Lundy Bancroft will be speaking in Minnesota at the upcoming conference “Behind Closed Doors: A Deeper Look Into Domestic Abuse, Sexual Assault, and the Effects of Trauma”.

The conference hosted by Saving Grace, a local non-profit, in recognition of Domestic Violence Awareness Month. For more info, visit: Saving Grace Facebook

For more information, and registration, please visitBehind Closed Doors Conference – St. Paul, MN – 10/27/2017

DATE AND TIME

Fri, October 27, 2017

7:30 AM – 4:30 PM

 

LOCATION

Amherst H. Wilder Foundation

451 Lexington Parkway North

Saint Paul, MN 55104

 

ABOUT THE CONFERENCE:

Through plenary presentation and breakout sessions, participants will gain in-depth knowledge of the multiple and complex factors associated with abuse and trauma.

“Behind Closed Doors” will provide education and training:

  • To understand the effects of verbal/emotional, physical, sexual, and interpersonal violence; trauma and recovery in adults and children.
  • To identify the short and long-term impact of domestic violence and sexual assault; emotional, mental, physical, economical, financial, and legal.
  • To understand the effects of trauma on the brain, in adults and children, and utilize Forensic Experiential Trauma Interview techniques.
  • To increase professional collaboration efforts of community partners in being able to identify, interrupt, and influence a positive change in the outcomes of batterers and victims of sexual assault, domestic violence, and human trafficking.

    Lundy Bancroft

Lundy Bancroft will be presenting as a keynote speaker on “Why Does He Do That?: The Profile and Tactics of Men Who Abuse Women“. Lundy will also host 3 break out sessions in a smaller group setting on the following: “Meeting the Post-Separation Needs of Women and Children”, “Assessing Risk to Children from Men Who Batter” and “Advocacy and Legal Representation for Women in Custody Disputes.”

Behind Closed Doors” will then be followed by several break out sessions, so participants can chose the subjects they want to learn more about and customize the conference to their interests and/or needs.

The break out sessions are conducted by a wide variety of experts including therapists, nurses, law enforcement, child protection worker, victim advocates, legal professionals and other community professionals.

Topics Include: 

*Understanding Trauma

*Effects of Violence and Trauma on Children

*Documentation and Care of the Patient

*Family Court and Legal Issues

*Best Practices in Sex Trafficking Investigations

*Challenging Bias, Beliefs and Assumptions

*Understanding Multi-Cultural Issues in Domestic Violence Situations

And more…

Public and professionals are invited to attend what will be an interesting, and informational event!

“Behind Closed Doors” is specifically designed for Social Workers, Child Protection Workers, Teachers, School Counselors, Lawyers, Law Students, Child Custody Evaluators, Guardians Ad Litem, Parenting Consultants, Judges, Law Enforcement, Investigators, Probation Officers, Health Care and Mental Health Professionals, Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence Advocates, Physicians, Nurses, and Forensic Nurses. *CEU’s, CLE’s, & POST credits are being applied for*

 

Listen In: Violent No More: Helping Men End Domestic Abuse

I don’t think we will end domestic abuse or rape or trafficking in this country until the culture starts to change; and I think each and every one of us has an obligation to speak up, to get involved and there’s lots of ways to do that in our communities, and you just have to take that step.

And we shouldn’t be waiting ’til a horrible tragedy happens, when you read something in the newspaper about a woman being killed or just the statistics that are so haunting about all of these young girls being trafficked in all of our cities, that that it really is up to us, our institutions, our communities, and the culture to change the belief and attitudes. And when that happens, I think we’ll start to see some fundamental changes…” ~ Michael Paymar

Following a recent show on Battered Women, Psych Up takes on the crucial issue of helping men end domestic violence.  Our guest, Representative Michael Paymar brings tremendous knowledge and experience to this issue. His career has spanned from his direct work with batterers and his co-founding the nationally recognized Duluth Domestic Abuse Intervention Project to combating gender violence and related issues as a member of the Minnesota House of Representatives.

As the author of “Violent No More: Helping Men End Domestic Violence”, and the co-producer of the award winning documentary film, With Impunity: Men and Gender Violence, Michael Paymar discusses with host, Suzanne Phillips, the success and challenges in ending domestic violence. He describes the power of a group model that requires men to take responsibility and offers hope. He considers the need for a change in the personal, familial and cultural attitudes that allow domination of women with impunity.

In the back and forth he considers the messages that boys and girls are given and offers examples of how a father, mother, coach, or college co-ed can shift the attitudes that perpetuate gender violence. This show makes domestic violence a personal and painful reality that we need the courage to face.

For Help: 

The National Domestic Violence Hotline – 1-800-799-7233
1-800-787-3224 (TTY for Deaf/hard of hearing)

Learn more about More about Michael Paymar’s work:

Education for Critical Thinking

Violent No More: Helping Men End Domestic Violence by Michael Paymar

Domestic Abuse Intervention Programs (Home of the Duluth Model)

 

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Public Domain Photo

Several years ago, I found myself escaping an abusive relationship after being physically assaulted. I was homeless with two small, traumatized children to care for… despite the bleak circumstances, the life ahead of me was so much better than the one I left behind.

The children and I stayed wherever we could – on the couches of friends or family willing to take us in, slept in our minivan and in a battered women’s “shelter”.

The “shelter” was a roof over our heads but little else – it lacked supportive services and was generally a toxic, chaotic environment. Toys and games for were donated to the “shelter” but children were not allowed to play with them. I don’t know why. The kids were rounded up in the living room and sat on the dirty floor playing with dust balls or watching whatever was on TV – no cartoons because there was only one TV and the adults chose all the programming. My children were already traumatized and being in this environment just made things worse. So I made it a point to take my children out of the shelter during the day, and find activities or parks to visit.

It was during this time that my “art advocacy” was born. I started taking pictures to record our lives as being homeless; I wanted to speak out against the abuse that was done to us.. and the only safe way (at the time) was in pictures.

To keep my children busy, and to keep their mind off our struggles, I would tell them “tall tales” – long, adventurous stories. From these stories I found the voice that had been suppressed due to the abuse and began writing stories and poetry.

I found community and church forums to display my photography or read a poem. Then I started creating picture quotes to raise awareness about abuse, and the issue survivors face when leaving abuseThrough art, I was not only creating a way to raise awareness and give voice but I was also creating a new life for myself. 

I am now sharing my art and photography on “Parenting Abused Children”, to share my journey and offer an encouraging message that it is possible to heal, and overcome abuse.

WHAT ARE SOME CREATIVE WAYS THAT HAVE HELPED YOU TO OVERCOME A CHALLENGE OR STRUGGLE?

OR WHAT HAS HELPED YOU TO DEAL WITH THE EFFECTS OF ABUSE?

LET’S TALK AND SHARE! POST YOUR THOUGHTS IN THE COMMENTS BELOW (YOU CAN REMAIN ANON).

Blessings,  EJ, © 2017

 

Pockets full of pebbles and a head full of dreams...

Pocket full of pebbles and a head full of dreams…

 

Cincinnati, Ohio – Model and YouTuber, Natalia Taylor, revealed in a video that she “experience things a child should never experience in life” (she says her father, Rod, did not abuse her, only her mother) and witnessed domestic abuse her father perpetrated against her mother. Natalia also recalls that Rod threatened to kill her mother.

At age 6, her mother divorced Rod due to his severe mental illness and abusive behavior. Natalia says her father “was never willing to get any help, and never willing to let anyone help him“.

During the divorce proceedings, Natalia’s mother begged the courts to protect her child from Rod, and revoke visitation. Natalia herself begged to be kept away from Rod but says her cries for help were ignored,”basically there was no way of getting out of it. I had to have visitation with my dad, the law prevented me from not seeing him.” 

Natalia was traumatized by being forced to visit Rod – she was neglected in his care, and forced to spend time in a home that was filthy and contaminated with fecal matter. Rod continued to exhibit frightening behavior. Several reports were filed with police and caseworkers. She says Rod was “very defiant” and rejected help. It is unclear why visits continued after so many reports or if CPS was ever involved.

After the divorce, Rod kidnaps Natalia from a relative’s home. She said that during her ordeal Rod “terrified” her and demonstrated bizarre behavior due to his schizophrenia. Rod also threatened to kill Natalia and himself. An Amber Alert was issued, the second ever issued in Northwest Ohio.

After 17 hours, Natalia was recovered. Natalia is thankful that she survived. Rod was charged with kidnapping, and held in jail for 6 months, but later found not guilty by a jury. Rod is now thought to be living in Florida, and is homeless.  He is believed to be “highly dangerous” and has a lengthy criminal record and is registered sex offender with active arrest warrants against him. Rod has attempted to contact Natalia and sends her bizarre letters and packages.

Natalia says about speaking publicly about her experiences,”I’ve come to terms with a lot since I’ve talked about it online and it has been a little bit therapeutic and it has changed my mind a little bit on how I see this story…

I guess what it comes down to is that I am not afraid of Rod anymore. Call me stupid, call me naive once again, but I’m not scared of you.

Thank you Natalia for sharing your story and giving voice to so many children who have survived living in abusive or dysfunctional homes, and giving voice to those court ordered into visitation or custody with an abuser. You have raised awareness to the voice of the children, and shown an inspiring example of a survivor. Thank you for sharing this story – you are in my thoughts & prayers.

My second thought – When courts fail to recognize abuse, and minimize or ignore the dangerous behavior or potential risk one parent poses, children are placed in visitation or custody arrangements that endanger their lives – and often cause lasting trauma. This is unacceptable – the priority of the Courts should be to protect children from abuse, and ensure their well-being. 
Read more: Daily Mail: Come and find me – I’m not scared of you!’ Model who was ‘kidnapped’ by her mentally-ill dad dares him to ‘come forward’ after revealing her identity in viral video seen by MILLIONS

 

 

(Melbourne, Australia, Feb. 2016) – Balenga Kalala masterminded a plot to have his wife Noela Rukundo kidnapped and killed… miraculously Noela survived to crash her own funeral.

Read the Full Story at:

Spared by the hitmen with principles by Richard Hooper (BBC)

Wife crashes her own funeral, horrifying her husband, who had paid to have her killed by Sarah Kaplan (WP)

Balenga Kalala, of Melbourne, paid a team of hitmen to kill his wife. Source: http://www.goldrushnews247.com/

Noela is the mother of 3 children, who had experienced abuse from Balenga throughout her marriage, she said, “I knew he was a violent man. But I didn’t believe he can kill me.”

Balenga pleaded guilty to the crime and will spend 9 years in prison but Noela’s ordeal is not over… she is now being harassed by many in Melbourne’s African community, who blame her for Balenga’s conviction.

Despite what she has been through, Noela says she will be strong, and rebuild her life.

 

 

“ReMoved” is a two part short film told in the first person narrative of a young girl named Zoe who is removed from her home, along with her little brother Benaiah, due to domestic violence and child abuse. Zoe begins a new life in the foster care system, which in some ways is an improvement, in other ways is just as chaotic, and unpredictable as the life she has been taken from. When placed in the home of foster mother, Ms. Law, Zoe is faced with her most difficult struggle of all — finding what is lovable in herself. “ReMoved” is an emotional, raw film – that wisely uses the power of its emotional scenes, and the insightful messages Zoe provides to give a voice to vulnerable children, and help people to understand what is happening, in the foster care system.

“ReMoved” was written by Christina Matanick, directed by her husband, Nathanael, who were inspired to write a movie about foster care from a child’s perspective after taking training on how to become foster parents. The film’s goal is to “serve as a key tool in raising up and training good foster parents, social workers, court-appointed special advocates, and the many other adults who interact with children in foster care“.

“ReMoved” is also based on Hebrews 12:2, a Bible verse about Jesus enduring pain and humiliation because of his great love for humanity. The Matanick’s say Hebrews 12:2 offers reminds them of foster parenting – that they take on the pain of the foster children when offering a home to them, and offer their love just as Christ offered his, even when challenged. Hebrews 12:2 has a hopeful message as well, one of healing and restoration, though not explicitly stated, it becomes the conclusion of “ReMoved”.

“ReMoved” may be triggering for some. As a domestic abuse survivor, whose children suffer from PTSD and many of the emotional issues that Zoe does, alot of the scenes hit home. Zoe drew tornadoes to depict her struggles at home. My daughter did the same – drawing squarish pictures of “home” with a scribbly tornado ripping through. Zoe is also like the tornado – she has recurrent PTSD flashbacks, and feelings of helplessness, which may trigger fits of rage where she becomes destructive and out of control. I saw those same kinds of outbursts in my son, whose anger and violence was modeled after what he experienced from his abusive father.

It was interesting to see the different adult reactions to Zoe’s struggles – her behavior became what defined Zoe, because the adults failed to understand how abuse impacts a child, and her own need for healing. I saw similar reactions when seeking help for my family, and was told several times to just spank my child to get him to behave. There was no real understanding of how abuse affects children, and that these children are traumatized and in need of help. Even when staying in a domestic violence shelter, I was given a safe place to stay with my children (temporarily) but their emotional needs were neglected. There were no services for children available at the shelter during our stay.

In “ReMoved”, Zoe’s behavioral and emotional struggles resulted in her being moved from one foster home to another, being rejected by her mother (the film did hint at a possible reunion) and finally, being medicated with instructions to double the dose if she did not calm down. Finally, when placed with a patient and caring foster mother, Ms. Law, did Zoe begin to receive the nurturing and guidance she needed to begin her healing journey.

Another issue revealed in “ReMoved” is that what is happening with the family is kept totally separate from what is happening in the foster care system, when the two should be working together. At many points in the film, the foster care system seemed punitive towards the mother, and placing a greater weight of responsibility on her (directly) rather than dealing with the abuser and the abuse.

This is also a theme I have experienced in family court, that somehow the abuse victim is responsible for the harm caused by the abuser. Only in family court, there is no emphasis on restoration of the family, limiting visitation or removing custody from a parent is a routine practice, that is quickly and easily done. Abuse victims are particularly vulnerable to loss of custody because the family court sees their efforts to protect their children as signs that they cannot “co-parent” or are otherwise “difficult”, even with CPS findings of abuse, family courts will routinely place children into dangerous custody or parenting time agreements with abusive, unfit parents.

Throughout the film, the mother struggled with her own issues from domestic violence. Taking the beatings and emotional abuse, could not protect her children from being abused by her husband. The mother is largely disconnected from her children, and the daughter takes on the role of caretaker for her younger brother Benaiah. After the children are removed, the mother is placed into supervised visitation where she attempts to reconnect to her children. What the family really needs is therapy, and supportive services, but you don’t see that being offered. For example, The mother is told to “get her life together” by a social worker- and the system is ignorant to the hurdles an abuse victim faces trying to start their entire life over. Many victims of domestic violence become homeless in the process of escaping the abuse and are forced to abruptly cut ties, and remove themselves from the only life they have ever known. They face financial hardships. And deal with their own trauma, and emotional scars. To blindly tell a victim of abuse to “get her life together” is not only insensitive but unrealistic. What is really needed is a more holistic approach, to protect the safety of the children while also assisting the parent to rebuild their own life.

I was inspired by the foster mother Ms. Law – she modeled the best of what the system could be. Ms. Law put the child’s interests above her own time and time again. Zoe was extremely close to her little brother, but was constantly being separated from him in the foster care system. Ms. Law took Benaiah in,even if it was not convenient for her to do so. Ms. Law patiently waited through Zoe’s rage, and lashing out against her – and saw past her struggles to nurture Zoe into growth and healing. Ms. Law advocated for Zoe in the therapist’s office, that there are other options than drugging a child into compliance. So many examples depicted in the portrayals of Ms. Law offered ideas on how foster care parents, and the system as a whole, could better meet the needs of children, and the families they are working with.

For me, the hardest part of “ReMoved” was the ending (which is in Part 2). There was some sense of closure but also a lot of unanswered questions. I took it as this where the film meets our lives, that each person viewing is challenged to bring something they learned from the film, or where inspired by the film, into their own life, into the community around them.

I highly recommend “ReMoved”. It has an impact watching alone but would also be beneficial to watch as a group or organization – with discussion following. This film has the potential to inspire needed changes in the foster care system, and the motivate everyday people to become heroes in the lives of needy children.

— EJ, 2015

 

For More Information:

Visit the “ReMoved” website: ReMoved

Watch “ReMoved”:Watch Removed

“Foster Care – It’s Not for the Praise” by Megan Pyrah (Brassy Apple). A foster mother shares her experiences raising foster children, and offers her thoughts on ReMoved: Foster Care – It’s Not for the Praise

“Writer/Filmmaker Christina Matanick discusses her film ReMoved” by Meka (Scream Loudly), Nov 19, 2014: Writer/Filmmaker Christina Matanick discusses her film ReMoved

Do you feel “stuck” in your marriage? Is there a nagging sense that something is wrong between you and your spouse but you don’t know what? Have you tried “everything” to “fix” your problems but still, nothing seems to change?

Dave Willis tackles the 7 common patterns of dysfunction that wreak havoc on his marriage in an article on Family Share: The 7 Types of Dysfunctional Marriages

These are the most common patterns, but it does not limit the other types of problems that may exist. Willis is not a therapist; this article is based on his experience as pastor who has interacted with other married couples from all over the world. Willis is also married.

In brief, the common types Willis mentions includes (there is more detail in the article):

1) The Scorekeepers – Who keep score of the other partner’s behavior and use that to control or manipulate.
2) The Fantasizers – Live in a fantasy life, not reality.
3) The Outsourcers – Escape into other people, careers and personal pursuits at the expense of their marriage.
4) The Blamers – Blame their partner for anything and everything that is wrong.
5) The Separatists – A marriage where both people are living two separate lives, and have lost the togetherness and equality that marriage requires.
6) The Deceivers – A marriage that lacks trust and is troubled with secrecy and lies.
7) The Quitters – A partner that quits when things get tough.

The article does not talk about domestic violence (which includes emotional abuse, a strong theme in these patterns of dysfunction) but I think the warning signs should be mentioned to raise awareness of the possibility, in case abuse is happening in the relationships. Early detection of domestic violence is crucial in helping a victim be safe, and get needed help.

Power and Control Wheel: http://fultonfvtaskforce.com/

Warning Signs of Family Violence (Fulton Co. Violence Task Force)

You do not have to live in chaos or dysfunction! Recognizing there is a real problem in your marriage is the first step to getting help. You do not have to make these choices alone, nor do you have to be trapped or stuck in a situation that seems out of your control, there is help and support available to break free from the dysfunction, and live the life you were meant to have.

— EJ, 2015

211 is a free and confidential phone line for people in North America to find local community resources. Open 24/7: 211 Resources

Crisis Call Center: 1-800-273-8255 or 775-784-8090. Or, text “ANSWER” to 839863.
Staff and volunteers are available 24/7/365. This is a confidential and free service. Crisis Call Center’s 24-hour crisis line is here to provide safe, non-judgmental support for individuals in any type of crisis. In addition to our 24-hour crisis hotline, we also offer crisis intervention through text messaging. Text “ANSWER” to 839863.
Crisis Call Center

Crisis Text Line serves anyone in any type of crisis, providing them access to free, 24/7 emotional support and information they need via the medium they already use and trust: text. Here’s how it works:
Someone texts into CTL anywhere, anytime, about any type of crisis.
A live, trained specialist receives the text and responds quickly.
The specialist helps the person stay safe and healthy with effective, secure counseling and referrals through text message using CTL’s platform.
Crisis Text Line

The National Domestic Violence Hotline: National Domestic Violence Hotline
1-800-799-7233 | 1-800-787-3224 (TTY)

The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255