Home Security and Safety Advice for Domestic Abuse Survivors

By Nora Hood
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Domestic Abuse: The Facts and Figures

Domestic abuse is a serious problem we don’t talk about often enough. Abuse can take various forms. It can be physical, emotional, or financial. The common thread through each of them, is how the abuser uses their power to hold the abused hostage, in their own homes. While survivors span through all gender identities, females suffer from intimate partner violence at higher rates than males-- an estimate 85 percent of domestic abuse survivors are women.

Other shocking statistics regarding domestic abuse include:

     Over 38 million women experience physical intimate partner violence, in their lifetimes --  that is one out of every four women.

     Every day in the United States, three women are murdered by a current or former male partner.

     Black women experience domestic violence at rate 35 percent higher than white women.

     Women who experience domestic abuse are eight times more likely to be murdered by their partner, if there is a firearm in the household.

     In 98 percent of domestic violence cases, financial abuse also occurs.

     A transgender person of color is 2.6 times more likely to experience intimate partner violence than a non-LGBT person.

     A woman is 70 times more likely to be murdered by her abusive partner in the weeks after leaving.

     Those living with disabilities are more likely to experience violence and abuse than people without disabilities.

Searching for Independence

By Louise Sertsis

It's been my experience in the past, especially when traveling that I felt as though I was thrust into a pre-kindergarten era - a time where everything is done for me, instead of letting me explore, navigate and learn. Sometimes, I felt my voice was no longer heard. I seemed invisible to everyone except my husband, who is bombarded with impending questions from the airport staff. Initially, when I was coping with my disability. I was offended as frustration built, and I bit my lip, and screamed inside. I realize that most people just want to be helpful and time is tight due to the airline schedule but sometimes society has a lack of knowledge regarding inclusion of all abilities.

Frustration was a familiar response to situations that occurred, once Multiple Sclerosis started really affecting me. I used to be filled with pent up anger and shame, which completely changed who I was as a person. After many years of solitude, I was gradually able to channel these feelings into a positive. When I started using and seeing my circumstance in a new light, things started to change for me. While I still value my alone time, it's much more gratifying leaving my comfort zone, meeting new people and being the best version of me that I can be. It was challenging at first, but I'm doing things now that I never thought possible.

A Stimulating Topic...The Ins and Outs of Bowel Care

By Patty Kunze, RN, BSN and Roberta Palmer, RN

There has been a huge amount of discussion about bowels on a spinal cord injury Facebook group lately, so we thought we would confront the subject. There was no easy way to make this topic “stimulating.” Hahahaha!! A bit of nursing humor.
First off, allow us to discuss the anatomy, as it may make the discussion easier to understand. The small intestine is the section of your digestive tract where the majority of food digestion and nutrient absorption takes place. The main function of the large intestine is to absorb water and remove solid waste from the body. The key role of the rectum is to act as a storehouse for feces. The anus is the opening where the gastrointestinal tract ends and exits the body.  The organ takes approximately 16 hours to complete the digestion of food.

We decided to tackle the methods of bowel programs for those of us needing this procedure. We know everyone’s body is unique, so the bowel program that works for one person may not always work for another. However, a good diet including fiber with plenty of water consumption is extremely important.

CURE Girl, Lolly: On a Mission to Reverse Paralysis

By Lorraine Lolly Mack

Exactly 14 years ago, I was to walk out of my house for the very last time... I was going out for the night with my boyfriend at the time, Gianluca who was over from Italy. Earlier that day, I called my mom and said that I didn’t know what to do about going out as I wanted to take Gianluca to show him Brick Lane Market on the Sunday morning and I knew there was no chance of that if we went out partying!

We went out to meet my dear friends, Sam and Diana and their boyfriends too. We met them before going to the club for a few drinks and as usual were having a great night with lots of laughs.

To cut a long story short, we arrived at a nightclub and within approximately 20 minutes of being in there, I was dancing to my favorite song, at that time, “Lola’s Theme” by The Shapeshifters. It was that moment when tragedy struck. I felt a massive “thud” on my head and fell backwards with my head hitting the floor first.