Domestic Violence Advocate, Social Activist, Consultant & Entertainment Producer

Posts tagged “domestic violence

Believe, Work, Love: You Are Capable!

The hardest thing for a survivor of domestic violence, women and men, to do is to walk away.  The desire to love and to be loved is such a driving force for all of us that many people are willing to sacrifice themselves at the hands of an abuser.  There are people who will love you and leave you, only be there temporarily and just long enough to get what they want whether it’s physically, emotion…ally, sexually, financially, with no real intention of trying to build a future, or who have a goal to simply control and destroy you, and not respect you.  Our society must wake up to this reality because we live in a time of casual hookups where one person is optimistically, positively hoping for/expecting more than what the other person is CAPABLE of giving because of poor upbringing, addictions, self hatred, self doubt.  Whatever thing or person is keeping you bound, let it go and BELIEVE in healthy possibilities.  BELIEVE that you can love yourself without the affirmation of another person and WORK on loving yourself.  Then, carefully search for that person who will LOVE you and love themselves too.” 


Thought: Just Because You Don’t Hit Doesn’t Mean You’re Not Abusive

Just because you don’t hit your intimate partner doesn’t mean you’re not abusive.  The mainstream perception of domestic violence, family violence is all wrong.  I’ve had plenty of men, for example, say I would never lift a hand to a woman but abuse begins in the most basic manner, psychologically.  We have to understand that our dealings with each other, the level of common courtesy, responsiveness, compassion, respect are the building blocks to relationships and most certainly healthy, intimate relationships.  Many women and men are holding on to that thread of hope that the person they love will change but if you’re with someone who is disrespectful early on in the relationship, that’s a clear warning sign to remove yourself from the relationship before you’re in too deep.   Breaking promises, convenient forgetfulness and excuses, neglect are all forms of psychological abuse.  Let’s stop looking at domestic violence as merely a physical manifestation.  It’s a problem that manifests mentally or begins in the mind.  #ChangeYourPerception

DVWMT Talkshow Present ” From Brokenness to Boldness Interviews” Hosted by QueenAfi

Lyn was a featured guest on Domestic Violence Wears Many Tags Talkshow

hosted by Queen Afi Gaston

http://www.talkshoe.com/talkshoe/web/talkCast.jsp?masterId=83271&cmd=tc

Air date :  January 7, 2014

DVWMT Talkshow Present " From Brokenness to Boldness Interviews" Hosted by QueenAfi


Sydney Harrison’s “Soul Searcher”

Sydney Harrison’s “Soul Searcher” will definitely cause you to search your own soul!

Soul Searcher - a book by Sydney Harrison

Soul Searcher – a book by Sydney Harrison

Approximately 400,000 children are in foster care on any given day (1) and approximately only 120,000 children are adopted each year in the United States (2) .  How would you feel if you were one of these children?  Or perhaps you are or were.  Soul Searcher is the touching and resilient story of one man’s courage to unravel his humbling and, to most, devastating beginnings, and future.  Soul Searcher brings enlightening meaning to the saying ‘Love yourself’ and gives us an honest insight into personal transformation.

Readers who know the pains of displacement or have been infused in the race debate of stereotypes will find their own familiar, personal, inner thoughts penned in the pages of Soul Searcher.  Sydney’s story will also move you from tears to a sense of triumph as he takes the reader through his abandonment shortly after birth, his quest to fit into society as a bi-racial youth in a racist community, and witnessing the unbroken spirit of abused and HIV infected children in Africa.

Soul Searcher is a glimpse into the life of one man, a life that says it is possible to overcome the odds if you’re willing to search your own soul, and to open up to the world around you and to  the Creator.  I recommend this book to anyone who wants a deeper, more personal understanding of what it means to find purpose for one’s own life.

For more information about this book, visit www.sydneyharrisononline.com www.soulsearcherbook.com or Amazon. You can also connect with Sydney Harrison on Facebook.

Sydney Harrison, Author and Community Activist

Sydney Harrison, Author and Community Activist

http://www.childrensrights.org/issues-resources/foster-care/facts-about-foster-care/

http://www.aacap.org/AACAP/Families_and_Youth/Facts_for_Families/Facts_for_Families_Pages/The_Adopted_Child_15.aspx


Lyn Twyman and The National Domestic Violence Registry on Fox News

This morning, I had the opportunity to be interviewed by Heather Childers of Fox News Live on the cost of domestic violence and about one of my organizations, the National Domestic Violence Registry (NDVR). The mission of NDVR is to be an on-line, national resource that will aid in the awareness and prevention of domestic and family violence by posting the convictions of domestic abuse perpetrators and those offenders who have long term criminal orders of protections placed against them, and to provide comprehensive education about technology based programs, prevention, safety, and intervention models relating to domestic violence.

With the team of partners and endorsements that we have from folks like Russel BlakeAshley Judd and New York State Women, Inc., we are seeing the public’s growing acknowledgement that something more must be done to prevent and intervene in this epidemic we call domestic violence.

Watch the video at http://video.foxnews.com/v/1127127727001/cost-of-domestic-violence/


The Call for More Men

by Lyn Twyman 

Recently I had the opportunity to co-present a workshop at the National Organization for Women’s (NOW) annual conference in Tampa, FL. The workshop was about how survivors of domestic violence could be resilient after experiencing abuse. I shared my own personal story of resiliency, what that means for me as a survivor of child abuse and intimate partner violence, and coping techniques. After my presentation, participants in the workshop shared their experiences and their own heartfelt stories of triumph over abuse.

During the entire NOW conference, hundreds of feminist women, and men, gathered during that weekend to discuss issues affecting women and families in this country and around the world. Men like Barry Goldstein, activist and battered mothers advocate, and Ben Atherton-Zeman, spokesperson of the National Organization for Men Against Sexism, only to name a few, represented that segment of male society who fight for the equality of women, protection of children, and the declination of the age old, destructive misogynist ways of thinking. They were welcomed speakers among a sea of activist women.

Whether you agree with all that NOW as an organization represents, one thing I saw was their ability to engage men in the conversation of solutions to ensure a progressive future for both women. All movements start from one point but in order to be sustainable, they must be willing to adapt and grow into a progressive effort that meets the needs of society in modern times. Among many great initiatives, that is one initiative NOW is managing to do.

Often when we talk about social ills like domestic violence, sexual assault and child abuse, we speak in terms of how they affect women. And women are often the ones to carry the torch to create support and resources for survivors. There are more women representing these issues too like there are women flooding church pews. There is an overwhelming unleveled scale of women compared to men on these serious issues that require the participation of men, the imperative engagement of men both young and old.

If we want to see a drastic shift take place in the way society views domestic violence, sexual assault and child abuse, men can no longer be side line participants in the conversations and there must be an active recruitment to engage well intentioned men to ally alongside women who have taken these issues by the bridle to see effectual change take place.

We also need to pay closer attention to how misogyny has damaged men and has failed male victims. The misperception that as a man you should tough it up if you are assaulted, or that you can just take it and move on has drove countless men to live lives that are less than fulfilling, lives filled with denial, depression, addiction, abuse and yes, like many women re-victimization. We also do ourselves a disservice when we alienate men from our lives, when we fail to acknowledge their role in helping to create solutions. We also poison our posterity when we allow rhetoric and misogynist imagery to permeate our mainstream society, from both men and women, and do nothing about. I am talking about the men and women who portray both sexes like nothing more than sexual objects.

There are many men that want to get involved and fight alongside women to help bring change, despite what negative they have been taught by their fathers or society. Unfortunately some of them have been turned away by women who failed to recognize the need for change and allow men to take part in the solution with programs and services.

So take the time to look at your work and find ways to increase the engagement and participation of men. Men are a vital part of the equation to solving women’s issues and issues that are perceived to be just women’s issues. There are countless positive, inspiring, spirit filled men out there that are crusaders for protection and seekers of justice. The issues that often begin with female victims affect all of us. So be a part of that progressive change and embrace the men who raise their hands and ask, ‘How can I as a man help?’

Lyn Twyman is Founder of Courage Network and the host of the weekly radio show Courage Empowerment Forum. Lyn is also the Deputy Director of the National Domestic Violence Registry.

The Defeatist Attitude of the Domestic Violence Movement: The Need for Prevention

Originally posted on Time’s Up

By Lyn Twyman

There’s a defeatist attitude in the domestic violence movement in this country.  There are several state coalitions and organizations that instead of coming together and finding solutions, they bicker, whine and complain about why things aren’t working.  They are keeling over in the wallow of despair and have become more concerned with the continuous band aid remedy instead of writing a prescription (words in part by Susan Murphy-Milano) for the domestic violence epidemic.  They lack the utilization of prevention, intervention and technology to keep victims and the public at large safe.  As a result, newer, more comprehensive methods like the Mosaic Method, The Evidentiary Abuse Affidavit, and now the National Domestic Violence Registry are being embraced in growing numbers throughout the United States in response to the lack of prevention in this country.

Recently I spoke with the executive director of one of the largest state domestic violence coalitions in the country.  Within the first minute of phone introductions, the executive director was almost hollering at the top of her voice at this mild mannered, gracious advocate.  Her voice was filled with anger and a heaviness of breath as if she was about to explode.   I am a survivor of domestic violence and I made that very clear to her in our conversation, not some person who is far removed from this issue.  That didn’t matter to her, however.  Her words to me were, “Most of us are survivors so that’s neither here nor there.”  Ladies and gentlemen, these were the words of the leader of an organization whose mission is to help victims of domestic violence!  And what was she so upset about?  She was upset at the fact that she returned my call to discuss The National Domestic Violence Registry and desire to engage in a friendly dialogue of solutions to the problem of domestic violence.  After all, her organization came highly recommended from several sources.  Never did I think that she would become an angry individual over the phone in just a matter of seconds.

The executive director proceeded to make comments like a sex offender registry was better than a domestic violence registry, that victims will end up in the registry, that a registry will cost millions of dollars, that a domestic violence registry won’t work!  But I’d like to publicly rebut those comments here:

No. 1 For any domestic violence advocate to deny her own cause and minimize victims is appalling and a sick tragedy to the movement of helping crime victims especially, in this case, domestic violence.

No. 2 The National Domestic Violence Registry has created a model where we encourage the states to take a greater look at repeat offender records.

No. 3 Domestic violence is causing this country billions of dollars each year in just its aftermath alone.  Millions of dollars is nothing compared to the billions that are wasted on cleaning up the gruesome battlefield.  As the saying goes, ‘An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.’  There’s no price tag that can be placed on any person’s life.

No. 4 A domestic violence registry, just like any program, will work if it’s run effectively.  There are many coalitions and organizations that have programs now that aren’t effective.  So to that executive director, her statement was one of a curious, eyebrow raising sort, not a resilient, hopeful one.  And aren’t we to be positive change makers if we are to continue to help victims survive this battlefield?

Why aren’t some of these coalitions focusing more on prevention with the funding and man power that they currently have? I believe it’s because many organizations, like the sounds of that executive director, are simply burned out, defeated by working in a system for 15 to 30 years.  Additionally, to that executive director, she mentioned carrying the frustration at going through domestic violence records, finding it hard to determine who the real victims are.  But frustration will get us NO WHERE.  What she has managed to do is to become so desensitized that to me the evidence of compassion burnout has dominated her speech and rationale. Change is not too much to ask for those who are living in the nightmare of domestic violence or for those who have lost a loved one to it.

Many people said the sex offender registry would not work but it does work, and it’s very telling when an executive director for one of the largest domestic violence coalitions says that a sex offender registry is better than a domestic violence registry, again denying her own cause.  Why are advocates like this ED giving up and even discriminating against the very people they’re paid to help.  Why are they choosing to fight against the legislatures that are trying to help them and others in the community?   We all know that help is hard to find these days and it seems that victim services are being stale mated in part by the very people who say they want to help.  So we are truly at a sad state right now in this country because of this unhealthy mentality.   Talk about unhealthy relationships, there are unhealthy mentalities within the domestic violence movement and it’s quite sickening.  According to Benjamin Lichtenwalner, founder of Modern Servant Leader, he writes, “frustration is a sign that you may be focused on yourself and not the needs of others. Therefore, as a leader in you[r] organization, frustration should be a warning sign to you as well. When you feel frustrated, remember your calling as a leader to serve those you lead, first.”  Leaders of domestic violence organizations should work extra hard to avoid letting frustration overtake them as to avoid lashing out at strangers and fellow advocates so solutions to helping victims can be created and more prevention takes place in this country.

Had the executive director not chosen to lash out at me, maybe she would have learned more about The National Domestic Violence Registry and all of the wonderful educational models and programs we promote, created by survivors, survivors of lost loved ones, and even leading experts.  Her assumptions were wrong and quite closed minded, a ‘Let’s cut her off at the chase because it’s either my way or the high way’ thought process, no respect for the person she chose to call back.  But as I told that executive director, domestic violence registries are not going away, and instead of working with the states, organizations, and survivors that want to see change in this way, organizations like hers are fighting against women and men that want more preventative solutions.  Like I said, it’s time to stop putting band aids on the problem and start writing prescriptions.

There are thousands and thousands of repeat offenders of domestic violence each year including misdemeanor and felonious civil and criminal offenders.   These are the ones who belong in the registry.  Yes, it’s a given that some state laws have to be changed, but the assumption on the part of some domestic violence coalitions and organizations who just continue to make excuses against prevention models, instead of saying ‘How can we make this work?’, is getting quite old and more and more people are dying to domestic violence.  And it’s not necessarily that all of those said orgs just don’t want change, it’s that they’re afraid and stuck on old ways of thinking.  And yes, some of them are afraid of losing funding.

The realities that victims face today include modern day complications that require modern day solutions.  The domestic violence movement has progressed but there are some that are stuck back in time 15 years ago, advocate organizations and law makers alike.  That’s why it’s important to work together, not go on the attack at survivors, organizations and legislatures who finally decide to speak up. This crabs in a barrel, defeatist attitude feeds the abusers and re-victimizes the victims.  It doesn’t empower the victims into becoming survivors nor help the families that have lost loved ones.  It doesn’t help in shattering the silence of domestic violence.  The sad thing about it is, this defeatist attitude will continue to keep all of us in a losing battle if we don’t create and implement more preventative solutions very soon.  There’s no more time for the domestic violence field to poke its mouth out and pout any longer.

So to the women and male survivors, to the children survivors, to the elderly survivors, to the disabled survivors, to the LGBT survivors, and to the families and friends that grieve everyday for lost loved ones, I say this to you, you are not forgotten.  The National Domestic Violence Registry and its partners will not bear a defeatist attitude.  We have a team of experts and supporters that want to see change and we welcome EVERYONE with an idea on how to make prevention stronger in this country.

They said ending slavery was a bad idea.  They said desegregation was a bad idea.  They said the feminist movement was a bad idea.  They said The National Sex Offender Registry was a bad idea.  So let’s end the slavery of domestic violence, the fear that causes even coalition executive directors to lash out at those they say they have committed to serve.  The National Domestic Violence Registry and public state registries aren’t bad; they are indeed good and to the benefit of the public at large.

Domestic violence is the number 1 killer of women in this country.  We all have the right to know if someone is a repeat domestic abuse offender.  It’s better to find out in order to prevent the assault from occurring again than to lie over a casket and cry aloud to the high heavens ‘I wish he/she had known’.  And yes, a registry will be a deterrent against repeat offenders.  The evidence won’t be in more deaths, it will be in people becoming more aware of repeat offenders, the seriousness of these offenses, and making more informed decisions. This will logically result in fewer deaths.  So the time is here; the time is now.  Don’t talk about why something can’t work; talk about why it will work and save lives.

And now I’d like to leave you with this.  The Japanese have a bond of unity, a tradition called “ittai,” which means to become one body.  In the midst of national crises, they have learned to organize themselves and support each other without little instruction from the government or outside interception.   Domestic violence is one of our country’s national crises.  The domestic violence field can take a big lesson from the Japanese and practice some “ittai”.

WATCH THE VIDEO!

http://abcnews.go.com/assets/player/walt2.6/flash/SFP_Walt_2_65.swf


Modern Day Slavery: Courage Empowerment Forum Welcomes Rob Morris, Co-founder and President of Love146

It is estimated that human trafficking generates about $32 billion a year. The number of child victims of trafficking and exploitation throughout the world are too much to fathom, with 2 children being sold every minute.

In 2002, Rob Morris and a host of others founded Love146, an organization dedicated to ending the trafficking and sexual exploitation of children through prevention and aftercare programs.

Rob went undercover to a Southeast Asia brothel, a visit that revealed the cruelty and dangers young girls face in human trafficking. This experience changed Rob and his colleagues, compelling them onto a crusade to help children around the world subjected by this dark side of humanity.

Love146 as an organization has been named an “Agent of Change” by GQ Magazine. They also received a Myspace Impact Award for Social Justice.

Tune in Tuesday, May 17th at 9 PM Eastern, 6pm Pacific to www.party934.com, 94.9 FM Hudson Valley, NY to hear Rob Morris, co-founder and president of Love146 as we talk about modern day slavery.

Visit Love146’s site www.love146.org.

You can listen to previous broadcasts of Courage Empowerment Forum by, visitingwww.courageempowermentforum.com

Join Courage Empowerment Forum on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/pages/Courage-Empowerment-Forum-Party934-Radio/189361497744391?v=wall

also on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/courageempower


Sports, Family, Faith and Fitness: Courage Empowerment Forum Welcomes Kimberli Russell of VH1’s Basketball Wives, Wife of Retired NBA Player Bryon Russell, Owner of Faith N Fitness, Board Member of the Non-profit WOVA

Kimberli Russell is an amazing woman.  She is the wife of now retired NBA player Bryon Russell and a mother to 3 lovely children. She placed her career goals aside to be a stay-at-home mom and to support one of the greatest shooting guards ever in the NBA. Now she is a cast member of VH1’s Basketball Wives, Season 2, with executive producer Shaunie O’ Neal.

But the dynamics of Kimberli doesn’t stop there! This educated, bright, spirited woman believes in empowerment. As a philanthropist she gives back to children and women affected by abuse. As a board member of Women of Vision Alliance (WOVA), founded by Bernadette Holder, she is furthering the empowerment of women and helping to strengthen their vision and she also hosts a program call WOVA Cafe on Blogtalk Radio.  Additionally, healthy living is a major part of her life and she is helping others achieve that as the Owner of Faith N Fitness: Mind, Body and Soul as a life and fitness coach.

Tune in Tuesday, April 26th at 9 PM Eastern, 6pm Pacific to www.party934.com, 94.9 FM Hudson Valley, NY to hear Kimberli Russell of VH1’s Basketball Wives and Owner of Faith N Fitness for this broadcast of inspiration.

Visit Kimberli’s website at www.kimberlirussell.com.

You can listen to previous broadcasts of Courage Empowerment Forum by, visitingwww.courageempowermentforum.com

Join Courage Empowerment Forum on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/pages/Courage-Empowerment-Forum-Party934-Radio/189361497744391?v=wall

also on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/courageempower


The Impact of Domestic Violence and HIV/AIDS: Courage Empowerment Forum Welcomes Donna Savage, Author of The Blood and Tears of Domestic Violence, Executive Director of Domestic Violence and AIDS Mission of New Jersey

At the age of 16, Donna Savage left home and got married with the hopes of a better life. She did not imagine that her new husband would become her abuser for nearly twenty years. At the near end of her divorce, she was urged by her lawyer to write about her experiences in what became her first book titledThe Blood and Tears of Domestic Violence: A Survivor’s Revelation. Writing her debut book proved to be a struggle as she unraveled flooded memories of years of violence. It was until a tragedy that occured in the life of a friend that jolted Donna to move past the pain and forced her memoir’s completion.

Donna is also the founder of The Domestic Violence and AIDS Mission of New Jersey, a faith based organization serving those affected by domestic violence and AIDS. It’s also the home of the first abusers helpline called the National 24 Hour Abuser Hotline.

Tune in Tuesday, April 19th at 9 PM Eastern, 6pm Pacific to www.party934.com, 94.9 FM Hudson Valley, NY to hear Donna Savage, author and founder of The Domestic Violence and AIDS Mission of New Jersey for this enlightening program about abuse and healing.

Visit Donna’s websites at www.donnasavagepublishing.com and www.dvamnj.org.

Gerard M. Williams, Gospel Vocalist

Gerard M. Williams is a multi-talented gospel vocalist and guitarist. He has a strong, mature voice that truly compliments the message he spreads of love and hope in his spirited gospel tracks. What you hear on his album is what you get in live performances, a truly passionate and gifted artist. His sound will not let you down; his poetic lines are inspiring and uplifting. He is destined be one of the next great gospel performers, ‘I don’t want to wait on someone else to do it for me…I have a purpose to get my music out and the faith that it will happen….Music is my ministry, and to spread it is what I am commissioned to do.”

www.gerardmwilliams.com

Bio

Gerard M Williams has established a strong local following in the Triangle region of North Carolina, and his following is expanding rapidly across the country via access to the internet…

Singing since the age of 4 Gerard knew that his roots would be in gospel music, the music of TRUTH. Growing up in the city of Durham, North Carolina, home of two of the biggest names in gospel music, Shirley Caesar and John P. Kee; Gerard knew he had big footsteps to follow. Likewise, he knew he had wonderful examples to pattern himself after in all aspects of the gospel music industry from song selection to performance, from writing to publishing, from studying to living the life he sings about. Now he is ready to share all that he has learned with the masses. …

Lastly as a member of his high schools honor chorus, Spartan Song, Gerard was afforded the opportunity to sing for the US Secretary of State on national television. Following high school, Gerard was accepted into the coveted Berklee College of Music in Boston, Massachusetts. After enrolling at Berklee he became a part of an auditioned Gospel group called “Overjoyed.” With Overjoyed, he traveled to and performed in Switzerland. One of his highest achievements while at Berklee was being a part of the biggest vocal show that Berklee has to offer in which he was selected 1 of 8 performers in a show that well over 100 vocalists had auditioned for.

In addition to all of his scholastic musical endeavors, Gerard always remained close to his gospel roots in his home church and choir. As a result had the opportunity to tour with his church choir throughout England including, London and Durham. These events and his season of preparation eventually lead to Williams having the opportunity to sing background with such gospel greats as Tremaine Hawkins, and Dennis Montgomery. Gerard has had the opportunity to minister to literally thousands as a member of the Shirley Caesar Outreach Ministries Conference choir as well as being showcased in the nightly services more recently he has been showcased at the singers and musicians conference hosted by Dr. Dorinda Clark Cole of the Legendary Clark Sisters. He has had also had the opportunity to be showcased at the Gospel Music Workshop of America.

Working on his debut release consisting of Gospel, Inspirational and Soul tracks, Gerard hopes he will capture a new audience that will have the opportunity to experience the soul stirring voice that many of his other loyal listeners have become accustomed with. Writing songs since the age of 12 Gerard has been focused on writing conscious music that listeners will be able to embrace. Songs like “So Glad” ,Hurting People and “Walk Out Of The Rain” evoke feelings of hope and determination and the calming worship rendition of “Blessed Be the Lord” show many sides of diversity in Gerard’s music, which speaks of Hope, eternal salvation, and Love  With his eyes poised on a lasting recording career, the formal training to go forth, complete submission to the will of GOD and the drive and goal to succeed, Gerard M Williams is sure to become a name that will be synonymous with gospel music for years to come. You can read Gerard’s full bio by visiting his www.gerardmwilliams.com.

You can listen to previous broadcasts of Courage Empowerment Forum by, visiting www.courageempowermentforum.com

Join Courage Empowerment Forum on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/pages/Courage-Empowerment-Forum-Party934-Radio/189361497744391?v=wall

also on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/courageempower


When the Law Fails to Serve and Protect: Courage Empowerment Forum Welcomes Author Rosa Torres

What happens when the one you vow to love betrays  you through abuse?  What would you do if you go to seek the help of law enforcement, only to find out there is no help because the one you love is law enforcement?  Rosa Torres was faced with those decisions when she met a man over 20 years ago that became her husband who was  a police officer. Their relationship with violence resulted in her receiving severe, physical battering.  Rosa found herself facing a system that became numb to her cries for help.  Rosa’s retelling of years living with domestic violence in her memoir Abuse Hidden Behind the Badge is a message of “self-affirmation and love of one’s self-worth” and a “remarkable reminder that hope is the entity that will prevail in life’s darkest moments,” according to Anthony P. Johnson, Philadelphia political candidate.

Tune in Tuesday, March 29th at 9 PM Eastern, 6pm Pacific to www.party934.com, 94.9 FM Hudson Valley, NY to hear Rosa Torres, author of Abuse Hidden Behind the Badge and learn more about her heroing story.  We will also play various music selections throughout the hour.

Visit Author Rosa Torres’s website at http://torrespublishing.com

You can listen to previous broadcasts of Courage Empowerment Forum by, visitingwww.vimeo.com/courageempowermentforum or www.lyntwyman.com/Radio.html

Join Courage Empowerment Forum on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/pages/Courage-Empowerment-Forum-Party934-Radio/189361497744391?v=wall

also on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/courageempower


Shalanda Moten on Courage Empowerment Forum, Featuring the Music of Natalie Brown

 

February is National Teen Dating Violence and Awareness Month.  Is your teenager safe with their dating partner?  How well do you know who they are dating?  Do you know even know that they are dating?  According to a study from 2006, about one in 11 teens reports being a victim of physical dating abuse each year.  What happens in the relationships of teens can be fun and exciting but what happens can also be dangerous.

In this week’s broadcast of Lyn Twyman’s Courage Empowerment Forum on www.party934.com, 94.9 FM Hudson Valley, NY, Lyn’s special guest is Shalanda Moten, founder and executive director of the Dating Violence Prevention Center.  We’ll discuss with Shalanda what inspired her to create her organization and the programs they offer to help young women and the community prevent dating violence.  We’ll also learn more about the “My Boyfriend Rocks Campaign”.  This program is a must hear for all parents of young people who are dating or on the cusp of dating.

Go to the link and listen live every Tuesday night at 9pm ET!  www.party934.com

To listen to previous broadcasts, visit www.vimeo.com/courageempowermentforum or www.lyntwyman.com/Radio.html

Join Courage Empowerment Forum on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/pages/Courage-Empowerment-Forum-Party934-Radio/189361497744391?v=wall

also on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/courageempower

Visit Lyn Twyman’s site at http://www.lyntwyman.com

 

About Shalanda Moten:

Shalanda Moten currently serves as the Chief Executive Officer for the Dating Violence Prevention Center. As such, she has extensive experience working with non-profits in all aspects of management, programming, and community development. Her specialty areas include (a) clinical research, (b) crisis intervention, (c) prevention services, and (d)psychoeducational groups. Moreover, her appointments include service to Liz Claiborne’s Love is Not Abuse (LINA) Coalition, Start Strong Atlanta at the Jane Fonda Center, Ending Violence Against Women (EVAW): The HBCU Project, Communities in Schools Atlanta, Gwinnett Children’s Shelter, Grady Rape Crisis Center, and Hands on Atlanta Americorps.

Furthermore, Ms. Moten is currently pursuing her Ed.D. in Counseling Psychology from the American School of Professional School Psychology, and previously earned a Bachelors of Art in Psychology from Spelman College, and a Masters of Art in Community Counseling from the Georgia School of Professional Psychology. She has received formal academic training in the areas of Brief Psychotherapy, Cognitive-Behavioral, Behavioral, Existential, Interpersonal, Gestalt, Transactional Analysis, and Constructivist Therapy. Finally, her research interests are as follows: (a) dating violence, (b) date and acquaintance rape, (c) eating disorders, (d) self-mutilation, and (e) female genital mutilation.

http://www.datingviolence.org/

Featured Independent Music Artist and Song

Natalie Brown
Pop/Blue-eyed Soul/R&B – Vocalist & Songwriter

 

Born in Canada, Natalie Brown’s passion for music was nurtured from a young age by her involvement in theater, gospel music, creative writing and local session work as a vocalist and writer. Upon deciding to pursue a professional music career, she moved to California and was selected to sing with internationally acclaimed Gospel recording artist Ron Kenoly during his “Welcome Home” tour in 1996. She toured around the USA and upon returning to California, Natalie studied with world-renowned vocal instructors Seth Riggs (Stevie Wonder, Tevin Campbell, Deborah Cox) and Dave Stroud (Terry Ellis of En Vogue, Rosie Gaines).

Natalie’s debut album was released in late 2000 and contained thirteen original songs. Created with a thoughtful range of subject matter, tempo and mood throughout the album, “Let The Candle Burn” was enthusiastically welcomed by fans and industry personnel alike. She painted an interesting tapestry of sound on an album that included carefree, upbeat tracks, mid-tempo chillout songs and sweet soulful ballads.

Natalie returned to the studio to record the 2003 Holiday album entitled “A Cool Christmas”, a 10 song Cool R&B/Pop influenced collection of Holiday favorites. The album included the beloved “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas”, the soaring chime of “Silver Bells” and the quietly understated “I’ll Be Home For Christmas”. Natalie pulled Ray Charles’ “Christmas Time” out of the archives and gave it a light, airy spin that served the tune well. Up-tempo numbers included a Swing infused “Let It Snow” and a contemporary pairing of “Winter Wonderland” and “Sleigh Ride”. A mellow-groove rendition of “Give Love on Christmas Day” rounded out the sure-to-please Holiday offering.

In the Spring of 2004 the digital singles ‘I Wonder’ and ‘Queen of Me’ were made available on Natalie’s official site. The songs garnered tremendous attention and In July 2004, ‘Queen of Me’ was released by Avex, Inc. Japan on the “Soul Essentials 7″ series with songs by Rahsaan Patterson, Earth, Wind & Fire and others.

Much to the delight of fans eagerly awaiting new material, January 30th, 2009 saw the release of the long awaited sophomore album “Random Thoughts”. The album features a selection of songs with varying themes (Natalie’s Random Thoughts) that range from the inspiring “Hold Your Head Up High”, the girl power anthem “Queen of Me” and the uplifting “It’s A Beautiful Day”, to the thought provoking “What’s Going on Next Door?”, the unity rallying call of “Come Closer”, the sultry “How I Love 2 Love U”, the soulful “You’re Mysterious” and signature love ballad “I Knew You Were The One”, and more.
Natalie has actively been licensing her music for Film/TV and Commercial placements for the past 7 years. She’s had music placed on every major North American cable network and premium television programs across the globe. A partial listing of domestic placements can be found on her website.
Natalie currently resides in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Other than music, she enjoys reading, creating custom jewelry, mentoring other artists, watching movies, hanging out on Twitter and shopping.

Official Web Site: www.natalie-brown (natalie DASH brown DOT com)
Twitter: www.twitter.com/Natalie_Brown (Natalie UNDERSCORE Brown)
Facebook: www.facebook.com/NatalieBrownMusic
MySpace: www.myspace.com/NatalieBrown


Elin Stebbins Waldal on Courage Empowerment Forum, Featuring the Music of Girls Against Abuse

A secret so painful forced one woman to write a book and reveal a secret to her children that she had kept from them for so long.  Elin was just 17 when she fell in love with an abusive man, a man who  ”whittled her down –with words, hands, and weapons –from a confident teen to the shadow of a woman.”

In this week’s broadcast of Lyn Twyman’s Courage Empowerment Forum, first time author Elin Stebbins Waldal will share with us the inspiration behind her newly released work Tornado Warning.  Tornado Warning is Elin’s memoir of teen dating violence and the effects it had on her life.  We’ll look at what made Elin reveal this secret and why she continues to spread the message of confidence to other young girls through her organization Girls kNOw More.

We’ll also be featuring the music of The Girls Against Abuse, the vision of Music Producer Jason Brawner who spent several years working with artists from the hit show, American Idol.

Go to the link and listen live Tuesday night at 9pm ET!  www.party934.com

To listen to previous broadcasts, visit www.vimeo.com/courageempowermentforum or www.lyntwyman.com/Radio.html

Join Courage Empowerment Forum on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/pages/Courage-Empowerment-Forum-Party934-Radio/189361497744391?v=wall

also on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/courageempower

Visit host Lyn Twyman’s site at http://www.lyntwyman.com

About broadcast guest Elin Stebbins Waldal

Elin Stebbins Waldal is a writer, a speaker, and the founder of Girls kNOw More, an organization whose mission is to help build confidence in middle-school-age girls.

Elin is the Love Is Not Abuse Coalition State Action Leader for California, which advocates for legislation that will require teen dating abuse curriculum in all middle schools, high schools and colleges.  She is also a regular presenter for Laura’s House, an Orange County resource for victims of domestic violence. She was recognized with an Honorable Mention Award in the World of Difference Category by The San Diego County Office of Education for speaking and educating high school students. Additionally, she is a California state certified domestic violence advocate.

She has contributed to The Courage Network, Safe World for Women, and She Writes on-line periodicals and also serves as a San Diego Examiner reporter on the subject of teen dating violence.

Elin lives in Southern California with her husband, three children, and their family dog.

 

Featured Independent Music Artist

The Girls Against Abuse

The “Girls Against Abuse” project is the vision of Music Producer Jason Brawner who spent several years working with artists from the hit show, American Idol. Through his many years of teaching the craft of songwriting and producing music, Jason discovered a disturbing trend of abuse and mistreatment in the lives of young women. Jason says,“Writing albums with singer/songwriters on a daily basis, I get to know them quite quickly. Far too often, I’m horrified encountering reoccurring themes of mistreatment and abuse in the lives of young women. Whether it comes from someone in their home or family, school, work, or a boyfriend, emotional and physical violence have critical effects on the victims.” What Jason has discovered working with the 70 percent of his artists that have been abused or mistreated unfortunately confirms these disturbing statistics:
  • 1 in 5 high school girls report experiencing teen dating violence.
  • Domestic violence kills and injures more girls/women than car accidents and cancer combined.
  • There were 10,088 Domestic violence crimes in Los Angeles County with 8,352 of those crimes involving a weapon in 2009, based on L.A. County Sheriff’s statistics.
On The Girls Against Abuse CD’s, options for action are encouraged in the words of the edgy heartfelt pop/rock songs sung by female artists who have made a commitment in their own lives to stand against all forms of mistreatment and abuse. The artists and producer all donate their own time for performances as well as their music for the CD’s that are available for a donation at events and on iTunes, as well as other online sites such as CDBaby.com.
The Girls Against Abuse has helped to raise awareness in the community through concerts, radio and television appearances, high school shows, fundraising and community events. Through their awareness campaign they have helped to raise over $7,000 over the past year and a half for violence prevention programs for youth, as well as community organizations and shelters that help families by providing parenting education and domestic violence services.
Their goal is to bring awareness through public performances and school events, to raise money for organizations that educate and support those in abusive situations and to provide CD’s with a positive message. Music is the universal “language” that has the ability to touch hearts…this positive music project’s aim is to help women and youth “Recognize, Resist and Recover” from abuse and mistreatment.http://www.thegirlsagainstabuse.com/


When Family and Friends Compromise Your Security

Many of us are brought up with the belief that we should be able to trust our family for everything, our safety, security, emotional and physical well being but for some of us, the family has proven to be the most hurtful and even most dangerous battle ground we will ever encounter. Survivors and family violence advocates can attest to this all the time, making it almost become a myth that the family is the safest environment. I’ve talked to many people who have shared their deep, painful pasts about loved ones, mothers, fathers, siblings and spouses who have betrayed them through abuse. When a family member abuses you, it becomes an unsettling, traumatic experience to say the least. We feel that we can no longer trust others and ask ourselves how can we ever trust others again?

So what happens if you ask for help or just mere moral support from a family member to get you through or even after the abuse, only for you to learn they too cannot be trusted, that they actually went to the abuser and disclosed private information about you? At that point you don’t know all that has been said but through some event, you learn that this once trusted family member has indeed betrayed your trust and with the abuser of all people. This revelation burns at your core and eats away at you, perhaps making you feel vulnerable. It makes you wonder if they ever believed you in the first place. It re-victimizes you.

Whether the offending family member ever believed the abuse did occur or not does not matter at this point. You now have an obligation to yourself to remain physically and emotionally safe from any further abuse. You also have to wonder how many people have lost their lives to abusers, not because the system failed but because family members failed and failed miserably, either by calling the abuser, writing them or even befriending them on social media sites, disclosing personal information about you. What I have found about people who are so willing to go to abusers, and violate your trust as the victim, is they are often susceptible at being manipulated and victimized as well. In this case, they have been manipulated by the abuser, charmed into gaining the abuser’s trust so the abuser can acquire more information about you. All the abuser wants to do is continue his bondage and control over you and the family member is allowing themselves to be used as a tool.

Abusers rarely stop abusing; they rarely stop victimizing and abuse is like an addiction. If you take away the drug of abuse, all the abuser wants is to go back and abuse more. They get an adrenaline high from controlling and hurting the object of their abuse, the victim. Abusers never completely let go and let’s face it, someone who has lived their life in attempts to psychologically and physically control others isn’t just going to give it up. It’s an addiction.

So, as a survivor, you’ve worked hard to get away from this abusive person and you’re thrown this curve ball by a family member you thought you could trust who goes back to the abuser and discloses information about you, your whereabouts, address, pictures, updates on your lifestyle, work, new friends and acquaintances, etc. What do you do? How do you handle this? With all cards put aside, now you are left with a dynamic  shift in your relationship with the family member or even friend. There are four things I want to share that I believe may help you:

1. Remember your safety is first and foremost – When someone discloses personal information about you to the abuser, you can never guarantee from that point on what that person says is truth. You can only assume and assumptions are not good enough when it comes to your life. Take all necessary steps to find out as much as you can from the family member in terms of what they repeated back to the abuser. From there take the necessary actions to be extra cautious, either way. Change your phone number, email address, driving routes, ask for a schedule change at work if possible, increase security at your home or even move. You may have to notify a neighbor to be on the lookout for any suspicious activity and don’t neglect to notify your local police depending on the severity of your circumstance with the abuser.

2. Remember you have a right to your privacy that not even the police have the right to disclose your whereabouts – The family member who chose to share personal information about you has taken a liberty upon themselves that even the police nor a private investigator cannot do under law and that’s disclose someone’s whereabouts and other data without that person’s consent or without a court order. What the family member did was wrong and there is nothing that can justify it. Whether the breach in your privacy occurred because of their lack of judgment or because of malice does not matter. Again your safety is first and foremost beyond their motives.

3. Give a written warning and perhaps a verbal warning to the family member or friend – Let the family member know what they did was wrong, they are not to divulge personal information about you and if you have warned them before about your right to privacy, remind them again. State specifically, ‘I do not want you sharing my information to anyone about me without my consent, not even to people you believe I may know and not even to my abuser.’ Also let them know that if you are hurt as a result of their actions with the abuser or the abuser’s acquaintances, they can be held legally responsible for your endangerment.

4. Distance yourself from that family member or friend who breached your trust – It’s obvious they lack the necessary concern, discernment and care they need to have for your situation so again, for your safety, it may be more than wise to eliminate any further communication with the family member. As mentioned before, you may have to change your phone number, email, work schedule, etc.

The scars left behind by abusers run deep no matter if the abuse was physical or non-physical. NO ONE has the right to make any decision on your behalf, especially when it comes to your personal and private information. Be careful who you speak with and what you say to them or what you post online, even to family members. Know that your life, happiness and well being is precious and extremely valuable. No one has the right to take that away from you and you have rights even when it comes to family.


When Do Abusers Stop Abusing?

When do abusers stop abusing?  The answer is when they get good and ready to.  The choice to abuse another human being is a choice of the will just like any other decision in life.  For many abusers, it’s even one step further than a choice, it’s an actual addiction; an addiction to control another human being, an addiction to feel superior and an addiction to see another person suffer.  Just as some people are addicted to making others feel great about themselves, and we call these folks givers, there are some who are addicted to making other people feel awful by inflicting pain and we call them abusers.  The pain they inflict can come in many forms; it just depends on the choice or method they desire  to use.  Some abusers use verbal, others emotional, some psychological, some financial (like stealing money, scam artists, swindlers, controlling the money of those they love for ill intentions) and some are sexually and physically abusive.

Victims of abuse often find themselves in seemingly endless cycles, especially when the abuse is from an intimate partner or even a family member, debating whether they should leave or stay.  Some hope and pray that the abuser will change but the truth is, the abuser will only stop when they’ve had enough of the abusing themselves.  There’s no set time table and there’s no telling when they will make the choice to end the abuse, especially if the abuser is addicted to abusing or perhaps pathological to some extent.  Just like we who are caring individuals have free choice to make healthy, wholesome decisions in life, abusers choose to mistreat others (and that’s saying it gently).

So if you’re debating today whether you should leave a relationship with abuse, the answer is Yes but you need to have a safety plan.  Whenever the object of an abuser’s world is removed from them and if the abuse is an addiction to them, they will go after that “object”, You.  Remember, abuse is about control and when the abuser feels they have lost that control they will fight to get it back as no one in their good mind or bad mind wants to feel like they’ve lost control.  The way they “fight” back however is with battering and sometimes murder.

So I encourage you to visit the links below on safety planning.  It’s also best that you work with a local domestic violence advocate who can point you in the direction of resources like Confidentiality Programs.  They can also advise you of your rights in obtaining a restraining order against the abuser and where the closest safe houses are for you.

www.couragenetwork.com/information_for_victims_49.html

www.thehotline.org/get-help/safety-planning

Also, please watch the following video and learn more about how to further protect yourself and your family with the Evidentiary Abuse Affidavit at www.susanmurphymilano.com .

Vodpod videos no longer available.

You deserve to be happy and live a life where you are respected, loved and safe.  Don’t wait for your abuser to change because the truth is, they won’t anytime soon and more than likely never will.  Take the steps that you need for yourself and your family to move on and do it with a safety plan.


Dedicated to Those Who Still Have a Fighting Chance

It’s been almost 11 years ago that I met a beautiful young man who was dying of cancer at the tender age of 18.  I had heard about his struggle with cancer in the local newspaper and new that someone needed to reach out to him and his family.  I was working a full time job then so I asked my preacher at the time if he would pay this young man a visit and he promised me he would.  After 2 or 3 weeks had gone by, I learned that my preacher had not kept his word and I became livid.  ‘Why am I giving this man my tithe money when he can’t even get his ass in the car and visit someone who is sick as the rest of us are at work struggling to make a living?’ I thought.

I then made the decision to make the visit myself and I asked another church member, who knew the family of the young man, if she would go with me to visit them after I got off from work.  She agreed and in the cold and chill of December, we drove down an old, back country road to a white cottage in the darkness of the night out in the woods.  Once we arrived at the home, we were met by some of the friendliest of people, given the circumstances.  The new friend that I met that night, who I always call now my Charlie, was laying in the living room on his hospital bed, connected to a morphine pump as his source of pain relief and sustenance.

What happened that night I have never forgotten as I watched this young man, who did not have much left to his frail being, wake from his sleep  and he began speaking to me, though he couldn’t see me as the cancer had taken most of his sight.  We talked and I learned about his favorite instrument, his favorite sport, even his favorite flower.  I also prayed with him that night asking God to be by his side and Charlie received assurance that he would go to meet his Maker.  Minutes later, he drifted back to sleep but before he did, I gave him a red Bible.

Charlie died three days later on December 26th and after speaking with his mother after the funeral had taken place, I learned that he was buried with the same Bible I had given him.  I also learned from his mother that the visit I had paid him gave him renewed strength that she had not seen from him in a while.   He was a more cheerful person in his last three days, making mention of me several times and wanting to know where his Bible was.  On Christmas day, after weeks of not eating because of the effects from the morphine, he awoke asking to get dressed and ate his last meal ever with his family.  I didn’t know that the time I had left to reach him wasn’t that long.  I didn’t know that Charlie was on the verge of death the night we went to see him.  The local newspaper had minimized the state of his condition.

Just like my angel, Charlie, whose life was claimed by a gruesome disease called cancer, there are many victims of domestic violence who are also on the verge of death.  If you and I don’t get to them, don’t talk to them, don’t reach out to them soon, and just wait for other people and organizations to do the work when you and I are just as capable, then it just may be too late.  If we can save them or offer some kind of hope to help them move on and be empowered to take the next steps, then we’ve done our job.

I know my Charlie died, but he needed someone to come to him and give him some kind of hope as his fate was near.  For those who are being victimized by domestic violence, they still have a fighting chance, however, and that’s the point I want to get across today.

So I challenge all of us who are fighting for the rights of victims of domestic violence, sexual assault to crime victimization, please remember that each person deserves the help and support.  It’s not too late. Each person deserves to be kept safe from their abuser and out of harm’s way with whatever it takes.  Judges, prosecutors, police officers and advocates reading this, ask yourselves are your departments doing all they can do to protect victims?  Politicians and legislators, are you passing laws to keep victims safe or what’s holding you back from making the right decisions to protect your citizens?  Is it that one little clause in a bill that needs to be modified that’s preventing you from voting on it?  If so, then for Heaven’s sake come to a compromise, get it changed and pass that bill!  And family, friends, co-workers, what’s keeping you from talking to the person you love or know about getting help as they are being abused?

If all of us wait for the next guy to come around, just like the lazy preacher I once had, what we’re called to do by Divine Intervention, Providence or Karma will never happen.  So let’s take the time to make this coming holiday and new year a time to be more proactive in our fight for all of humanity.  There are some things we just know we must do that are right.  Someone needs you.  Don’t let anything hold you back.

~Dedicated to my Charlie.  Called home to be with his Maker December 26, 1999.~


Diary of a Single Mom – Season One: Episode 1 Life Raft

What an amazing web series! Robert Townsend’s “Diary of a Single Mom” should really have its own slot on regular television.  It’s a personal and true-to-life drama about the lives of three single mothers, one black, one Hispanic and one white grandmother.   The lives of these three women merge under one roof as all three of them rent their own apartment in one building.

Set in Southern California, this drama represents the multi-faceted struggles of single moms and single parents in general.  Financial problems, relationship problems, self esteem, addictions, problems with children, education and domestic violence, all issues are covered in this web series, brought to us by One Economy Corp., which is now already in it’s third season.

The website for Diary of a Single Mom is http://pic.tv/singlemom. Here’s the first episode and each one just gets even better.   Enjoy!

Vodpod videos no longer available.

 

What an amazing web series!  Robert Townsend’s “Diary of a Single Mom” should really have its own slot on regular television.  It’s a personal and true-to-life drama about the lives of three single mothers, one black, one Hispanic and one white grandmother.  The lives of these three women merge under one roof as all three of them rent their own apartment in one building.  Set in Southern California, this drama represents the multi-faceted struggles of single moms and single parents in general.  Financial problems, relationship problems, problems with children, education and domestic violence are all covered in this web series, brought to us by One Economy Corp., and is already now in it’s third season.

Here’s the first episode and each one just gets even better.  Enjoy!


Welcome to the Blog of Lyn Twyman, Advocate, Activist, Consultant & Entertainment Producer

Why do I do what I do?  Plainly and simply, it’s because there’s only one life to live and generations that need our wisdom and life experiences to make it.  Since I was a little girl, I’ve always been passionate about helping others.  Sometimes lack of economic and financial stability from growing up in a single parent, emotionally abusive home prevented a lot of that from happening, but it’s always been inside my heart.

Life is not always rosy; let’s face it and for some reason, God has allowed pain and suffering to coexist with pleasure and joy.  So my journey and why I do what I do is about how to make the most of this life in whatever is given to us.  From non-violence, to racial understanding , to protecting families of all kinds are my passions.

I want to send a special shout out in this first blog entry for all those who support Courage Network and are working to end domestic violence, to all of the survivors and family members.  You are also a part  of the reason of why I do what I do.