Blog

Monthly Archives: August 2012

Carry the Vision Community Nonviolence Conference

Discover a new way of living!

Join the over 500 people who come from diverse sectors of our community for the eighth Carry the Vision Community Nonviolence Conference on September 29, 2012.

Youth Leadership Summit

Carry the Vision is partnering with YES! for Schools to provide practical strategies to inspire high school aged young people to become empowered nonviolent leaders in their community.

Our youth are our future! We can support them in becoming empowered to stand up for compassion, wisdom and and to do what is right. Each young person is a potential leader.

The summit will engage the young people in experiential activities that re-awaken the values of commitment, responsibility, creativity and team work — qualities inherent in an empowered nonviolent leader.

We request that all youth pre-register to allow our summit leaders to plan appropriately.

Women’s Leadership in Overcoming Violence

This panel brings together leaders from our community who have been dedicated to creating more peaceful families and communities. These leaders represent spiritual communities, domestic violence, religious tolerance, police and community dialog and hate free communities.

Panelists:

Judge LaDoris Cordell
Independent Police Auditor

Rev. Ellen Grace O’Brian
Founder of Carry the Vision and Center for Spiritual Enlightenment

Kathleen Krenek
Executive Director of Next Door Solutions to Domestic Violence

Delorme McKee-Stovall
Manager of the Santa Clara County Office of Human Relations

Samina Sundas
Founder and Executive Director of American Muslim Voice

Religious Leaders Summit

Religious leaders from many different faith traditions will gather together to engage with each other on the critical question of overcoming violence in our valley and discuss what they can do together that they cannot do alone.

Workshops

Nonviolence 101
Dr. Michael Nagler – founder of the Metta Center

Nonviolent Communication
Robert Niederman- founder of Silicon Valley Nonviolent Communication

Compassionate Parenting for Peaceful Families
Patricia Belvel and Rev. Christine Sodt

Meditation Practice for Peace
Beverly Kam, Center for Spiritual Enlightenment

Bold Vision for Tough Times: The Union of Human Rights and Nonviolence
Richard Hobbs – founder of The Human Agenda

Panels

– Bullying: Supporting Our Youth for a Peaceful Life
– Women’s Leadership in Overcoming Violence
– Social Change Through Cooperation and Compassion
– Mentoring Youth for a Peaceful and Successful Future

Find out more at carrythevision.org

What Did Those Few Words Tell Us?

I’m sure many women and men felt the same surge of sadness and anger as I did when hearing or

reading Congressman Todd Akin’s comment about exceptions to a ban on abortions. As I listened to
the news reports and analysis, another of Congressman Akin’s comments could be heard. He said, “if
a rape occurs, the child should not be punished, the perpetrator should be punished”. For
women and girls suffering from any form of violence, both comments bring great consternation. Rape
is “always” forcible, cruel, inhumane and spirit stripping but to be dismissed, to be held invisible in the
equation also brings an oppressive burden. To bring attention to the product of a rape but not to speak
to the suffering of the actual victim of the rape, for me, is the greatest offense of all.

Due to the ruckus caused by Congressman Akin’s comments, NBC News conducted an interview with
me in which I began by stating I was appalled but not surprised. I am old enough to remember the
first and second iterations of the belief that a woman should reproduce first and foremost, even if the
conception was non consensual, even if it killed her. I believe the most fundamental human right we
possess is our right to control our bodies and reproduction. That right is being chipped away in plain
view. It didn’t begin with the comments. It has been happening in many states where to secure the
legal pregnancy termination procedure, a woman must go through horrendous and intrusive processes
that include transvaginal ultrasounds where the fetus must be seen or being forced to sit through
presentations of fetal development. In one state, physicians may be required to give unscientific
information on development and potential consequences of the procedure. One state legislative
bill allows physicians to withhold positive pregnancy results if they believe the woman is going to
terminate the pregnancy.

This legislative trend demonstrates the level of violence against women and girls that is considered legal
and necessary to remind us that we are second class citizens that have no rights to our bodies, medical
care and ultimately our lives.

We can stop it. We have done it before. We fought for our rights and we won even though the victory
was fleeting. We took our eyes off the prize and now we must bring the focus back. One of the most
important actions we can take is to support pro choice candidates running for office on any and all
levels. We must work for them in any capacity. We have a decision to make. We have had another
wake up call. Will we heed the continual warnings? If we don’t, we will lose our progress. That is an
unimaginable picture. Let’s dialogue through this blog about ways we can stop the rollback of rights.
We must speak our truths and raise our voices together.

Innocents Are Most Tragic Victims

This is one of an occasional post from Margaret Epperheimer, an eight-year member of Next Door’s Board of Directors.

It would be easy to forget Marybel and Pedro Jimenez, who last month became San Jose’s 21st and 22nd homicide victims of the year.  Their deaths, allegedly at the hands of an ex-boyfriend, made headlines for several days until the story was no longer newsworthy.  Authorities declared the suspected killer on the run and out of the area. Marybel and Pedro, ages 27 and 28 when they were shot, were laid to rest last week. End of story.

The end, except for the children. The little people left behind. The innocents.

Marybel and Pedro didn’t live in my neighborhood. Their three young children, ages 8, 7 and 4, don’t go to school with my grandkids. But I can’t stop thinking about them. I am struck by how children are the most tragic victims of domestic violence.  Almost without exception, they are profoundly and often forever burdened with the legacy of abuse they witnessed or sustained at the hands of someone who should have been their protector.

The Jimenez situation was complex in that Marybel and Pedro, who were never married but shared the same last name, had an on-again, off-again relationship with several separations over the years.  Nonetheless, they were said to be hardworking and family-oriented. They provided for their three children, and Pedro was said to be a good father and always there for his kids. Despite the multiple break-ups, the Jimenez children must have felt relatively safe and cared for. 

During the most recent of the separations, Marybel had a boyfriend who is now the homicide suspect. But when Marybel decided to break up with her boyfriend and go back to the children’s father, the lethal cocktail of power and control that characterizes domestic violence was unleashed.

Domestic violence professionals tell us the most dangerous time for a victim is when she tells the abuser she is leaving. The abuser is obsessed with maintaining power and control over the victim, even if it means “if I can’t have you, no one can.” They also tell us homicide does not come without warning. Typically, there are threats. That was true in this case. In the early hours of July 23, the children saw their parents gunned down in their home.

The children were said to have been attached to the mother’s ex-boyfriend and, presumably, felling safe. Was the motivation behind winning the children’s trust a means to gain power and control over the mother? Can we ever truly know what went on behind closed doors? Can we even comprehend someone who offers care and concern for children to be capable of committing such a horrendous act in front of them?

The innocents are left behind. Although being cared for by relatives, the Jimenez children have a painful road ahead. Sadly, they join hundreds of thousands of other children who have been touched by domestic violence. While the vast majority of violence in the home is not lethal, the behavioral model of intimate partner relationships is set, sometimes for generations to come. We are all challenged to make a contribution to stopping the cycle. We are all responsible for spreading the word and supporting the delicate work of the gifted and dedicated people who do safety planning for high-risk escapes. Every day, lives depend on it. The future of so many innocents and a civilized and safe society depends on it.

Mission City Community Fund supports Next Door’s Emergency Shelter

The Mission City Community Fund has once again supported Next Door through a $5,000 grant for its Emergency Shelter and Hotline. The Mission City Community Fund supports non profit agencies supporting residents of Santa Clara and its surrounding areas since 1986. In its sixth year of funding, Mission City Community Fund will help Next Door provide emergency services that act as the front line in its effort to address domestic violence. The Mission City Community Fund will help Next Door keep its Hotline and Emergency Shelter open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, every week of the year, so that victims of domestic violence and their children will always have a place to go when they are suddenly and abruptly uprooted from their homes in the face of sometimes life-threatening violence.

SanDisk donates to Next Door to help educate teens on dating abuse

Long time supporter, SanDisk, has donated $25,000 through their new initiative to support the health and welfare of children and youth in our local community. Their generous grant will help Next Door’s POWER Program (Proud of Wanting Equal Relationships) recruit and train local teens to act as ambassadors of healthy relationships in San Jose and surrounding areas to their peers. As a direct result of SanDisk’s support, Next Door will train ten local youth about teen dating abuse and violence, the ways in which digital technology can be used to harm a dating partner, and community mobilization and outreach techniques. SanDisk support will also help facilitate the POWER Program’s annual Youth Survey, which will reach 100 local teens and assess and evaluate their perspectives on dating abuse as well as help raise their awareness about healthy and unhealthy relationships. Next Door is grateful for SanDisk’s long-term support in this effort to help stop the violence before it starts.

Translate »