Tagged as: children

Bae Watch: The 4 Most Influential Figures in Your Teen’s Life

As a father of a 16 year old daughter, my life is in ruins! Just kidding, but I can honestly say I wasn’t prepared for the differences between my sweet little princess who loved me unconditionally to grow into this barely speaking, rolling her eyes, teeth sucking mean girl! After a quick reflection (look into her social media), I realized the need to pay attention to the “influencers” in my child’s life. She calls them her “BAE’s” which consists of women so I barely complain. In an attempt to regain some of my “Daddy is my Fav!” days, I learn about them and have open dialogue with my daughter about them; at least when she is not on life support (i.e. Her iPhone).

This list is comprised of entertainers, entrepreneurs, fashionistas, millionaires and moguls whose followers are over 280,000,000 combined! I call them my BAE Watch, my mission is to “watch” my daughter’s BAEs. If you question the Power of these BAEs, I implore you to take some time to learn the language of teen girls and indulge in the music, makeup and mayhem of these four beautiful women who can all be individually identified by one name: Beyonce, Kylie, Rihanna, and Taylor!

Instagram: @beyonce

beyonce-instagram

Instagram: @kyliejenner

kylie-instagram

Instagram: @badgalriri

rihanna-instagram

Instagram: @taylorswift

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Summer Bully

It’s the last day of school, and you’re thinking, “Maybe my child can finally rest, no more bullying.” WRONG! Unfortunately, the summer is prime bullying season, the difference is those kids’ parents are your friends. Yes, there is a bully in your neighborhood! In some aspect, you are wrong for not realizing it.

Unlike the constant supervision in school, most kids in the neighborhood play hours unsupervised. This subjects your child to endless hours of demeaning and often physical attacks. Then, we ignore our children when we decide to visit our neighbors for dinner; placing them right in the belly of the beast. We have to pay attention to  our siblings; the breath of our bosom, the fruit of our loins, the chip off the block.

Character.org states:

Repeated bullying causes severe emotional harm and can erode a child’s self-esteem and mental health. Whether bullying is verbal, physical or relational, the long-term effects are equally harmful. Both boys and girls report high levels of emotional distress and loneliness as well as lower self-esteem, loneliness, anxiety, and depression.

Here are a few warning signs that your child may have a Summer Bully:

  • Unexplained physical marks, cuts, bruises, and scrapes
  • Clothes, toys, books, electronic items are damaged or missing or child reports mysteriously “losing” possessions
  • Doesn’t want to go to activities with peers
  • Marked change in typical behavior or personality
  • Appears sad, moody, angry, anxious or depressed and that mood lasts with no known cause
  • Physical complaints; headaches and stomach aches
  • Difficulty sleeping, nightmares, cries self to sleep, bed wetting
  • Change in eating habits

Remember, just because school has ended doesn’t mean the bullying has! For more information on bullying, visit divasindefense.com/victim-resources.

Safe Apps

Ten years ago, it was difficult to communicate to let family and friends know that you were safe. It was even more difficult to let them know you were in a unsafe situation. Now, we all have cell phones with GPS locators. This recent technology provides a safety net for cell phone users. The are multiple apps that provide ways to communicate with authorities, family and friends in emergencies or sketchy situations. Below are a few apps that are great additions to your current apps.

Watch Over Me

Watch Over Me greets you with a screen that presents two statements, ‘Watch Over Me While I…’ and ‘For…’, followed by two buttons. For each statement you fill in an action (‘walk home’, ‘walk to my car’, ‘take a cab’, ‘meet someone’, or add a new event), and a time frame . Once you’ve selected these specifics and tapped the ‘Watch Over Me’ button, the app takes you to a countdown screen with a round button to tap to confirm your safety, and a square button below it to tap to extend the watch session. If you don’t confirm your safety by the time the counter hits zero, the app contacts your previously designated friends (via SMS, email, or even Facebook) with your GPS location. Two other buttons remain constant throughout the app: the Instant Emergency Alert button, and a banner at the top that you can tap to unlock all the app’s features.

bSafe

bSafe has some of the same features as Watch Over Me—for instance, it allows you to add contacts (it calls them Guardians) who can follow you when you’re on your way home. Like the other apps, it has an SOS button that will set off an alert to your Guardians, with your GPS location. Once you’ve registered with bSafe, the app asks you to select Guardians from your contacts list. You’ll need to have at least one contact that can be reached via telephone; other Guardians can be accessible via text message or a combination of the two.  If you’re in danger, hit the red SOS button, and the app sounds an alarm, sets off a bright light on your phone, texts your location to your contacts, and calls a Guardian.

Circle of 6

The design is simple. It takes two touches to get help, so no fumbling or digging around for the right number. The design ensures safety, speed and privacy. GPS is integrated (using Google maps), and is only activated by you, and sent to your own Circle of 6. It uses icons to represent actions, so that no one can tell what you’re up to if they see your phone.

1. Car icon: Come and get me. SMS message reads, “Come and get me. I need help getting home safely. My GPS coordinates are…”

2. Phone icon: Call me. SMS message reads, “Call and pretend you need me. I need an interruption.”

3. Chat icon: I need some advice. SMS message reads, “I’m looking for information, just letting you know.” This will link the user with risk-assessment tools and information about healthy vs. abusive relationships developed by content partners.

Signs That You’re In An Abusive Relationship

Could you be in an abusive relationship and not know it? According to the Huffington Post, nearly 60 percent of all young women have experienced abuse. Domestic violence and abuse can happen to anyone, yet the problem is often overlooked, excused, or denied. This is especially true when the abuse is psychological, rather than physical. Noticing and acknowledging the signs of an abusive relationship is the first step to ending it. No one should live in fear of the person they love. If you recognize yourself or someone you know in the following warning signs and descriptions of abuse, reach out. There is help available.

The Divas In Defense Team wanted to take time out of our jolly – jolly holiday ask these questions:

Do you feel afraid of your partner much of the time?
Does your partner humiliate or yell at you?
Avoid certain topics out of fear of angering your partner?
Criticize you and put you down?
Feel that you can’t do anything right for your partner?
Treat you so badly that you’re embarrassed for your friends or family to see?
Believe that you deserve to be hurt or mistreated?
Ignore or put down your opinions or accomplishments?
Wonder if you’re the one who is crazy?
Blame you for their own abusive behavior?
Feel emotionally numb or helpless?
See you as property or a sex object, rather than as a person?

Does your partner:
Have a bad and unpredictable temper?
Does your partner act excessively jealous and possessive?
Hurt you, or threaten to hurt or kill you?
Control where you go or what you do?
Threaten to take your children away or harm them?
Keep you from seeing your friends or family?
Threaten to commit suicide if you leave?
Limit your access to money, the phone, or the car?
Force you to have sex?
Limit your access to money, the phone, or the car?
Destroy your belongings?
Constantly check up on you?

Women don’t have to live in fear:
National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233

Male victims of abuse can call:
Domestic Abuse Helpline for Men & Women at 888-743-5754

For More Information:
Helpguide.org

“It’s On Us” To Stop Sexual Assault

Lately, it seems like every time I turn on any news station, there is another college fraternity being suspended for allegations of some type of sexual assault. Recently the University of Virginia has suspended all fraternities and parties associated with the fraternities following a Rolling Stone Magazine article that describes one student’s account of being gang raped and her annoyance with her school to hold her attackers responsible. President Teresa A. Sullivan wrote in a statement to the university community. “Rape is an abhorrent crime that has no place in the world, let alone on the campuses and grounds of our nation’s colleges and universities.

How can we, the female society, willing fill out applications to our dream schools and most of the social clubs are on suspension or investigation for sexual assault. I wanted to know, what are college administrations and our governments doing to protect us on campus from sexual assaults?

Well here is the answer. The Obama Administration launched “It’s On Us” Public Awareness Campaign this year. This campaign has been formulated:

• To RECOGNIZE that non-consensual sex is sexual assault.
• To IDENTIFY situations in which sexual assault may occur.
• To INTERVENE in situations where consent has not or cannot be given.
• To CREATE an environment in which sexual assault is unacceptable and survivors are supported.

“It’s On Us” I believe is a pledge that all schools and colleges can implement to make a big difference on how the female student body.

When a victim can have the support of her school and that her allegations will not go unheard, that is already a strong unified campus that I would want to be apart of.

While on winter break sign your Young Diva for Divas In Defense “On Her Own” Workshop December 20th, 2014:

Take the “Its On Us” Pledge Here:
http://itsonus.org/#pledge_open

“UVA Suspends Fraternities after Report on Gang Rape Allegations.” CNN. Ralph Ellis, 23 Nov. 2014. Web. 23 Nov. 2014

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Street Harassment the Uncomfortable Walk

Before reading those stories, and posting, I accepted it as the norm to get harassed all the time.” (Hollaback participant, 2012) –

Now we all can admit that hearing “That I Notice You” whistle or look might actually brighten up your day, but what can you do if it progresses into an uncomfortable situation: whistle blowing, hisses and the stares. Many do not understand what is the ‘Big Deal”. Non-contact unwanted sexual experiences were the most common form of sexual violence experienced by both women and men.

Event though the assailant is not being physical public harassment is still pretty close to your Personal Safety Zone. The assailant might not even notice they are speaking the language of Sexual Terrorism. It could all be apart of their Social Anxiety Defense Mechanism stemming from low self-esteem.

Street Harassment on College Campuses
Recently the company behind the Hollaback! App collected 282 undergraduate, graduate and part-time college students and 44 college administrators on campuses from the urban, suburban and rural U.S. to find out how harassment exists in spaces of higher education.
• Students are being harassed on their college campuses (67% of students experienced harassment),
• Harassment is limiting student’s ability to benefit from education,
• Current campus systems and processes are insufficient.
• Over 99 percent of women report facing some form of street harassment.
• 95 percent of women report being the target of leering or excessive staring at least once.
• More than 37 percent of women have had a stranger masturbate at or in front of them at least once in public.
• Nearly 57 percent of women reported being touched or grabbed in a sexual way by a stranger in public.
• Over 77 percent of women said they were the targets of kissing noises from men.
• About 62 percent of women say a man has purposely blocked their path at least once.
• About 27 percent of women report being assaulted at least once in public by a stranger.

“But I found myself forcing myself to bring it up and to tell people about it and to, even like, people I wouldn’t normally tell this to, like my Dad… Hollaback cultured my feeling that this should be shared.”
The only way we can become a fighting voice for all of those who cannot.

Sources: http://www.ihollaback.org/
SOURCES: Stop Street Harassment, Feministe/Patrick McNeil, Center for American Progress

Give A Potential Attacker the Finger!

“It’s like a blue light in the palm of your hand.”

With attacks on unsuspecting victims popping up left and right, it’s always boggled my mind that there hasn’t been a way to immediately and discreetly contact the police vs. calling 911 outright. The latter is a dead give away to any potential aggressor that you’ve called for help. With all the modern technology out there, I thought, why can’t people somehow TEXT 911?

While mobile phones have helped a lot of people escape dangerous situations that are detrimental to personal safety and well-being; smartphones have tried to take it to the next level. I’m not armed with data or analytical insight here but in general, smartphones have not been a radical addition to this security issue. There are apps which help you alert the cops and your friends when you are in danger. SafeTrek is one such app, a very ingenious one at that. SafeTrek promises to significantly enhance student safety by augmenting the infrequently-used “blue light” emergency phone systems on many college campuses.

SafeTrek is a security app for the iPhone and Android. It’s a very simple app which – when used and triggered – will alert the cops silently with a danger-alert tagged with your current location. When you feel unsafe, all you have to do is tap and release a button on the app. The Safe Trek system includes an app where students worried about their safety can hold down a large virtual button that causes the phone to vibrate and the screen to animate. If the user doesn’t input a private PIN within ten seconds, the local police dispatcher receives a web alert that tracks the student’s path on a map. The dispatcher and student can exchange text messages or speak directly until the situation is resolved

Many lives have been saved because of SafeTrek. Whether a user is walking down an alley late at night or hears a strange noise in his/her own home, SafeTrek offers a guarantee of security when the user might not be able to call the police on their own.

Designed to beat the time it takes to dial 911 and send your SOS message, SafeTrek started as a small project but has found some widespread success. The app works very simply:

If you feel unsafe – say, when you are out in the night or going through deserted streets with suspicious folks strolling around – open the app and press-and-hold on the Safe button.
• After you are out of the unsafe zone and are sure that you are safe, remove your finger from the button and enter a PIN to cancel the alarm system which will send a message to the authorities.
• In case you are in an emergency, all you do is remove the finger from the Safe button. In ten seconds, if you don’t do anything, the SOS will be sent and your location will be tracked/monitored constantly.
• You can cancel the alert in ten seconds.

Hey Mom/Dad, What About Me?

Check The Back Seat, Before You Stand On Your Feet

This rising epidemic of children dying in cars is out of hand. As a parent, the fear of any of my children dying before me is one of my worst nightmares. It seems as if there is a new story daily of a parent arrested or distraught over the death of a child left behind. Whether intentional or not, the loss of life through heat and dehydration is a miserable death.

According to SafeCar.gov, here are a few Risks & Consequences:

Risks:
– In 10 minutes, a car can heat up 20 degrees Fahrenheit.
– Cracking a window does little to keep the car cool.
– With temperatures in the 60s, your car can heat up to well above 110 degrees.
– A child’s body temperature can rise up to five times faster than an adults.

Consequences:
– The heat-related death of a child.
– Misdemeanor with fines as high as $500 – and even imprisonment in some states.
– Felony, depending on the state, if bodily harm results from leaving kids alone in a hot car.

Here are a few tips to prevent leaving a child in a car:

1. Stay off the phone! As a self-defense professional, I am dumbfounded by the lack of attention to life while talking or texting on a cellphone. I swear it is situational awareness’ arch nemesis. I’ve personally seen a teenage girl sideswiped as she walked into oncoming traffic blindly texting on her phone. It is the ultimate distraction in which the convenience causes some many negative consequences.

2. Talk to your child. The demands of our lives leaves little room for quality time with our loved ones. I can admit, I too am guilty of being non-attentive to my family. We are a household of technology, iPads, iPhones, Galaxy Tabs, Galaxy S5, Amazon Kindles, video games; you name it, we got it. If you are in the vehicle with your child or children, this is a perfect time for quality time. Staying off of technology prevents accidents and talking to your child(ren) is nourishing and a continuous reminder of their presence.

3. Have a reminder! The old string on your finger adage is a thing of the past, yet the need to be reminded is even more prominent than the days of old. We have a product called, The BabySitter, which is a distance alarm for small children and those with dementia and autism. The BabySitter looks like a Teddy Bear with a separate keychain alarm. When the distance between the two reach 3 to 10 meters, the keychain beeps to acknowledge lack of close proximity to one another. In addition, it also works in stores and parks with the addition of a built in 90db child locator alarm.

For more information regarding The BabySitter, visit http://www.divasindense.com.

Download “A Parent’s Guide to Playing It Safe With Kids and Cars.

A Lesson On Crisis Intervention

Last Thursday, March 13, Divas In Defense was invited by representatives of NBC to join a screening of their new show Crisis.  Crisis is a brand new television series which officially premiered on NBC last night.  According to a summary written by NBC on Imdb.com‘s webpage the show “Centers on an idealistic Secret Service agent who finds himself at the center of an international crisis on his first day on the job. In his search for the truth, he will have to cross moral and legal lines as he navigates the highest levels of power and corruption.”

It was a fabulous experience and our very own Cole Parker and Skye Walton were asked to perform a self-defense demonstration prior to the screening.  The duo did a brief, very educational, demonstration that left the audience amazed.  Divas In Defense is the perfect place to learn how to approach a crisis situation, so be sure to sign up for one of our many classes designed to suit the beginning student to the most advanced student.

Thank you so much to NBC for inviting us!

Don’t Be Scared, Be Prepared!

February is Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month

Countless crimes and attacks we see daily through the media can easily make us lose focus of the most common attackers and abusers, those we know. According to the United States Department of Justice, one- eight attacks on women is someone we DO NOT know. This means the other 87.5% are our fathers, brothers, bosses, co-workers, church members, neighbors and significant others.

Unfortunately, we do not always report our loved ones and those we know to local authorities. The inaccuracy of 87.5% truly being in the upper 90s reminds us of the importance of protecting ourselves and our girls.

One in four teen dating relationships are abusive. One in four college aged young women will experience attempted or completed rape. The fear of our little girls growing up is scary enough, even without the reality of the countless crimes they may have to endure. Don’t Be Scared, Be Prepared!

Click here for more information on registering you and/or a teen for self-defense classes.

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