Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Second Chance Helps Women Become Independent

Financial Abuse is one of the key ingredients in a domestic violence situation that keeps a woman trapped.

Signs of Economic or Financial Abuse (from the helpguide.org website):

Remember, an abuser’s goal is to control you, and he will frequently hurt you to do that. In addition to hurting you emotionally and physically, an abusive partner may also hurt you in the pocketbook. Economic of financial abuse includes:
Above is the Music Video by Destiny's Child called Independent Woman from the Charlie's Angels. Second Chance Employment Services is all about helping at-risk women become independent so that someday they may too be able to say these same verses about themselves and the children they care for:

Question: Tell me how you feel about this
Try to control me, boy, you get dismissed
Pay my own car note, and I pay my own bills
Always 50/50 in relationships

The shoes on my feet - I bought 'em
The clothes I'm wearing - I bought 'em
The rock I'm rockin' - I bought it
'Cause I depend on me
If I wanted
The watch I'm wearin' - I bought it
The house I live in - I bought it
The car I'm driving - I bought it
I depend on me

All the women who independent
Throw your hands up at me
All the honeys who makin' money
Throw your hands up at me, baby
All the mamas who profit dollas
Throw your hands up at me
All the ladies who truly feel me
Throw your hands up at me

Monday, October 22, 2007

The White House Proclaims October Domestic Violence Awareness Month

President Bush proclaimed October to be Domestic Violence Awareness Month in 2003. I wanted to highlight some of the parts of his speech since we are in October and the awareness is needed just as much today as ever. I am only posting a few things the President stated in his address below. For the full article you can click on the title link above. There obviously needs to be a lot more work and awareness here, but I applaud and thank President Bush for helping to break the silence.

President Bush said the following about Domestic Violence:

A home, a family should be a place of support, should be a peaceful place -- not a place of cruelty and brutality. Domestic violence betrays the most basic duties of life, it violates the law, it's wrong, it is a crime that must be confronted by individuals, by communities and by government.

Too often its victims suffer in secret and in silence.

Domestic violence cuts across every line of geography and income.
Abuse is found in every community in our country -- every community -- and it must be fought in every community.
Hundreds of thousands of incidents of domestic violence are reported every year. The sad news is, many go unreported.
About a third of women murdered each year in America are killed by this type of violence. And nearly half the households where domestic violence occurs also has a child under 12 years old. There's more than one victim.

Women and children are facing dangers in this country, and they need strong allies.

Imagine what it would be like if you were an abused person trying to find help and you went from one place to another. With laws and police and all the rules of a regulations of a free society, it must be confusing and disheartening. The victim has been so traumatized, and then she has to tell her story over and over again, which repeats the trauma. There's a better way to do this. There's a better way to help people who need help in our society.

We have a moral obligation in our society to help relieve the suffering and to show that there is a better life.

May God bless those who are victims of domestic violence. And may God continue to bless our country. Thank you.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Domestic Violence Out of Control - In Many States

In the news this evening, the article Domestic Violence Out of Control in SC by Katie Newingham of Charlston's ABC News 4. It is an article about an inept law enforcement, judicial, and social services unable or unwilling to assist an at-risk woman with fatal results.

Although this problem is not unique to South Carolina, this state "ranks seventh nationwide for domestic violence". The article makes several interesting points, such as:

"Attorney General Henry McMaster says domestic violence is the number one crime problem in South Carolina."

“More than 36,000 victims annually report a domestic violence incident to law enforcement agencies around the state,” As stated on the Attorney General’s Website.

“Over the past eight years, an average of 38 women have been killed each year by their intimate partner.”

I believe that these numbers are actually higher. Especially since the law, courts, medical, and psychologists have such a wide difference of opinion as to what is classified as domestic violence and what is simply ignored. Many states like South Carolina are frustratingly aiding the abuser and perpetuating abuse.

Williams says of South Carolina "First of all, the issues of control and power, and the patriarchal system are historically very southern as far as women’s place. For a long time in South Carolina it was impossible to get anything passed, it’s not as stringent as other state laws."

Hauntingly Williams added that, "Control issues don’t stop just because the relationship ends."

Friday, October 5, 2007

Last Kiss of Summer Gala A Huge Success!!

The Last Kiss of Summer Gala held on September 27th at the Four Seasons Hotel in Georgetown was a huge success!! The picture above is from last year's Gala event with Ludy Green (Black Suit), daughter Megan, Kathleen "Kassie" Brown (Brown Dress), and myself, Stephanie Willson (Burgundy Gown and Shawl).

The atmosphere was incredible. The silent auction was beautiful with many items that had been donated. Thank you to all our donors that helped to make the event possible: Stephanie Willson Jewelry , Borghese, Inc., Freed Photography & Videography , Green and Blue , Gregory Fine Portraits , JW Marriott Orlando Grande Lakes , Main Event Caterers , Marriott Wardman Park Hotel , Sassanova , The Family Groove , The SalesDoctor , The Studio Theatre , Tranquil Space Yoga , Lana Hamilton of Grace + Gumption, Washington Nationals , and many many more. Thank you, thank you for helping to break the silence!

The seated dinner was excellent! The Four Seasons started us off with salad, then salmon, and finally dessert. During that time we had speakers and introductions. A video was played with a woman silhouetted in the shadows as she spoke about her heart wrenching tale of desperately trying to survive her divorce with little resources and the humiliation of having to ask friends constantly for help. It's truly a shame that our court systems allow this sort of abuse to be perpetuated.

Another one of Second Chance's clients went on-stage and told her tearful tale, in Spanish - the only language she can speak. This woman spoke from her heart about her trials and tribulations in trying to get survive her situation and the loving help and support that she received from Second Chance in helping her with housing, food, child care, English training, and job placement. The English translation moved the room and it was difficult to hold back a tear.

Tanya Brown, internationally acclaimed domestic violence advocate, author, and sister of Nicole Brown Simpson gave the keynote address. Tanya spoke from her heart and moved the room with her personal story and sharing the life of Nicole Brown Simpson. Tanya Brown gave a speech that penetrated and moved the room. It is truly a wonderful service that Tanya is doing by sharing her story as she delivers her message so powerfully in a way that many women wish they also could share. Thank you Tanya for breaking the silence!

The event had a live auction, which was made possible by many donors including German Embassy in Washington, DC and Toka Salon and Day Spa. Followed by dancing to a fantastic live band!

The event had many wonderful volunteers who made the event possible, such as Kathleen "Kassie" Brown and many other wonderful women. The incredible effort of many Second Chance staff made the event possible, such as Tawanna McCants and Judy.

Most of all, this organization would not even exist and women would never receive the services that are not found elsewhere if it were not for the incredible Founder and President of Second Chance Employment Services, Dr. Ludy Green, and her husband Joseph Green. Thank you Ludy and Joe for making it possible for all of us to break the silence together!