- Does your partner call you names?
- Does your partner make you feel stupid?
- Does your partner tell you what to do or who to be friends with?
- Do you feel pushed to be sexual?
- Is your partner really nice sometimes and really mean at other times? Is it as if they have two personalities?
- Does your partner promise to change after being mean?
- Does your partner make you feel to blame for their bad behavior?
- Has your partner ever hit you?
- Has your partner ever attempted or threatened to commit suicide if you were to leave?
- Has your partner ever hit or threatened your family or pets, or threatened to destroy your property?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, you could be experiencing DATING VIOLENCE. Dating violence occurs in many dating relationships, and it is important to remember that you are not alone. You did not cause nor do you deserve the violence. Unfortunately, you also cannot change it. What you CAN do is get support for yourself. Call a hotline or approach a trusted friend, family member or community member as soon as possible.
In the Community: The Support Committee for Battered Women 24-hr Toll-Free Hotline: Located in Waltham, MA
-Bentley Women’s Center (call, walk-in for help, e-mail, post an anonymous question or blog http://bentleywomenscentersupport.blogspot.com/ )
-Bentley Counseling Services (call, walk-in, make an appointment)
-Bentley Health Services (call, walk-in, make an appointment)
-Bentley Campus Police (call, walk-in, ask for protection, legal prosecution)
A Timeline of Reproductive Rights
1821: Connecticut passes the first law in the United States barring abortions after “quickening.”
1860: Twenty states have laws limiting abortion.
1965: Griswold v. Connecticut Supreme Court decision strikes down a state law that prohibited giving married people information, instruction, or medical advice on contraception.
1967: Colorado is the first state to liberalize its abortion laws.
1970: Alaska, Hawaii, New York, and Washington liberalize abortion laws, making abortion available at the request of a woman and her doctor.
1972: Eisenstadt v. Baird Supreme Court decision establishes the right of unmarried people to use contraceptives.
1973: Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision strikes down state laws that made abortion illegal.
1976: Congress adopts the first Hyde Amendment barring the use of federal Medicaid funds to provide abortions to low-income women.
1977: A revised Hyde Amendment is passed allowing states to deny Medicaid funding except in cases of rape, incest, or “severe and long-lasting” damage to the woman’s physical health.
1991: Rust v. Sullivan upholds the constitutionality of the 1988 “gag rule” which prohibits doctors and counselors at clinics which receive federal funding from providing their patients with information about and referrals for abortion.
1992: Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Pennsylvania v. Casey reaffirms the “core” holdings of Roe that women have a right to abortion before fetal viability, but allows states to restrict abortion access so long as these restrictions do not impose an “undue burden” on women seeking abortions.
1994: Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances (FACE) Act is passed by Congress with a large majority in response to the murder of Dr. David Gunn. The FACE Act forbids the use of “force, threat of force or physical obstruction” to prevent someone from providing or receiving reproductive health services. The law also provides for both criminal and civil penalties for those who break the law.
2000: Stenberg v. Carhart rules that the Nebraska statute banning so-called “partial-birth abortion” is unconstitutional for two independent reasons: the statute lacks the necessary exception for preserving the health of the woman, and the definition of the targeted procedures is so broad as to prohibit abortions in the second trimester, thereby being an “undue burden” on women. This effectively invalidates 29 of 31 similar statewide bans.
2000: Food and Drug Administration approves mifepristone (RU-486) as an option in abortion care for very early pregnancy.
2003: A federal ban on abortion procedures is passed by Congress and signed into law by President Bush. The National Abortion Federation immediately challenges the law in court and is successful in blocking enforcement of the law for its members.
2004: NAF wins lawsuit against federal abortion ban. Justice Department appeals rulings by three trial courts against ban.
Taken from http://menandabortion.com/history.html
The Top Ten Things Every Woman Should Know about Personal Safety
1. Awareness: Your First Line of Defence. Most people think of kicks to the groin and blocking punches when they hear the term “self-defence.” However, true self-defence begins long before any actual physical contact. The first, and probably most important, component in self-defence is awareness: awareness of yourself, your surroundings, and your potential attacker’s likely strategies.
The criminal’s primary strategy is to use the advantage of surprise. Studies have shown that criminals are adept at choosing targets who appear to be unaware of what is going on around them. By being aware of your surroundings and by projecting a “force presence,” many altercations which are commonplace on the street can be avoided.
2. Use Your Sixth Sense. “Sixth sense.” “Gut instinct.” Whatever you call it, your intuition is a powerful subconscious insight into situations and people. All of us, especially women, have this gift, but very few of us pay attention to it. Learn to trust this power and use it to your full advantage. Avoid a person or a situation which does not “feel” safe–you’re probably right.
3. Self-Defence Training. It is important to evaluate the goals and practical usefulness of a women’s self-defence program before signing up. Here are two tips:
a) Avoid martial arts studios unless you specifically wish to train in the traditional martial arts techniques and are prepared for a long-term commitment. Many women’s self-defence programs teach watered-down martial arts techniques that are complex and unrealistic under the stress of an actual attack;
b) The self-defence program should include simulated assaults, with a fully padded instructor in realistic rape and attack scenarios, to allow you to practice what you’ve learned.
4. Escape: Always Your Best Option. What if the unthinkable happens? You are suddenly confronted by a predator who demands that you go with him–be it in a car, or into an alley, or a building. It would seem prudent to obey, but you must never leave the primary crime scene. You are far more likely to be killed or seriously injured if you go with the predator than if you run away (even if he promises not to hurt you). Run away, yell for help, throw a rock through a store or car window–do whatever you can to attract attention. And if the criminal is after your purse or other material items, throw them one way while you run the other.
5. Your Right to Fight. Unfortunately, no matter how diligently we practice awareness and avoidance techniques, we may find ourselves in a physical confrontation. Whether or not you have self-defence training, and no matter what your age or physical condition, it is important to understand that you CAN and SHOULD defend yourself physically. You have both the moral and legal right to do so, even if the attacker is only threatening you and hasn’t struck first. Many women worry that they will anger the attacker and get hurt worse if they defend themselves, but statistics clearly show that your odds of survival are far greater if you do fight back. Aim for the eyes first and the groin second. Remember, though, to use the element of surprise to your advantage–strike quickly, and mean business. You may only get one chance.
6. Pepper Spray: Pros and Cons. Pepper spray, like other self-defence aids, can be a useful tool. However, it is important to understand that there can be significant drawbacks to its use. For example, did you know that it doesn’t work on everyone? Surprisingly, 15-20% of people will not be incapacitated even by a full-face spray. Also, if you’re carrying it in your purse, you will only waste time and alert the attacker to your intentions while you fumble for it. Never depend on any self-defence tool or weapon to stop an attacker. Trust your body and your wits, which you can always depend on in the event of an attack.
7. Home Invasions: A Crime on the Rise. The primary way to prevent a home invasion is simply to never, ever open your door unless you either are certain you know who’s on the other side or can verify that they have a legitimate reason for being there (dressing up as a repair person or even police officer is one trick criminals use). In the event that an intruder breaks in while you’re home, you should have a safe room in your house to which you can retreat. Such a room should be equipped with a strong door, deadbolt lock, phone (preferably cell phone), and a can of pepper spray or fire extinguisher.
8. Avoiding Car-jacking. Lock all doors and keep windows up when driving. Most car-jackings take place when vehicles are stopped at intersections. The criminals approach at a 45-degree angle (in the blind spot), and either pull you out of the driver’s seat or jump in the passenger’s seat.
9. A Travel Tip. Violent crimes against women happen in the best and worst hotels around the world. Predators may play the part of a hotel employee, push their way through an open or unlocked door, or obtain a pass key to the room. As with home safety, never open your door unless you are certain the person on the other side is legitimate, and always carry a door wedge with you when you travel. A wedge is often stronger than the door it secures.
10. Safety in Cyberspace. Although the Internet is educational and entertaining, it can also be full of danger if one isn’t careful. When communicating on-line, use a nickname and always keep personal information such as home address and phone number confidential. Instruct family members to do the same. Keep current on security issues, frauds, viruses, etc. by periodically referring to “The Police Notebook” Internet Safety Page http://www.ou.edu/oupd/inetmenu.htm and the FTC’s website http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/menu-internet.htm.