How do you keep them safe?

How are we supposed to keep our children safe? I know I took extensive pains to teach stranger danger to my children when they were younger and we talk about what to do if all the time.

I am absolutely mortified for the children who were assaulted and I pray that they get the psychological help they will need to deal with the aftermath of these predators.

Here are some websites to help you talk to your own kids, grandkids, etc.


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Childhelp USA maintains a 24-hour National Child Abuse Hotline.

National Children’s Alliance has nearly 700 advocacy centers nationwide and helps with the process of reporting and recovering from abuse.

Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN) has a free, confidential, secure service that allows victims past and present to get help via its phone and online hotlines.

Stop it Now! also offers a phone and an e-mail Helpline dedicated to sexual-abuse prevention. Its Ask Now! advice column features actual situations so people can seek guidance for their own concerns.

Darkness to Light

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Please talk with the children in your life today. Let’s keep them as safe as we can for as long as we can.



Offering Guns as Anti-Violence Groups’ Raffle Prizes Sends the Wrong Message


That is not particularly what got my attention. It was one of the prizes listed (a handgun) and the community group that would receive the raffle proceeds (Youth Violence Prevention Council Shasta County).

Once I investigated the group and its programs on their website (, I was even more incensed that they would agree to a fundraising raffle with a deadly weapon as a prize while conducting important programs for the young people of our county already living thru violent situations.

What message were they sending to them?

A phone message to the executive director yielded a call back from board member, Sheriff Bosenko. I expressed my concerns of the hypocritical nature of a handgun raffle prize, when this was an anti-violence organization. I pointed out that handguns have one purpose: to kill people. He countered that they are used for sport (target shooting) and self-protection.

I realized that our disagreement would not be solved, but that wasn’t the main concern—having a raffle prize, that is violent by design, earn money for an anti-violence promoting council was, to me … well … a mockery.

Shortly into the phone call, the Sheriff pointed out to me that other community groups had had similar “very successful” raffles – One Safe Place and Girls, Inc. for example. I was gobsmacked by this information and politely ended the conversation. My thought processes had ceased to be coherent but I soon realized that I had to get to the bottom of this news.

Calls and messages to the directors of the two groups brought me even more concern: Yes, the shelter for those fleeing domestic abuse had indeed had a handgun package (gun, training, conceal weapon permit) as a raffle prize last February at their fundraising crab feed.  Yes, Girls, Inc. had benefited from a similar raffle at the local sporting goods store a few years back.

Deciding to do an informal poll of local community groups, I found that AAUW and Shasta County Child Abuse Prevention Council have not had raffles with gun prizes. I was told that Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, Ducks Unlimited, and Anderson Rotary have had gun raffles in the past.

Several groups have not answered my inquiry (NVCSS, GNRM, YMCA, SC Chemical People and Turtle Bay) but now that the conversation is started, maybe I can add their information to my data bank. The current director of Girls, Inc. said that they have turned down a facial rejuvenation raffle package in the past because of “the message that it sent to their girls.”

I propose every community organization develop written policies that clearly define what raffle items are acceptable or appropriate for their group to offer.  There needs to be a hearty debate about what is a difficult subject: fundraising at any cost. A hunting group certainly could decide that a weapon of some sort is appropriate. An anti-drug abuse council may decide the offer of a donated keg of beer as a fundraiser is not acceptable. A health-improvement council may decide that a spa day is OK for a raffle but a case of cigarettes or Vape shop gift certificate is not.  Having written guidelines seems a necessary step for every group.

Meanwhile, I plan to petition several groups directly to reconsider their previous raffle decisions and go “gun-free.” The message they send to the community, those who donate to them directly and those they serve is important. They need to realize that making money by releasing more weapons into our gun-rich region is not a proper way to fund raise.  Providing a handgun that could then be stolen, used in a felony or accidentally “mis-used” in the winner’s household causing injury or death should not be an option. Helping to facilitate such change would put my mind at ease.

Anita Brady is a lifetime Shasta County resident, and a retired high school biology teacher. She is married, and has two adult daughters who live far away. She is a third-generation union member and describes herself as an unapologetic liberal who remembers the “old days” when Shasta County had a Democratic stronghold. 

While world-travel is among her favorite pastimes, Brady is currently working on finding outlets for her progressive views including protecting women’s reproductive freedoms, promoting equal pay for women, maintaining separation of church and state, and nondiscrimination of American taxpayers based on sex, marital status, race, citizenship documentation or sexual preference.

Source: Offering Guns as Anti-Violence Groups’ Raffle Prizes Sends the Wrong Message


The message we are sending is that you have an AMERICAN right to bear arms and defend yourself. If you don’t like America, there are 195 other countries to live in- find one that doesn’t allow personal freedom and the right to bear arms. I get it, you have the right to voice your opinion, no problem…I enjoy that right too.

You are missing the point of these raffles: TO RAISE MONEY for the cause. Guns are not illegal, they are enjoyed for sport and crucial for self-defense against criminals. Criminals would be those wishing to do you personal harm for their own benefit against your will. Yes, I would gladly support Girls Inc. without a gun raffle but I would also prefer to win a gun too. Win-win, I say.

It is hard to raise money for non-profits, kudos to them for using what works. Shame on you for criticizing from your armchair and not doing the grunt work. Volunteering is a labor of love.


Back renewed campus-carry efforts – Sun Sentinel — SlowFacts

My friend Shayna Lopz-Rivas had this article posted in the Palm Beach Sun-Sentinal. Well done, Shayna. “For those of you who don’t know me, I am the on-campus rape survivor from FSU who supports the campus carry bill. Unfortunately, both Senators Miguel Diaz de la Portilla and Andy Gardiner took part in killing the bill […]

via Back renewed campus-carry efforts – Sun Sentinel — SlowFacts


Safe at Home: Preventing Sexual Violence


What does it mean to be safe at home?

The theme of this year’s Sexual Assault Awareness Month campaign is Prevention is Possible — and if you scroll through the hashtag on Twitter, you’ll find lots of prevention tips. But one tip that I stumbled across was particularly problematic. It advised young women to avoid sexual assault by “staying safe at home.”

The idea that someone should stay at home to avoid being sexually assaulted is flawed on many levels, but let’s start with the most damaging. In eight out of 10 cases of rape, the victim knows the person who sexually assaulted them. The idea of safety of the home is crushed when you consider that the odds are you’ll open the door for an offender — because overwhelmingly, assaults are perpetrated by an intimate partner or acquaintance. Still, the misinformed ideas behind tips like these are commonly held. Too often, sexual violence is viewed as something that is inevitable — or if it is preventable, that prevention is a potential victim’s responsibility.

Sexual violence prevention is possible, but like any other public health issue, it requires tackling the root causes of the problem. Tips like watch your drinks, travel in groups, or don’t leave the safety of your house aren’t going to bring about systematic changes. We must instead change the societal and cultural norms which allowed those behaviors to exist; we need to put an end to rape culture. Rape culture is a result of other societal oppressive behaviors, such as sexism, homophobia, and racism. Oppression condones violence, uses power to control others, and excuses unfair treatment and harm while creating a culture in which inequality thrives and violence is seen as normal. Everything from the casual sexist joke in the blockbuster of the week to victim-blaming is a part of it.

If we are truly going to prevent sexual violence, we’re going to have to work to create a cultural shift. A fight that big can’t rest on the shoulders of dedicated social justice warriors and rape crisis center employees, and it can’t just be an issue we think about during April. Everyone needs to, and is able to, stand up to oppression. It may sound like an ambitious objective, but what is the alternative? Staying inside? We already know that won’t work.

Taking a stand against oppression and ultimately preventing sexual violence comes down to one goal: ensuring that everyone is treated with respect and equality. The foundation of combating oppression starts with all of us promoting and modeling healthy attitudes and relationships. It is also critical that we intervene to stop problematic and disrespectful behavior. Maybe you’re already doing some or all of those things — so ask yourself, how can you widen the impact?

One way is to find opportunities to activate your community. Communities can create and strengthen policies to promote safety, equality, and respect. Many college campuses are already utilizing prevention strategies to create safe environments. For example, Cornell University has a policy which gives alcohol and drug amnesty to bystanders or victims reporting sexual violence. California State University has policy positions on sexual misconduct and affirmative consent, while Emory University trains fraternity and sorority members in bystander intervention and consent.

But the private sector also needs to play a part in combating oppression. One of the more obvious ways is by creating marketing campaigns that promote positive messages and healthy behaviors. The objectification of women in advertising has far-reaching effects that are well known. Advertising campaigns should model those healthy attitudes that the rest of us work towards in our own lives.

We have to rely on the determination of one another to stand against oppression — not on locked doors. It can be easy to dismiss the idea that showing respect, having healthy attitudes and relationships, and speaking up when you witness problematic behaviors can end rape culture. But it’s the only thing that ever will. Safety shouldn’t be dependent on who you’re with or where you are. In a world where we promote equality, we can prevent sexual violence. And when sexual violence is prevented, we can all, truly, be safe at home.


This post is part of a series produced by The Huffington Post and the National Sexual Violence Resource Center in conjunction with Sexual Assault Awareness Month. To learn more about the NSVRC and how you can help prevent sexual violence, visit here. Read all posts in the series here.


via Safe at Home: Preventing Sexual Violence

Prevention is Possible: Sexual Assault Awareness Month


Til It Happens To You Video (SAAM)

GRAPHIC video, not safe for work. Not safe for younger children.

Education and awareness is not an option, it is the only action we can take to change this. Please share, spread the message.

One in Five women college students will experience sexual assault.


Learn more at

April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month

Prevention is possible, it takes action.