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Archive for January, 2014

How to Protect Yourself from Date Rape by Beaumont Todd

THE BAHAMAS CRISIS CENTRE

Advice for Avoiding Date Rape

Date rape is a scary topic. It is hard to believe that someone you know and trust would ever hurt you. However, it does happen and it is never your fault. You cannot always prevent it happening but there are ways to lower the risk.

What is Date Rape?

Date rape refers to rape committed by a person, who could be a friend, acquaintance or stranger, against a victim. It is commonly referred to drug facilitated sexual assault or an acquaintance rape. Sexual assault is any sexual act done to someone without their consent. Drug facilitated sexual assault is any sexual assault where alcohol and/or drugs affect the victim’s ability to give informed consent. Acquaintance rape is an assault or attempted assault usually committed by a new acquaintance involving sexual intercourse without consent.

With the increase in technology, it has become easier to communicate with persons from a far distance or someone who is a total stranger. Utilizing the internet many persons start relationships that begin in cyberspace but can eventually move from behind the screen to more personal and intimate relationship. However this does not always mean the person you might have begun a relationship on line is the same person you will meet in person. Regardless of the circumstance in which you meet another person you should always take steps to protect yourself.

Even with meeting persons in a conventional manner you have to be careful and do what you can to protect yourself, and ensure your safety at all times.

NO means NO!

Healing the Nation

Dating is a normal, respectable and should be enjoyable way to meet and get to know new people. Many intimate and lasting relationships or even friendships can come out of dating. However this does not mean it does not have its dangerous side, where a person can be placed in harm’s way and be placed in a circumstance where they are abused, assaulted, raped or even lose their lives. This does not just happen to young teenagers but more experienced and mature individuals as well. The following are some tips you can follow whether a teen or adult to ensure you can enjoy dating to its fullest and still remain safe.

1. Always remember, you have the right to say NO even if:
• You have been drinking
• You have had sex previously
• You have been making out
• You are dressed in sexy clothes
• You think he or she will be mad with you
• You have said yes before but have now changed your mind
2. Be careful and trust your instincts
• It is safer to stay in a group of friends or with another couple
• Try not to be alone with someone you do not know well or with whom you feel uncomfortable
3. Signs of Date Rape are when someone forces you to have sex.
This can be:

• Threatening to hurt you
• Not stopping when you say No
• Using a weapon to scare you
• Forcing you down
• Having sex with you when you are too drunk to say No
• Tells you that if you do not give in, they will tell other people you had sex with them
• Threatening you that something bad will happen if you do not give in
• Threatens to harm themselves if you do not give in

4. Communicate clearly
• Say NO very clearly and firmly to anyone who is pushing you to have sex with them
• Remember if the person does not listen to your saying NO, it is not your fault
• Do not be afraid of hurting someone’s feelings if you say no

5. Be in Control
• Being in control means that you say what you want and mean it
• Call a friend or family member if you feel unsafe
• Avoid alcohol and drugs so that you can stay in control of the situation
• Always have some money with you so you can call a taxi
• Make sure your cell phone has minutes so you can make a call if you feel unsafe

6. Danger signs
• If you feel uncomfortable with a person standing too close to you or staring at you, it is not a good idea to be alone with that person
• If the person does not listen to you at other times, they may not listen to you when you are alone and want to make your feelings clear about having sex
• Anyone who seems to enjoy making you uncomfortable is not someone you should be alone with

7. If you are afraid to say NO
• If you feel it is unsafe for you to say No, make an excuse to leave to go the bathroom and make a call to a friend or family member to come and pick you up.
• If you have to lie to protect yourself, that is OK …your safety is the most important thing

8. If the person does not listen to you
• Say it again…very loudly and clearly!
• Say ‘STOP, this is rape!”

9. What to do if the person continues to assault you
• Try to stay calm and decide what to do for the best
• Try to talk the person out of assaulting you
• Run away
• If you feel you can fight back, push away the attacker
• Shout very loudly
• If it is not safe to fight back or get away and you are raped, it is still NOT YOUR FAULT

10. Get Help
• If you are raped, get help as soon as possible. Go to the doctor or hospital and call the police. Call a friend or family member to accompany you to give you support.
Dating can be a fun and enjoyable experience, however at all times do whatever is within your power to ensure it is also safe.

We are one people created equal by God and for the purpose of loving and being loved. Let us work together to heal ourselves, families, communities, nation and world.

For more information check out our website at http://www.bahamascrisiscentre.org or contact us by email at bahamascrisiscentre@yahoo.com. YOU CAN CALL THE CRISIS CENTRE ON 328-0922 OR 322-4999. IF YOU ARE IN IMMEDIATE DANGER, CALL THE POLICE ON 919 OR 911.

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Categories: Uncategorized

Walkabout in Fox Hill, Saturday, 1st February 2014

Please join us!

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Categories: News

Sexual harassment

I don’t know how many of our volunteers and followers heard Donna Nichols on Guardian Radio this morning, but she spoke brilliantly on the issue of sexual harassment. The fact that the program is presented by two very mature young men who are always a pleasure to listen to, helped in clarifying what constitutes sexual harassment.

Following the program I happened to be in the Mall at Marathon and entered a store in which a young man was the sole salesperson at the time. Just after I entered a young woman came in and gave the young man a big hug, to which I commented ‘Giving him his morning hug!’ She left and I told him that it was interesting that just this morning there had been a program on the radio about sexual harassment. He said that the young woman does that every morning, that he does not know if she works in the Mall but that she is a frequently customer in that store. I asked him if he enjoyed the hug, fully expecting him to say ‘yes’, but to my surprise he said he does not like it, that she holds him too tightly sometimes and, if he is showing her a product at her request, she often comes too close and he has to move away. I explained to him that it depends on the comfort zone of the person being approached and that, if they are not comfortable, they have a right to make it known. I am disappointed in myself that I did not stress this enough. He said that, as he is naturally a very friendly person, it is difficult to say anything.

We know that men are also harassed but I think this is just one example of how men, in particular, find it hard to express their discomfort at overtures that make them feel uncomfortable. Women, just as much as men, have a responsibility in the way they behave.

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Categories: Uncategorized

Do my parents love me? By Beaumont Todd

THE BAHAMAS CRISIS CENTRE

Do My Parents Love Me

During this time of family and love, we remember the greatest gift that God has given us in the form of His Son. As a parent God taught us the true meaning of love by showing us that with love we give our best. Yet even during a season of love and family there are many children and even adults who ask the question, do my parent’s love me?

WikiHow.com states: “Parents are supposed to love, guide and protect their children. They are supposed to help them grow and develop as an independent person. It would be wonderful if all parents were this way. But let’s be honest: not all parents are. There are many parents who abuse, neglect and even murder their children. There are also many parents who attend to their child(ren)’s needs, but do not love them. We’d love to think that all parents, even the ones who abuse their children, love and care about them deep down, but the truth is there are parents who don’t love their kids, even if they do take care of them (remember, it’s the law). Knowing you’re unloved by your parents hurts. “

For many children and even adults they feel as if their parents never truly loved or cared about them. Although their parents provided all of the material needs they required, emotionally they do not feel truly valued by their parents. In the place of the parents or caregivers in their eyes as long as they are providing what is necessary for their child or children’s material survival they feel they are showing that they love them.

Healing the Nation

How do I know my parents love me?

Sometimes it is difficult for children to believe their parents love them. When they hear words such as “ You are so stupid”, “ I wish you had never been born”, “You are just like your no-good Pa.” “ My life was wonderful before you came along”, “You were a mistake”,” Go away, I can’t look at your work now…I am too busy” and other statements like that, how can they feel loved?

Maybe you feel like this sometimes. How does it make you feel? How does it affect you?

In most cases, when parents say things like that, it is not because they do not love you. They DO love you. It is just that they may be having a bad day. Maybe someone at work annoyed them, maybe the workload is too heavy and they feel they cannot cope. Sometimes parents are going through their own problems with each other. Sometimes they fight all the time.

Many parents, especially mothers, are single parents. This means that they have no support and no help with their children. They may be worrying about money and bills to pay. There are many things that stress parents these days.

This does not mean it is OK for them to call you names or say bad things to you…it is NOT OK. It also does not mean that they do not love you. They DO love you but just do not know how to show it.

Things you should remember:

• Your parents DO love you
• You deserve to be loved
• No one should be saying bad things to you or calling you names
• You are special
• No one should be beating you
• If your parents are stressed out, it is NOT your fault
• Some parents find it difficult to show love because no one showed them love when they were growing up
• This does not mean they do not love you
• Stress can make people say some really bad things to each other but it is not OK

What can happen if you feel your parents do not love you?

If you feel your parents do not love you, you may feel very sad. If this happens, you may:

• Feel lonely and depressed
• Feel that you are a bad person
• Think that no one can ever love you
• Not be able to concentrate in school
• Not eat or sleep well
• Wish you could run away from home
• Feel that no one would understand
• Find yourself crying alot
• Have stomachaches or headaches

It is normal to have any of these feelings.

What can you do if you feel your parents do not love you?

• Try to talk to them about how you feel.
• Tell them it hurts you when they call you names or say bad things to you.
• If you do not feel comfortable talking to them, talk to someone else, such as another
family member, a teacher or pastor
• Write down your feelings and give it to someone you trust.

As parents and guardians life can be very hectic and stressful. We do our best to ensure our children have all of the necessary material aspects of their lives and even more so during this Christmas season. However we must always remember our children need to know that they are loved not just by our actions, but by our words and the feelings and attitudes we show them.

REMEMBER…You are a special individual and everyone deserves to be loved.

We are one people created equal by God and for the purpose of loving and being loved. Let us work together to Heal ourselves, families, communities, nation and world.

If you would like to talk to someone about anything that is bothering you, please call 328-0922 or 322-4999. For more information check out our website at http://www.bahamascrisiscentre.org or contact us. Email us at bahamascrisiscentre@yahoo.com or call us.

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Categories: Notes

Domestic Violence – Gender Based Violence by Beaumont Todd and Lisa Fox

January 13, 2014 1 comment

THE BAHAMAS CRISIS CENTRE

Domestic Violence: Gender Based Violence

Domestic violence, also known as domestic abuse, spousal abuse, battering, family violence, dating abuse, and intimate partner violence (IPV), is a pattern of behavior which involves the abuse by one partner against another in an intimate relationship. This can include marriage, cohabitation, dating or within the family. Domestic violence can take many forms, including physical aggression or assault (hitting, kicking, biting, shoving, restraining, slapping, throwing objects, battery), or threats thereof; sexual abuse; emotional abuse; controlling or domineering; intimidation; stalking; passive/covert abuse (e.g., neglect); and economic deprivation.

Another form of domestic violence is gender based violence. All forms of domestic violence are connected to the cycle of violence that occurs in relationships of all types.

What is gender based violence?

Gender-based violence (GBV) is violence that is directed against a person on the basis of gender. It constitutes a breach of the fundamental right to life, liberty, security, and dignity, equality between women and men, non-discrimination and physical and mental integrity. Although most gender based violence is inflicted by men on women and girls, both males and females can be affected victims.

What is the cycle of violence?

The term cycle of violence refers to repeated and dangerous acts of violence as a cyclical pattern, associated with high emotions and doctrines of retribution or revenge. The pattern, or cycle, repeats and can happen many times during a relationship. Each phase may last a different length of time and over time the level of violence may increase.

What does the cycle of violence look like?

The cycle of violence can be broken into three main phases:
• Tension Building Phase-Woman can sense irritability. Feels she can and must resolve situation. Withdraws from partner. Partner senses her withdrawal. Tension increases. Sometimes a woman may ignite situation to get it over with.
• Explosion Phrase-Shortest of stages lasting from 5 minutes or 5 days. This is usually the stage where the abuse will occur. Abuse ranges from pushing, shoving, kicking, punching, to the use of weapons.
• Honeymoon Phrase-This is the part of the entire cycle where many persons are caught up in the cycle. This makes it difficult to break away from the abuser. During this phrase the abuser usually says, “I’m sorry” and “It will never happen again.” They give assurances of being penitent and regretful. They give you flowers, gifts and usually anything to appease you. The abused gets caught in a cycle of denial of the incident and minimizing the hurt inflicted and the experience.

Due to this repeated cycle many victims are lulled during the honeymoon phase when their abuser(s) act normal and give assurances that everything will be ok and that the abuse will not reoccur.

With domestic and gender based violence on the rise, it is important for victims and potential victims to be aware of their fundamental rights and also of the various legal and other mechanisms available to them.

What Can I do to protect myself?

The Domestic Violence Protection Orders Act 2007 (DVPOA) was enacted by Parliament in 2007, yet many persons are unaware of the various remedies it provides, which can be used as instructive ammunition in assisting the fight against domestic violence.

As a result of this legislation, victims are able to seek and enforce swift justice without being burdened and discouraged by the cumbersome processes of having perpetrators either bound over to keep the peace or otherwise brought before the courts on charges of assault, threats of harm or other domestic related offences.

What constitutes an offence under the DVPOA?

Within the definition of the Act, domestic violence includes physical, sexual, emotional, psychological or financial abuse committed by a person against a spouse, partner, child, or any other person who is a member of the household or dependent. This also would include gender based violence.

What is a protection Order under the DVPOA?

A protection Order is an order of protection for victims who experience domestic violence in the form of a legal injunction which prohibits or requires a party to do or refrain from doing certain acts. A person who does not comply with an order for protection faces penalties which include a fine up to 5,000 dollars or up to 12 months imprisonment.

How long does it take to have an order for protection granted?

Once an offence has been committed, a victim should make an IMMEDIATE application for a protection order through the magistrate courts. The usual process takes between one to three weeks from the time the initial application is made and the order is granted.

What is an emergency protection order?

The courts have the discretion to grant interim protections orders, or “emergency protection orders” on the same day that a victim appears in court. If there is a compelling reason and the victim is in legitimate fear for life or harm, the courts after hearing the evidence on oath in court has the discretion to grant an order for protection prior to having a perpetrator officially brought before the courts.

Do victims require legal representation in order to make an application?

No, victims can appear before the Courts on their own along with any relevant documentary evidence to support the application and will be required to make an oath before a Magistrate who will grant the protection order having heard the evidence of the victim and being satisfied that a protection order is necessary. There are circumstances however depending on the nature and seriousness of cases where representation by an attorney will be the preferred route.

What are the benefits of having a protection order?

Once a protection order is granted, a perfected order can be produced to the police and or the department of social services. If the protection order is not obeyed perpetrators may face a fine of up to 5,000 dollars or imprisonment or both. The penalties attached to these orders are very strict and therefore a deterrent to committing further domestic related offence or otherwise breaching an order for protection.

No One Deserves To Be Abused

We are one people created equal by God and for the purpose of loving and being loved. Let us work together to Heal ourselves, families, communities, nation and world.

If you would like to talk to someone about anything that is bothering you, please call 328-0922 or 322-4999. For more information check out our website at http://www.bahamascrisiscentre.org or contact us. Email us at bahamascrisiscentre@yahoo.com or call us.

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Categories: Notes

Building Confidence and Self Esteem by Beaumont Todd

THE BAHAMAS CRISIS CENTRE

Building Confidence and Esteem

One of the most important gifts you can ever give a child is letting them know that they are loved and to help them develop a good self-confidence. For many persons we sometimes do not understand just how important having a good self-esteem about oneself affects the quality of an individual’s life. The way we view ourselves affects how we live and what we do at every level.

Why is self-confidence and self-esteem important?

It is important to be confident because you allow yourself to take more risks, meet new people, and try new things in life. When you are comfortable and confident with yourself and body it make you much happier and you are able to enjoy everything life has to offer without worrying about what other people may think.

Self-esteem is a feeling. It is our own idea of our worth. How good do we feel about ourselves? Do we believe we can succeed? Do we believe we are loved? How we feel affects how we act and behave towards others. It also affects how we learn, work and play. People who have high self-esteem are sure of themselves. They feel confident. They tend to have good relationships. They are less negatively influenced by their peers. They tend to make good decisions. People with low self-esteem may feel alone and unloved. They may be withdrawn and feel they have no control over what they get in life. People with high self-esteem feel good about themselves. So they are usually treated well by others. People with high self-esteem tend to expect to succeed in school and career.

Self-esteem is really a cycle where having high self-esteem helps a person to succeed. In turn our success raises self-esteem, whereas also when a person constantly experiences failures their self-esteem is greatly lowered. Self-esteem makes a great impact on our lives. It affects our relationships, our school work, our friendships and how successful we become.

Healing the Nation

How does self-esteem affect us?

High self-esteem will give our children the confidence they need to succeed and be happy and content in their world. Research has shown that children with low self-esteem may do poorly in school even though they are very smart. This is because children with low self-esteem may feel anxious, worried, pressured and fearful of failure. This can occur particularly during teen-age years, when peer pressure and body image seem so important. High self-esteem helps us to have healthy relationships with others and to be fun to be around. People with high self-esteem tend to be very popular with their peers. People with low self-esteem have the need to seek approval from others. Children with low self-esteem are more often affected by peer pressure, especially during their teenage years. Self-esteem also affects our creativity. Being creative means taking some risks and we need to be confident that people will accept us whether we are successful or not. That allows us to try new things without being fearful of failure. People with low self-esteem may not be willing to take risks for fear of failing so they tend to be less creative. They are afraid to appear different and so they try to be the same as their friends.

Signs of High Self-Esteem

• Proud of what he or she achieves
• Takes responsibility
• Is able to deal with challenges
• Shows feelings easily but appropriately
• Is eager to try new things

Signs of Low Self-Esteem

• Avoids situations that cause anxiety
• Puts down his or her talents
• Blames others for failures
• Is easily influenced by others
• Is defensive and easily frustrated

In order to develop a healthy sense of self, we must also develop a healthy and good self-esteem for ourselves.

Conditions we need to develop good confidence and esteem

• Connectedness means that a person feels they belong in a positive way and that they are important to others.
• Uniqueness means we see and respect the things that make us special and different and that we are liked by others for having these qualities.
• Power comes from knowing we can positively affect events in our lives.
• Having Good Role-Models provide us with positive examples for our lives and help us to develop our own value system.
How to build confidence?

At Home

Parents with high self-esteem are likely to have children with high self-esteem and confidence. They should practice unconditional love and acceptance of their children, as well as clearly defined limits in the home, with discipline being administered not in anger and abuse, but in love and concern for the child’s well-being and development.

At School

Teachers with high self-esteem who like themselves and what they are doing are able to inspire the children they teach. They know how to motivate their students.

Teen Issues

Body image is very important to teens particularly. Many are not happy with how they look…their weight, their height, face, skin, hair etc. Some peers can be very cruel with their comments and children with low self-esteem may become depressed as a result of negative comments. Teachers should always encourage their students to respect each other and to appreciate that each person is unique and wonderfully made, with special talents and abilities. High self-esteem will give children the confidence and skills they need to cope with the future.

Building Confidence in ourselves and our children is a gift that no one can ever take away.

We are one people created equal by God and for the purpose of loving and being loved. Let us work together to Heal ourselves, families, communities, nation and world.

If you would like to talk to someone about anything that is bothering you, please call 328-0922 or 322-4999. For more information check out our website at http://www.bahamascrisiscentre.org or contact us. Email us at bahamascrisiscentre@yahoo.com or call us.

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Categories: Notes