Stand up against Domestic Violence

Stand up against Domestic violence

I want to talk to you about a very real issue that affects women and children around the globe, Domestic Violence. It is very real and serious and it needs to stop.  It destroys the  lives of victims and their families and it has no place in any society or home.  How many women need to be victimized  and abused before we act.

What is Domestic violence?

Domestic violence or intimate partner violence is a form of violence that can occur in any relationship. It can take on many forms including but not limited to physical, social and emotional. It does not have to occur within the home to be classed as domestic violence. It is a form of violence that can occur within any relationship (family or intimate partner). Domestic violence is about power and control and there are many ways this control can be expressed.

Types of intimate partner violence

Below are some of the forms that domestic violence may take:

Physical – If someone is hurting you, or threatening to hurt you, a loved one or a pet, then you will need to take some action.

Emotional – This form of violence is often unrecognised and can be very hurtful.

Economic – Having money and being able to make decisions about it, is one means of being independent. If someone is controlling your money, keeping you financially dependent, or making you ask for money unreasonably, then this is a form of violence

Social – Social violence occurs in relationships that often include other forms of violence. If someone is insulting you or teasing you in front of other people, keeping you isolated from family and friends, controlling what you do and where you go, then they are being violent and you may need to take some action

Spiritual – This type of violence involves a situation where you are not allowed to have your own opinions about religion, cultural beliefs, and values, or your spirituality is manipulated to keep you feeling powerless.
If any of this applies to you or to somebody that you care about, please don’t be silent. There are people who can and will help you. for more information about what you can do please visit http://au.reachout.com/what-is-domestic-violence#helpful

I want every single person who reads this to mark November  25 2014 in their calendars, because together we are going to take a stand for all of those who have been victims of domestic violence and abuse.   We call it white Ribbon day and it will be big.  Head to http://www.whiteribbon.org.au/standup  to sign up and take the oath to join the fight and together we can stamp out this horrible crime once and for all

The Ebola Virus.

Could not agree more. We need to change the way we think

standupforequality

You may have heard about the Ebola Virus recently. In fact, its most likely you have as it’s been circulating round the media lately. A lot. This isn’t some kind of issue that’s going to just suddenly disappear after a month or so without any action. The Ebola Virus is real. It’s taking it’s toll around the world right at this moment.

The World Health Organization has reported that the Ebola epidemic has killed 4,951 people out of 13,567 infected in eight countries.

Why is is that those of us in Westernized countries only started caring when it became a threat to us and our country? Why is it that the media only tend to commentate in detail when a Western civilian is affected? We constitute the world community, right?

This needs to change.

We need to start providing those currently being affected by the deadly Ebola Virus with basic…

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Mockingjay- spoilers ahead

Okay so we all know how successful the first two movies were in The Hunger Games series, however most of us don’t know what the movies and before that the book series, means. That is until we get to Mockingjay. Now for those of you who have forgotten the story so far or who haven’t seen the movies or read the books. If you haven’t then shame on you. it is one of the best young adult series that I have ever had the pleasure to read. Far better then Twilight if you want my opinion. But I digress. Let’s recap what has happened so far shall we?

  • Katniss volunteered for the Hunger Games to spare her sister Prim who was far to young for the violence and horror of the games.  for those who don’t know the hunger games are a way that the capital think Ancient Rome use to control and intimidate the other smaller and poorer districts.
  • she and Peeta train for the games and it becomes clear that he is in love with her and their story and her personality capture the heart of the citizens of the capital. this allows her to make the final of the Games (think like the old gladiators) But the final two is her and Peeta. Everyone expects her to kill Peeta and win, however rather then lose Peeta she suggests that if they both die at the same time then neither would have to live without the other.  Faced with no other option Seneca Crane, makes them both the winners, an act which cost him his life.  The pair return home with enough money to support their families and to ensure that they will not be hungry again.
    • Inspired by her act of defiance in the games other small districts begin to rise up and fight back against the harsh regime.  President Snow has to find a way to control the uprisings so he tries to use Katniss to quell the rebellions by using a tactics that is often used in media. He increases the rules and regulations in the districts and puts in place harsher punishments at the same time he bombards the media and people with images of katniss as they focus on her wedding to Peeta, before the wedding can take place though Katniss steps in to save her friend Gale from getting flogged in the public square. President Snow has no choice but to eliminate her. He decides to change the rules for the 75th Hunger games by making the provision that the 24 entrants be picked from the existing pool of victors. As Katniss was the only female victor from her district she was automatically chosen as the tribute and Peeta volunteered as the male tribute. Once again they compete in the games and make friends along the way Finnick, Joanna, Be tee, Wires are among the few and they make an alliance. Unbeknownst to Katniss and Peeta they are apart of a rebel plot made by Haymitch and game maker Plutarch. the plan is to destroy the arena which is successful however they were unable to save Peeta and  Joanna who are left behind and captured by the capital.
    • President Snow retaliates by bombing District 12 into oblivion, only 919 out of the 10,000 citizens survived.

That’s where Mockingjay picks up from Katniss is so traumatized by the games and by the thought of loosing Peeta that she is barely able to function. Add in the trauma of loosing Cinna, her stylist and friend, who was murdered by Snow for supporting Katniss and openly defining him.  Katniss is safe in  District 13  a district that was wiped out by nuclear strikes by president snow but managed to survive underground. They had hope that Katniss would be a symbol for the Rebellion and that under her lead they would be able to unite the districts as one and over throw Snow and establish a democracy. Katniss is so traumatized by the events of the games and is suffering from PTSD.  It is only when she visits district 12 that she sees what Snow has done and it gives her the clarity that she needs. She agrees to help them on the condition that they help her save Peeta and  the other victors captured by President Snow.

essentially the first part of Mockingjay is about Katniss’s journey to discovering her power and her recovery. Initially she thinks of herself as just a girl who had been broken by the games.  However over time she comes to realize that she has a voice and that she must use her voice to speak for those who can’t speak for themselves. The use of media also plays a huge part in this part of the story as the rebels and the capital fight for control over the media.

On the surface the series looks like a typical action movies with a touch of romance, but don’t write it of. Lets look a little deeper.  This series doesn’t glorify war and violence but it shows it in a way conveys the devastation and loss that war creates  and the senselessness that war is.  Next we have the psychological traumas of PTSD. A disease that effects many returning soldiers but isn’t discussed in mainstream society. it’s swept under the carpet. Also you have the idea that if you take away every single thing that a person holds dear and if you op0ress them for so long then they will rise up and they will fight back. All they need is a spark.

Ultimately though the overall message is hope. Despite the acts of  violence and tragedy there are moments and memories for Katniss and other characters that give give them hope and faith.  we as readers and viewers come to realize that despite the darkest parts of our nature we can change and that we can still have hope that no matter how bad things may seem if we have hope and faith in others and in ourselves that things will get better. That’s the overall message of this series it show us the darkest parts of ourselves and what our future could be like but it also gives us hope that we can change and become better versions of ourselves if we really try to.

Band Aid 30: Stop Ebola

We all know about a terrible disease that is sweeping the globe. I am talking of coarse about Ebola. It was terrorizing the villages and people of West Africa long before it made it’s way into the western world.  But it was only after it started infecting people in America and other developed countries that the media began to take an interest in it. People are dying over there in number far greater then anything that we in the developed world have seen as yet.

That’s where Band Aid 30 comes in. Similar to the first Band Aid, Band Aid 30 aims to raise money to fight this disease head on in both the developed world and in Western Africa. Only by standing together can we overcome this disease and stop thousands if not millions of innocent people from dying.  Let’s look at the harsh reality for a minute. In 1984 people in Ethiopia were dying because they were poor.  Now in 2014 they are dying again because they are poor.  Let’s think about it for a second. What are the basic essentials to live.

  • food
  • fresh drinking water
  • shelter from the environment
  • access to medical care.

These people don’t have assess to fresh drinking water. they can’t take showers or baths when they like like it by simply turning on a tap. There isn’t enough food for them to eat to be healthy.  forget this gluten free organic stuff. They would be happy with a simple loaf of bread and be grateful for it.  The biggest thing right now that is causing the spread of this disease is that they don’t have the access to medical care that we do.  If we get sick we can go either to the doctor or the hospital. It’s a long wait and we sometimes have to sit there half the night waiting but at least we can get the medical attention that we need. These people don’t have that. What little medical centers they have are run mostly by volunteers and they don’t have the money to afford the best medical equipment. No wonder the disease is spreading like wildfire.

To the many bands and musical groups that have joined Band Aid 30 as listed below.  I want to say thank you for stepping up to help fight this dreadful disease

Organizersand producers:

  • Bob Geldof – organiser
  • Midge Ure – organiser
  • Paul Epworth – producer

Instruments:

  • Roger Taylor (from Queen) – Drums

Vocals:

  • Angelique Kidjo
  • Bastille
  • Bono (from U2)
  • Clean Bandit
  • Disclosure
  • Marcus Mumford (from Mumford and Sons)
  • Elbow
  • Paloma Faith
  • Fuse ODG
  • Ellie Goulding
  • Chris Martin (from Coldplay)
  • Olly Murs
  • Seal
  • Sinead O’Connor
  • Rita Ora
  • Robert Plant
  • One Direction
  • Emeli Sande
  • Ed Sheeran
  • Sam Smith
  • Underworld
  • Jessie Ware

The song will be available for digital download on Monday 17 November 2014, with all proceeds going to the cause.

Breaking News

Australia has taken a giant step forward in terms of Equality.

Statistics reveal that over the past year men have given birth to 54 babies in Australia

In an echo of the case of Thomas Beatie, a transgender man who preserved his female organs and was billed as the world’s first pregnant man in 2007, Aussie men are now also having babies, C-sections and abortions.

The surprising statistics have been confirmed by Australia’s Health Department.

According to the Medicare data, there were 16 men who gave birth in NSW last year, 22 men in Perth, seven in Victoria, one in Tasmania and two in South Australia.

No men gave birth to babies in the Northern Territory.

The men involved are likely to be people who were born female or with female sex organs who identified as male, or commenced gender reassignment surgery, but retained the physical capability to give birth.

“The department is aware of cases of persons identifying themselves as male having pregnancy related treatment which can be claimed under Medicare. Previously these items could not be paid to male patients,’’ a health department spokeswoman said.

The spike in men giving birth is a result of Australia changing the guidelines on the recognition of sex and gender that came into force on July, 2013.

These changes require that personal records held by all government departments and agencies recognize that individuals can be identified as a gender other than their sex at birth.

As a result of the changes, a number of Medicare items that could not be paid to male patients are now available including pregnancy management, abortions and D & Cs.

“To comply with the guidelines, the department has updated its policy on changing sex/gender under Medicare. Individuals are now able to change their sex/gender to what they identify with,’’ a spokeswoman for the Health Department said.

“This change reflects that some individuals while identifying themselves as male still require and are eligible for services previously only provided to people identified through their Medicare records as female (such as gynecological services),’’ the health department said.

The statistics on men giving birth were first publicized by conservative blogger Bernard Gaynor. According to Medicare, 44 men had abortions or D & Cs in Australia last year. Official statistics on how many had abortions are unclear because Medicare uses the same item code for abortion and D & Cs in the event of a woman having a miscarriage.

Transgender Victoria spokesman Sally Goldner said the statistics were not as surprising as they may first appear.

“Surgery for many people is costly, invasive, some people might not be able to have it for medical issues,’’ she said.

“I am not surprised in any way. People’s beliefs about body and gender identity expression have deep roots. Sometimes when that is questioned I can understand people have to think about it. “

Ms Goldner said there were good reasons to change the previous rules that forced transgender people to have documents and passports that stated they were one gender when they now identified as another.

“To have documents that still say you are a male or a female causes all sorts of problems and distress,’’ she said.

“The critical documents are birth certificate For people who haven’t had surgery or are not able to have it they are left in limbo.’’

I must say that I am incredibly proud that the Australian government has recognized and changed it’s policies in order to accurately reflect the present needs and requirements of it’s people. A big step has been taken in the journey towards equality. More work still needs to be done however every journey started with it’s first small step.

Lots of Love

Nicole

Be a Better you

Hey Guys.

Okay so today’s topic is a follow on from my earlier post about finding who you are.  the reason why I wanted to address this topic over all the other topics is that this is something I feel very strongly about.

In  today’s society it is really hard for young people to discover and accept themselves for who they are. Teenager, in particular teenage girls feel pressure to look like the Photoshopped images in the magazines.  We feel pressure to fit into a certain mold and when we don’t fit into that particular group. Think about it have you ever seen somebody on the street and immediately judged them based only on what they look like. Let’s face it we all have. This is what we need to change about ourselves.  Now I’m not saying that we need to ignore our instincts if there is somebody doing something suspicious or is making you feel uncomfortable then that is a different idea, in which case the following does not apply.  Instead of judging the person based solely upon outward appearances. For example; this girl is dressed like a goth, I’m going to avoid that person. Just think how would you like it if somebody did that to you. It’s not a nice feeling so don’t do it to others.

If you found this post helpful or if you have any suggestions drop me a comment below or even if you just want to chat. I love hearing from you. You can also tweet me and I promise to reply to you ASAP.

Lot’s of love

Nicole

Nikkie’s Guide to: Cool Vampire stories

If you are looking for an amazing read then look no further then the Light Bearer series by the incredible Emily Guido. Let me tell you her work is incredible. I love reading both the novels and her blog. It’s everything a vampire girl could want in a book.  Now I can’t give too much away. you wil just have to read this amazing series for yourself. You can follow her blog here at http://emilyguido.com/ and you can also find her books on Amazon.  But just to give you a little taste of what is in store let me summarize the first book for you. Charmeine

Can romance develop between a Heavenly Light-Bearer and a Hellish Vampire Blood-Hunter?

“Charmeine” the First Novel in “The Light-Bearer Series,” was released January 2012.

Tabbruis is a Blood-Hunter, he drinks blood to survive. Over millennia Tabbruis has wandered the Earth alone aimlessly living through many historical events.

Charmeine just came to the Earth in 1997, unable to remember anything.

When Tabbruis meets Charmeine the attraction is immediate and passionate. They are polar opposites and clash together in a strongly romantic and dramatic way. When she meets Tabbruis, Charmeine’s powers as a Light-Bearer, one who throws lightning, is triggered and grows exponentially.

Will Charmeine and Tabbruis fulfill their destinies?   Will they realize their importance in both the Blood-Hunter and Light-Bearer world?

I won’t give too much away but let me tell you it is one of the most amazing series I have read in quite awhile. I was hooked from the very first page.

Nikkie’s Guide to: Finding Who you Are

The question of who you are should be a simple one, and indeed for the rare few it is.  For most of us however the question is much more complicated to answer. The question I want to know is why?

Why is it so hard for the most of us to answer that simple question? The answer is simple. From the time we were children we have been essentially brainwashed into thinking in a certain way we have been taught the rules and standards of society and we are made to fit those standards. but what happens when we break those stereotypes and expectations. lets list a few shall we.

men must be tough and never show their emotions: this  stereotype infuriates me to no end. we lash out at the stereotypes against women calling them sexist and un-called for but we still encourage this type of gender stereotyping.  Just because you’re male it doesn’t mean that you are not allowed to have emotions. It is this kind of stereotyping that has resulted in the high numbers of male depression and poor s3elf image. Remember Robin Williams! Depression is real and very serious.

People with same sex tendencies, are ostracized from society: Although I must admit that the world has come a long way in relation to this but it still isn’t enough.  Society looks down upon these people so much so that many are forced to hide this aspect of themselves from their friends and family. Why? If  they are a good person does it really matter who they love? Eminem said it besteminem

“I don’t care if your black, white, straight, bisexual, gay, lesbian,  short, tall, fat, skinny, rich or poor, if your nice to me I’ll be nice to you. Simple as that”

 

 

We teach our children to hate others for being different and it’s damaging people emotionally and physically. Young people are committing suicide daily because they would rather die then be who they are because of how society tells them that they need to be.

 

 

bedroom Yes people are beginning to accept people with same sex tendencies  but we still are whether we know it or not committing hate crimes. Think about when somebody ask you something you don’t like. most people say “Oh that’s gay.” or something to that effect and we don’t even think about what that means. By saying that even if we don’t intend it to be that way, gay has become synonymous with the lesser. when children say it on the playground nobody bats an eye at it.  Despite this there are people ho are trying to change the way we view and treat gay, bisexual and transgender people and I want to say a big thank you to all those people.  I would also like to say to anybody who is gay, bisexual, or transgender. “I may not be the same as you but that’s not important. Freedom to an equal you’re damn right I support it.”

Half the problem with not knowing who you are stems from fear. The fear of not being accepted for who you are.  To those people I have an exercise for you I want you to stand in the mirror everyday and repeat this. ” I am strong, I am confident. I know who I am and I won’t be pushed around anymore.” Do this any time you need to be reminded who you are. I learned a long time ago that you only ever have too choices in life: you can fit in and do everything you possiblNelson-Mandela-Quote-Lovey can to fit in; or you can chose to not care what people think about and be yourself always. Once you’ve made your choice all you have to do is have the courage to follow it through. If you find yourself struggling with this remember the people who really love you will stand by you no matter what. and if they won’t then they never really loved you in the first place and they aren’t worth it.

I really hope that you found this post helpful if you are struggling with being true to who you are. Feel free to tweet, comment or email me with any of your comments questions or suggestions

xoxo

Nicole