May 30, 2009

Miss Washington Led a 'Double Life' of Domestic Violence

Miss Washington led a 'double life' of domestic violence- it can happen to anyone
May 28, 4:38 PM

Former Miss Washington, Elyse Umemoto, has recently revealed that she was in an abusive relationship during her year representing the state. Two weeks after the Yakima-native finished in the top three of the 2008 Miss America pageant, she was brutally assaulted by her boyfriend and left bruised and battered. It was part of a pattern of abuse in the relationship that had started in 2007. She hid the violence during her reign, living what she called a "double life".

Now, Umemoto has come forward to tell her story to help other women. "If this can happen to me - I was almost Miss America - nobody's exempt," she told the Seattle Times.

The pageant winner continued her work as Miss Washington, all while dealing with the justice system. Umemoto filed charges against her boyfriend, and he was ultimately sentenced to 240 hours of community service and two years probation. Today, she is speaking publically about the abuse because she wants other women and teens to know they are not alone and can seek out help.

Domestic abuse is a difficult issue, and it is courageous of Umemoto to speak out about her experiences. When the public became fixated on the domestic abuse of singer Rihanna by her boyfriend, Chris Brown, another singer, it showed how little sympathy victims get. Many blamed Rihanna for the abuse, accusing her of trying to damage Brown's career. Perhaps most disturbing, many teen girls felt Rihanna had deserved what had happened to her.

It is critical that we talk to teens- both girls and boys- about the realities of abusive relationships. They need to understand it is not acceptable to hit or abuse your partner. If your partner is abusing you, you have the right to get help. No one don't deserves the abuse. Most important, teens need to know that they will be believed and respected if they ask for help, even when they feel ashamed. It doesn't take a lot, but it can do so much to protect our kids.

Source: Seattle Times

May 18, 2009

Domestic violence: Legislation requiring automatic arrest of parolees goes to governor

By Angela Rozas | Tribune reporter
May 15, 2009
Parolees accused of domestic violence would be automatically arrested for violating their parole under a measure sent to Gov. Pat Quinn Thursday.
The bill comes a little more than a year after a woman was killed in Chicago by a former boyfriend on parole for murder. Mersaides McCauley, 22, was shot to death by Glen Martinez five months after he was arrested for attacking her and a parole officer declined to push to revoke his parole and he was freed.
Under current state law, arrest warrants must be issued only if parolees commit felonies with a knife or firearm or don't register as sex offenders. In all other cases, arrest warrants for parole violations are issued at the state's discretion and decided on a case-by-case basis. The new law would take away that discretion for domestic violence crimes.
The measure would also double the mandatory supervised release term for a number of domestic violence crimes to four years from two. Also, the bill would require 40 hours of domestic violence training for all parole officers handling more...Domestic violence: Legislation requiring automatic arrest of parolees goes to governor --

Orlando police seeking person of interest in attempted rape

Look at this picture, if you have any information please call the number listed at the bottom of the article.
Orlando police are looking for this person of interest in the kidnapping and attempted rape of a girl, 16. (Orlando Police Department / May 18, 2009) Orlando police are looking for this person of interest in the kidnapping and attempted rape of a girl, 16. (Orlando Police Department / May 18, 2009)

Orlando police released a photograph Monday evening of a person of interest in the case of the kidnapping and attempted rape of a 16-year-old girl.
The teen was attacked about 5:15 a.m. Sunday in Orlando's Englewood neighborhood. The attacker followed her to a Dunkin' Donuts at 1131 S. Semoran Blvd. then eastbound on nearby La Costa Drive, police spokeswoman Sgt. Barbara Jones said. He then grabbed her and took her against her will to the Englewood Neighborhood Center, where he tried to rape her.
The attacker was armed with a pocket knife. The victim was not seriously injured, Jones said.
Anyone with information is asked to call Orlando police or Crimeline at 1-800-423-TIPS.  Original Article here:  Orlando police seeking person of interest in attempted rape --

May 15, 2009

Gay teens in SC excluded from being protected by new Domestic Violence Prevention Program

This is just sick...Here’s part of since I can not comment intelligently on this, the link at the bottom is to the full article.

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — South Carolina lawmakers want to prevent violence in teen relationships but won't allow a new school program aimed at curbing such abuse to mention gay and lesbian partnerships.

State representatives voted overwhelmingly Thursday to bar any mention of homosexual relationships in the new program for middle and high school students. The move was pushed by lawmakers who said they don't want schools teaching about gay relationships and said they doubt those partnerships have high levels of abuse.

"I do not want the Department of Education or school districts teaching our children in grades six through 12 about same-sex relationships," said Rep. Greg Delleney, a Chester Republican who pushed to make the violence prevention program apply only to heterosexual relationships. "I'm sure it would develop into that."

The measure, which was swiftly condemned by gay rights advocates passed the GOP-dominated House 75-25 and should head to the Senate next week. It initially was intended to curb youth violence in a state that consistently ranks high in the number of women killed by men.

Steve Ralls, national spokesman for Parents, Families & Friends of Lesbians & Gays, said he had not heard of another state with an anti-dating violence program that excluded same-sex relationships.

"We are astounded that there are those who would prioritize their own homophobia ahead of the safety of the young people of South Carolina," he said. "Lesbian and gay young people are often doubly vulnerable when they are in environments where they are disrespected and adults are sending clear messages that their well-being isn't as important."

Bill sponsor Rep. Joan Brady said excluding gay relationships is fine and declared that, "Traditional domestic violence occurs in...MORE Here --> The Associated Press: SC House nixes mention of gays in date-abuse bill

Daughter of battered wife Barbara Sheehan, who killed NYPD officer husband, is glad mom shot dad

I think this daughter speaking out on her moms behalf tells way more of the story than anything else I have heard about this case!


The daughter of an abusive NYPD officer shot dead by his battered wife said she's glad he's gone.

"No part of me misses him. My life is 150% better," Jennifer Sheehan said of her slain dad, Sgt. Raymond Sheehan, in an interview Thursday with Oprah Winfrey.

Jennifer Sheehan, 23, said she and her brother lived in "constant fear" her dad would harm their mom. He also went after them, once locking them in a bedroom at gunpoint, she said.

Barbara Sheehan pumped 11 bullets into her husband in their Howard Beach, Queens, home last February. She's awaiting trial on murder charges.

"I had no choice," a tearful Sheehan, 48, told Winfrey. "He was going to kill me."

Sheehan - who is free on $1 million bail - led a camera crew on a tour of the couple's upstairs bathroom, where she says her husband aimed a gun at her and threatened to kill her for refusing to join him on a trip to Florida.

She grabbed his second gun from the bedroom and raced for the stairs, opening fire when he refused to drop his gun.

"I just shot it," she said. "It all happened so fast."

Barbara Sheehan said she wanted to share her tale to warn other women to get out of abusive relationships.

She tried to leave her husband multiple times, but said he vowed to hunt her down and kill her and the kids.

Sheehan's lawyer, Michael Dowd, said he was "bewildered" that Queens prosecutors were pursuing the case in light of the history of abuse.

A spokesman for the Queens district attorney said, "This case, like all cases in Queens County, will be tried in the courtroom and not in the media."

Daughter of battered wife Barbara Sheehan, who killed NYPD officer husband, is glad mom shot dad

May 13, 2009

Mary Kay launches initiative to help fight domestic violence

The study outlined below was conducted from April 24, 2009 to May 7, 2009.  I want to point out that 3/4 of the Domestic Violence (DV) Shelters involved in this survey have stated that they have seen an increase in those seeking assistance.  I would like to also point out that we have seen a HUGE increase in murder-suicides in the last few months as well.  The results below state that shelters have noticed the increase since September 2008. 


 Mary Kay Inc.

May 12, 2009 09:40 AM Eastern Daylight Time 

“Mary Kay’s Truth About Abuse” Survey Links Economic Downturn to National Increase in Domestic Violence

Mary Kay Launches Philanthropic Initiative Beauty That CountsTM to Help Fight Domestic Violence

DALLAS--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Mary Kay Inc. today announced results from “Mary Kay’s Truth About Abuse” survey of domestic violence shelters across the country. The findings reveal an alarming trend: three out of four domestic violence shelters report an increase in women seeking assistance from abuse since September 2008, a major turning point in the U.S. economy. The survey data directly connects a major reason for the increase in domestic violence to the downturn in the economy.

“Mary Kay’s Truth About Abuse” survey polled more than 600 domestic violence shelters nationwide. Representatives of the shelters surveyed report they have observed an increase in requests for assistance from domestic violence victims because of the following reasons:

  • Seventy-three percent attribute the rise in abuse to “financial issues.”
  • “Stress” and “job loss” (61 percent and 49 percent, respectively) also proved to be leading contributing factors in the reported increase in domestic violence cases involving women.

“Mary Kay’s survey confirms what we’ve been hearing from domestic violence programs across the country,” said Sue Else, president of the National Network to End Domestic Violence. “The economic downturn is exacerbating domestic violence. The demand for domestic violence services is growing, and we must increase support for victims during this difficult time. Now more than ever, we urge corporations and other organizations to follow Mary Kay’s lead in the fight to end domestic violence.”

“Mary Kay’s Truth About Abuse” Survey Regional Findings

Mary Kay’s survey compared four U.S. regions, including the Northeast, South, Midwest and West. Survey highlights include:

The number of shelters reporting an increase in women seeking help as a result of domestic violence since September 2008:

  • The region with the largest reported increase was the South (78 percent); followed by
  • The Midwest region, which reported a 74 percent increase;
  • The Northeast takes the No. 3 place with a 72 percent reported increase; and
  • The West rounds out the regional list with a 71 percent reported increase in women seeking help as a result of domestic violence.

The survey also inquired about the cause(s) for the increase in domestic violence cases across regions:

  • Seventy-five percent of shelters in the West report “financial issues.”
  • Approximately 66 percent of respondents in the Midwest note “stress.”
  • More than half of respondents (53 percent) in the South report “job loss.”
  • The “loss of a home or vehicle” was reported more often in the Midwest than other regions, with 44 percent; the Northeast had the lowest with 35 percent.
  • Reasons more commonly associated with domestic violence, such as “substance abuse” and “relationship challenges,” also contributed to the increase in domestic violence shelter assistance in each region, according to the survey.

One Lipstick at a Time: Beauty That Counts™ Initiative

To help combat domestic violence, Mary Kay Inc. is launching a national philanthropic campaign, Beauty That Counts. In the United States, from May 1, 2009, through Dec. 15, 2009, $1 will be donated from each sale of Beauty That Counts™ Mary Kay® Creme Lipstick in limited-edition Pink Passion and in Gingerbread. As part of its U.S.-based efforts, Mary Kay Inc. is proud to support the Mary Kay Ash Charitable Foundation in its ongoing commitment to end domestic violence. For the inaugural year of the global Beauty That Counts™ initiative in 2008, Mary Kay is donating just under $2 million (USD) to causes that change the lives of women and children around the world, including domestic violence prevention and education efforts.

Rhonda Shasteen, spokesperson for Mary Kay’s Beauty That Counts™ initiative, added: “Financial issues have affected many families across the country, putting domestic violence survivors at an even greater risk for abuse. That’s one more reason why Mary Kay offers programs such as Beauty That Counts™ to further its commitment to preventing and ending domestic violence.”

For more information on Mary Kay’s Beauty That CountsTM program or its U.S. philanthropic efforts, please visit

About Mary Kay

Mary Kay, one of the largest direct sellers of skin care and color cosmetics, realized another year of record results. In 2008 Mary Kay Inc. and its international subsidiaries achieved $2.6 billion in wholesale sales worldwide. Mary Kay® products are sold in more than 35 markets worldwide, and the global Mary Kay independent sales force exceeds 1.9 million. To learn more about Mary Kay, log on to or call 1-800-MARY KAY (1-800-627-9529).

About “Mary Kay’s Truth About Abuse” Survey

The survey polled 634 domestic violence shelters across the United States about domestic violence and the economy. The study was conducted online between April 24, 2009, and May 7, 2009.

About the Mary Kay Ash Charitable Foundation

The Mary Kay Ash Charitable Foundation was created in 1996, and its mission is twofold: to fund research of cancers affecting women and help prevent domestic violence while raising awareness of the issue. Since the Foundation’s inception, it has awarded nearly $18 million to shelters and programs addressing domestic violence prevention and nearly $12 million to cancer researchers and related causes throughout the United States. To learn more about the Mary Kay Ash Charitable Foundation, log on to or call 1-877-MKCARES (1-877-652-2737).