Saturday, October 31, 2009
Friday, October 30, 2009
This is my last Domestic Violence Month post. Sorry for the run of them this week, but I wanted to cover a lot of topics and realized that October is almost over!!! Can you believe it?
I grew interested in Domestic Violence after being accepted into the law clinic and taking a class in Family Violence and Advocacy last fall. We read many famous domestic violence cases and studied lots of issues, including global domestic violence, how to help someone in a violent relationship, and how to build a case. I feel that domestic violence law can be extremely challenging for attorneys, because both parties can be so uncooperative. For instance, a prosecutor may have evidence and facts to prosecute an abuser, but the victim may want to "drop the case" and not help. The defendant's attorney is challenged by the fact that the defendant is often confident that his or her partner will drop it all (because of his/her threats to the victim before being arrested). Therefore, domestic violence law presents many hard situations that simply are not found in other areas of the law.
This summer I worked for Legal Aid, where I got lots of experience in court handling some of the cases (under the supervision of my attorney, of course!). I absolutely loved it because I felt so empowered to help people. My first case involved a woman who had been abused and it felt so amazing to help her change her life. Time and again, clients will leave the courtroom crying and hugging their attorneys for helping them with the first step toward a new life free of frequent abuse.
Now, this semester, I'm in the family violence clinic and love it! My friend Danielle and I have been involved in an adoption case together and now I have a new partner, Justin, with whom I am completing more Order of Protection cases. We've learned a lot and I have enjoyed the semester immensely.
I am so thankful to have had the opportunity to represent these women (I've never represented a man so far). They are extremely strong individuals for breaking out of the abuse cycle and facing their abusers in court. Doing so is incredibly draining, but an attorney's hope is that she takes the opportunity to better her life.
These jobs have made me so thankful for my family and husband and I truly feel like I was led to helping these women not only for their benefit, but for mine as well. I don't know where I will work after graduation, but I will always thank God for these opportunities I have had to help them. I feel like God leads you where you should be in life, and these women have taught me a lot about life and what it means to be strong against an extremely scary adversary. If they can rise up and stand against their abusers who threatened to kill them, I can do anything with my life. For now, I just hope that they are safe and happy.
Thursday, October 29, 2009
It is important to be there for a friend who is in an abusive relationship to offer your support and a listening ear. However, it is extremely hard to pinpoint an abusive relationship because most of the time, the abuse happens in the privacy of the home.
This website had excellent information about warning signs of an abusive relationship:
Here are signs that you are in an abusive relationship from that same website:
General warning signs of domestic abuse
People who are being abused may:
- Seem afraid or anxious to please their partner.
- Go along with everything their partner says and does.
- Check in often with their partner to report where they are and what they’re doing.
- Receive frequent, harassing phone calls from their partner.
- Talk about their partner’s temper, jealousy, or possessiveness.
Warning signs of physical violence
People who are being physically abused may:
- Have frequent injuries, with the excuse of “accidents.”
- Frequently miss work, school, or social occasions, without explanation.
- Dress in clothing designed to hide bruises or scars (e.g. wearing long sleeves in the summer or sunglasses indoors).
Warning signs of isolation
People who are being isolated by their abuser may:
- Be restricted from seeing family and friends.
- Rarely go out in public without their partner.
- Have limited access to money, credit cards, or the car.
The psychological warning signs of abuse
People who are being abused may:
- Have very low self-esteem, even if they used to be confident.
- Show major personality changes (e.g. an outgoing woman becomes withdrawn).
- Be depressed, anxious, or suicidal.
|SIGNS THAT YOU’RE IN AN ABUSIVE RELATIONSHIP|
|Your Inner Thoughts and Feelings||Your Partner’s Belittling Behavior|
Does your partner:
|Your Partner’s Violent Behavior or Threats||Your Partner’s Controlling Behavior|
Does your partner:
Does your partner:
Wednesday, October 28, 2009
Abuse is a scary cycle that is hard to break. Why does it happen? What makes people harm those they love?
Abuse centers around a controlling relationship. One partner wants to control the other because they cannot control other aspects of their life. Therefore, they turn to something they can control: their partners.
This spring Oprah interviewed some abusers and this is what they had to say:
Though Sir can't speak for all men, he believes his own abusive behavior was triggered by his past. "Kids are precious -- they record everything," he says. "I grew up in an abusive household, so I didn't know how to verbally communicate with my wife without putting her down. I didn't know how to verbally disagree with her and say, 'We don't see eye to eye,' and be okay with that."
"By the grace of God, reality would come back to me as the rage would decrease," Sir says. "I look back now and I can see that at that time, when the rage would come, it was like tunnel vision. I would try and express my anger and my disappointment the only way I knew how. And that was through abuse."Source
A student at Harvard conducted research on this topic and found the following:
"Batterers tend to commit more crimes and have lower levels of education and IQs," Ou said. "They tend to be more neurotic, less agreeable, less extroverted, open, and conscientious than the average American man. They are more authoritarian."
In fact, Ou found that unquestioned obedience to authority defined abusers more than their attitudes toward women or wife beating.
"Abusers are less forgiving of those who violate law and order and more punitive to those they consider weak," she says. "They favor harsher punishment for lawbreakers. They feel little compassion for those they regard as inferior. When they treat women as inferior, sexism becomes a subpart of their authoritarianism."
Weird as it seems, but abusive relationships are sad both for the abuser and the victim. Abusers, without counseling, cannot enjoy the benefits of a meaningful relationship. Once their victim leaves (if it ever happens), they will just move on to the next victim.
Tuesday, October 27, 2009
Monday, October 26, 2009
Argh! I'm having issues with blogger right now so my pictures are out of order. Anyway, we had a wonderful weekend full of fun, food, friends, and family! Above you can see me with my two cousins Emily and Colleen tailgating before the Mizzou game this Saturday (how sad that we lost. Boo hoo!).
We began tailgating on Saturday a few hours before the game. Believe me, there was a battle between the expert tailgaters (David and I) and the amateur tailgaters (my dad). Above David is trying to figure out why we need two grills in order to grill food for a total of four people who planned to actually eat at our tailgate. My dad is trying to explain the tactics behind the number of grills but I don't think that David is convinced that two were necessary.
Some people took advantage of the gorgeous weather to fly hot air balloons around the stadium!
Here we are with Steve and Danielle. Danielle is a friend of mine from law school! They tailgate every game and came by and said hello to us on Saturday! It was fun to see them.
My cousin Colleen stopped by as well, and we got a picture in front of the cool Mizzou helmet thingy:
This is out of order, but Danielle and I both finished our clinic house last week and went out to celebrate on Friday night! We brought our husbands along and had a blast. I'm so glad we did clinic together this semester!!!!
I bought these cookies for tailgating. Aren't they adorable?! My cat Thorina wanted a bite (don't worry; she isn't actually touching the cookie, it just looks like she is for some reason):
Me with Cindy (sometimes you'll see her comment as golfer):
...with my family...
and with my Uncle Chris and Vicky! I was really glad they stopped by to say hello. It was nice to visit with them because I don't get to see then as often as I'd like:
Overall we had a really awesome time eating and having fun. This is why I love tailgating!
We had such a fun weekend full of lots of friends and family!
Monday: enchiladas and rice
Tuesday: we are planning on going out to eat!
Wednesday: leftover vegetable soup
Thursday: I have a late class and my teacher is providing pizza
Friday: probably leftover enchiladas!
We watched The Reader last night. It was a very interesting movie.
Sunday, October 25, 2009
Our priest is apparently from Texas and this morning he had a little routine about Mizzou losing yesterday. He said that he made two homilies today, one in the event that Texas won and the other to use in the event that Texas lost. He held up two envelopes that said "Win" on one and "Lose" on another. Then he said, "I'm just kidding, haha. I only wrote one homily," and he opened the envelope that said, "Win" on it. Har de har har.
Saturday, October 24, 2009
Friday, October 23, 2009
Human Trafficking is a worldwide problem that is growing every single day and involves. Human trafficking is the exploitation of a person through force, fraud, or coercion. Most people believe that slavery is no longer an issue, but people who are trafficked are succumbed to slavery every day of their lives.
Human Trafficking is extremely hard to track because it is so secretive. However, it is estimated that there are over 27 million people*, a population greater than the state of Texas.* It is estimated that between 600,000 and 800,000 people are trafficked across international borders per year. Source Sex Trafficking accounts for 83% of human trafficking incidents. Source About one third of these involve children. Source
It is easy to think that victims of human trafficking can simply walk to the nearest police station and obtain help. This is simply not true. Victims of human trafficking are held against their will through physical violence, emotional abuse, or through debt repayment. For instance, a pimp may simply state that he will have the victim's family killed if she walks away while showing her a picture of her family. This has a profound effect on victims. Furthermore, usually the traffickers keep the identification of the victims, and thus victims live in fear of deportation. Some traffickers bring a victim to a country and say, "Oh no! You paid me $50 to get you into America, but unfortunately it cost me $5,000 to do that. So you need to work for me to repay that debt. You will make $50 a month, but I need to take $40 out for your room and board." Finally, many victims do not know freedom. They may have grown up in a country or a situation where they did not experience freedom like we do. Therefore, they do not know that anything is amiss.
Most victims of human trafficking do not know their surroundings. This summer I heard a talk about human trafficking and the speaker spoke of a case where a victim was found in the midwest and thought she was in California. Here are other signs of human trafficking victims:
* Live on or near work premises.
* Restricted or controlled communication/transportation.
* Large number of occupants for living space.
* Lack of private space/personal possessions/financial records.
* Limited knowledge about how to get around in a community.
(Taken directly from here.)
Don't think that human trafficking only effects those on the coasts. There are many stories of human trafficking in the midwest. Finally, a big misconception of human trafficking is that it involve immigrants. This is simply not true: many runaways across the United States are trafficked every year.
What can you do to help such a global issue? Educate yourself (at website like this) and do not be afraid of the facts. Be aware of your surroundings if you find something suspicious and call authorities. See what your church or favorite charity is doing to help with human trafficking.
*27 million people in slavery today Source
* population of the state of Texas Source
Thursday, October 22, 2009
David and I went to a book sale at our local library on Saturday after our run. I groan whenever David mentions book sales because he always wants to be there for hours and look through every. single. book. I should have noticed the red flag when he mentioned that maybe we should study at the library on Saturday. However, I was oblivious to his hidden meaning. What he really meant was, "please bring your law books to the library so that I can wander around the book sale for hours."
David and I are both lucky that we married someone else who loves books. I have a ton of books from when I was in high school, because I would cash my baby-sitting checks and use some of it to buy books. David is also a lover of all things written, and so when we got married we thought that this combination was a match made in heaven.
However, reality hit us. Right now we own six (6) bookshelves in our home and still have books stacked on floor around our house. We are running out of room! My new mantra is that I don't want to buy anything for our house because if we move, I don't want to move the item. So before I buy anything now, I ask, "Do I want to move this?" The answer is usually no.
However, danger arose when we walked into the book sale, which was really a Children's book sale. I tried to restrain myself and keep our time there very short, but we ended up with around 40 books. I'm not kidding. It was ridiculous. We were like two hoarders.
We went to check out and the cashier took one look at us and said to me, "I guess you are a teacher, huh?" (By the way, why did she only ask me that? Why can't David be a teacher? Old fashioned stereotypes, I guess.) I said that no, I am not. Then she looked at both of us and said, "Well, then you have children at home!" Again I explained that we do not have children and David said, "We just love books!! This is an investment in our future!" I mumbled something about how we are stocking ourselves up for the future and rushed off. She probably thought we were psycho.
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
As you all know, we went to see Where The Wild Things Are this weekend. I had to write about it because it is such a different movie. I walked out of the movie confused and David walked out of it saying, "I loved that. That was the best movie I've seen in a long time."
Spoiler Alert! If you plan on going to see the movie, you may not want to read on...
The movie stays really true to the book: Max ends up in the land of the wild things because he gets in trouble with his mom. Once he enters into the land of the wild things, however, things got chaotic. There was really not much of a storyline and I felt uncomfortably disjointed. What were the characters supposed to represent? Why didn't the viewer ever learn why the monsters were the way they were? I wanted answers.
But I think that the entire point of the movie was not to give the viewer answers. David thought that each monster represented an aspect of Max's life, including his anger, his mother, his hopes for a peaceful house, and his hopefulness. David Brooks had a similar analysis in the New York Times.
Personally, I brought two things out of the movie that seemed extremely poignant to me:
1) The dirt clod war: The dirt clod war scene was simply amazing and I felt like I was back into my childhood brain. David said that he thinks that it is the most true-to-life scene that describes child social order he's ever seen. In the scene, everybody divides into teams of "good guys" and "bad guys". (The characters that I guess represented Max's not-so-good traits were all "bad guys".) The fight is really fun at first when everybody is running everywhere and throwing clods ever which way. However, once the teams develop forts, reach a stalemate, and become bored, things get a little trickier. One of the players gets bored and begins to walk away, saying that he is finished with the game and is quitting. Of course, the other team says "Come on!" and throws a dirt clod. The player screamed that he was hurt, which he was, but of course the other team thought that it was a front and they threw another clod. Unfortunately, he got his feelings hurt and ran away extremely upset.
This scene was so amazing to me because I remember being on both sides of that scene when I was little, or even still today. Sometimes I was on the receiving end of the dirt clods and was upset because the other people were not playing by my rules and letting me boss. Sometimes I was just bored with the game, and with every dirt clod thrown I grew more upset and defensive until I blew up and got my feelings hurt. Conversely, when I was on the other end, I certainly never meant to make the other person cry when I threw the extra dirt clod, but it seemed that teasing them more would get them back into the game and having fun.
2) It also made me sad to see how conflicting and sad Max was because of his family situation. He stared longingly at a globe that included a message from his father and otherwise his dad was not in the movie. Max's single mother worked hard, tried to have a social life, and balance her family throughout the movie. However, he still experienced feelings of sadness, despair, and resentment toward his mom and sister. The feeling of childhood helplessness was rampant in the movie. All Max wanted was a great big house where everybody could do whatever they wanted and where everybody was always happy. He tried to build this house with the monsters but they did not succeed.
Overall the movie was pretty good but I definitely think that it was more of an adult movie than a kid movie.
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
This past Friday we had a pumpkin carving party at our house with our friends Steve, Danielle, Ashley, and Ian. It was so much fun! Above are the finished pumpkins and below are the pumpkins in the dark. I believe that those eyes are Danielle's (although she says otherwise! haha):
We had lots of delicious food, including smokies, cheese dip, donuts, and strawberries:
Here were some of my decorations:
I also made Apple Crisp:
The three girls:
Husband and wife pumpkin carving:
We had such a fun time!
Monday, October 19, 2009
I did a lot of cooking this weekend, so our Menu Monday may be a little boring.
Monday: I will have pizza at school because I am having a late class and my teacher is providing the food
Tuesday: shrimp angel hair pasta
Thursday: Again, I have a late class to which a teacher will be bringing leftovers, so I am planning on making risotto and sweet potatoes that afternoon for David to eat
Sunday, October 18, 2009
Thursday, October 15, 2009
Every morning I wake up and run, a ritual that I love because it really gets me ready for my day and allows me to relax for a while and call my mom and David on their way to work (yes I call people while I am running, I know it is weird).
When I get back, the animals run outside for a little romp. Paco runs around the yard and the cats sniff the flowers. I make my coffee and begin to plan my day. After they come back in, I open the bedroom window for the cats. They love to inspect the outside world. After showering I turn on the Today show, grab a cup of coffee, and check my blogs and emails. After that I eat my breakfast smoothie and head to school.
Mornings are my favorite time of day. I feel so energized and happy for a new day. What is your favorite time of day?
Wednesday, October 14, 2009
We had a very fun time this past weekend. Why? We took our niece and nephew for the weekend! It is always fun to see our niece and nephew, but it is even funner to take them and have them for our own for a while. Selfish, aren't we?
We got them on Saturday and David drove them back to their mom and dad before work on Monday. During the weekend we went grocery shopping, made brownies and soup, went to church, watched movies, went to the park, bought Halloween costumes for me and David, had lunch with David's parents, and found our pumpkins! Oh, and Noah got a haircut. How much does Noah look like David? I just can't get over it sometimes.
In the meantime, Emma busied herself by terrorizing Thorina. I'm kidding, kind of.
Thorina really does not enjoy many humans, with me and David being the exceptions. Therefore, the presence of two children who only wanted to play with her sent her under the table most of the weekend:
Paco did much better:He is more used to small children, since he used to be Emma's doggie.Overall, we had a really fun weekend. Here are some funny stories:
- Emma said that Thorina should be a black cat for Halloween because she is so scary.
- Immediately after we began cutting Noah's hair, Emma gathered it up and wanted a baggie because she thought that we needed to save his hair for every haircut, not just his first one.
- David decided to be a vampire for Halloween and so I bought him a cheapo cape to wear. This cape is more funny than terrifying on David, but when he put it on poor Noah said, "Too scary. Take it off. Too scary," even though David didn't even have a mask on or anything.
- David and I decided that being parents is pretty hard. You never get a break!! We are used to baby-sitting, where two hours into the evening you give the kids back. Not so when you have kids. We were pretty worn out by the end of the weekend!
We had so much fun with them and made some good memories by the end of the weekend.
Tuesday, October 13, 2009
Monday, October 12, 2009
Monday: Leftover Pasta E Fagioli Soup that I made this weekend.....SO tasty. Here's the recipe.
Tuesday: Roasted Chicken, chicken gravy, and dumplings
Thursday: Possibly homemade tomato and onion pizza (I may try to make the crust homemade. Does anybody know of any super duper easy pizza homemade pizza crusts?)
Friday: leftover pizza
We had a busy weekend! I will post about it later though. For now, I better get to class!
Saturday, October 10, 2009
I stole this from Kate Oh Katie because thought it would be fun to try. I really like memes and enjoy filling them out! The point of this one is to consider what you would have if you could only have one of each item. So here we go!
If I could have ONLY ONE shirt, which would it be? The gorgeous blouse I bought from Topshop a year and a half ago. It is a mix of dusty purple and gray, has a beautiful pattern on it, and I could wear it with professional outfits and jeans and look snazzy. I love it!
If I could visit ONLY ONE website, which would it be? Does gmail count as a website? If so, I would pick gmail.com. Otherwise, I would totally pick my google reader. That way I'd have like 100 websites at once!
If I could have ONLY ONE set of knitting needles, what would it be? Hmmmmmm.....The only time I've used knitting needles was when I was in ninth grade and put them in my hair. I don't even think those were knitting needles, either. So maybe I would pick a beautiful pair that involved lots of jewels so I could wear them in my hair.
If I could eat at ONLY ONE restaurant, which would it be? Amighetti's on the Hill in St. Louis. Yummmmmy!
If I could read ONLY ONE book, which would it be? Anna Karenina by Tolstoy. I love that book.
If I could watch ONLY ONE DVD, what would it be? The 2006 version of Pride and Prejudice. I looooveee it. Or maybe Season Six of Sex and the City.
If I could own ONLY ONE shawl, which would it be? I own no shawls, so again, maybe one that is super awesome.
If I could order ONLY ONE item from Starbucks, what would it be? A caramel macchiato, skim milk, with whipped cream, and maybe iced.
If I could have ONLY ONE piece of jewelry, which would it be? My engagement ring. It is still by far my favorite piece of jewelry. Otherwise, maybe Princess Diana's engagement ring or one like it. Hey, a girl can dream, right?
If I could visit ONLY ONE state, which would it be? California. Beaches, forests, cities, perfect.
If I could wear ONLY ONE cosmetic, what would it be? Juicy Tubes lip gloss by Lancome, hands down.
If I could bake ONLY ONE item, what would it be? Barefoot Contessa's Aunt Beatty's chocolate cake with buttercream icing. It is so tasty.
If I could have ONLY ONE pair of shoes, which would it be? Either my Ugg boots (I know some of you hate these but the people who hate them are people who have never tried them on, in my opinion. They are SO comfy!) or my new pair of black wedges. I like both a lot.
What’s your version of the ONLY ONE game?
Friday, October 09, 2009
October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month and I want to help observe it by posting about domestic violence every Friday. One in four American women are abused by their dating partner or intimate partner during their lifetime. This is a tough issue for many people, but it is beneficial for everybody to know the warning signs, the statistics, and the consequences of domestic violence because it truly touches all of us. You most likely know someone who has experienced violence, but you may not know it yet. This month I hope to write about the warning signs of a violent relationship, what to do if you know someone in a violent relationship, and how the legal world helps victims.
This week, I want to post statistics about domestic violence.
- In 1995, a study showed that 25% of American women had been raped or sexually assaulted by a spouse, former spouse, intimate partner, dating partner, or roommate.
- In 2000, 1,247 women and 440 men were killed by their partner.
- In 2000, an intimate partner killed about 1/3 of female murder victims.
- 13% of females have been a victim of rape during their lifetime
- 29% of rape victims are raped by non-relatives, but by neighbors or other acquaintances.
- 600,000-800,000 people are trafficked across international borders every year.
Thursday, October 08, 2009
Tonight is the big game against Nebraska!
My college town is literally shutting down for this game tonight. It will be on ESPN.
Here is some information about the Missouri/Nebraska rivalry. Any good little Missourian knows that Nebraska is our least favorite team when it comes to football.
Go Tigers, fight for old Mizzou!!!
Wednesday, October 07, 2009
Paco absolutely loves David. Here is a video of Paco's reaction to David's lifting the garage door when David gets home (somehow he knows that it is him...he does not get this excited for anybody else)!
Tuesday, October 06, 2009
This weekend I went to Kansas City to visit my friend Jancin (left). My friend Colleen and I had a wonderful time! We certainly had a weekend full of food. The first night we were there we went to Brio on the Plaza, where we all enjoyed seafood pasta. After that we went to Sheridan's frozen custard and then to a wine bar, where we all sampled white wines.
After shopping and our usual trip to Bob Evans for breakfast on Saturday, we savored a meal at Zest, another delicious restaurant near Jancin's house. I had paella with several types of seafood, including mussels, clams, and lobster. It was fantastic! I really love trying new restaurants.
Overall we had a wonderful weekend full of laughing and fun times.
Monday, October 05, 2009
I can't wait to post about my fun weekend of eating in Kansas City, but for now I will let you know my Menu Monday!
Monday: pork loin with a baked potato
Tuesday: crispy fish and broccoli
Friday: homemade pizza
Thursday, October 01, 2009
Paco is terrified of storms and it has been raining here all morning. Last night he got on my pillow and shivered for hours. He seems to be doing a little better, but for the last half hour he's been sitting here, looking scared:
(P.S. I know that four of my readers have pictures on my fridge that are visible in this picture! Can you find yourself or your family?)