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Tuesday, December 31, 2013

No Excuse For Abuse




Before I get started on the subject for today's blog, I first want to thank all of my readers. You all are my inspiration. Thank you for always reading, commenting, and sharing. I believe that it is because of you that this blog was chosen and listed as one of the Top 101 domestic violence resources on Social Work Degree.Net. I cannot tell you how much that meant to me especially to be among the top domestic violence organizations and sites that even I look up too. I haven't written in a while so I did want to update you on that and again to say thank you.

Now, for the subject of today's post. I have been thinking about this topic a lot lately and it was really on my heart this morning. It is amazing to me how many excuses that I hear and read when it comes to the subject of domestic violence. So many times I read and hear that women and/or men deserved to be hit. Although we should not provoke one another to anger, violence is simply NOT the answer. Just because someone does something to else does not mean that we should retaliate.

It seems that somehow violence has become the norm especially when it comes to relationships. Often times people will say if their spouse cheated on them they would kill them or do some harm to them or even the person that they cheated with. Why is this OK? Violence is not the solution. No matter the cause or subject of the argument or disagreement, no matter the other persons actions, we should not be attacking our spouses, not even verbally.

The truth here is that there is NO EXCUSE FOR ABUSE. There is no justification for verbally, physically, spiritually, or even financially abusing someone. Most times abuse stems from wanting to be in control, because the abuser loses control then they turn to violence. I did not write this blog post to bash anyone, I just wanted to shed light on the situation because society has come to a point where we accept abuse and we look the other way. Abuse is not something that is acceptable. People die from abuse every day.

One of the most common DV scenarios is a person not wanting to be with their spouse and because the spouse cannot accept that, they turn the violence. The phrase " if I can't have you, then nobody else has" is not just something that is said in movies, it is said in many relationships everyday. My abuser said it to me.
There are many excuses that can be used, but that does not mean it is OK. Yes, it is very true that abusers, were probably abused while they were growing up or witnessed abused, but it is still not an excuse. Excuses are things that are used when we do not want to face the truth. It is time that we get some helped. If we witnessed abuse at a young age, which I can honestly say that I have then we should talk to somebody about it. Its okay to talk to somebody that you can trust.

I know how hurtful and damaging it can be to watch someone you love be hurt and to be hurt by someone you love. I find that most people turn to a negative solution when they do not have an outlet. As a survivor and an advocate, I want to be that outlet for people. I want to help people share their voice and their story so that they can heal, bringing healing to others, and so that together we can raise awareness. That is the reason why I started my organization F.A.C.E. I.T.(Faith Advocates Through Christ Individually & Together). I invite you to comment on this post, share your story, even to be a guest blogger on this blog if you like. I want to do my part in raising awareness for domestic violence and the causes that come along with it.

Thank you all in advance for reading this post. If you would like to contact me you can email me at nicolelofton@facingittoday.org or visit my website at http://www.facingittoday.org

Happy New Year

Nicole Lofton

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

A New Me Foundation, Inc. Hosts “Real Talk” Forum Fundraiser to Assist Victims of Domestic Violence

Grassroots non-for-profit, A New Me Foundation, Inc. seeks to empower women with a real talk forum hosted by Comedienne Buff Bay during Domestic Violence Awareness Month.




CHICAGO, September 23,2013--A New Me Foundation, Inc. presents "Real Talk Relationship Forum" hosted by Comedienne Rashida "Buff Bay" Lucas. Comedienne "Buff Bay" has been seen on Divorce Court, R & B Divas of Atlanta, Jokes n Notes, and the Laugh Factory. The forum is Saturday October 26, 2013 from 8:00pm-11:00pm at the Epic Luxury Boutique Chicago, IL. The forum serves as a fundraiser for A New Me Foundation, Inc. to continue to provide FREE services to victims, survivors, and their families who are affected by domestic violence. The event will include raffle prizes, refreshments, cocktails, and entertainment. A New Me Foundation invites everyone to come for an opportunity to enjoy an atmosphere of fun and empowerment.


A New Me Foundation, Inc. will host this forum during the month of October in observance of Domestic Violence Awareness Month. According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, "Domestic Violence Awareness Month evolved from the first Day of Unity observed in October, 1981 by the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence. The intent was to connect battered women's advocates across the nation who were working to end violence against women and their children. The Day of Unity soon became a special week when a range of activities were conducted at the local, state, and national levels'.



A New Me Foundation, Inc. founder, Felicia Simpson says, "Providing services to women in need is necessary. As a former victim, I know the everyday needs that may go unmet when making the transition out of relationships ended by domestic violence. This is why we raise funds to help A New Me Foundation provide free workshops to empower victims of domestic violence by purchasing supplies for the workshops to empower victims of domestic violence by purchasing supplies for the workshops and sponsoring a woman and her children living in a domestic violence shelter with toiletries, washing detergent, gift cards from grocery stores, bus passes, bedding, bibles, school supplies, uniforms, and journals."


This event promises to be interactive and informative for everyone in attendance. A New Me Foundation, Inc. welcomes the participation of local businesses and media. All media and vendors that would like to get involved in this and any future A New Me Foundation events through sponsorship, promotion, or service should contact Felicia Simpson. Email: felicianewme@gmail.com, Phone: 773-469-6758

About A New Me Foundation

A New Me Foundation Inc provides comprehensive services for victims and survivors of domestic violence , including motivational speaking, prevention-education, resource referral and linkage, case management, emergency and transitional family housing referrals, parenting classes, and a variety of support groups. For more information visit, www.anewmefoundation.blogspot.com

Media Contact:
Founder, Felicia T. Simpson
A New Me Foundation
773-469-6758
FeliciaNewMe@Gmail.com
Purchase Tickets: http://anmfrelationshipforum.eventbrite.com/
Facebook: www.Facebook.com/ANewMeFoundation
Twitter: @anewmefound
Email: anewmef@gmail.com


Thursday, March 14, 2013

Domestic Violence and Alcohol (Guest Post)

Hello Readers and Fellow Advocates,

Today, I have another Guest Post. I am excited about this one and this is a topic that is dear to me but that I have not written about here.  Melissa actually takes a turn with this one because she is not talking about the batterers and alcoholism but rather how the person that is being abused uses alcoholism as a coping mechanism.

This guest post comes from Mrs. Melissa Kluska. Here is a little about Melissa:

Melissa currently writes for organizations such as St Jude Retreats, an alternative solution to traditional alcohol and drug rehab. As well as writing for St. Jude’s, Melissa also enjoys writing pieces that will help others on topics like health and relationships.




2 million. The amount of injuries associated with domestic violence each year, and 84% of these domestic violence victims are women.[1] Some victims of domestic abuse have stayed in an abusive relationship for years while others have been close to near death experiences due to domestic violence cases. Regardless the situation, ending an abusive relationship results in a lengthy emotional healing process. No matter what the sex of the victim is, all men and women go through the same feelings of depression, freedom, guilt and happiness, and the journey after an abusive relationship can be like a roller coaster ride.

While it has been reported by the Women's Aid Organization that "women experiencing domestic violence are up to 15 times more likely to misuse alcohol than women generally", the end result of abuse does not have to leave the person turning to alcohol or in some cases prescription drugs to mask the deep emotional hurt. There are some alternative ways to deal with this hard time without resorting to substance abuse.

Support meetings for domestic violence are probably one of the best things for the person who has been abused. Often victims of abuse, especially women, shut down completely and try to remain as low key as possible. In support groups, women or men can meet others who have been through similar situations and form friendships and connections. It's very important for abuse victims to reach out to family and friends in this time of need, as they will need the support to start over their life, which can be scary process.

Another way to deal with this period of emotions is to find new means of happiness. After dealing with a traumatic event, it is beneficial to channel feelings of depression, anger, or hurt through a productive new habit or activity. These activities can include almost anything and everything that will bring the person happiness and security. Such activities can be crafting, painting, writing, exercising, or a new fitness class. It is important that the person sets achievable goals for themselves so they not only increase their self-esteem but so they have a feeling of accomplishment. A daily physical fitness routine is also a great way to reduce stress and increase feel good endorphins in the body which can help counteract feelings of sadness or depression.

While some people may believe going to the bar or drinking away their problems will help, turning to alcohol will be counterproductive and can create more dangerous situations.
After a few months, domestic abuse victim may feel the need to share his or her story, turning the experience of overcoming a traumatic time into a true hero story to help others in the same situation. It may be extremely hard for someone to take this on at the beginning but over time, a feeling of pride and joy will emerge just knowing that other people are being inspired by the story and it could help one more person leave an abusive relationship. In many ways, speaking out about a traumatic experience is a way of creating a new life, a day at a time.

If you or someone you know is a victim of domestic violence, contact a victim hotline today.
And if you feel yourself or someone you know is misusing alcohol or drugs, there is a program that can help. St. Jude Retreats can provide you with the assistance you need, please visit www.soberforever.net to find out more.


Monday, February 4, 2013

February Is Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month


In honor of Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month, I am giving the Kindle edition of my book "Because He Said He Loved Me: A short story about teen dating violence" away for free today. The reason being is because there is a message in this story that I want to get out to teens and there is even a message for adults. The teen years are the most prevalent years, it is when teens first start dating. For most teens, this is the time when they first experience feelings of love, when they first feel that they are cared for by the opposite sex. These are also some of the hardest times for teens. Teens experience so many changes and it when it comes to relationships a lot of what they experience will be new to them and they may think it is normal.

Here are some statistics on Teen Dating Violence Via LoveisRespect.org


  • Nearly 1.5 million high school students nationwide experience physical abuse from a dating partner in a single year.
  • One in three adolescents in the U.S. is a victim of physical, sexual, emotional or verbal abuse from a dating partner, a figure that far exceeds rates of other types of youth violence.
  • One in 10 high school students has been purposefully hit, slapped or physically hurt by a boyfriend or girlfriend.
  • One quarter of high school girls have been victims of physical or sexual abuse
  • Girls and young women between the ages of 16 and 24 experience the highest rate of intimate partner violence -- almost triple the national average.
  • Violent behavior typically begins between the ages of 12 and 18.
  • The severity of intimate partner violence is often greater in cases where the pattern of abuse was established in adolescence.
  • About 72% of eighth and ninth graders are “dating"
  • Violent relationships in adolescence can have serious ramifications by putting the victims at higher risk for substance abuse, eating disorders, risky sexual behavior and further domestic violence.
  • Being physically or sexually abused makes teen girls six times more likely to become pregnant and twice as likely to get a STI.
  • Half of youth who have been victims of both dating violence and rape attempt suicide, compared to 12.5% of non-abused girls and 5.4% of non-abused boys
  • Eight states currently do not include dating relationships in their definition of domestic violence. As a result, young victims of dating abuse often cannot apply for restraining orders.
  • New Hampshire is the only state where the law specifically allows a minor of any age to apply for a protection order; more than half of states do not specify the minimum age of a petitioner.
  • Currently only one juvenile domestic violence court in the country focuses exclusively on teen dating violence.
  • Only 33% of teens who were in a violent relationship ever told anyone about the abuse.
  • Eighty one percent of parents believe teen dating violence is not an issue or admit they don’t know if it’s an issue.
  • A teen’s confusion about the law and their desire for confidentiality are two of the most significant barriers stopping young victims of abuse from seeking help.
I would encourage you to talk to the teens that are in your lives, read the book or use it as a discussion, pass it along to someone. Teens are less likely to turn to the adults in their lives when they are experience dating abuse for fear of being judged. I cannot express how important it is to let your teens know that it is safe and okay for them to talk to you, they will only talk to you if they feel comfortable. Be involved in your teens life, know who they are dating, know their partners parents and/or family, know the kind of friends your teens have and most importantly know your teen. It is important to know your teen as well as the signs of dating violence because you will better be able to tell when something is going on with your teen. They will start to change but you have to be able to see it. 

If you are a teen that is reading this please talk to someone. There are people out there who love and care for you, you are beautiful and/or handsome you do not deserve to be treated badly. Don't let anyone make you feel ugly or bad about yourself and don't let anyone deter you from your dreams.

Because He Said He Loved Me is a very SHORT story, it can probably be read in a day but it does carry a powerful message. It may not be written perfectly but the message is perfectly clear and if you are a survivor like I am, it will probably touch you. Lets raise awareness together! 







Monday, January 28, 2013

Cradle My Love: A documentary about domestic violence

A Message To My Readers: 

Dear readers and supporters, I wanted to take out the time to thank you all for following my blog, commenting, sharing, and being so encouraging all the time. It really means a lot to me and I pray that I have inspired, encouraging, and helped some of you in many ways. Today I have decided to have a guest blogger, this is the first time since I have started this blog that I've ever had a guest blogger. This young lady at 19 years old has inspired me and I wanted to allow her to use this platform in order to inspire you as well. Miss Jeanine Strother entered a film contest and decided to do a documentary about domestic violence. It  touched my heart to see her at young age raising awareness for a cause that is very close to my heart and I am sure all of her hearts. Jeanine did not get picked in the final round but she is still eligible to win in another contest. On behalf of Jeanine I would like to ask you all to please watch the documentary and share it on Facebook or Twitter. Feel free to leave comments or encouraging words for her.

God Bless you all,

Nicole C. Lofton
Founder of F.A.C.E. I.T.
http://www.faceittoday.org


Miss Jeanine Strother discusses "Cradle My Love"





I created Cradle my Love, in early January 2013, for the Girls Impact the World Film Festival Scholarship. I choose to attack domestic violence in my film because I feel that many people are affected by it. Everyone has heard the stories of people being harmed and abused by their relatives but I wanted to take them into that world. I wanted to show people how dangerous being in a domestic violence relationship can be. My goal is to get more people to speak up and stand up for them selves and others.

Many people fear reporting their abusive partners because they do not want to make them mad or they fear life without them. However, domestic violence victims never know how far their abuser is willing to go until it is too late. My film shows a woman who never told anyone about her husband’s abusive ways because he installed so much fear into her. In the end he kills her. I want people to walk away from my film understanding that domestic violence is a life threatening issue and no one should ever have to deal with. At the end of the video the main character sends a message out to women; letting them know that they are people. She wants them to know that they are very precious and they should never allow others to degrade them in any way, shape or form. I also wanted people to walk away with a resource that they could go to, right away, if they or someone they knew were experiencing domestic violence. The National Domestic Violence Hotline is a 24 hour hotline that can help victims of domestic violence.

The Girls Impact the World Film Festival Scholarship has a peoples choice award, which is based off of the number of votes by viewers. To vote for ‘Cradle my love go to the link below and under the video click facebook like and tweet the link. When I found out about this portion of the Scholarship, I wanted to reach out to as many people that I could. Although, I really need this scholarship for school and it would mean so much if I received it, the most meaningful part has been the responses. It has really touched my heart that ‘Cradle my Love’ has inspired and affected so many people. I have received messages from survivors of domestic violence, current victims of domestic violence and family members of victims that have not survived. They have all thanked me for “giving a voice to those who can not speak.” I hope that my video, most importantly, inspires people to escape abusive relationships because life has so much more to offer.

http://connecther.org/gitw/galleryview/id/137




Thursday, January 3, 2013

Suffer in Silence? I Dare not!( A Poem about Domestic Violence)


I wake up to the sound of him walking around the room.


I assume that something is going to happen soon.
He could get hit me, he could curse me; he could seriously hurt me if he dares.
He drags me out the bed and out the room.
My heart is hurting, my mind is pounding, and I’ve got to get out of here soon.
He begins to attempt to sedate me so that he can rape me
But I noticed that silence fills the room.
Do I not have any cry in me left or have I lost my voice?
I’m tired of screaming and shouting only for my cries to go unnoticed.
Only for my tears to just dry up while I’m being ignored but being silent keeps me in a prison.
I have no one to turn too but I also haven’t really turned to anyone
Because every time someone gets close to me,
I allow the threats of this fool to disturb my cool.
So I’m no longer cool, instead I’m warm feeling unloved and torn apart.
As he attempts to rape me I think to myself, dare I be silent?
Or should I dare to make a noise that sounds so loudly like a lion’s roar?
What’s the worst that could happen, maybe I could get some courage and turn crazy and escape this.
Dare I be silent? I dare not!
I’ve been silent for too long, whose going to stand up for me if not me?
If I speak up I might live to share my story,
Live to share the triumph with women who will go through this after me or even with me.
I shall give God praise in a unique crazy way,
I know the psalms of protection, psalms 91 that’s my real weapon
And it’s bigger and more powerful than any physical weapon.
I put on the whole armor of God, now I’m a warrior, now God is carrying me through. Before I know it, he has left the room.
Now I am more than a conqueror.
Now I have called the police and I am determined never to look back.
No matter what happens. I will leave and I will live and I will be free.
Free to be the me that I never knew.
Surprised I must say; that my heavenly father loved me enough to rescue me and deliver me from the fowler’s snare.
No earthly man can trap me and keep me under their authority.
I have learned that God gave me the authority to trample on lions and serpents and I will do just that the next time a man thinks he will put his hands on me
Or even fix his mouth to disrespect me.
Glory to God for He is a healer, He is my shield during the storm,
He is the one that makes me whole; the one who can also make you whole.
Be set free from the misery so that you can experience the true happiness and freedom that God has created for you.
You are fearfully and wonderfully made, believe it and receive it!