Sunday, October 23, 2011

Red Flags for Abusive Relationships

Here are some red flags from relationships, picked from this list.

  • Your partner blames you for how they treat you, or anything bad that happens
  • Your partner puts people down, including your family and friends
  • Your partner tries to isolate you; control who you see/where you go
  • Your partner coerces you into having sex
  • Your partner cheats on you
  • Your partner is physically rough with you
  • Your partner does not listen to you or show interest in your opinions or feelings
  • Your partner ignores you or gives you the silent treatment
  • Your partner tells you how to dress or act
  • Your partner blames all arguments and problems on you
  • Your partner threatens to kill themselves if you break up with them
  • Your partner calls you names or puts you down

October Update

Last week, I took the driving test twice. And failed twice. Both times because of "critical driving errors" that cause automatic fails. That was no fun, but hopefully in the next few weeks I'll have time to go again and third time will be the charm?

This weekend, we took the kids to the Kidspace Museum's Pumpkin Festival in Pasadena. So much fun! The kids got to decorate pumpkins, eat candy, decorate cookies, get their hair colored, play carnival games and win prizes, play on bouncy houses, play in the museum, face painting, tattoos... there was so much going on and the kids loved it!

4 members of Casa DK were not around this weekend, meaning it was just me, Sonia and Hayden. We enjoyed ourselves and are super bonded now ;) Really all we did was hang out and watch movies. We did go to the Verb homecoming game for a while too on Saturday night, but left after we got cold and hungry.

What else has happened...

Urban Compass is already in full swing celebrating Halloween. We bought a lot of Halloween crafts from Oriental Trading and they have been a hit with the kids. We also have done even lower budget crafts such as making ghosts out of paper plates and streamers. This week we'll be decorating pictures of pumpkins.

We're very busy getting ready for our big annual gala coming up on November 5th. I think it is absolutely going to be a success.

Next weekend, we are headed to San Diego for the Halloween party. The week after is our area visit with our program coordinator, Andrew. That weekend is the gala, Jackie's parents will be in town and so will SAMAR, who I am very excited to see :) And then we'll be heading in to November... Thanksgiving in Phoenix, then Dad and David will be visiting beginning of December! The Urban Compass Holiday Party mid-December, and then I will finish out the year back in Texas. It's crazy how fast this year is going by...

Why I Hate Twilight

There's plenty of reasons people are and aren't fans of Twilight. Mine are mostly to do with dating violence.

First of all, I don't see the appeal of vampires--they are inherently violent and must weaken others to feel stronger. Why is it sexy that someone wants to kill you?? In Twilight, Bella's complete lack of concern for her safety is seriously disturbing. Edward tells her he wants her blood, and she is blinded by love that he won't hurt her.

Which is a seriously not okay message to be sending. If a guy tells you he wants to hurt you, even under the guise of "love"--get out. It is not a healthy relationship.

Bella and Edward's relationship is a model of the typical codependent relationship, under the veil of romance. Bella doesn't seem to have the self-preservation instinct when it comes to being in love with a vampire. She believes that Edward would never hurt her, even though he has told her that she should be scared of him. Bella also has nothing else going on in her life besides her boyfriend, the sparkly vampire, teaching that having a boyfriend is the only thing that is important.

Edward is always very possessive of Bella, which is a red flag in relationships. Yes, relationships involve a certain amount of commitment and accountability, but thinking you have the right to know who your partner is with, where they are, what they're doing, at all times... is not okay. People have lives outside of their relationships--which is part of a healthy person and a healthy relationship.

When Edward leaves her, she attempts suicide. Yes, breakups can suck, but this shows that she was entirely too dependent on him, that she would get to this point.

At the heart of it is a love story, so I see why people like it. But it has such disturbing elements in it, that I can never support it. (Other reasons I don't like it: not very good writing and sexist)

Not to make this Harry Potter vs Twilight, but I love this:

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Cindi Santana

Yesterday I read the news about Cindi Santana, a teenager killed by her boyfriend. What's even worse is that she was actually killed on school grounds.

Stories like this one are why I work against intimate partner violence, especially dating violence. The LA Board of Education has approved a resolution to expand programs preventing dating violence, as of yesterday. 

How many times does it have to get to the point of murder before school districts realize that we need prevention programs? The ones that exist only do because of a high profile case in their area. For once, I wish we could focus on prevention before it's too late.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Articles related to Domestic Violence

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month

Here's some articles I've read recently:

Durham Fights Domestic Violence Deaths

First Dating Abuse Texting Service Launches

Letter from the President of NDVH

Domestic Violence and the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills

A Call to the Hotline

Driving Lessons

Most people know... I don't have a driver's license. I took driver's ed with everyone else in high school, did the behind the wheel training and got my learner's permit when I was 15... but then I decided I didn't like driving very much. I was so nervous and tense that when I got out of the car, my whole body ached. I didn't want to drive, so I didn't very often. I didn't practice, and once the time had passed that I could take the driving test, I wasn't ready and didn't really care.

I got away without it since I lived so close to everywhere I needed to go and just walked a lot or bummed rides from my friends and parents. When I went to college, I wouldn't have had a car anyway so I figured out the bus system. The summer after my freshman year, I figured I should work on driving again, so I renewed my learner's permit (which expired when I turned 18). I never practiced. A year and a half later and that one expired too. The last few years I've managed through the bus system, my friends and family to get places. Not having a driver's license was definitely a challenge, but I kept figuring I wouldn't have had a car anyway and always tried to be as mindful as possible when asking for rides.

Then this year--I figured I'd be riding the bus again. I'm used to it and I actually do enjoy it. I love meeting different people on the bus and having that time to read or listen to music. With our situation, Verbum Dei allows us use of a car for us to carpool to work, so I haven't had to ride the bus as much. And then it came out that I kindasorta needed a license for my job which, through some miscommunication before my hiring, had not come up previously. I had always figured I would get my license eventually, and apparently eventually is now.

I got my THIRD learner's permit at the end of August and have been practicing driving since then, with the aim of having a license by October 22nd, our first field trip. Driving has been going really well--fortunately in 5 years, some of the nervousness has worn off and it's definitely feeling more comfortable. I would not say I particularly enjoy driving, but I haven't hated it as much as I used to either. Soooooo... I scheduled my driving test for next Friday. And I'm freaking out about it. But third time's the charm, right?

Monday, October 3, 2011

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month, so I plan to post often about IPV this month. Many of you know that I am very passionate about preventing intimate partner violence. IPV is a more inclusive term to include relationships that aren't necessarily "domestic" in nature, yet still intimate. There will be a little of everything: information on resources, red flags, statistics, photos, stories, reflections, news articles, my own research...

Here's some facts to start us off:

  • Domestic violence is not confined to any one socioeconomic, ethnic, religious, racial or age group and knows no geographic or educational boundaries. It also occurs within teenage relationships and among same-sex partnerships.

  • About one out of every four women in America will be physically assaulted or raped by an intimate partner at some point in their lives. In fact, American women are more likely to be assaulted, injured, raped or killed by a male partner than by any other type of assailant.

  • Estimates of assaults on women by partners range from approximately 2 million to 4 million annually in the United States.