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What Is Stalking? / Stalking Resource Center

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Below is an excerpt from the Stalking Resource Center. This site is very informative with helpful tips and valuable resources. Please visit the site for more information if you or someone you know is being stalked.

What is Stalking?

While  legal definitions of stalking vary from one jurisdiction to another, a good working definition of stalking is a course of conduct directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to feel fear.

Stalking is serious, often violent, and can escalate over time.

Some things stalkers do:

  • Follow you and show up wherever you are.
  • Send unwanted gifts, letters, cards, or e-mails.
  • Damage your home, car, or other property.
  • Monitor your phone calls or computer use.
  • Use technology, like hidden cameras or global positioning systems (GPS), to track where you go.
  • Drive by or hang out at your home, school, or work.
  • Threaten to hurt you, your family, friends, or pets.
  • Find out about you by using public records or online search services, hiring investigators, going through your garbage, or contacting friends, family, neighbors, or co-workers.
  • Posting information or spreading rumors about you on the Internet, in a public place, or by word of mouth.
  • Other actions that control, track, or frighten you.

You are not to blame for a stalker’s behavior.

Stalking Victimization

  • 7.5 million people are stalked in one year in the United States.
  • Over 85% of stalking victims are stalked by someone they know.
  • 61% of female victims and 44% of male victims of stalking are stalked by a current or former intimate partner.
  • 25% of female victims and 32% of male victims of stalking are stalked by an acquaintance.
  • About 1 in 5 of stalking victims are stalked by a stranger.
  • Persons aged 18-24 years experience the highest rate of stalking.
  • 11% of stalking victims have been stalked for 5 years or more.
  • 46% of stalking victims experience at least one unwanted contact per week.

[Matthew J. Breiding et al., “Prevalence and Characteristics of Sexual Violence, Stalking, and Intimate Partner Violence Victimization – National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey, United States, 2011”, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, Vol. 63, No. 8 (2014): 7]

[Katrina Baum et al., (2009). “Stalking Victimization in the United States,” (Washington, DC:BJS, 2009).]

If you are being stalked, you may:

  • Feel fear of what the stalker will do.
  • Feel vulnerable, unsafe, and not know who to trust.
  • Feel anxious, irritable, impatient, or on edge.
  • Feel depressed, hopeless, overwhelmed, tearful, or angry.
  • Feel stressed, including having trouble concentrating, sleeping, or remembering things.
  • Have eating problems, such as appetite loss, forgetting to eat, or overeating.
  • Have flashbacks, disturbing thoughts, feelings, or memories.
  • Feel confused, frustrated, or isolated because other people don’t understand why you are afraid.

These are common reactions to being stalked.

Impact of Stalking on Victims

  • 46% of stalking victims fear not knowing what will happen next. [Baum et al., (2009). “Stalking Victimization in the United States.” BJS.]
  • 29% of stalking victims fear the stalking will never stop. [Baum et al.]
  • 1 in 8 employed stalking victims lose time from work as a result of their victimization and more than half lose 5 days of work or more. [Baum et al.]
  • 1 in 7 stalking victims move as a result of their victimization. [Baum et al.]
  • The prevalence of anxiety, insomnia, social dysfunction, and severe depression is much higher among stalking victims than the general population, especially if the stalking involves being followed or having one’s property destroyed. [Eric Blauuw et al. “The Toll of Stalking,” Journal of Interpersonal Violence 17, no. 1(2002):50-63.]

Stalking and Intimate Partner Femicide*

  • 76% of intimate partner femicide victims have been stalked by their intimate partner.
  • 67% had been physically abused by their intimate partner.
  • 89% of femicide victims who had been physically assaulted had also been stalked in the 12 months before their murder.
  • 79% of abused femicide victims reported being stalked during the same period that they were abused.
  • 54% of femicide victims reported stalking to police before they were killed by their stalkers.

*The murder of a woman.

[Judith McFarlane et al., “Stalking and Intimate Partner Femicide,” Homicide Studies 3, no. 4 (1999).]

Stalkers

A stalker can be someone you know well or not at all. Most have dated or been involved with the people they stalk. Most stalking cases involve men stalking women, but men do stalk men, women do stalk women, and women do stalk men.

  • 2/3 of stalkers pursue their victims at least once per week, many daily, using more than one method.
  • 78% of stalkers use more than one means of approach.
  • Weapons are used to harm or threaten victims in 1 out of 5 cases.
  • Almost 1/3 of stalkers have stalked before.
  • Intimate partner stalkers frequently approach their targets, and their behaviors escalate quickly.

[Kris Mohandie et al., “The RECON Typology of Stalking: Reliability and Validity Based upon a Large Sample of North American Stalkers,” Journal of Forensic Sciences 51, no. 1 (2006).]

Stalking Laws

  • Stalking is a crime under the laws of all 50 states, the District of Columbia, the U.S. Territories, and the Federal government. Click here for a compilation of state, territory, tribal, and federal laws.
  • Less than 1/3 of states classify stalking as a felony upon first offense.
  • More than 1/2 of states classify stalking as a felony upon second offense or subsequent offense or when the crime involves aggravating factors.
  • Aggravating factors may include: possession of a deadly weapon, violation of a court order or condition of probation/parole, victim under 16 years, or same victim as prior occasions.

What Is Stalking? / Stalking Resource Center

 

 

 

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Written by protectivemothersallianceinternational

April 30, 2017 at 12:39 am

TIPSS 4 Hero Protective Moms- Ask PMA

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PMA International has launched a new series called”TIPSS 4 Hero Protective Moms – Ask PMA”. 

 Once a month,  PMA International will share with our members/supporters on our official PMA International Facebook page, commonly asked questions and concerns about family court abuse, domestic abuse and personality disorder issues. Parenting tips for children of all ages whose families have been affected by the above will also be a topic of conversation. 

Emphasis on peer support and drawing from our wide range of experiences on these issues is our goal. PMA International will encourage all our members and supporters to offer their insights and opinions to each situation addressed.

We are confident as this series continues you will gain knowledge, hope and discover the Protective Mother Hero within yourself and each other.

~ The PMA International Team

(We start the TIPSS series in June 2016. You may send your questions in a FB message on our FB site until further notice,link below)

Protective Mothers’ Alliance International Facebook Page
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Disclaimer:

TIPSS 4 Hero Protective Moms- ask PMA Does Not Get Involved In Personal Custody Cases and cannot give advice/ legal advice, on personal custody cases, as we are not attorneys.


The information from this series is not intended to serve as legal advice or as a guarantee, warranty or prediction regarding the outcome of any particular legal matter.


If you have a legal problem, seek professional legal counsel.


TIPSS 4 Hero Protective Moms- ask PMA is based on opinions and experiences only and is not meant to serve as a substitute for legal advice from a qualified professional.

For your safety, we strongly suggest you do not use any identifying information about yourself, your minor child or your legal issues.
PMA International reserves the right to edit both submissions and responses for your safety and safety of your minor child.

 

 

Tips on Getting Through the Holidays as Grieving Hero Protective Mothers From The PMA International Team

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Because of the overwhelming response from our members/supporters to our post,
Experiencing the Holidays in a Hero Protective Mother’s World
( link below)
https://protectivemothersallianceinternational.org/2015/12/17/experiencing-the-holiday-in-a-hero-protective-mothers-world/
and per your many requests, we have decided to explore some tips on getting through the Holidays as grieving Hero Protective Mothers . Although some of these sites and tips are for parents who have lost a child due to death, some suggestions still apply. Take what resonates with you and leave the rest, with love.

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Six Tips to Cope with Grief During the Holidays
“What we have once enjoyed and deeply loved we can never lose, for all that we love deeply becomes a part of us.” – Helen Keller
The holidays can be an especially difficult time for parents who have lost their children. So many holiday routines and activities revolve around the gathering of family and friends. Yet, bereaved parents may not feel up for celebrating as usual or embracing holiday traditions that they have in the past. Instead of feeling a sense of loss over what the holidays were supposed to be, we can take this as an opportunity to recreate what they will be for our families from now on. The following are tips for enjoying your holidays in the face of grief:
Simplify
Make Room for Your Feelings
Create New Traditions
Be Generous with Others
◦ Do things that help you feel connected. Spend time with the people you love. Nurture those relationships.
◦ Give of your time, talents, and skills. Sharing can lift spirits and ease burdens.
Be Generous with Yourself
◦ Expect that you will feel sad sometimes. Or angry. Or alone. These are all appropriate feelings. Don’t think of them as being counter-productive. What they really are is an acknowledgement of the intense love you hold for your child.
Read More
http://handtohold.org/resources/helpful-articles/six-tips-to-cope-with-grief-during-the-holidays/

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This article is written by a Gloria Horsley /Psychotherapist, Grief Expert

Let Their Light Shine: Three Tips for Getting Through the Holidays After Loss

Holiday Grief Tips

Remember Grief is Physical and Emotional – When responding to the news of a loss stress hormones are released which put our body in a state of heightened awareness. Reminders and memories of the deceased can trigger these stressed neurological pathways for years. Activities such as yoga, Ti Chi, and meditation have been shown through research to calm the mind. Walking, laughing, hugging and expressing gratitude can also calm the mind and release hormones that relax the body. These activities have been shown to be as effective if not more than anti depressants.

Read more
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/gloria-horsley/let-their-light-shine-thr_b_8823996.html?utm_hp_ref=common-grief

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Stress, depression and the holidays: Tips for coping

• Acknowledge your feelings. If someone close to you has recently died or you can’t be with loved ones, realize that it’s normal to feel sadness and grief. It’s OK to take time to cry or express your feelings. You can’t force yourself to be happy just because it’s the holiday season.
• Reach out. If you feel lonely or isolated, seek out community, religious or other social events. They can offer support and companionship. Volunteering your time to help others also is a good way to lift your spirits and broaden your friendships.
Be realistic. The holidays don’t have to be perfect or just like last year. As families change and grow, traditions and rituals often change as well. Choose a few to hold on to, and be open to creating new ones. For example, if your adult children can’t come to your house, find new ways to celebrate together, such as sharing pictures, emails or videos.

• Try these alternatives:
◦ Donate to a charity in someone’s name.
◦ Give homemade gifts.
◦ Start a family gift exchange.
• Plan ahead. Set aside specific days for shopping, baking, visiting friends and other activities. Plan your menus and then make your shopping list. That’ll help prevent last-minute scrambling to buy forgotten ingredients. And make sure to line up help for party prep and cleanup.
• Learn to say no. Saying yes when you should say no can leave you feeling resentful and overwhelmed. Friends and colleagues will understand if you can’t participate in every project or activity. If it’s not possible to say no when your boss asks you to work overtime, try to remove something else from your agenda to make up for the lost time.
• Don’t abandon healthy habits. Don’t let the holidays become a free-for-all. Overindulgence only adds to your stress and guilt.
Try these suggestions:
◦ Have a healthy snack before holiday parties so that you don’t go overboard on sweets, cheese or drinks.
◦ Get plenty of sleep.
◦ Incorporate regular physical activity into each day.
• Take a breather. Make some time for yourself. Spending just 15 minutes alone, without distractions, may refresh you enough to handle everything you need to do. Find something that reduces stress by clearing your mind, slowing your breathing and restoring inner calm. 
Some options may include:
◦ Taking a walk at night and stargazing.
◦ Listening to soothing music.
◦ Getting a massage.
◦ Reading a book.
Seek professional help if you need it. Despite your best efforts, you may find yourself feeling persistently sad or anxious, plagued by physical complaints, unable to sleep, irritable and hopeless, and unable to face routine chores. If these feelings last for a while, talk to your doctor or a mental health professional.

Read more
http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/stress-management/in-depth/stress/art-20047544

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64 Tips for Coping with Grief at the Holidays

So here it is – 64 pro-tips for coping with grief at the holidays. Why 64 things? Eh, why not 64 things? Take some. Leave some. Love some. Hate Some. Then tell us what has worked for you in holidays past, or how you plan to cope with the holidays this year. Because the holidays are tough for all of us, the least we can do are share our tips and tricks with one another to make the season just a smidge more tolerable.
• Acknowledge that the holidays will be different and they will be tough.
• Decide which traditions you want to keep.
• Decide which traditions you want to change.
• Create a new tradition in memory of your loved one.
• Decide where you want to spend the holidays – you may want to switch up the location, or it may be of comfort to keep it the same. Either way, make a conscious decision about location.
• Plan ahead and communicate with the people you will spend the holiday with in advance, to make sure everyone is in agreement about traditions and plans.
• Remember that not everyone will be grieving the same way you are grieving.
• Remember that the way others will want to spend the holiday may not match how you want to spend the holiday.
• Put out a ‘memory stocking’, ‘memory box’, or other special place where you and others can write down memories you treasure. Pick a time to read them together.
• Light a candle in your home in memory of the person you’ve lost.
• Include one of your loved one’s favorite dishes in your holiday meal.
• Be honest. Tell people what you DO want to do for the holidays and what you DON’T want to do.
• Make a donation to a charity that was important to your loved one in their name.
• Buy a gift you would have given to your loved one and donate it to a local charity.
• If you are feeling really ambitious, adopt a family in memory of your loved one. This can often be done through a church, salvation army, or good will.
• See a counselor. Maybe you’ve been putting it off. The holidays are especially tough, so this may be the time to talk to someone.

• Send a holiday card to friends of your loved one who you may regret having lost touch with.

• Journal when you are having an especially bad day.
• Skip holiday events if you are in holiday overload.
• Don’t feel guilty about skipping events if you are in holiday overload!
Don’t get trapped. When you go to holiday events, drive yourself so you can leave if it gets to be too much.

Read more
http://www.whatsyourgrief.com/64-tips-grief-at-the-holidays/

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And don’t forget to check out our very own Wounded Healer series courtesy of our Healing and Prayer Network with valuable healing tips year around, but especially useful during this difficult Holiday time.
https://protectivemothersallianceinternational.org/wounded-healer-the-series/

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We hope some of these suggestions help you through this difficult Holiday, especially for those Hero Protective Moms without their children. Please know you are not alone. We walk beside you and are connected to you through our hearts.

Protective Moms- never forget you are Heroes.
Merry Christmas, Here’s to a better New Year.

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Much Love,
The PMA International Team

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PIXABLE DATA: These Are The Most Dangerous States In America To Be A Woman/ Pixable

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http://www.pixable.com/article/the-most-dangerous-states-in-america-to-be-a-woman-69100?utm_medium=partner&utm_source=facebook&utm_campaign=pixlssocial

Every nine seconds, a woman is assaulted in the U.S.A. This statistic from the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence may seem shocking, but not when you take into account that one third of American women will be sexually assaulted within their lifetime — one third. That means one out of every three women you know (your sisters, daughters, mothers and friends) will likely fall victim to this awful crime.

The true scope of how many women have been attacked or victimized, especially by people they know, is terrifying. What’s even more terrifying is everything we don’t know. The last published results of the National Intimate Partner and Violence Survey are from 2010.

The closest we could get to finding real, recent answers on the frequency of sexual assault and rape in the last couple of years is from the FBI. The legal definition of rape was recently changed to include both male and female victims, but the FBI still includes statistics of the legacy definition (female victims only) in their annual crime report. We expected the FBI’s crime report to more or less match the figures from the CDC’s 2010 survey, but we noticed a drastically low number of rape victims — roughly 26 women per 100,000 people.

That’s when we realized a key fact. The FBI is basing their figures on arrests and convictions, excluding statutory rape and incest and only documenting “forcible rape.” The sad truth is that most rapes go unreported — with forcible rapes making up only a fraction of all reported rapes — and even less rapists are actually convicted. According to RAINN less than half of all rapes are reported, only 12% of what is reported actually leads to an arrest and only 3% of rapists see punishment for their actions.

When it comes to violence against women, not every zip code is equal, and some places are more dangerous than others. We’ve examined statistics from the FBI, the CDC’s 2010 comprehensive National Intimate Partner And Violence Survey and the U.S. Census Bureau to narrow down the most dangerous places for women in the United States from 2010 – 2014.
One out every six women in the U.S.A. was a victim of an attempted or completed rape in 2010.

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Places like Alaska and Oregon hold the highest rates of rape against women, whereas states like Virginia and California hold some of the lowest rates. The 2014 information from the FBI also shows a different perspective than that of the above statistics from the CDC. While many of the same states are still on the top 10 list, some new states appear as well. This could be for a number of reasons. There could have been an increase or decrease in crime in the last four years among certain states or some states could just have a higher rate of conviction due to differing justice systems.
The 10 states with the largest percentage of women in 2010 who said they were raped in their lifetime are:

1. Alaska (21%)
2. Oregon (21%)
3. Michigan (20%)
4. Nevada (18.8%)
5. New Hampshire (18.7%)
6. Oklahoma (18.6%)
7. Washington (18%)
8. Colorado (18%)
9. Minnesota (16.9%
10. Connecticut (16.9 %)
In 2014, These were the states with the most rapes per 100,000 according to the FBI

1. Alaska (75.3)
2. New Mexico (51.4)
3. South Dakota (48.4)
4. Montana (42)
5. Michigan (40.9)
6. Arkansas (39.8)
7. Colorado (39.6)
8. North Dakota (37.3)
9. Kansas (37)
10. Arizona (36.6)
Sexual crimes against women (other than rape) are even more commonplace. These results from the 2010 CDC report are eye-opening.

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At the lowest rate, which occurs in Louisiana, 22% of women have experienced sexual violence other than rape. Most states fall somewhere between the 30 and 35% mark, while others like Oregon see 43% of women falling victim to non-rape sexual violence. The 10 states where women are most frequently sexually assaulted are:

1. Oregon (43.3%)
2. Alaska (42%)
3. Maryland (41.9%)
4. New Hampshire (40.8%)
5. Washington (40.5%)
6. Illinois (38.6%)
7. North Carolina (38.3%)
8. New York (38%)
9. Connecticut (37.2%)
10. Kentucky (36.8%)
One of the most obvious ways to determine if a place is dangerous is by looking at the murder rate. The murder rate for females in 2010 was notably higher in certain states.

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States in the southern half of the United States have a notably higher murder rate among females than states in the northern half. Southern states also have looser gun laws.
According to the CDC, in 2010, the states with the most murders per 100,000 people are:

1. Louisiana (4.44)
2. Mississippi (4.13)
3. Alabama (3.85)
4. New Mexico (3.69)
5. South Carolina (3.57)
6. Arkansas (3.48)
7. Nevada (3.48)
8. Georgia (3.32)
9. Tennessee (3.1)
10. North Carolina (3.07)
Stalking doesn’t always lead to violence, but it can. Even still, stalking is far less common than sexual assault but worth mentioning. This is the percentage of women in 2010 who reported having been stalked in their lifetimes.

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In Kentucky, the state with the highest percent of incidents, 19% of women report being stalked. Most states see an 11-13% rate of stalking, while the states with the lowest instances, Wisconsin and Virginia, see a rate of 9.8% and 8.6% respectively. The states with the highest percentage of women who have been stalked are:

1. Kentucky (19%)
2. Alabama (18.4%)
3. Nevada (17.7%)
4. Oklahoma (16.6%)
5. New Mexico (16.4%)
6. North Carolina (16%)
7. Tennessee (15.3%)
8. Wyoming (15.2%)
9. Mississippi (15.1%)
10. Pennsylvania (15%)

Four out of every five assaults are committed by someone the victim already knows (a friend, boyfriend, acquaintance, etc), and one third of women are assaulted by an intimate partner. The 2010 report shows the sheer number of women who reported being assaulted by an intimate partner within their lifetimes.

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Considering 94% of women who are murdered and four fifths of women who are raped are attacked by someone they know, these statistics are particularly telling. These states have the highest percentage of women who have been raped, physically assaulted, or stalked by an intimate partner.

1. Oklahoma (36.8%)
2. Nevada (34.8%)
3. North Carolina (33%)
4. Michigan (32.5%)
5. Washington (32.4%)
6. Maryland (32%)
7. New Hampshire (32%)
8. Alaska (32%)
9. South Carolina (31.7%)
10. Tennessee (30.6%)
When labeling the most dangerous places for women, it may also be important to consider a woman’s mental health. A cluster of states seem to have had a notably higher suicide rate between 2004 and 2010.

If the attack is on oneself, versus a homicide or physical assault from another party, does it still count? Regardless of genetic predisposition to depression and self-harm, situations that lead a woman to suicide are perhaps indicators of an unhealthy environment.

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States with highest rates of suicide per 100,000 people are:
1. Alaska (9.62)
2. Nevada (9..62)
3. Wyoming (8.19)
4. New Mexico (8.06)
5. Montana (7.96)
6. Colorado (7.76)
7. Oregon (7.23)
8. Arizona (7.18)
9. Florida (6.40)
10. Idaho (6.31)
The problem is still growing, which is why we need more information.

Despite the most comprehensive and accurate report being from 2010, the frequency of rape among women has not decreased. According to the FBI, the figures rose 1.6% between 2013 and 2014. This leads us to the question, why isn’t there a more recent CDC study on domestic abuse if the problem is growing? How many women will really be assaulted (sexually or otherwise) in their lifetimes? How many women were actually affected within the last year alone and didn’t report it to the police?

Perhaps if people are more aware of the massive scale of the problem, it could help lead to a change. For every woman who says it can never happen to me, who truly believes it’s only a problem for a few unfortunate people, there is another woman who understands that it can happen to anyone and it does happen to anyone, even if she remains silent in her understanding.

There is help out there for women who find themselves in trouble. If you need help and you’re in the U.S., call 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) for the National Domestic Violence Hotline or 1-800-656-HOPE (4673) for the National Sexual Assault Hotline.

Settlement in New York Domestic Violence Case May Set Broader Precedent/ NYTimes.com

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http://www.nytimes.com/2015/11/19/business/settlement-in-new-york-domestic-violence-case-may-set-broader-precedent.html?_r=2

The New York State attorney general has reached a potentially significant settlement with Bon-Ton Stores, which has more than 200 department stores across the northern part of the country, over a workplace discrimination complaint filed by a victim of domestic violence

The settlement, to be announced on Thursday, stems from an episode in early October at the company’s store in Williamsville, N.Y., a suburb of Buffalo. It requires the company to educate all employees of its New York stores that victims of domestic violence are protected by state law against retaliation and harassment relating to their abuse.

In a possible violation of the law, the Bon-Ton employee was sent home by a manager shortly after revealing that her estranged husband had threatened her life the day before. Under the terms of the settlement, Bon-Ton did not admit any wrongdoing, but agreed to change its policy so that employees in a similar situation are not required to procure a protective order to stay on the job.

“Victims of domestic violence face unspeakable hardships in every aspect of their personal lives,” the attorney general, Eric T. Schneiderman, said in a statement. “Our agreement with Bon-Ton Stores stands as a model for other employers.”

Experts on workplace discrimination hailed the settlement as an important step in protecting victims of domestic violence.

“It has a great value in spreading awareness about the law,” said Amanda Norejko, of Sanctuary for Families, an advocacy group and service provider for survivors of domestic violence. “Employers who are willing to flout the law will be given pause by the fact they know the attorney general’s office is investigating these things.”

Bon-Ton declined to comment on the case or the settlement agreement.

In a variety of studies over the years, victims of domestic violence have reported that the abuse interfered with their job performance and undermined their livelihoods. A significant fraction — as high as around 50 percent in some studies — reported having lost their jobs or being forced to quit at least partly as a result of the situation.

“It’s particularly an issue for workers at the lower end of the income spectrum,” said Maya Raghu, a lawyer with Futures Without Violence, a nonprofit that works to end violence against women and children. “They work shifts, don’t have a lot of control or benefits like paid leave, sick leave to deal with this.”

The law in New York, one of a handful of jurisdictions around the country to have enacted similar measures, prevents employers from firing or otherwise punishing employees on the basis of their having experienced domestic violence.

Unlike a similar New York City law, the state law does not explicitly require employers to make accommodations for employees who have experienced abuse — such as granting time off for medical treatment and to obtain protective orders against their abusers. But some of these steps may be necessary for an employer to demonstrate that it was handling the situation appropriately, experts say.

The episode involving Bon-Ton began on Oct. 9, when Jodi Porter, the employee, turned up for her shift as a saleswoman and informed store security officials that her estranged husband had threatened to kill her.

Ms. Porter said in an interview that, within an hour, the store had developed a safety plan that allowed her to go about her work. But shortly thereafter, the store manager told her to leave the store immediately. She was told to stay home until she checked in with the manager several days later, missing at least one more shift in the meantime.

When she spoke with the manager again, Ms. Porter said, she was told she could not return to work until she received a protective order against her husband, which was not immediately forthcoming because he had fled after a warrant for his arrest was issued. She was given no indication that her leave would be paid.

Ms. Porter contacted a hotline at the attorney general’s office on Oct. 13 regarding an unrelated issue and also mentioned her employment situation, which prompted the investigation. Bon-Ton informed her that it would pay her during the leave after she contacted the attorney general, and she was told she would be able to return to work less than one week after that.

The safety plan the store ultimately put into effect under pressure from the attorney general — including allowing her to park closer to the store, giving her access to a safe room to elude her husband and allowing her to use her cellphone while working in the event of a threat — was essentially the same plan the store proposed at the outset of the incident, Ms. Porter said.

She said that being unable to work created a level of emotional distress above and beyond the uncertainty of not knowing whether she would have a source of income.

“I went there going, everything is fine, everything is fine,” she said. “I was trying to go about my work, just do what I’ve got to do to take my mind off of everything.”

Instead, she added, being sent home “made me feel like a victim all over again. It was like a slap in the face.”

Advocates said one of the company’s key missteps was not having a policy in place to deal with such contingencies, leading to the confusion that surrounded Ms. Porter’s situation.

“You don’t want to have a low-level manager operating off the seat of their pants,” said Penny M. Venetis, the executive vice president and legal director of Legal Momentum, a group that works on a broad range of gender equity issues, include domestic violence.

Ms. Venetis said that sending home a worker who has been threatened by a partner was often the most dangerous response an employer could choose. The employee may be less safe alone at home than at work, and the loss of a livelihood can make abused partners even more dependent on their abusers.

Ms. Porter “acted responsibly for reporting it,” Ms. Venetis said. “The actions Bon-Ton took discourage people from coming forward.”

The law in New York and many other states does not necessarily require that employers always allow victims of violence to return to work, some experts say. There may be instances in which a violent threat is imminent and an employer reasonably concludes that the victim, fellow workers and customers may be safer if the abuse victim takes time off, said Jennifer Schwartz, an employment lawyer at Outten & Golden in California.

But in those instances, it is important for the employer to go out of its way to seek input from the employee in order to get a complete picture of the circumstances, including the employee’s needs.

“We’re not saying employers should become experts on sexual violence, stalking,” Ms. Raghu said. “Just that they should be supportive of people who are victims.”

Correction: November 18, 2015
An earlier version of a picture caption with this article misstated Ms. Porter’s status at Bon-Ton. She is a current employee, not a former one.

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Written by protectivemothersallianceinternational

November 20, 2015 at 6:19 am

Study: Women in Abusive Relationships Choose ‘Secret’ Birth Control / Jezebel

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http://jezebel.com/study-women-in-abusive-relationships-choose-secret-bir-1695273076

A new study has found that women in abusive relationships are less likely to use birth control. When they do use contraception, abused women choose more discreet methods — IUDs, injections, or even sterilization — that they don’t have to disclose, and that their partners are unable to refuse, deny to them or sabotage.

The study, authored by four professors at McGill University and published in a journal put out by the Public Library of Science, shows that abuse often has a direct effect on women’s contraception choices. It suggests that medical providers looking to reduce the incidence of STIs and HIV have to ask women about violence in their relationships, and work with them to find a birth control option that’s not subject to interference from their partners.

“When talking to abused women, I had often heard them mention they were opting for contraception methods their male partner could not refuse,” Lauren Maxwell, a PhD student at McGill University, told the research news website Futurity. “I wanted to know whether, across countries, women who experience intimate partner violence are less able to use contraception, which might explain why rates of abortion and HIV transmission are higher among women abused by their partners.” (The World Health Organization says abused women are more likely to contract HIV, for a variety of reasons: rape can increase vaginal trauma and tearing, for one, which opens the door to future HIV infections. Also, as the WHO notes, “violence and fear of violence” can make it hard for women to “negotiate safe sex.”)

The McGill authors looked at studies of abused women in the United States, India, South Africa, Zimbabwe, and Nicaragua. They found, not surprisingly, that women in abusive relationships were much less likely to report having partners who used condoms:

This review indicates that women who experience IPV [intimate partner violence] are less likely to report that their male partners use condoms than women who do not. Future research might examine the impact of harm reduction strategies on the ability of women who experience IPV to use condoms with their male partners. Condom use requires a complex set of negotiations between a woman and her male partner.

The study suggests that medical providers ask about intimate partner violence when discussing birth control options with their patients, something doctors in the United States are already supposed to do:

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists offers specific guidance for providers to ask women about their experience of reproductive coercion. Recent clinical guidelines suggest that health care providers caring for women who experience reproductive coercion should offer contraceptive methods that are less susceptible to partner sabotage (e.g., IUD and implant) while counseling women about IPV and safety planning strategies. Ensuring that women can access long-acting and permanent contraceptive methods could help women who experience IPV plan their families.
As Futurity points out, the United Nations said in 2000 that they wanted to achieve “universal access to reproductive health” by 2015. That clearly hasn’t happened. Domestic violence, Maxwell told the publication, could be part of the problem. Lack of contraception, she said, “is detrimental to maternal and child health and to women’s education. To improve both, we should consider partner violence when creating programs designed to improve women’s access to contraception.”

Contact the author at anna.merlan@jezebel.com.

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Written by protectivemothersallianceinternational

November 15, 2015 at 11:05 am

Posttraumatic Stress Disorder / http://traumadissociation.com/ptsd

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What is Posttraumatic Stress Disorder? Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is a very common mental health disorder, affecting 8.7% of people during their lifetime. The core symptoms are: re-experiencing the trauma psychologically (flashbacks and nightmares) avoiding reminders of the trauma emotional numbing hyperarousal (irritability, and being jumpy or constantly “on alter”) Who gets PTSD? PTSD is also known as posttraumatic stress syndrome (PTSS) and is not caused by normal, everyday stress. PTSD can occur at any age, it can occur during childhood, adolescence, adulthood and old age.

Posttraumatic stress disorder affects around 5% of men and 10% of women at some point during their life. Up to one in three people who experience a traumatic event develop PTSD as a result. — National Health Service, UK

PTSD causes different people to react in very different ways, and it can be very disabling. “The disturbance, regardless of its trigger, causes clinically significant distress or impairment in the individual’s social interactions, capacity to work or other important areas of functioning.”

Recovery from PTSD Recovery rates vary: the DSM-5 states around 50% of adults with PTSD may recover within 3 months but some people have PTSD for over a year. In some cases, PTSD has continued for over 50 years, for example in Vietnam war veterans and Holocaust survivors. Santiago et al. (2013) reviewed many studies of PTSD, finding that 50% recovered within 2 years.

As the graph shows, a third of people exposed to trauma develop PTSD (33%), and recovery is significantly quicker in people exposed to unintentional trauma, for example natural disasters, life-threatening illness or accidents.

Factors know to hinder recover, or worsen symptoms after trauma include: reminders of the original trauma normal ‘life stressors’, for example unemployment, illness or bereavement new traumatic experiences worsening physical declining health or cognitive function (in older people) social isolation can exacerbate symptoms

What causes PTSD?

Causes of PTSD: 10 common causes

Only a small percentage of people with PTSD are traumatized by combat. source: Spence et al. (2011).

Being female doubles the risk of a person developing PTSD; the reasons for this are not yet understood.

The type of trauma experienced strongly affects the risk of developing PTSD; many studies show that rape causes the highest rates of PTSD, with over 50% of rape survivors affected.

Read more: http://traumadissociation.com/ptsd

Unresolved Trauma

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