Sunday, December 16, 2012

Presidential Memorandum -- Intersection of HIV/AIDS, Violence Against Women and Girls, and Gender-related Health Disparities | The White House

Presidential Memorandum -- Establishing a Working Group on the Intersection of HIV/AIDS, Violence Against Women and Girls, and Gender-related Health Disparities | The White House

The Presidential Blog informs us that there are approximately 1.2 million people living with HIV/AIDS in the United States, including more than 290,000 women. Black and Hispanic women account for nearly three-quarters of new HIV infections among women.

In July 2010, President Obama launched the first National HIV/AIDS Strategy to provide a coordinated national response to fight the epidemic.

Last week, (December, 2012) as part of these ongoing efforts, President Obama issued a presidential memorandum establishing an inter-agency working group on the intersection of HIV/AIDS, violence against women and girls, and gender-related health disparities.

On Wednesday, the co-chairs of the working group, Lynn Rosenthal, the White House Advisor on Violence Against Women and Dr. Grant Colfax, the Director of the Office of National AIDS Policy, will join us for a special session of office hours on Twitter to take your questions on the intersection of HIV/AIDS, violence against women, and gender-related health disparities and the importance of supporting continued research, mobilizing both the public- and private-sector, and engaging families and communities.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

NCADV Press Release Murder-Suicide in KC

The murder of Kasandra Perkins, a new mother and daughter took place at the hands of her boyfriend, Jovan Belcher, a son and new father who happened to be an NFL ball player...specifically, a Kansas City Chief. Shortly after Jovan killed Kasandra, he then killed himself.

Domestic violence is a "mean thing" that is highly complex. It has devastating, rippling effects for all. It is not a private matter. It impacts the lives of many including the community as a whole. Domestic violence is our business!

 Domestic violence does not care about "who" you are, what you do, how much you make, where you live; nor does it care about your race, age, religion, economic status or educational level.

Take a moment to read the Press Release recently issued by the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence.

“The important thing to remember is that most men are not abusive,” says Rita Smith, Executive Director of NCADV. “If most of those good and caring men began to speak out about the use of violence against someone they say they love, we could really begin to see a reduction in that happening.” Rita Smith, Executive Director, NCADV

The direct link to the NCADV Press Release and to learn more on what you can do and what you need to know about domestic violence can be found at their website: www.ncadv.org

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Girls Tell Horrific Stories At Trial Of Pimp Known As ‘P Child’ « CBS Chicago


Datqunn Sawyer

 CLICK LINK:   Girls Tell Horrific Stories At Trial Of Pimp Known As ‘P Child’ « CBS Chicago

In April 2012, Datqunn Sawyer aka P Child was sentenced in federal court to 50 years in prison on multiple sex trafficking convictions he received in November 2011.

Sawyer, also a rapper known as P Child, beat, pimped, threatened and branded girls  ages 12 to 19 with the names he gave them. After his own P Child nickname, each was given a name he chose that started with a "P" including Precious, Paradise, Pooh, Peaches.

Chicago Tribune Reporter Annie Sweeney states:  One of his alleged prostitutes, a 19-year-old girl who went by the name of “Pooh,” testified that when she was 12, Sawyer befriended her and took her to his apartment where he lived with at least half a dozen other girls. She saw him throw a girl down a set of stairs, breaking her arm, she said.  Sawyer sold the girls dreams with promises of love, care and bright futures that quickly turned to nightmares.

Pooh, whose real name is Angelique, was soon put on the streets to prostitute. Her quota – was to service (have sex) with five to 15 men every day, she testified.  Pooh stated that when she had a “good day,” she said she was rewarded with McDonald’s.

The Reporter goes on to detail that Sawyer impregnated 3 of the girls:  Shawna, known as "Peaches", was pregnant with Sawyer's baby and was shown in a surveillance video wearing a strapless, colorful shirt pulled over her large, pregnant belly, shorts hugging her upper thighs. She was pregnant with Sawyer’s baby as she looked to turn tricks, she said, at his demand. “My ankles were hurting. I was tired, it was hot,” the doe-eyed Shawna testified. “We didn’t have no food. I needed to eat. So I needed to work.”

Observers state that Sawyer cried and sobbed throughout as he told the Judge he never knew that some of the victims were minors.  Sadly, Sawyer's supporters blamed the victims for the criminal and inhumane acts Sawyer committed against them.

These girls are somebody's daughters. Many questions come to mind as to how something like "Sawyer" was even able to get his hands on them and keep them....Hummm, "Family", or should I say some families are not what family use to be huh?
That is a whole-nother discussion.

The 50 year sentence Sawyer received was thought to be the harshest sentence handed down to date for sex trafficking.

 Fast-forward to November, 2012 and another (Alex "Cowboy" Campbell) gets a Life Sentence.
Dare I believe the system is finally saying you can't do this to our children?
Does this apply to all traffickers? Let's hope so!

more to come

Convicted Pimp Sentenced to Life in Prison

Convicted Pimp Alex "Cowboy" Campbell received a "Life Sentence" for Trafficking. He beat, raped and tortured women into prostitution.  His "ego" was his undoing.

Chicago Tribune Annie Sweeney reports on the sentencing:   U.S. District Judge Robert Gettleman recounted how Campbell forced the women to be tattooed in highly visible places — horseshoes stamped into their necks or in one case... a 13-line, 60-word homage to Campbell down a woman's back. Somethings are just outrageous!

"I think the worst thing you did to these girls, frankly, is branding them the way you did," Gettleman said before imposing a life sentence on Campbell. "They can't get rid of those tattoos. … They have a life sentence, all of them. Every time they look in the mirror. … And it's gonna hurt. Their life sentences compel a life sentence for you."

Justice is served!!

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Black Nouveau Highlights Laugh Out Loud Comedy Show for Asha

Black Nouveau Highlights upcoming event: Laugh Out Loud Comedy Show!!

Cheat Tip:  About 18 minutes into this program, Spitfire reads poetry on domestic violence... an intro to the upcoming benefit  "Laugh Out Loud Comedy Show and Fundraiser" for Asha Family Services.

Black Nouveau Host Joanne Williams interviews comedians Troy Allen and Rob G.

Get your tickets today!!

Black Nouveau Interview: Asha Family Services


Black Nouveau's host Joanne Williams discusses domestic violence with Asha's Antonia Vann and advocate, Tonya McCarty.

Click this link to the show:  Black Nouvea Latest Episode   

The original airdate is: November 7, 2012

Friday, November 16, 2012

URGENT! Get on this CALL! Funding for African American Programs!!


REGISTRATION IS REQUIRED!!!! Join the Office on Violence Against Women and the Institute on Domestic Violence in the African American Community for this telephone conference call to learn how African American led programs serving African American survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault, dating violence and stalking can apply for funding for their servicesREGISTER NOW!!

Please join the Office on Violence Against Women and the Institute on Domestic Violence in the African American Community (IDVAAC) for this telephone conference call to learn how African American led programs serving African American survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault, dating violence, and stalking can apply for funding for their services.
African American Targeted Programs for the Prevention of Violence Against Women
Get Access to Federal Funding
Monday, November 19, 2012
3:30 - 5:00 PM EST
Click here to register or call 877-643-8222, ext. 3
This telephone conference call is a partnership between IDVAAC and the U.S. Department of Justice Office on Violence Against Women.
Please share with your constituents!!!
Click here for a printable copy

This project was supported by Grant No. 2011-TA-AX-K072 awarded by the Office on Violence Against Women, U.S. Department of Justice. The opinions, findings, conclusions & recommenda-tions expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Department of Justice, Office on Violence Against Women.
Institute on Domestic Violence in the African American Community | 1404 Gortner Avenue | 290 Peters Hall | St. Paul | MN | 55108

Click the links to register or for more information, email Umi Hankins, Co-Director of IDVAAC at shankins@umn.edu or call IDVAAC at 877-643-8222 ext. 3

YOU DO NOT WANT TO MISS THIS CALL!!  FEDERAL FUNDING IS AVAILABLE FOR:  African American Targeted Programs for the Prevention of Violence Against Women
Get Access to Federal Funding
Monday, November 19, 2012
3:30 – 5:00 PM
Click here to Register or call 877-643-8222 ext. 3

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Someone's LIFE depends on your VOTE!

Your VOTE can mean the difference between all women having protections from violence, abuse and trauma or not.

VAWA protections for all victims has been under a sustained attack. The failure to pass the Senate version of VAWA continues to put lives in jeopardy. The passing of VAWA was deliberately held up. 

Your Vote is Your Voice!

There are some people who do not believe all women are worthy of protection. They also believe that there are some batterers and violators of women that should not be held accountable!!

These same people hope that pouring floods of money in to support a different agenda, that President Obama will be replaced. If their tactics succeed, they know they will be able to roll back protections contained in the Real VAWA. The Real VAWA, the Senate version of VAWA holds all abusers of women accountable for their actions and the Real VAWA says all women must be protected.

Sunday, October 21, 2012


Click link:  Brookfield shooter found dead inside spa | Waukesha County - WISN Home

What a difference a day can make!!  In the midst of my daily activity, over the past few days, I was sporatically working on a blog regarding the rash of domestic violence related homicides that happened this month to date in Florida!

The mass shooter (above left photo) Radcliff Houghton, age 45,
shot 7 women killing 3!
The shooter took 4 lives including his own and altered the lives of three (3) others injured and the lives of so many others! All directly related to domestic violence.
Law enforcement at this time are not saying if one of the deaths is in-fact, the shooter's wife who was employed at the Salon.
The ripples of consequence will go on for quite some time. Domestic violence is all of our business!!
More to come!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

BLACK WOMENS BLUEPRINT Domestic Violence and Marital Rape

Black Women In Conversation

SPECIAL EDITION: BlackWomensBlueprint (BWB) - Black Women in Conversation discuss the dynamics and the actual occurence of domestic violence in Black communities.

Click this link... LETTERS TO HARRIET: Domestic Violence and Marital Rape 10/17 by BlackWomensBlueprint | Blog Talk Radio

In recognition of Domestic Violence Awareness Month (DVAM) BlackWomensBlueprint discuss Domestic Violence and Marital Rape. Black women in conversation with BWB's Farah and Janeen, features:

*Dr. Patricia McManus, Executive Director, Black Health Coalition of Wisconsin
*Antonia A. Vann, CEO Asha Family Services, Inc.

Learn more about BlackWomensBlueprint at: www.blackwomensblueprint.org

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Domestic Violence Murders Video Tells 4 different Stories ABC News


 ABC News runs the News stories and 911 calls from FOUR different and recent domestic violence homicides.

*17 year old boy kills his mother and 15 year old sister - Texas - Boy says he had been planning on killing "her" for awhile.

*12 year old boy kills his mother's fiance - Ohio - Boy shot his mother's fiance for threatening he and his mother.

*10 year old boy kills his mother - Investigation continues

*10 year old boy kills his father - New Mexico - Child Protective Services had been to the house 7 times for reports of repeated abuse and neglect.

Click this link below for video footage and 911 calls to Police:
Texas Teen Tells 911 It Was 'Weird' to Kill His Mother and Sister - ABC News

Domestic Violence is a mean thing.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Presidential Proclamation -- National Domestic Violence Awareness Month, 2012 | The White House

Presidential Proclamation -- National Domestic Violence Awareness Month, 2012 | The White House
Photo by Stan Honda/AFP/Getty Images
..."NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim October 2012 as National Domestic Violence Awareness Month"

Domestic Violence Awareness Month FACTS

  • That one in every four women will experience domestic/intimate partner violence in her lifetime.
  • That 85% of domestic/intimate partner violence victims are women.
  • That it is estimated that 1.3 million women are victims of domestic/intimate partner violence.
  • That females between the ages of 20 to 24 are at greatest risk of domestic/dating violence.
  • That the majority of domestic/intimate partner violence incidents go unreported to Police.
  • That domestic/intimate partner violence results in more than 18.5 MILLION mental health care visits each year.
  • That the cost of domestic/intimate partner violence exceeds $5.8 BILLION DOLLARS EACH YEAR!!
Learn the FACTS! Check out www.NCADV.org and www.WCADV.org

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Domestic Violence: THREE WOMEN MURDERED by estranged boyfriend


Carlene Pierre, who authorities say was shot and killed by her estranged boyfriend on Sept. 27, 2012, pictured with her two oldest children.

Click link to Orlando Sentinel story....   Slain hotel clerk feared estranged boyfriend would kill her

Carlene Pierre, pictured above with her two oldest children was murdered September 27, 2012, by her estranged boyfriend Michelet Polynice. Carlene was a 28-year-old mother and hotel employee.

Michelet Polynice, 33, is accused of killing two women and injuring a third, then commiting suicide.
Michelet Polynice age 33
This murderer (Polynice), a documented abuser of women, took his hate of women several steps further...he not only murdered Carlene, his former girlfriend but he also murdered another woman who was with Carlene and minutes later, he then drove to another hotel in the area and murdered Carlene's best friend!!  He murdered three women! 

To talk about domestic violence being a "mean thing", is an understatement!

It is estimated that 3 women die each day in this country due to domestic violence.

As you can imagine, Carlene daily feared for her life as she attempted to break off her relationship with violent partner, Polynice, age 33.  Carlene told people around her that she was extremely afraid of what he (Polynice) might do to her. She told people, "He is going to kill me".

The Orlando Sentinel states Carlene, "Told authorities two weeks ago her estranged boyfriend — a man with a long history of violence against several women — choked, punched and threatened to kill her. She was afraid he wouldn't stop until she was dead"... She was right... he did not stop until she was dead.

Carlene obtained a Domestic Violence Injunction against Polynice on September 12, 2012, writing, "He is very jealous, very controlling, he has a temper, anything will set him off and he will start hitting me"  "I am very afraid for my life."

I don't understand why Polynice was not in jail for the previous violent assaults given the fact that he tried to run her over with his car just the night before! As well, he has a lengthy history of violence against multiple women!

As Police chased him, Polynice killed himself following the murder of Carlene and 2 others. I am certain the other women who did escape Polynice, feel relief and quite blessed.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

The Obama Administration Efforts to Combat Human Trafficking | The White House

In President Obama's address today September 25, 2012, he stated this on combating Human Trafficking...

"I’m talking about the injustice, the outrage, of human trafficking, which must be called by its true name—modern slavery.” President Obama
click link to fact sheet below:

Fact Sheet: the Obama Administration Announces Efforts to Combat Human Trafficking at Home and Abroad | The White House


Thursday, September 13, 2012

Campaign Against Female Genital Mutilation 'Walk to End Ritual Cutting"

U.S. survivors of female genital mutilation speak at Their Voice conference in New York City

New Yorkers Walk to End Ritual Cutting of Girls | Womens eNews

She was 9 years old and her clitoris was cut off with a razor along with her external genitalia which were subsequently stitched together, leaving only an opening the size of a match stick. She was given no anesthesia.

The Campaign Against Female Genital Mutilation (CAGeM) is an international nonprofit group started by African female physicians in 1998.  The physicians say that some individuals who wish to "appear neutral" on the issue use the phrase "female genital cutting".
Whatever it is called, we are working hard to eliminate it. 

In 2000, Boston's Brigham and Women's Hospital reported that 227,887 females in the United States were genitally mutilated or are at risk of it, a 35 percent increase from 1990. The New York metropolitan area has the highest number, at 40,813.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Native American women - Staggering Sexual Violence numbers!


MUST READ:   Guardian.co.uk - Sexual violence is tearing Native American communities apart

Sexual violence against ALL women is at epidemic proportions! One in 4 to 6 women depending on the population...however, ONE IN EVERY THREE NATIVE AMERICAN WOMEN REPORT THEY HAVE BEEN RAPED OR SEXUALLY ASSAULTED!! 

"That is more than 2.5 times the national average. And if you think those numbers are staggering, consider who is carrying out these attacks: at least 86% of sexual assaults are reportedly being perpetrated by non-Native men, according to the US Department of Justice".
The CRAZY part to this is that these non-Native men will not be held accountable for their assaults on Native women!  The new revised, diluted, selective victim VAWA will make sure these men will not be held accountable. There is NO Justice for these victims without the "Real" VAWA passed, the SENATE version of VAWA.

Click this link to see this New York Times story.... one out of every three Native American women

To allow such trauma and injustice against ANY woman is an assault against us all.

More to come!

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Domestic Violence & A Child's Brain Development

Younger children are impacted more severely than older children by exposure to domestic violence.

MUST WATCH!! The impact of domestic violence exposure in the brain of young children.

Early Experiences shape the brains of younger children...that is what is suppose to happen.

The Brain of a child will become exactly what it is exposed to.

Bruce D Perry, MD, Senior Fellow Child Trauma Academy. "The tragic reality of children who grow up experiencing domestic violence end up with mental health problems at much higher rates than those children who were irect victims of physical abuse".

The good news is the brain has the capacity to heal from these early exposures.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Raped, pimped out and jailed: The painful saga of Sara Kruzan


Raped, pimped out and jailed: The painful saga of Sara Kruzan

Sara Kruzan was a victim of rape and sex trafficking. As in the Marissa Alexander wrongful conviction case in Florida, this article similarly has, "No expert witness testified in Ms. Kruzan’s defense during her trial."  What is up with that one??!!   Did these folks just decide that she was just a prostitute, a lesser teen and blew her off to just wash her away without finding out how the 16 year old even got to such a status in life?

As was the case with Marissa Alexander, the Prosecutor in Sara's case said she (Sara) was NOT a victim of domestic violence!

This must read article continues..."Jurors were not told about the prolonged sexual abuse she’d suffered, and the court’s discretion to sentence her with parole as a minor was overlooked".

I am truly afraid to explore just how many such cases like this actually exist.

More to come!

Friday, August 10, 2012

Institute on Domestic Violence in the African American Community 2012 National Conference



Domestic Violence and the Black Community: Unpacking the Significance
Of our Diversity - Examining Culture, Class, Social Context, and Ethnicity for Effective Research and Service Delivery

The Institute on Domestic Violence in the African American Community - IDVAAC  National Conference - August 13-14th 2012 -  Norfolk, Virginia! This year IDVAAC offers a rich line-up: Keynote address by Gail E. Wyatt, Ph.D., UCLA AIDS Institute Director and author; Bold Panel Discussions and Engaging and informative workshops on critical topics!

PANEL:  Larry E. Davis, Ph.D. * Dorothy Roberts, J.D. *
 Gail Elizabeth Wyatt, Ph.D. - Culture, Class, Ethnicity & Social Context in the Black Community: A Broad Perspective

Grace Bonareri Mose, D.A.

Presenter and Panelist: Domestic Violence in African Immigrant

and Refugee Communities

Miriam Jiménez Román

Presenter and Panelist: Latina Perspectives –

PANEL DISCUSSION: Diversity in the Black Community:

Implications for Service Delivery

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Child Sex Trafficking on the Internet- "Selling the Girl Next Door" Docu...

Thirteen year old Selena is from Detroit, MI. She is pimped out by a man and a woman who found her on the Backpage.com. She is sold for $350 an hour for the sexual pleasure of grown men. This started when she was age 11.  Just like ordering a pizza...SMDH

Sunday, July 29, 2012


The incarceration of Marissa Alexander is a travesty of justice!

How can a man who fired several shots that did kill someone get such a lenient sentence while Marissa did not shot or kill anyone and received a 20 year sentence??

Marissa fired a warning shot to stop her violent husband from attacking her again?

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Sister Circle Groups EVERY THURSDAY - Miss Celie's Blues)

In my Shug Avery voice..."Sistah, you been on my mind, oh Sistah, we two of a kind..."

WHEN:   Sister Circle Groups meet every Thursday from 5:30pm to 7pm.

WHERE:  Sistahs' Cafe & Deli - 3717 W. Center Street * Milwaukee, WI

**(Sistahs' Cafe & Deli is the job training and job development component of
      Asha Family Services, Inc.)

Sister Circle Support groups are culturally relevant to African American and other like women. This includes: Those women living with abuse; those who have escaped it AND those who want to support them. Sister Circles provide healing with tools and skills for daily living including: safety planning, counseling, advocacy, education, finances/budgeting, healing, journaling and more. 
 Do you know a woman who is trapped in or has survived Domestic Abuse? Sexual Abuse? Emotional/Psychological abuse?
Sex Trafficking? Incarceration? Substance Abuse? HIV/AIDS?
Tell her she is not alone! Take her by the hand and bring her to Asha Family Services’s Sister Circle Support Group. There is HEALING from abuse!  At Sister Circles, you can learn what you can do to help save a Sistahs life!
Be Informed!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Marissa Alexander Case: Rep. Brown vs. Angela Corey Talk on Marissa Alexander

I thought I would "gag" at the patronizing tone State Prosecutor Angela Corey used when talking to Rep. Corrine Brown regarding the case of Marissa Alexander. Corey didn't even sound genuine to me. It is just mind boggling how this woman could possibly believe she made a  "righteous" call on Marissa Alexander receiving 20 years!

This just stinks! As my grandmother use to say, "There is a dead cat on the line"! In the field of violence against women prevention, you are reminded that in too many cases, a victim's greatest challenges can come at the hands of another woman.

In this case, Marissa fought repeatedly for her own life against her husband Rico Gray, a serial abuser of women and she fought for the life of her unborn child who came pre-maturely  and now she is fighting for her freedom against the criminal justice system that should have protected her but she was met by a woman (Corey) who obviously does not like her.

Dislike for Marissa seems obvious, however I also wonder why.  Is it because Marissa is Black? Is it because she is a woman? OR is it because Corey's decisions are being challenged by supporters of Marissa?  HOW DARE US QUESTION HER!!   Here is another issue...I have also wondered why victim advocacy programs in Florida have remained so silent on this case and that it went so long before any of us knew about it. Marissa was locked up and jailed the same day the incident took place, unlike George Zimmerman who persued, shot and killed Trayvon Martin.  Are victim serving program silent out of fear? Are they being threatened into silence? If so, it would seem an abuse of power fueled by a huge ego may be in play.

Corey rants about this case being tried in the media ...I guess she thought it would slip by so she is now in the position of defending her choice to go after Marissa, however it is now seemingly with a vengence! One could think she was a "woman-hating" man, but it is more than that with her.  Corey kept talking about where the "warning shot" was fired! What difference does that really make? The bottom line remains, Marissa did not point the gun at that abusive and violent man nor anyone else! NO ONE was shot or killed and Marissa may have saved her own life against Rico Gray that day in August of 2010 and since that day she is faced with another battle that should be the concern of us all.

More to come...

Monday, July 16, 2012

A TASTE OF SOUL - ft. GiGi, Jammin Dee & Men That Cook!

3719 W. Center Street * Milwaukee, WI 53210
(414) 875-1511 * Fax: (414) 875-1217



Sunday, July 29, 2012
1:00pm to 6:00pm

Nostalgia II
9316 W. Appleton Avenue
Milwaukee, WI 53225

The fabulous - GiGi
The awesome - Jammin Dee
The amazing - Men that Cook

DONATION - $10.00
$15.00 at the Door
(Request your tickets on-line at our website "Contact Us" or call Asha for your tickets today!)

This outstanding event and line-up is presented to support the work of Asha Family Services, Inc.(Asha)
You can help save lives!

visit Asha on-line at: http://www.ashafamilyservices.org

Thursday, July 12, 2012

RIVER FALLS KILLINGS: Did Father kill his 3 daughters to get back at their mother?

RIVER FALLS KILLINGS: Father called ex-wife, asked to visit girls before killings

Click for videohttp://www.weau.com/video/?autoStart=true&topVideoCatNo=default&clipId=7490296

Domestic violence is a demonic killer of spirit, mind and body!

This divorced father of 3 called his ex-wife while she was at work to request an impromptu visit with his daughters who were at home with a babysitter.  The mom agreed. The father later called his wife back at work to tell her he harmed the children and for her to come home. The mom called police first who made it to the home before she did and they found the bodies of her 3 daughters ages 11, 8 and 5.

Was he trying to get the mom home to kill her as well? The presence of gas was strong in the home so had he planned a murder/suicide of the entire family?

Why didn't he just kill himself?!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Young, Depressed, and Of Color: Why Schools and Doctors Get It Wrong - COLORLINES

Young, Depressed, and Of Color: Why Schools and Doctors Get It Wrong - COLORLINES

This article states, "There’s a deep mistrust between communities of color and the mental health field". Read on...

The National Alliance on Mental Health notes (PDF) that African Americans are more likely to be misdiagnosed and, in turn, receive inadequate treatment often due to a “lack of cultural understanding.”

NAMI Fact SheetExperiences of mental illness vary across cultures, and there is a need for improved cultural awareness and competence in the health care and mental health workforce.

NAMI Fact SheetAcross a recent 15-year span, suicide rates increased 233 percent among African Americans aged 10-14 compared to 120 percent among Caucasian Americans in the same age group across the same span of time.

Click (PDF) above...to get the National Alliance on Mental Illness Fact Sheet:  African American Community Mental Health

Be informed!

Monday, July 9, 2012

For sale: Girls and women, on backpage.com | Editorials - The News Tribune

For sale: Girls and women, on backpage.com | Editorials - The News Tribune

Girls and women are advertised for sale on backpage.com that is owned by Village Voice Media.
Village Voice hides behind the First Amendment to participate in and profit from the sale of girls and women for sex. Village Voice Media promotes pimping and human trafficking on another level.

One such Ad on backpage says, "Mature, college educated professional seeking a girl or woman for Adult Fun.  Any age or body type." Instead of saying "payment" some will say "donations"  SMDH!

Backpage does not require any confirmation that the females being sold on its pages are actually adults.  "Far too often, they turn out to be girls, many of them virtual slaves to pimps and human traffickers who are forced into prostitution. Far too often, girls and women alike become prey to criminals who find them on backpage.com."  Some of these girls and women have never been seen again.

The Legislature is moving to create a new felony, “Advertising commercial sexual abuse of a minor.”

Read more here: http://www.thenewstribune.com/2012/02/14/2025197/for-sale-girls-and-women-on-backpagecom.html#storylink=cpy

A brutal – and typical – example is the case of Julian Tarver, a serial rapist who was sentenced to 14  years in Feb of 2012 in King County. He trolled backpage.com for victims; when prostitutes arrived at his apartment, he’d impersonate a police officer, handcuff them and force himself upon them.
Two of the females he raped were 15-year-old girls – both advertised on backpage.com.

Sign the Petition started by a 13 year old girl and her mom who are compelled to face-off with Village Voice Media to take down their sexual ads of girls.   CLICK THIS LINK TO SIGN THE PETITION:  http://signon.org/sign/village-voice-media-please?source=s.fwd&r_by=902329

I am sure there is more to come on this one!

Read more here: http://www.thenewstribune.com/2012/02/14/2025197/for-sale-girls-and-women-on-backpagecom.html#storylink=cpy

Andre Davis freed after DNA evidence helps clear him | abc7chicago.com

Andre Davis freed after DNA evidence helps clear him | abc7chicago.com

Andre Davis served 32 years in prison for the rape and murder of little 3-year-old Brianna Stickle.

Davis maintained his innocence and with the help of his attorney and the Center for Wrongful Convictions, in 2004 he asked that the DNA collected at the 1980 crime scene be tested. 

Tests confirmed that the DNA collected from blood and semen taken at the crime scene, was not Andre Davis's.  Based on this evidence, the Illinois appeals court ordered a new trial this past March. On Friday, July 6, 2012, the State's Attorney dropped the charges against Andre Davis and after 32 years behind bars for a murder he did not commit, Davis was released from the Super Max prison in Tamms later in the day.

DNA was not available in 1980 however, the process is troubling. The request to have the DNA tested was made in 2004. The Illinois Appeals Court ordered the new trial this past March 2012. What was going on in the 8 years between the DNA testing and the courts?  So far, 42 wrongful convictions have been over-turned in Illinois due to DNA testing. Of the 42, Davis has served the most time.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

In Alabama Prisons, The Less Sheriffs Spend On Food For Inmates, The More They Earn

In Alabama Prisons, The Less Sheriffs Spend On Food For Inmates, The More They Earn:

One Sheriff in Alabama is finally speaking out against a 1939 law that allows for the state’s 67 sheriffs to keep leftover money the state provides to each municipality for feeding inmates in local prisons.

 In 2009, former Morgan County Sheriff Greg Bartlett was himself put behind bars after he admitted to keeping more than $200,000 from the prison’s food budget while the inmates he oversaw were provided with inadequate food. It’s not hard to imagine how such a system could lead to massive corruption.  Remarkably, Bartlett may not have actually broken any laws, a point the Alabama Sheriffs Association made to defend Bartlett during his trial.

The current Cullman County Sheriff Mike Rainey, is calling on the legislature to end the current system in favor of allowing county commissions to oversee the funding.  He also wants to ensure that inmates are served fresh, healthy food.
“Incarceration is punishment. I know some people think you shouldn’t worry about what an inmate eats, but I think it’s a moral issue,” Rainey said. “They’re not getting filet mignon, but they’re certainly not (now) being served green bologna, nor will they be served something like that.”

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Sara Kruzan: Sentenced to Life Without Parole at Age 16

Child Sex Trafficking Victim Sara Kruzan killed her violent and abusive pimp at age 16 and received a Life Without Parole Sentence.

Click this link to Free Child Sex Trafficking Victim Sara Kruzan: Child Sex Trafficking Victim Kills Pimp, http://www.freesarakruzan.org

Sara Kruzan, at age 11 was raised in chaotic dysfunction with a drug addicted mother. During a time she should have been protected and cared for, she became the "interest" of an adult male called G. G. who was also a sex trafficker. When Sara reached the age of 13, G.G. began raping and beating her. It was also at this time, he forced her into prostitution. G.G. put Sara in his "Stable" with other young girls and women who Sara says, "We were all I guess, married to him...that is how they do it".
For 3 years, Sara's mandatory daily work hours on the streets for G.G. was from 6pm to 6am 7 days a week.  Sara felt trapped in a seemingly never-ending nightmare and no body cared.

A rival of her pimp G.G. handed her a loaded gun and taunted her to kill her tormentor. For Sara, pulling the trigger seemed the only way out of her living hell...she pulled the trigger and G.G. died. That was 18 years ago in 1994 when she was arrested and sentenced to Life Without Parole at age 16.

Today at age 34, Sara educated, smart and intelligent, is acutely aware of  the dynamics of what "really" happened to her as a child and that it was wrong. She currently helps other women and girls in prison to help them deal with the abuse they suffered on the streets and in dysfunctional homes. She knows that her own lack of protections by caring adults and a history of repeated abuse and victimization as a child, is what allowed her to be easy prey for an abusive pimp and later to commit such a crime. Sara should have been protected and no one did that!

In 2010, Governor Schwarzenegger commuted her Sentence to 25years, however that still means  Sara has many more years yet to serve. Now, Governor Jerry Brown of California has the power to say "Time Served" and release Sara.

Please watch the engaging video of Sara's interview and click the link above to sign the petition to urge Gov. Brown to free Sara now.

More to come...

Family Files Suit Over Texas Inmates & Air Conditioning « CBS Dallas / Fort Worth

Family Files Suit Over Texas Inmates & Air Conditioning « CBS Dallas / Fort Worth

jail bars 1142217 Family Files Suit Over Texas Inmates & Air Conditioning

The inmate who died in this law suit was serving a one year sentence. After he collapsed due to a heat stroke, he was taken to the hospital where he had a body temperature of 109 degrees. It is estimated that the heat-index in his housing unit was between 121 and 128 degrees. 

The Texas Civil Rights Project says that "Prisons turn into brick ovens," due to the increasingly high temperatures. A total of 9 inmates died last year due to heat related causes.

Link to videohttp://dfw.cbslocal.com/video?autoStart=true&topVideoCatNo=default&clipId=7444409

State law requires that all jails keep an inside temperature between 65 and 85 degrees, but that law doesn’t apply to state prisons.

Texas has 111 prisons housing approximately 150,000 inmates. About 21 of those facilities is or has some partial air conditioning "for inmates".

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Book Release on Black Women, Violence and US Prison Nation!!




Beth E. Richie is Director of the Institute for Research on Race and Public Policy, Professor of African American Studies and Criminology, Law, and Justice at the University of Illinois at Chicago, and author of Compelled to Crime: The Gender Entrapment of Battered Black Women.


The books description states: The threat of violence to Black women has never been more serious, demonstrating how conservative legal, social, political and economic policies have impacted activism in the US-based movement to end violence against women. Richie argues that Black women face particular peril because of the ways that race and culture have not figured centrally enough in the analysis of the causes and consequences of gender violence. As a result, the extent of physical, sexual and other forms of violence in the lives of Black women, the various forms it takes, and the contexts within which it occurs are minimized—at best—and frequently ignored.

order your copy today!

ADVOCATE: AIDS Rate Among Urban Black Women Stuns Researcher...

Click this link:   ADVOCATE: AIDS Rate Among Urban Black Women Stuns Researcher...: AIDS Rate Among Urban Black Women Stuns Researchers - Maggie Fox - NationalJournal.com

Don't be fooled thinking AIDS can't happen to you! Click the link above and get the facts to be informed. If not for you, then do it for a women or girl you love.  This is devastating to our community! We all need to be just as stunned and shocked as the researchers!!!  We are killing ourselves by our own stupidity!
“While we have always known that African-Americans had a higher risk of HIV infection than other American racial groups, this study confirms it and underscores the severity... of the national and local problem, especially in cities,” Flexner said.

“Most of these women were not active injection-drug users. The vast majority were heterosexual.” Some of the women were trading sex for drugs such as crack, but not all.

“A lot of these women are just young, sexually active folks in their teens, 20s, and 30s whose sexual partners are HIV infected and they don’t know it,” Flexner added. More than 40 percent of the women had no idea whether their sex partners had HIV.

The CDC says that 66 percent of the women newly infected each year are Black women! even though African-American women represent only 14 percent of the U.S. female population. “Nearly one in 30 black women will become infected with HIV in her lifetime,” the CDC says.

Be informed.

Thursday, June 28, 2012


THERE IS HEALING FROM ABUSE  http://www.ashafamilyservices.org


WHAT:               Sister Circle Support Groups

WHERE:            Asha Family Services, Inc. (Asha)

                             Sistahs’ Café & Deli
3717 W. Center Street * Milwaukee, WI * 53210
WHEN:              EVERY THURSDAY, 5:00pm to 7:00pm

Sister Circle Support groups are culturally related to African American and other such women of color living with abuse;  AND those women who have survived abuse; AND those women who want to support them.  We are somebody's mother, sister, aunt, grandmother, neice or cousin. Regardless, we are all Somebody's Daughter!
Sister Circles provide healing with tools and skills for daily living including: safety planning, counseling, job training, education, finances/budgeting, healing, journaling and more. 
Do you know a woman who has survived domestic violence? Sexual Violence? Sex Trafficking? Incarceration? Substance Abuse? Tell her she is not alone!
Take her by the hand and bring her to Asha’s Sister Circle Support Group. There is HEALING FROM ABUSE!  
At Sister Circles, you can learn what you can do to help save a Sistah's life! Be Informed!

Vote for Sistahs' Cafe & Deli at Mission Small Business!

Help survivors win?? All we need is your VOTE!!  It REALLY does only take a couple of minutes!! Vote for Sistahs' Cafe & Deli  in Milwaukee, WI at Mission: Small Business!!  http://www.missionsmallbusiness.com  We need a total of 250 Votes!

This really only takes a minute! Please go to www.missionsmallbusiness.com and vote for us.
MIDNIGHT TONIGHT IS THE DEADLINE!  Vote for Asha's dba: "Sistahs' Cafe & Deli" at www.missionsmallbusiness.com Here is how to do it:

Click the link to missionsmallbusiness above. At the mission site, CLICK the Blue Button "Log In & Support" ...when you see "Log In & Support", click that. (Log-in is with your facebook page) Enter our dba business name as: Sistahs' Cafe & Deli then click Search. When we come up, click VOTE! It really is quick and easy!

Sistahs' Cafe & Deli is a micro-enterprise of Asha Family Services, Inc. (Asha) a domestic and sexual violence prevention organization in Milwaukee, WI.    Sistahs' Cafe & Deli provides jobs and job training for survivors to gain/enhance employable skills to achieve economic stability.

We need a total of 250 votes to qualify for a small business grant we will use to buy needed equipment and remodel our job training site Sistahs' Cafe & Deli. This job site is operated and led by survivors. Sistahs' Cafe & Deli is a unique component of a community-based, domestic and sexual violence prevention organization.   Will you help us qualify?

Much thanks and love to you all!!


Tuesday, June 26, 2012


VAWA is under attack and is deliberately being held up until after the Presidential Election!!


There are some people who do not believe all women are worthy of protection. They also believe that there are some batterers and violators of women that should not be held accountable!! 

These same people hope that pouring floods of money in to support a different agenda, that President Obama will be replaced. If their tactics succeed, they know they will be able to roll back protections contained in the Real VAWA. The Real VAWA, the Senate version of VAWA holds all abusers of women accountable for their actions and the Real VAWA says all women must be protected.
YOU CAN HELP SAVE LIVES!  CONTACT your Senators and Representatives and urge them to support and pass the Senate version of VAWA NOW!.  Key leaders you can call to urge them to get VAWA passed are:

Speaker John Boehner (R-OH), (202) 225-0600
Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA), (202) 225-4000
Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), (202) 225-0100
Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV), (202) 224-3542
Chair of the Democratic Conference Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY), (202) 224-6542

Get updates and on-going ideas on what you can do to help:  http://4vawa.org/.

National Days of ACTION to Reauthorize VAWA!!!

JUNE 25, 2012





BEFORE THE END OF SUMMER, Congress needs to send a REAL VAWA, a bipartisan VAWA to President Obama to sign with all of the inclusive provisions in S. 1925. The final VAWA must serve ALL victims and contain NO rollbacks to the current VAWA and we need to get moving now so that can happen.

More and more legislation is stalled due to Congressional gridlock! We need Congressional leaders to hear our strong and united message once and for all: YOUR WORK ON VAWA IS NOT OVER!!  DOING NOTHING IS NOT AN OPTION!!

We have too much at stake!! Lives are being lost and families are being destroyed!!  STAND WITH US DURING OUR NATIONAL 10 DAYS OF ACTION AS WE FIGHT TO PUSH VAWA OVER THE FINISH LINE!



Tell Congress: Get VAWA Passed!

Let’s send a national unified message to Congress to pass a strong, bipartisan VAWA that safely and effectively meets the needs of all victims – NOW!

YOU can participate in the Day of Action on June 26 to reauthorize VAWA – call your Members of Congress and use your social media networks to rally support!

Call Senators and Representatives and insist they pass VAWA as a matter of urgent priority.
Talking Point:  "I urge you to pass a strong, bipartisan VAWA reauthorization bill  that safely and effectively protects ALL victims of violence – NOW. 

Follow NNEDV on Twitter http://twitter.com/#!/nnedv and use these hashtags!  #ReauthorizeVAWA and #VAWA

Sample tweets:
·        Congress must pass #VAWA before their July 4th vacation.
·        I’m joining National Day of #Action4VAWA to tell Congress to pass #VAWA. I want ALL survivors to be safe.
·        [Fill in your Congress Person’s twitter handle]:  Pass #VAWA for ALL survivors!  I’m standing up to take #Action4VAWA:

Rape in the Military, Domestic violence, sexual violence, murder, sex trafficking

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