Don’t Remain a Victim

Whenever I take the time to watch television, I often find myself indulging in one of my favorite shows, Law and Order SVU. I love watching Benson and Stabler catch the perpetrators who have preyed on innocent children, defenseless women, and unsuspecting neighbors. Even though this show tries to depict realistic situations, I know from experience that many victims do not get rescued by their police heroes, let alone report the violation of their basic human rights. It is very likely that they will go on existing with a deep hurt, guilt and/or shame about what they have experienced.

Just the other day I had to sit down during a phone conversation, while shaking my head in both anger and empathy, after I heard that a toddler had to inform another adult in the household that “daddy punched and choked mommy”. Anger became me as I could not believe that not only was mommy going to hide this from everyone, but she thought family and true friends would be upset with her if she took action against her abuser. The empathy came after the anger, because so many young women like her have no idea that what has happened to them is unacceptable.

In my previous experiences working in substance abuse and as a residential counselor for a girls group home, I cannot begin to explain how so many of my clients remained frozen in time, victims to their circumstances. Their only freedom from pain came through self medicating with illegal substances and alcohol dependence and abuse, as well as self-mutilation. It wasn’t until they risked losing their children to child protection services did they receive services for mental health. Of course by that time there were so many layers of pain to remove just to get to the source of their deep rooted problem.

Enough is enough! Temporary solutions do not fix deep rooted problems. You DO NOT have to remain a victim to your circumstances. One way to prove to the perpetrators that what they have done to you, will no longer hold you captive, is by declaring your healing, and taking the first step to reclaim your life back.

It is never too late to take back the joy that the enemy thinks he/she has stolen from you. For you were made to live life and live it most abundantly.

Imagine putting to rest those self-inflicted guilt trips of “if I had just done this or did that this would have never happened”. Finally being able to accept all of yourself conquering fears, being able to love and receive love, and not being so paranoid that you become extremely overprotective, possessive and downright codependent of; your children, or whoever shows any sign of interest your way. By taking action to take back your life, you gain support from many passionate individuals who are driven by a desire to empower those who have lost hope. By taking action to take back your life, you will no longer remain a victim, you will become a survivor.

 If you or someone you know have been victimized by sexual or domestic violence there is help and support from people who will not judge you. Take that first step and remain a victim no more! Any reader who knows of more resources for New Jersey please feel free to leave your information in the comment section!

New Jersey Resources:

Services Empowering Rights of Victims-1-866-295-SERV(7378)

 New Jersey Coalition For Battered Women-1-800-572-SAFE (7233)

National Resources:

National Sexual Violence Resource Center

National Coalition Against Domestic Violence

Workplace Discrimination

It still amazes me that in 2011 using the word “discrimination” can really get people riled up. When used in regards to holding someone back from accomplishing equal housing, better schooling, or climbing the financial freedom ladder people get very defensive, offended, and downright in denial mode. I noticed this especially when it comes to anything regarding racially motivated workplace discrimination. I could go on and on about the stats and news reports on this topic. However, I want to incorporate the element of workplace bias in this particular case of discrimination.

 I was very bothered when a good friend of mine informed me that she was passed up for promotion for the third time. When I asked her if she knew the reason, she responded that her supervisor told her she was too young for a Director position compared to the woman they decided to offer the prestigious position to. At that moment, I naturally went into “are you freakin kidding me” mode. I had heard of age discrimination in the workplace but it was due to being “too old”, usually around retirement age. My dear friend had graced past her mid-twenties and wasn’t the “new kid on the block” in her field of work. So I decided to make sense of the whole thing. I looked at the facts as well as the complaints she expressed to me about previous problems she had when it came to her getting promotions. My friend has her Bachelor’s degree and plans to get her Masters. She has been in her field for a few years, she is respected by her clientele as well as her co-workers. When she asked for feedback regarding her job performance from supervisors they could not deny that she went above and beyond the call of duty.

 Despite these facts, the woman who received the promotion only had her associates degree (nothing wrong with an associates don’t get me wrong), had slightly less years of experience in the field, and also worked for the company less years than my friend. I was also informed that this woman did not even complete her work assignments, as my friend and other co-workers complained to each other about picking up her slack.  What the woman did have on my friend was that she was 10 years older and the supervisor was friends with her outside the workplace, while the supervisor disrespected my friend by speaking to her like a child calling her “little girl” in front of co-workers who worked under my friends’ supervision. (lots of hierarchy at this company) My friend is one of the youngest and most credentialed employees of this company. She has to work extra hard to gain respect from her subordinates who witnesses the belittling treatment she receives from her supervisors. This not only sounds like age discrimination to me but supervisor jealously and insecurity.  I told my friend she should fight for her much deserved respect. She thinks it is not worth the battle. What should she do?