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Boston Tragedy Takes its Toll Physically and Emotionally

 

 The unexpected traumatic experience of the two powerful bombs exploding at the finish line of the Boston Marathon yesterday shattered assumptions about safety for many, which could lead to and potentially contribute to the development of widespread Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD.)  

 
When I saw the horror on the faces of onlookers as the scenes of chaos unfold on Bolyston Street, it took me back to the attacks of 9/11 and then to my sexual assault and robbery that occurred in hotel Room 939.
 
Unfortunately, I left my PTSD untreated for 20 years, which ultimately led to anxiety, panic, and fear.  Clinical studies suggest that when the stress hormone cortisol remains chronically elevated, it may induce clinical depression, which it did in my case.
Therefore, it’s important to face PTSD and not leave it untreated.  Learn more about coping with post trauma at the US Dept. of Veterans Affairs.

Why do we make a mound out of a molehill?

Every day on my walk with our dog Gucci, I pass this mound of fertilizer on the edge of a field behind our home.


As we make our way around the mound, that steady verse of “making a mound out of a molehill,” comes to mind. Often during the remainder of my walk I am reminded of the struggles in our lives becoming a mound. “Why?” I ask out loud. And the answer always returns with undeniable truth. We allow ourselves to magnify problems leading to exaggerating the emotional shape of a situation. In truth, we accentuate the negative, instead of the positive.

The next time your life presents you with a mound, look for the possibilities of strident steps toward discovery and recovery. To do so gives us the freedom to choose the good, instead of the bad.  Releasing that power fills our lives with hope instead of hopelessness.


Life Lessons from the Soccer Field

My daughter, Allison, (the one in the white jersey), has played soccer since 2nd grade.  It’s her passion.   As I have taken photos of her battling her opponents during her 12th grade year, I realized there are life lessons to be learned from her mastery on the field.
Live Boldly.
John Wayne once said, “Courage is being scared to death, but saddling up anyway.” No matter how fearful they are, bold people take action in the presence of fear.  God is our partner and will give us extraordinary strength to accomplish our goals.
Keep your eye on the prize.
Satan works hard to make us lose our focus.  He tells us lies like, “You’re going to be a failure.”  He even magnifies our past failures to distract us from where we want to go.  Instead, think about the confidence God has in you.  He will direct your path and even place others in the journey to help you succeed. 
Practice Persistence.
Many times in my life I have fallen flat on my face because of suffering and pain.  The question is will we give up because of the mishap or draw upon our trust in God to provide us the determination to get the job done.  No matter if it takes 100 attempts, God is there cheering on your effort.
Empower Each Other.
There is nothing like the power of sisterhood.  As we encourage and support one another, there is nothing that can deter us from reaching our goals when we turn up the estrogen and energize each other.   It turns the attitude of “I can’t” into “WE CAN.”  


A Safety Tip from Sexual Assault Survivor Jenny Lynn Anderson

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ejg11Bk-Xos&w=420&h=315]
 The best place for your car keys at night? How about right beside your bed? If you hear a noise outside your home or suspect someone is trying to break into your house, just press the panic button for your car. The alarm will be set off, and the horn will continue to sound until either you turn it off or the car battery dies. This tip came from a neighborhood watch coordinator. Odds are the burglar/rapist won’t stick after hearing the blaring noise coming from the garage or driveway. So take a moment and test it. See if your car alarm goes off while you are tucked in at night!

B Smart. B prepared. B Safe. Know B4 You Go.

Victim Digitally Raped….In More Ways than One

 

I read a phrase this week I had never heard in my life —“digital rape.”  It came from news accounts of the two high school football players who were convicted yesterday of raping a 16-year-old girl in Steubenville, Ohio.  The case has attracted international attention due to students texting photos of the naked girl and sharing her assault through social media channels.   
 
I first thought digital rape meant that a cell phone had been used forcibly in the girl’s genitalia.  But I was mistaken.  Prosecutors charged the football players — Trent Mays, 17, and Ma’lik Richmond, 16 — of penetrating her with their fingers. According to Ohio law, the definition of rape includes digital penetration.
The boys have been sentenced to at least one year in juvenile jail and could be held until they are 21 years old.
 
Teenage witnesses at the party perpetuated the sexual assault with texts, tweets and video to spread the victim’s shame and demise.  Sadly, in my opinion, she was raped not only by the boys, but was “digitally” raped by her peers as well.

Safety Apps All Women Should Have on Their Smart Phones

 

Mobile devices can literally save your life.  Download these apps to keep prevention in your palm!

Circle of 6 (iPhone, free)
Circle of 6 has an unobtrusive screen that’s simple to operate. Two taps will send out one of three predetermined text messages to 6 contacts of your choice including a call for help getting home that automatically includes an address and map of your exact location, or a request for a phone call from you to break up a tense situation. The app also contains pre-programmed national hotline numbers and a local number you can customize for campus security, police or 911. Circle of 6 is the winner of the Department of Health and Human Services / White House “Apps Against Abuse” Challenge and its four developers have significant expertise in the fields of sexual violence prevention, mobile technology, graphic design and healthy relationship building. Three in fact are women.
Hollaback! (iPhone and Android, free)
Users can choose to take and upload a photo of their harasser “caught in the act” and submit their story to be recorded and mapped on ihollaback.org. This not only signals the perpetrator that his image will be shared and posted on a street harassment prevention website, but also warns others of areas in which harassment occurs.
bSafe (iPhone, Android, Blackberry, free & subscription versions)
A personal safety alarm that sends an emergency message to your chosen contacts with the push of a single button, bSafe’s slogan is “Never walk alone.” The free version allows you to set up a safety net of “Guardians” who can respond to your SOS text message; one Guardian you designate will receive a phone call.(Both versions give you an unlimited number of Guardians available by text message; the subscription version gives you up to 3 Guardians who can be called simultaneously.) All Guardians receive a text message with a link to a map showing your location via GPS. You can also program a Fake Incoming Call if you are threatened, with six options for when the call should be initiated (immediately, 5 seconds, 15 seconds, 1 minute, 5 minutes, 10 minutes.) The subscription version of bSafe gives you two additional levels of safety: a Risk Mode with real time GPS tracking of your position, and a Timer Mode with automatic alarm activation (e.g. if you don’t log in after the programmed time period, your Guardians will receive an alert with your entire route mapped out.)
Guardly (iPhone/iPod Touch, Android, Blackberry, Windows Phone; free & subscription versions)
This app differs from others in that it places a phone call to your contacts with your name, exact location, the type of emergency. (Being able to specify different contacts for different types of emergencies — such as “Peanut Allergy,” “Stroke” or “Walking Home Alone” — differentiates this from other apps, and it also enable you to identify different locations you frequent such as “Home,” “School” or “Work.”)
cab4me (iPhone and Android, free & subscription versions)
Get a cab. Anytime. Anywhere. That’s the idea behind this mobile cab finder app. Click on cab4me and your phone’s GPS shows your position on a map. You can select that as your approximate pickup location or choose a nearby taxi stand if one shows up based on available data.
GuardSnap (iPhone and Android, $2.99)
This app was developed after learning real estate agents have been victims of attack when showing property.  It can be used as a tool to provide a quick means of documenting and preserving first time personal or business contactsIt’s simple: take their picture, or that of their car or license plate and it sends it to third parties along with time, date, and geographic location.  The premise behind this app is that of someone knows they can be identified, they may be less likely to initiate any negative behavior and move on.
If you have an app you would like to share, add to the comment section below.