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Valentine's Day Message

Posted by MASO on February 13, 2014 at 1:10 PM Comments comments (1)

Valentine's Day is celebrated on February 14th. It is another holiday where we are bombarded with the commercialization and record breaking sales of flowers, candy, stuffed teddy bears, romantic dinners, rom-com movies, sexy lingerie and the like with all the pressure to be romantic and passionate. For many individuals and couples, this day is about love, romance, and happiness. Many use this holiday to forge new relationships, engagements, and weddings.

 

We believe Valentine's Day should be a focus on love, but self-love first and foremost for we cannot attract the kind of loving relationship we deserve without it. Valentine’s Day should also serve as a reminder to focus on gratitude for what we have, as opposed to what is missing. Avoid focusing on the “woulda”, “shoulda”, “coulda” and other past stuff as that is the past. Banish those words altogether from your thoughts. Stay present in the here and now. You cannot change the past, but you can choose to not let your past steal your future and your now.

 

This is a season of love and love needs to also be about acceptance especially self-acceptance. It's about adjusting the expectations and not demanding perfection, or even seeking it. Love is about noticing what's good and nurturing it, as well as noticing what needs repair and attending to it.

 

However, even for those who have not been harmed by an abuser, Valentine’s Day can also be a day of idealisms of what we think our partner should be based on what we read in romantic novels, watch in the movies, as well as the imagery of the knight in shining armor and the white picket fence ideals we are brought up on. We use these ideals as a gage of pass or fail of love.

 

Valentine's Day can also be trigger for those who have been victimized by an abuser in their life and can be very difficult and painful day. This holiday can bring back for some a range of very sensitive painful memories, loneliness, and sadness.

 

For those survivors who are on a healing journey, please keep in mind that the abuse was NOT your fault. The abuse is never a victim’s fault, ever. The abuse perpetrated on the victim lies solely in the responsibility belonging to the person who offended. Again, let us reiterate, abuse is never a victim’s fault ever. This is true no matter how old you were or what you were doing at the time the abuse occurred.

 

With that said, everyone experiences their pain and traumas from abuse differently and at different rates. There is NO one correct way to feel, react, or heal. Everyone is unique in their own way and the abuse that was experienced is also unique even though certain things may be similar to that of other people. Everyone’s healing journey reflects that uniqueness with individual needs and pace. There is help available.

 

Just for today, celebrate love with all the triumphs, the struggles and the lessons we learn from our experiences with love and relationships that are both unhealthy and healthy.

 

At Massachusetts Survivors Outreach, we’re working to provide resources so everyone can experience the joy of healthy relationships not just on Valentine’s Day, but every day. It’s easy to feel alone, different, and isolated, but if you reach out, there are many people and resources that can help you. You might start by checking out a few of the resources MASO can offer. Have a happy day!

 

Please share your thoughts!

 

2012 MASO Strides - Thanks to Our Supporters

Posted by MASO on December 28, 2012 at 12:35 AM Comments comments (0)

Wow it is amazing how fast this year flew by. We are so focused on where we want to be as an organization, we sometimes forget how far we have come.


Our organization started out by accident in the attempts by a few mothers trying to solve their own challenges with domestic abuse issues in Massachusetts. In our search for answers and solutions, we began helping other parents in healing and advocacy. As time went on we began realizing there is abigger picture to the problem and began collecting data for statistics and writing about healing, publishing research articles on health consequences to abuse, and before we knew it, the organization took on a life of its own without any agenda except to figure out “why me”. We began to hear and see the evidence of countless cases of mothers losing custody to “documented” abusers.  Some of these abusers were on the sex offender registry and some had countless medical documentations of child sex abuse that was ignored by the family courts.


In searching for answers to our own cases, we began seeing a biggercalling into finding the solutions to this epidemic. Yes epidemic. Until we went through our own cases, we were blinded to the severity of the injustices victims faced every day as well as blinded by the falsity that the current laws on the books would protect us and our children and failed.


The year is 2006, and our founders were faced with the scary decision to finally leave an abuser and to protect their children. The amount of courage it took to first admit that you are not to blame for everything wrong … admit you are a victim of abuse … to admit you did not deserve the abuse … was quite scary. Some of us even begged the police departments to not prosecute our abusers.  One didn’t for several reasons at the time … Fear of financial ability to support the children if convicted and secondly a statement that was said that may sound familiar to victims currently being abused or victims who may have recently left … “He is gone. I do not want to prosecute, because I do not want to hurt him.”  Completely disregarding the abuser not only physically, emotionally, psychologically, and financially hurt you but the children. It is a statement, many victims make whether to themselves or out loud.   This is because of the gaslighting tactics many abusers do to strip the victim of any confidence, clarity, and free thinking. It takes time, with lots of support, help and healing to see the truth. However, in all these cases of abuse, the system failed to protect.


Here are some troubling statistics/facts in Massachusetts:

  • Just in the last ten years alone, child abuse has doubled in the State of Massachusetts while funding to services and protections to victims of abuse have been slashed.
  • The cost of intimate partner violence exceeds $5.8 billion each year, $4.1 billion of which is for direct medical and mental health services.
  • There were fifteen victims of domestic homicide in only the first half of 2006, which was equal to the total killed in 2005
  • One in every four women will experience domestic violence in her lifetime.
  • One in 33 men have experienced an attempted or completed rape.
  • Batterers will gain custody of the children 70% of the time in Family Court. (Ass. Of Judges)
  • 2004 Study by Harvard University states, Family Courts in Massachusetts are failing victims of abuse and their children.
  • Judge James Menno of Plymouth/Brockton Family Court has rendered some very troubling custody decisions in abuse cases and yet, he was the key note speaker the Fatherhood Coalition for incarcerated fathers on how to gain visitation and custody of their children in 2007.


Learning about the severity of the problem in Massachusetts when we have young children at stake, empowered these parents to want to do more.


In an indirect approach, by focusing on the “other” cases for the answers, we were contacted by a local movie producer and a 20/20 reporter. At the time we were working with 13 cases that had too many coincidences in regards to the injustices to victims of abuse.


Even though nothing has yet to materialize as a result of those contacts, it gave us the direction we needed. By talking about our own personal cases, we were talking on deaf ears, but talking about numerous cases, now over 20, we solicited a response. We knew we were on the right path.  To this day, we continue to march on with the research we are doing in this area and learning patience along the way.

 

The healing process also took on a life of its own. In searching for healing from abuse, these parents found ourselves healing others.  One of them even discovered holistic methods of healing that helped escalate the healing process. This drove the need to look into “why” “how” and ultimately over time began doing various sessions for various domestic abuse groups with positive affirmations the impact these modalities can have in healing trauma or abuse.


One of our volunteers even wrote about the ABC’s of healing from abuse and trauma. We grew so big, but no place to call home, became a little scary, but knew those we are trying to help needed us and their need for us to help them gave us a motivation and calling.

 

In Jan 2011, we decided to offer our first meeting and were grateful to have renowned legal expert Wendy Murphy as our key note speaker for the evening talking about the legal system and abuse. We had advocates from various organizations,victims of abuse, and lawyers. It was a huge success. Wendy was amazing as usual and she also loved what we were trying to accomplish in our research and healing. With kind words of encouragement and wisdom, we took the leap of faith and moved the next step forward into forming into an official organization. We are grateful to Wendy for giving us the courage to move ahead.


We moved into our office space in June 2012 and started out of the gate with twelve interns with backgrounds ranging from business, economics, web,design, women and gender studies, psychology, sociology and law.


We became listed as a non-profit in Massachusetts. We created our mission statement and other organization formalities including a logo and branding. We created a https://www.facebook.com/MassachusettsSurvivorsOutreach" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">facebook and https://twitter.com/M_A_S_O" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">twitter accounts and set up a website.


We partook in the legislative processes and rally surrounding Melissa’s Bill in July 2012 as well as several other pending bills with seven other non-profit organizations, lawyers, and legislatures.


We continued our research in the injustices victims of abuse are faced with in the state of Massachusetts and still working on this data as we speak.


We resumed our healing services in September offering a variety of healing services and classes including coaching, meditation, energy medicine, stress reduction, reiki, holistic health counseling.


In October, we launched a community awareness initiative in support of Domestic Violence Awareness Month and held three seminars on Gaslighting abuse, Recognizing whether it is abuse or just an argument, and Holistic healing for victims of abuse. 


We have partnered and collaborated with other organizations of issues. We have engaged local leadership and other local organizations for support and allegiance. We have written about reiki on “Reiki can do no harm or can it”, regarding the election process, Commentary on Sandy Hook Tragedy, and we have a few more pending that we are working on.


Considering where we were six months ago and what we have accomplished, we have done so much and have come a far way.


We are an organization of action as we believe that actions speak much louder than words. We still have a long way to go, and we are extremely grateful to all our supporters who have helped us get to where we are today. Our plea to you, is to help us get to the next phase in our journey of helping others, especially all our children who rarely have a voice in issues around abuse.

Please take a look at our 2013 Pending projects to see if you can helpout, or volunteer and as always donations are greatly needed and appreciated.

 

2013 Pending Projects

Posted by MASO on December 27, 2012 at 1:05 PM Comments comments (1)

We have a few projects we would love to launch in 2013 in addition to what we are currently doing, but in order for them to materialize, we need your help. Massachusetts Survivors Outreach currently operates with 100% volunteers and with 100% community donations. We are asking that if you cannot assist us financially, you ask if you can assist in volunteering either for general operations or in assisting in launching and/or organizing any one of the following projects/events:


1.     Million March Against Child Abuse – This is a nationwide event taking place in various cities. Details still coming in. We are participating and need help rallying and organizing a team and donations for this event.


2.     Tenth Annual Battered Mothers Custody Conference and Mothers of Lost Children in May 2013– We are in need of acquiring assistance to help get our leaders to attend this conference to represent the countless voices of Mothers who have lost custody due to injustices in the family court system. We are in need of a volunteer to help solicit corporate donors to help pay for the trip.


3.     Child Victims ofFamily Court – Study on the broken system failing to protect our children from perpetrators and abusers in the state of Massachusetts. The study will be based on current research in conjunction with a survey of college students who may have been victims of abuse. The goal of this project is to get the child victims voices heard and to find out the extent of the problem so we can find solutions to correcting these injustices. We are in need of organizers, planners, researchers, and fiscal sponsors for this project to move forward. This will be the first in the nation addressing the issues in the manner in which this project will do and have yield the kind of results we need to finally create the kind of change we need to protect our children.


4.     The links of certain health ailments and abuse and treatments and/or therapies yielding positive results in healing. There are a few projects that unfortunately we can not reveal the specific details due to the sensitivity of the projects. We are in need of a fiscal sponsor and volunteers. The research we are looking at doing can change the way the medical community looks and treats certain medical conditions upon diagnosis as well as solicit their involvement into policy changes in the way domestic abuse is handled in family courts by addressing the stigmas and injustices and health consequences. It also has the potential to yield the results we suspect at the links between abuse and certain health issues – both at epidemic levels.


5.     Socioecomomic tolls to ignoring abuse – already started, need researchers, writers, and fiscal sponsors.


If you would like to be involved in any of these projects, please email usat [email protected] or call us at 617-890-1040 for an application.

 

PRESS RELEASE: MASO Response to the Sandy Hook Tragedy in CT

Posted by MASO on December 23, 2012 at 12:00 AM Comments comments (0)

By: MASOStaff, December 21, 2012


What happened at Sandy Hook Elementary School is a travesty and will go down in history as one of the worst massacres in this country’s history.  We will not belabor the tragic events of that day, but want to initiate an open dialogue about the after affects and how we can prevent another mass killing.


If you really want to prevent another incident like what occurred in Newtown, CT, then PLEASE listen up and post your comments and thoughts on our Facebook Fan Page or Blog once you have finished reading our statement and let’s have some dialogue.


As domestic abuse advocates, we work with men, women, and children who have been victimized by abuse and we conduct research into finding solutions to the growing epidemic of abuse.  We also collaborate with many other organizations on the same issues.


We have paused …. Watched and listened to the media …. Watched and listened to the politicians…. Watched and listened to law enforcement investigating this tragedy … and sadly watched and listened to these young children the media keeps insisting on interviewing.

We are VERY concerned that all the focus on gun laws, gun law reform, and gun bans is avoiding a much BIGGER picture that led up to this tragedy as well as to the tragedies at Columbine, Virginia Tech, and the Batman Premiere recently.


Let’s be clear. Guns do not kill people. People kill people and what happened in Connecticut was committed with a stolen gun.


We wouldlike to see the statistics of how many of these cases are done with gunslegally purchased vs. with guns stolen or illegally obtained.  If  you continue to read below, the statistics on this issue is vague at best.  We are in no way endorsing guns or are we advocating for guns.  However, we feel the focus is band aid to BIGGER MORE concerning problems surrounding mental health resources, abuse, and violence in our society.


The following examples are the perceptions that parents, children, and victims of abuse commonly face every day.


What is a parent to do if he/she turns their child into police? ... Your problems go home.


What is a parent to do if he/she turns to child protective services for help? ... Well sorry for your problem but there is nothing we can do or we do not have the resources to handle such a problem or sorry your child will have to go into foster care.


What is a parent to do if he/she reports bullying to the school as apparently this mother did? ... Sorry there is nothing we can do, we talked with the student, or we do not have the resources.


What is a parent to do if he/she reports child abuse/child sex abuse to authorities?.... Well gee, that cannot be true so you must be lying and therefore, the courts are granting custody to abusers 70% of the time and 85% to child sexrapists.


What is a parent to do if he/she needs to get a mental health therapist? .... Sorry your insurance will not cover it and the cost to treat is so high you have to choose between food or therapy OR what will my family, coworkers, neighbors think? This is not to mention mental illness is the number one argument used in court against protective parents by batterers in custody disputes involving abuse.


Gun Ownership Statistics[1]

  1. 40-45% Households legally own  a gun
  2. 67% polled said they owned a gun for protection against crime
  3. 66% polled said they owned a gun for target practice
  4. 41% said they owned a gun for hunting

Gun Violence Statistics

  1. 16,272 murders committed in the United States in 2008. [2]
  2. Of these murders, 10,886 or 67% were committed with firearms in 2008.[3]
  3. According to DOJ, there were 5,340,000 violent crimes committed in the United States in 2008.[4]  These include simple/aggravated assaults, robberies, sexual assaults, rapes, and murders.
  4. Of these violent crimes, about 436,000 or 8% were committed by offenders armed with a gun.
  5. According to a 1994 CDC survey found that Americans use guns to frighten away intruders who are breaking into their homes about 498,000 times per year.[5]

 

Legal v illegal gun ownership

“One important consideration is that only 60-70% of firearms sales in the United States are transacted through federally licensed firearm dealers, with the remainder taking place in the "secondary market", in which previously owned firearms are transferred by non-dealers”. The “secondary markets” are a haven for criminals and create the possibilities of purchasing a gun that may have been implicatedin a homicide.[6]


According to the ATF, there are an estimated 500,000 guns stoleneach year, becoming available to prohibited users. [7] We feel this is the bigger problem, not legal gun purchases.  


To repeat, there are 500,000 guns stolen every year with 10,886 murders committed by guns every year. Let’s think about that statement.


Is the problem about new gun laws to limit types of purchases or is the problem about how to prevent gun thefts used to commit crimes?


Gun Laws ALREADY onthe books to protect against gun violence.

  1.  GunControl Act of 1968 - after the Assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr. which among other thingsincluded the prohibited sale of firearms to felons, those under indictment, fugitives, illegal aliens, drug users, those dishonorablydischargedfrom the military, and those in mentalinstitutions[8]
  2. TheBrady Handgun Violence Prevention Act  (1993) imposed a waiting period before thepurchase of a handgun.[9]
  3. TheDomestic Violence Offender Gun Ban, (1996),prohibited anyone previously convicted of a misdemeanor crime of domesticviolencefrom shipment, transport, ownership and use of guns or ammunition.[10]

 

Bullying

There are a multitude of national travesties that document the role of retaliatory bullying. The most memorable was the Columbine shooting in1999. The mass killing by two teens was a result in retaliation who had been bullied, harassed and ostracized by other students.


In one of the studies linking bullying and violence showed “that violence-related behaviors were more common in boys (ranging from 13%-27% among those who reported each behavior) than girls (ranging from 4%-11%)”[11]  However, the study also showed that violence-related behaviors were strongly linked to bullying that takes place out of school.


Most of the research on the issues surrounding school violence and/or bullying, suggests the violence is a learned behavior that may have been learned as a result of repeating the violent behavior of adults.


In one study, 71% of public elementary and secondary schools experienced at least one violent incident during the 1999-2000 school years, according to school principals.[12]


 

Mental Health Stats

  1. 19.9% or 45.1 million adults in the US with any mental illness with an additional 547,800 mentally ill people on probation in the community (2009) [13]
  2. 13.3% or 30.2 million adults received treatment for a mental health problem in the past year (2009).[14]
  3. 8.1%or 2 million youths ages 12 to 17 had major depressive episode (MDE) during the past year.[15]
  4. 50.6% of children with mental disorders had received treatment for their disorder within the past year[16]
  5. 10%  of Medicaid funding pays for mental healthcare, and about 20% of state and local health programs pay for mental healthcare (2003)[17]
  6. 23%of the mental health care expenditures went to pay for retail prescription medications[18]
  7. 22%of the mental health care expenditures went to pay for mental health professionals.[19]
  8. From1996 and 2006, the number of Americans paying for mental health services increased 87.6%.[20]  In 2006, more people paid expenses for care related to mental disorders than any other medical condition except for asthma.[21]
  9. “In 2006, total direct expenditures for mental health care services totaled $57.5billion. This places mental health care expenditures as the third most costly medical condition, behind heart conditions and trauma and tied with cancer.”[22]  (As a side note: all three conditions have been studied and have been linked to some form of abuse history whether domestic abuse, child abuse, or sex abuse)
  10. Number of ambulatory care visits (to physician offices, hospitaloutpatient and emergency departments) with mental disorders as primarydiagnosis: 67.4 million (average annual 2006-2007)[23]
  11. Almost 35,000 suicides, nearly twice the rate of homicides (2007). Suicide is the most common form of violence associated with mental illness.[24]


According the National Institute of Mental Health, those who have mental illness are highly unlikely to commit violence against others and therefore, contribute very little to the overall rate of violence in the community, contrary to popular belief.   “Most people with SMI are not violent, and most violent acts are not committed by people with SMI. In fact, people with SMI are actually at higher risk of being victims of violence than perpetrators.”[25]  In regards to victims of domestic violence, as much as 60-80% develops a mental illness as a result of the abuse.

 

Research also shows those with mental illness who do commit violent crimes, were more likely to have been homeless, to be substance abusers, and to be living in a violent environment. “A 1988 Department of Justice study reported that individuals with a history of mental illness (not including drug or alcohol abuse) were responsible for 4.3percent of the homicides in the United States.”[26]

 

The stigma associated with mental illness is the number one reason why people who have some sort of mental illness do not seek treatment when it isneeded due to the fear of discrimination. Stigma also leads to other fears,mistrust, and violence.  Stigma leads to discrimination in many other areas including employment.  As advocates for victims of abuse, we especially see this to be true in abuse prevention and custody disputes. Stigma surrounding mental illness is a barrier that causes harm to society and creates many injustices.

 

As a society, by being ignorant to the epidemic of abuse in this country as well as the broken family courts system regarding custody and abuse, we are contributing to the growing cost of the health care crisis – both financially and literally. As a society, we can no longer afford to NOT to act anymore.

 

It must start with changing the way family courts are discriminating against victims of abuse  as well as ensuring proper mental health treatments are accessible.


 

Violence and Mental Health Issues and Relationship to Domestic Abuse, and Custody

 

Research indicates that parents with mental illness lose custody at a rate of 70-80% [27] and as much as 81% of women who have been treated for mental health issue also report history of abuse.[28]

 

Many experts believe that 60 -90% of women who have been abused have significant mental health issues.[29] However,society’s stigmas and prejudices regarding mental health conditions are at the “heart of courts’ denial of custody to these mothers.”[30]  Yet research documents that those with severe mental illness are actually eleven times more likely to be victims of  violent crime than the general population.

 

Many other problems exist in the mental health communities. These include inadequate training of some mental health professionals in understanding and treating domestic abuse victims. In many cases, we have found victim blaming by therapists and over reliance of the use of prescription medications which is usually frowned upon by family court judges. This is not to mention the compounding problems of the batterer’s control of the victim’s insurance coverage and privacy challenges in many cases.

 

The most common forms of mental health issues women who have been abused are diagnosed with include: anxiety,depression, and post traumatic stress disorder. “Trauma theory is a recent construct particularly useful in analyzing the relationship between menta lillness and domestic violence in a case and can help the lawyer develop atheory of the case that will insulate the client from negative inferences regarding mental illness on the part of the judge, the attorney for the child,evaluators, and other decision makers in the litigation. A basic premise of trauma theory is that the symptoms of mental illness that a battered woman manifests can be understood as survival strategies, developed as a reaction to her experience.”[31]

 

The key is for the courts, advocates, and lawyers who represent victims of abuse to understand the relationship between mental health issues and domestic violence and confront the stigmas and prejudices victims face especially in custody cases. The need is great especially in light that batterers are awarded custody in 70% of contested custody cases involving abuse.[32]

 

Now, there is much research that indicates children who bully or display violent behavior at school frequently have been exposed to abuse themselves. BY awarding custody to abusers at the current rates and denying protective parents custody due to either mental illness as a direct result of the abuse or unfounded accusations of mental illness by an abuser, only exacerbates the compounding abuse epidemic. This can lead to more school violence and more mass attacks if intervention and stigmas are not addressed. There are numerous studies citing the ill effects of children witnessing domestic abuse including aggressive behaviors, depression, and cognitive issues not to mention the numerous physical health complications such as heart disease, obesity, and diabetes currently being studied by the CDC through the ongoing ACE Study.

 

So if research tells us that those with mental illness are likely to be victims of crime, bullying, abuse, stigma, and discrimination, then why are we as a society not doing something about it? Why are we as a society not doing something about family court judges rendering custody decisions placing all our children’s lives at risk for more violence as well as long term mental and physical health problems? Is it a coincidence that the prejudices and stigmas of whatvictims of abuse face both in family court and society as well as the unprecedented increases of mental health crisis and health care crisis have grown into epidemic levels?

 

GOOD NEWS

Many lawmakers and health advocates have called for Congress to start a conversation about mental health issues in the wake of last week's violent shooting massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School, “with one goal of ensuring adequate funding for services for those who need treatment. Although much of the discussion since last week's shooting has focused on gun policy, several members are also emphasizing the role that mental illness has played in many national tragedies.”[33][34]


“What I think is absolutely essential is Congress has to have an honest dialogue to look at the issues of mental illness,” said Pennsylvania Republican Tim Murphy, a child psychologist and co-chairman of the Congressional Mental Health Caucus. “We need to put a full-scale effort into reviewing this and understanding it better.”[35]


The shooting that took place in Connecticut eluded that the shooter had some form of autism.  The reality is those who are diagnosed with autism disorders are not likely to become violent. As a matter of fact, the opposite is true.  “Individuals with autism spectrum disorders,who are often bullied in school and in the workplace, frequently do suffer from depression,anxiety and suicidal thoughts … But experts say there is no evidence that they are more likely than any other group to commit violent crimes (Harmon, 12/18).”[36]


 

TIME TO ACT

What we have learned is it takes a community to create change. It takes a community to communicate with our local leadership and tell them what we think and how we feel. It takes the constituents to remind our leaders that they work for the people and especially our children who rarely have a voice. 


We implore you to please contact your local politicians and congressmen and tell them to focus on the REAL issues at hand including the lack of resources,funding, and services for the mentally ill with special safeguards to protect victimsof abuse who experience high rates of mental health issues as a direct result of the abuse they suffered and stigmas attached as a result including loss of custody.


We as a society need to band together … respect one another … unite as one voice …and do something that will make real change for the sake of all our children’sfuture. The nature of violence and secrecy begins at home. However, at the same time, the voice ends where the family court judges have too much discretion in rendering the futures of children impacted by abuse.

 

If we are to prevent another tragedy as we saw in Connecticut … if we want to end violence … if we want to fix this fiscal crisis … if we want to find solutions to the health care crisis … then we MUST look at finding solutions to those in power rendering very harmful decisions with long term consequences.

 

Guns are not the problem. The problems with guns are primarily those who obtain these weapons illegally. BUT, the bigger problem is those who desire to commit such violence are brought up in it in some form or another. Whether it be a judge ordering a child to live with a parent sexually abusing them or a school system turning a blind eye to a child being beaten up and bullied or electing officials who have criminal pasts. What are we telling our children when our actions do not match our words?

 

As our motto states:  “Alone we are weak …Together we are strong.” In order to create change, it takes a community to band together for the future of all our children. Please take action before another tragedy occurs. Your action or inaction can mean life or death.

 

OTHER RESOURCES:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gun_violence_in_the_United_States

http://crimeinamerica.net/

http://www.nimh.nih.gov/statistics/3USE_MT_ADULT.shtml

www.cdc.gov/nchs/fastats/mental.htm

http://www.news-medical.net/news/20121219/Conn-shootings-spur-questions-about-adequacy-of-mental-health-services.aspx

http://www.rollcall.com/news/after_shooting_congress_ponders_mental_health_role-220059-1.html

http://www.justfacts.com/guncontrol.asp

http://www.ctclearinghouse.org/topics/customer-files/Stigma-and-Mental-Illness-061305.pdf

http://www.nccev.org/violence/school.html

http://www.mentalhealthamerica.net/go/information/get-info/strengthening-families/when-a-parent-has-a-mental-illness-child-custody-issues

www.dvmhpi.org.

www.leadershipcouncil.org/docs/ABA_custody_myths.pdf

http://www.nimh.nih.gov/about/director/2011/understanding-severe-mental-illness.shtml

http://mentalillnesspolicy.org/consequences/violence-statistics.html

 

 

For More Information:

Massachusetts Survivors Outreach (MASO)

Advocacy~ Research ~ Holistic Healing For Victims of Abuse

Motto:Alone we are weak … Together we arestrong.”

Phone: 617-890-1040

Twitter: @M_A_S_O

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/MassachusettsSurvivorsOutreach

 

[1]http://www.justfacts.com/guncontrol.asp

[2] Report: "2008 Crime in the United States,Expanded Homicide Data – Table 9." Federal Bureau of Investigation, U.S.Department of Justice, September 2009. http://www2.fbi.gov/ucr/cius2008/offenses/expanded_...

[3] Report: "2008 Crime in the United States,Expanded Homicide Data – Table 9." Federal Bureau of Investigation, U.S.Department of Justice, September 2009. http://www2.fbi.gov/ucr/cius2008/offenses/expanded_...

[4]Bulletin: "National CrimeVictimization Survey: Criminal Victimization, 2008." By Michael R. Rand.Bureau of Justice Statistics, U.S. Department of Justice, September 2009. http://bjs.ojp.usdoj.gov/content/pub/pdf/cv08.pdf

Page 1: "Violent crimes" include"rape/sexual assault, robbery, and aggravated and simple assault."

Page 1, Table 1 shows 4,856,510 violentcriminal victimizations, of which 551,830 are robberies.

 

[5] Paper: "Estimating intruder-related firearmretrievals in U.S. households, 1994." By Robin M. Ikeda and others.Violenceand Victims, Winter 1997. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9591354

[6] Firearms Market; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gun_violence_in_the_United_States

[7]Committee on Law and Justice(2004)."Chapter 4".Firearms and Violence: A Critical Review. NationalAcademy of Science.ISBN0-309-09124-1.http://www.nap.edu/books/0309091241/html/72.html.

[8]Cook, Philip J., Jens Ludwig(2000). "Chapter 3".Gun Violence: The Real Costs. Oxford UniversityPress.ISBN0-19-513793-0

[9]The background checkprovision has been challenged on grounds that it violates the Tenth Amendment of the Constitution. In the 1997 case, Printz v.United States, the Supreme Court voided that part of the Brady Act. (Rushefsky, 2002)

[10]DomesticViolence Offender Gun Ban Fact Sheet" (asp).National Center for Women &Policing.http://www.womenandpolicing.org/gunban.asp. Retrieved 2007-02-05.

[11]Bullying andViolence; DianaZuckerman, PhD, Sarah Bushman, MPP and Sarah Pedersen, BA; National ResearchCenter for Women & Families; http://www.center4research.org/2010/04/bullying-and-violence/

[12] Violence in U.S. Public Schools: 2000 School Survey on Crimeand Safety, October 2003

[13]Substance Abuse and Mental Health ServicesAdministration. (2010). Results from the 2009 National Survey on Drug Use andHealth: Mental Health Findings (Office of Applied Studies http://oas.samhsa.gov/NSDUH/2k9NSDUH/MH/2K9MHResults.pdf

[14]Substance Abuse and Mental Health ServicesAdministration. (2010). Results from the 2009 National Survey on Drug Use andHealth: Mental Health Findings (Office of Applied Studies http://oas.samhsa.gov/NSDUH/2k9NSDUH/MH/2K9MHResults.pdf

[15]Substance Abuse and Mental Health ServicesAdministration. (2010). Results from the 2009 National Survey on Drug Use andHealth: Mental Health Findings (Office of Applied Studies http://oas.samhsa.gov/NSDUH/2k9NSDUH/MH/2K9MHResults.pdf

[16]Use of Mental Health Services and Treatment AmongChildren; Data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's NationalHealth and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES); http://www.nimh.nih.gov/statistics/1NHANES.shtml

[17]Use of Mental Health Services and Treatment AmongChildren; Data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's NationalHealth and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES); http://www.nimh.nih.gov/statistics/1NHANES.shtml

[18]Distribution of Mental Health Expenditures by Service(2003) Data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's NationalHealth and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES); http://www.nimh.nih.gov/statistics/1NHANES.shtml

[19]Distribution of Mental Health Expenditures by Service(2003) Data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's NationalHealth and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES); http://www.nimh.nih.gov/statistics/1NHANES.shtml

[20]MentalHealthcare Costs for All Americans (1996-2006); ;Data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's NationalHealth and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES); http://www.nimh.nih.gov/statistics/1NHANES.shtml

[21]Number of People with Expenses for the Five Most CostlyMedical Conditions (1996 vs. 2006) ; Data from the Centers for Disease Controland Prevention's National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey(NHANES); http://www.nimh.nih.gov/statistics/1NHANES.shtml

[22]Total Expenditures for the Five Most Costly MedicalConditions (1996 vs. 2006) ; Data from the Centers for Disease Control andPrevention's National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey(NHANES); http://www.nimh.nih.gov/statistics/1NHANES.shtml

[23]HealthCare Use; Ambulatory care; Centersfor Disease Control and Prevention;  Fast Stats; http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/fastats/mental.htm

[24] Understanding Severe Mental Illness; By Thomas Insel on January 11, 2011; The National Institute of MentalHealth (NIMH); http://www.nimh.nih.gov/about/director/2011/understanding-severe-mental-illness.shtml

[25] UnderstandingSevere Mental Illness; By Thomas Insel on January 11, 2011; The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH); http://www.nimh.nih.gov/about/director/2011/understanding-severe-mental-illness.shtml [26] Violence and people withmental illness; Edited byDr. E. Fuller Torrey; Mental Illness Org.;  http://mentalillnesspolicy.org/consequences/violence-statistics.html[27] When a Parent Has a Mental Illness: Child Custody Issues;Mental Health America; http://www.mentalhealthamerica.net/go/information/get-info/strengthening-families/when-a-parent-has-a-mental-illness-child-custody-issues[28]MentalIllness and Domestic Violence: Implications for Family Law Litigation;By D. Wolf Markham; CLEARINGHOUSE REVIEW; MAY–JUNE 2003

[29] Mental Illness and Domestic Violence: Implications forFamily Law Litigation;ByD. Wolf Markham; LEARINGHOUSEREVIEW ; MAY–JUNE 2003

[30] Mental Illnessand Domestic Violence: Implications for Family Law Litigation; ByD. Wolf Markham; LEARINGHOUSEREVIEW ; MAY–JUNE 2003

[31] Mental Illnessand Domestic Violence: Implications for Family Law Litigation; ByD. Wolf Markham; LEARINGHOUSEREVIEW ; MAY–JUNE 2003

[32] American Judges Foundation; Domestic Violence and the Court House: Understanding the Problem …Knowing the Victim; http://aja.ncsc.dni.us/domvio/page5.html

[33]Conn. shootings spur questions aboutadequacy of mental health services;News Medical; Published on December 19, 2012http://www.news-medical.net/news/20121219/Conn-shootings-spur-questions-about-adequacy-of-mental-health-services.aspx

[34]After Shooting, Congress Ponders Mental Health Role; By Melissa Attias, Roll Call; Dec 17, 2012, http://www.rollcall.com/news/after_shooting_congress_ponders_mental_health_role-220059-1.html

[35]After Shooting, Congress Ponders Mental Health Role; By Melissa Attias, Roll Call; Dec 17, 2012, http://www.rollcall.com/news/after_shooting_congress_ponders_mental_health_role-220059-1.html

[36]Conn. shootings spur questions aboutadequacy of mental health services;News Medical; Published on December 19, 2012http://www.news-medical.net/news/20121219/Conn-shootings-spur-questions-about-adequacy-of-mental-health-services.aspx

 

A Season For Holiday Giving

Posted by MASO on November 29, 2012 at 8:00 AM Comments comments (0)

As we go through this holiday season, please let us not forget the organizations who operate with volunteers to help others whether it be a homesless shelter, food pantry, abuse organization, or the like. As you search for the perfect gifts for your loved ones, please also search for a gift for your favorite organization.

 

That gift maybe volunteering or a monitary donation. In this economy, with the unemployment or a reduction of family income at an all time high since the great depression, many organizations are equally faced with the same. Many organizations are operating with an 80% reduction in donations with 2-3x the increase in demand and need.

 

Massachusetts Survivors Outreach currently operates with 100% volunteers and with 100% community donations. We are in critical need to raise money to cover our low overhead so we may continue our research and provide services for victims of abuse.

 

We are also in need to raise enough money so we may file for our 501c3 which will enable us to apply for research grants, grants for our educational programs for allopathic and holistic health professionals,  as well as grants for our services so we may expand our services to have counseling, hypnotherapy, and other services specialized for victims of abuse.

 

So please, let's take being grateful to the next level, and please consider a holiday gift to Massachusetts Survivors Outreach or some other favorite cause this season.

 

You just could make a difference in another family, mother, father, child, pet or even the difference between life or death. Together we can make this world a better place.

 

For more information on how you can help volunteer at MASO, please email us [email protected] or to make a donation please visit our donation page on our website at http://masso.webs.com/apps/donations/

 

Happy Holidays from our families to yours.

What is Reiki?

Posted by MASO on November 26, 2012 at 7:20 PM Comments comments (0)

A study done in 2007 by the National Health Interview Survey indicates that 1.2 million adults and 161,000 children received one or more sessions of energy healing therapy such as Reiki in the previous year. According to the American Hospital Association, in 2007, 15% or over 800 American hospitals offered Reiki as part of hospital services.



What is Reiki?

Reiki is a Japanese hands-on healing modality that is natural non-invasive and promotes healing. It is primarily used for stress reduction and relaxation, but is all effective in relieving pain,depression, and panic disorders.  Reiki is also assists in promoting the healing of fractures as well as alleviating many other physical and emotional challenges. 


This form of healing is based on the idea that an unseen life force energy flows through us and is what causes us to be alive. The practitioner administers the treatments by laying the hands. If one is frequently sick or under a lot of stress, the chances are one's life force energy is low.  Now if the life force is high,we are more capable of being happy and healthy.   Reiki is a very simple and natural method of spiritual healing and self-improvement that anyone can use to improve their quality of life. This safe alternative is effective in helping many known physical and psychological illnesses and always creates a beneficial and positive effect. Reiki does work in conjunction with all other alternative or traditional medical treatments.


Reiki is not taught, but is transferred tothe student during a Reiki class through a process called and anattunement.  During an attunement a Reiki master allows the student to tap into an unlimited supply of life force energy to improve one's health and enhance the quality of life.  This healing method has been taught to thousands of people from all over the world.


Reiki comes from the Japanese words "Rei" meaning Higher Power or Wisdom and "Ki" meaning Life Force Energy.


What does a treatment feel like? 

A reiki treatment gives you sense of warm energy surrounding your body as well as flowing through you.  When undergoing a treatment, you are treated as a whole meaning your mind, body, and spirit.  A sense of well-being and peace is felt with many miraculous results.


Is this Religious?

No, even though it is spiritual innature.  There is no structured faith base or dogma crossing allcultures.  It works not matter what faith you have as it's naturalhealing uses universal spiritual laws to promote wellness and peace. However, this can enhance your own faith and religion.


Check out our Calendar  page for more information

Reiki Can Do No Harm or Can It?

Posted by MASO on November 26, 2012 at 7:00 PM Comments comments (7)

Reiki can do no harm or can it? Just as in any profession, there are many wonderful reiki professionals who do amazing work and many individuals receive the many benefits of reiki. However, there are also downsides.  So, before I answer that question, I want to tell you a story.


I was teaching an anatomy and physiology class at a college in Boston. There was a section in one of the chapters talking about links to stress related illnesses and the benefits of meditation as a treatment option. I went on my normal tangents talking about how reiki, acupuncture, and other alternative therapies have benefits as well. I elaborated on each on what benefits, for what purposeand cited types of studies and research done.


I also discussed my professional experiences teaching and practicing meditation and reiki in a medical environment as well as how I teach them and why I teach them a certain way. I also discussed my volunteer work with traumavictims especially, but not limited to, domestic abuse survivors.


During break I had a few students inquire and ask questions about alternative therapies and about reiki in particular. At the time, I assumed their questions were out of curiosity.


A couple days later I received an email from one of my students through one of the websites I have written articles for. She wanted to know if reiki could help her because she was a survivor of child sex abuse and for the last 20 years everything she has tried has not helped her.  She had tried reiki once before about 5 years ago, but she said it felt like "someone put voodoo" on her. She talked about the class and how what I said made sense to her. She wondered if "this reiki thing" could really help her to finally heal and move on with her life.


Why am I telling you this story? This story is one of many stories of survivors of abuse having a negative experience with reiki. It did not matter if it was an alternative healing night, a referral from a psychiatrist orphysician, or a student. The stories began to stack up as to why these individuals never sought reiki again until they met me. It always puzzled me,but also knew there was a reason even it I did not know it at the time.


So now back to the question. Reiki can do no harm or can it?


Reiki itself can do no harm. It is a Japanese energetic touch therapy with roots that go back to Ancient Tibetan Buddhist healing as do many other alternative therapies.  Reiki works with the electrical conduction system of the human body, BUT with the wrong practitioner it may give the appearance it can do harm.  The problem is not with reiki, but with the unqualified reiki person working with trauma victims.


In the case of my student, the reiki worked. It was the lack of training by the practitioner that caused the problem that exacerbated the healing crisis she felt making her feel as if “someone put voodoo” on her.


Sadly, over the years, I have seen too many reiki practitioners take a 6-8hr workshop and want to profess their expertise in reiki. That is not reiki, but ego talking. If you are teaching this or have been taught that, there is a misconception, and it needs to change.


Working with trauma victims, requires more than just reiki training. You must know the clinical signs and symptoms of trauma and in my opinion, have some sort of clinical or medical training in one or many areas such as trauma,abuse, first aid and cpr, psychology, grief, post traumatic stress, etc.


There is a lot of scientific data research citing the many benefits of reiki as a treatment option especially for diagnoses such as anxiety and depression which tends to plague many victims, and speaking as a survivor of abuse myself, reiki does works. 


Reiki is also used in medical offices and hospitals all over the country as part of an integrative therapy approach. Boston area hospitals that offer reiki as part of their programs include: Boston Children's Hospital, Dana Farberand Brigham and Women's. Nurses are also able to get CEUs. So you see reiki itself, has become a viable treatment options for many within the medical community.


A study done in 2007 by the National Health Interview Survey indicates that 1.2 million adults and 161,000children received one or more sessions of energy healing therapy such as Reiki in the previous year. According to the American Hospital Association, in 2007, 15% or over 800 American hospitals offered Reiki as part of hospital services.


Out of ignorance, I see so many well intentioned reiki teachers and practitioners exacerbating serious medical problems and shedding a negative light on the good reiki can do as viable healing modality by preaching that anyone can do reiki on anyone as reiki can do no harm. Again, it is not the reiki doing harm, but the unqualified reiki practitioner.


How? With an unqualified reiki professional, a victim who already experiences fear, mistrust, and guardedness, these symptoms can significantly worsen.


A qualified reiki professional does the proper client intake, knows when the client is ready for actual healing to take place, there is proper communication between practitioner and client, and if healing crisis takes place a qualified practitioner knows what to do and knows where to refer the client if medical intervention or treatment is required.


With statistics such as, one in three women experience abuse in their lifetime, the chances a reiki professional will encounter a client with trauma is great.  Domestic abuse has hit epidemic proportions in this country andis expected to remain steady until the economy improves, laws to protect victims are enforced and resources to organizations that work with victims are improved.


This is not taking into account other traumas from events such as our military servicemen returning from war or Hurricane Sandy or 9/11.


Of the 1.7 million veterans who served in Iraq and Afghanistan, 300,000 (20percent) suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder or major depression.[i]   Accordingto the VA, about one-in-five female veterans have post-traumatic stress related to "military sexual trauma," a catch-all category that includes everything from sexual harassment to rape.[ii]


For 9/11 survivors, “at least 10,000 firefighters, police officers and civilians exposed to the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center have been found to have post-traumatic stress disorder.”[iii]


“Statistics say that only 5% of those who survived 9/11 in New York City went on to experience symptoms of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). But in the case of Hurricane Katrina, 33% later suffered symptoms. This is a very high percentage, even for an extremely traumatizing event.”[iv]


With these numbers and statistics, it is imperative, the manner in which reiki is utilized needs to be given much consideration.


The reiki practitioner who looks out for their client first, will set egoaside and do the right thing by referring those clients to a professional better qualified to work with those individuals.


If you have ever experienced some form of trauma in your life whether it be abuse, rape, natural disasters, loss, war, or the like, then please understand that not all reiki professionals are the same just like not all doctors or therapists are the same. Seek out a reiki professional with training or professional experience in the related fields you seek and ask questions.


Reiki has so many wonderful benefits. This article was intended to help educate both well intentioned reiki practitioners as well as educate the general public on why choosing the right reiki professional is critical to your overall health, healing and overall wellbeing.


I sincerely hope the information given served as informative and beneficial. 


Article By: LauraBonetzky-Joseph, RMA, RMT, MASO Volunteer

 

ABOUT LAURA

Laura Bonetzky-Joseph is a MASO Volunteer, Registered Certified Medical Assistant and Reiki Master Teacher in the UsuiTradition.  She has over 15 cumulative years in the holistic and allopathic health fields and has incorporated energy medicine in her line of work over the past 6 years. Laura is also an adjunct professor teaching medical classes in Boston.


With Laura’s diverse background, Laura has a very unique way of teaching and working with her clients than what is typically seen in mainstream reiki which is why many certified reiki practitioners opt to take her courses to better fulfill their personal or professional healing needs. Laura also has extensive training and experience working with trauma victims and domestic violence overthe past 6 years. She has a keen sense of awareness when working with her clients that many chronic illnesses, major life events and past life challenges often appear as potential energetic blocks during reiki treatment sessions.


Laura's unique style to energy medicine can only be witnessed.  Laura also teaches a variety of wellness classes and seminars including The Science of Human Energy, Meditation, Reiki, Nutritional Health, and Stress Reduction.



ICRT Reiki Membership Association - Affiliate Member

Weare an Affiliate Member of  ICRT, and follow a code of ethics, andstandards of practice.  Its purpose is to maintain a professional imagefor our members while at the same time preserving the spirit of Reiki andassisting members in creating a thriving Reiki practice. By becoming a member,we'll be associating with an organization that has the reputation of providingaccurate, up-to-date information on the history, practice, and scientific study of Reiki. Affiliate members must abide by the following requirements: Use ICRTclass manuals purchased from www.reikiwebstore.com when teaching Reiki I, II,ART, Master and Karuna Reiki® classes. One manual must be provided to each student.Abide by the RMA Code of Ethics. Abide by the RMA Standards of Practice. Placethe RMA logo on member’s web site home page (if member has a website).Affiliate members must be Usui Reiki masters. Reiki training must havetaken place with teacher in person. (no Internet, distant, CD, or book onlytraining accepted).    Contact us in Quincy, Massachusetts,to learn more about Reiki treatment for stress reduction, spiritualhealing, and relaxation.

 

For More Information:(

MASO

MassachusettsSurvivors Outreach

Quincy,MA

617-890-1040

www.masso.webs.com 

Facebook:  http://www.facebook.com/MassachusettsSurvivorsOutreach

 

©2010-2012 Laura Bonetzky-Joseph. All Rights Reserved. This information is forgeneral educational uses only. It may not apply to you and your specificmedical needs. This information should not be used in place of a visit, call,consultation with or the advice of your physician or health care professional.Communicate promptly with your physician or other health care professional withany   health-related questions or concerns. Thisarticle does not share the opinions of Massachusetts Survivors Outreach or any of it’s affiliates.  Be sure to follow specific instructions given to youby your physician or health care professional.



REFERENCES:(

[i] RAND Center for Military Health Policy Research, Invisible Wounds of War, 2008

[ii] J. Kitfield, National Journal, 2011

[iii] Anemonia Hartocollis, 10 Years and a Diagnosis Later, 9/11 Demons Haunts Thousands, TheNew York Times, August 8, 2011.

[iv]by SusanneBabbel, Ph.D., MFT, Bridging the mind-body gap, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder After 9/11 and Katrina, PsychologyToday; September 12,2011.

MASO's Thoughts on Tomorrow's Election

Posted by MASO on November 5, 2012 at 7:40 AM Comments comments (0)

By: MASO Staff November, 5, 2012

 

Tomorrow is an important and possibly a historic election day.

 

When going to the voting booth tomorrow, we at MASO, ask you not to vote by the party lines but by the deeds of the candidate you are voting for. Please make sure to consider voting for a candidate who has worked or will work to protect children and victims of abuse.

 

Yes ... the economy is greatly important, and the current study we are working on will prove that if you want to fix the economy so drastic cuts are not made to programs such as Medicare ... so the deficit will balance out ... and social welfare programs will be reduced not by cuts but by fixing the way Family Court handles domestic abuse cases in the courtroom which is bankrupting this country.

 

We must change the culture of abuse. How do we do that? It starts by who we elect.

 

Choose a candidate who does not minimize or normalize abuse as many in our society do including family court judges. A couple years ago, when Jeff Perry was running for Congress, there was a huge controversy over his alleged involvement with his officer sexually assaulting a young 14 year old girl.

 

We heard many decent bystanders say things like "well it happened 20 years ago, things change." Our argument is this "If it were your daughter, would you still be voting for this man?" ... We guarantee NOT. People like Perry would be making decisions on issues such as VAWA, and other protections for children and victims of abuse.

 

If you have not seen the interview with the Family Court Judge Salcido of California with FOX News LA, it is a must watch before you vote. "Children Lost In System" is a series of news stories by FOX LA and the interview of the whistleblower former Family Court Judge Salcido. Judge Salcido speaks out admitting she made a mistake and speaks out about the million dollar industry of how abused mothers and children in Family Court by default are to give abusers custody.

 

YOUR VOTE COUNTS .... WHY?

 

Survivors of abuse, especially children, often have difficulty accessing health care, healing services, economic assistance, affordable housing, and especially the legal help to protect and advocate for them against abuse.

 

The economic consequences of not safeguarding our children and victims against abuse in our society cause devastation costing us much more every day than the cost of working to prevent them and to support victims and their children.

 

Who we elect matters. Our elected officials make daily decisions about various policies and funding priorities that affect the welfare, safety, dignity and liberty of all victims of abuse including our most vulnerable, our children.

 

MASSACHUSETTS SNAPSHOT ABOUT ABUSE:

  •  In 2010, nearly 1 in 2 women and 1 in 4 men in MA have ever experienced sexual violence victimization other than rape. *
  • Nearly 1 in 3 women and 1 in 5 men in MA have experienced rape, physical violence and/or stalking by an intimate partner in their lives. * 
  • More than 1 in 7 women have experienced rape.
  • Reported child abuse has doubled in Massachusetts in last 10 years since Gov. Duval Patrick has been in office.
  • Eleven percent (11%) of high school students and six percent (6%) of middle school students reported being physically hurt by a date sometime in their life.*
  • Nearly, 7.8 million women in the U.S. have been raped by an intimate partner at some point in their lives. *
  • 201,394 women in the U.S. are raped by an intimate partner every year.* 
  • Economic costs of intimate partner violence exceeds $5.8 Billion each year, $4.1 Billion for direct medical and mental health services every year.** 
  • 56% report being late for work due to tactics by batterers.***

 

Ask yourself how a candidate's positions will have an impact on the safety, dignity and liberty of all victims of abuse ... especially our children who rarely have a voice.

 

According to Protect Mass Children, the following Legislators STRONGLY and CONSISTANTLY support child protection legislation****:

  1. Senate Minority Leader Bruce Tarr
  2. Senator Sal DiDomenico
  3. Senator Robert Hedlund
  4. Senator Brian Joyce
  5. Senator John Keenan
  6. Senator Michael Knapik
  7. Senator Richard Ross
  8. House Minority Leader Bradley Jones
  9. Representative Paul Adams
  10. Representative Donald Wong 
  11. Representative Jay Barrows
  12. Representative Richard Bastien
  13. Representative Carlo Bastile
  14. Representative Matthew Beaton
  15. Representative Nick Collins
  16. Representative Edward Coppinger 
  17. Representative Linda E Dean Campbell
  18. Representative Geoff Diehl
  19. Representative James Dwyer
  20. Representative Paul Frost
  21. Representative Kevin Kuros
  22. Representative Steven Levy
  23. Representative Marc Lombardo
  24. Representative Shaunna O'Connell
  25. Representative George Peterson
  26. Representative Elizabeth Poirer
  27. Representative George Ross
  28. Representative Joyce Spiliotis
  29. Representative Daniel Webster

 

The following Legislators were polled and supported some legislation and assisted with the sponsorship of Bill to eliminate statute of limitations for child sex abuse. NOTE: Senators listed are original sponsors, but due to lack of resources, the Senate was not polled after initial sponsorship for support:

  1. Representative Adams, Paul (R)
  2. Representative Andrews, Denise (D)
  3. Representative Arciero, James (D)
  4. Representative Ashe, Brian (D)
  5. Representative Atkins, Cory (D)
  6. Representative Ayers, Bruce (D)
  7. Representative Balser, Ruth (D)
  8. Representative Barrows, F. (R)
  9. Representative Basile, Carlo (D)
  10. Representative Beaton, Matthew (R)
  11. Representative Benson, Jennifer (D)
  12. Representative Binienda, John (D)
  13. Representative Bradley, Garrett (D)
  14. Representative Brady, Michael (D)
  15. Representative Cabral, Antonio (D)
  16. Representative Calter, Thomas (D)
  17. Representative Campbell, Linda Dean (D)
  18. Representative Canavan, Christine (D)
  19. Representative Cariddi, Gailanne (D)
  20. Representative Chan, Tackey (D)
  21. Representative Coakley-Rivera, Cheryl (D)
  22. Representative Conroy, Thomas (D)
  23. Representative Coppinger, Edward (D)
  24. Representative Cusack, Mark (D)
  25. Representative D'Emilia, Angelo (R)
  26. Representative deMacedo, Viriato (R)
  27. Representative Dempsey, Brian (D)
  28. Representative Devers, Marcos (D)
  29. Representative Diehl, Geoff (R)
  30. Representative DiNatale, Stephen (D)
  31. Representative Durant, Peter (R)
  32. Representative Dwyer, James (D)
  33. Representative Ehrlich, Lori (D)
  34. Representative Farley-Bouvier, Tricia (D)
  35. Representative Fattman, Ryan (R)
  36. Representative Ferguson, Kimberly (R)
  37. Representative Ferrante, Ann-Margaret (D)
  38. Representative Fox, Gloria (D)
  39. Representative Fresolo, John (D)
  40. Representative Galvin, William (D)
  41. Representative Garballey, Sean (D)
  42. Representative Gobi, Anne (D)
  43. Representative Golden, Thomas (D)
  44. Representative Haddad, Patricia (D)
  45. Representative Harrington, Sheila (R)
  46. Representative Henriquez, Carlos (D)
  47. Representative Hill, Bradford (R)
  48. Representative Hogan, Kate (D)
  49. Representative Holmes, Russell (D)
  50. Representative Honan, Kevin (D)
  51. Representative Hunt, Randy (R)
  52. Representative Jones, Bradley (R)
  53. Representative Kafka, Louis (D)
  54. Representative Kane, Michael (D)
  55. Representative Kaufman, Jay (D)
  56. Representative Keenan, John (D)
  57. Representative Khan, Kay (D)
  58. Representative Koczera, Robert (D)
  59. Representative Kuros, Kevin (R)
  60. Representative Lawn, John (D)
  61. Representative Levy, Steven (R)
  62. Representative Lewis, Jason (D)
  63. Representative Linsky, David (D)
  64. Representative Lombardo, Marc (R)
  65. Representative Madden, Timothy (D)
  66. Representative Mahoney, John (D)
  67. Representative Mariano, Ronald (D)
  68. Representative Mark, Paul (D)
  69. Representative McMurtry, Paul (D)
  70. Representative Miceli, James (D)
  71. Representative Murphy, Kevin (D)
  72. Representative Nangle, David (D)
  73. Representative O'Connell, Shaunna (R)
  74. Representative O'Day, James (D)
  75. Representative Orrall, Keiko (R)
  76. Representative Parisella, Jerald (D)
  77. Representative Peake, Sarah (D)
  78. Representative Peisch, Alice (D)
  79. Representative Peterson, George (R)
  80. Representative Petrolati, Thomas (D)
  81. Representative Pignatelli, William (D)
  82. Representative Poirier, Elizabeth (R)
  83. Representative Provost, Denise (D)
  84. Representative Puppolo, Angelo (D)
  85. Representative Rogers, John (D)
  86. Representative Rosa, Dennis (D)
  87. Representative Ross, George (R)
  88. Representative S?nchez, Jeffrey (D)
  89. Representative Scaccia, Angelo (D)
  90. Representative Scibak, John (D)
  91. Representative Sciortino, Carl (D)
  92. Representative Smith, Stephen (D)
  93. Representative Smizik, Frank (D)
  94. Representative Smola, Todd (R)
  95. Representative Speliotis, Theodore (D)
  96. Representative Spiliotis, Joyce (D)
  97. Representative Stanley, Thomas (D)
  98. Representative Straus, William (D)
  99. Representative Sullivan, David (D)
  100. Representative Swan, Benjamin (D)
  101. Representative Timilty, Walter (D)
  102. Representative Toomey, Timothy (D)
  103. Representative Torrisi, David (D)
  104. Representative Turner, Cleon (D)
  105. Representative Vieira, David (R)
  106. Representative Walsh, Chris (D)
  107. Representative Walsh, Martin (D)
  108. Representative Walz, Martha (D)
  109. Representative Webster, Daniel (R)
  110. Representative Winslow, Daniel (R)
  111. Representative Wolf, Alice (D)
  112. Representative Wong, Donald (R)
  113. Senator Brewer, Stephen (D)
  114. Senator Brownsberger, William (D)
  115. Senator Candaras, Gale (D)
  116. Senator Clark, Katherine (D)
  117. Senator Creem, Cynthia (D)
  118. Senator Downing, Benjamin (D)
  119. Senator Fargo, Susan (D)
  120. Senator Flanagan, Jennifer (D)
  121. Senator Hedlund, Robert (R)
  122. Senator Knapik, Michael (R)
  123. Senator McGee, Thomas (D)
  124. Senator Moore, Michael (D)
  125. Senator Moore, Richard (D)
  126. Senator Ross, Richard (R)
  127. Senator Spilka, Karen (D)

 

As a society, we must learn to protect the victim and not the offending abuser. "Alone we are weak ... Together we are strong.”

 

For More Information:

MASO ~ Massachusetts Survivors Outreach

Research ~ Advocating ~ Holistic Healing For Victims of Abuse

617-870-1040

Email: [email protected]

Website: www.masso.webs.com

Facebook: http/www.facebook.com/MassachusettsSurvivorsOutreach

 

 

RESOURCES AND REFERENCES

 * Data compiled from Jane Doe Inc., the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, and the 2010 National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey.

** Centers of Disease Control 2003

*** Swanberg and Logan 2005

**** DISCLAIMER (MASO does not and cannot make endorsements of candidates, we nonetheless work closely with other abuse organizations as well as various branches of government at the state and federal levels) Information supplied by Protect Mass Children.

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month

Posted by MASO on September 25, 2012 at 8:30 PM Comments comments (0)


By: MASO Staff

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month , which wasstarted by a courageous group of advocates who came together for a Day of Unityin 1981.  From there, the first DomesticViolence Awareness Month was observed in October 1987. These courageousindividuals are now recognized as The National Coalition Against DomesticViolence. 

 

On Sept. 13, 1994, the passage of the landmark bill, theViolence Against Women Act (VAWA) was born. As a result domestic violence wasno longer a dirty family secret.  Sincethis bill was passed, there have been many significant changes in our society’sunderstanding of and response to violence against women.  As a result hundreds of thousands of victimshave had their lives forever changed.

 

Statistically, one in every four women fall victim to abuse.Take a moment and think … how many women do you know personally? Statistically,that is how many of the people YOU know who may have been victimized. As asociety we have an enormous responsibility to continue our efforts to endviolence against women, children and men.  We can no longer afford to turna blind eye to abuse because it did not happen to you or it did not happen toyour child. This affects ALL our children and the CO$T by ignoring the problemis all too great.

 

Sadly too many continue to be victimized.  With all the strides we have made since thepassage of the VAWA, more still needs to be done. Domestic Violence is still atepidemic levels in this country and takes on all shapes and forms and caninclude physical abuse, child abuse, sex abuse, gaslighting, emotional abuse,psychological abuse, stalking, bullying, and economic abuse.

 

Child abuse alone has doubled in the state of Massachusettsin the last 10 years while utilizing a reduced amount of resources availablethan before.


From President Obama’s proclamation in October 2011, he states the effects of domestic violence, especially onyoung people and children:


… The ramifications of domestic violence are staggering. Young women areamong the most vulnerable, suffering the highest rates of intimate partnerviolence. Exposure to domestic violence puts our young men and women in dangerof long-term physical, psychological, and emotional harm. Children whoexperience domestic violence are at a higher risk for failure in school, emotionaldisorders, and substance abuse, and are more likely to perpetuate the cycle ofviolence themselves later in life.


For more information from the White House, please visit thislink: http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2011/10/05/october-national-domestic-violence-awareness-month

 

YOU can make adifference.  We are asking for your helpto combat this problem.

In October, help spread the awareness, by hosting an eventto raise awareness. You can also host a yard sale in support of this cause.Choose a domestic violence organization you wish any of the proceeds to bedonated and ask the supporting organizations to send you information todistribute at your events. Alone we can not end abuse, but together we arestrong. Together we are a united voice. Together we CAN end abuse.

 

This is also a great way to engage your children in adiscussion about abuse.  Include yourchildren by having them do an age tailored art project to be displayed at theyard sale or event. Help us break the cycles for the future of all ourchildren.

 

If you would like to be involved, email us [email protected] com.


 

 

Breaking The Generational Cycle of Abuse

Posted by MASO on August 7, 2012 at 7:25 AM Comments comments (4)


By: MASO Staff

It breaks my heart to read and hear so many stories of victims of abuse whether child abuse, domestic abuse, sex abuse, or systemic abuse. It is difficult enough to hear the stories of a child victimized by a perpetrator and the desperate pleas for help. It is even more devastating to witness the parent who was a victim themself either discredit their child's abuse or makes attempts to normalize it.

 

I had a talk the other day with a teenager whose friend was sexually abused. As a direct result of the child reporting the abuse, her friend’s family disowned her and this young girl is facing "the system" alone. Granted the perpetrator is facing the courts and a family member in law enforcement faces termination for failing to report. However, to the victim, it pales in comparison to the feelings of abandonment of the unsupportive family to this child victim.

 

When I mentioned the importance of a support system and a clear pathway to healing, she said "she doesn't want it" because the mother who was sexually abused too by someone in the same family disowned her. She just wants it over. Unfortunately, it will not be over, until those other things are matched. Even when the “system” is done, there usually remains an emptiness unless true healing is obtained. It is very disheartening to hear such stories.

 

My words to the children out there who are being abused, you have nothing to hide. You have nothing to be ashamed about. The person or persons who victimized and/or violated you are the ones who need to be held accountable. Not you. There are people out there who do care about you … who want to be there for you … who want to help you heal … and in my opinion, are angels on earth. Have faith and trust in yourself when all else fails and stick to the truth. Always.

 

My words to especially those Parents who were victims of abuse yourself, you out of anyone should know the feelings of isolation and the courage to come forward despite the numerous threats made to the victim to keep quiet or else. How dare you subject your own children to the same fate. You claim you got over it. Clearly not, because your child desperately needs you yet you abandoned them.

 

Please .... for your sake as well as your child .... love them ... support them ... BE their rock .... BE the person you needed at your time of need that was not there. By helping your child heal, you help break the cycle of abuse. You help save your future grandchildren from going through the same experiences and fate. Have the courage if not for yourself, but for your future generations to come.

 

God knows how difficult life may have been for you and the horrible experiences you endured. It is ok to cry. It is ok to feel the pain. It is ok to say what happened to you was wrong. It is ok to grieve. It is ok to finally have enough and move past it. Then let go and let God. Please do not make your child suffer the same fate. Please do not tell your child get over it, because you turned out fine. If that were true, your child would not be alone going through the pain of being violated and re-victimized by the very people who were supposed to keep them safe.

 

You cannot change what you cannot acknowledge. Talking and truly healing from your own abuses you endured in the past is a start. Confronting your abuser in an appropriate manner with the help of a professional can help you release the invisible ties that bind you. Then BE the one light in the darkness your child needs. Do not make them go through this alone. Remember, when you were in their shoes, how desperate you felt just to have someone believe you without judging or condemning you.

 

Finally, to the parent who supports your child regardless of the claims, may you continue to shine brightly in the world as a pillar of strength to all around you. May the rest of the world stand by you and flock to your side. May you find the voice to be one that breaks the silence. May the truth prevail. May true justice be served and true healing begin.

 

As a society, we must learn to protect the victim and not the offending abuser. "Alone we are weak ... Together we are strong.”

 

For More Information:

MASO ~ Massachusetts Survivors Outreach

Research ~ Advocating ~ Holistic Healing For Victims of Abuse

617-870-1040

Email: [email protected]

Website: www.masso.webs.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/MassachusettsSurvivorsOutreach


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