Assault, Beauty, Crime Rates, Dating, Domestic Violence, Family, Feminism, Life, rape, Relationships, Self-Help, Sexual Assault, Violence, Women, Women Empowerment

Tasha’s Story: A Six Year Grooming

We have seen this before.

Many times our attackers are members of our family, and we are afraid to speak out. To make matters worse, we want other people to know the signs we are giving them and they either ignore the signs or do not pay attention. This can lead to a survivor surviving YEARS of abuse from one perpetrator.

Please be aware of who your children are around.

The first stories in this blog series are: Callie’s Story: A Silent Cry for HelpMary Kay’s Story: When Pressure Turns to TortureAshlee’s Story: Repeated Abuse Since ChildhoodKayla’s Story: When Friendship Turns

The main entry can be found here: It’s 2017 and We Still Aren’t Safe from Sexual Assault

This is Tasha’s story.

What compelled you to share your story?
I have two small children. I want to raise them to be aware of the dangers of the world, but not be fearful of what they can do to prevent them.

Where did the incident take place?
The short list – everywhere: my home, my room, my mom’s room, a vehicle, a semi truck, the living room to name a few.

Did you know the attacker?
He was my mother’s ex husband.

What happened?
When I was 11 years old, the first thing I remember him doing was teaching me how to properly use a tampon because, at 11, I, “Didn’t need to smell gross.” I needed to, “Learn how to properly take care of myself when Aunt Flow came.” He took me into my mom’s room, laid a towel down on the bed, and inserted his fingers and then a tampon. I think I knew it was wrong, but I didn’t know how to tell my mom. After he was done and cleaned himself up, and he had left me in there to clean myself up, I went to my room to cry. When I went downstairs later that evening, there was an apple in the trash with a hole in it and a tampon. He told me he was going to tell my mom he demonstrated on it for me. I’m not sure if he ever did and I never asked.

When I was 15, was when he actually raped me for the first time. I had to go on a trip with him to Florida from Michigan and back. It happened in a Detroit parking lot. A man beat on the door asking for a donation as I cried, “No”. He didn’t stop but the man left. No one came for me. I made him call my mom, but he told me not to say anything or I’d be dead.  I just cried like I never did before. She never picked up on it. She never realized all of those signals. So, I never told.

It stopped Christmas Eve when I was 17. Yes, 17, six years he did things like this and groomed me along the way.

Yes. I knew it was bad at this point, but I felt so numb at that point that I just couldn’t deal.

Did you seek legal help? And if so, how long did you wait before getting the courage to come forward?
I spoke to the police. I wrote up my seven page statement. My officer cried for me.

I came forward when I was 23. I had just given birth to my son. I didn’t want that monster to touch him. My mom was finally divorcing him so I finally told her. When I did, her reaction was shock, and I’m not sure why. I remember her calling him. She said, “I know what you did to my daughter!!! I know you raped her!!” His response, “If it was my daughter, I’d believe her.” He hung up and that was all he said. Within days, he moved out-of-state with his new wife and her children. Mom told her and told his family where they moved to. They called me out by name. Funny this is though, mom never said it was me and I have three sisters. So his guilty conscience told on himself.

How were you treated by your law enforcement representatives?
The officer was so kind, but the justice system itself failed me. Nothing could be done because I didn’t still have the underwear he hid. I didn’t have the photo he took of my vagina. I didn’t have proof. Even in a state that doesn’t have a statute of limitations, I was denied justice. I just wish I had come forward sooner

How has this affected your life?
I’m married now. My husband was the first person I told. Since I have, I don’t like to be touched. I’m more comfortable with him, but not with some things that he does that triggers me.

If you had any advice for other survivors, what would it be?
Don’t ever fear you are alone. There are so many of us, unfortunately. If you need help now, please reach out to me, I understand and I’ll do what I can to help you.

If you could say anything to law enforcement that dealt with your case, what would it be?
Thank you for trying, but why couldn’t you have done more??

If you could say anything to your attacker, what would you say?
Fuck you.

 

Final note — I don’t blame my mom. I used to feel like I did. I remember being so young watching a lifetime movie with this exact scenario in it & her looking at me saying, “If this ever happens to you, you can always come to me.” I never felt comfortable doing so. She was always more interested in the men she was with than us. She didn’t focus on the signs. BE AWARE of the signs your children are giving you. BE AWARE of who you have around your kids.

America, Boston Marathon Attacks, Crime Rates, Death, Economics, Family, God, government, Homicide, Ideals, Life Lessons, Loss, Obama, Self Defense, Self Improvement, Terrorism, Tragedy, Uncategorized

The Boston Marathon Explosion in Pictures

This photo was found on the ABC News Website at http://www.abcnews.go.com
This photo was found on the ABC News Website at http://www.abcnews.go.com

As a journalist, seeing the photos released by news organizations of this attack today does not bother me at all. No, it’s not because I am heartless. No, it’s not because I have a strong stomach either. If anything, I have a weak stomach. I don’t find it disrespectful to take these photos because, guess what? EVERYONE needs to know what real life is like! You can’t sugar coat a tragedy and pictures aren’t any more disrespectful than the photo of the girl floating around on social media sites that people say was “Running for Sandy Hook.” SHE WASN’T! Her number showed she wasn’t even running in that race, but people of America are too stupid to investigate that picture and will repost it mindlessly.

But they get upset about blood.

The photo was a fake plastered all over the place of a little girl running in a clearly rural setting saying she died today when an 8-year-old boy died today. That is social media, not real journalism. Because, that was fake.

Photo falsely proclaiming this girl to be running in the Boston Marathon in remembrance of the Sandy Hook victims
Photo falsely proclaiming this girl to be running in the Boston Marathon in remembrance of the Sandy Hook victims

War is real. Terrorism is real. You wouldn’t be the slightest bit upset if it was a terrorist you saw. How many of you felt anything when you saw pictures of Saddam or other terrorists in gruesome fashions? The world is real. You should expect the photos you see to be real. A photojournalist’s job is to capture the raw truth of an image. That’s what you’re getting. It’s not staged. It’s not phony. It’s TRUTH. We are trained with discretion and determine what people need to see. Granted Facebook and Twitter has ruined that because anyone can upload anything now, but the job is to deliver the story. And you can’t tell the story without the blood. You can’t tell the story without the tears.

I mean seriously? Do you expect all the pictures to be of people laying on the ground with no blood and no tears in their eyes at all? Just sitting there??? Is that what you want? An emotionless image that just makes the subjects look like they don’t feel anything at all? I’m just curious. Because that’s not what real life does. People cry. people bleed.

People DIE.

And then act like journalists don’t have souls or boundaries. You wouldn’t even know what happened if you didn’t see the pictures or videos. You would be standing around wondering, “What the hell happened?” Journalists have the hardest jobs. We have to separate our feelings from our work. We have to put ourselves in terrible situations to get the job done. I mean, do you think every photojournalist sits around praying for a bombing or a shooting so that he or she can go take a picture? Do you think that’s what we want to see? Do you think we don’t cry about what we see late at night? No we hope to capture and write about happy moments. But we can’t do that all of the time in this world. We have to show the bad stuff too.

Take it in. And try to make the world a better place so the blood stops. Stop seeing life through a rainbow-colored lens…….obviously, as we saw today, LIFE ISN’T LIKE THAT.

When I get up in the morning, I don’t look for photos of blood and guts from various massacres across the world. However, I think that as Americans we have an arrogance about ourselves that cannot be denied. We don’t want to see war and reality if it’s on the face of our own people.

It is known that most people do not mind seeing pictures of dead terrorists or dead animals. And then people wonder why other countries hate us. We should see reality. No we shouldn’t see it at the age of four, but as young adults and adults we are fully capable of handing the truth. These pictures should show you reality.

This photo was found on the CNN Website at http://www.cnn.com
This photo was found on the CNN Website at http://www.cnn.com

We need to be aware of what we can do to one another.

And we need to change ourselves. But how can we learn if at first we don’t SEE?

The answer is simple: We Can’t

This photo was found on the Business Insider website at http://www.businessinsider.com
This photo was found on the Business Insider website at http://www.businessinsider.com
This photo was found on the New York Post website at http://www.nypost.com
This photo was found on the New York Post website at http://www.nypost.com
America, Beauty, Crime Rates, Family, Feminism, Guns, Ideals, Life Lessons, Self Defense, Self Improvement, Self-Help, Women

Stand By Me While I Save Myself

I own a Smith & Wesson 38 special.

I prefer my boyfriend’s Ruger 9mm. I hit a zombie target in the head during my first time shooting the Ruger.

In that moment when I held both weapons, I felt empowered. I didn’t feel empowered in the sense that I was going to go out and kick ass and take names, but empowered in the sense that I was capable of using force to take care of myself. I have two knives that I carry with me as well as a pink stun-gun that bursts approximately 7.8 million volts.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I do have a 6’4″ boyfriend that is a prior Marine that can easily defend me.

But, there is something special about a female that knows she is capable of taking care of herself. There’s something empowering about a woman who can look an assailant in the eye and evade him or her, or perhaps make them regret ever trying to cause harm to anyone.  I’m talking about thieves, murderers or even rapists.

Yes rapists.

Now, I’m not going to talk about rape too much strictly because I have not gone through it. I feel those stories should be reserved for those brave enough to share their stories. However, I will gladly support and start a conversation involving rape because it is a SERIOUS issue in the world. If you would like to read REAL stories about that, then check out this Tab I contributed to here. You will find more stories there.

With that being said, there are sick and twisted individuals in the world that prey upon women. Let’s face it; women aren’t built the same way as men physically and that can lead to overpowering issues. I’m also not saying that women get attacked only by men either. My point is that we women have every right to defend and protect ourselves as well as our loved ones. Some people may think me paranoid for carrying all of the weapons listed above. I find myself to strictly be using my resources wisely so that no one can think they can hurt me.

I’m not encouraging all of my female readers to go out and buy handguns, though I will admit I am glad that I did purchase one. I’m not saying that you need knives or stun guns either.

I am saying that you can be just as deadly with your hands if you choose to be, but the key is to preparing yourself.

I strongly suggest to my readers to take self-defense classes. One maneuver could be the difference between life or death. If you want a small hand gun, any attacker would think twice, especially if they are unarmed.

Women, I want you to empower yourselves to stand by one another. Don’t depend on a stronger person to be with you all the time. Don’t let a man (or woman) stand beside you and save you.

Let them watch while you save yourself.

We live in a sick and twisted world; just today I saw on CNN that people were making fun of the victim in the Steubenville Rape Case. People said she deserved it because she:
1) shouldn’t have been partying with older guys
2) shouldn’t have gotten drunk and passed out

and my personal favorite:
3) boys will be boys.

I also saw on Facebook today that someone posted that rape is not important because there are “more important things to worry about in this world.”

It made me want to vomit and throw my cell phone at the screen. How can people be so heartless, crass and stupid? HOW?

The sad thing is, that now I realize that saving myself is of the utmost importance. I will always be able to depend on my boyfriend to save me when he is around. But with the way the world is today and with how shallow and ignorant some people are….

I know that I will always be able to save myself because I won’t be able to depend on people like the ones above to help me. Those people would leave me to be raped and murdered if they could.

It’s time the country gets educated and it’s time that we all start learning how to protect ourselves. I feel safe knowing if someone ever tries to attack me that I will either stun, stab or shoot them.

I wish for all people, women especially, to feel secure as well.

America, Assault Rifles, bartending, Beauty, Crime Rates, Economics, Election, Family, God, government, health care, Ideals, insurance, Life Lessons, Loss, Love, Obama, Politics, Self-Help, Uncategorized

An Open Letter to the Government of the United States

Dear President Obama and the government of the United States,
My name is Alexandria (Ali) Prescott. I graduated college from Penn State University in May of 2011 with a Bachelor’s in Journalism. I pay my student loan back on time every month, even when bills are tight. I do not have a job in my field, though I do have a job bartending at the bar my mom owns. This means that I live off of the tips that customers give me; sometimes I get tipped well, but sometimes I also get tipped nothing at all. Companies constantly tell me that I do not have enough experience and that is why I have not been hired. I live with my mom, boyfriend, little sister, two dogs and one cat. We all work hard to make ends meet. I don’t have health insurance because I can’t afford it and I am trying to qualify for medical assistance. I have a lot of health issues right now that are progressively getting worse because I cannot get them taken care of. The insurance I was on kicked me off when I turned 21 and put me on this other insurance for “female only” problems. And since the new Obamacare proposals, I have seen such a decrease in my coverage that even my doctors and pharmacists cannot keep up.

I am writing this because I have one question: why? Why did I have to pay for my education when people sitting in prison get free education? You keep saying that children need to be educated, but yet, you freely educate criminals and make college kids have to pay back their loans. Why don’t I have insurance when people sitting in prison and jail get taken care of? Why does the government give drug addicts the ability to “get back on their feet” but it doesn’t afford that opportunity to people like me? Why are people like me working to “spread the wealth” when we are struggling on a day-to-day basis to make ends meet? Why do I see people in Sheetz using their ACCESS cards to buy cigarettes and specialty coffee? Why do so many people cheat the system and you don’t catch on? How can someone be on disability, have a job, collect food stamps and welfare all at the same time? How can drug addicts get put into programs where they get free housing and healthcare? And they do, because my father is one of them.

Why government? Why are you ripping this country apart by punishing the people who work hard to make it a great nation? Why is all this fairness you speak of fair to no one at all?

Why?

I used to be proud to be an American and now I’m not sure what it even means to be an American in this day and age.

And you wonder why people go crazy and kill other people. Well.

I think I found your answer, and it’s you, government, that is driving this nation of greatness to a nation of shambles.

Sincerely,
Ali Prescott

America, Assault Rifle Ban, Assault Rifles, Crime Rates, Death, Election, Family, Gun Laws, Guns, Homicide, Ideals, Life Lessons, Politics, Self Improvement

Assault Rifles: To Ban or Not to Ban

Someone once said that in order to conquer a nation, one must first disarm its citizens. I don’t know exactly who said it because there isn’t solidification anywhere, but nonetheless the quote holds true still today.

This brings into play the proposed gun legislation that President Obama would like to put in to effect.

I feel for the president because I most certainly would not want to be in his position. I feel whether or not he made this decision would have been a lose-lose situation for him. However, nonetheless I will say that I do not agree with his ban on the selling of assault weapons.

America is a land of opportunity. We love our second amendment like we love Old Glory. Many people feel like their rights are being infringed upon by this proposed ban. Some of these people include prior military personnel and gun enthusiasts. They feel that they should not be held responsible for the actions of a few other people, especially when those people were mentally disturbed.

Let’s look at the facts: America has the most gun murders of every country in the world. However (sources for the following come from Wikipedia and can be viewed here. It also appeared on other sites, but cumulatively came from Wikipedia):

 

The US had 14,738 total homicides last year. With that statistic, we had the most violent gun crime rate.

Brazil had 40,974 homicides last year
India had 40,752 homicides last year
Mexico had 25,757 homicides last year
Ethiopia had 20,239 homicides last year
Indonesia had 18,963 homicides last year
Nigeria had 18,422 homicides last year
South Africa had 15,940 homicides last year

So, we have the highest amount of gun killings, but we are still killing less that the rest of the world. Africa as a continent had 169,000 homicides last year. Central and South America had 130,000 homicides last year.

And there sits the USA, with 14,738

The common denominator here is people, not access to an AR-15 or AK47. That homicide rate listed above fails to even compare to the brutal murders in other parts of the world. And that statistic includes our “Most Violent Gun Country” title. The problem is a lack of humanity, not access to weaponry. Say of those nearly 41,000 Brazilians that 10,000 of them were killed by guns. That still leaves 31,000 other people killed in other ways. I can think of a few weapons to kill someone: knife, rope, poison, rock, vine.

30,000 people

The United States crime rate also has been steadily declining over the years as well, despite the gun issue. The crime rate in Honduras is 91.6, the crime rate in the United States is 4.8. People say that guns need to be taken off the streets as soon as possible to ensure safety. When is the last time any criminal has cared about laws and rules? I’m pretty sure that they don’t. Criminals will still be able to get assault rifles on the black market; that much you can be sure of. And then no self-respecting citizen will be able to protect themselves from someone who does have and assault rifle.

There is no correct solution for this, but in order to be fair, I feel that if the average American citizen cannot have access to an assault rifle, no one should; that includes the secret service, CIA, FBI and various other government bureaus. This includes the president and his family. I feel that the president should not be protected by bodyguards with assault rifles if he feels they are so detrimental to society. His secret service that protects him and his family should not be afforded a privilege of being protected by an assault rifle if all of America isn’t either. That is the only way I feel that law would ever be truly fair. The only people who would then be allowed to use those weapons are those in the military that are currently serving. The mass shooting that have happened are truly terrible, but this is not the solution for the problems. I could list many more viable options:

a) Arm the teachers in schools, or at least have the school guarded by an armed police person. If a killer would happen to get in, someone should be armed and ready to take that person down.
b) Perform psych evaluations on people who are trying to buy guns that seem like they could be a threat
c) Make gun safes essential in homes, perhaps lower the price of them so that guns can be locked up more easily
d) Parents need to teach their kids gun safety if they have guns around. Teach them that guns are not toys

These are just a few options. However, one thing cannot be denied: If someone wants to kill another person, they will find a means of doing it. The same week the Sandy Hook Massacre happened, a man entered a school in China and stabbed 20 people. Yes, a knife.

People need help, and they need it fast. And taking away a responsible person’s weapon isn’t going to help anyone.

Focus on mental health, focus on people.

Because the day an AR-15 can hop over a fence on its own and shoot a bunch of children is day that I do not want to be alive for.