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Child Abuse – 3 Things You Need to Know

“I wish I could bring back my childhood,” says one woman who had a tragic early life experience. Her father was abusive, and she was neglected by her mother. At a very young age, she was forced to live on the street, and had to provide for her own necessities.

girl covering her face

Our hearts are broken when we hear such expressions of disappointment. Children are supposed to enjoy their childhood. They ought to feel warmth, love, and acceptance. Sadly, that has hardly been the case to some children. What have they experienced?

Emotional Abuse

Bruises and black eye may be obvious signs of child abuse. But absence of these does not mean absence of abuse in the family. Some cuts and bruises penetrate through the mind and heart. True, at times, family members might say or do things that offend others. But that could be isolated cases and are results of human imperfection.

On the other hand, emotional abuse is more than that. It is a pattern of behavior that tends to control its victim through: yelling, insulting, name-calling, bullying, or neglecting a child’s need for love, support and attention. The offender controls the victim by trying to sow fear and dependence. It can rob the victim’s self-worth and is psychologically and emotionally damaging to him.

Physical Abuse

This is thought to be the most common because the signs are noticeable. Are physical abuses accidental? No. This is a pattern, a chronic behavior of bringing deliberate physical harm to a child. This can be in the form of pushing, slapping, kicking, and beating that can lead to injuries such as burns, cuts, broken bones, or worse, death. These acts are intentional and offenders feel that these abuses are justifiable. But are they? It is important to remember that there is never a valid reason to justify a physical abuse.

Sexual Abuse

Sexual abuse is defined by American Psychological Association as “unwanted sexual activity, with perpetrators using force, making threats or taking advantage of victims not able to give consent.” Although sexual abuse is prevalent in the society, only few information are gathered, since offenders usually tell their victims not to tell anyone.

There are two types of sexual abuse:

  • Contact abuse. This seems to be the very first thing to come in mind when we hear the phrase “sexual abuse”. It involves the touching of body parts with sexual intention, rape, or forcing the child to partake in any sexual activity.
  • Non-contact abuse. Offenders do this online. Offenders persuade young children to watch sexual acts or sexually exploiting the child for money.

Some people think that child abuse is only done by acquaintances or strangers. But in reality, most of the abuses are caused by family members or those who are close to the family. What is most shocking is that it can happen even in a seemingly happy family.

Police officer in unjustified shooting arrested

More Police Officers Being Criminally Charged In Unjustified Shootings

An article in usuncut.com is reporting that a video was released in 2011 that shows a St. Louis police officer shooting an African-American suspect. According to the article, the suspect, Smith, was shot by the officer, and afterwards, the officer planted a gun at the scene. The video captured the officer saying, “I’m going to kill this motherfucker.” The video also appears to show the officer, Stockley smashing into the suspect’s car, and shooting 5 times at the driver’s seat after the car had already stopped running.

Now, in 2016, a new video has surfaced showing a gun being taken out of a duffel bag by Stockley. The duffle bag was from the back Stockley’s own car, and after removing it, it appears he planted it on the suspect’s body. In his report, Stockley claimed the shooting of the suspect was justified because the suspect had pointed a gun at him.

The article further states “Subsequent DNA evidence on the gun, however, did not contain any DNA or fingerprints from Smith. Stockley will be tried for first-degree murder. One of his initial hearings takes place on Oct. 3rd.” Below is a video that captured the incident. You can read the full article here

As many of you know I have a lot of ties to the St. Louis, Mo area.  So, I decided to pick up the phone and call my friend Bob Block, owner of Bob Block Bail Bonds in St. Louis and ask him what he thought of the video and what was the public sentiment.

Bob told me he was disgusted by what he saw on the video and believes the officer should have been charged.  He said he saw the story on the local news channels and heard people talking about it around the police and court buildings.  He said there were no real protests or demonstrations about it and believes that is because the case happened more than 5 years ago.

Bob is a long-time friend of mine and the most honest bail bondsman you will probably ever meet.  If you ever find yourself in needing bail posted in St. Louis or anywhere else in the country simply google bail bonds St. Louis Mo and you will find Bob’ company. Bob Block Bail Bonds is located at 36 Four Seasons Shopping Center #104 Chesterfield, MO 63017

Meanwhile, a few hundred miles away in Oklahoma, another case of police brutality has been reported. Terence Crutcher’s killer, police officer Betty Shelby, was booked at a county jail and released on bail. On a dash cam and helicopter video, the officer was seen shooting at  Crutcher who was unarmed and had his hands up at the time of the shooting.  Shelby was charged with manslaughter.

The Bet.com article says the whole incident started out this way: “Last week, Crutcher’s vehicle broke down in the middle of the road. When he was approached by Shelby, she called for additional officers to assist her with Crutcher. Although she felt as if his behavior was disorderly, prosecutors felt that she let her own bias negatively affect her decision-making skills.”

The article also reports that “On Thursday, Tulsa District Attorney Steve Kunzweiler announced Shelby will face a manslaughter charge. Not long after, Shelby turned herself in and was booked at the Tulsa County Jail. Records indicate that she was booked at 1:11 a.m. and was released at 1:31 a.m. on a $50,000 bond.

The Mayor of Tulsa released the following statement: “These are important steps to ensure that justice and accountability prevails,” Bartlett said in a statement. “We will continue to be transparent to ensure that justice and accountability prevails.”

You can read the entire article at bet.com

For the family of these victims and their communities, the issue of police brutality has been a problem they have had to deal with for most of their lives. For the most part, it is caused by prejudices and biases against people of certain races and social status. For most people that live sheltered lives, such incidents are way in the past, until they hear or read about it; in some cases, even see it on video, and then they all realize society still has a long way to go.

This problem will not simply go away. All society needs to be educated – the guilty must be held accountable, even more so when they are in uniform. We all need to be vigilant about where the police’s authority ends and our human rights begin. As one of the victims’ sister aptly expressed: “This is a small victory. The chain breaks here. We’re going to break the chains of police brutality. We know the history.”

 

How Humans and Science Are Helping People Kick Drug Addiction

 
Even those that are incarcerated can help others in breaking drug addiction. A recent story about a man who was incarcerated in a California state prison in inspiring. This man created a group to help inmates kick the drug habit. In the article Via csmonitor.com it says:
 
“It made everybody open up, Wiley said. The room launched into a tell-all discussion about their personal histories with violence. To begin the process of the men making themselves whole again, Wiley encouraged them to dredge up harsh memories and to face their faults head-on.
 
It’s this commitment to transformation that led Wiley, a 46-year-old former inmate with a long-term sentence, to create the Timelist Group, a nonprofit organization that aims to fill the gaps left by the state’s rehabilitation offerings. He started the program 10 years ago while he was in prison and, upon his release in 2012, has expanded its menu of services to support California’s growing number of parolees with reentry.”
 
While people are helping one another to break addiction, science is progressing as well.  In a recent article titled New Treatment “Reverses” Cocaine Addiction In Rats | IFLScience “Drug addiction is a hugely complex condition that is caused by an intricate combination of physiological, psychological, and social factors, all of which makes it extremely difficult to treat. Like many drugs, cocaine leads to an increase in dopamine signaling in the brain’s reward circuit, creating an intense feeling of pleasure. However, repeated use can cause an imbalance in some of the brain regions involved in this circuit, such as the nucleus accumbens.”
 
The article goes on to say drug addiction is a hugely complex condition that is caused by an intricate combination of physiological, psychological, and social factors, all of which makes it extremely difficult to treat. Like many drugs, cocaine leads to an increase in dopamine signaling in the brain’s reward circuit, creating an intense feeling of pleasure. However, repeated use can cause an imbalance in some of the brain regions involved in this circuit, such as the nucleus accumbens.
 
Previous research has shown that these changes occur because cocaine use causes an increase in levels of a protein called brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), which helps to control the growth, development, and connectivity of neurons. Because BDNF works by activating a type of brain receptor known as the TrkB receptor, scientists have in the past attempted to treat cocaine addiction by blocking these receptors.
 
Several studies have shown that inhibiting TrkB activation in the nucleus accumbens of cocaine-addicted rats does indeed alleviate their drug dependence, causing them to stop choosing cocaine-laced water over regular water.”
 
All of this is not only taking place in the United States, but throughout the world.  Below is an excerpt of a film based on a man that adopts children in the Ukraine that have become addicted to drugs.  The headline of the article in which the video appears is Meet the man who adopts Ukraine’s drug-addicted street children – BBC Three
 
The film is called almost holy and is described in the article as “Almost Holy, a new film released this week, by director Steve Hoover and exec producer Terence Malik, portrays the life and work of an extraordinary figure – Pastor Gennadiy Mokhnenko. This is documentary, weaving archive and original captured footage, but Gennadiy could be a character from a comic – physically impressive, righteous, clear of purpose and unafraid to use force against the ‘bad guys’; he’s the ultimate vigilante hero.”
 
With drug activity plaguing nations for decades it’s nice to see that some recent advancements are being made to help people throughout the world.  If you are anyone you know is in need of help regarding substance abuse please reach out to us at sfccglobal.org

 

 

 

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Four tips on making a family budget for the future

Making a stable family budget for the future can help you spend appropriately and save money. Here are tips you need to consider to create your family budget.

Know your spendings

You should be aware where you spend your money. We usually take into account the significant expenses like mortgage payments and utility bills. You should also consider the small items. You can write down your regular expenses in a notebook. You can categorize your expenses.

Set goals

You need to set goals for your money. Find out how much money will make you feel great financially. It can be saving 2,000 or paying off your credit card debts. Set secondary goals as well; like saving money for a holiday. Write these aims on a piece of paper so that you remember.

Create the budget

Find out what spending habits you need to change if you are spending more than you are earning. People put emphasis on different things on their budget. Some emphasize food on their budget, whereas others emphasize on clothes or electronics. Maintain a log to identify the areas in which you are spending more. You should then work towards spending less on these items.

Monitor progress

You should review your budget every month to make sure that you are fine with it. You should make adjustments to your budget accordingly.

Overall, you should limit your spending. Overspending will lower the quality of life and will eventually get you into great trouble. So, you should follow these tips to make a good budget for your family.

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Three ways to make the divorce process easier for children

More kids are now experiencing the stress of divorce each year than before. The way children react to their parents’ divorce depends on the personality, age and situation. Divorce significantly affects the kids involved. The reaction is usually sadness, shock, frustration, worry or anger. To make your kids cope up with this stressful situation, you need to take the following steps.

Telling them about divorce

You should talk to your children upfront about your decision to get a divorce from your partner. If possible, both the parents must be present. You must explain to your child that sometimes parents cannot agree upon things, their love for each other changes and due to several other reasons they cannot live together anymore. You must tell them that it’s not their fault. When having the conversation with your kid, you should keep aside all your anger, blame and guilt. You should speak according to the child’s age, temperament, and maturity. You should assure your kid that none of you will stop loving each other even if you don’t live with your partner anymore.

Help kids to prepare for the changes

You should accept whatever the reaction can be from your child after hearing the news. Assure your child that it’s all right to react in such manner. Tell kids what changes they may expect in future; for example, who is going to bring them from school, where are they going to stay, where will they spend the holiday, where will each parent live, etc. You must be honest with your kid in answering every question.

Adjusting to the new life

Divorce can make significant changes in life. You should handle these changes gradually. You may get sole custody or joint custody of your child. You need to make arrangements regarding which parent kids can visit for how long. Your kid’s need must come first in making the arrangements.

Divorce is a very sensitive issue, and you must handle it very carefully. You should take each step gradually and help your kid adjust to the new lifestyle.