The Things They Forget to Tell You About Date Rape
By: Sharmel Patton, JANE Warrier & Start Strong Youth Leader
What do you know about Date Rape? Do you know the difference between Rape and Date Rape? If you type “Date Rape” in a search engine, most articles will be about protecting one’s self and preventing rape by traveling in pairs and staying sober around people you do not know. You might also see the Lifetime movie scenario of the naïve, clueless woman walking in a dark alley by herself, then the creepy man comes out of no where, attacks the woman, and rapes her. **Newsflash** According to National Victims Center, 84% of women who were raped knew their attacker, 57% of rapes occur on a date, and approximately 28% of victims are raped by their husbands or boyfriends. The website, About Date Rape definition of date rape is, “when someone you know socially (but not family) makes you have sex when you don’t want to.”
Society often teaches women “how to not get raped” instead of teaching men “do not rape.” While it is important to teach someone how to protect themselves if they are put in a dangerous situation, I believe it is more important to teach self-control and the meaning of no. Rapists have the mindset similar to abusers, they all want power and control. When their power is tested, they do whatever is necessary to maintain a sense control and to receive what they feel is entitled to them. If we teach men how to channel these negative feelings and teach self-control, we might see a reduction in these statistics.
Too often people place blame or fault on the victim. For example, “She’s dumb! she shouldn’t have been walking by herself,” or “She dressed and danced provocatively, she clearly asked for it.” It does matter if a person is half naked, walks alone, drunk, or even if they have been on an expensive date with someone. In all of these cases, if the victim did not agree or say yes out of their own mouth, they are not obligated to have sex and no one has the right to force sex upon them. At the end of the day STOP means STOP, and NO means NO.
Some people view Date Rape as just a women’s issue since women are largely affected by it, but men can be affected by the issue as well. Date Rape is more of a community issue because the people we love are often victims. We have to get rid of the image of the rapist being a creepy stranger, because sometimes the rapists are also someone we love. If you know someone who struggles with power and control issues, encourage them to get help before they take their problems out on someone else. If you know someone who is a victim, help rebuild their self-esteem and remind them that they are not to blame. If you are a victim, although it can be scary, I challenge you to report your attacker to let them know that their behavior will not be tolerated and to help prevent them from hurting someone else.
Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month Opens with Tragedy
In 2011, President Obama signed a proclamation designating February as National Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month. In it, President Obama writes, “Though many communities face the problem of teen dating violence, young people can be afraid to discuss it, or they may not recognize the severity of physical, emotional, or sexual abuse.” Sadly, we here at JANE know just how true this is for young people in Alameda County. But even with this knowledge, we were still stunned and heartbroken when we heard news reports this morning about the murder of San Leandro High School freshman, Myrna Umanzor. On Friday evening, Myrna was stabbed multiple times by 19 year old Henry Leon, the father of their 9 month old daughter. Myrna subsequently died of her injuries – she was just 15 years old. Henry’s body was later found hanging near the Port of Oakland in an apparent suicide.
Various online news articles are referring to this incident as a “murder-suicide” and prior to his death, some community members voiced their opinion that Mr. Leon should receive the death penalty or serve a lifetime prison sentence without parole. But we JANE Warriors wonder if that’s the answer. Does arresting perpetrators of violence increase people’s safety? Does it eliminate domestic violence in our communities? And does it recognize that perpetrators might need support and strength to change their behaviors?
Regardless of the answers to those questions, JANE wants to remind everyone that two families are suffering today and mourning the loss of loved ones. And one baby girl is going to grow up with the knowledge that her father killed her mother and then killed himself. This alone should be enough to explain why teen dating violence awareness and prevention efforts are so important in communities across America. But it shouldn’t take a loss of life to make things happen and it’s clear that proclaiming February as Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month is just the tip of a very large iceberg. So JANE challenges you to think of ways you can spark discussions around dating violence in your neighborhood, at school, or in your workplace. In honor of the Umanzor and Leon families, let’s make 2012 a year of better, more effective prevention efforts.
Sending peace, light, and love to the families of these young people and to anyone affected by partner violence.
Guest Blog! On Rihanna’s “S&M”…
Since its release earlier this year Rihanna’s single, “S&M” has raised more than a few eyebrows for its suggestive lyrics and graphic music video, especially given the singer’s past relationship with Chris Brown. BOM Ambassador, Maya, speaks out about the song, Rihanna, and dating violence in this month’s Youth Radio Guest Blog, “What Rihanna’s New Single Really Means.”
Check it and tell us what you think!!
Monthly Guest Blog Feature
Starting sometime VERY soon, JANE will begin featuring monthly guest blogs by the awesome BOM (Boss Of Me) Ambassadors at Youth Radio. Be on the lookout for blogs covering topics related to music, relationships, and celebrity news.
Hope you’re as excited as we are!
Break Ups- Start Strong Conference
When you are in a relationship there are only two possible outcomes, marriage or to break up. This is actually the two things teenagers avoid talking about. Maybe because they don’t know how, it’s not the right time or it’s just not something they think about. Most teenage couples don’t think about the future. They live in the present and think they are in love and just hope they will stay with their partner forever. When in fact most teenage couples I know only last for a couple of months. It’s safe to say more teenagers are breaking up then getting married. So maybe we should talk about breaking up.
Healthy breakups that is. Talking face to face, not behind the computer screen or through a friend. Letting someone know why you no longer want to be with them and why it’s not working out. This is a healthy break up because there is no confusion and no lies, just a honest clean cut. When the signs are clear that the relationship has come to an end, there are no hopes and lingering feelings. You might reminisce about your ex after the break up, but when you know it’s completely over, it’s easier to move on.
When the break up is healthy, the aftermath of the relationship will be too. You won’t have ex’s spreading rumours online or feeling guilty about the relationship and the need to hide whenever you see your ex. All of this means that you are more likely to have healthier relationships in the future!
Start Strong 7/14/11 Conference
BOM and the Jane Campaign gathered at the Family Violence Law Center early morning on July 14, 2011 to attend a conference through video chat. We joined other youth around the country from Idaho, Boston, Texas, LA , Bridgeport, Rhode Island, Austin, Bronx and other states and cities. The point of the whole conference was to see how teenagers in different areas of the country are dealing with break ups and how they call it off. “Start Strong” has sites in 11 cities in America. Their famous slogan for breaking up is “Face it, don’t Facebook it”. They have this slogan because so many people are ending their relationships through social networks, the most used one being Facebook. For example, young people are putting their break up on their relationship status or sending a message through Facebook-without telling their boo what is going on!. Together, all the youth across the sites discussed how people are breaking up nowadays, and what are some terms people have for their Boyfriends or Girlfriends. It was very interesting to see that other parts of the country have their own slang and terms for relationships. It was also funny to see some familiar faces from youth conferences past, even though the video was kind of blurry. We talked about how to break up healthily and what will be the unhealthy ways. We also came up with ideas on how to spread the word about breaking up and ending on good terms. We came up with having hoodies with a catchy phrase on it that will basically state how to break up healthily. It may sound stupid but what the whole point is for others to know that when it comes down to relationships things can go awfully wrong after a break up; you just don’t know what people are capable of.
Even though many people feel like sometimes breaking up is not a big deal or is just something that occurs and that’s the end of it all. It’s nothing like that; there are always feelings involved and once the feelings are really deep the other person may feel crushed after the break up. Some teens respond more negatively than usual, including attempting to commit suicide. Knowing the right way on how to end a relationship is very important because you may never know what will happen next. Some tips that will help lead to a healthy break up are:
• Don’t beat around the bush
• States your reasons clearly
• Don’t scream or get too emotional
• DON’T DO IT OVER FACEBOOK OR TEXT
• Make sure you have eye contact and that they are getting what you are trying to say
• Be mindful of your ex’s soon to be feelings
• Let them know that you would still like to keep in contact but at the moment you are just not ready for a relationship. (if that’s what you really feel)
• Be real
• No sugar coating
• Don’t do anything that will make your partner look bad in other’s eyes (e.g: Like showing people naked pics they sent you long go or talking about their personal life to others)
Start Strong Virtual Conference
BOM and the JANE campaign, gathered together on July 14, 2011 to participate in the “Start Strong” Youth Virtual Youth Conference. We joined different cites with people throughout the u.s. by video chat and talked about breaking up in a healthy way. We started off with welcoming each other’s organization’s and doing a small introduction. After the introductions we did a workshop about how you should break-up with someone in a way that doesn’t hurt them. I personally think you should sit down with the person and explain why you would like to end the relationship in a polite way. Not doing it that way is kind of the main reason why people end up wanting to commit suicide and hurt other people. During this workshop we put together a small skit based on the main reasons why people break-up. We all paired up in two’s and came up with one idea each. The one I had to play out was similar to how it is on Maury when there is a baby daddy and mother and they don’t get along. This was one of the workshops I liked the most. Once that workshop was over with we moved on to lunch and viewed each site’s Start Strong videos that we created. The next workshop was called “Navigating Conflicts & Creating Boundaries” and we watched little skits about how people break-up with their partners in negative ways and how could you do it in a positive way. The last thing we did was promote our campaign and answered questions through a message system where you text in your vote. Everyone got to participate in this and I had a great time seeing how other city’s promote their campaign.
The Not So Glamorous Side of Life
Kacie Klinnert was a normal 17 year old young girl until a ride home turned into her biggest nightmare. On the night of March 18th, 2008 Kacie decided to go out with some friends to the local Safeway. When she came outside the store 2 men approached her, what was said exactly is still unknown, but police have made some assumptions according to what Kacie’s friend informed them. Her friend, which name remains unknown, said that Kacie told her she was getting a ride home from two men. This was the last time she ever saw her friend. In the mean time Kacie’s mom, Vicki Zito, was frustrated worrying where her daughter was. Time passed and it seemed like an eternity and her daughter never arrived home. She decided to call the police; from the start the police didn’t pay much attention to her case. They thought that it was just another teen age runaway case but little did they know Kacie was being introduced to the world as a sex slave. For eight agonizing days Zito urged the police to help her find her daughter; but she kept on receiving the same answer. Police kept insisting that she ranaway. Zito posted up fliers all around town trying to find her daughter but everyday she grew more and more worried. Her biggest worry was that her daughter was not receiving the medications she needed. Kacie is bi polar therefore she needs to take medications everyday. This would explain why Kacie decided to take a ride home from a total stranger, Kacie has a disability in her brain that doesn’t allow her to think like a normal 17 year old, and instead she has the brain of a 10 year old. With this being said Kacie can be very trusting with everyone. The question still remained, where was Kacie? After getting in the car with the two men Kacie was taken to Motel 6 in Fremont California. In this motel Kacie’s life was demolished within seconds by Richi Sanwal. Sanwal became Kacie’s pimp for 8 days. In the motel Kacie received constant threats, beating and abuse both mental and physical.
The most shocking part of this terrifying ordeal was that police found Kacie through an ad on craigslist that offered sexual favors to anyone that was interested. At the moment Kacie is still trying to recuperate from this traumatic incident. After learning about sex trafficking Zito has tried her hardest to be proactive against this issue. She teamed up with many volunteers all over California to get as many signatures as possible to change the law and give harsher penalties to people involved with human trafficking. As for Sanwal he is serving 8 years in prison for his crime. The police confiscated all the money Sanwal had and is using it to help out victims of human trafficking. In the eyes of Kacie and her family justice was not served. No amount of jail time will ever be enough to pay for the crime that Sanwal committed to this naïve girl.
To many of the readers, this issue might seem rare or unheard of, but the reality is that sex trafficking is very common in the streets of Oakland. Young girls that are victims of sex trafficking are afraid to speak out and get help because of the fear their pimp has planted on them. Others that know about this issue would rather not talk about it because the reality is that it’s a tough issue to face. If you are someone or know someone who has been sexually exploited feel free to contact 1(888)373-7888. This is a toll free hotline where you can call and get help to end human trafficking.
Source from change.org
Safe is Sexy
Teenagers who are sexually active in their relationships should do all they can to stay healthy This means going for frequent check-ups at the doctors office and getting the test that you need in order to stay healthy. Also, using different contraceptives methods are the best way to stay healthy. Condoms and birth control pills are great tools to easily prevent diseases from happening.
Now we all know what could happen if we were to have unprotected sex with our partners, and they are unexpected pregnancies or catching and STD or HIV. Though there is nothing wrong with bringing a child into the world, I doubt that it is in your plans to have a child while you are still young and in high school. Especially since at this time you should be thinking about keeping your grades up for college and to strive for the career you’re interested in.
I have made it my mission to always remind everyone to get tested since I’ve been affected by a loss of someone who I loved and was very closed to. My sister died in 2002 from an HIV infection, when my sister passed she was 22 years old at the time and she didn’t know much about HIV or AIDS. At the time there weren’t many options for patients like there are now. There is medicine out now that can prevent the disease from killing your immune system.
That is why it is so important to go check yourself if you are sexually active in your relationship. Remember staying healthy is way sexier!
A very important part of a relationship is the bond between two people. Its basic principles consist of: trust, peace, love & respect.
In every relationship, there needs to be trust between the partners so that the relationship works. When you trust your partner, you will find that you have peace. You will experience peace when you share moments together without arguing. You will be able to enjoy those moments with the person that you love.
Love is the main component of a relationship. Without love, one wouldn’t be able to have a healthy relationship. This is also what helps a person become more trustworthy, respectful, and peaceful. When you have love for one another, you oversee mistakes, and work hard together, to be the best for one another.
In order for a relationship to fully work, there needs to be respect for one another. This includes respecting each other’s thoughts, feelings and emotions. This way, you’ll be on your way to creating a healthy relationship.
A healthy relationship is the only type of true relationship where love for one another is the outcome. Having a healthy relationship is the true path towards a safer & better life. People who practice healthy relationships also have long and happy relationships. So, let’s practice having healthy relationships.