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May 23, 2012

Why do people deliberately injure themselves?

Drowning in the dark blood of would-be brothers who,
beyond the pressing of fingers, those for whom
the slice is only the beginning, and a different kind
of light comes in, begs recognition and peace of mind.
-- Judybats

This may be the aspect of self-harm that is most puzzling to those who do not do it. Why would anyone choose to inflict physical damage on him or herself? Because they cannot imagine themselves doing such a thing under any circumstances, many people dismiss self-injury as "senseless" or "irrational" behavior. And certainly it does seem that way at first glance.

Who self-injures?

Psychological characteristics common in self-injurers

The overall picture seems to be of people who:
  • strongly dislike/invalidate themselves
  • are hypersensitive to rejection
  • are chronically angry, usually at themselves
  • tend to suppress their anger
  • have high levels of aggressive feelings, which they disapprove of strongly and often suppress or direct inward
  • are more impulsive and more lacking in impulse control
  • tend to act in accordance with their mood of the moment
  • tend not to plan for the future
  • are depressed and suicidal/self-destructive
  • suffer chronic anxiety
  • tend toward irritability
  • do not see themselves as skilled at coping
  • do not have a flexible repertoire of coping skills
  • do not think they have much control over how/whether they cope with life
  • tend to be avoidant
  • do not see themselves as empowered


What is self-harm?

Self-harm" refers to the deliberate, direct destruction of body tissue that results in tissue damage. When someone engages in self-harm, they may have a variety of intentions; these are discussed below. However, the person's intention is NOT to kill themselves. You may have heard self-harm referred to as "parasuicide," "self-mutilation," "self-injury," "self-abuse," "cutting," "self-inflicted violence," and so on.

How common is self-harm?

Self-harm is not well-understood and has not yet been extensively studied. The rates of self-harm revealed through research vary tremendously depending on how researchers pose their questions about this behavior.

Help for families and friends of those that Self Injure

Now what? Perhaps someone you care about has honored you by trusting you with information about their self-injury, or maybe you've inadvertently discovered it. Regardless of how you found out, you know about it now, and you can't pretend it away -- you have to respond in some way. Here are some guidelines for dealing with SI in a friend or family member. You might also find it helpful to post to and read the family and friends section of the bus web board. Some good conversations happen there.

Don't take it personally.

Self-injurious behavior is more about the person who does it than about the people around him/her. The person you're concerned about is not cutting, burning, hitting, or whatever just to make you feel bad or guilty. Even if it feels like a manipulation, it probably isn't intended as one. People generally do not SI to be dramatic, to annoy others, or to make a point.

Female Victims of Domestic Violence 75 Times More Likely to Self Harm

Original Document by: Back to The Science of Mental Health

Women who deliberately self harm are 75 times more likely to report physical and/or verbal abuse by a partner than women who do not harm themselves, indicates research in Emergency Medicine Journal.

The findings are based on a two week study of patients in the emergency medicine department at Addenbrooke's Hospital, Cambridge in 2001. During that period, 270 people out of a possible 307 agreed to complete a questionnaire on whether actual or threatened domestic violence by a partner had obliged them to seek emergency care. Data from 256 questionnaires were assessed.

There was no evidence that domestic abuse was linked to alcohol or to greater use of emergency medical services. But the figures indicated that around one in 100 patients had been a victim of partner abuse which required emergency medical treatment.

What is Posttraumatic Stress Disorder?

A National Center for PTSD Fact Sheet

Posttraumatic Stress Disorder, or PTSD, is a psychiatric disorder that can occur following the experience or witnessing of life-threatening events such as military combat, natural disasters, terrorist incidents, serious accidents, or violent personal assaults like rape. Most survivors of trauma return to normal given a little time.

However, some people will have stress reactions that do not go away on their own, or may even get worse over time. These individuals may develope PTSD. People who suffer from PTSD often relive the experience through nightmares and flashbacks, have difficulty sleeping, and feel detached or estranged, and these symptoms can be severe enough and last long enough to significantly impair the person's daily life.

PTSD is marked by clear biological changes as well as psychological symptoms. PTSD is complicated by the fact that it frequently occurs in conjunction with related disorders such as depression, substance abuse, problems of memory and cognition, and other problems of physical and mental health. The disorder is also associated with impairment of the person's ability to function in social or family life, including occupational instability, marital problems and divorces, family discord, and difficulties in parenting.

Understanding PTSD

What is Post Traumatic Stress Disorder?

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a debilitating condition that can develop following a terrifying event. Often, people with Post-traumatic stress disorder have persistent frightening thoughts and memories of their ordeal and feel emotionally numb, especially with people they were once close to. Post-traumatic stress disorder was first brought to public attention by war veterans, but it can result from any number of traumatic incidents. These include violent attacks such as mugging, rape or torture; being kidnapped or held captive; child abuse; serious accidents such as car or train wrecks; and natural disasters such as floods or earthquakes. The event that triggers Post-traumatic stress disorder may be something that threatened the person's life or the life of someone close to him or her. Or it could be something witnessed, such as massive death and destruction after a building is bombed or a plane crashes.

Understanding the Plight of Her Sexual Victimization

University Counseling Center
University of Notre Dame

"What happened to me? How did this happen to me? Why did this happen to me? Why did I act the way that I did while it was happening? What will I do the next time I'm in a similar situation?" These are the questions that many women who have experienced sexual victimization ask themselves. The process of answering these questions can be very painful. So painful that often times the woman chooses to sort through them with the help of a psychotherapist.

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder: Identification and Diagnosis

Invited article for Soziale Arbeit Schweiz
(The Swiss Journal of Social Work), February 1998. 
By Babette Rothschild, MSW, LCSW © 1997

Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) disrupts the functioning of those afflicted by it, interfering with the ability to meet their daily needs and perform the most basic tasks. Trauma continues to intrude on the lives of people with PTSD as they relive the life-threatening experiences they have suffered with visual, auditory and/or somatic reality, reacting in mind and body as though such events were still occurring. Not everyone experiencing traumatic events develops PTSD; it is a complex psychobiological condition that can emerge in the wake of life-threatening experiences when normal psychological and somatic stress responses to a traumatic event are not resolved and released. In this paper it is proposed that Autonomic Nervous System hyper-arousal is at the core of PTSD and the driving force behind phenomena such as dissociation, freezing and flashbacks. Acute traumatic reactions are differentiated from PTSD and strategies for intervention are suggested.

Helplessly Overwhelmed

Helplessly Overwhelmed
Monika R. Smith, Ph.D., B.C.E.T.S.

The field of traumatic stress continues to expand vastly as new and expanding theories are formulated, tested, proven and applied. Sensitive discernment enables us to unfold ever more areas where trauma and its lingering related stressors lie camouflaged in wait of the moment when a stimulus intended to initiate any appropriate, active response instead helplessly overwhelms.

As I had read material prepared in the early seventies, I found that helplessness was illustrated by describing hysterical women who used it to, ultimately, manipulate others for their own ulterior motives. Twenty years later, a series of psychology books, articles and my own notes address learning theories, reinforcements, rewards, and punishments, as well as the theory of "learned helplessness" in relation to helplessness. There were faint hints that maybe there was more to helplessness than those conceptualizations that met the eye of the researcher or writer, with little or no elaboration.

Effects of Traumatic Experiences

A National Center for PTSD Fact Sheet
by Eve B. Carlson, Ph.D. and Josef Ruzek, Ph.D.

When people find themselves suddenly in danger, sometimes they are overcome with feelings of fear, helplessness, or horror. These events are called traumatic experiences. Some common traumatic experiences include being physically attacked, being in a serious accident, being in combat, being sexually assaulted, and being in a fire or a disaster like a hurricane or a tornado. After traumatic experiences, people may have problems that they didn't have before the event. If these problems are severe and the survivor does not get help for them, they can begin to cause problems in the survivor's family. This fact sheet explains how traumas can affect those who experience them. This fact sheet also describes family members' reactions to the traumatic event and to the trauma survivor's symptoms and behaviors. Finally, suggestions are made about what a survivor and his or her family can do to get help for PTSD.

How do traumatic experiences affect people?

Domestic Violence

A National Center for PTSD Fact Sheet
By Michelle Rice, Ph.D.

Domestic violence is a prominent public health issue in the United States. It is the most frequent cause of serious injury to women, more than car accidents, muggings, and stranger rapes combined.1 This fact sheet provides information regarding the definition of domestic violence, the prevalence of domestic violence, the dynamics of abusive relationships, the effects of domestic violence, treatment for victims and perpetrators, and resources offering assistance.

What is domestic violence?

Domestic violence is defined as the use or threat of use of physical, emotional, verbal, or sexual abuse with the intent of instilling fear, intimidating, and controlling behavior.1 Domestic violence occurs within the context of an intimate relationship and may continue after the relationship has ended. The types of domestic violence are as follows1,2:

Disasters and Domestic Violence

A National Center for PTSD Fact Sheet
Prepared by Fran H. Norris, Georgia State University

Prevalence and Impact of Domestic Violence in the Wake of Disasters

Two questions require attention when considering the implications of domestic violence for postdisaster recovery.

The first question is whether domestic violence increases in prevalence after disasters. There are only minimal data that are relevant to this question. Mechanic et al.1 undertook the most comprehensive examination of intimate violence in the aftermath of a disaster after the 1993 Mid-western flood. A representative sample of 205 women who were either married or cohabitating with men and who were highly exposed to this disaster acknowledged considerable levels of domestic violence and abuse. Over the 9-month period after flood onset, 14% reported at least one act of physical aggression from their partners, 26% reported emotional abuse, 70% verbal abuse, and 86% partner anger. Whether these rates of physical aggression are greater than normal is not known because studies of domestic violence from previous years and under normal conditions have showed the existence of rates of violence as low as 1% and as high as 12%.

Dealing With Crisis and Traumatic Events

Dealing With Crisis and Traumatic Events 
Binghamton University Counseling Center


A traumatic experience is an event in which an individual experiences, or witnesses, an actual or threatened serious injury or death. It is normal for people to experience emotional and physical aftershocks or stress reactions following a traumatic event. Sometimes these aftershocks appear immediately after the event. However, sometimes it takes a few hours, days or even weeks before stress reactions appear. An individual's response may include intense fear, helplessness, or horror. Depending on the severity of the event, the signs and symptoms of these reactions may last a few days, several weeks or months, or longer. The way an individual copes with crisis depends on his or her own history and prior experiences. Sometimes traumatic events are so painful that professional assistance may be necessary in order to cope with them.

Critique of the 'Battered Woman Syndrome'

Critique of the 'Battered Woman Syndrome'
Mary Ann Dutton
Revised January 1996

Although widely misunderstood even among legal professionals, "battered woman syndrome" is not a legal defense. It is one approach to explaining battered women's experiences. Like other "social framework testimony," (Vidmar & Schuller, in press), expert testimony concerning battering and its effects is used in the legal system to help a judge or jury better understand a battered woman's experience (Federal Rules of Evidence 702). The purpose of this paper is to offer a critique of the concept battered woman syndrome as a means of framing battered women's experiences (Gordon & Dutton, 1996).

Review of the concept battered woman syndrome

Battered Women’s Syndrome

Battered Women’s Syndrome

Battered Women’s Syndrome is considered to be a form of Post-Traumatic Stress. Battered Women’s Syndrome is a recognized psychological condition that is used to describe someone who has been the victim of consistent and/or severe domestic violence. To be classified as a battered woman, a woman has to have been through two cycles of abuse.

What is a Cycle of Abuse?

A cycle of abuse is abuse that occurs in a repeating pattern. Abuse is identifiable as being cyclical in two ways: it is both generational and episodic. Generational cycles of abuse are passed down, by example and exposure, from parents to children. Episodic abuse occurs in a repeating pattern within the context of at least two individuals within a family system. It may involve spousal abuse, child abuse, or even elder abuse.

An Overview: There is Nothing Post About Current Traumatic Stresses

An Overview: There is Nothing Post About Current Traumatic Stresses
By Darling Graciela Villena-Mata, Ph.D.

Does the blind man own his escort? No, neither do we the story;
rather it is the story that owns us and directs us.
Chinua Achebe, Anthills of the Savannah (1987)

For many people, trauma is still part of their lives. It is their main story; their ‘guiding light’. It is not part of their past or history. It is. Rather, it is their lead story which for many, govern their perceptions of their world and of themselves within that world. From those that follow lives of domestic violence to those who are ‘recipients’ of hate crimes to those who are triggered by “isms” in their midst, they find themselves reacting and creating skills to help keep themselves safe and to create “islands” of trust where they can exhale; albeit partially for some.

PTSD in Children and Adolescents

A National Center for PTSD Fact Sheet
By Jessica Hamblen, Ph.D.

The diagnosis of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) was formally recognized as a psychiatric diagnosis in 1980. At that time, little was known about what PTSD looked like in children and adolescents. Today, we know children and adolescents are susceptible to developing PTSD, and we know that PTSD has different age-specific features. In addition, we are beginning to develop child-focused interventions. This fact sheet provides information regarding what events cause PTSD in children, how many children develop PTSD, risk factors associated with PTSD, what PTSD looks like in children, other effects of trauma on children, treatment for PTSD, and what you can do for your child.

What events cause PTSD in children?

Children, Community Violence and Post-Traumatic Stress

Deborah Wasserman
Department of Human Development & Family Science
The Ohio State University

Carol Ford Arkin, Ph.D.
Columbus Children's Hospital

Quick to anger, trouble paying attention, disinterested--these behaviors in children demand adult intervention. Problem behaviors in children derive from many sources. One potential factor affecting too many children today is the physiological and psychological aftereffects of witnessing or being a victim of a traumatic event.

Traumatic stress comes in many forms and a full range of intensities, as do children's responses to it. Not all children who have experienced or witnessed trauma will exhibit behavior problems. Increasing adults understanding of the effects of trauma hopefully will enable them to better help children who experience problems.

Anniversary Reactions to a Traumatic Event

Mental Health Information Center

The Recovery Process Continues;

As the anniversary of a disaster or traumatic event approaches, many survivors report a return of restlessness and fear. Psychological literature calls it the anniversary reaction and defines it as an individual's response to unresolved grief resulting from significant losses. The anniversary reaction can involve several days or even weeks of anxiety, anger, nightmares, flashbacks, depression, or fear.

On a more positive note, the anniversary of a disaster or traumatic event also can provide an opportunity for emotional healing. Individuals can make significant progress in working through the natural grieving process by recognizing, acknowledging, and paying attention to the feelings and issues that surface during their anniversary reaction. These feelings and issues can help individuals develop perspective on the event and figure out where it fits in their hearts, minds, and lives.

The Process Of Recovery From Abuse

source: Michael C. Irving, PhD

The process of recovery from abuse is long, demanding and very individual. It requires and deserves much support and safety from other people.

When one has been abused, remembering your past is discovering who you are.

Recovery involves accepting, understanding and releasing feelings. It entails connecting behavior, thoughts and feelings both in the past and in the present.

Recovery is learning about choice, learning how to take care of yourself and learning that it is OK to take care of yourself. It is learning about choice.

If you move the "yuck" out, there is some room for joy.

The timing of recovery might not be when you want. It is important to honor your own process and realize that it is never ending.

Self-Love and Self-Destruction

Tips For How To Love Yourself 
by C. Rainfield

Learning to love yourself isn't easy -- especially if you're a survivor of childhood abuse or neglect. But there are things you can do to boost your self-love.

Make a list of the things you like about yourself.

Make a list of all the things you like about yourself. Be as honest as you can. Modesty doesn't help you here; neither do old critical messages. If you're having trouble finding things you value about yourself, think about the things you value and love in your friends, then see if those things exist inside you, too. Most often, they do.

Learning To Love Yourself

By Leslie Karen Lobell, M.A.

According to the song written by Michael Masser and Linda Creed, Greatest Love of All "The greatest love of all / Is easy to achieve / Learning to love yourself / It is the greatest love of all." I agree that, for many people, self-love may be the greatest and most important love they ever experience in this lifetime. However, for so many people, "learning to love yourself" does not seem so "easy to achieve." For most of us, genuine self-love seems so elusive, so much harder to grasp than we expected. In my last piece, I spoke about the importance of self-love. Now, I would like to give some practical suggestions - some first steps -- on how to learn to love yourself.

Just Exactly What is Codependence?

by Dr. Irene Matiatos

Some of the nicest people I know are codependent. They always smile, never refuse to do a favor. They are happy and bubbly all the time. They understand others and have the ability to make people feel good. People like them!

So, what is wrong with this? Nothing, really, unless the giving is one-sided and so excessive that it hurts the giver. Then, the giver is showing the signs of codependence.

Partners who go out of their way for each other are interdependent. Only relatively healthy people are capable of interdependent relationships, which involve give and take. It is not unhealthy to unilaterally give during a time when your partner is having difficulty. You know your partner will reciprocate should the tables turn. Interdependency also implies that you do not have to give until it hurts. By comparison, in a codependent relationship, one partner does almost all the giving, while the other does almost all the taking, almost all of the time.

Hot-Line Help Numbers

Hot-Line Help Numbers

National Domestic Violence Hotline
1-800-787-3224 TTY
Crisis intervention, information about domestic violence, referrals to local service providers to victims of domestic violence and those calling on their behalf, assistance in both English and Spanish.

National Sexual Assault Hotline
The Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN) operates the free and confidential National Sexual Assault Hotline and is the nation's largest anti-sexual assault organization. RAINN also educates the public about sexual assault and leads national efforts to improve services to victims and ensure that rapists are brought to justice.

Healthy Self Esteem

source: Kathy Seifert, PhD

Self-esteem is how well you think of yourself. It is important to children and adults, alike. Self-esteem is believing an caring as much for yourself as you do other people. It's being as kind to yourself as you would be to someone else.

Some people care more for others than they do themselves. They feel that others are taking advantage of them, but they feel unable to speak out or to say, no. It is time for them to take back control of their lives and raise their self-esteem.

Grounding Techniques

source: Pat Stubbs

As survivors we all at one time or another may experience flashbacks and/or periods of intense anxiety surrounding the memories of abuse. During those times it's important to find ways to ground ourselves in the here and now until the feelings pass. Below is a compilation of all the techniques I know about that may help you through. If you find the list useful, go ahead and print it out and post it where it would most benefit you. As with anything, if a particular technique makes you uncomfortable, don't try it; only you know what will work best for you.

May 21, 2012

Police search for motive in family shooting

By NARDINE SAAD Associated Press Writer The Associated Press

Tuesday, June 15, 2010 5:05 AM EDT


An unidentified neighbor reacts as she arrived with her son at the site of a home...

ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) — A 3-year-old boy who hid behind a trash can in his own backyard for 12 hours, bleeding from gunshot wounds and just feet away from his dead parents, was hospitalized in serious condition and was expected to survive, police said.

Out of the Chaos of DV, is Born a New Family...

Too often Domestic Violence situations go severely wrong, so it is wonderful to hear stories of them going right.  Below is a story of love, strength, and the commitment to children to protect them, and the bringing together of family.

This hits me personally because I myself am adopted, and have worked with children within the Foster Care system.  Too often we hear of those again that go wrong within the system, here is a family that has not only survived but has Thrived through the adversities...

Before clips from 2 sources covering the wonderful event of adoption is a message from Chelsea Hayes.  She has shared her story and that of the children she loves in order to help others understand a little bit more about Domestic Violence from a Survivors perspective.  After which follows links and an original article about the day of adoption.

Charlie Sheen's plea proposal is further abuse

By John Moore
Denver Post Theater Critic


Charlie Sheen reacts to photographers as he arrives Monday at the Pitkin County courthouse to work on a deal in his domestic-abuse case. (Ed Andrieski, The Associated Press )

So for allegedly assaulting his wife, Charlie Sheen might be sentenced to 30 nights in an Aspen jail, while doing community service leading "master classes" for the local theater company?

Who's being punished here?

Chris Brown denied entry to Britain for tour

Reuters, Jun 8, 2010 8:08 pm PDT

R&B singer Chris Brown has postponed his tour to Britain after being denied a visa to enter the country in a decision linked to his sentence for assaulting then-girlfriend Rihanna 16 months ago.

The 21-year-old, whose hits include "Run It!" and "Kiss Kiss," was sentenced in August 2009 to five years probation, ordered to perform 180 days of community service and attend domestic abuse counseling.

Royal couple William and Kate take stand against bullying with nonprofit


Published: Friday, April 29, 2011, 8:42 AM     Updated: Friday, April 29, 2011, 8:55 AM

With the whole world buzzing about today's nuptials of Prince William and his bride, Kate Middleton, there is in air of giddiness around many corners of there world. There is, however, a more serious component: The gifts. What exactly do you get the couple that has literally everything?

Rather than registering at the typical stores, William and Kate have instead decided to create a network of 26 charities that guests and fans can donate to in their honor. "The Prince William and Miss Catherine Middleton Charitable Gift Fund" was established in order to direct those gifts to the correct charities in the categories of support for services personnel and their families, conservation for future generations, changing lives through arts and sport, help and care at home, and finally children fulfilling their potential.

What is a Safety Plan?

You may be at the point in your abusive relationship where you feel it is better that you leave, please do so safely.  Leaving your abusive situation does not mean that you have failed nor are you destroying your family.  Many times as Victims we feel ashamed that our marriage isn't working, that maybe we haven't tried to work things out enough, or that we aren't giving our partner a "Second Chance", or third, or fourth.  It hurts, it's scary, but it can be done safely...............

If you are in a violent relationship, the most important thing you can do is insure the safety of yourself and your children in all aspects of life.  Please read the following, and know that there is help out there.  Please do your best in hiding any evidence that you are planning to leave from your abuser, and try not to change your attitude towards him during this time.  During this time women are in a 75% greater risk of being harmed, because the abuser knows that he is loosing control.

Victims of Stalking Resources

The Stalking Victims Resource Center

Stalking Fact Sheet (PDF)

Stalking Victims: Resources & Message Board

End Stalking in America

Surviving Stalking

LA County Anti-Stalking Program

Canadian Stalking Laws

Angels in Blue: Stalking

Abuse & Stalking Resources

Dealing with Stalking

Beyond the Pain from Predators & Stalkers

Stalking Behavior

Stalking Resource Center

How Abusers Use the Courts to Stalk their Exes

The ADT AWARE® Program: Protection for Abused Women

Since 1992, ADT Security Services, Inc., has offered a life-saving program to address the scourge of domestic violence. The ADT AWARE® program, which stands for Abused Women's Active Response Emergency, is active in more than 160 communities nationwide. It is credited with helping save the lives of 28 victims of serious domestic violence and has given countless other victims the peace of mind to escape an abusive partner.

The ADT AWARE® program is a coordinated effort among ADT Security Services, representatives of local law enforcement agencies, prosecutor's offices and battered women's shelters. After these community groups have selected participants for the program, ADT donates and installs electronic security systems in the homes of victims of domestic violence. The systems include a hold-up alarm pendant, which can be worn or carried with the victim while in the home. In the event of an imminent attack, the victim can press the button on the pendant, sending an immediate, silent alarm to ADT, which in turn notifies the appropriate police agency. Law enforcement agencies participating in the AWARE® program have agreed to respond to these AWARE® alarms on a priority basis.

SSA Provides Assistance to Victims of Domestic Violence

(November, 1998)

All people deserve to live with respect and dignity -- free from fear. Yet, family violence plagues the lives of millions of Americans, according to estimates by the Department of Justice. This crime affects people in all walks of life.

The SSA joins with other Federal agencies to provide greater assistance to victims of domestic violence. Some victims seeking to elude their abuser and reduce the risk of further violence choose to establish a new identity. As part of that effort, it may be helpful to obtain a new Social Security number (SSN).

Safety on the Internet for Abuse Victims

Safety on the Internet for Abuse Victims.............
  • First, insure that whatever e-mail address you use do NOT use your real name, birth date, or even town or state if you are being stalked by an abuser.  An abuser can put your name into google, and find many of your public postings, information, and e-mail addresses this way.  Make up a name!  Whatever name you've always liked!  Skimp on your age a little, wouldn't you love to be a little younger? Use this e-mail address ONLY in safe non-public groups and NEVER give this e-mail address to your abuser or anyone that knows your abuser.  Use another account for that if need be.
  • There are hundreds of ways that computers record everything you do on the computer and on the Internet.
  • If you are in danger, please try to use a safer computer that someone abusive does not have direct access, or even remote (hacking) access to.
  • It might be safer to use a computer in a public library, at a Community Technology Center (CTC) (national directory), at a trusted friend's house, or an Internet Café.
  • If you think your activities are being monitored, they probably are. Abusive people are often controlling and want to know your every move. You don't need to be a computer programmer or have special skills to monitor someone's computer activities - anyone can do it and there are many ways to monitor.
  • Computers can provide a lot of information about what you look at on the Internet, the emails you send, and other activities. It is not possible to delete or clear all computer "footprints".
  • If you think you may be monitored on your home computer, you might consider no home Internet use or "safer" Internet surfing. Example: If you are planning to flee to California, don't look at classified ads for jobs and apartments, bus tickets, etc for California on a home computer or any computer an abuser has physical or remote access to. Use a safer computer to research an escape plan.

Removing Sites from Your Browser History

The browser history is designed to store previous visits in an area that is easily accessible at the click of a button. This is useful when you forget to bookmark a site and remember visiting it last week and wish to return. Unfortunately, in the case that you are viewing sensitive material that you do not wish others to see, this can be a security risk. To prevent unwanted security risks please follow the directions to remove particular sites from your browser’s history. Please note that you will have to do this after you have completed this survey if you do not want anyone to know that you completed it. It is also a good idea to do this every time you finish surfing the web.

Directions for Removing Sites from Your Browser History

Removing Cookies from your Hard Drive

Removing Cookies from your Hard Drive

Cookies are small pieces of code left behind by web pages to store information frequently requested. For example, if you clicked on a checkbox that said “save this information for later” it would then write a cookie onto your hard drive that you can call up the next time you visit the site, preventing you from having to enter the information again. This is why it can be dangerous to delete all the cookie files. If you delete all your stored passwords, user information, and preferences from various sites, it will be an obvious change. However, if you follow the directions given below, it will instruct you how to delete only the cookies from sites which are high risk.

Directions for Removing Cookies from your Hard Drive

How an abuser can discover your internet activities


How an abuser can discover your internet activities

e- mail:
If an abuser has access to your email account, he or she may be able to read your incoming and outgoing mail. if you believe your account is secure, make sure you choose a password he or she will not be able to guess.

Computer Tracking

1. There are many ways to use a computer of a means of tracking. This is common knowledge amongst the computer junkies! Me being one knows! LOL I have been on both sides of this coin, I have watched, and been watched.

2. You can do general searches on every search engine. You can search groups, chat rooms, message boards, ect with very little more than a screen name. If you are signed into or on a group your name will appear. If you are online 9 out of 10 times it will show it.  That is why it is so important for us to be very careful on the net. IE that is why we need to make sure that when we register with anyone it is done under a false name.

Section 1: Clearing Your Internet Cache

The internet cache is designed to help pages load faster by storing images and web pages locally on your machine. This can result in a security risk if an unwanted viewer decides to look through the cache folder. To prevent unwanted security risks please follow the directions to clear your internet cache. Please note that you will have to do this after you have completed this survey. It is also a good idea to do this every time you finish surfing the web if you do not want anyone to know you were at certain websites.

Directions for Clearing the Browser Cache

Personal Safety Tips from Pat Malone


Tips from a Personal Safety Workshop, given by Pat Malone, past bodyguard for famous figures like Farrah Fawcett and Sylvester Stallone.

Pat works for the FBI, and teaches police officers and Navy SEALS hand to hand combat.

This man has seen it all, and focuses his teachings on HOW TO AVOID BEING THE VICTIM OF A VIOLENT CRIME. He gave us some statistics about how much the occurrences of random violence have escalated over the recent years,and it's terrible. He states that 99% of us will be exposed/a victim of a violent crime.

Here are some of the most important points from his presentation:

DOMESTIC VIOLENCE - Safety Tips For You And Your Family

or your local police emergency number

To find out about help in your area, call:
National Domestic Violence Hotline:
1-800-787-3224 (TTY)

Whether or not you feel able to leave an abuser, there are things you can do to make yourself and your family safer.

May 16, 2012

Do You Think Your Teen Is Cutting? You're Not Alone


by Lindsay Hutton

The teenage years can be tough - we all know that. Many teens don't know how to deal with the confusion and inner turmoil that comes along with adolescence, and some may resort to drastic measures, such as cuting and self-injury, as a way to cope with their emotions.

What is cutting? Demi Lovato, Disney star, checks into rehab for self-mutilation, eating disorder


Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Teen Disney star Demi Lovato stunned fans when it was announced that the star had dropped out of her Jonas Brothers tour gig to seek help treatment for "emotional and physical issues," according to her representatives.

What Is Cutting?

The Original Article came from and has some very good information on cutting and discussions. If you are cutting or know someone that is, please visit their site for more in-depth information and support!


Emma's mom first noticed the cuts when Emma was doing the dishes one night. Emma told her mom that their cat had scratched her. Her mom seemed surprised that the cat had been so rough, but she didn't think much more about it.

Emma's friends had noticed something strange as well. Even when the weather was hot, Emma wore long-sleeved shirts. She had become secretive, too, like something was bothering her. But Emma couldn't seem to find the words to tell her mom or her friends that the marks on her arms were from something that she had done. She was cutting herself with a razor when she felt sad or upset.

May 14, 2012

Why a Victim Stays or Returns

Why a Victim Stays or Returns

*None of these are being shared to provide victims with "excuses" for remaining with an abusive partner. These are being shared because if victims understand some of the reasons why they stay then those who do want to leave an abusive relationship can work on overcoming these:

Low Self-esteem/Depression: Self-esteem or self-concept is a measure of how we feel about ourselves. Low self-esteem creates feelings of self-doubt and worthlessness, taking away the self-confidence needed to make healthy, positive decisions and to solve difficult problems. When our own feelings and judgment cannot be trusted, solving even small problems becomes difficult. Low self-esteem and poor self-concept often lead to a medical condition called clinical depression which usually requires medication or therapy to be effectively treated.

Why Do We Stay?

Why Do We Stay?

(Group discussion following information...)

We stay in abusive relationships for so many different reasons!  It is not a simple situation that we can just break out of, there is always so much more involved then anyone ever knows, and no one should judge anyone for staying or going back to an abusive situation, but be there to support them in their steps towards freedom.  There are many reasons why victims stay in their abusive situation, many are common.

Please read down the list of why Victims stay, and read after the list comments from Survivors as to why they stayed.

What is Domestic Violence?

Definitions and Descriptions:

Domestic Violence:

Domestic violence is a pattern of abusive behaviors used by one individual to control or exert power over another individual in the context of an intimate relationship.

Domestic violence typically increases in frequency and severity over time. It often begins as psychological abuse and escalates to physical abuse. Many victims state that the emotional abuse is far more devastating than physical abuse because it leads to incapacitating feelings of helplessness and hopelessness.

What is Battered Woman's Syndrome?

By Lori S. Rubenstein, Attorney - Mediator
Published:  July 17, 2004

To understand battered woman's syndrome, one must first understand how someone becomes a "battered woman". According to Dr. Lenore E. Walker, the nation's most prominent expert on battered women, a woman must experience at least two complete battering cycles before she can be labeled a "battered woman". The cycle has three distinct phases. First is the tension-building phase, followed by the explosion or acute battering incident, culminating in a calm, loving respite - often referred to as the honeymoon phase. Walker, L., The Battered Woman (1979).

Warning Signs of Domestic Abuse

To help identify domestic violence, the following indicators are listed. Any single characteristic is not a sign of trouble, but several combined would be grounds for further investigation.

Traumatic Bonding

What is Traumatic Bonding?

Traumatic Bonding may be defined as the development of strong emotional ties between two persons, with one person intermittently harassing, beating, threatening, abusing or intimidating the other.

There are two common features in the structure of trauma bonded relationships:

Toxic Love

by Robert Burney M. A.

"As long as we believe that someone else has the power to make us happy then we are setting ourselves up to be victims" - Codependence: The Dance of Wounded Souls

One of the biggest problems with relationships in this society is that the context we approach them from is too small. We were taught that getting the relationship is the goal. 

There are various types of domestic violence tactics and abuses

In an domestic violence abusive relationship, the abuser may use a number of tactics to maintain power and control over his or her partner:

The Other Victims

Thomas R. McClaskey, D.C., B.C.E.T.S., F.A.A.E.T.S.

Stress, as viewed and defined by the standard medical model is "the sum of all non-specific biological phenomena elicited by adverse external influences including damage and defense. It may be localized, as in the Local Adaptation Syndrome (L.A.S.), or systemic, as in the General Adaptation Syndrome (G.A.S.)." This definition (from Dorland's Medical Dictionary) isolates the process of stress-induced physiological phenomena as they occur within the human body. From this model, clinicians can understand that measurements taken of the biochemical patterns of the body can be shown to be adversely affected, or thrown into a state of imbalance, when subjected to various negatively perceived "external" stimuli.

Statistics About Domestic Abuse


Approximately 95% of the victims of domestic violence are women.

(Department of Justice figures)

Every 9 seconds in the United States a woman is assaulted and beaten.

4,000,000 women a year are assaulted by their partners.

Psychology of the Battered Woman Syndrome


DENIAL - The woman refuses to admit--even to herself--that she has been beaten or that there is a "problem" in her marriage. She may call each incident an "accident". She offers excuses for her husband's violence and each time firmly believes it will never happen again.

Pseudo Love

"Love addiction" is about pseudo love, about the external, stereotypic appearance of love. It is not about love. While a love addict may look as if she is pursuing intimacy with a vengeance, she is, in fact, running away from intimacy as fast as she can. Love addiction is about unhealthy dependency and about poor self esteem. It is about a fear of abandonment and about an impaired sense of identify. It is about holding on to a relationship(s) at all costs. It is not about loving too much.

So what is a love or relationship addiction and who is a love addict? There seem to be two basic types of love addicts. The first type of addict is a woman who is addicted to the ideal of simply being in a relationship or any relationship at all. This woman does not function well when alone. The second type of love addict is the woman who is addicted to a particular relationship or a particular partner. This woman is able to function well when she is not romantically involved, but gets hooked on a certain partner and becomes less functional when involved with that partner.

Problems of Rural Battered Women

Battered women living in rural areas have many of the same experiences as battered women everywhere. But rural battered women have certain experiences and face certain barriers which are unique to rural settings.

Plain Talk About... Wife Abuse

"To have and to hold. . . to love and to cherish. . . "
"Be it ever so humble, there's no place like home. "

These sentiments reflect the feelings of most people toward marriage, home, and family--but not all. The surprising fact is that a lot of violence, bringing fear and pain, is reported among family members.

For example, about one-quarter of all murders in the United States take place within the family. Surveys of American couples show that 20 to 50 percent have suffered violence regularly in their marriages. The records indicate that between two and four million incidents of domestic violence occur every single year. Wife abuse is one kind of family violence that probably occurs far more often than most people imagine. The tragedy is that many women suffer this abuse for years without getting help. This flier explores what wife abuse is, who experiences it, some reasons it occurs, the pattern it usually takes, and why women don't get help. Finally, it looks at what women can do if they are abused and how, ultimately, the abuse might be prevented.

Men Who Batter

There is no definite way to determine why some men batter, but there are common psychological characteristics, known as "risk markers". The following risk markers were derived from studies comparing batterers to non-batterers.

Risk Markers for Spousal Violence

Maternal Alienation Fact Sheet

What is maternal alienation?

Sometimes a man who is violent within his family alienates children from their mother as an ongoing part of that abuse. He often isolates his partner from any sources of support, and is skilful at convincing her family, the neighbours, the children's school, and any professionals involved with the family, that she is mad or bad. This type of abuse has been called maternal alienation.

It generally occurs within a context of violence against women and/or children, and is a term for both

Love Addiction

Love Addiction consists of three components: Romance, Relationship, and Sexual Addiction.

Love addiction is often perceived to be "less serious" than other process addictions (i.e., compulsive sexual addictions, eating disorders, or self-harm/mutilation addictions). Perhaps because it sounds "softer." In reality, it is extremely painful and can be very dangerous to both the addict and their partners. Many abusive relationships, suicides, murders, stalking, rapes, and other crimes of passion have their roots in this addiction. Our culture has traditionally glorified love addiction with the notion that we fall in love and live "happily ever after." This ignores the groundwork that relationships require.

Know the Law: Domestic Violence Mandatory Arrest - NY

Mandatory Arrest - For What?

How to Prosecute Domestic Violence as "Real" Crime

By Penelope D. Clute, Former Clinton County District Attorney

New York law dramatically changed when the legislature amended the Criminal Procedure Law to require the police to make arrests in domestic violence cases when there was probable cause to do so, regardless of the wishes of the victim. Where the evidence establishes probable cause to believe that a misdemeanor or felony was committed, the police are prohibited from even asking the victim about whether to arrest.

Help! I Still Love My Abuser!

Help! I Still Love My Abuser!

In a recent email, a reader asked the following question:

"Why do I continue to feel love for this person that abused me? I DON'T miss the abuse, but I do miss the good times we had... I still cry sometimes because I miss what I thought we had. Is this normal?"

Yes, it is very "normal." In fact, most people leaving abusive relationships feel the same way. Many, at least initially, have a hard time staying away from a person they know has hurt them. What is going on?


*  Nearly 2 in 3 female victims of violence were related to or knew their attacker.  (Ronet Bachman PH.D., U.S. Department of Justice Bureau of Justice Statistics, "Violence Against Women: A National Crime Victimization Survey Report," January 994, p.iii)

*  Over two-thirds of violent victimizations against women were committed by someone known to them: 31% of female victims reported that the offender was a stranger.  Approximately 28% were intimates such as husbands or boyfriends, 35% were acquaintances, and the remaining 5% were other relatives.  (In contrast, victimizations by intimates and other relatives accounted for only 5% of all violent victimizations against men.  Men were significantly more likely to have been victimized by acquaintances (50%) or strangers (44%) than by intimates or other relatives.)  (Ronet Bachman Ph.D., U.S. Department of Justice Bureau of Justice Statistics, "Violence Against Women: A National Crime Victimization Survey Report," January 1994, p. 1)

Domestic violence toward women: Recognize the patterns and seek help

Your partner apologizes and says the hurtful behavior won't happen again. But you fear it will. At times you may start to doubt your own judgment, or wonder whether you're going crazy. You may even feel like you've imagined the whole thing. But the emotional or physical pain you feel is real. If this sounds familiar, you may be the victim of domestic violence.

Also called domestic abuse, intimate partner violence or battering, domestic violence occurs between people in intimate relationships. It can take many forms, including emotional, sexual and physical abuse. Men are sometimes abused by female or male partners, but domestic violence is most often directed toward women. It can happen in heterosexual or lesbian relationships.

Unfortunately, domestic violence against women is common. It happens to teenage girls and women of all backgrounds. As many as 4 million women suffer abuse from their husbands, ex-husbands, boyfriends or intimate partners in the United States each year.

Recognizing abuse: Know the signs

Battering: The Facts

There are some commonly held beliefs about battering which we feel are actually myths...that is, the facts of battering indicate that these beliefs are false. Yet people continue to believe and act on these beliefs. In a sense, they become more powerful than the facts because they influence the ways battered women, their friends and family, the professional personnel they encounter, and the general public react to specific instances of battering.

MYTH 1: "Battering" overstates the case. Few women are actually beaten.

Are you in an abusive relationship?

Has any of the following ever happened to you? 

Does your partner:

1) Blame you for his or her mistakes?

2) Prevent you from seeing your family or friends?

Alcohol /Drug Abuse and Domestic Violence

Many studies show a high rate of alcohol and drug abuse among men who batter their female partners. Yet is there really a link between alcohol/drug abuse and domestic violence? No evidence supports a cause-and-effect relationship between the two problems. The relatively high incidence of alcohol abuse among men who batter must be viewed as the overlap of two widespread social problems.

Guardians Ad Litem In Private Custody Litigation: the Case For Abolition

Published on May 01, 2002 by Loyola Journal of Public Interest Law

Guardians Ad Litem In Private Custody Litigation: the Case For Abolition

by Richard Ducote

On July 17, 2000, the San Francisco Daily Journal published an editorial written by then sixteen-year-old Alanna Krause, an honor student and the daughter of a prominent and wealthy California attorney. The essay poignantly brought a very rarely seen ’consumer’s’ perspective to the issue of guardians ad litem in private custody cases. She began her articulate discussion with accurate observations:

The Effects of Domestic Violence on Children

In homes where domestic violence occurs, children are at high risk for suffering physical abuse themselves. Regardless of whether children are physically abused, the emotional effects of witnessing domestic violence are very similar to the psychological trauma of being a victim of child abuse. Each year, an estimatedminimum of 3.3 million children witness domestic violence.
  • Children in homes where domestic violence occurs are physically abused or seriously neglected at a rate 1500% higher than the national average in the general population.
  • Research results suggest that battering is the single most common factor among mothers of abused children.

How to help children who have witnessed domestic violence

Do NOT be afraid to talk about what has happened in their family.

Do allow the children to bring up this topic as he/she wishes and be prepared to listen without avoiding or over reacting to the content shared.  If a child senses that his/her caretakers or other professionals are upset or nervous around this topic they will avoid speaking of it.  While it is not necessary to probe or bring up these issues regularly, by letting the child know you are interested in, and available to talk about things that are important to them, you communicate a willingness to hear about their experience.  What is it you need to be available to this child?  Obtaining support for yourself will help you be present to support the child.  

Maintain a consistent and predictable structure and schedule.

Helping Children and Adolescents Cope with Violence and Disasters

Helping young people avoid or overcome emotional problems in the wake of violence or disaster is one of the most important challenges a parent, teacher, or mental health professional can face. The National Institute of Mental Health and other Federal agencies are working to address the issue of assisting children and adolescents who have been victims of or witnesses to violent and/or catastrophic events. The purpose of this fact sheet is to tell what is known about the impact of violence and disasters on children and adolescents and suggest steps to minimize long-term emotional harm.

Effects of Domestic Violence on Children - Part 1

Effects of Domestic Violence on Children - Part 1

Any time a mother is abused her children are also affected in both overt and subtle ways.

We know much about woman abuse. We know much about child abuse. But if we are to seriously address either one, we must recognize the links between these two forms of domestic violence.

Children, Community Violence and Post-Traumatic Stress

Deborah Wasserman
Department of Human Development & Family Science
The Ohio State University

Carol Ford Arkin, Ph.D.
Columbus Children's Hospital

Quick to anger, trouble paying attention, disinterested--these behaviors in children demand adult intervention. Problem behaviors in children derive from many sources. One potential factor affecting too many children today is the physiological and psychological aftereffects of witnessing or being a victim of a traumatic event.

Traumatic stress comes in many forms and a full range of intensities, as do children's responses to it. Not all children who have experienced or witnessed trauma will exhibit behavior problems. Increasing adults understanding of the effects of trauma hopefully will enable them to better help children who experience problems.

Children of Abused Parents Have More Behavior Problems

Judith M. McFarlane, DrPH; Janet Y. Groff, MD, PhD;

Jennifer A. O'Brien, MA, Kathy Watson, MS
Pediatrics, September 2003

Children who witness their mothers being abused can experience a variety of behavior problems, including anxiety, withdrawal, depression, and aggression, say researchers from the University of Texas-Houston Medical School in Houston, Texas.

What Works for Troubled Teens?

NEWS: When kids have behavioral problems—but not severe disabilities—experts say the best treatment is not boot camp, but plain old family therapy.

By Maia Szalavitz, Mother Jones, August 20, 2007

The most effective treatments for troubled teenagers have these things in common: They use family-based therapies; they treat adolescents with empathy, dignity, and respect; and, except for very short periods of emergency stabilization, they keep teens at home.

What is Abuse in Families?

D'Arcy Lyness, Ph.D.
Nemours Foundation

Amy's finger was so swollen that she couldn't get her ring off. She didn't think her finger was broken because she could still bend it. It had been a week since her dad had grabbed her hand and then shoved her into the wall, but her finger still hurt a lot. She was so embarrassed that she didn't tell anyone. Amy hated the way her dad called her lots of names - and accused her of all sorts of things she didn't do - especially after he had been drinking. It made her feel awful. She wished he would stop, but didn't feel very hopeful that anything would change.

What Is Abuse?

Verbal Beatings Hurt as Much as Sexual Abuse

By William J. Cromie

Sticks and stones may break my bones,
But names will never hurt me. …

That often repeated children’s rhyme is wrong, according to Harvard University psychiatrists. Scolding, swearing, yelling, blaming, insulting, threatening, ridiculing, demeaning, and criticizing can be as harmful as physical abuse, sexual abuse outside the home, or witnessing physical abuse at home, notes a report in the April issue of the Harvard Mental Health Letter.

Spanking creates new, worse problems

Armin Brott, McClatchy-Tribune News Service, November 7, 2007

Dear Mr. Dad: I know that spanking is politically incorrect these days, but I don't want kids who are out of control. Is an occasional whack all that bad? If so, what are the alternatives?

A: At one time or another, every parent has been in a situation where the temptation to spank was strong. But the jury is in --- and yes, it's all bad. Spanking, also known as corporal punishment, is worth avoiding for two reasons. First, it doesn't work beyond the short-term, and second, it creates a lot of new problems in the long-term.

Plain Talk about Spanking

“As long as the child will be trained not by love, but by fear, so long will humanity live not by justice, but by force. As long as the child will be ruled by the educator’s threat and by the father’s rod, so long will mankind be dominated by the policeman’s club, by fear of jail, and by panic of invasion by armies and navies.”
Boris Sidis, 1919


Today, one finds no support for spanking in the scientific literature. This opinion, shared by mental health and child development experts, and other professionals in related fields, has been evolving for many decades and its beginnings can be found centuries ago.

Plain Talk About...Dealing With the Angry Child

Handling children's anger can be puzzling, draining, and distressing for adults. In fact, one of the major problems in dealing with anger in children is the angry feelings that are often stirred up in us. It has been said that we as parents, teachers, counselors, and administrators need to remind ourselves that we were not always taught how to deal with anger as a fact of life during our own childhood. We were led to believe that to be angry was to be bad, and we were often made to feel guilty for expressing anger.

It will be easier to deal with children's anger if we get rid of this notion. Our goal is not to repress or destroy angry feelings in children-or in ourselves-but rather to accept the feelings and to help channel and direct them to constructive ends.

Parenting - coping with stress

Being a parent brings out a range of powerful emotions from exhilaration to despair. Your feelings of love, happiness and pride may quickly turn to anger, hate or guilt, depending on the situation and the degree of support available to you. These feelings are completely normal. Most parents experience negative emotions from time to time.

Build a trusting, loving and respectful relationship

The type of relationship you build with your child is what guides them throughout their life. Children learn by following the examples set by adults around them and from their experience of their own relationship with their parents.

Hitting is never OK

By John E. B. Myers, The Costco Connection, May 2007, Vol. 22, No. 5

An increasing body of research indicates that corporal punishment is not benign and that it has harmful long-range consequences for some children. "Normal" corporal punishment during childhood is a risk factor for negative outcomes in adulthood, including substance abuse, depression, suicidal thoughts and poverty. ("Normal," or, as the law would call it, "reasonable" corporal punishment would be spanking on the bottom with an open hand. Slapping the face, hitting with a closed fist or using an implement such as a belt is "unreasonable.")

Domestic Violence - Tips for Children - Australia

If you live in a home where there is a lot of violence, it can be very upsetting and frightening.  Violence in the home is always wrong and it's never your fault.  These tips might help you learn more about how to stay safe, what to do, types of violence and how to get help if you are being hurt.

Violence at Home Can Make You Feel Bad

Domestic violence and children - Australia

Domestic violence (often called ‘family violence’) can include physical, verbal, sexual or emotional abuse. Children who witness regular acts of violence have greater emotional and behavioral problems than other children. Even very young children can be profoundly frightened and affected.

Contrary to popular belief, witnessing episodes of violence between people they love can affect young children as much as if they were the victims of the violence.

Short-term effects of domestic violence