Tag Archives: Domestic Violence

Amid Effort to Ram Kavanaugh Through Senate, House GOP Refusing to Reauthorize Violence Against Women Act

“Our efforts to combat violence against women should never waiver, should never be pushed to the margins, and should never be delayed or diminished by political gamesmanship or foot dragging.”

By Julia Conley, staff writer for Common Dreams. Published 9-25-2018

Image: Jay Inslee/flickr

While Republican lawmakers have attempted to push through a vote on Brett Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court nomination amid multiple sexual assault allegations against him, none of the party’s members have signed on to support a reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), which expires at the end of September.

Democratic legislators have joined women’s rights and anti-domestic violence groups in calling for the law to be fully reauthorized and strengthened with proposals put forth in a version sponsored by Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Texas), while Republican leaders want VAWA to be extended only until December 7 as part of the House’s stopgap spending bill. Continue reading


How Does Trump ‘Even Sleep at Night’? Cuts to Cancer Research, Head Start, and Women’s Shelters Among $226 Million Diverted to Pay for Child Detention

“If you wrote this plot into a movie, I would have said it was over-the top.”

By Julia Conley, staff writer for Common Dreams. Published 9-20-2018

Photo: US Customs and Border Control

Along with tens of thousands of children and families, cancer patients, Americans with substance abuse disorders, and victims of domestic violence are among the casualties of President Donald Trump’s detention of young immigrants—according to government documents outlining the administration’s plan to divert millions of dollars away from programs serving those populations.

Yahoo News reported that in order to continue detaining more than 13,000 children currently in the custody of the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR), Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar is proposing that up to $266 million be taken from other government health programs. Continue reading


As Nation Suffers 18th School Shooting in 45 Days, Trump Budget Would Slash Funding for Background Checks

The president’s 2019 budget would cut allocations to enhance national database system by 16 percent

By Julia Conley, staff writer for CommonDreams. Published 2-15-2018

Funding cuts for background checks in President Donald Trump’s new budget proposal would make it more difficult for states to compile criminal records of prospective gun owners. (Photo: Erik Jaeger/Flickr/cc)

As a Florida community reels from the nation’s latest mass shooting—the 18th school shooting in the first 45 days of 2018—President Donald Trump is pushing for a new federal budget that would call for cuts to programs that aim to keep guns out of the hands of people with criminal records.

The National Criminal Records History Improvement Program and the NICS Act Record Improvement Program provide funding to states to improve their reporting of domestic violence and other violent crimes in order to include perpetrators in the national background check database for gun purchases. Continue reading


Love in a time of fear: an interview with Dashni Morad

‘The Shakira of Kurdistan’ discusses feminism, Kurdish unity, and healing the scars of war.

By Benjamin Ramm. Published 3-30-2017 by openDemocracy

Dashni Morad. (Credit: John Wright, February 2016)

As the battle for Mosul nears its conclusion, the fate of civilian survivors remains uncertain. The Kurdish singer and humanitarian Dashni Morad, whose youth was defined by conflict in the region, aims to highlight the psychological scars of living under a brutal regime. In 2014, Morad raised funds for refugee camps outside Mosul, where she witnessed the impact of three years of war on displaced children. Tutored only in fear, the children are aggressive even in play: “it made me so upset to see that a kid can be taken from its inner child”, she says. “It is the worst thing you can do to a human being – to take away that magical world”. Continue reading


Building “Feminism for the 99 Percent,” Women’s Strike Will Take Many Forms

‘March 8th will be the beginning of a new international feminist movement’

By Deirdre Fulton, staff writer for Common Dreams. Published 3-2-2017

“We halt our work to highlight just how meager, how lackluster, and how dysfunctional the world would be without us.” (Image: Women’s March)

Whether by walking off the job or boycotting “unseen” labor, women and allies around the world next week will stand up and speak out to say: Women’s rights are human rights.

Coinciding with International Women’s Day, the March 8 day of action is being promoted in solidarity by those who organized January’s Women’s March as well as a grassroots movement known as the International Women’s Strike (IWS). While both groups acknowledge that the election of President Donald Trump makes their call more urgent, their overlapping visions look beyond one administration—and reach further back into the past. Continue reading


Integrity? What Integrity?

One of the stories that our media likes to cover instead of covering news that really affects the human race reared its head again this last weekend. Yes, the incident known as Deflategate was back in the news, to the unspoken sighs of relief from media outlets all over the country who were suddenly freed of maybe having to run a story about something that mattered.

Yesterday, the penalties for those involved were announced by the NFL. They include Tom Brady getting a four game suspension, two team employees being suspended indefinitely and the team being fined a million dollars as well as losing draft picks.

There was the usual blathering from league spokesmen about how the people involved “compromised the integrity of the league and the game.” We would like to ask the league what integrity they’re talking about.

Ray Rice 2012. "Ray Rice 2012" by 1ravenscowboysnflfan - Own work. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons

Ray Rice 2012. “Ray Rice 2012” by 1ravenscowboysnflfan – Own work. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons

Continue reading


The NFL’s PSA is a “Hail Mary” Pass

On Sunday, February 1, Americans will spend millions of dollars and valuable time glued to television screens across the country to view the events at one of the nation’s cathedrals for athletes and sporting events; the Superbowl. The tradition of Superbowl Sunday takes control of all things commercial.

And then there are the commercials. Known as THE showcase for advertisers, the amount of money paid for the time segments of space during the game is matched only by the obscenity of the amount of money flowing to the teams that play the game. Continue reading


International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women

Today is a special today. We mark the International Day to End Violence Against Women by considering some aspects that are seldom discussed openly, yet grant understanding of the full impacts of violence against half the world’s population.

What are the odds of a little girl growing up to never know violence against her person? Not very good. The facts include that affluence, economic conditions, education levels, social status, living location or professionalism have little to do with a non-violent life. Violence permeates every level of society in every corner of the world at every moment of every day. Continue reading


The Price of Principle

By U.S. Air Force photo illustration by Airman 1st Class Kenna Jackson [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

By U.S. Air Force photo illustration by Airman 1st Class Kenna Jackson [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Letting your mind be “occupied” means you consider the principle at play in most interactions you have in life. From the grocery clerk to the solicitor at the door, you must pause and ask yourself, “How does this align with the tenants and values of the Occupy movement?”

We operate our lives much like our vehicles. We have an assumed trust that the oncoming car will not cross the center line and enter our lane. We assume everyone will stop at a four-way stop, and that motorists will not go down a one-way street the wrong direction. By following the basic rules, we arrive at our destinations safely. It is a grand bargain that works for everyone on the road.

Sometimes there is a collision. Like the scene of any bad accident, you realize that every witness sees things differently. Even if the other driver was impaired, it does not change the fact that the “rules” were not followed and someone pays. Maybe it is as serious as the loss of life, maybe it is simply increased insurance premiums. But someone pays.

So it is when we find things that we may hold very dear to us but, for whatever reason, they no longer align with the tenants and values of the Occupy Movement, nor in the thinking of an “occupied mind.” This is when you pause and say “I must make a choice. What means more, this “thing” or the principles I value and the voice I have chosen? Will making a stand make a difference, and does it matter if I try, or can I just let this one go?”

One of the firmest stands I have made in my life is the solidarity I take with domestic violence and rape survivors. Unwavering in my commitment to educate those who live in ignorance of the cultures in our society that perpetuate these issues and generate more victims, I can not make exception even if I want to.

When I met my husband, he had been participating in a hobby/craft for decades. His involvement introduced me to a new world, where I made many friends and enjoyed myself immensely. It became the center of our social life and allowed us time with other couples with like interests.


Until we learned that one of the “members” of the group we were not as close to was a convicted felon who had beat the face of his then-wife in with the butt of a gun. He is serving his “extended supervision” portion of his sentence by violating the terms of the court every chance he gets in order to participate in the activities as though every thing is as acceptable as a speeding ticket. When he is arrested for his infractions, he blames his now ex-wife for reporting him, not recognizing it was his choice to violate the terms of his sentence in the first place.

As a result, I have felt forced to withdraw my participation and isolate myself from the group of friends I truly enjoy, all in order to first; teach them that this convicted felon’s behavior is not acceptable, and secondly, to prevent the PTSD and panic disorders triggered by this particular individuals’ actions from occurring. My husband is still considering if he can continue participation much longer.

Is this what I wanted? NO. Did I have a choice? NO.

But when when your principles means more than the things in life that humor you, it is worth the stand. When I know I affected at least one life with my decision, it is the start of change.

What change are you willing to stand up to make?



Sanaz Nezami is seen in a photo provided by her sister, Sara Nezami.

Sanaz Nezami is seen in a photo provided by her sister, Sara Nezami.

There are those in our society that turn a blind eye to domestic violence. There is nowhere in the world where women can feel truly safe from violence against them.

The most insidious of this violence is when it is delivered by the hand of someone the victim trusts and loves – their spouse.

So imagine, if you dare, the nightmare of a family who recently celebrated their daughter’s marriage and moving to a foreign country. Then, to find out she has been beaten fatally – and with only hours of life left, your only means of providing her comfort is through an internet connection and asking a nursing staff to act on your behalf. Seem unlikely?

Woman dies in Michigan as Iran family weeps while watching over Internet

What is wrong with society when any person can beat another to death? What have we as a society sunk to, when outrage is not our first reaction? What if it were your daughter? Sister? Mother? Friend? How do we stop the madness?

Editorial Note: There are times when the stories we read hit home more than others. As a survivor of domestic abuse, I could not help but conclude that this could have been me. I live with a disability as a result of the violence. But at least I get to live. Others, like this beautiful, bright and promising young woman, do not survive. Sanaz will never be forgotten. It is her story that gives determination to all of us, that this MUST STOP.