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11 Year Old Girl Turned Away From Museum Because Wheelchair Can't Go On Carpet? Give Us A Break.

Interestingly enough the museum in question allows people to bring their dirty sneakers inside. But no wheelchairs. 

#ADA   #Discrimination  


http://www.buzzfeed.com/ryanhatesthis/11-year-old-girl-in-a-wheelchair-turned-away-from-a-museum-b
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Where is the ACLU now?
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Domestic abuse is an epidemic that hides in the shadows.

If you are affected, please contact +M Monica, or a local helpline. There is help out there and please do not stop trying. Domestic abuse is never acceptable. 
 

A Third Of Women Worldwide Are Abused By Partners: Why They Are Often Trapped Into Staying In Abusive Relationships

These are shocking statistics, but domestic violence is a puzzle: it's difficult to understand unless you have experienced it first hand. I hope this post will help spread some light on the topic. 

I know first hand how little help there is out there for women who leave abusive situations and how the resources are on the side of the abuser. I left an abusive situation 7 years ago. The tipping point that made me leave was when I was beaten and received a concussion. That was the most severe, but not the only, time I was abused in the relationship. There were other instances I prefer not to describe. 

After I left my abuser I lived alone, but remained silent about what happened to me because of multiple reasons. My life had been threatened. My health insurance was tied to him through marriage; so were my finances. Although I was (and am) legally disabled, I attempted to work but became even more severely ill. I had to pay the bills somehow. Life was an immense battle at that time.

I had no job and no real work experience. Because I am severely ill, I need multiple medications to survive. I have multiple chronic health conditions that cannot be managed without medication. Unfortunately, my health insurance was tied to his employment. I could not buy insurance on my own. 

If I had pressed charges against him due to the violence, he would have lost his employment and his insurance, and I would have lost my health insurance. You can probably see how complex a situation this is for someone with a serious illness. Many people who are caught in situations of domestic violence are in this trap: they either have to depend on an abuser for medication, housing, or else help with providing for children. A victim may not want to remain silent, but may have little choice when her own life is on the line.

In addition, threats made towards a victim's own personal safety are a major factor. After I left, the person who abused me, he told me that he would find me and kill me if he found that I had told what he had done. Many abusers use threats like this to keep victims from speaking out about what they have gone through. 

People often misunderstand domestic abuse. It's very difficult to understand from the outside. In misunderstanding, outsiders point fingers of blame at the victim in an abusive relationship because they have no idea how the power dynamics are structured, or how the abuser has made sure to tie the person who's being abused's financial support to himself; or as in my case, mandatory medical care. If a person being abused chooses to leave, she often leaves with no money, insecurity about where she will live, no car for transportation, uncertainty about being able to get employment. She has to rely on other resources such as family or friends. In absence of these, she has to turn to social security nets, but these are sparse and can take months to kick in, if they even exist at all. They've been cut back severely in recent years. 

 Women who leave abusers often become homeless, exploited, or living on the street. I myself was in serious danger of this when I left. However, after the concussion, I reached a breaking point. 

The nurses at the hospital suspected domestic violence in that incident, and a doctor actually came in to talk to me and ask if I felt safe at home, but unfortunately when the doctor came into the room to ask me if I felt safe at home, my ex was in the room with me at the time. He actually never left the room all the time I was hospitalized. The doctor asked "Do you feel safe at home," and I looked over at my ex and realized that if I sad anything other than "Yes," I would be likely to be hit when I returned home; so of course, what does one say other than, "No?" It's not a question of protecting an abuser; it's a question of protecting oneself; one's life. 

But subconsciously, I think it was at that point that I made up my mind to leave, when I got stronger. It was a moment of truth. From that point forward, my freedom was worth more to me than my survival. It took about 6 months after that for me to actually leave. But I did. 

Most people have no idea, in addition, how strong a woman must be to leave an abuser, cut all ties, go out and live on her own, with virtually no assistance, especially if she has no family to fall back on, no assistance coming from any other place in life. This was the case for me. 

In addition, I will add that abusers of women can be in positions of immense power at work and can use this as leverage to make a woman's life hell if she dares to challenge him or leave. This was also my situation. For 7 years, I have rarely spoken up about the experience of receiving a concussion (or some of the even more degrading things I went through as a survivor of domestic violence) because I am afraid of being stalked further. My ex has the power to do this. This is part of why I use a pseudonym, but in my case, and in the light of the NSA disclosures, it may really do me no good.

The person who abused me worked, and most likely still works, for the government. He had a very high level security clearance, and he is one of the people who can review any and all of the data that the government requests. Including mine. I have at this point legally severed all ties between the two of us, changed my address, phone, divorced him, but because of his position in the government, he can quite easily find where I am and track me wherever I go. My first instinct is to remain silent, to continue hiding. 

But I have decided to no longer remain silent on this issue because, to quote the poet Audre Lorde, "Your silence will not protect you." I too have come to realize that my silence will no longer protect me. As a public, we have to stand up against this NSA invasion of privacy on a broader scale; over a million people now have Top Secret security clearances, and a much larger number have lower level clearances; and some, perhaps many of them, like my ex-husband, are violent, mentally unstable, but are able to hide it well. Some, of course, have a history of domestic violence. And because they are in such high up positions of power, they can be extremely manipulative, with immense resources. It is very difficult to fire them once they have obtained these positions.

I remained silent 7 years ago because I was struggling to survive and I desperately needed his health insurance. Every day was a battle to survive. I am no longer remaining silent because the number of people in his position is growing daily and this is an immensely unsafe state of surveillance. 

Are these the people you want reviewing, combing through your data? Even if you, as so many people say in defense (or fear) "have nothing to hide?" I too have nothing to hide. I have never committed a crime. I have never been arrested or even accused for a crime. I have only been a victim of domestic assault, yet I fear for my life, because one of the people the government trusts is the person who manipulated and assaulted me for years. The government does not hire people of the strongest ethics; they hire, instead, people of immense ego.  

Another of the most worrying things about the government process of hiring people to do work on projects requiring Top Secret clearance is their backward insistence they screen for people with NO mental health problems; no history of ever seeing a counselor or psychologist at all. Since most people have a need to talk about issues that come up in life from time to time, and everyone needs help in life at some point, that means that there's an enormous stigma among that community to hide all mental health issues, from the small to the very large. The man who used to abuse me would not consider going for counseling.  He was obsessed about appearing and acting normal. He was manipulative and controlling and completely in denial about his behavior. He felt that he had a right to hit me when he was "stressed out." It was not, in his mind, something to seek counseling for; and besides, if he did seek help, he felt it would endanger his job and his security clearance. And is it really surprising that people who go into this field end up, as my ex did, as a repeat domestic abuser?

But this is the way it is in the government, and this is the unfortunate trap that the hundreds of thousands of people who handle and sift through your private and personal information on a regular basis are caught in; they are by nature, and by the way they are selected, off balance. They can't seek help or counseling, even if it's really needed, because it "looks bad" on paper. So they hide their mental issues, and sometimes of course, it explodes in violence, as it did towards me. And I was tied to him, because I needed my medicine. Without it, I die. It was an invisible gun to my head. 

So what happened, when I eventually left him? Well, as was predicted: I nearly became homeless, and almost died. Not just once. It happened on several occasions, especially when I divorced and didn't have health insurance and the medication I needed. One of the worst instances was when I had dozens of pulmonary embolisms in my lungs at once. I could barely breathe and had to spend a week in the ICU.

When I was working, I had to go without proper food, transportation, and I wore myself down to the point that I had a central retinal vein occlusion in both eyes, rendering me fully and permanently blind in my left eye and doing only minor damage to my right. I had to do chemotherapy and I was lucky to escape without going fully blind. (If you want more details on my physical condition and what I went through when I left, please see this post: https://plus.google.com/117665613028757061169/posts/UzBE87uoeWX)

Having said all this:

Do I regret leaving him? 

NOT FOR A SINGLE DAY OF MY LIFE. Even had I died on the street, I'm glad I left. It's better to die free than to live in the sort of situation I was in. 

And if you are reading this post and identify, if you have been through any abuse at all, whether it's with a partner, family, or whoever, please send me a private message. I will try and help and I will keep your information confidential.

No one has the right to be physically violent towards you or your children. Regardless of what excuses an abuser may tell you, regardless of where they work or what data they have access to, they are committing a criminal act when they do so. If you are in this situation, I will try and help you leave, if it's what you want to do. I know it's the scariest thing you will ever do in your life, but the best words I can offer you are: It gets better. The day you decide to leave permanently is the day your life begins over again. If I can help you, I will. 

And for those of you who are reading this and have had no experience, I hope you take away from this the fact that you should never judge or blame someone who has been through domestic violence. You do not know the horrors of the situation and you do not know how awful it is to be tied to someone who is abusive. What is truly miraculous is that anyone manages to leave at all. If you run into someone you believe is in trouble, offer assistance. Even if it's just to say, "Call me if you need to talk. I worry about you. Are you safe at home?" 

You would be surprised how often the real answer is, "No." Our society hides a lot underneath false smiles. 

#DomesticViolence   #NSA   #Pseudonyms  

http://www.nbcnews.com/health/third-women-globally-have-been-abused-partners-study-finds-6C10378922
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If you're ever confused, frustrated, or worried about your doctor appointments and wish you could communicate better with your doctors or take better control of your health, this hangout will help you become a better advocate at the doctor's office. We'll provide ideas as to how you can advocate for yourself or a family member, no matter what the issue you're dealing with. 

This will be an on air hangout. We will be inviting people in who have questions, but the majority of the hangout (10-15 minutes) will be tips and tricks for you specifically to take to your doctor's appointment to get better results.

If you have specific concerns, feel free to request a 1 on 1 hangout if you feel you want to talk in private about your own particular situation. 
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So sorry everyone, this hangout will be rescheduled! We could not find the broadcast hangout button. 
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We have raised $11K of our $40K goal to create the first crowd-funded, crowd-created book. Innovating Women: Past, Present, and Future will highlight stories of amazing women in their own voices. 30 days left to fund the campaign on +Indiegogo, and +Google for Entrepreneurs will match up to $50K!
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Homeless Shelter Volunteers Are The Real Cause of Homelessness, Writes A Hedge Fund Manager In The Wall Street Journal

As absurd as this article sounds, it does have a bright side. This opinion piece was written because the billionaire investor was angry because his 16 year old son is now volunteering with the homeless. He's taking out his anger by writing this op-ed piece blaming his son for "perpetuating homelessness" by enabling the homeless. 

If this seems like it must be a joke, sadly, it's not. 

http://thinkprogress.org/economy/2013/07/09/2271841/wsj-homeless-people/
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Suicide Has Become An Epidemic, Now Killing More People Than Anything Else... Including War, Murder, or Forces of Nature

The total is rising every year, and the factors are complicated, and you really need to read the entire article to understand. Please don't make stereotypes in the comments. This is a deadly issue and requires a lot of thought to address. 

#Suicide   #Awareness  

http://www.thedailybeast.com/newsweek/2013/05/22/why-suicide-has-become-and-epidemic-and-what-we-can-do-to-help.html
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Happy Friday! 
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nice one
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One Today

So I know that most of you have already heard about this app called One Today, developed by Google?

Basically the app was designed to give you an easier and more convenient way of supporting causes.

Some of my favourite things about this app include:

✓ The app curbs your donations; you can only support one cause a day. It literally will not allow you to make another donation if you have already made one for the day.

✓ All donations are tax-deductible(duh!).

✓ It gives you a history of all the causes you have supported thus far, which brings me back to the tax-deductible thing ;)

✓ You do not need to pay up right away. It stores your intent to support a cause, and reminds you of your balance daily. At this time, you can only pay by using Google Wallet, which is a safe and secure way to store your credit card information and a very convenient way to pay!

✓ Beautiful pictures and wording describe each unique cause. It even notifies you of the featured one for each day!

Below i've included screenshots of some of the causes near and dear to me that i've already supported. I've become addicted. I support a cause every single day now. Since each cause asks for such small donations, there is no longer the stigma and guilt of not having enough funds to support them. Your $1 could help plant some more trees in a dying forest or feed a starving child in Bolivia. And just imagine if all of us who are able to supported more of these causes. The world would be changed for good!

Google has made this relatively simpler for you now. So go ahead and request that invite to download this game changing app. I dare you: https://www.google.com/onetoday/

Tif

#onetoday
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We help support differently abled/minded G+ users.
Introduction
We are a page that helps people try and cope when they are going through difficult times. We are a listening community which is tolerant. 

 Anyone who is coping with a disease, disability, or  who is differently abled or minded is welcome, as well as those who just feel stressed out and want to talk. Please add us if we can be of support to you. The goal of this page is not to give advice, but to listen. Because in the process of listening, and talking about what we fear, we can generate strength to overcome what scares us.

We are secular. Though we respect your right to religion/belief, we also respect your right to choose not to embrace it.  

This is a community of support for people who need or want to talk. If you are having an emergency, feel free to contact M Monica. She will set up a 1 on 1 confidential hangout discussion with the group which is private. 

We meet weekly as well, at varying times: watch the page for annoucements about when our weekly meetings will be. We need more feedback from our users about what time fits their needs best. 

We do not exist to profit and will require of all members that they keep what is disclosed to them confident. Hangouts are not recorded because they are meant to reflect the nature of a small group support discussion.

Listed in Links below are some specific support groups that may fit your individual needs.  If you don't find one that fits, please consider starting your own.  We'll do all we can to help and be happy to promote your page.  If you hear of a support group on G+, let us know so we can add it to the list.

The following quote by Rainer Maria Rilke means a lot to +M Monica and she chose it to reflect the nature of this group. 


"She followed slowly, taking a long time, 
as though there were some obstacle in the way; 
and yet: as though, once it was overcome, 
she would be beyond all walking, and would fly." 

– Rainer Maria Rilke
From Going Blind
Translated by Stephen Mitchell