April 26, 2012

FREE International

We wanted to let you know about a wonderful Organization that is truly making an impact that we have recently found out.  This is a Christian based Organization that is helping those that have been through the horrors of human trafficking reclaim their lives, please connect with them on FB and take a look at their website to see what they are doing now!

FREEInternational on FB

The ultimate aim of FREE International is a free and empowered human.  Those that pass through our doors have been victimized and exploited.  We desire that they begin to thrive and become empowered to live life to the fullest.  Each person has unique God-given talents and desires, which need to be identified and nurtured.  We are developing a network of families, churches, businesses, schools and communities to continue to empower those that have been trafficked.  This network will be used to offer relocation if desired, apprenticeships, higher education ,affordable housing, and other empowering community connections.

About FREE International - FREE International


Every year, hundreds of thousands of people are trafficked and exploited as slaves around our world. Human trafficking is illegal and the number of those trafficked annually is difficult to determine. Here in the United States, figures vary from 14,500 to 20,000 but many experts consider the numbers...

April 23, 2012

Domestic violence fair to give voice to Missouri victims

Mark May 1st on your calendars and go out and help support this event or gain the knowledge that is needed! Silent Witness red life-size silhouettes of women will be on display for this event.

Domestic violence fair to give voice to Missouri victims


Normandy (Mo.) police Officer Amanda Cates was shot to death in August 2006 at the hands of her boyfriend. Since then, the number of Missouri residents that have been the victims of domestic homicide continued to grow.

University of Missouri–St. Louis students have set out to bring awareness to this growing epidemic and tell the stories of those unable to do so themselves. “The Silent Witness Initiative Domestic Violence Fair” will begin at 2 p.m. May 1 in Century Room C at the Millennium Student Center on UMSL’s North Campus. Students in the Violence Against Women class of Kristin Carbone-Lopez, assistant professor of criminology and criminal justice at UMSL, will present the stories of several women killed at the hands of their partners over the last year in Missouri.

Family members of Amanda Cates also will speak about her story. Biographies of each victim will be recorded and added to the Silent Witness National Initiativeand accompany red life-size silhouettes of women which will be on display in the Millennium Student Center. The silhouettes are on loan from the National Council of Jewish Women.

UMSL counseling and local organizations will be on hand to provide information about domestic violence and assistance. Refreshments will be provided.

The event is free and open to the public. It’s sponsored by UMSL’s Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice, Gender Studies Program, The Current, Criminology and Criminal Justice Graduate Student Association, Police Department, Health Wellness and Counseling Services and Center for Teaching and Learning.

April 17, 2012

Cut-A-Thon A Cut for a Cause

This is a wonderfully inspired event coming up, set your date if you’re in the area!!!  Hair cut for a donation?  Wishing I could be in the area for this!  Help get the word out about this FUNdraiser event!

Shared on FB by:

Indiana Coalition Against Domestic Violence shared Sheltering Wings Center for Women, Inc.'s photo.

This is a wonderful fundraiser for SW. Lots of silent auction items, great stylists for a great cause.

Mark your calender. ml


For bigger photo go here

Man arrested for punching teen who stood up for girl

Love when it all comes together and the guilty are punished!  It’s great to see a boy standing up to a man for making sexual comments to a female of any age like that!  We need more “Boys” like that out there!  Let’s get this guys name and picture out there, let’s show these abusers that they do the crime, they’ll do the time, online as well as in prison…

By Erin Guerra Post-Tribune correspondent April 16, 2012 2:26PM

Robert Grasa SOUTH HAVEN — When a 16-year-old boy told Robert Grasa, 40, to stop making sexual comments toward a 15-year-old girl, Grasa punched him in the face.

Grasa ultimately was arrested for misdemeanor battery, but only after information from a jail-time friend made the investigation take longer than it should have, police said. The friend, Paul Crews, 30, of South Haven, was arrested for false informing.

At about 6:30 p.m. Friday, the battery victim told police, he and friends were hanging out on the bike trail when they saw two men playing with a remote control car in the parking lot of Fast Eddies, at 792 Juniper Road. When one of the men, later identified as Grasa, made inappropriate commons to a teen girl, the 16-year-old exchanged angry comments with him. The two men began to leave in a green SUV but then backed up and the passenger got out, punched him twice in the face and shoved him down a small hill.

The men left before police arrived, but two of the juvenile witnesses used cell phones to save evidence: a photo of the SUV’s license plate and a video of the battery.

Police tracked the SUV to Paul Crews, 30, of South Haven, who reportedly said he and “Robert” had been in the parking lot but he did not punch anyone. Crews said he has been friends with Robert since meeting him a few years ago while they were incarcerated at the Porter County Jail, but he did not know his last name, phone number, address or any way to contact him.

Meanwhile, police learned Garsa’s last name from jail staff there when he served time for check fraud, and they learned his Valparaiso address by talking with his incarcerated girlfriend. While Grasa was not at home, an anonymous neighbor directed him to another Valparaiso woman’s apartment, where Grasa was found in her bedroom. He was arrested at 10:10 p.m. Saturday after admitting to punching the juvenile for calling him a name.

Grasa also said Crews had been calling him to keep him updated on the investigation, and he was deliberately giving false information.

Original Link

How Do You Parent an Abused Child?

I’m with Angela on this one, wish questions like this never have to be asked, but know that reality hits like a rock in the face because too often it’s needed.  I’m so glad that she shared this with us, along with her answer!  There are too many out there trying to help heal the wounds of those that have been abused as children…


Ah, man. I hate these questions. Not that you ask them, but that they have to be asked in the first place. I sure wish I got some more “Hey, can you eat dandelions?” questions that I could have some fun with.  And btw the answer is yes, you can eat dandelions. Want me to make a video about it?

So, the question for today is about child sexual abuse.

It is April aka Sexual Abuse Awareness Month so it is a perfect time for me to answer questions like this. I edited it down for you to read while keeping it anonymous. I share more of it in my video answer.

I have a question. My daughter was sexually abused when she was two and a half years old. She disclosed her abuse to me when she was three and a half, I took her to therapy and she recovered well. She is now 13 and has no recollection of her abuse.  When she finished therapy at the age of four and a half, her therapist told me that she may need to reenter counseling when she grows into puberty/adolescence. I had her in therapy last year for her anxiety and it helped, however, her abuse issues did not come up. Currently, I am observing signs in her behavior that I recognize to be symptomatic of being a survivor of sexual abuse… My question is, how do you parent someone who is a survivor without telling them that they are a survivor?

Wow, that’s a loaded question, and I’ve heard some similar ones too, so here goes. There is far too much to go over in one blog post so I had to Vlog this one. It’s a long one, so if you’re interested in the answer, watch it. If you’re a survivor, watch it since it does apply and if you’re a teen going through some crazy crap right now, watch it.

If the question and/or CSA does not apply to you, move on to some fun videos instead! Click on that post over there. There, over there. Yeah, that one.

Visit Original Link to hear Angela Sheltons VERY LONG answer!

The Survivor Behind The Picture: Barbara Satterfield Kinsey

Way to go Barbara!!  Thank you for sharing you!  For stepping out and putting your face ,story and courageous strength out there for all of those that can’t!


Thousands of viewers of the music video PSA of The Rose will have seen the portraits of 6 survivors of violence against women who courageously and generously allowed us to include their picture in the video, knowing that a global audience will see their faces and note their signs that they are survivors and wonder about the stories behind their hard-won smiles. Wonder no more, for here is the first of their stories featuring Barbara Satterfield Kinsey, a survivor and long-time Pixel Project volunteer:

Barbara-Kinsey-225x300 Violence and abuse were the story of my life. From the time I was old enough to remember, boys and grown men were abusive in one way or another – verbally, physically, emotionally, sexually – to me and to my mother. I knew it was wrong and prayed daily as a little girl that God would send Wonder Woman to come rescue us. With the revelation of sexual abuse to me came stalking, threats and the requirement to start a new life in a new city.

This did not bring an end to abuse however. It started anew with emotional and verbal abuse to me and my mother by a new man in our lives. Naturally, I dropped out of high school and moved in with…another abuser. Only by the grace of God was I rescued from a man who would have surely put me six feet under sooner rather than later.

My life has moved on, to the realm of marriage to a great man, with children and a career. I always wanted to give back but could not figure out how. An email from the NCADV offered the opportunity to serve with a new anti-Violence Against Women non-profit, called The Pixel Project. It is my honour to volunteer to help others stop violence against women of all kinds. Recently, I was asked to allow my picture to be part of the Music For Pixels campaign. I want to be a face identified as a survivor, a warrior, a conqueror – to give hope to those who have none.”

Read More!

The Pixel Project Selection: 10 Fabulous Fathers in Fiction

FB browsing this am and the first thing I came across was the update from The Pixel Project, and it’s great to see them kicking this project off early!  This is a wonderful project that I can’t wait to see get going!  Men really need to be a part of the solution with Domestic Violence, and it would be wonderful to see more men get involved! 


We know it’s a little early, but while we seek out and gather interviews with 30 exemplary Dads from around the world for our upcoming 30 For 30 Father’s Day campaign highlighting positive non-violent Dads, we have compiled this list of famous fictional fathers who exemplify good Dads who are positive non-violent male role models. In acknowledgement of the power and influence of pop culture, we selected these Dads from across literature, film, comics and television

Inspired by the list of fabulous fictional fathers below? Here’s how you can take action:

  • If you are a Dad, download our mini interview for the 30 For 30 campaign, fill it in and email it to us at info@thepixelproject.net.
  • If you have a Dad or father figure in your life whom you think would be a perfect candidate to be included in this campaign, send him the link to our campaign page and/or download the mini interview and get him to fill it in.

Deadline for submissions is 7 May 2012, so get cracking!

It’s time to stop violence against women. Together.

Original Link

April 5, 2012

Sacramento County DA locks up alleged sex assault victim

“If they are doing it for her protection... why not hold him with no bail... but that isn't even the whole reason they are doing it... they locked her up to make her face him in court... ok so she ran away from foster care, where did she run to... HER MOM.... omg I can only imagine what that girl is going through being locked up AND not to mention the message this sends to other rape victims.... DO NOT REPORT is what it screams to them!”  Comment from Mary

“If they are doing this to a rape victim so she testifies, how many DV Victims end up not showing up in court and then later worse things happening to them or another victim by that abuser?  To actually lock up a victim to insure testimony, yet not hold the perpetrator without bail so they can’t run is absurd!  There are better ways to go about this, locking up a victim is just plain WRONG!  I understand that this man needs to be stopped, I understand why they feel that they need to do this, but there are better ways to go about this then to traumatize a victim further!”  Comment from Tracy

Please visit this paper and comment and show them just how outrageous this action really is!  Do NOT stand for this!  This victim needs our support as do future victims they may do this too!

Original Article

Published: Thursday, Apr. 5, 2012 - 12:00 am

A 17-year-old Sacramento girl has been locked up for more than a week now for her failure to appear in court against a swastika-adorned defendant with a 20-year criminal history who is accused of three counts of raping and sexually assaulting her.

Sacramento County prosecutors sought the material-witness warrant on the alleged rape victim, and two Superior Court judges have since ordered her detained to ensure her presence as a witness in a trial scheduled to begin April 23.

The girl is being held in juvenile hall in lieu of $50,000 bail. She is scheduled for a hearing Friday in front of Judge Lawrence G. Brown to determine if she will remain in custody. She is entitled to a court hearing every 10 days.

The girl's lawyer said she will ask Brown to set her client free.

"I think it's outrageous that the DA's Office wants to put a rape victim – a juvenile rape victim – in custody, as if she were the criminal, in a case where she is the victim," attorney Lisa M. Franco said.

The Bee's policy is to withhold names of those who may be victims of sexual assault.

Prosecutors said the danger they believe that defendant Frank William Rackley presents left them with a single-option "Hobson's choice" of seeking the material-witness hold.

"It's the last thing we ever want to do," Assistant District Attorney Albert Locher said Wednesday. "You never want to have a victim or a witness in custody. But you have to balance protecting the community. When you look at (Rackley's) background – multiple victims already – it's important that we try to prevent another victim from being harmed."

One expert on criminal procedure said prosecutors face a tough balancing act in forcing victims to testify by incarcerating them first. But the district attorney's job is to represent the people, McGeorge School of Law professor John Myers said, and not necessarily victims.

"Sometimes the balance is struck in favor of the prosecution for the protection of all the other women out there who would be preyed upon by this guy if the state's evidence is really the way it is," Myers said. "Sometimes that means a witness has to be severely inconvenienced."

According to the DA's court papers, Rackley is a parolee who has six felony convictions dating back to 1992 – three for robbery, one for stalking, one for stolen property and one for felony evasion.

He also was arrested and charged twice in December 1996 on suspicion of rape. Those cases were dismissed. The DA's papers said the alleged victim in one of them didn't show up for trial. No information was available on why the other case was dismissed.

In an affidavit for the material witness warrant in the Rackley case, Deputy District Attorney Alan R. Van Stralen described the 17-year-old as a dependent of the state who had twice run away from her foster care placement and did not appear at the defendant's Oct. 18 preliminary hearing.

The deputy DA said he subpoenaed her again through her Child Protective Services social worker to testify at Rackley's Feb. 28 trial. This time, Van Stralen said, she ran away from the Children's Receiving Home, apparently to her mother's residence in Contra Costa County, according to her lawyers.

Van Stralen said he contacted the girl before trial and she agreed to appear, but that she again failed to show up and he was forced to dismiss the case on Rackley.

"Based upon (her) extensive runaway history, and the fact she has specifically told me she would not come to court to testify in this matter, I believe that (she) will not appear and testify … unless security is required," Van Stralen said in his affidavit.

Judge Kevin J. McCormick on March 14 signed the warrant. Arrested in the interim, the girl appeared before Brown on March 27, who further ordered her detention.

According to the prosecution trial brief, the girl, then 16, was abducted July 22 at the Del Paso Boulevard light-rail station by a man in a red pickup truck who drove up and said, "I'm Frank. Do you have a boyfriend?"

When the girl rebuffed him, the man "got angry," according to the brief written by Van Stralen. The man then grabbed her arm, "threw her into the driver's side of the truck," and "drove to a dark spot on a residential street and parked," the brief said.

The man raped the girl and pushed her out of the truck, according to the brief. She "ran from the area as fast as she could," the brief said, until she found a sheriff's deputy and reported the alleged attack.

A rape examination of the girl turned up Rackley's DNA, prosecutors charged.

Rackley also is charged in the same case with raping a 30-year-old prostitute he picked up on Watt Avenue on June 22, the brief said. That woman later picked Rackley's picture out of a photo lineup, according to prosecutors. She identified Rackley's "numerous" tattoos, including a swastika on his chest and the letters "SAC" on his abdomen, the brief said.

Attorneys for Rackley could not be reached for comment Wednesday.

Locking up rape victims to force them to appear in court against their alleged attackers is so rare that one local DA's official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because of the pending case, said he was aware of only one other case.

It also pits a Penal Code section that allows for warrants to ensure material witnesses "appear and testify" against the state's Code of Civil Procedure, which says you can't "imprison or otherwise confine" sexual assault victims who refuse to testify.

Franco and attorney Amina Merritt, who represented the girl in her juvenile dependency matter, said the girl has told them she now is willing to both appear and testify against Rackley.

"She told the DA that last week," Merritt said.

Read more here: http://www.sacbee.com/2012/04/05/4392379/sacramento-county-da-locks-up.html#storylink=cpy