Wellspring - Ending relationship and sexual abuse in Saratoga County


News & Events

America Wants to Know

George Zimmerman is having more than his 5 minutes of fame lately. After the Trayvon Martin trial ended, we've heard he was pulled over for  speeding, and now the news reports that his wife called 911 because of a domestic incident in which he assaulted her father and threatened her while holding a gun. The news coverage of the domestic incident even has the recording of the 911 call for us all to hear her terrified call for help.  Why do we listen to the call?  Simply because we're curious.

I recently read a Dear Abby column that addressed a serious concern. Some victims may be reticent to call 911 because they don't want their call to  become public knowledge. Abby took a hard stand that safety is far more important than privacy. But I think the issue is much deeper. Why do we feel we need to know the details of crimes... even at the expense of the victim? I often notice that whenever a local paper covers a rape, the public clamors to know the details, Why was the victim in that location? Why was she out so late? Often the on-line chatter is focused almost entirely on the victim, instead of the assailant.

Sometimes victims of relationship and sexual abuse choose not to engage the criminal justice system, simply because by doing so their very private victimization will become public. A rape victim may feel that a trial will not guarantee justice and will instead keep the assault present in her life for the months, sometimes years, until the case is closed. For some victims healing means moving on, and the court process not only hampers this, but continually re-traumatizes  as the rape is repeatedly revisited.  These are hard choices victims need to make--- justice in time (maybe) or closure now. But they have the opportunity to  make this choice about their privacy.

Not so when the crisis is happening. When someone is in fear and calls the police, they don't have time to consider if that call will jeopardize their privacy. More and more, the news reports provide the details of these calls... or as happened with Sheila Zimmerman, we hear the victim's frightened voice as the actual 911 recording is released to the public. When a victim calls in crisis... in fear, she/he presumes communication with an emergency responder... not with every person who watches the news or reads the paper. Would the caller make that same choice knowing that their fear and the very private details of how they were violated might become tomorrow's headline story?

America wants to know... but do we need to... and should we? At the expense of the victim?

America Wants to Know

George Zimmerman is having more than his 5 minutes of fame lately. After the Trayvon Martin trial ended, we've heard he was pulled over for  speeding, and now the news reports that his wife called 911 because of a domestic incident in which he assaulted her father and threatened her while holding a gun. The news coverage of the domestic incident even has the recording of the 911 call for us all to hear her terrified call for help.  Why do we listen to the call?  Simply because we're curious.

I recently read a Dear Abby column that addressed a serious concern. Some victims may be reticent to call 911 because they don't want their call to  become public knowledge. Abby took a hard stand that safety is far more important than privacy. But I think the issue is much deeper. Why do we feel we need to know the details of crimes... even at the expense of the victim? I often notice that whenever a local paper covers a rape, the public clamors to know the details, Why was the victim in that location? Why was she out so late? Often the on-line chatter is focused almost entirely on the victim, instead of the assailant.

Sometimes victims of relationship and sexual abuse choose not to engage the criminal justice system, simply because by doing so their very private victimization will become public. A rape victim may feel that a trial will not guarantee justice and will instead keep the assault present in her life for the months, sometimes years, until the case is closed. For some victims healing means moving on, and the court process not only hampers this, but continually re-traumatizes  as the rape is repeatedly revisited.  These are hard choices victims need to make--- justice in time (maybe) or closure now. But they have the opportunity to  make this choice about their privacy.

Not so when the crisis is happening. When someone is in fear and calls the police, they don't have time to consider if that call will jeopardize their privacy. More and more, the news reports provide the details of these calls... or as happened with Sheila Zimmerman, we hear the victim's frightened voice as the actual 911 recording is released to the public. When a victim calls in crisis... in fear, she/he presumes communication with an emergency responder... not with every person who watches the news or reads the paper. Would the caller make that same choice knowing that their fear and the very private details of how they were violated might become tomorrow's headline story?

America wants to know... but do we need to... and should we? At the expense of the victim?

This is Worth a Minute of Your Life



According to the A.C. Nielson Co. the average American watches more than 4 hours of TV daily  In a 65 year life that person will have spent 9 years glued to the tube.*

 By 65, the average person will also have seen 2 million TV commercials. With an average length of 30 seconds, that means we spend about 1 million minutes of our lives watching TV commercials... wow!  Would I actually choose to spend 1 million minutes of my life watching ads for fast food restaurants, the latest new med to bring you up, down or asleep, big powerful trucks, or beer? Unlikely.

What if watching a  commercial made you want to be a better person. The folks at Guinness have done just that. Watch this touching and unforgettable commercial. It's a beautiful way to spend a minute of your life. You can't often say that about a beer commercial. Sláinte!


*Norman Herr Ph.D, California State University, Northridge

This is Worth a Minute of Your Life



According to the A.C. Nielson Co. the average American watches more than 4 hours of TV daily  In a 65 year life that person will have spent 9 years glued to the tube.*

 By 65, the average person will also have seen 2 million TV commercials. With an average length of 30 seconds, that means we spend about 1 million minutes of our lives watching TV commercials... wow!  Would I actually choose to spend 1 million minutes of my life watching ads for fast food restaurants, the latest new med to bring you up, down or asleep, big powerful trucks, or beer? Unlikely.

What if watching a  commercial made you want to be a better person. The folks at Guinness have done just that. Watch this touching and unforgettable commercial. It's a beautiful way to spend a minute of your life. You can't often say that about a beer commercial. Sláinte!


*Norman Herr Ph.D, California State University, Northridge

Misleading Lolita

I'm showing my age here, but it seems that our culture is robbing our young girls of their childhood and pushing maturity on them in their early teens. And they're not winning either way.

Fashion trends like Victoria's Secret's  Bright Young Things campaign encourage teens or even tweens to wear revealing or seductive clothes.   But as we've seen recently in the Montana  rape case, when a young girl is sexually victimized her appearance can be used to excuse the actions of the adult perpetrator.

Here's an interesting article, The Six Ways We Talk About a Girl's Age, that explores our often confused and contradictory social biases about being a girl.



Related posts:
 
Montana Rape case;

Misleading Lolita

I'm showing my age here, but it seems that our culture is robbing our young girls of their childhood and pushing maturity on them in their early teens. And they're not winning either way.

Fashion trends like Victoria's Secret's  Bright Young Things campaign encourage teens or even tweens to wear revealing or seductive clothes.   But as we've seen recently in the Montana  rape case, when a young girl is sexually victimized her appearance can be used to excuse the actions of the adult perpetrator.

Here's an interesting article, The Six Ways We Talk About a Girl's Age, that explores our often confused and contradictory social biases about being a girl.



Related posts:
 
Montana Rape case;

It Works the Other Way Too

A new study from Columbia  University links teen drinking to viewing pics of others drinking on facebook or other social media... a new digital take on peer pressure. About 40% of kids have seen pics on their social media sites of other kids drinking...and there's a  correlation between social media and risk behaviors. Deseret news summarizes the report with these startling statistics:

 "Teens who use social media are five times more likely to use tobacco,
three times more likely to drink alcohol and twice as likely to use marijuana." 

A survey of parents showed that parents weren't attuned to these influences;
  • 87% said social networking won't influence their child's drinking
  • 89% said it won't influence drug use, and
  • only 64% of parents monitored their child's social networking

But despite its bad rap, peer pressure can also be a good thing. Most kids are making good decisions... but they often hear so much about the other decisions that they think they're tin the minority. They're wrong. Through their Strength in Numbers campaign the Shenendehowa Community Coalition is working to change that. They've polled their students and are giving them the facts in a really memorable way. Here are just a few:
  • 71% of Shen students thinking drinking regularly is uncool
  • 86% did not get in a car with a drunk driver, and
  • 96% do not drink and drive.
We know kids are influenced by what they see on social media... let's give them the real facts.

It Works the Other Way Too

A new study from Columbia  University links teen drinking to viewing pics of others drinking on facebook or other social media... a new digital take on peer pressure. About 40% of kids have seen pics on their social media sites of other kids drinking...and there's a  correlation between social media and risk behaviors. Deseret news summarizes the report with these startling statistics:

 "Teens who use social media are five times more likely to use tobacco,
three times more likely to drink alcohol and twice as likely to use marijuana." 

A survey of parents showed that parents weren't attuned to these influences;
  • 87% said social networking won't influence their child's drinking
  • 89% said it won't influence drug use, and
  • only 64% of parents monitored their child's social networking

But despite its bad rap, peer pressure can also be a good thing. Most kids are making good decisions... but they often hear so much about the other decisions that they think they're tin the minority. They're wrong. Through their Strength in Numbers campaign the Shenendehowa Community Coalition is working to change that. They've polled their students and are giving them the facts in a really memorable way. Here are just a few:
  • 71% of Shen students thinking drinking regularly is uncool
  • 86% did not get in a car with a drunk driver, and
  • 96% do not drink and drive.
We know kids are influenced by what they see on social media... let's give them the real facts.

Women Don’t Do This as Well as Men



  • Nearly 14 million women do this to excess regularly every month. And who are they? Those with incomes over $75,000, women 18-34, and high school girls.
  • Our bodies don't adapt to this as well as men's bodies, and we're more likely to have serious, even deadly, problems.
  • This activity ups our breast cancer risk, and
  • I'd add this activity is a contributing factor in the majority of sexual assaults. 

X