ABUSE - THE FACTS
By Nora Amrani




March 18, 2009
Why are any of you surprised about Rhianna being beaten up by Chris Brown? For years my generation (I'm in my 50s) complained about rap music (gangsta), their lyrics and treatment of women as being horrible role models. Women were treated like dogs and Chris Brown biting Rhianna is proof of that. Women in many music videos are property, they are called ho's, are only there for sex and bling, and are abused. Why are you surprised that more than one generation (but especially the young one now) doesn't find violence against women shocking? Indeed, some think Rhianna deserved it! Nobody deserves abuse! I think we have to hold the entertainment and advertising industries accountable for some of this, and parents, schools, and communities for the rest of it. Do you how that hundreds of thousands of women each year IN AMERICA are raped? Have you noticed the rise of murder against women and children? Come on - this is seriously wrong. May I remind everyone that you are alive because of a woman who carried you for 9 months and gave birth to you, and most women raise their children - often alone? Respect women because women give life and nurturing. If you don't respect women, you don't respect yourself or your life.

This abuse is indicative of a much larger issue of disrespect across the board. We see it everywhere in how people treat one another from people loudly talking on cell phones letting everyone hear their foul language and private business, to the inability of a company to know how to handle customer service. I personally feel that this began with the Reagen era in Washington and reached its peak during the Bush Administration, with their cockey and threatening attitudes, their lack of respect for others. Now we see it in politics in the Democratic Party, and the rudeness and corruption went full throttle during the past election. Women still don't get equal pay for the same jobs men do. Women often take work because they have to, not because they want to. Then, there are women who have such low self-esteem they'll cop to anything, and not care. So why is anybody surprised? It's being allowed.

Respect must have a comeback in schools, in homes, in the workplace. Common decency and kindness, compassion. Abuse in any form is NOT love.

WHAT IS ABUSE?

Sometimes it is hard and confusing to admit that you are in an abusive relationship, or to find a way out. There are clear signs to help you know if you are being abused. If the person you love or live with (or friend or foe) does any of these things to you, it's time to get help:

monitors what you're doing all the time
criticizes you for little things
constantly accuses you of being unfaithful
prevents or discourages you from seeing friends or family, or going to work or school
gets angry when drinking alcohol or using drugs
controls how you spend your money
controls your use of needed medicines
humiliates you in front of others
destroys your property or things that you care about
threatens to hurt you, the children, or pets, or does hurt you (by hitting, beating, pushing, shoving, punching, slapping, kicking, or biting)
uses or threatens to use a weapon against you
forces you to have sex against your will
blames you for his or her violent outbursts

"You're so stupid. You never do anything right!"
Violence Against Women - What is Abuse.

Emotional and verbal abuse, attempts to isolate, threaten or intimidate can harm you, even if you are not being abused physically. Moreover, emotional and verbal abuse often are a sign that physical abuse will follow.

Some examples of emotional and verbal abuse include:
yelling
criticizing (and that doesn't mean a healthy discussion sharing differences in opinion)
name-calling
blaming you for everything
playing mind games or manipulating you
ordering you around
keeping you from spending time with friends and family
threatening to hurt you

No one deserves to be abused, physically or verbally. Abuse is not fun, nor funny.

BULLYING & CYBERBULLYING

Bullying is aggressive behavior that is intentional and involves an imbalance of power or strength. Usually, it is repeated over time. Traditionally, bullying has involved actions such as: hitting or punching (physical bullying), teasing or name-calling (verbal bullying), or intimidation through gestures or social exclusion. In recent years, technology has given children and youth a new means of bullying each other. (If you want to avoid cyberbullying, don't go to ncn.org's web site. They permit the abuse of women there and don't take responsibility for that, or for women receiving death threats by it's members.)

Cyber bullying, which is sometimes referred to as online social cruelty or electronic bullying, (we've often seen this here, too) can involve: Sending mean, vulgar, or threatening messages or images; Posting sensitive, private information about another person; Pretending to be someone else in order to make that person look bad; Intentionally excluding someone from an online group (Willard, 2005).

I think, though, that excluding someone from an online group happens all the time on web sites that have private chat rooms. It can be beneficial to exclude someone from an online group if that person has been behaving or speaking inappropriately, verbally abusing others. You don't resolve it by punishing the victims of abuse and rewarding the abuser (unless, of course, there is something within a person that resonates to abuse and therefore supports it) - in which case there will be no positive change.

Cyberbulling can be done through:
E-mails,
Instant messaging,
Text or digital imaging messages sent on cell phones,
Web pages,
Web logs (blogs),
Chat rooms or discussion groups, and
Other information communication technologies.

How common is cyber bullying?

Although little research has been conducted on cyber bullying, recent studies have found that: 18% of students in grades 6-8 said they had been cyberbullied at least once in the last couple of months; and 6% said it had happened to them 2 or more times (Kowalski et al., 2005). 11% of students in grades 6-8 said they had cyberbullied another person at least once in the last couple of months, and 2% said they had done it two or more times (Kowalski et al., 2005). 19% of regular Internet users between the ages of 10 and 17 reported being involved in online aggression; 15% had been aggressors, and 7% had been targets (3% were both aggressors and targets) (Ybarra & Mitchell, 2004). 17% of 6-11 year-olds and 36% of 12-17-year-olds reported that someone said threatening or embarrassing things about them through e-mail, instant messages, web sites, chat rooms, or text messages (Fight Crime: Invest in Kids, 2006).

Cyber bullying has increased in recent years. In nationally representative surveys of 10-17 year-olds, twice as many children and youth indicated that they had been victims and perpetrators of online harassment in 2005 compared with 1999/2000 (Wolak, Mitchell, & Finkelhor, 2006).

Who are the victims and perpetrators of cyber bullying?

In a recent study of students in grades 6-8 (Kowalski et al., 2005): Girls were about twice as likely as boys to be victims and perpetrators of cyber bullying. Of those students who had been cyberbullied relatively frequently (at least twice in the last couple of months):
62% said that they had been cyberbullied by another student at school, and 46% had been cyberbullied by a friend.
55% didn't know who had cyberbullied them.

Of those students who admitted cyber bullying others relatively frequently: 60% had cyberbullied another student at school, and 56% had cyberbullied a friend. Contact the police immediately if known or suspected cyber bullying involves acts such as: Threats of violence
Extortion
Obscene or harassing phone calls or text messages
Harassment, stalking, or hate crimes
Child pornography
Stop Bullying Now.

Bullying and abuse, which frequently leads to physical violence, is probably the biggest social issue of our times. Abused children grow up to be abusive adults. They feel no love for themselves, feel unworthy and powerless. We must break this old pattern and heal it if we are to move forward for a better life, or a "new civilization". Get help.



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