Domestic Violence Awareness Month- October


Domestic violence is the willful intimidation, physical assault, battery, sexual assault, and/or other abusive behavior as part of a systematic pattern of power and control perpetrated by one intimate partner against another. It includes physical violence, sexual violence, psychological violence, and emotional abuse. The frequency and severity of domestic violence can vary dramatically; however, the one constant component of domestic violence is one partner’s consistent efforts to maintain power and control over the other.

Domestic violence is an epidemic affecting individuals in every community, regardless of age, economic status, sexual orientation, gender, race, religion, or nationality. It is often accompanied by emotionally abusive and controlling behavior that is only a fraction of a systematic pattern of dominance and control. Domestic violence can result in physical injury, psychological trauma, and in severe cases, even death. The devastating physical, emotional, and psychological consequences of domestic violence can cross generations and last a lifetime.

It is not always easy to determine in the early stages of a relationship if one person will become abusive. Domestic violence intensifies over time. Abusers may often seem wonderful and perfect initially, but gradually become more aggressive and controlling as the relationship continues. Abuse may begin with behaviors that may easily be dismissed or downplayed such as name-calling, threats, possessiveness, or distrust. Abusers may apologize profusely for their actions or try to convince the person they are abusing that they do these things out of love or care. However, violence and control always intensifies over time with an abuser, despite the apologies. What may start out as something that was first believed to be harmless (e.g., wanting the victim to spend all their time only with them because they love them so much) escalates into extreme control and abuse (e.g., threatening to kill or hurt the victim or others if they speak to family, friends, etc.). Some examples of abusive tendencies include but are not limited to:1

  • Telling the victim that they can never do anything right
  • Showing jealousy of the victim’s family and friends and time spent away
  • Accusing the victim of cheating
  • Keeping or discouraging the victim from seeing friends or family members
  • Embarrassing or shaming the victim with put-downs
  • Controlling every penny spent in the household
  • Taking the victim’s money or refusing to give them money for expenses
  • Looking at or acting in ways that scare the person they are abusing
  • Controlling who the victim sees, where they go, or what they do
  • Dictating how the victim dresses, wears their hair, etc.
  • Stalking the victim or monitoring their victim’s every move (in person or also via the internet and/or other devices such as GPS tracking or the victim’s phone)
  • Preventing the victim from making their own decisions
  • Telling the victim that they are a bad parent or threatening to hurt, kill, or take away their children
  • Threatening to hurt or kill the victim’s friends, loved ones, or pets
  • Intimidating the victim with guns, knives, or other weapons
  • Pressuring the victim to have sex when they don’t want to or to do things sexually they are not comfortable with
  • Forcing sex with others
  • Refusing to use protection when having sex or sabotaging birth control
  • Pressuring or forcing the victim to use drugs or alcohol
  • Preventing the victim from working or attending school, harassing the victim at either, keeping their victim up all night so they perform badly at their job or in school
  • Destroying the victim’s property

It is important to note that domestic violence does not always manifest as physical abuse. Emotional and psychological abuse can often be just as extreme as physical violence. Lack of physical violence does not mean the abuser is any less dangerous to the victim, nor does it mean the victim is any less trapped by the abuse.

Additionally, domestic violence does not always end when the victim escapes the abuser, tries to terminate the relationship, and/or seeks help. Often, it intensifies because the abuser feels a loss of control over the victim. Abusers frequently continue to stalk, harass, threaten, and try to control the victim after the victim escapes. In fact, the victim is often in the most danger directly following the escape of the relationship or when they seek help: 1/5 of homicide victims with restraining orders are murdered within two days of obtaining the order; 1/3 are murdered within the first month.2

Unfair blame is frequently put upon the victim of abuse because of assumptions that victims choose to stay in abusive relationships. The truth is, bringing an end to abuse is not a matter of the victim choosing to leave; it is a matter of the victim being able to safely escape their abuser, the abuser choosing to stop the abuse, or others (e.g., law enforcement, courts) holding the abuser accountable for the abuse they inflict.

PARENT’S CORNER – Monsters at My Door

Monsters at My Door


Dear Sue Ellen,

I am a mother of 3 kiddos and they are getting excited about Halloween.  We live in a neighborhood that gets behind trick or treating, and it is a lot of fun.  The thing I have seen the past couple of years is how much more evil-looking the costumes are. When I was a kid we dressed as Strawberry Shortcake, Wonder Woman, Superman and cute scarecrows; stuff like that.  Now kids want to dress up as Zombies, vampires and terrifying aliens.  I am thinking about boycotting any kids coming to my door for treat-or-treat that are dressed in violent, evil costumes.  Will you join me in my campaign?

Sensible Mama


Dear Sensible Mama;

I too long for sweet princesses in pink and dashing pirates to entertain me on Halloween rather than (fake) blood-drenched ghouls.  It’s been my observation over the years that there has always been an element of the dark side lurking around on Halloween night.  The word on the street is Halloween represents a pagan celebration where you release your evil tendencies in preparation for a day of cleansing on November 1st.

You have inspired me to start my own campaign.  It wouldn’t be to punish scary little monsters at my door; it would be to fine their parents for using poor judgment in how they let their children dress up for trick-or-treat.  I would post signs everywhere that says “if you come to this door as a bloody hooker, zombie, alien, vampire, plastic axe toting monster or any other not-so-nice character, your parents will receive a $10 fine for letting you dress that way”.  I would appoint Costume Police to serve every neighborhood and even include rural areas where the tradition of trick-or-treat is celebrated.  Inappropriately dressed children would be sent home.  I would also determine what tricks would be allowed, for that night only.  For example:  rolling someone’s yard would be okay, but you can only use 1 double roll of any brand toilet paper.  Egging a house would not be permitted.  There would be a curfew.   The witching hour would end at midnight if it is on a weekend night (Friday or Saturday); and 9:00PM if it is a school night.  I would use all the $10 fines to award churches, clubs and other organizations that offer alternative celebrations such as fall harvests and trunk & treat parties.

In retrospect, this campaign makes me sad when I think about all the little innocent children that would be left out because their parent’s let them dress in a way that is not allowable.  Therefore, I respectfully withdraw from participating in either your, or my, campaign.

Please email your parenting questions to and put “Parent’s Corner on the subject line.


Parent’s Corner – I Am Afraid




I Am Afraid

Dear Sue Ellen,

I can’t give you my name because I am afraid.  My boyfriend is getting more and more hateful towards me.  I tried to break up with him, but he threatened to kill me if I did.  He’s all nice around everybody else, but when it’s just me and him, things are different.  Nobody believes that such a nice guy would every harm anyone.   I don’t know how to get out of this situation.  Please help me.

No Name


Dear No-Name:

You are in a very dangerous place.  Did you know that everyday three women die from domestic violence in America?  Some abusers are masters at covering their tracks.  You must find a way to get out of this situation.  There are shelters for victims of domestic violence, but charges have to be filed with police.  If he hasn’t physically abused you, or if you don’t have proof of the threats he has made, it will hinder the police from doing anything to protect you.

You must come up with a plan.  If you stay with this guy, it will only get worse.  Domestic Violence can be: physical abuse, emotional abuse, sexual abuse, financial abuse or a combination of all four.  I spoke to an expert in the field of domestic violence prevention and this is what she said about your situation.

You did the right thing by reaching out.  Leaving an abusive relationship is not only hard, but it is dangerous. In fact, violence may increase by as much as 75% upon separation. You need a plan that addresses how you are going to maintain safety while you are still with him; what things you need to do before you leave; and how you plan to be vigilant and safe after you leave.

I won’t lie to you and say everything’s going to be okay or that it will be easy to get out of this nightmare. There are many programs that can help you.  It’s just a matter of knowing about them and reaching out.  You can educate yourself about your rights as a victim and choose to regain control of your life.  It is possible for you to live free of fear and abuse.  Your local police department may have a victim assistance coordinator or another professional that can help you.  You have the right to speak to law enforcement without your boyfriend knowing.

Remember:  Safety is first and foremost right now.

Please email your parenting questions to and put “Parent’s Corner on the subject line.




Save the Date – Barnes & Noble Bookfair


Saturday, October 29, 2016 @ 9 am at the Market Heights Barnes & Noble, plus five days of additional online accumulation through November 4. Our bookfair proceeds will arrive mid-November in time for the purchase of new books for Christmas On The Farm! Remember online means you can help from anywhere! Thank you in advance!



Urgent Help Needed ASAP

Microphone AnnouncementAttention: ALL Certified Volunteers

We need your help! The task involves reviewing scanned documents and renaming it based on the date and title/description. You need a computer and a secure internet connection. Most private home WIFIs are okay.

This is a time-sensitive and confidential assignment. Please contact Dd for background information and details.

(254) 307-9098 (call or text)

Family Violence Unit Director




Gender Issues

Dear Sue Ellen,

My daughter just opened up to me about liking girls. I was shocked but grateful that she trusts me. I’m worried about her getting bullied at school and church because she’s pretty active and involved in both. I’m mostly worried more about other adults telling her things that will hurt her feelings. The last thing I want is for her to lose faith because of intolerance and insensitivity from other Christians. What should I do? I want to protect her forever. I know I can’t but I still try? She’s my first born child and only daughter.

– Nanay

Read more

Paid Position Available: FVU Community / Social Service Specialist

Position Summary

Under the direction of the Family Violence Unit Director, the FVU Community / Social Service Specialist will direct, manage, supervise, and coordinate the activities and operations of the Family Violence Unit, to include but not limited to: providing direct service to victims and survivors of domestic violence, facilitating peer support groups, assisting victims with Crime Victim’s Compensation, Permanent Protective Orders, and other relevant services unique to individual needs. The FVU Community / Social Service Specialist will also oversee volunteer advocate activity to include (but not limited to) recruiting, retention, and training. Fringe benefits includes 1.5 days of PTO (Paid Time Off) per month.

For More Information


To Apply

Schedule an interview, by calling Dd at (254) 307-9098, Monday-Friday, between 3PM-5PM.

Child Abuse and Neglect: Prevention Strategies

Child abuse and neglect are serious problems that can have lasting harmful effects on its victims. The goal in preventing child abuse and neglect is clear—to stop this violence from happening in the first place. Safe, stable, nurturing relationships and environments for all children and families can prevent abuse and help all children reach their full potential.

Child abuse and neglect are complex problems rooted in unhealthy relationships and environments. Preventing child abuse and neglect requires a comprehensive approach that influences all levels of the social ecology (including the societal culture), community involvement, relationships among families and neighbors, and individual behaviors. Effective prevention strategies focus on modifying policies, practices, and societal norms to create safe, stable, nurturing relationships and environments.

CDC’s technical package for preventing child abuse and neglect[PDF 3.69MB] identifies a number of strategies to help states and communities prioritize prevention activities based on the best available evidence. These strategies range from a focus on individuals, families, and relationships, to broader community and societal change. This range of strategies is needed to better address the interplay between individual-family behavior and broader neighborhood, community, and cultural contexts. Strategies and their corresponding approaches are presented in the table below.

Preventing Child Abuse and Neglect

Strategy Approach
Strengthen economic supports to families
  • Strengthening household financial security
  • Family-friendly work policies
Change social norms to support parents and positive parenting
  • Public engagement and education campaigns
  • Legislative approaches to reduce corporal punishment
Provide quality care and education early in life
  • Preschool enrichment with family engagement
  • Improved quality of child care through licensing and accreditation
Enhance parenting skills to promote healthy child development
  • Early childhood home visitation
  • Parenting skill and family relationship approaches
Intervene to lessen harms and prevent future risk
  • Enhanced primary care
  • Behavioral parent training programs
  • Treatment to lessen harms of abuse and neglect exposure
  • Treatment to prevent problem behavior and later involvement in violence

Additional information on child abuse and neglect prevention strategies, approaches and corresponding evidence can be found in Preventing Child Abuse & Neglect: A Technical Package for Policy, Norm, and Programmatic Activities[PDF 3.69MB].

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Guidelines and Planning Tools

  • Essentials for Childhood[PDF 5.5MB]  proposes strategies communities can consider to promote the types of relationships and environments that help children grow up to be healthy and productive citizens so that they, in turn, can build stronger and safer families and communities for their children.
  • Essentials for Parenting Toddlers and Preschoolers is a free, online resource developed by CDC’s Division of Violence Prevention. It provides information about what parents can do to build a positive, healthy relationship with their child.
  • Understanding Evidence is an interactive Web resource that CDC’s Division of Violence Prevention developed to support public health practitioners in making evidence-informed decisions around violence prevention.
  • EvaluACTION is designed for people interested in learning about program evaluation and how to apply it to their work.
  • Principles of Prevention is an online training or you to learn how to apply key concepts of primary prevention, the public health approach, and the social-ecological model to your violence prevention work.
  • Developing and Sustaining Prevention Programs on the Child Welfare Information Gateway website provides resources on developing a prevention program, conducting a community needs assessment, funding, collaborating, evaluating program effectiveness, and building community support.

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Reviews of Effective and Promising Programs

  • California Evidence-based Clearinghouse for Child Welfare
    This organization provides online access to information about evidence-based child welfare practices in a simple, straightforward format. The effectiveness of these practices is supported by empirical research.
  • Community Guide
    This guide provides systematic reviews of interventions, including home visitation programs like Nurse-Family Partnerships.
  • Child Welfare Information Gateway
    This site connects child welfare and related professionals to comprehensive information and resources to help protect children and strengthen families.
  • Promising Practices Network
    This network provides summaries of effective programs and issue briefs summarizing current research related to child well-being, including their physical and mental health, academic success, and economic security.
  • World Report on Violence and Health
    This report is the first comprehensive review of violence on a global scale. Chapter 3[PDF 176KB] provides detailed information about child abuse and neglect, including prevention strategies.Aware Logo - Blue Tag Line

Parent’s Corner – Should I Stay or Should I Go?


Dear Sue Ellen,

I saw this thing on TV about domestic violence and it said one of the danger signs of an abusive relationship is isolation.  It said abusive partners would try to keep you away from your friends and family.  It made me uneasy to hear that because my boyfriend wants me to move away from all my family and friends to a town where I don’t know anybody.  I love him, but I don’t think he should expect me to do that.  I try to talk to him about it, but he keeps on pressuring me to go.  I think I want to build a life with him but I really don’t want to move.  Should I stay or should I go?


Dear Crystal

This is going to be really easy for me to say:   Don’t go!

The thing you saw on TV is right.  Abusive partners DO try to isolate their victims.  Does that mean your boyfriend is abusive?  Since you brought up the subject, let’s talk about abusive relationships.  An abusive relationship is when one person controls another person using criticism, emotional manipulation, threats, blaming, physical violence, anger, force, charm, lies, fear, monetary control and/or isolation as you already brought up.  An abuser will seem so charming and trustworthy at first.  He (or she…yes there are lots of women that are abusive) will seem too good to be true.  They are so appreciative but then, over time, subtle controls start.  Eventually a victim feels powerless to escape because they are mentally, emotionally and sometimes physically trapped.

You say you love this guy and you want to build a life with him.  Why wouldn’t you want to go with the person you are planning your future with?  There must be more to this story.  If some little voice inside you is telling you he really isn’t the one, please do yourself, and him, a favor and break it off.  How he handles your breakup will show you what kind of man he is.  Are you a little bit afraid to make him angry?  Deep down do you think he will try to harm you if you end it?  You don’t have to be honest with me, but your life depends on you being honest with yourself.

Let’s talk about love.  Love is good. If love is the core of your relationship with your boyfriend, you will be able to work this issue out together.  Love is patient and kind.  It is not jealous or boastful.  Love does not insist on its own way.  Love is not irritable or resentful.

Here is one more question for you to ask yourself.  Do you want this boyfriend of yours to become the father of your children?  If you go with this guy and he is abusive then your children will grow up in an abusive home.  Is that what you want for your future?  You have lots to think about.

Please email your parenting questions to and put “Parent’s Corner on the subject line.