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About the Author:
Tonya is a gifted writer. She has guest posted on many blogs.
Currently divides her time writing dating advice for Dating Site.org and career advice on her personal blog, Find a Job After College.
 
 
 
 
 

I never would have guessed that I would be writing for a dating advice blog. Even more surprising are the many skills I have learned and people I have conversed with.

I once collected a list of all the dating sites I could find. There were over 700 in many languages and in many areas around the world! Admittedly, some seemed pretty sketchy, but most were very legit. I was amazed at how many niche sites there were. I suppose it’s nice to have something in common with the person you are dating, but I think part of the thrill of dating is discovering what you have in common.

Some niche sites aren’t so specific, though. BrainiacDating.com, for example, is advertizes itself as for smart people. Members are allowed to define intelligence however they want. You may find an artist, a scientist or a writer on the site. What everyone has in common is a desire to hold an intelligent conversation with someone.

Safety is also a big thing in online dating. It’s grown beyond just blocking people on dating sites. There are whole sites dedicated only to safety. Womansavers.com was a surprising find for me and a delightful interview. The site is full of men’s profiles that women have posted. These women have dating the man and are alerting other women not to date him. The man may be married, for example, but still seek out singles on a dating site. The site doesn’t do any huge advertizing. It instead opts to be spread by word of mouth. It’s semi-private so the comments on the site won’t prevent anyone from getting a job.[Zacht einde]

The dating world on the internet is huge, but I don’t think it’s any more dangerous than traditional dating. I can see a point in life where it would make sense, especially if you’re single in that 25-30 age group. A person is working all the time, trying to pay off those college loans, and goes home tired. They may have grown out of the bar scene and are simply at a loss as to where they can meet someone special.

There are dating site specifically made to set you up for a date during your lunch break, or just for drinks after work. People are busy these days, and dating sites are accommodating for that.

I advise everyone to treat the first face-to-face dating, even with someone you’ve been talking to for months online, like a real first date. Googleing someone may make you feel safe, but it’s not that hard to put only what you want people to know out on the internet. In any dating situation, you have to be both cautious and optimistic. After all, we couldn’t have excitement and passion without a little risk taking. That’s why they make pepper spray!

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New Emailadress

Hi TBF-loves

From now on TBF will have a new emailadress!!!

It will be: to.befearless@yahoo.nl
Please feel free to email us if you have questions or need advise!

 

xo, Jessica

Surviving

by: Cheryl ©

Surviving
Life can be very stressful and difficult. In my thirty eight years in this amazing world I have lost alot and been faced with situations that seemed impossible to survive.

I’m a three time rape survivour, lost my mother to breast cancer and have been jumped and attacked numberous times. How am I sitting here typing this blog for you all today??
Well, that’s simple really, strength, courage and amazing support systems.

How to deal with difficult times

In life we are all handed situations that we have to face and work through, though they may be difficult and at times seem impossible we can’t give up on ourselves or each other.
Within these difficult times we need support from those we love and we need to be there for ourselves as well.
Myself, I chose to do some pretty damaging and negative things to myself because of what happened to me, however, I also chose to get the help I needed to work through it all!!
There is absolutly no shame whatsoever in seeking help when you feel lost and alone.
We can’t always handle everything ourselves no matter how much we might want to.

The Journey of Life
Life is a journey and one thing that we can do is awake everyday and learn from ourselves and each other within our situations and experiences.
Life won’t always be about happiness and joy, however, being joyful and fearless are goals we should all aspire to reach.
Never allow anyone to tell you how you should live your life and always believe in yourself, it’s easy to believe in others but when it comes to ourselves it’s much different.
It took me many years to embrace and love who I am but I did get there with alot of hard work.

The Little Things in Life

The little things in life are what mean the most, whatever makes you happy is worth embracing and of course enjoying. Myself, I love scrapbooking and writing poetry, listening to music and watching my fave tv shows are also very relaxing and enjoyable for me. Embrace whatever makes you who you are and enjoy every little bit of it because who you are is what makes you unique and special.

Believe in yourself
People who know you may pass judgement and might not even believe what you have to tell them happened to you, however, always know that you know it’s true and what anyone else thinks isn’t important. More then anything else you need to beleive in yourself and all your capabilities and all that’s possible for you to achieve in your life. Life is the greatest and most precious gift we will ever receive, it’s priceless and more valuable then anything else!! I’ve learned over the years respect life and life will respect you!! As well, always remember God doesn’t give you more then you can handle and whatever he does give you to handle only makes you stronger in the end helps you grow into the person that you are.

Take Care Everyone
Embrace, Love & Enjoy Life
Be Joyful & Fearless
Cheryl Ring

By: Audrey©

Hello everybody! My name is Audrey and I’m new to this blog. In February of this year, I wrote a persuasive letter for my high school English class. I ended up getting a 93% on the paper. The other piece in this post is an article I wrote in April for my school newspaper. I got an amazing response from it and I hope I opened some eyes.

Dear Curriculum Advisor Eric Schneider:

In the time it takes you to read this letter, three people in the United States will be sexually assaulted. Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network (RAINN) describes sexual assault as unwanted sexual contact; it is one of the most heinous crimes that a human being can do to another. One in six women and one in thirty-three men are sexually assaulted at least once in their lifetime, and forty-four percent of sexual assault victims are under the age of eighteen (RAINN).

What are schools doing to educate students about these tragic statistics? Nothing.

“Only about forty percent of sexual assaults are reported. I definitely think that if schools talked about what sexual assault is, there would be an increase in the number of reported assaults,” says Erin McNiff from the St. Croix Valley SART (Sexual Assault Response Team). “Women under the age of eighteen are the most likely to be sexually assaulted,” McNiff says. Experts say that the likelihood of becoming a victim depends on one’s behavior and one’s knowledge of what sexual assault is. The best way to solve this dilemma is to arm students with the knowledge that can help protect them from sexual assault. I propose that the topic of sexual assault needs to be addressed and become a required district standard to be taught in health classes from seventh grade through high school.

Teaching sexual assault in school and at what age is a very widespread debate. Is elementary school too young? Is high school too old? The fact of the matter is that children as young as preschool need be taught to respect each other’s bodies. If children learn at a young age that saying no really does mean “stop”, they will carry the behaviors they learn with them for the rest of their lives. Beginning in seventh grade, I strongly believe that sexual assault should be a required standard in health class, both abstinence based and abstinence until marriage. Mr. Schneider, I propose that you create a new standard for all health classes for grades seven through twelve. This standard should include two parts: first, students show a clear understanding of sexual assault; second, students are exposed to ways to protect themselves from a sexual assault. I asked the health teachers at Maple Grove Senior High for specifics on how they talk about sexual assault. Both Rob Bremseth and Darby Carlson said that they cover healthy/unhealthy relationships, sexting, and abuse, including the sexual type, but “that doesn’t even scratch the surface of where you should be, especially in high school,” says Erin McNiff.

McNiff says that “the reason sexual assault isn’t taught in school is there is the notion ‘we don’t need to teach sexual assault because it doesn’t happen in our school.’” The sad reality is that it does happen in our school. It doesn’t necessarily mean that students are sexually assaulting one another within the walls of the school; it does mean that, inevitably, some students in our school district are victims of sexual assault. Another reason sexual assault is not taught in school is because there is a misconception that if we teach children about sex, they will start having sex. The truth? People are going to have sex whether it is taught or not. A district attorney in Juneau County, Wisconsin believes that “to teach a child how to use a condom equates to sexually assaulting said kid.” This is completely false. In order to be taught about sexual assault, I believe that students need to be taught about sex; learning about sex does not cause sexual assaults. Another common misconception victims have is that “maybe it wasn’t rape because he is a really great guy.” Students need to be taught that no means no and that if they do not stop when their partner says no, they are committing a crime. “Sex is already taboo; people don’t talk about it,” says Jane*, a former biology teacher. “Sexual assault is also taboo, so when you put the two together, people recoil at the thought of discussing it.” These deep and dark stories need to be brought into the light. In my opinion, the only way to accomplish this is to talk about and discuss the tragic statistics in a public setting such as school.

Jane is a ten-year survivor of sexual assault. When she was in school, they only taught about the vicious stranger rape. Little did she know that her attacker would be somebody she knew well. When Jane reported her assault, she didn’t know how to advocate for herself. “That is one thing that I wish I knew then, how to stand up for myself,” she says. “Because I didn’t know how, my case was handled badly and he never spent a day in prison.” When you think about whether sexual assault should be taught in school, think about people like Jane who never had the knowledge required to defend them from a sexual assault or to fight for justice when it happens.

Thank you for taking the time to read this letter. If you would like to contact me, you can reach me by the address at the top of this letter or by email at alp11794@yahoo.com.

Best regards,

Audrey

The Lowdown on Sexual Assault

 

You get up at 6am, ready at 6:30, gone by 7 and in class at 7:30. An hour and a half. What can happen in 90 minutes?
Forty-five sexual assaults in the United States alone.
Sexual assault, defined as unwanted sexual contact, is a major problem in this country, especially among young adults. You may be thinking that it will never happen to you. You don’t drink or do drugs, you know self defense, and you always carry pepper spray. Knowing these things will only decrease the likelihood of being attacked, but you could still become the victim.

When a person is sexually assaulted, it is urgent that they seek help immediately, for both counseling and other health concerns. Once the assault is reported, the victim will undergo a sexual assault evidence collection, more commonly known as a rape kit. A rape kit is a six to eight hour medical exam to collect any evidence that the police and prosecutors can use to identify and convict a rapist. “Every year in the United States, more than 200,000 individuals take the courageous step of reporting their rape to police. Because of what these individuals have suffered, their bodies are crime scenes. Living, breathing, feeling crime scenes,” said Mariska Hargitay, founder and president of the Joyful Heart Foundation, during her testimony on the rape kit backlog.

Look around the room. Think about your family, your friends, your coworkers. One in six women and one in thirty-three men are sexually assaulted at least once in their lifetime. Look around the room again.

Sexual assault is a crime that hides in the shadows. It doesn’t get talked about, especially in school. To me, this is extremely frustrating. I want to see students educated with the knowledge to help prevent them from a sexual assault. This is what the Joyful Heart Foundation works to do, bring these issues into the light. Their mission is to heal, educate and empower survivors of sexual assault, domestic violence and child abuse and shed light into the darkness that surrounds these issues.

Meranda, junior, says “Sexual assault needs to be taught in school. Students need to know what to do, and they aren’t getting that now.”

Myth: Adult women get raped by strangers who break into their house in the middle of the night. Fact: 80% of sexual assault victims are under 30. Fact: Either gender can be sexually assaulted. Fact: 90% of victims know their attacker. Fact: Sexual assaults can take place at anytime of the day.  The sad reality is that every person, male or female, child or adult, hetero or homosexual, can be the victim of a sexual assault.

As stated before, 90% of victims know their attacker. Does this mean that most attacks occur within a relationship? The answer is yes. These relationships can vary widely from case to case, but all begin the exact same way. There is an attraction. That attraction can be anything from asking the cute guy in your math class for help to a predator targeting a victim who is vulnerable. Now what is a predator? There is a stereotype that child molesters and pedophiles are the only type of predator. But what about the guy sitting across from you at a party or at a bar, who orders you a drink and says ‘someone as pretty as you shouldn’t be sitting here alone’? Not everyone who wants to buy you a drink or offer to drive you home is a predator, and we can’t tell people to always have their guards up. Bottom line: trust your gut instinct.

What makes a person commit a sexual assault? It’s a difficult question to answer, but the simplest answer is sexual assault is all about the power, aggression and control; the need to control somebody else. Some people are raised in a way that they feel like they have entitlement for control. They feel a need to dominate someone else.  Erin McNiff from the St. Croix Valley SART (Sexual Assault Response Team) says “the kids that want control, the ones abusive to their girlfriends, not wanting their girlfriend to talk to other people, to act a certain way, to dress a certain way. These are all needs for control and rape is just another form of that. In this case, that dominating instinct is already there and they feel the right to take that control from somebody as a sexual act.”

Four in five girls who have been physically abused in an intimate relationship continue to date their abuser. Why is this number so high? The case is often this. He hits her, tells her she is nothing. He says no one will ever love her the way he does. He says he is sorry and promises that he will never hit her again. She believes him. He buys her something to show he is sorry. Less than one week later: he hits her again. This abuse only gets more and more violent as time goes on. The only way to stop the pain is if you end it yourself.

Jane* is a ten-year survivor of sexual assault. While she was in high school (in 1998), they only taught about the vicious stranger rape. Little did she know that her attacker would be somebody she knew well. When Jane reported her assault, she didn’t know how to advocate for herself. “That is one thing that I wish I knew then, how to stand up for myself,” she says. “Because I didn’t know how, my case was handled badly and he never spent a day in prison.”

Myth: Rape is an impulsive and uncontrollable act of sexual gratification. Fact: Anywhere from 60% to 75% of rapes are planned in advance. Rapists want to have control and not lose it. Often, the rapist’s primary motive is hatred and aggression. Sex is merely the method to show the aggression.

Myth: Rape only occurs in large cities. Fact: Sexual assault can happen everywhere. Cities, suburbs and rural settings.

Sexual assault is a topic that is very close to my heart, for so many different reasons. I want to see our student body educated with ways to help prevent and protect them from an assault. It is my personal opinion that everyone knows at least one person who has been sexually assaulted. Whether that person tells you or not, that is their decision. I know three survivors. How many do you know?

*Name changed to protect identity of victim

What did you guys think? I encourage all of you to message me with any questions or comments either on Twitter (MHfan11794), DeviantART (mhfan11794) (both of my pieces are on DA), or email me (alp11794@yahoo.com). Of course you can leave any comments here but I do not have an account, so I wouldn’t be able to reply. If you chose to message me, please tell me that you read the article so I know it isn’t a random person who got my information. Thank you to the runners of this blog for allowing me to post these here and another huge thank you to Jane, Sophie, Tara, Melissa, Shannon and Liz. You guys all know why you are listed. Thanks again!


By: Alicia D

Introduction

    I know that Suicide Awareness week isn’t until September, but I felt that this is an important topic to talk about year around. Many of us have either tried to commit suicide, or know of someone who has been a suicide victim or tried to attempt it. I know of few people in my life who have attempted suicide. I have never attempted suicide, but I do know someone who has completed the suicide process. My friend I will call her “Rose” (out of respect for her family I won’t release her real name) suffered for many years of mental and physical illness, and almost three months ago she decided she had enough and ended it all. Rose was just a bit older than me and no one had a clue. Rose was the most positive person you’d ever meet. She had been raped 4 times in her life, and suffered from cancer, but that didn’t hold her back. Deep down inside she hid her pain. It was so shocking to hear about that she committed suicide. This story probably sounds familiar to you who have witness someone close to you who have either tried or did complete the suicide process. The part in my story about the fact they didn’t see it coming is what is often said. Most people say that they didn’t even see it coming and it is a shock! It has been estimated however that up to 75% of suicides victims display some warning signs or symptoms. Through this article I hope to make you more aware to the signs of someone who is suicidal plus a lot more information. I have graduate from the two year program of Social Services Worker, and through my course we have talked about suicide. I am taking the one year Graduate Degree of Victimology next year. I hope that this information I have gathered is successful, and helps you who need it.

Some Information on Suicide

 Suicide is a major health problem, with more than 32,000 deaths a year in the USA; which is roughly 80 suicides a day. There are 1,500 unsuccessful suicide attempts a day. In the age 18-65 age group suicide is the fourth leading cause of death in the USA. Nearly 1 million people worldwide commit suicide each year, with anywhere from 10 million to 20 million suicide attempts annually. About 32,000 people reportedly kill themselves each year in the United States; however the true number is likely higher because some deaths that were thought as accidents were actually suicide. Suicide is the 16th leading cause of death in females, and 8th leading cause of death for males. Suicide occurs in people of all ages and backgrounds, but certain groups of people are at increased risk for suicide attempts. This includes people with a psychiatric illness and a past history of suicide attempts. In the USA boys ages 10-14 commit suicide twice as often as their female peers. Teenage boys (15-19) complete suicide five times as often as girls their age. Overall males tend to commit suicide more, but females attempt it more often.  LGBTQ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Questioning) youth are more at risk for thinking about suicide then heterosexual youth. Suicide is the third leading cause of death for people 10-24 years of age. Teen suicide statistics for youth 15-19 years of age have increased 300% from 1950-1990, but from 1990-2003 has decreased by 35%. From 2000-2006 the rates of suicide has gradually increased, both in the 10-24 category, and 35-64 category.

Firearms are the most common means by which people take their lives, and other common methods include overdosing of medication, asphyxiation, and hanging. As said previously there is gender, age, ethnic, and geographical risk factors for suicide, as well as those based on family history, life stresses, and medical and mental-health status. In children and teens, bullying and being bullied seem to be associated with their committing suicide, and being bullied may put them at risk for committing murder-suicide.

Definition and Brief Summary

    The first thing I am going to do is give a definition of what suicide is. Suicide is the process of purposely ending one’s own life.  The way societies view suicide varies widely according to culture, religion, ethnic norms, and the circumstances under which it occurs. Many Western cultures, as well as mainstream Judaism, Islam, and some societies also treat a suicide as a crime. Suicides are sometimes seen as understandable or even honourable in certain circumstances.

Opposed to suicidal behaviour self-mutilation is defined as deliberately hurting oneself without meaning to cause one’s own death. Examples of self-mutilating behaviours include cutting any part of the body, usually of the wrist. Self-tatooing is also considered self-mutilation. Other self-injuries include self-burning, head banging, pinching and scratching.

Warning Signs

  Warning signs of someone who is planning to kill themselves may include the person making a will, getting his or her affairs in order, suddenly visiting friends or family members for one last time, buying instruments of suicide like a gun, hose, rope, pills or other forms of medications, a sudden and significant decline or improvement in mood, or writing a suicide note. Contrary to popular belief, many people who complete suicide do not tell their therapist or any other mental-health professionals they plan to kill themselves in the months before they do so. If they do tell someone it is more likely to be someone with whom they are personally close, like a friend or family member.

Individuals who take their lives tend to suffer from severe anxiety or depression, symptoms of which may include moderate alcohol abuse, insomnia, severe agitation, loss of interest in activities they used to enjoy (this is called anhedonia), hopelessness, and persistent thoughts about the possibility of something bad happening. Since suicidal behaviour are often quite impulsive, removing guns, medications, knives, and other instruments people often use to kill themselves from the immediate environment can allow the individual time to think more clearly and perhaps from the immediate environment can allow the individual time to think more rational way of coping with their pain.

Effects on Love Ones with Suicide

  The effects of suicidal behaviour or completed suicide on friends and family members are often very devastating. People that lose a loved one to suicide are called suicide survivors, and are more at risk for becoming preoccupied with the reason for the suicide, while wanting to deny or hide the cause of death. Also they wonder if they could have prevented the suicide, and feel blame for the problems that preceded the suicide, feeling rejected by their loved one, and stigmatized by others. Survivors may experience a great range of conflicting emotions about the deceased, feeling everything from intense emotional pain and sadness about the loss, helpless to prevent it, longing for the person they lost, and anger at the deceased for taking their own life. This is understandable these feelings about the person they are grieving is at the same time victim and the perpetrator of the fatal act. Individuals left behind by the suicide of a loved one tend to experience complicated grief in the reaction to that loss. Symptoms of grief that may be experienced by the suicide survivors include intense emotion and longings for the deceased, severely intrusive thoughts about the lost loved one, extreme feelings of emptiness, avoiding doing things that bring back memories of the departed, new or worsened sleeping problems, and having no interest in activities that the suffered used to enjoy.

Coping with a Love One’s Suicide

  When a loved one dies, your grief may be heart-wrenching. When a loved one commits suicide, your reaction may be more complicated. Overwhelming emotions may leave you reeling, and you may be consumed by guilt, wondering if you could have done something to prevent your loved one’s death. As you face life after a loved one’s suicide, remember that you don’t have to go through it alone. A loved one’s suicide can trigger intense emotions. For example:

  • Shock. Disbelief and emotional numbness may set in. You may think that your loved one’s suicide couldn’t possibly be real.
  • Anger. You may be angry with your loved one for abandoning you or leaving you with a legacy of grief  or angry with yourself or others for missing clues about suicidal intentions.
  • Guilt. You may replay “what if” and “if only” scenarios in your mind, blaming yourself for your loved one’s death.
  • Despair. You may be gripped by sadness, depression and a sense of defeat or hopelessness. You may have a physical collapse or even consider suicide yourself.

You may continue to experience intense reactions during the weeks and months after your loved one’s suicide including nightmares, flashbacks, difficulty concentrating, social withdrawal and loss of interest in usual activities especially if you witnessed or discovered the suicide.

The aftermath of a loved one’s suicide can be physically and emotionally exhausting. As you work through your grief, be careful to protect your own well-being.

  • Keep in touch. Reach out to family, friends and spiritual leaders for comfort, understanding and healing. Surround yourself with people who are willing to listen when you need to talk, as well as those who will simply offer a shoulder to lean on when you’d rather be silent.
  • Grieve in your own way. Do what’s right for you, not necessarily someone else. If you find it too painful to visit your loved one’s gravesite or share the details of your loved one’s death, wait until you’re ready.
  • Be prepared for painful reminders. Anniversaries, holidays and other special occasions can be painful reminders of your loved one’s suicide. Don’t chide yourself for being sad or mournful. Instead, consider changing or suspending family traditions that are too painful to continue.
  • Don’t rush yourself. Losing someone to suicide is a tremendous blow, and healing must occur at its own pace. Don’t be hurried by anyone else’s expectations that it’s been “long enough.”
  • Expect setbacks. Some days will be better than others, even years after the suicide and that’s OK. Healing doesn’t often happen in a straight line.
  • Consider a support group for families affected by suicide. Sharing your story with others who are experiencing the same type of grief may help you find a sense of purpose or strength.

Possible Causes of Suicide

    Why people commit suicide are multifaceted and complex, life circumstances that may immediately precede someone committing suicide including the time period of at least a week after discharge from a psychiatric hospital or a sudden change in how triggers (precipitants) for suicide are real or imagined losses, like the breakup of a romantic relationship, moving, loss (especially by suicide) of a friend, loss of freedom, or loss of other privileges.

Like I said previously firearms are by far the most common method, accounting for roughly 60% of suicide deaths per year. Older people are more likely to kill themselves using a firearm compared to younger people. Another suicide method used by some individuals is threatening police officers. This is called “suicide by cop”.

 

Risk Factors of Suicide

  Non-Hispanic whites and Natives are the ones most at risk.  The lowest rates are in Non-Hispanic blacks, Asians, Pacific Islanders, and Hispanics. Former Eastern Bloc countries are currently the highest rate for suicide worldwide, while South America is the lowest. The majority of suicide completions take place during the spring. In most countries women attempt suicide more, but men complete it more often. The frequency of suicide for young adults has been increasing in recent years; elderly Caucasian males continue to have the highest suicide rate. Other risk factors for taking one’s life includes single marital status, unemployment, low income, mental illness, history of being physically or sexually abused, a personal history of suicidal thoughts, threats or behaviours, or family history of attempting suicide.

Some mental illnesses that can lead to the increase probability of suicide attempts and completion are as follows schizophrenia, substance abuse, eating disorders, and severe anxiety. Nine out of 10 people who commit suicide have a diagnosable mental-health problem, and up to three out of four individuals who take their own life had a physical illness when they committed suicide. Behaviours that tend to be linked with suicide attempts and completion include violence against others and self-mutilation.

Risk factors for adults who commit murder-suicide include male gender, older caregiver, and access to firearms, separation or divorce, depression and substance abuse. In children and adolescence, bullying and being bullied seem to be associated with an increased risk of suicidal behaviours.

Generally the absence of mental illness and substance abuse, as well as the presence of a strong social support system, decrease the likelihood that a person will kill themselves. Having children who are younger than 18 years of age also tends to be protective factor against mothers committing suicide.

Emergency Assistance

  Immediate assistance is available for people who are overwhelmed by pain and loneliness and need somebody to talk to. When a person is in distress, telephone counselling, crisis lines, and suicide hotlines offer a no-pressure context in which to talk to a caring and anonymous counsellor. Telephone hotlines are also useful if you are worried about a friend who is suicidal and want to know what you should do in a particular situation.

Local services are listed in city or regional phone books. You can also call directory assistance or 2-1-1 in some areas for community service agencies. If there is a problem getting through to the phone service, don’t give up; either call again or phone a different service. Help is often very close at hand, and can give a suicidal person the extra time they need to reconsider their options and circumstances.

If you are urgently concerned that somebody is in a suicidal state, try to get them to the emergency ward of a hospital. Medical professionals can most effectively deal with suicidal tendencies and ensure that people gets the care required to stay alive.

Individuals who have hit an emotional rock bottom often cannot see how to pull themselves back up. Reaching out and finding support – either among friends and family or in religious or social institutions – can provide people with some relief and new hope in their lives.

Getting Treatment

  When suicidal thoughts are brought on by an immediate interpersonal life event, then reliving this event or talking with a close friend or family member may resolve the crisis.

  Individuals considering suicide should have a professional evaluation by a family physician or mental health professional to consider any of the following treatments:

  • ongoing psychological counselling (e.g., psychotherapy, marital therapy)
  • medical intervention (e.g., more aggressive treatment of a pain syndrome)
  • psychiatric treatment (e.g., treatment of a mood disorder, substance abuse, or schizophrenia)

Help Lines

  • 1-800-273-TALK (8255) (Free 24/7 confidential suicide helpline for if you know someone who is suicidal, or have suicidal thoughts

Here are several ways to find assistance: ( according to Centre for Suicide Prevention http://www.suicideinfo.ca/csp/go.aspx?tabid=40)

Check your phone directory for the listing of your local crisis centre.

Access the list of Canadian and American crisis centres from this web-page.

  • On-line counselling is available at the following addresses and sites:
  • http://www.befrienders.org/ – A 24-Hour confidential e-mail service by the Samaritans)
    • http://www.kidshelpphone.ca – A service for young people – also addresses issues other than suicide.
    • National Crisis Helpline – for use in locating the nearest crisis service in the United States. Phone Toll Free 1-800-999-9999
    • http://www.metanoia.org/suicide – Contains conversations and writings for suicidal persons to read. If you’re feeling at all suicidal, be sure to read this page before you take any action. It might just save your life.
    • San Francisco Suicide Prevention (SFSP) – Services are provided 24 hours a day by over 250 trained volunteers. Basic information on suicide (warning signs, advice, statistics and more) is also featured.
    • Crisis Support Services of Alameda County, California Services provided include 24-Hour Telephone Counseling, Grief Counseling, Stress Counseling, Community Education Program, Seniors Program.
    • Boys Town National Crisis Line – 24 hours a day, every day: the only national crisis line that children and parents can call with any problem, any time. The Hotline is staffed by caring professionals. Phone toll free 1-800-448-3000, or for TDD call 800-448-1833.
  • You have made the right choice to look for help. We hope you will contact someone right away.

On the following pages I have two testimonies from friends who were at one point suicidal. They have been through a lot and wanted to share their stories to show that you are not alone!

 

Tara’s Story

Well I was in middle school when I said I wanted to kill myself. All through school I was bullied and teased and made fun of because I was ugly. They would call me a teachers pet and stuff like that. So one day at school I was feeling sad because my sister moved away and we were so close. This kid kept picking on me and I just couldn’t take it, so I told someone that I wanted to throw myself out the window. They told the teacher and I had to go to the schools therapist. I was so scared and didn’t want to go. I told them I was just joking, but deep down that’s how I felt. So I went and they called my parents. My mom was so furious with me that when we got home she just didn’t want to talk to me. I lost her trust for a really long time. Then I had to go to a therapist for two months. Now that was scary. I was always crying when I went, but it was ok. The therapist would play games with me and talk to me. It was nice. So after that I started getting better and those thoughts left. Then when I got older after high school I started working. Within the first year of work things were so stressful. My grandmother who may R.I.P. was living with us at the time and she was very sick. So between her always complaining and working a lot and losing sleep I couldn’t take it. I got depressed and started cutting myself. I really don’t know why I did, but in a way it helped. I did it for a while but then stopped.  Another thing is that DCF had to get involved. They had gotten involved because of me wanting to commit suicide.  But one story that I will share is this. It was thanksgiving and we weren’t doing anything, and I had told my mom I was going to visit my sister because it was during school vacation. She said no but I kept insisting. Then she grabbed me and threw me against the couch and I hit my face against the arm of the couch and had a bruise on my face. Then she allowed me to visit my sister. When they saw the bruise they called DCF. When I got back and went to school I got called to the principal’s office and DCF was there. When I got home my mom packed up my stuff and kicked me out, and I ended up living with my sister for a while. A social worker then kept coming to check on me. After two months I went back to my mom’s house and things got a little better. I was 14 or 15 at this point. So what I did to seek help was talking to my friends at church and getting their support and having them pray for me. That really did work. I haven’t thought about suicide in a while. I mean lately I thought about because of what I went through when I was younger and the memories of being molested was getting unbearable but then I think back at how many lives i can touch if I stick it out and share my life with them, and hopefully they will overcome their own struggles. I hope this helps. It could have been worse you know but it wasn’t.

Zooey’s Story

When I was 13-14 I fell into a dark and deep depression. My father that abused my whole family was trying to wedge his way back into our life, and my “father” aka my ex step father’s alcoholism and anger was at its peak. On top of that my disease was acting up at its worse. I suffer from physical illnesses. With yelling and haunting memories filling my everyday life I tried coping with it with a razor. I also took more of my depression medications than I was supposed to. I would cut my arms and legs while in the shower, and when asked about cuts I would say I slipped. A couple of times I even cut my breast so it wouldn’t be seen. Sometimes when dealing with bullies at school I would go as far as taking the metal spiral and cut myself under my desk. One day after my dad had thrown my sister into a counter top I locket myself in my dark closet and put the razor on my left wrist. It was pressed into the skin, and I realized that though it’s hard I have too much to live for. How could I leave my family and friends like that; leave them wondering. I had been watching Law & Order: Special Victims Unit (SVU for short) for a couple months and because of that show and what my mom had gone through I realized that people go through worse things every day. I could get through this. No matter what was going on I should be grateful for I have, and I still live by that today. It is hard sometimes not to go back there, and have cut myself a couple times since then. Now I appreciate life. It’s too much to just give away. Once you do it, it is final. You made your final act taking you away from everyone you love, and everyone that loved and tried to help you. You have to grasp to any open hand when you are that depressed. Even though you may not want to, and think they don’t really care, they do. I chose to help people by my story and not let it control my life. I hope this helps those that are reading it. There is my story.

An Update!

Hey everyone!

We’ve all been very busy here at TBF ! So it was a little quiet here,,,Sorry!!

But, we have some updates!

  • April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month & April is also Child Abuse Prevention Month we will have some very informative blogs coming up about this topics and if you have any questionsabout these topics,  or want to share your story please email us at to.befearless@mail.com !
  • This month we will also have an article coming up about Suicide Awareness written by Alicia Dixon
  • We have a very interesting interview coming up!
  • We will have a poll every month
  • This month we will start with an open poll :

I’ll check back soon with a new blog post!

xo. Jessica

By Heather Susan Carr

Writing a Domestic Violence piece was something I never imagined writing about until recently – It was a subject I have seen from watching Law & Order SVU, Law & Order and other shows I have seen on TV. Seeing people in my travels I have always wondered what is on their minds from their facial expressions. I always wonder what makes them tick or what is really happening with them. The expressions and their eyes are windows to their souls. Human beings can be complex individuals, especially with relationships & why unspeakable things happen to them, such as Domestic Violence and/or Sexual Abuse. Why do things like Domestic Violence/Sexual Abuse happen? It is a complex question with many different answers to this question. There is no clear cut answer because many different factors come into play why Domestic Violence happens. People from different Socioeconomic Classes experience Domestic Violence because it is a class-less issue that does not decipher against anyone. I hope by writing this piece about Domestic Violence I’ll be able to help people that have or are experiencing Domestic Violence and to give them the support that they deserve and desperately need from all of us.

Until I did my Stopping the Hate Interview published in January, 2011 – I only discussed Fashion or Financial things with friends or with my Social Media Updates on Facebook or Twitter. With my interview being well received by people in different areas – This has made me realize that many different people are affected by many things. Taking part in causes such as: The Joyful Heart Foundation & RAINN on top of the activism that I am a part of has made me aware that people from all walks of life are affected by unspeakable things such as Domestic Violence & Sexual Abuse. Until a few years ago – many people did not discuss Domestic Violence,  because of the shame of dealing with an abusive spouse, partner, or family member doing unspeakable things and having to hide the abuse. I hope by writing this piece about Domestic Violence,  I can help make  people aware to the fact that there are people that live with Domestic Violence everyday and they need a voice/support to make it back to normalcy in their lives.

Domestic Violence is something that affects many aspects of society regardless of Background & Social Class. Many Victims that have experienced Domestic Violence live in Silent Fear and almost torment because of partners or relationships that have been abusive either emotionally or physically. Seeing firsthand how close friends have dealt with Domestic Violence – it became almost horrifying to see what had happen to them, because at times not knowing what had happened to  them – It angered me and I wanted to help them to get their voice back and support them to get back on their feet, both emotionally & physically. In my travels as a person that has experienced both emotional and sometimes physical abuse it has made me realize that doing things signally for the most part doesn’t work well. Having a support system for individuals ultimately helps not only from a healing stance physically but emotionally as well. Being a Person both in the LGBT & Transgendered communities – I have seen and at times experienced abuse & discrimination. I have had friends in the community that have unfortunately experienced Domestic Violence either from relationships they had or from people that wanted to do harm to them because of their hatred of Gay & Transgendered People. As an Advocate – making society as whole aware of issues such as Domestic Violence, Sexual Abuse, and Hate Crimes – should be everyone’s priority to end.

A recent instance with a close friend that had experienced Domestic Violence from a relationship was an emotional one not only for them but for me as well because of the person being involved in drugs, threatening to do both physical & emotional harm. The ex-boyfriend that she got involved with never told her anything about his long rap-sheet with the Police that included Multiple Felony convictions because of Robbery, & Drug Arrests. His Family had also a history of Drug Abuse with bouts with the law. The ex-boyfriend had friends that were also involved with Drugs & Robberies. My friend also came from a home that was one of divorce with her family not being there for her. With her self-esteem already being at a low point to begin with it didn’t take  long for her to be broken down from the point that she began with. She also had issues with drugs in her past & being involved with people that became Felons. She has gone through many ups and downs because she came from a previous experience from a family member degrading her emotionally. Being a friend I helped her to cope through her experience – to talk about it, advise her to work through the emotional time she had for several months. I empowered her to finally put an order of protection against her former ex-boyfriend not only to help protect her but to end the violence she was experiencing because of him. It got to the point that the ex-boyfriend was having his friends call her and threaten her with bodily harm because he was angry with being arrested for crimes he committed when they were living together before I came down to help her.  I spoke with some of the Police Authorities when my close friend was deciding to have a Domestic Violence order filed and said to her & myself that a Domestic Violence Order of Protection can help her but additional steps needed to be done (for example with me staying with her and watching to see if he or his friends come around to violate the order of protection), being aware of the surroundings and being street smart, taking defensive classes for protection. I also try to give her wisdom with my knowledge for law and what steps need to be done to take her life back.

I have had an instance where I almost had an issue with Domestic Violence myself. I found out a roommate I lived with had issues with the law and was paroled on multiple convictions for drugs and robbery as well. I was put into this situation unknowingly because of a landlord that wanted to rent his rental home to renters that he did not do background checks for, but took them for their word that they did not have any previous issues with Law enforcement. When I moved into the rented home – Initially I was by myself with no other renters. Quickly there were people that were moving in that I didn’t know. It was unsettling being put into a housing situation that I didn’t know the people I was living with before. I normally can live with people and be pretty much the peace maker & be good to live with. Living with someone of whom you do not know his/her background & eventually finding out that they had issues with the Police and was still having these issues does not sit well with me. The reason was an obvious one because it is a Safety Issue & I don’t want a situation where this person is causing problems where the Police are involved. It was also a scary time for me with the roommate because clearly we did not get along and the roommate had a very unpredictable attitude. I lived with this situation for a short period of time until I finally put my foot down and said either leave or I will put a Domestic Violence Restraining Order of Protection against them where the roommate will have to leave. Finally after this situation was done, the roommate was asked to leave and never to return there. Within 6 months of this happening I also moved to a better area never to deal with that situation again.

Many People are not as lucky with Domestic Violence and the issues I just discussed. Many have lived with the fear for many, many years. Some victims have unfortunately  been severely injured or murdered because they believed their relationship could change if they can give it another chance that  it will be better the next time. Some things are just too out of control to change, especially with relationships that cannot be changed. Changing the situation is a complex one because of the factors that are involved. Some people go through one bad abusive relationship to the next fearing they will be alone. Some people being so damaged from abuse – become abusers themselves to either – other relationships or loved ones such as children. The cycle of abuse has to stop. Sometimes the only way this can be done is to walk away or have someone that can be trusted to help the victim. The only way this cycle of Domestic Violence or abuse to stop is to help the victims and raise awareness. We as society need to help people stop this cycle of abuse or violence. We all need to Take a Stand, give support, and let the Authorities know when Domestic Violence occurs. I have talked about the Stopping the Hate initiative before – Domestic Violence is also a form of Hate. It is a Hate of a Spouse, Children, Domestic Partners, etc that needs all of our support to end the Heinousness of this Crime. Stop the cycle of Domestic Violence Now! – End It’s Destructiveness!!

If you are a Victim of Domestic Violence/Sexual Abuse – here is some useful information for support and to get help!!

Immediate Help in the United States – Police/Local Authorities – (911)


The Hotline – The National Domestic Violence Hotline (USA)   http://www.thehotline.org/

1-800-799-Safe (7233)   1-800-787-3224 (TTY)


The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence – http://www.ncadv.org/

The Joyful Heart Foundation –  http://joyfulheartfoundation.org/

The Joyful Heart Foundation works to foster a community that turns toward the issues of sexual assault, domestic violence and child abuse. Such a community, empowered with knowledge, courage and compassion, can support survivors of this violence and engage in an open dialogue about how to collaboratively end the cycle of violence and abuse.

Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network
The Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN) is the nation’s largest anti-sexual assault organization.  Among its programs, RAINN created and operates the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 1.800.656.HOPE begin_of_the_skype_highlighting    1.800.656.HOPE   end_of_the_skype_highlighting and the National Sexual Assault Online Hotline at rainn.org . This nationwide partnership of more than 1,100 local rape crisis centers provides victims of sexual assault with free, confidential services, 24 hours per day, 7 days per week.  These hotlines have helped over 1.3 million people since RAINN’s founding in 1994.

1-800-656-HOPE

National Organizations (USA)

Family Violence Prevention Fund

Washington, DC Office
1101 14th Street, NW #300
Washington DC 20005
Phone: 202-682-1212
Fax: 202-682-4662

Boston Office
67 Newbury Street, Mezzanine Level
Boston, MA 02116
Phone: 617-262-5900
Fax:617-262-5901

National Coalition Against Domestic Violence
Main Office:1120
Lincon Street
Suite 1603
Denver, CO 80203
Phone: 303 839 1852
TTY: (303) 839-8459
Fax: (303) 831-9251
E-mail: mainoffice@ncadv.org

Public Policy Office
1633 Q Street NW, Suite 210
Washington, DC 20009
Phone: (202) 745-1211
TTY: (202) 745-2042
Fax: (202) 745-0088
E-mail: publicpolicy@ncadv.org

Safe Horizon
2 Lafayette Street, 3rd Floor
New York, NY 10007
Crime Victims HOTLINE: 800-621-4673
Rape and Sexual Assult & Incest HOTLINE: 212-227-3000
TYY (for all HOTLINES) 866-604-5350
Fax:212-577-3897
E-mail: help@safehorizons.org

Domestic Violence Shelter Tour
2 Lafayette Street 3rd Floor
New York, NY 10007
Phone: 212-577-7700
Fax: 212-385-0331
24-hour hotline: 800-621-HOPE

National Resource Center on Domestic Violence
Pennsylvania Coalition Against Domestic Violence
6400 Flank Drive, Suite 1300
Harrisburg, PA 17112
Phone: 800-537-2238
Fax: 717-545-9456

Legal Office:
Phone: 717-545-6400
TOLL FREE: 800-932-4632
TTY:800-533-2508
Fax: 717-671-5542

Battered Women’s Justice Project

c/o National Clearinghouse for the Defense of Battered Women
125 South 9th Street, Suite 302
Philadelphia, PA 19107
TOLL-FREE: 800-903-0111
Phone: 215-351-0010
FAX: 215-351-0779
National Clearinghouse is a national resource and advocacy center providing assistance to women defendants, their defense attorneys, and other members of their defense teams in an effort to insure justice for battered women charged with crimes.

National Clearinghouse on Marital and Date Rape
2325 Oak Street
Berkeley, CA 94708
Phone: 510-524-1582

National Network to End Domestic Violence
2001 S Street NW, Suite 400
Washington, DC 20009
Phone: 202-543-5566
HOTLINE:800-799-SAFE
TTY: 800-787-3224
FAX: 202-543-5626

Womenspace National Network to End Violence Against Immigrant Women
24 Hour Mercer County Hotline: 609-394-9000
Fax:609-396-1093
Email: info@womenspace.org

Counseling & Support Services
1860 Brunswick Ave.
Lawrenceville, NJ 086448
Phone: 609-394-2532

Love is Not Abuse
Since 1991 Liz Claiborne Inc. has been working to end domestic violence. Through its Love is Not Abuse program, the company provides information and tools that men, women, children, teens and corporate executives can use to learn more about the issue and find out how they can help end this epidemic.