San Jose Police Department
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Child victims were 5 and 7 years old.
The main problem I faced was a distorted belief system. I felt that love came with accomplishments and accolades. I didn't believe that I was good enough to love as is. When love is missing, a lot of negative stuff comes out of the woodwork: anger, resentment, fear, jealousy.
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That includes physical, sexual, emotional, and financial abuse, as well as neglect.
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Technology plays a large part in the lives of everyone; it's where we communicate, learn, express ourselves and spend much of our leisure time, but what does it look like when the primary medium we use for these things becomes corrupted with hate and abuse?
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Teal Swan was only six years old when she found herself in the hands of her abuser and forced into a nightmarish world that a lot of people were unwilling (or unable) to believe. For the better part of 13 years, she was was raped, beaten and psychologically tortured by people who she was told to trust.
I need to talk to these people but I can't. Unfinished business. That's what it is when people in your life leave unexpectedly. You may feel that tug at the moment of change or feel it years later. For me, it threads in and out of my thoughts -- those questions. Some practical, some philosophical.
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What normal parent would be insanely jealous of their own child?! I never expected it and I certainly didn't want it. But there it was: jealousy. As plain as the nose on my face. It all started just after puberty. I was fourteen when Mom first accused me of trying to "be cute" for my own father. Need I add that it wasn't true? But your Mommy is always right, isn't she?
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A new study examining elder abuse -- released by researchers at the University of Toronto, Cornell University and Weill-Cornell Medical College -- has found that older adult victims living alone with their abuser were up to four times more likely to endure more severe levels of mistreatment.
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At what point does racism move from isolated incidents to a systemic problem in the Canadian Forces? Master Corporal Marc Frenette is quitting his decades-long service after years of racial harassment. Last May, Corporal Esther Wolki went public over the racial abuse she suffered and the damage it did to her mind. Not even the defence minister is immune from racist attacks. Then there's Private Wallace Fowler. For 16 years he has been trying to get the Forces to properly investigate the racism he says he endured.
On TV and in the movies, we see men and women exhibiting terrible behaviours, but the characters on the receiving end most often react as though these actions were reasonable and acceptable, giving the viewing audience the wrong message about how to go about their own relationships.
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An emotionally abusive relationship can be just as damaging as a physically abusive one, but it can also be more difficult to identify. You're likely to stay longer with someone who's abusing you in a more subtle way, so it's important to recognize the signs of emotional abuse, as this will help you to get away from a toxic partner sooner rather than later.
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Ontario's College of Physicians and Surgeons receives numerous deeply concerning reports of doctors sexually abusing their patients each year despite the adoption of a "zero tolerance" approach to such abuse 20 years ago. This persistent problem has eroded public trust in doctor self-regulation.
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Zahra Mahamoud Abdille and her two sons fled violence and sought refuge in a Toronto women's shelter. Zahra did the right thing. She wanted to leave the abusive life behind her for good and start a new life free of violence. And thus, she contemplated a divorce. However, such an endeavour requires resources, including legal fees that were beyond her means. Once again, Zahra, did the right thing: she applied for legal aid to proceed with her separation and divorce papers. Sadly, Zahra was denied legal aid because she was working and had a "decent" income.
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It can be an especially challenging time of year when you are not in contact with your family. I spent most of my youth estranged from my family, feeling isolated and living in poverty. Christmastime can serve as a painful reminder of what is missing from your life.
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"Violence against women is a violation of the most basic human rights," Prime Minster Justin Trudeau reflected. I would like to highlight two Canadian women who have faced tremendous tragedy in their lives, yet have pulled them together and are inspiring us all to embrace better ideals in our citizenship.
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To everyone around me, it looked like our family had it all. The truth was that I lived in a house that was filthy and piled high with debris and animal waste. I was 11years old when my father began to sexually abuse me. I had become accustomed to keeping so many secrets by then that I just added this one to the list. I hoped the abuse would stop. I was terrified and lonely. I am living proof that it takes a community to lift a person up. The day I left my abusive family home was the day I stepped into uncertainty and poverty.
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When women are then forced to face homelessness and poverty after fleeing abuse, desperate behaviours are often the result. Suicide attempts, devaluation of self-worth and comparisons to others cause untold pain and suffering, and serve to continue the cycle of struggle with mental health.
When mothers are abused their children are also significantly impacted. The abuse ripple-effect is far reaching. Children who witness their mother's abuse can experience learning challenges, behavioural and mental health issues and these long-term effects can extend far into adulthood. The Interval House study also showed the majority of Canadians do not believe that a woman should stay in an abusive relationship for the sake of the children. It is a positive shift that so many Canadians support mothers leaving an abusive relationship, rather than insisting on keeping the family unit intact no matter what.
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The Internet is without a doubt one of the greatest innovations of our time. It, along with social media, has allowed us to connect with loved ones and like-minded people. However, it has also created a climate where humiliation, trolling, and cyberbullying are as easy as standing on a virtual soap-box and snidely tapping a few keystrokes for the world to see. We each need to play our part in acting with empathy and compassion.
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Abuse is always the responsibility of the abuser. Always. If we want to significantly change attitudes and feel optimistic about progress then we need to hear people saying loudly that there is no action or choice by a victim that can ever justify abuse. Not if she cheats on him, if she's a bad cook, if she nags, if she hates his mother, if she is passive, if she has different priorities, if she's stressed out, if she doesn't feel like sex, if she likes to spend, if she's a poor communicator, if she hates mopping the floor or if she forgets his birthday.
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Why, in a time when we have more information available to us than ever, when WHO member states have adopted "a historic" resolution to address violence against women and girls, and when consent is being introduced into school curricula in some Canadian provinces, does violence against women still remain largely hidden?
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I have spent most of my 20s in emotionally abusive relationships. Until a year ago, I thought I was the worst kind of damaged goods, a girl who could only love men who hurt her. I didn't want to talk about my experiences because I thought that my kind of pain was self-inflicted. If I was stupid enough to stay, I deserved it.
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Today is the United Nations International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, which kicks off 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence. This year has seen an explosion of women speaking out against abuse and public discussion about the crisis of violence against women. But in every other way, nothing much has changed.
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After 18 years of social work with survivors of gender violence and offenders, you start to notice a few patterns -- especially with how abusers rationalize how they treat women. They have figured out the rules of the game and take comfort in the ultimate insurance policy: that society protects men who beat and violate women.
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It seems the Internet, like Orwell's police state, is slowly forcing everyone to stay on his or her best behaviour. In my mind, the Internet won when yet another elevator video surfaced of National Football League player Ray Rice punching his then fiancé, prompting his release by the Baltimore Ravens and an indefinite suspension by the NFL.
Every time someone clicks on that video we re-victimize Janay Palmer. Every time someone watches it, we are voyeuristic bystanders to her abuse. The real question is: why would we want to watch a woman be violated, humiliated, devalued, brutalized and abused?
The death of comedian Robin Williams last month sparked a worldwide discussion about suicide, its underlying causes and how it might be prevented. And, with World Suicide Prevention Day taking place Sept. 10, the subject is certain to generate more debate as people seek to understand this important health issue. Having spent 10 years researching the subject while working as a professor of psychiatry, I believe there are things we can do as a community to tackle this problem. With that in mind, I thought it might be helpful to reflect on what researchers have learned over the years about strategies for preventing suicide.
This week, I had a drink with a very good friend. He's currently in a relationship with a wonderful woman whose ex-husband, the father of her children also happens to be the man who raped and brutally sodomized her for the last four years of their nine-year marriage. No one believed the story of her ordeal. No one in her family. Not one of her friends. Disbelief is a cruel after-effect of rape. It's also the trump card of the rapist. The burden is all too often placed on the victim, not the perpetrator. And when it's a spouse, he knows how to make the victim feel so worthless, guilty and low, that she'll avoid doing what is necessary.
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As a teen, Jaime was sucked into a world of gangs, drugs and violence that threatened to lure him away from school, which in El Salvador is only offered in half days. Jaime tells us he'd have wound up selling drugs, or possibly even dead, if an after-school program called Superate hadn't saved him.
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