Today I dedicate this day to my son, my life

A celebration of life, of freedom..

7 years ago I left for a better life for my son & I

I am so very happy!! 12/08/09
Bring it forward turn it around and be the strength for the next victim!

Join us on "The Sisterhood" on FACEBOOK.COM as we support our fellow victims & survivors of domestic violence!


Today is my anniversary of the day that I left my abuser 7 years ago!

I'd like to thank all my special friends victims, survivors and advocates for this cause!
I'd like to thank the Escambia County Sherrif's office for that cold night in Dec when they saved 3 lives!

I also want to thank the Naples Police department & Sherrif's for all their great work!

Many, many thanks to The Shelter, Naples, I love you all!

A special thanks to Tammy Joeckel, a dear friend who started "The Sisterhood"

We are together for this cause!
You are all in my heart,

Bring it forward, turn it around....

Thanks to all of the wonderful people that I have met on my journey!
Thanks to the special women Tammy, Deborah, Lise, Ivette, Katy, Nancy and so many others
You are all amazing & wonderful
All The people at the Shelter, Naples who have touched my heart and led me towards "freedom from the ghosts"
I have had so much support from The Shelter For Abused Women , Naples (Now, The Shelter, Naples)

I speak with my "sisters" fellow victims and advocates daily....
We are together, never alone....
These are the victims who:

Bring it forward, turn it around ...........And be the strength for the next victim
This is our duty and our quest

Much love & Thanks,

Many Thanks to law enforcement

I am a survivor of domestic violence. I escaped abuse 7 years ago on a cold December night with my beautiful 7 month old son. Law enforcement rescued my son & I that night in 2002. That was the night I knew that my son & I were going to live...
Many thanks to The Escambia County Sheriff''s office! Many thanks to law enforcement all over the country who have helped so many victims!

Many Thanks to The Shelter, Naples

Many thanks to The Shelter For abused Women and children also known as The Shelter, Naples
for having the vigil at the courthouse in Naples, Florida tonight. This was the best way to start off domestic violence awareness month. This was a special night that was dedicated to the Damas family victims just recently murdered. Many thanks to law enforcement, the district attorney and all of the participants tonight. Many thanks to all the wonderful men & women of The shelter, Naples. Eah time I see your faces my heart is warmed.
You truly amaze me ~Melissa

In Memory Guerline Damas and Five Children

Guerline Damas and her Five children were murdered by Guerline's husband in Naples last week.
There is a fund set up to help for the funeral expenses.
Five children died because of their father who slit their throats along with their mother.
Violence can not be permitted in the home
God Bless the children may they be at peace with their mother Guerline


Women ages 16 - 24 experience the highest rate of partner violence!
If you have children ask yourself what are you going to do about this growing problem in our great country?
Teach them by example......


Special Thanks to all the men and women in uniform your support is above and beyond needed and recognized!
I love you for that!
Law Enforcement is in my heart!
One by one we can get these victims to safety.
It takes a voice to end this fight!
One Force one voice together!

Knox County Tennessee victim

Thank you from the bottom of my heart Knox County Clerk of court, Tenn.

In Memory victim Anna Creamer

Kenneth Creamer, convicted in June of murdering his wife with a crossbow more than two years ago, tried one final time Monday to argue that it was just a hard-to-believe accident.
"I'm not a cold-blooded killer," Creamer told a judge, barely peering up from his handwritten notes. "It happened the way I said."
Creamer had claimed during his trial in June that his wife died in a "tragic accident" after he tossed a gift bag containing the loaded crossbow while she worked out on a treadmill.
The jury was not convinced. The Jan. 8, 2006, incident was the second time he claimed he had accidentally shot his wife with the bow.

In Memory Monica Thomas-Harris

POMONA, Calif. - Monica Thomas-Harris got the chilling news just before Christmas: Her estranged husband, jailed for abducting and threatening her, had been released.
A frantic Thomas-Harris rushed to the district attorney's office, begging for an emergency protection order that would allow police to arrest him if he came near her. But it was the Friday evening before Christmas, and no judge was available. The next business day was Monday, but that was Christmas Eve, and her husband's lawyer was on a long vacation and couldn't be reached for a hearing.
Less than two weeks later, Thomas-Harris, 37, was dead, shot in a motel room by her husband in a murder-suicide.

Girl Married at 8 says sex started in 3rd grade

Girl ‘married’ at 8 says sex started in 3rd grade
TEXARKANA, Ark. — A woman who said evangelist Tony Alamo “married” her at age 8 is telling federal jurors that he sexually assaulted her repeatedly until she escaped his compound in late 2006.
The woman, now 18, testified Thursday that Alamo groped her at age 8. She said he began having sex with her when she was a 9-year-old third-grader who weighed only 98 pounds.
Alamo took explicit photographs of her that year with an instant camera and, on looking at them, called her a sexually demeaning name. She said she didn’t understand the term but that Alamo told her it was a good thing.
Alamo, 74, is named in a 10-count indictment alleging he took young girls across state lines for sex.


In Memory: Lori Hacking and unborn child

Lori Hacking: Just before she vanished on July 19, 2004, the 27-year-old Utah woman told friends she was five weeks pregnant. A massive hunt ensued before her husband, Mark Hacking, confessed to shooting her in the head as she slept and throwing her body in a garbage bin. Police found Lori Hacking's remains in a landfill on Oct. 1, 2004. Mark Hacking was sentenced to six years to life in prison in 2006.

Knox County Tennessee

I commend Knox County clerk of courts Tennessee for displaying pictures of victims of domestic violence on their website. Thank you from the bottom of my heart~Melissa

In Memory Victim Tamika Huston

Tamika Huston: The South Carolina woman disappeared in May 2004. Her remains were found in Duncan, S.C., and identified in August 2005. Huston's ex-boyfriend, Christopher Hampton, was convicted of her murder and received a life sentence.

In Memory Laci Peterson and unborn child

Laci Peterson: The 27-year-old wife was eight months pregnant when she disappeared on Christmas Eve 2002, prompting a massive search. Her decomposed body and that of her fetus were found the following April in San Francisco Bay. Her husband, Scott Peterson, right, was convicted of murder in both deaths and sentenced to die by lethal injection.

A dream for the next generation

Let no mark lay upon him
No bellowing be heard in his ears
No violence fill his eyes

May hands hold him only in sunshine
A smile always be upon his face

A new generation begins
Where violence has no place

Written by:

Homicide the #1 reason pregnant women die

Homicide is the number one reason that pregnant women die.
Women are not safe in their own homes.
How can we make a difference?
Awareness = Prevention

1 in 3 teenagers report knowing a friend or peer who has been hit, punched, kicked, slapped, choked or physically hurt by their teenage partner

Victims / law enforcement

When law enforcement are called for a domestic violence dispute they go in not knowing either party. There are two sides to every story. Victims are usually afraid to report any violence. He or she is in shock and traumatized by the abuse they have suffered. You can compare this shock to the sudden death of a close friend. Victims are not thinking clearly when law enforcement arrive. Victims are still shaking & upset from the abuse. A victim is usually not willing to report the abuser. It is frustrating for an officer to leave someone in this situation. A victim needs to know they are safe when officers show up. They need to trust an officer enough to make a report. After suffering abuse a victim feels like they can not trust anyone. They are dazed, confused and upset. If victims and law enforcement do not work together they work against each other. Let's work together to end domestic violence!

A movement against domestic violence: 1.Ignore 2.Refer 3.Pass the buck

a movement against domestic violence: 1.Ignore 2.Refer 3.Pass the buck

All survivors and advocates unite together...
We are no longer alone
We are a circle that never breaks
One heart, One cause
This blog is dedicated to victims, survivors, advocates and law enforcement around the world Together we can end domestic violence....

Always writing

On that final day of capture while in a violent, drunken rage he threatened...
" You or the police will not take this baby from me, I'm taking him"

book due to be released September, 2010
Written by: Melissa

"God's Work must truly be our own"

Ask Not What Your Country Can Do For You speech Inaugural Address by John F. Kennedy - January 20th 1961

My fellow citizens of the world: ask not what America will do for you, but what together we can do for the freedom of man. Finally, whether you are citizens of America or citizens of the world, ask of us the same high standards of strength and sacrifice which we ask of you. With a good conscience our only sure reward, with history the final judge of our deeds, let us go forth to lead the land we love, asking His blessing and His help, but knowing that here on earth God's work must truly be our own.

Family watch Dog sex offender web site

A great web site that will email you with any new sex offenders that move in your area!

One in Three Teenage girls are victims

One in Three Teenage girls are victims. They are being abused by their teen boyfriends!
In order to stop domestic violence we need to teach our children to say no to violence!
These teen boyfriends one day become fathers!!!
EACH OF US can Help end domestic violence
Everyone can do there part by speaking to their children & other adults...
Open your eyes & ears
For one teen, one child, one woman, one man at a time

Books Regarding Domestic Violence

Reading is knowledge, empowerment!

Gay men and childhood sexual Trauma
Integrating the shattered self
James Cassese

Why does he do that? Inside the mind of angry and controlling man
Lundy Bancroft

What parents need to know about teen dating violence:
Advice and support for helping your teen
Barrie Levy and Patricia Occhiuzzo Giggans

The batterer as parent
Lundy Bancroft and Jay Silverman

Surviving domestic violence
voices of women who broke free
Elaine Weiss

Managing teen anger and violence:
A pathways to peace program
William Freeman

The emotionally abused woman
Beverly Engel, M.F.C.C.

Encouragement For The Emotionally Abused Woman
Beverly Engel, M.F.C.C.

The Domestic Violence Sourcebook
Dawn Bradley Berry, J. D.

Ditch That Jerk
Pamela Jayne, M.A.

From the inside out:
A look into teen violence and rebellion
Larry L. Stevenson

Free myself from an abusive relationship
Andrea Lissette, M.A. & Richard Krause, PHD.

One in Three teenage victims

One in Three teenage girls are victims
They suffer physical/sexual abuse caused by their teenage boyfriend
We have to continue to help our teens with this growing problem
We are now teaching generation after generation to end the violence
If we do not end violence it follows these teens to the next generation
These teen victims one day become mothers.
It is a cycle that never ends unless we try to end it.
This is our country, our men, women & children our people
Together we can be one voice one force for this cause
End domestic violence

NO MORE HIDING... No more abuse!

Abusers hide...
They have no face, it is hidden... no sympathy, no morals, no shame
No more hiding!
Bring them out of hiding let your voice be heard!

A message from Melissa:
As a victim, I felt ashamed of the abuse.
I was embarrassed to report my abusers violence.
I was wrong to feel that shame.
Shame, is not something for a victim to carry with them.
The abuser needs to know that they are the one at fault.

(abusers not the victims!)

Always writing

"Violence should never be taught in the form of a mother or a father"

Book due to be released September 2010
written by : Melissa

Don't teach children to be violent

Child victims develop disorders

80% of young adults who had been abused met the diagnostic criteria for at least 1 psychiatric disorder at the age of 21 (including depression, anxiety, eating disorders, & post-traumatic stress disorder)
Abused children are 25% more likely to experience teen pregnancy
Abused teens are 3 times less likely to practice safe sex, putting them at greater risk for STDs
These statistics are from the National Clearinghouse on Child Abuse & Neglect Information. Long-term Consequences of Child Abuse & Neglect 2005

Child Help:

How to recognize symptoms of domestic violence

Domestic violence, also known as spousal abuse, battering or child abuse, can take many forms. Abuse can be physical, verbal, sexual or mental. It's not always easy to recognize symptoms of domestic abuse, but there are a few cues that may alert friends or other family members that someone in a household is being abused.Learning to recognize the basic signs of domestic abuse may lead friends or family members to record instances of abuse, for use by law enforcement personnel or court systems to help prosecute those who abuse others.Domestic abuse may occur to any individual regardless of age or gender, though female adults are the most often abused.
Taken From:

Teenage Violence Linked To Later Domestic Violence

Adolescents who engaged in violent behavior at a relatively steady rate through their teenage years and those whose violence began in their mid teens and increased over the years are significantly more likely to engage in domestic violence in their mid 20s than other young adults, according to a new University of Washington study.
"Most people think youth violence and domestic violence are separate problems, but this study shows that they are intertwined," said Todd Herrenkohl, lead author of the study and a UW associate professor of social work.
The study also found no independent link between an individual's use of alcohol or drugs and committing domestic violence. In addition it showed that nearly twice as many women as men said they perpetrated domestic violence in the past year including kicking, biting or punching their partner, threatening to hit or throw something at their partner, and pushing, grabbing or shoving their partner.
Data from the study came from the on-going Seattle Social Development Project which has been tracing youth development and the social and antisocial behavior of more than 800 participants. It began when they were in the fifth grade and continues to follow them into adulthood.
That project earlier showed four patterns of youth violence taken by teens between the ages of 13 and 18. Taken from :

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder symptoms

Information taken from:

Psychiatric Symptoms Associated with Childhood Abuse PTSD
Memory and concentration problems
Intrusive memories
Abnormal startle reponses
Feeling worse when reminded of trauma Dissociative
Out-of-body experiences
Fragmented sense of self and identity Anxiety
Panic attacks

Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgendered against violence

In memory of Samantha Leath Gutierrez

LEXINGTON — A 44-year-old woman faces murder charges in connection with the shooting death of a woman she lived with.
The Davidson County Sheriff's Office said Samantha Leath Gutierrez, 35, was fatally shot Monday afternoon at her home at 367 Avenue K.
Deputies later arrested Tammy Starlette Miller West, who lives at the same address. West was charged with first degree murder and remains in the Davidson County jail without bond. Her first court appearance is scheduled for later today.
According to the sheriff's office, deputies responded to the home in the Southmont community of Davidson County. They found Gutierrez's body on the floor of the home. West, who was present when deputies arrived, was not injured.
Deputies did not give a motive for the shooting.

Gays, Bisexual and transgendered against violence

People around the world from different cultures, beliefs and different sexual preferences all experience abuse.
They are survivors, victims & advocates for this cause.
They are in my heart
One cause, one force to end this together!

National Coalition Against Domestic Violence

Rape, Abuse & Incest national network

RAINN: The nation's largest anti-sexual assault organization.One of “America’s 100 Best Charities" —Worth magazine

Our cause

Thanks to law enforcement all across the country for helping this cause
We need to work together
If we do not work together we work against one another

Together we are empowered
This blog is dedicated to men and women around the world who believe in the fight to end Domestic Violence. With education, we grow stronger
Together we stop the violence, the abuse
When we report abuse we are the victors no longer the victims...
We need victims to report violence the first time it happens.
We need to listen and learn from each other.
We need to learn from survivors & victims
They need to know that there voice is important.
We are in this together
One force, one cause!
Law enforcement are not against the victims but both parties need to communicate in order to stop violence...

On average 7 times is the amount of times a women escapes & returns to an abuser. A huge reason for this is the affordability factor. She worries she can't make it on her own or support her children.
Concerns are: Food, shelter, protection, employment issues, medical issues (regarding insurance and the disorders that women have due to abuse) Usually a victim that stays is isolated, she has no family or friends close by. Culture now plays a huge role in the united states since there are so many illegal immigrants. These victims, without documents fear that they will be sent back to their country. These women do not have a drivers license, ss card, checking accounts, credit cards or anything that allows them to get the assistance that is so badly needed. In a country that can not yet end violence for american citizens how do we protect the immigrants? Law enforcement make a huge difference but we need more rights and more awareness. Little by little our cause is heard.
Slowly, we still bring the women out of abuse. Leaving for good has to be sooner than the average number. (which is Seven times returning to abuse) Until then, keep bringing the Sevens. We must continue to work towards educating and counselling victims, law enforcement, attorneys, judges, school teachers and more advocates. Together we will get there one man, one woman , one child, one teen at a time.

Eleanor Roosevelt once said:
Learn by LivingYou gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, "I lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along." You must do the thing you think you cannot do.

No matter what it takes walk through the door!
Freedom is worth fighting for.
End Domestic Violence!

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