant conversations about their ex. You know them by name, and you know everything about their relationship—at least, your partner’s version of events. The ex becomes one of the most frequent topics of discussion in your relationship.

17. You find yourself explaining the basic elements of human respect to a full-grown man/woman. Normal people understand the fundamental concepts of honesty and kindness. No adult should need to be told how they are making other people feel.

18. Focuses on your mistakes and ignores their own. If they’re two hours late, don’t forget that you were once five minutes late to your first date. If you point out their mistakes, they will always be quick to turn the conversation back on you.

19. Suddenly and completely bored by you. Gives you the silent treatment and becomes very annoyed that you seem to be interested in continuing the passionate relationship that they created. You are now a chore to them.

20. The ultimate hypocrite. They have extremely high expectations for fidelity, respect, and adoration. After the idealization phase, they will give none of this back to you. They will cheat, lie, insult, and degrade. But you are expected to remain perfect.

21. Sometimes it seems as though they’ve forgotten who they’re supposed to be around you. They adopt different personas for different people—transforming their entire personality to match various audiences. It’s always very eerie when they slip and accidentally use the wrong mask for you. You will start to feel that their personality just doesn’t seem to add up.

22. An unusual amount of “crazy” people in their past. Any ex-partner or friend who did not come crawling back to them will likely be labeled jealous, bipolar, an alcoholic, or some other nasty smear. They will speak about you the same way to their next target.

23. Flatters your deepest insecurities. If you’re self-conscious about your looks, they’ll call you the sexiest person in the world. If you’ve got a need to entertain, they’ll say you’re the funniest person they’ve ever known. They will also mirror your greatest fantasies, playing whatever role is necessary to win your heart.

24. Frequently comments about what you’re wearing and how you look. They try to arrange you. You become obsessed with your appearance, noticing flaws that likely don’t even exist. During and after the relationship, you will spend significantly more time in front of the mirror. (Thank you to our member, ckwanderlust, for these valuable insights).

25. You fear that any fight could be your last. Normal couples argue to resolve issues, but psychopaths make it clear that negative conversations will jeopardize the relationship, especially ones regarding their behavior. You apologize and forgive quickly, otherwise you know they’ll lose interest in you.

26. Obsessed with humiliating successful, kind & cheerful people. Delighted by the idea of breaking up friendships and marriages. If you work hard to maintain interpersonal peace in your life, they will make it their mission to uproot all of it.

27. Gaslighting. Blatantly denies their own manipulative behavior and ignores evidence when confronted with it. They will become angry if you attempt to disprove their delusions with facts.

28. They expect you to read their mind. If they stop communicating with you for several days, it’s your fault for not knowing about the plans they never told you about. There will always be a self-victimizing excuse to go along with this.

29. Selfishness and a crippling thirst for attention. They drain the energy from you and consume your entire life. Their demand for adoration is insatiable. You thought you were the only one who could make them happy, but now you feel that anyone with a beating pulse could fit the role. However, the truth is: no one can fill the void of a psychopath’s soul.

30. Your feelings. After a run-in with a psychopath, you will feel insane, exhausted, drained, shocked, suicidal, and empty. You will tear apart your entire life—spending money, ending friendships, and searching for some sort of reason behind it all.

If you recognize these signs in your own relationships, see the characteristics in someone you know, or notice some of these red flags in the relationship of someone you care about, Someplace Safe is here to help! Check out our website for more information, or contact an Advocacy Office near you, or call Someplace Safe’s 24-hour crisis line at 800-974-3359 to speak directly to one of our trained staff about your situation.

From the book: http://book.psychopathfree.com

Safe in the Sun!

You can feel it. The sun on your face, the cool breeze through your hair, and the refreshing thought of your toes in the water. Summertime has arrived!

With that thought there are several things we need to keep in mind.

  • Kids are no longer in school and are exploring their new found freedom. Please be aware of them riding their bikes or playing with friends by the roads and streets.
  • Warmer weather means more recreation outside. Remember to wear your life jackets when out in the boats or on jet skis. Scan the area for other boaters, skiers, and tubers. Be aware of your surroundings.
  • Summertime can have many different temperature changes and with that bring different weather patterns. Make sure that your kids know what to do during a server weather storm and were to go in case of a tornado.
  • Crowded places are going to become more common as people are out enjoying the weather at the parks, zoos, malls, or beaches. Make sure to talk to your children about stranger danger and what they should do if they find themselves in that situation.
  • After you get done going for a hike, doing yard work, or just enjoying the time outside make sure to take a few minutes to look for ticks to help avoid limes disease.

If we all try to practice the tips above it will make for a more enjoyable summer and hopefully one that can be spent outside of the hospital emergency room.

Where are We Now? Minnesota’s 2014 Legislative Session and Crime Victims

2014 LEGISLATIVE SUMMARY SESSION RECAP

As is historically the case in Minnesota, domestic and sexual violence legislation was a top priority for the legislature in 2014 – first and foremost, because domestic and sexual violence advocates across the state continue to remind their elected officials that safety is the foundation of every issue. Please THANK YOUR REPRESENTATIVES AND SENATORS BY CLICKING HERE for supporting and championing our legislation.

All of the priorities on MCBW’s 2014 proactive and supportive legislative agenda became law, except for immigration-related policy. Unfortunately, despite intensive advocacy from domestic/sexual violence and immigrant rights advocates, neither the MN Driver License for All bill nor Federal Comprehensive Immigration Reform passed. Local and national advocacy will continue to move these priorities forward.

Ironically, the short 2014 “unsession” resulted in much landmark legislation. Of the 6,388 bills introduced in the 2013-2104 biennium, over 160 will become new laws including the Women’s Economic Security Act, minimum wage increases, the Safe and Supportive Schools Act, authorization of online voting registration, medical cannabis access, and $100 million in housing bonds.

On the last day of the 2013-2104 legislative biennium (aka: “sine die”), many weary lobbyists, advocates, legislators and Minnesotans looked forward to a bit of a break. It won’t last long though! All 134 members of the House of Representatives are up for election in November. The summer and fall of 2014 will be filled with campaigns and get out the vote efforts. On January 6, 2015, the legislature will reconvene.

 

MCBW’S LEGISLATIVE PRIORITES BECOME NEW LAWS

HF2141GONE ON ARRIVAL (GOA) WARRANTLESS ARREST (Session Law Chapter 177)

  • Allows law enforcement 72 hours to make probable cause warrantless arrests when the perpetrator has fled the scene after committing misdemeanor or gross misdemeanor domestic abuse (gone on arrival). The clock for the 72 hours begins at midnight on the day probable cause is established.
  • Clarifies that GOA warrantless arrests for violations of “restraining order or no contact order previously issued” means OFPs, HROs, DANCOs, as well as other no-contact or restraining orders, effective August 1, 2014.
  • Note: Current statute provides no defined time-limits for making GOA warrantless arrests for “restraining order or no contact order previously issued” [2012 Minn. Stat. 629.34, subd. 1 (c)(6)]. However, there has been a difference in interpretation in the field about whether this meant DANCOs, OFPs and HROs. As such our bill only clarifies that “restraining order or no contact order previously issued” means OFPs, HROs, DANCOs, as well as other no-contact or restraining orders. It does not make changes to the time-limit.
  • Note: Under current law there is no defined time-limit for making warrantless arrests in all felony cases, even though practice around the state varies [2012Minn. Stat. 629.34, subd. 1 (c)(2)]. This bill made no changes to GOA warrantless arrests time-limits in felony cases.
  • Authors: Representative Rosenthal and Senator Jensen.

HF3172 – VICTIM NOTIFICATION (Session Law Chapter 312)

  • Allows victims of offenders convicted of qualified domestic violence related crimes to receive the five-digit zip-code and city of the offender’s location upon release, effective January 15, 2015.
  • Authors: Representative Yarusso and Senator Jensen.

 

ADDITIONAL NEW Domestic Violence/Sexual Assault RELATED LAWS

HF859 – VICTIM LEASE-BREAKING REMEDY (Session Law Chapter 188)

  • Allows lease to be broken if the tenant or another authorized occupant fears imminent violence after being subjected sexual assault and stalking.Current law already allows domestic abuse victims access to this remedy.
  • No longer requires victims to pay an additional month’s rent to break the lease. They will instead forfeit security deposit.
  • Allows victims to a use statements from DV and SA advocates or statements from other qualified third parties (e.g., healthcare or court officials), to prove the need to break a lease. Victims will not be required to have an OFP to access the remedy or to provide the name of the abuser, effectiveAugust 1, 2014.
  • Authors: Representative Simon and Senator Hayden.

HF2536 – WOMEN’S ECONOMIC SECURITY ACT (Victim Specific Sections Only) (Session Law Chapter 239)

  • Allows victims of sexual assault and stalking eligibility for unemployment insurance. Current law only allows domestic abuse victims access.
  • Allows victims of SA, DV and stalking to use accrued sick time for safe leave, effective August 1, 2014.
  • Authors: Representative Melin and Senator Pappas.

HF3238 DOMESTIC ABUSE PROHIBITION OF FIREARMS (Session Law Chapter 213)

  • REQUIRES SURRENDER IN QUALIFYING ORDERS FOR PROTECTION (OFPS) AND DOMESTIC CHILD ABUSE ORDERS: Directs that judges shall order firearms (including long-guns) surrendered in qualifying OFPs and domestic child abuse protective orders for the duration of the order.

  • REQUIRES THAT QUALIFYING OFPS MUST:

o Restrain the respondent from harassing, stalking, or threatening the petitioner or restrains the respondent from engaging in other conduct that would place the petitioner in reasonable fear of bodily injury;

o Includes a finding that the respondent represents a credible threat to the physical safety of the petitioner or prohibits the respondent from using, attempting to use, or threatening to use physical force against the petitioner; and

o Shall inform the respondent of that party’s prohibited status.

  • SURRENDER PROCEDURES:

o Requires respondent must surrender firearms within 3 business days after OFP is issued.

o Requires immediate surrender in cases of imminent risk of substantial bodily harm.

o Requires surrender to a federally licensed firearms dealer, a law enforcement agency, or a third party who may lawfully receive them. (Note: There is no direction provided in new statutory language as to what happens if no surrender)

o Requires that third party cannot live with the respondent and must sign an affidavit recognizing criminal (gross misdemeanor) and civil liability if respondent gains access to firearm while the order is in effect.

o Requires the third party affidavit be filed with the court within 2 days of surrender.

o Allows fees to be charged for storage.

o Does not require law enforcement to accept firearms for storage.

  • CRIMES REQUIRING SURRENDER: Adds the crimes of domestic abuse and domestic stalking to convictions for which the courts must order firearms surrendered. Provides procedures for surrender as in the cases of OFP-related surrender, effective August 1, 2014.

  • Authors: Representative Schoen and Senator Latz.

HF2576 – EXPUNGEMENT OF CERTAIN CRIMINAL AND EVICTION RECORDS (Session Law Ch. 246)

  • Broadens the class of crimes for which a person can request expungement (record sealing) to include misdemeanors, gross misdemeanors and certain felonies after certain time periods.
  • Allows criminal justice agencies access to sealed records in order to determine enhancements.
  • Directs the BCA and other law enforcement that they must seal records, as well as the courts, effective January 1, 2015.
  • Exempts domestic abuse as defined in 518B.01, violations of OFPs/HROs/DANCOs and stalking crimes from being expunged until July 15, 2015. This delayed enactment allows us time to consider what protections and access should be built into the expungement law for domestic abuse misdemeanor offenses.
  • Authors: Representative Melin and Senator Champion.

HF826SAFE AND SUPPORTIVE SCHOOLS ACT (Session Law Chapter 160) includes:

  • Clear definitions of bullying and intimidation.
  • Enumerated protections for students who are most likely to be bullied or harassed because of their actual or perceived race, color, creed, religion, disability, sex, age, national origin, immigration status, marital status, family status, socioeconomic status, status with regard to public assistance, academic status, physical appearance, sexual orientation, and gender identity or expression.
  • Training and resources for students, staff, and school volunteers on bullying prevention and intervention.
  • Specific procedures that school staff must follow when bullying incidents are reported, including the use of remedial responses that emphasize restorative justice to correct prohibited behavior.
  • Establishes a School Safety Technical Assistance Center within the Department of Education, which will include direct assistance for schools, parents, and students seeking information or help; policy review, development, and dissemination; identification of emerging trends and issues and support for school sites recovering from incidents; resources and opportunities for education, training, and skill building,[1] various effective dates.
  • Authors: Representative Davnie and Senator Dibble.

SF2736 – GPS ELECTRONIC MONITORING FOR DOMESTIC VIOLENCE OFFENDERS (Session Law Chapter 263)

  • Allows further use of active, real time GPS monitoring in DV cases in pre-trial and post-sentencing if a judicial districts create policies in accordance with certain statutory standards.
  • Makes victim location data “security information as defined in 13.37, effective immediately and sunsetting August 1, 2017.
  • Requires an interim report to the legislature on January 15, 2105 and a final report on January 15, 2017.
  • Authors: Representative Clark Johnson and Senator Kent.

HF3017 – UNSESSION PUBLIC SAFETY LAW (Session Law 212)

  • Requires that the commissioner of public safety, in consultation with the Minnesota Peace Officer Standards and Training Board, and representatives from state, county, and municipal law enforcement agencies, prosecutors’ offices, and programs providing services to domestic abuse victims shall develop recommendations for the collection and reporting of comprehensive, statewide data on victims of domestic abuse, including data related to law enforcement response, arrests, and prosecution. These recommendations shall be submitted to the legislature by January 15, 2016.
  • Adds grant requirements for sexual assault and general crime programs that currently exist for battered women’s programs.
  • Amends and repeals outdated and redundant statutes, effective August 1, 2014.
  • Authors: Representative Paymar and Senator Latz.

HF2276 SAFE AT PARTICIPANT HOME DATA (Session Law 173)

  • Permits Safe at Home program (address confidentiality program) participants to purchase property in a way that protects their identities,effective date April 30, 2014.
  • Authors: Representative Holberg and Senator Goodwin

HF 263 CRIMES OF VIOLENCE DEFINITION (Session Law 260)

  • Amends the definition of “crime of violence” to include assault in the fifth degree, domestic assault, and domestic assault strangulation. The definition of crimes of violence applies to firearm law, effective August 1, 2014.
  • Authors: Representative Paymar and Senator Jensen.

HF1851 – REPEAT CRIMINAL SEXUAL CONDUCT PENALTY ENHANCEMENT (Session Law 270)

  • Enhances the penalties for repeat criminal sexual conduct offenders so the repeated conduct can be charged as a felony, effective August 1, 2014.
  • Authors: Representative Kieffer and Senator Schmit.

HF2722 – CUSTODY LAW (Session Law Chapter 197)

  • States that there is no presumption for or against joint custody unless there is domestic abuse. (Note: Current law already states that if there is domestic abuse, the presumption is for sole custody to the victim).
  • States that court cannot use one best interest of the child factor to the exclusion of others.
  • States that disagreement on custody/parenting time is not proof that parties cannot cooperate.
  • States that written findings on the reasons for the custody decisions are required in all cases.
  • States that child’s changing developmental needs are included in best interest of the child factors, effective August 1, 2014.
  • Authors: Representative Mahoney and Senator Eaton.

 

DV/SA SUPPLEMENTAL FUNDING & BONDING

HF 3172 – FY14-15 SUPPLEMENTARY BUDGET APPROPRIATIONS (Session Law Chapter 312)

SHELTER FUNDING: Appropriates $500,000 in fiscal year 2015 to the Office of Justice Programs for a grant to provide emergency shelter programming for victims of domestic abuse and trafficking. The program shall provide shelter to East African women and children. The appropriation must be used for the operating expenses of a shelter. This is a onetime appropriation, and is available until June 30, 2017.

SEXUAL ASSAULT PREVENTION: Appropriates $300,000 in fiscal year 2015 is for grants to sexual assault advocacy programs for sexual violence community prevention networks. For purposes of this section, “sexual assault” means a violation of Minnesota Statutes, sections 609.342 to 609.3453. $300,000 in each of fiscal years 2016 and 2017 is added to the base.

SAFE HABOR FOR SEX TRAFFICKED YOUTH FUNDING:

o Total FY14/15 budget increases funding for Safe Harbor shelter/service from $1 million to $2.5 million in. This increases total Safe Harbor FY14/15 allocation (not including 1-time training money of $850,000) from $2 million to $3.5 million. Specifically, allocates increases to

§ DHS shelter and housing grant money from $1 million to $1.5 million. $500,000 for FY14, with a $1 million more granted in FY 15.

§ MDH comprehensive services grant money from $0 to $1 million, with $1 million granted in FY 15.

o Total FY16/17 Budget “Tails” (new funding appropriated for the next biennium) increase funding for Safe Harbor shelter/service from $1 million to $4 million. Specifically, allocates increases to

§ DHS shelter and housing grant money from $1 million to $2 million.

§ MDH comprehensive service grant money from $0 to $2 million.

 

Information compiled by and reprinted with the permission of the Minnesota Coalition for Battered Women.

Thanks to Law Enforcement

National Police Week 2014 was Sunday, May 11th through Saturday, May 17th. In 1962, President Kennedy proclaimed May 15th as National Peace Officers Memorial Day and the calendar week in which May 15th falls, as National Police Week. Established by a joint resolution of Congress in 1962, National Police Week pays special recognition to those law enforcement officers who have lost their lives in the line of duty for the safety and protection of others.

Some people support our law enforcement 100%, some blame the whole group for a few bad apples or a few mistakes made by a few officers. As in any profession, any race, any economic status there are always going to be a few people who commit crimes, we just have to remember not to blame the profession, the race or the economic status but the actual individual who committed the crime. If you looked at the mistakes made by our officers, most of them could have been avoided, not by our officers, but by the people involved. If you really looked at what we, society, puts our officers through on a daily basis, the statistics speak for themselves, and you would understand why officers need to be in a reactive role every minute of their day, their daily goal is to keep their community safe and to be able to go home to their families.

On average, one law enforcement officer is killed in the line of duty somewhere in the United States every 57 hours. Since the first known line-of-duty death in 1791, more than 19,000 U.S. law enforcement officers have made the ultimate sacrifice.

Today, in the United States, some 900,000 law enforcement officers put their lives on the line for the safety and protection of others. They serve with valor and distinction – and with great success. Federal statistics show that violent and property crime rates in the United States are at historic lows, thanks in large measure to the dedicated service of the men and women of law enforcement.

That protection comes at a price, however. Each year, there are approximately 60,000 assaults on law enforcement officers, resulting in nearly 16,000 injuries. Sadly, over the last decade, an average of 160 officers a year have been killed in the line of duty. And throughout U.S. history, over 19,000 law enforcement officers have made the ultimate sacrifice. (National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund http://www.nleomf.org/)

Officers are responding to such a variety of calls every day. They may go on a call of a noisy dog then to a horrendous car accident then to a vicious domestic assault that their own life may be in jeopardy and then they may have to respond to a mundane argument between two people and be able to keep their calm and composure after everything they have just been through.

We can offer support and thanks to our officers’ every day, not just during National Police week!!

Celebrating 35 Years of Building Safe, Healthy Communities

Midwest Dueling Pianos is coming to Alexandria! Celebrate 35 years of creating safe, healthy communities with Someplace Safe at Arrowwood Resort & Conference Center in Alexandria, MN, on May 9th, and kick off Mother’s Day weekend in style!

5:30pm Doors open for Social Hour & Silent Auction
6:30pm Welcome, Dinner & Awards
8:00pm Midwest Dueling Pianos Performance

This amazing evening includes entertainment by Midwest Dueling Pianos, Presentation of Someplace Safe’s Community Awards, a 3-Course Dinner, Silent Auction, Drawing for the Parenting Time Centers Playhouse Raffle & More!

Reserve your tickets NOW online at www.someplacesafe.info/35years, or by calling 218-739-2853. Tickets are $50, with a limited number available at the door.

Community Award Winners being recognized include:

Survivors
Jenna Kettner & Jacki Maethner Jorud

Volunteers
Michael Blumer, Vendla “VJ” Block, Glenwood Potpourri Club, Susan Gooch, Diann Guenther, Greg & Lisa Harris, Lesley Hoplin, & Ruth Plaster

Allies
Heather Brandborg, Assistant Otter Tail County Attorney; Jason Reed, Morris Police Department; & Judge Charles Glasrud, 8th Judicial District Court Judge

RSVP and/or Purchase your tickets HERE!

And Follow the 35th Anniversary Celebration on Facebook for sneak peeks at the Silent Auction, Updates, and more!

A Special THANK YOU to our Generous Event Sponsors!

 

Denim Day 2014: There is NO EXCUSE Not to Participate!

April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month. Someplace Safe is seeking area employers, organizations and individuals to join us on April 23, 2014 for National Denim Day.

Someplace Safe also encourages you to participate in our Dollars for Denim campaign. On this day, individuals may donate $1 to wear denim and raise awareness of myths surrounding rape and sexual violence, collectively showing support for survivors. Donations to Someplace Safe support local services to assist victims and survivors.

Why Denim?

In 1998, a teenage girl in Italy was raped by her driving instructor. The man was convicted, but his case went to the Supreme Court of Appeals in Rome. The court overturned the conviction, arguing that because the girl wore very tight jeans she must have had to help remove them, thereby giving consent to have sex. The case made international headlines, and the young woman’s jeans became a symbol of awareness that what someone wears is never an excuse for rape.

How Do I Get Involved?

  • Sign up to participate in Dollars for Denim on Wednesday April 23, 2014 as an individual or as a group! Contact your local Someplace Safe Advocacy Office to join in or pledge your support.
  • Join Someplace Safe on Facebook and Twitter, and watch for tips and information all throughout April.
  • Take a photo of yourself and/or group and email it to Someplace Safe at info@someplacesafe.info. Someplace Safe will try to share these photos on Facebook as well!
  • Provide education for your business, social group, faith community, school, or other group regarding Sexual Assault
  • Host a presenter on Denim Day and Sexual Assault (this can be provided by your local Someplace Safe staff or volunteers).
  • Display the No Excuses Public Service Announcement PowerPoint in your break rooms, in your bulletin, or with local media.

On April 23, 2014, make denim more than a fashion statement; make it a visible show of support for victims and survivors of rape and sexual assault by raising awareness in your community!

Making Meaningful Connections to Prevent Child Abuse

Violence is an urgent public health problem in our country. Far too many Americans, both young and old, have witnessed or experienced violence in their homes, schools or neighborhoods. April is recognized as Child Abuse Prevention Month, and a time to reflect how children experience violence and how we can protect the children who will become our future. Child development is a foundation for community and economic development and the healthier the children of our country the better our society will be.

The brain develops before birth and continues through adulthood. The environment a child experiences through interactions with others and the world around creates the foundation from which she lives the rest of her life. Toxic stress—such as abuse of any kind, neglect, isolation—lethally affects all of us, but even more dramatically the younger we are. The ability to change the brain diminishes over time, and therefore, providing the healthiest opportunities as a child matures not only enhances the life of the child but our communities as well.

The theme for this year’s National Child Abuse Prevention Month is “Making Meaningful Connections.” When we make meaningful connections with the children, youth, and families in our communities, we can help parents build the knowledge and skills and access the resources necessary to raise happy and healthy children. Everyone can play a role in preventing child abuse and neglect and promoting child and family well-being

During Child Abuse Prevention month consider how you can be a part of the solution of ending child abuse. Consider—

  • Reaching out to a parent who needs extra support during a trying time
  • Asking support for yourself if you need a break from parenting
  • Volunteering in a program that enhances the lives of children or works with abusive issues, i.e. Someplace Safe, mentoring programs, scouting, youth groups, etc.
  • Nurturing children you may come in contact with and affirming they are special
  • Reporting suspected abuse or neglect

Working together to bring positive change in situations where abuse is already happening and taking action to prevent abuse from happening in the first place transforms the lives of children, adults, families, our communities and whole world! Contact Someplace Safe for more information.

Article excerpts taken from www.pcamn.org and www.childwelfare.gov.

Taking Action for ALL Women

What is Women’s Action Day? Is it a special day when women jump into action and become super heroes? Is it a day when women obtain special powers and are able to solve all the problems of the world? No, it is not either of the fore mentioned. Women’s Action Day is an annual event at the Minnesota State Capitol where we can give women who are victims of violence and assault a voice and chance to be heard. It is a day when we can speak for those who cannot speak for themselves or no longer have a voice due to crimes committed against them.It is a day when we can do something to help by bringing awareness to the problems right here in our community, our back yard and even our family.

While researching Women’s Action Day, I came across a very interesting article, that lead to another article and another (you get the picture), but what I stopped at was THE GIRL DECLARATION. This made me aware of so much more than my little corner of the world. We women, here in the United States, do not always have it so great. We are not always heard, our spouses or significant others are may be abusive, loud or obtrusive. We have women living in poverty, women have been or will be raped, women who do not have access to education, women who have been exploited, and the list goes on and on. BUT, we here in the United States also have women who are highly educated, leaders in their business and political careers, women who have choices everyday on where they will live, who they will fall in love with, what level of education they should achieve, how their children should be raised, where to shop, what to wear, (and that list goes on). The operative words there are women who have choices.

Here in the United States, we as women are people- people with rights. We are women that have laws written to protect us and our children. We are women with futures, choices, careers, dreams and goals to obtain. We as women can rise above poverty, rise above abusive relationships, and rise above social stigmas. We have been given so many gifts of government programs, social media, educational choices, political insights, religious avenues and “GIRL POWER” in general that we sometimes cannot see the forest for the trees. We forget that we are not alone in the world, we forget that there are millions of women and young girls that do not have choices or rights or education or even dreams. The GIRL DECLARATION has been in the making with world leaders since 2000. It is an eye opener as to how very lucky we are and how unfair women are still treated around the world. I encourage you to visit http://www.girleffect.org and click on 2015 and beyond (upper task bar)… read the GIRL DECLARATION, watch the videos and be thankful for the men AND women who defend our rights and freedoms.

Women’s Action Day, it’s our right and our choice to help those who need our help. Register for Women’s Action Day by clicking HERE.

Know the signs, educate yourself and those around you. This is your time to take action! Stand up, be heard! Join us on Women’s Action Day, March 26, 2014, at the Minnesota State Capital in St. Paul.

-Submitted by Karen T., Someplace Safe Crime Victim Advocate in Grant County

 

Recognizing Our Communities

 

Someplace Safe is currently seeking nominations from our communities and partners for our Friends of Someplace Safe Community Awards! Nominations are being sought for allies, volunteers, and survivors who either currently or have in the past worked with Someplace Safe to help build safer, healthier communities. CLICK HERE for the short nomination form!

We ask you to please help us by sharing and passing this information on, or by nominating a deserving individual, business or organization for this year’s awards. Nominations are due by March 7, 2014. Winners will be recognized at Someplace Safe’s 35th Anniversary Celebration & Banquet on Friday, May 9, 2014, at Arrowwood Resort and Conference Center in Alexandria, MN.

For more information on the 35th Anniversary Celebration, visit www.someplacesafe.info/35years!

Thank you for your help!