Faces of #MeToo

Are you passionate about ending sexual violence? We are too!

Join us for, Faces of #MeToo, a salon event presented by San Gabriel Valley NOW.

April is sexual awareness month and we are hosting this event to stand with survivors, provide information about consent, and local resources. Won’t you join us and help start conversations to help create change and move to a safer world for everyone?

  • Arrive early for a chance to mingle with like minded feminists and to enjoy light lunch and beverages.
  • Hear from a representative from Project Sister Family Services and one from law enforcement.
  • Participate in our interactive forum and perhaps even win a fun prize.

We will send you the event address at a private home in Glendora, CA after you submit an RSVP below.

A $10 donation is much appreciated.

Millions of Americans are Victims of Domestic Violence

Millions of Americans are Victims of Domestic Violence at the Hands of a Partner.

Domestic violence and substance abuse share similar characteristics, according to a 2005 psychiatry journal article. Both forms of abuse involve loss of control, ongoing negative behaviors despite awareness of the consequences, excessive waste of time, blame shifting, denial, intensification of problem and promise of behavioral changes.

Women make up 85 percent of domestic abuse victims, and three out of four batterers are male, according to the American Society of Addiction Medicine.

Because of cultural norms, society holds intoxicated women accountable for being victims of domestic abuse, according to studies. The stigma surrounding women who use substances also desensitizes the gravity of sexual abuse against them.

The Cycle of Abuse

Drug and alcohol abuse may act as a catalyst for domestic violence.

According to ASAM, 40 to 60 percent of domestic abuse cases involve substance abuse. More than 20 percent of male abusers admit to engaging in substance use before their involvement in domestic violence. Physical abuse is 11 times more likely to occur on days when the perpetrator engaged in alcohol or drug abuse.

According to the Office for the Prevention of Domestic Violence of New York, 92 percent of male batterers use substances the day they assault their female partners, and 30 to 40 percent of male batterers consume alcohol while assaulting their partners.

Alcohol is associated with domestic violence in men, but there isn’t enough evidence to prove that alcohol causes the violence. Researchers have argued that heavy drinking might be an excuse for violent behaviors. A majority of people who use substances do not engage in domestic violence; however, a large number of batterers abuse substances.

Domestic abuse among spouses may result in the development of substance use disorders, per ASAM. Abusive men tend to pressure their female partners to use drugs and alcohol. In fact, women in abusive relationships have more incidences of substance abuse than women in non-abusive relationships. Similarly, expectant mothers in abusive relationships are more likely to use substances of abuse before and during pregnancy than pregnant women who aren’t exposed to violence.

Women who are in abusive relationships are also less likely to seek help for substance use disorders. In some cases, the batterers may threaten to hurt or kill their partners if they seek medical help.

Treatment for Domestic Abuse Cases

Domestic violence should be treated as a co-occurring disorder during substance abuse treatment. To provide effective treatment, health providers should understand the root of the violence and deliver sufficient therapy for the victim.

First aid providers need to ensure that victims are safe and that they have access to authorities and shelters in their community. The victims can then receive co-occurring treatment for substance abuse and domestic violence. Treatment may include detoxing from a substance, counseling sessions and support groups.

Batterers require a specific approach to avoid fueling their anger toward their victim. An effective way to deal with a violent abuser includes providing help immediately after the attack. The batterer typically associates the period after an episode of domestic abuse with guilt and promises of change — a prime time for them to be receptive to treatment.

Treating substance abuse and domestic violence simultaneously typically produces the best results. One study revealed that treating a person’s alcohol disorder decreased their violent tendencies. Before alcohol abuse treatment, 56 percent of male study participants admitted to being violent. Only 25 percent were violent a year after they started treatment.

Health care professionals should understand the implications of substance abuse and domestic violence on the couple’s children and family. The goal of treatment is to provide batterers and victims with the care that they need to resume a healthy and substance-free life.

Sources:

Zilberman, M.L. & Blume, S.B. (2005, October). Domestic violence, alcohol and substance abuse. Retrieved from http://www.scielo.br/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S1516-44462005000600004

Soper, R. G. (2014, October 6). Intimate Partner Violence and Co-Occurring Substance Abuse/Addiction. Retrieved from http://www.asam.org/magazine/read/article/2014/10/06/intimate-partner-violence-and-co-occurring-substance-abuse-addiction

Office for the Prevention of Domestic Violence. (n.d.). Understanding Domestic Abusers. Retrieved from http://www.opdv.ny.gov/professionals/abusers/excuse2.html

Dawgert, S. (2009). Substance Use and Sexual Violence. Retrieved from http://www.ncdsv.org/images/PCAR_SubUseAndSVBldgPrevAndIntervenResp_2009.pdf

Letter to My Fierce Fighting Women Warriors

Hi, my fierce fighting women warriors. Like you, I am shocked, saddened, disbelieving, heartbroken, worried…did I say shocked?

Fortunately, I did some reading (HuffPost, Facebook, etc.) love/peace/belief/strength posts; heartfelt messages with friends…and I came to work to find realistic, tough, inspirational words from Pat Reuss, who sends the group email for NOW leaders. I will share these with you in the hope that it gives us strength for the fight ahead. Also, Russell Allan Johnson sent his sympathies and the hope that we can find responsible Republicans to work within the government. Hope springs eternal.

My feeling is that now more than ever, I am so proud to be president of our chapter, and I promise to do all I can going forward to make NOW, and women’s equality and rights, a reality in our lifetime and to secure its place after that as well! I have never been more galvanized to make a change, to make a difference, and we have momentum on our side. I want us to launch a membership drive for people of all ages to join and create change, and I want to have fundraisers for the many organizations, including NOW, that will need support.

With love and sisterhood, and the knowledge that we can do this, just as our foremothers in the suffragette movement did. ONWARD!

Michelle

I Voted Early, and This is What Happened to Me

At the Amelia Earhart Library in North Hollywood the line to vote early snaked around the park behind the library. How long would I wait wondered and almost left? Instead of leaving I joined the longest line I ever joined.

I stared at the array of people – grandmothers, bun-sporting hipsters, mothers with children in tow, women, couples patting tired pit bulls, partners delivering coffee to mates, professionals typing away on Macs, same-sex couples, and even a celebrity wondering when her number would be called — it hit me. Committed voters gathered, and the majority of them were women.

The reasons for early voting varied, but for one day that turned into night, we came together. Many of the women said they were voting now to vote for the next women president. They didn’t want to miss it. Some, particularly older voters, never imagined a day when a woman would run for president.

As we waited in line, good Samaritans handout out water and leftover over Halloween candy. At one point, a sign on a tree indicated that the wait was two hours from that point. Some folks stepped out of line when reaching this point, but overall the rate was low.

Once a voter checked in for the early voting in North Hollywood, the voter waited for her number. All waiting voters had been waiting well over three hours and yet no one seemed angry or upset in any way.

The temperature dropped, but the energy in the crowd did not wane. As the poll workers brought out packets ready for anticipating people, numbers were called – just like a lottery. People yelped and cheered as when they heard their number and finally the delay to cast a ballot.

We waited so long. People struck up conversations with those waiting directly next to them. We were friends by proximity. We talked about our jobs, our family, and all other topics just to pass the time. We understood casting our ballot was important, so the delay was of minor importance.

When my number 3648 was called I too felt I had won. With my ballot in hand, I walk to the voting booth take part in the process and if all falls into place make history.