Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Judge convicted of racketeering for selling Black Children

Judge must serve 28 years

Pennsylvania Judge Sentenced For 28 Years For Selling Kids to the Prison System

Click the two links above for the full stories.   Judge Mark A. Ciavarella, 63, was convicted of racketeering and sentenced to 28 years in prison for selling Black Children to private prisons.

Filled prison beds means increased profits for correctional facilities AND in this case, increased personal profit for Judge Ciavarella and his comrade, Judge Conahan. These 'bound by the law' individuals received more than $2.6 million dollars from PA Child Care, the privately run youth center for making sure that their prison beds were kept filled.  
Juveniles with minor offenses would be sentenced for months and even years for the love of money! As well, because Race matters only one particular group were those primarily sold.  One teenage girl was sentenced to three months in jail…" for creating a MySpace page that mocked her school’s assistant principal." "Ciavarella also sentenced another teen to 90 days in jail after a simple schoolyard fight."
The Pennsylvania Supreme Court has overturned some 4,000 convictions issued by him between 2003 and 2008, claiming he violated the constitutional rights of the juveniles – including the right to legal counsel and the right to intelligently enter a plea. Some of the juveniles he sentenced were as young as 10-years old.

Ciaverella is also ordered to pay $1 million in restitution.

SHOCKING - Human Trafficking statistics

SHOCKING - Share these human trafficking statistics with your friends -- if you can handle them - Living Faith - Home & Family - Catholic Online\









Most victims of human trafficking unknowingly enter the market after being lured by promises of work and opportunities by predatory individuals and organizations. Others are children that are literally sold into slavery by parents as a means to pay debt or to reduce the number of children they must feed.

Women tend to be the most frequent victims. This may be because they are fleeing gender inequality, forced marriages, or other misogynistic practices back home. In so doing, they get caught up in a cure that is worse than the disease. And sex appears to be the predominant use of females slaves.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Welcome Milwaukee Buck's Coach Larry Drew

Come out to meet and greet Coach Larry Drew, the new Head Coach of the Milwaukee Bucks! FRIDAY, JULY 26, 2013 from 5pm to 9pm at the beautiful river front restaurant - Ryan Braun's Graffito. In doing so at this event, you will help support the work of Asha Family Services, Inc., a 24 yr old non-profit domestic abuse prevention agency in ending domestic and sexual violence in our communities! Ticket donations are $50.00 (includes food and drink specials).  This is a family friendly event. As a matter of fact, to support the work of the agency, my daughter ordered the first 2 tickets to bring my 13 year old grandson!

A new business friend recently said, "Everyone can do something"... to help end violence and abuse in our homes and relationships!

SILENT AUCTION ITEMS ARE AMAZING!!  The event's Auctioneer is Business Community Celebrity Ms. Martha Love!!

ITEM 1) The Milwaukee Bucks Honorary Team Attendant Package!  OMG!! This includes an opportunity for a youth (ages 10-17) to serve as a Honorary Team Attendant for one game during the 2013-14 Season!! AND...comes with four (4) complimentary game tickets AND... an opportunity to watch pre-game warm-up!!!!

ITEM 2) Milwaukee Bucks Behind the Scenes VIP Photo Experience! OMG!!   This includes tickets for four (4) to attend a 2013-14 season game...HOLD ON THERE IS MORE!!!  This also includes a Milwaukee Bucks Center Larry Sanders Autographed Jersey, AND, an opportunity to watch pre-game warm ups AND a chance to snap a photo pre-game with Bucks Center Larry Sanders!!!

ITEM 3) Dinner For Ten!! Carson's Prime Steaks & Famous Barbecue! OMG!! This includes dinner for TEN - 8 guests plus the attendance of Coach Drew and his guest in the private dining room of  the new Milwaukee downtown Carson's Prime Steaks & Famous Barbecue Restaurant. This is a great GIFT!

ITEM 4) Dom P'erignon Champagne Basket!!  A beautifully packaged basket of Dom Perignon and treats!!! 

ITEM 5) Premium Wine Basket!!  Beautifully package with a selection of treats!

 ITEM 6)  Gorgeous flowing train wedding gown!!  Victoria's Beaded Wedding Gown (size 10)

ITEM 7)  $250 Tattoo Certificate - Serenity Ink Tattoo Shop Also two (2) Original Framed Wall Hangings.

Learn more about Asha or consider a donation of any kind at www.ashafamilyservices.org


Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Domestic Violence Advocate Loses Her Life to Domestic Violence!

Domestic Abuse Advocates across the State of Wisconsin mourn the loss of one of their own.

Patricia "Trissa" Waschbisch 45, a dedicated Advocate at Rainbow House in Marinette, WI courageously helped many victims of domestic abuse get to safety. Tragically, Trissa herself was murdered by her boyfriend the evening of Sunday, April 28, 2013.

As an Advocate myself, Trissa's loss to domestic violence is so surreal.
It gives stark clarity to phrases many advocates use: Domestic Violence does not care about your race, religion or age. Domestic Violence does not care about how much money you make or Degrees you hold. Domestic Violence does not care about who you are, what you do, where you live and can impact any one at any time.

Trissa's warm smile and presence will be deeply missed by her beloved family and the Advocates she worked along side in the daily fight against domestic violence. 

What I know about Advocates is that they share a deepened strength and resolve. Trissa did not die in vain. Her death I am sure will unify and fuel the spirits and souls of Advocates alike.

Click the link below to Trissa's Obituary
Obituary For: Patricia "Trissa" Waschbisch | Rhodes-Charapata Funeral Home

Thursday, March 7, 2013

RAPE IN THE MILITARY -The Invisible War Official Trailer - Kirby Dick Movie (2012) HD


500,000 military women have been raped while serving. A woman in the military is more likely to be raped by a fellow soldier than killed by the enemy.

Invisible War Movie Trailer # 1 http://youtu.be/3fBaFQk6aE0

Invisible War Movie Trailer # 2 http://youtu.be/5kGGvzRPpNI

Invisible War The Devil is in the DETAILS....The devastating impact of rape and assaults on returning military women and their families:   http://youtu.be/L2KvCmARV9Q

Congresswoman Gwen Moore received Justice for ALL Victims!

VAWA cleared the House!  Congresswoman Gwen Moore received justice for all victims!

President Obama signs VAWA into Law today March 7, 2013 1:55pm EST
- http://www.c-span.org/Live-Video/C-SPAN/

Congresswoman Gwen Moore fights for Tribal women Protections.


Included in President Obama's statement on the House Passage of VAWA...
"I want to thank leaders from both parties – especially Leader Pelosi, Congresswoman Gwen Moore and Senator Leahy – for everything they’ve done to make this happen. Renewing this bill is an important step towards making sure no one in America is forced to live in fear, and I look forward to signing it into law as soon as it hits my desk."
Link to The War Room video


Women's History Month Tidbit:
In celebration of Women's History Month, it is important to know that Congresswoman Gwen Moore is the first African-American woman in Wisconsin history to serve in the U.S. House of Representatives, Congresswoman Gwen Moore took her official oath of office on January 4, 2005. In January of 2011, Congresswoman Moore was elected Democratic Co-Chair of the Congressional Women’s Caucus by her fellow female colleagues. In this capacity, she has become a leader on issues like health insurance reform, women's health, domestic violence and maternal and infant mortality – problems that affect women both at home and abroad. She served as Democratic Vice Chair from 2009 to 2011.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Murder at Home and Returning Military: In his own words

Murder at Home and Returning Military

Returning Iraq war vet Benjamin Sebena age 30, ambushed and murdered his wife (top photo below), Wauwatosa Police Officer Jennifer Sebena also age 30 in the early morning hours of Christmas Eve 2012 while she was on duty. Domestic Violence is critical to us all on yet another level.

Slain Officer Jennifer Sebena
Reporter, Dan Egan of The Journal/Sentinel captured the video of returning Marine, Benjamin Sebena before his church who had posted the video on YouTube took it down. Click the http link below to see the powerful 10 minute video of Benjamin Sebena (pictured below) in his own words describing in detail the effects of war he experienced. Benjamin Sebena, states that while in Iraq, he watched 50 of his friends die; He himself killed people including a child who tried to kill him.
Returning Marine Benjamin Sebena charged with wife's murder.


The video, was made for Elmbrook Church's No Regrets Men's Conference in 2010. The video is compelling as Benjamin Sebena talks about his experience as a Marine in Iraq and how the church helped him after his two tours of duty were finished.  Happier times are seen in the photo of Jennifer and Benjamin below, however, a lot more help for Benjamin was greatly needed.

Benjamin said, "I came back home to Wisconsin and started spending more time with Jen and our love flourished. We became actually infatuated with each other and then one day I asked her if she would be happy to spend the rest of her life with me and she said yes."
As we know today, the experiences of Benjamin in Iraq, came home with him and the devastating effects of combat continue to have wide-spread Ripple of Consequence on many who knew them.

Consequences for victims are wide and they include domestic violence, sexual assault, murder and murder/suicide to name a few.

Benjamin Sebena said, "We're trained to kill. We're trained that death is OK. Wasn't trained how to deal with the death, but we're definitely trained to kill."

As an Advocate and practitioner in the field of violence against women, I ask myself, what role did we as a Nation and communities play in failing both THE Jennifer's and Benjamin's in this country? You see, this is not an isolated case. There are many other such cases around the country.  We often do not make the link between military and domestic violence because we don't get the information. What is concerning is the fact that too often, we are not linking and/or the media is not reporting in cases of murder, shootings and aggravated assaults...that the perpetrators in these incidents have military backgrounds.

It must be addressed...What can we do better to heal the wounded returning and save the lives of others at home? Reality Check Folks: There are returning vets already home and more are coming. What Benjamin Sebena describes in his video is not isolated to him.  Did we prepare for this? In addition to that, we must ask ourselves, what about the returning Contractors who are working right along side deployed Military personnel?
We can't forget about them.

More to come!

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Abused Military Wife Speaks Out

Fortunately, this military wife survived violent and brutal assaults by her husband. The military said they washed their hands of him and she was just left to deal with what he had become, what he was trained to do.

Heres a few kickers, not only are we seeing increases in homicides and near fatals perpetrated by military personnel...this fact is not always immediately disclosed. 

As well, we do not currently have a Lethality Assessment to better inform police, criminal justice and practitioners and one must be developed. Although no one can determine that a homicide will occur among intimates, an appropriate and specific Assessment for this group, will alert us to the factors or characteristics that indicate a homicide is probable or imminent. That information gives us the ability to take heightened actions necessary to better keep victims safe. It is dangerous for victims to inform us "later" that "Oh, by the way, he was deployed to Saudi Arabia, Iraq or Afghanistan"

As we inquire and interview victims and military personnel, we are learning a number of things (flaws) that are harmful to victims and the community. One for example is that if an individual (Military) is "Dishonorably Discharged" he is not eligible for certain benefits, such as adequate mental health care!! WTH!!

Those "Honorably Discharged" are asked a few questions and they are deemed ok and sent home.

How can the military be allowed to create a killing machine and wash their hands and pockets ($$) of him/her and set them loose back in the community!

OK! OK! If the discharge is dishonorable, don't pay for college, or a loan towards home ownership, but take responsibility for your role in creating these such individuals and treat them before you loose them back into families and communities that are ill equipped to deal with them. Some of these individuals are killing their wives and others around them,  annihilating their families and commiting suicide. The DoD cannot just wash their hands and negate the fact that these individuals were trained and they did serve!

Be informed. Below are some items I found in my search where we can educate ourselves:

Family violence in the military : a review of the literature.Rentz, E. Danielle. Martin, Sandra L. Gibbs, Deborah A. Clinton-Sherrod, Monique. Hardison, Jennifer. Marshall, Stephen W.
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Journal Article
Published: April 2006
Trauma, violence and abuse
Vol. 7, p. 93-108
Available from: Sage Publications

Domestic Violence & Military Personnel Returning Home: Deaths and Near Fatal Death Occurrances are taking surmounting toll on victims, families, communities and resources. Family violence, including both child maltreatment and spouse abuse, is a public health concern in both military and civilian populations. However, there is limited knowledge concerning violence in military families relative to civilian families. This literature review critically reviews studies that examine child maltreatment and spouse abuse among military families and compares family violence in military versus nonmilitary populations. Physical abuse and neglect compose the majority of the reported and substantiated cases of child maltreatment in military families, followed by sexual abuse and emotional abuse. On the other hand, physical abuse represents more than 90% of all substantiated cases of spouse abuse in military families, followed by emotional abuse, neglect, and sexual abuse.
 X X X X X X X X X
This is a snipet of a document my advocates will surely use!

Battered Women's Justice Project


What is the relationship between the effects of war and IPV? Does having been in combat cause IPV? (Intimate Partner Violence)

There is no one answer to this question. While most returning military personnel have readjustment and stress issues, most do not become abusive to their partners and/or families. However:

• There are reports of increased violence upon return in some relationships with a history of controlling behavior and/or physical violence prior to deployment.


• There are reports of psychological and/or physical violence upon return from the war in some relationships with
no history of violence prior to deployment,

Military members, including active duty military, Reserve, and National Guard personnel, learn combat skills and function in a battle mindset to survive in the combat zone, but this mindset and the accompanying combat skills may create problems when transitioning home. It can be difficult to change back to a "civilian" mindset upon returning home.

• Most people coming from war zones will have stress reactions and will need to readjust to being home. This can be especially intense during the first months. These common stress reactions are a normal part of readjustment. Anger, anxiety, fear, aggression, and/or withdrawal are common war-zone stress reactions. Even minor incidents can lead to over-reactions.

• Stress reactions and problems that last for months can affect relationships, work, and overall well-being, if not addressed. A person may be coping with stress by drinking, taking drugs, withdrawing, isolating, and/or he/she may be having sudden emotional outbursts.

• Many combat veterans who experience combat-related mental health problems (e.g., post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)) do not seek treatment either when they are active duty or when they become veterans.

What health/mental health issues are related to military experience in a combat zone?
Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
Many of the common reactions to experience in the war are also symptoms of more serious problems such as PTSD. PTSD is a serious but treatable condition that can occur after experiencing a traumatic event(s) that involved death or injury to self or others.

Symptoms include:
* Experiencing intrusive, bad memories of a traumatic event.
* Avoiding things that might trigger memories of the traumatic event, such as crowded places, loud noises, etc. * Shutting down emotionally to prevent feeling pain, fear, or anger.
* Operating on "high-alert" at all times, having very short fuses, and/or startling easily.
* Experiencing sleep problems, irritability, anger, or fear.

• In PTSD, symptoms are much more intense and troubling and don’t go away. If these symptoms don’t decrease over a few months, they can cause problems in daily life and relationships. It can be difficult to be with someone with PTSD.

Another BWJP document that stands out is done by
Jane Sadusky, 2010

Collaborating for Safety: Coordinating the Military and Civilian Response to Domestic Violence – Elements and Tools
These documents are viewable at: www.bwjp.org
More is surely to come...


Veteran Recounts Killing His Wife

Murder and Mayhem hitched a ride with some Military personnel and Contractors returning home to the US from Afghanistan and Iraq only to land right smack into families, homes, and communities on domestic soil.

Not only is Domestic Violence (DV) itself a major problem in families and communities, it is in fact, a major public health issue that is at epidemic proportions and is costing Billions of dollars and numerous lives. Currently, so is the intersection of DV with returning military personnel and contracting affiliates. 

A critical factor in both areas (DV and DV in Military families) is the issue of Mental Health that seems to be wedded to both areas... We have to talk about this! 

I recently conducted a brief search on DV and the Military to see what was out there. I found multiple documents on Task Forces established, Joint Meetings conducted and groups who gathered and publications prepared that outline policies, recommendations, practice and collaborations between civilian domestic abuse victim groups and military personnel. Obviously people know this is a problem. What is confusing (to me anyway) is why this information was not widely shared or a push for dissemination of this information has not yet filtered down to front-line advocates, police and criminal justice personnel in cities who are daily faced with the carnage and aftermath of domestic violence homicides or near fatal homicides involving military or affiliate personnel.

From my view, too few of us in the "field" of domestic violence are knowledgeable or equipped to deal with this intersection of DV and Military and Affiliate Personnel which is different from how we handle DV incidents and situations advocates have worked on over the past 30 plus years. This "thing" is a new "Beast" with many facets to it.

As an advocate, I know some of what I know about this issue from Debby Tucker, the Executive Director at the National Center on Domestic and Sexual Violence in Austin, TX. Debby served as co-chair of the U.S. Department of Defense Task Force on Domestic Violence (DTFDV). The Task Force examined responses to both offenders and victims and made recommendations for improvement of systems and collaboration with civilian groups, and reported annually to Congress. One Congressional achievement is the passage of the Armed Forces Domestic Security Act, by Representative Robin Hayes, (R-NC), who in just three months ensured full faith and credit enforcement of protection orders issued by civilian courts on military land. Where is this at now??

Bringing this issue home as I am certain other cities can do the same...a recent succession of domestic violence homicides and near fatal homicides with the majority involving military personnel brings to mind a stern warning to the "field", made by Dr. Gail Wyatt, UCLA in her keynote address at an IDVAAC Conference www.idvaac.org, a few years ago. To summarize, she said we (the field) must get prepared to respond to the greatest spike we will see in domestic violence incidents and death due to military personnel returning home. Since that time Dr. Wyatt said that, I have not able to table it to a back burner because she was adamant and deliberate in what and how she stated the concern.

Practitioners are seeing such cases now and the numbers are mounting. How can we begin to get a handle on this? There is some good information out there to educated ourselves on this issue and can use that as a base, however, each community must begin to come up with strategies collectively in work groups, CCRs, Task Forces, etc., on how to coordinate practices to deal with this issue that is destroying so many lives... Then too, there is the issue of the number of suicides by returning military, which is another issue and affirms that something is really not working.

More to come!

Saturday, February 16, 2013

UW-Milwaukee One Billion Rising

Asha Family Services participated in the UWM Women's Resource Center One Billion Rising flash mob to RISE against violence against women and girls.

STRIKE, DANCE, RISE!  End domestic violence, sexual violence, sex and human trafficking, child abuse, female mutilations, slave labor.

Together we can end violence and abuse against women and girls.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

UPDATE: Sara Kruzan Paroled!

Sara Kruzan was Finally Paroled!

UPDATE:  Sex trafficking victim, Sara Kruzan was released after serving 19 years in prison for killing her abusive pimp at the age of 17.  Her sentence was "life".  Sold for sex since she was 13, Sara's release finally came the Fall of 2013. To find out or review how Sara arrived at this point (a free woman), see earlier posts below, but for now, she is free...well, at least free from the confines of prison walls.

I am thankful and delighted she is released and I wish her well in her journey of healing from such a crushing history of trauma-after-trauma that began at such a young age. I am certain that Sara celebrates the her new found freedom of movement, movies, dinner out and especially  having the ability to look, touch, and see those who care about her and love her.  Wonderful and joyous right? It is, it truly is,...however, that freedom does not come without its own brand of constraints. Having a felony conviction or being on parole are the tentacles of an incarceration system that will limit or impede her access to things such as what we might deem as basic human rights...e.g. housing, education, employment.

The Board of Parole Hearings recommendation to release Sara in 2012 was allowed to go through by Governor Jerry Brown.  Don't high-five that! You may want to see the City Watch Archive on Sara's release. Reporter Dick Price gives the details...the devil is always in the details, and he puts the spin on our system of incarceration you may not have considered highlighting "Small Steps" and "Sleight of Hand".  Visit Citywatchla.com or Click link to story: http://www.citywatchla.com/archive/5977-sara-kruzan-s-small-step?tmpl

Essentially, Sara stepped into a new world as hers seemingly stood still. I wonder how she will fare.  We will keep watch. Wish you well young lady.

January 2013

NEW DEVELOPMENTS:  Sara Kruzan, a child victim of neglect, sexual abuse and human trafficking, now age 35, may finally be free in the near future! As outlined in previous ADVOCATE posts... at age 16, Sara killed the pedophile pimp G.G. whom she met when she was age 11 and he was 31 years of age. By the time she was age 13, he was having sex with her, abusing her and had her working the streets, selling her body for him. Sara was charged as an "Adult" and sentenced to Life without the possibility of Parole. Click story link below:


Staff Writer, Richard K. DeAtley of Press Enterprise has been following the progression of this case closely.

During a recent hearing January 18, 2013, before Riverside County Superior Court Judge Gary Tranbarger, the District Attorney's Office did not oppose a defense motion to have Kruzan's conviction reduced from first-degree to second-degree murder with a gun use allegation.
The modified charges changed her sentence to 19-years-to-life in prison, making her eligible for parole. Sara has been incarcerated now for just over 19 years. A Hearing before the State Parole Board is expected by July.

Below is the succession of events that brought her case to the forefront:
* In 2006, advocacy group Human Rights Watch wanted to bring attention to the injustices in juvenile sentencing. They chose the case of Sara Kruzan and conducted a videotaped interview with Sara in prison. Sara's story of childhood abuse, neglect and eventually sexual exploitation and the subsequent killing of her former pimp was powerful, however few took notice.

*In 2009, a friend of Sara's began to use the Human Rights Watch video produced of Sara's story and began to use social media to spread the video on YouTube to draw attention and direct people to her plea for help website.

*In 2009, actress Demi Moore saw the story. Using her Twitter account she shared the video of Sara's story and stated, “She was a child. Unprotected. I think she deserves a 2nd chance. Do you?” The response was overwhelming and the Human Rights video went viral!

Demi Moore's interest and sharing of the video brought wide-spread attention. People from around the country and abroad were outraged by the injustice and began Face book groups, Blogs, Tweets and linkage to on-line petitions for Sara that had been virtually dormant. Even Pro-bono Attorneys took interest as well as those in Violence Against Women and Children movements and Sex Trafficking.

Sara's case became linked to human trafficking and the sexual exploitation of children.

*In October, 2012, The Dr. Phil Show picked up the story and did a full segment that included Actress Mira Sorvino "Trade of Innocents" who works to combat human trafficking. Dr. Phil's show also used the Human Rights video, as well as conduct an on-stage interview with Sara's mother and Sara's paternal aunt who is one of Sara's greatest supports.  Sara's mother did not fare well on the show. Dr Phil told her she was in "complete denial" and not truthful. She came off as a key source of how and why Sara as a child was "dropped" and thrown into the deadly, twisted world of sex trafficking.

A plan has come together!
Hopefully the case of Marissa Alexander, wrongfully convicted and serving 20 years unjustly in Florida will garner a similar outcome.

Much More to come!

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Rapists PUT ON NOTICE!! Detroit Rape Kit Probe


(AP Photo by Carlos Osorio)

Rapists are ON NOTICE!

Click  Storylink - Rapists, Beware: Detroit Prosecutor IDs 21 Attackers in ‘Rape Kit’ Probe

Over 11,000 Rape Kits sat and continued to pile up in a Detroit Police warehouse spanning years but an Advocate, Detroit Prosecutor, Kym Worthy was being prepared and equipped to bring them to a resolution.  Worthy, a survivor herself, has been on a mission to get those rape kits tested and perpetrators exposed and brought to justice. I am a witness that God is in control.

Worthy was successful in getting one of the first federal grants to address the rape kit backlog.  I can only imagine that to everyone's horror, one of the rape kits finally tested exposed the work of a deadly serial rapist and lives were needlessly lost due to the rape kits not being tested in time. 

Prosecutor, Kym Worthy tells Reporter Abigail Pesta, "
A convicted rapist named Shelly Andre Brooks had raped and murdered five women after raping a woman whose kit was just recently entered into the database. If that rape kit had been tested and entered into the database sooner, the man could have been caught sooner—and five women’s lives could have been saved”.
No doubt as the Rape Kit testing continues, they will surely expose more crimes beyond the rapes themselves as in the case above.  Advocates in the field who work with victims of sexual assaults will want to follow this. What Worthy's initiative is able to accomplish in Detroit by heating up cold cases and bringing them to "Closed", may very well impact other cities across the country with stockpiled rape kits that continue to go untested.  Prosecutor Kym Worthy is a woman-on-fire to watch!

More to come!

The Devil In The Details around Rape Kits

Newsweek, The Daily Beast Reporter, Abigail Pesta describes the devil-in-the-details around the  more than 11,000 Rape Kits that languished in a warehouse.

Top Prosecutor Kym Worthy is determined to finally bring justice to the victims.

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