Is your teen using MySpace?

Some articles across the web will discourage allowing a kid to use myspace. Some urge caution. Some outline the advantages of allowing a kid to use the social networking site. Which do you follow? Each parent needs to make their own decision on whether or not to allow their child to use the site. But if they are allowed, then I urge all parents to monitor their child’s site and the activity there. And I encourage every parent to insist that if their child is using any site to know their passwords. An invasion of privacy you say? It’s your child, and you have to determine not only how much you trust your child, but also how much you trust the people your child comes into contact with on an open internet site, where sexual predators, drug dealers and  other criminal types are known to hang out. Even the police are known to check out some sites, though of course they cannot monitor every site, every day.

But what happens if your child is using the site, and you want to change some aspect of it? Optymyst at Look Who’s Tattling Now has a great post on the options available on myspace. Look them over, decide what you think will be most appropriate and helpful on your teens site, and then work with your teen on installing them.


Want to help?

If you are concerned about domestic violence, but don’t know what you can do to help- there is an easy solution. Call your local domestic violence agency and ask.

A shelter has many needs. Money is always a need of course. But other things they may be in need of are cell phones, food and kitchen items, household supplies, furniture, bedding, clothing, toiletries,books and toys and other entertainment needs. Some use volunteers for various things. Sometimes the domestic violence agencies need volunteers, sometimes they need help in transporting supplies and other items. If you own a business, you may be able to offer employment to the victims. Or your business may offer some services that would be helpful to the shelter. Another item that is often needed is vehicles. And because the shelters and agencies are non-profit, the donations are tax deductible, so they also benefit you.

To find out what your local domestic violence agencies need, call and ask.

Outside her parent’s home

Damon Thomas and Tonya Thomas were divorcing. And Tonya Thomas had a restraining order against Damon. The divorce was to be final on July 7.

Tonya Thomas’s parents found her body outside their home about 3 am Friday morning.

Damon Thomas was originally arrested for violating the domestic violence injunction, but has now been charged with first degree murder.

Not many details are given.

If you are in a relationship, and have had to file for a protection order, that is not enough. You also need to seek a place of safety. Most usually the accused offender will get out on bond while awaiting to go to trial on any charges. Besides the original problems, the offender may be angry about the legal problems. If he/she is wanting to get the relationship back together, they may become more desperate.

If you have to file for protection order, that is not enough. It is only one tool. You also have to make and enact a safety plan. First you need to go to a place of safety. And a family member’s, close friend or neighbor’s may not be enough. You may need to go somewhere that he/she will not think to look for you. You may need to move to a new address, go to a shelter for domestic violence victims, or even leave town.

Some indications that you may need to do this is the level of violence you have experienced. Were threats to kill you ever made? Was a weapon ever involved? Did you have to or should you have gone to the hospital? Were you ever choked? Is the accused offender acting erratically or out of control? These are only some of the signs that you need to seek out a place of safety.

Keep a cell phone with you at all times. Even a cell phone with the sevice turned off can be used to call 911. (If you have an old cell phone that you don’t use, most domestic violence shelters will accept them, if you wish to donate). Call 911 if you see the offender- do not wait to see what they want. By coming close to you, the accused is in violation of that protection order. If the accused makes contact with you in any way, by phone, letter or text- make sure you let the prosecutor know of that. Remember- you are not getting them in trouble, their actions are getting them in trouble.

For more information about the safety plan, look to the links on the left under domestic violence.

And make contact with your local domestic violence agency. They will work with people who are any where in the process if they are being abused. So you if are in a domestic violence relationship, and not ready to leave, are considering leaving, or have left- their assistance can be invaluable. They work with people, whether they are in the shelter or not.

An Argument

Police were called to a residence about 7 pm on Sunday due to a report of domestic assault.

A woman alleged that James Walter Wiklanski ripped the phone out of the wall during an argument, as she dialed 911. She also told police that during the assault, Wiklanski choked her twice and pounded her head on the floor. She also said that he threatened to kill her and he told her he wasn’t going to leave until he “got some”. The unnamed woman had injuries to her throat, back and foot.

Wiklanski was arrested and has been charged with assault with intent to commit great bodily harm less than murder, assault with intent to commit sexual penetration, assault with intent to commit sexual contact and cutting a telephone line. He has been given a $25,000 cash or surety bond, but remains in jail at this time.

Every domestic violence incident does not end in a murder. Many leave their victims alive, but emotionally devastated. Many times the victims are very fearful. They know that the abuser will not only be angry about the original argument, but now will be angry about the arrest. If he/she gets out of jail, they could be at risk again.

Many times the abuser doesn’t see it as the person trying to defend his/herself by calling police for assistance, they see it as a personal assault on themselves. They see it as the victims fault.

What they don’t seem to see is that they are not only causing problems in their victims life, they are causing problems in their own life.

The sad thing is that there is help out there if they want it. The National Domestic Violence Hotline: 1-800-799-7233 works with abuse victims. But they also work with abusers, to assist them in finding programs to help. They may include individual counseling, group counseling, or domestic violence intervention treatment programs. Another resource is to call the county mental health and counseling center and request information as to what is available in your area. There is also help for any alcohol or drug abuse problems that might contribute to the domestic violence problems.

It can hard to admit a problem with domestic violence. It can be even harder to actually enter a program for treatment. But it sure is easier to enter a program than to go too far one time and end up in a divorce or being charged with domestic violence. Or murder. Don’t wait until it is too late.