A friend just sent me a link to a news story Kare 11 did where reporters Belinda Jensen and Julie Nelson take a self-defense class with retired Navy Seal, Al Horner. They cut to a story of a woman who was attacked on vacation with a machete.
HOLD THE PRESSES!
This is a joke; right Belinda? It’s not April Fools yet and you’re pulling my leg here to call this value based reporting. This is a fluff piece and I’ll show you why.
Planning For A Flood In The Desert
Al Horner’s website says:
About 80% of assaults on girls and women are by a man she knows. These men are typically friends, relatives, neighbors, coaches, teachers, or other men she thinks she can trust.
The Kare 11 news “story” completely avoids the issue of domestic abuse and unwanted advances by men you know.
So why does Kare11 spend the entire segment focusing on the 20% of men who “could” attack women?
Every woman shown could be experiencing abuse at home.
Kare11 isn’t serious about delivering news that could save your life.
Real Life Domestic Abuse
I had a friend who was stabbed multiple times in her chest by her boyfriend. My friend knew each other from high school and were dating two older guys in their 20′s who had their own apartment. Nothing too dramatical happened during this period past regular arguments between boyfriend/girlfriends over where to eat and which movie to see. I stopped dating that guy and lost touch with my friend.
When I saw her 5+ years later in downtown Minneapolis (I think it was St. Patrick’s day 2001), she could only whisper because when he’d stabbed her, her lungs had been damaged. She was about my age, 24. The saddest part of this for me was that her mother and her were asking the judge for leniency.
I have also honked my horn and pulled over my car to call the police when I saw a domestic dispute on the street.
I have been the victim of domestic abuse as well. For those of you who know me, my struggle to break free has been a difficult one but I’ve made it and I am rebuilding my life.
Thank you to all those people out there who helped me, supported me and encouraged me to go after my dreams. I am so grateful that I was able to share what was going on.
I not only received help and understanding, other women began telling me their own stories of assault, stalking and dangerous relationships. I finally understood I was not alone. I received acceptance and acknowledgement from people I knew and those I provided computer consulting services for.
For a long time, I was really ashamed about it all and kept it a secret. Feeling like it was my fault, I had to be the one to “fix” it. Finally, I knew I was in too much danger to stay and moved out three days after the assault in 2006.
What Al Horner Thought On The Kare11 Segment
I contacted Al Horner via his website to get his feedback on this to see what he thought about the “chop shop” job Kare11 did to create the segment. He didn’t seem upset, bothered or concerned that the most important concepts stressed on his website (and I would think in his book) were not covered. Maybe he’s just into selling books vs making a difference to help women stay safe. I was disappointed in his response.
The Smallest Victims
Children suffer from domestic violence. When children see violence in the home, they can suffer emotionally and psychologically. They often experience feelings of guilt, anxiety and become more at risk to develop drug or alcohol abuse problems later.
In the Media
Photo Credit: Photos8.com
You can search on Twitter for Rihanna and Chris Brown using #hastags. I didn’t feel Twitter would be a good medium to communicate about domestic abuse since you only have 140 characters BUT, it’s important to note how much buzz there was about this subject:
Photo Credit: utpal.
National Domestic Violence Hotline – 1-800-799-7233
How to Recognize Domestic Abuse – Mayo Clinic
Violence Against Women International website – United Nations
How you can help
In Your Home - Talk to your kids about domestic violence. Develop and encourage conflict resolution. Take heated arguments outside of the home. Don’t lay your hands on your partner. Get counseling. Go through a workplan on discussing domestic violence with boys and young men.
Locally - Volunteer at local women’s shelters like Womens Advocates in St. Paul, MN to help women or the kids recover and adjust. Domestic abuse isn’t “planned” so women often find themselves in a bad spot with resources like money, housing, transportation and employment. Find out about services that help women heal after abuse like the Domestic Abuse Project (DAP). Speak up if you see or hear abuse. Don’t blame the victim. Believe her when she tells you.
Nationally – Vote for laws that protect abused women like Rhode Island’s fair housing law that protects against discrimination if you were the victim of domestic abuse. Specifically, Minnesota does not consider abused women to be a class protected from discrimination. Donate to causes like Stop Violence Against Women (SVAW) which advocate for women’s rights.
Photo Credit:riot jane
Each year in the United States, more than 4 million women are assaulted , often by people they know – National Academies InFocus
Women who have been sexually assaulted by strangers are more likely to report the assault to the police but are less likely to report it if they know the perpetrator – Violence Against Women
Stand up, Step in – Empowered Bystanders Make a Difference!
Students at North Carolina University created this video, “Bystander Interventions” where they act out a scene from a party where a young man spikes the drink of a girl so he can take advantage of her and actions you can take to stop a situation like this.
[youtube width="500" height="400"]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RL8kgZt5NPk[/youtube]
Real Shows Speak Up On Domestic Violence
Thank God Oprah is stepping up to raise awareness about domestic abuse in the mainstream media. I guess Kare11 will pretend that everything is perfect where they live and no one forgets to water their lawn or smack up their wife behind closed doors.
Before you send this to a woman you know
One thing I wasn’t aware of was that women who are in marriages or relationships with abusive men face an unseen danger with using computers in the home. Their partners often keep a record of their surfing history and some have even installed GPS devices to track women. Since I was the “techie”, I didn’t worry about this. Sarah Deer educated me on these issues in 2007 when I went to do computer work on site at her nonprofit. She is a Victim Advocacy and Legal Specialist for the Tribal Policy & Law Institute.
Writing this, it looks like government is passing legislation that will allow GPS devices to be attached to the ABUSER’s car instead!
When I visited the National Domestic Violence Hotline’s website, I got the following pop up message.
Safety Alert: Computer users can be monitored and it is impossible to completely clear. If you are afraid your internet and/or computer usage might be monitored, please use a safer computer, and/or call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) or TTY 1-800-787-3224. If you are viewing our site and need to quickly get away to an unrelated site, click the escape button in the top right corner and you will be redirected. Please test these features on your computer RIGHT NOW to ensure they work.
I think most people cannot imagine being in mortal danger…especially from someone who said they love you. It’s quite terrifying and stressful.
The safest way to talk to someone about this is to ask them to meet you somewhere public, outside of their home.
Good luck and be safe. I wish you the best!