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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.

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.

Call the Governor and ask him to support legislation that PROTECTS our children and not REPEAT offenders. 617.725.4005.

Posted by MASO on July 31, 2012 at 8:05 AM Comments comments (0)

PLEASE CALL THE GOVERNOR's OFFICE TODAY!!!!!!!!!!!!

 

Tell Governor Deval Patrick to stop playing games with our children's lives. ... We do NOT want more future Melissa's Bills added because he chose to protect REPEAT offenders and pedophiles. How many more children have to maimed, abused, or killed for protections to be put in place for them.?

 

To oppose bills like Melissa's Bill so he can give judges MORE "discretion"?

 

We have seen what "judicial discretion" has done for victims of abuse in family courts and now he wants it in criminal courts? .... It has allowed victims to continue to be abused by the very system designed to protect them at an escalating epidemic unprecedented cost to Massachusetts’s taxpayers.

 

Reported child abuse has doubled in Massachusetts since he became Governor. Who is Deval protecting? Victims or abusers?

Call the Governor's office and ask him to support legislation that PROTECTS our citizens and children and not the offenders. 617.725.4005.

 

For more information about MASO and the research we are currently conducting on domestic abuse in the legal system, health care system as well the socioeconomic impacts by failing to stop abuse, please visit our website at http://www.masso.webs.com or our facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/MassachusettsSurvivorsOutreach

Raffle and Silent Auction Items

Posted by MASO on May 21, 2012 at 4:00 PM Comments comments (0)

Below is a list of our raffle items and silent auction items for our upcoming fundraising event on June 14, 2012 in Quincy, MA. You do not have to be present to participate. Authorizations for bidding and raffle ticket purchases can be made in advance.  Please contact us for details. Items include the following:

 

SILENT AUCTION ITEMS -

  • #1 - Oil Painting titled "North River" by local artist Katherine Bennett. The painting measures 11 by 14 inches unframed, and about 16 by 20 inches framed. (Value $400).  Bio:  Katherine Bennett is a single mother of four who grew up in a family of painters, but shelved her early passion for paintingto raise young children and build a life. She currently writes the column"Changing Lanes" for the Hingham Journal in addition to acceptingfreelance work. Her love of oil painting was reignited as a means of healing from trauma. Thememories are in the past, but the gift of having painting as a means ofexpression remains. Currently, Katherine studies with William St George (of StGeorge Gallery, Boston) and accepts commissions for both portraits andlandscapes. She can be reached at [email protected]  

Starting bid: $150.00  ~ TO BID REMOTELY, Please click here.


RAFFLE ITEMS - Ticket prices are as $5.00 each or three (3) for $10.00 OR ten (10) for $20.00. Absentee raffle purchases, please list item in which you want your raffles to go to. Those who are present, may place their purchased tickets in the bucket of your choice. 

  • Raffle Item #1 - Ticket to Ride by South Shore native and local DonHussey (Value $18.95) - In this unflinchingly honest memoir, military man,public school teacher, successful entrepreneur and candidate for the U.S.Congress Don Hussey describes in rich detail how he outwitted the odds to bringhome his “ticket to ride.”  For everyobstacle, he found a solution and moved on…until one day in 1965 when he wasstopped cold in his tracks, confronted by the one accident of fate that no onecould ever be prepared for. How he responded to it is the triumph overadversity that has come to define him.  website.


  • Raffle Item #2 – Kinerase Skin Care package by MedSpaNew England, LLC.  Kinerase Skin Cleanser, Anti-aging samplings, and travel bag. (Value $50)  Kinease® is a science-based cosmetic product that helps skin look and feel smoother, younger and healthier. Kinerase is made with the synthetic plant growth factor, N6-furfuryladenine, which has been shown to slow the changes that naturally occur in the cell-aging process in plants. Kinerase helps to diminish the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles and, at the same time, provides superior moisturization for all skin types. Kinerase is available in cream or lotion formulations and is both non-comedogenic (so Kinerase won't clog your pores) and hypoallergenic (so Kinerase is unlikely to cause an allergic reaction). Website


  • Raffle Item #3 - One Half hour reiki session with Laura Healing With Spirit and Two FREE Yoga Classes at Open Doors - 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.  For more information, please visit her website. (Value $35)  The Open Doors approach to the practice of yoga is built around health on many levels. We understand that people experience changes throughout their lives and that yoga is one vehicle that can drive change down a positive path. Open Doors remains a solid organization which continues with the original vision of its founder, established nearly twenty years ago. Website.  


  • Raffle Item #4 - 30 minute reading with with Laura Healing With Spirit.  Readings can be either tarot card readings or mediumship readings.  For more information, please visit her website. (Value $45)


  • Raffle Item #5 - $25 Gift Card to the Clam Box - Located on Wallaston Beach in Quincy, the Clam Box has been a local favorite since 1968. They are a casual restaurant where you can eat in or take out.  Enjoy their famous clams, large selection of seafood, chicken, steak tips, burgers, hot dogs and more! Beer and wine also available for dine in patrons. Website


  • Raffle Item #6 - 40 Minute life reading by Rev. Rita Berkowitz - (value $140) - Rita has impressed large audiences throughout the world. She is the author of "Empowering Your Life With Angels" and co-author of "The Complete Idiot's Guide to Communicating with Spirits".  The Life reading - Collaborating between your guides and hers, Rita will use the tarot to format a reading about your past, present, and future life. Website


  • Raffle Item #7 - $25 Gift Card to The Fours Restaurant.  - The Four's Restaurant and Sports Bar has been a Boston Tradition since 1976. One of the country's first sports pubs, The Four's is known for fine food and great service. Voted the #1 Sports Bar by Sports Illustrated. With locations in Boston, Norwell and Quincy. Website

 

  • Raffle Item #8 - Sea Inspired soaps and Lotions by Back Porch Soap, Co.  Value $50 - Back Porch Soap Co. was founded in 1998 by Marla Bosworth, retail and beauty industry expert and analyst. She is a Massachusetts resident who is inspired daily by life in and around Duxbury Bay, Cape Cod and anywhere her travels take her.  About Marla's products: every bath and body product on our website is handmade by Back Porch Soap Co.. They use the finest ingredients sourced from all over the world. They import shea butter from Ghana, West Africa; essential oils from Indonesia and Bulgaria; and their gift sets use natural, sustainable, packaging solutions that supports small businesses in Thailand. All of their products are completely vegan ~ and they do not test on animals - and they use organic ingredients when available. Website

 

  • Raffle Item #9 - Two FREE Psychic Readings at Open Doors - Open Doors began as a small metaphysical book & gift store and learning in 1992, located in Braintree, MA. Founder Richard Lanza, was a practicing psychic, energy healer, and acupuncturist for many years and sought to create a center where individuals could find a safe and comfortable haven to explore non-traditional pathways for personal growth and transformation. The center sold holistic products, as well as offering free energy healing sessions, intuitive readings, drumming circles, and Kundalini yoga classes. Website


  • Raffle Item #10 -  Tastefully Simple Gourmet Food Basket (Value $114.99) - Bountiful Beer Bread Mix-value pack; Garlic Garlic; Onion Onion; Seasoned Salt; Balsamic & Basil Dipping Oil; Essential 4 Recipe Booklet; Bring the Party (Sunny Strawberry Margarita Mix - add water & tequila & freeze; Giddy Up Guacamole Mix; & rimming sugar); Italian Garlic Bread Seasoning;  Bayou Bourbon Glaze;  29 Minute Citrus Marinade;  Honey Apple Grill Sauce & Garden Veggie Dip Mix.

 


13 Families Violated by ONE Massachusetts Family Court Judge and growing

Posted by MASO on September 10, 2011 at 3:40 PM Comments comments (0)

Help us help you ... Please take our Massachusetts Protective Parent Survey


Right now there have been 13 families that have come forward desperately seeking help and for justice.  In Massachusetts, the system is failing to protect mothers and children from abuse and corruption is widespread.


Why 13? Why not? There are many many more cases but I do not have their information. Some are too afraid. Some we don’t know. There is NO transparency in the Massachusetts family courts with certain judges granting custody to well documented abusers - judges who abuse discretion, abuse their power for personal agenda and for abusers to continue their domestic abuse by proxy and commit moral turpitude8. I am sure with an audit or investigation, you will find thousands of victims.


Why 13?  They are cases that came to us and fell in our lap. ALL share close similarities that reflect patterns of a systemic bias against victims of abuse. There are so many more cases in Massachusetts in general, but because there is NO transparency in family court, not to mention the repercussions to our own families we have endured as a result of the little information we have gathered so far.

 

Here is a bullet outline of what is happening in Massachusetts to hopefully make it easier to understand.  Abusers have a canny way of muddying the waters so the average person, can't see what is in front of them:

What do these cases share?

  • About The judge
  • Other Massachusetts Facts
  • Why me? 
  • How I got involved
  • About me outside my case
  • Resources and More Information

Please visit Blogger for the complete article

Massachusetts Protective Parents Survey

Posted by MASO on September 10, 2011 at 3:25 PM Comments comments (0)

You are invited to participate in a study of "protective parents," that is, parents who have encountered difficulties in child custody cases after attempting to protect their children from abuse.

 

There is evidence of an increase in negative labeling of parents who report child abuse or domestic violence.  Several high profile cases have led to increased public attention to this problem, and debates have erupted between groups supporting alleged perpetrators of abuse, and groups supporting the reporting parents.

 

This questionnaire is part of a national survey by M.A.S.S.O.  The goal of the study is to document and explore the phenomenon of parents attempting to protect their children.  The survey includes a range of allegations; a variety of types of expert examinations, diagnoses and testimony;  responses by family court and other agencies; and outcomes for the children.

 

Your participation will help make this study a success.  Your participation is completely voluntary, and you may choose to complete the questionnaire either anonymously or on a confidential basis.  If you wish to remain anonymous, please exclude all personal information at the top of the survey.

 

If you are willing to include personal identifying information, this information will remain confidential, in a locked file, accessible only to the directors of the study. You may indicate at the end of the questionnaire if you are willing to be contacted to provide further information or clarification, or be included in the next phase of the study that will include a more detailed review of selected cases.  You will not be contacted unless you

give permission, and then only by the investigators of the study, as the information you provide will be held in the strictest confidence.

 

This questionnaire asks detailed questions about your custody case. The answers to all questions are voluntary and you may discontinue completion of the questionnaire if you find recalling the information to be too emotionally distressing.  If you wish to discuss feelings that may arise during completion of the survey with a support person, you may contact us through Facebook.

 

Thank you for your assistance in this important study.

Please visit Facebook to complete the study or click here to take it directly. Please have your court information such as docket number handy.  Thank you.

Massachusetts Resources For Victims of Abuse

Posted by MASO on September 10, 2011 at 3:20 PM Comments comments (0)

Please visit our blogger page for a list of resources for organizations fighting for victims of abuse in Massachusetts.

Some provide services. Some provide advocacy.  Some are working with larger organizations on the problem of abuse as a whole.

There are national organizations, Massachusetts organizations, & Massachusetts legal information.