Category: Activism

New Book Snow White Darkness Released Today

Snow White Darkness

New Book SNOW WHITE DARKNESS Released Today!

“Smothered by control

a tormented soul

trapped in his castle

Her tears rolling mist

proof she exists

in Snow White Darkness”

©2014 Diana Rasmussen

Smothered by control, she runs to hide and locks herself behind the door. She starts rocking herself on the cold bathroom floor as she lays her secrets out like rock hard stones. He is outside the door pounding his fists quoting his Bible. He screams, “You must obey!” She grabs the razor at the side of the tub, then looks away.

Diana Rasmussen takes you behind the locked door to see what it’s really like when you live in domestic violence. As a survivor she fought for her and her children’s freedom and won. Theses poems are from her private journals and many have become songs. Fans have called her words “haunting, powerful, and edgy”. See for yourself, and come into her nightmare in SNOW WHITE DARKNESS.

Yep, Thanks to all of you for encouraging me to do this!  This is a collection of my ‘dark’ poetry from the trenches.  I would like to use part of the proceeds to benefit other victims of Domestic Violence.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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New law targets repeat abusers

Finally a Representative willing to take a stand against Domestic Violence and repeat offenders. A new law was passed in IL. Yes, repeat your offense and go to jail. Go directly to jail, do not pass go, do not collect $200! Thank you to Representative Emily McAsey from Illinois!

I remember how frustrating it was when I had to call the police again and again through the years of an abusive relationship. Yes, the police would ask him to leave. Then I had to go and file the restraining order. Then I would call when he came back and broke the “no contact” rule. He always did. Then he goes back to jail for a day or two. Yeah, that was it. Gives him just enough time to plan the next attack. And he gets out, and comes home – again. And the cycle starts again. Give it a month, a week, a day or two and it starts all over again.

But today I learned there is a new law in IL that will help increase the consequences for repeat offenders. Hallelujah! I pray this law goes national, and worldwide!

Amends the Criminal Code of 2012. Provides that domestic battery is a Class 4 felony if the defendant has one or 2 prior convictions under the Code for domestic battery. Provides that domestic battery is a Class 3 felony if the defendant had 3 prior convictions under the Code for domestic battery. Provides that domestic battery is a Class 2 felony if the defendant had 4 or more prior convictions under the Code for domestic battery.
(source: http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/)

State Rep. McAsey: New Law Increases Penalties Against Repeat Domestic Abusers

State Rep. McAsey: New Law Increases Penalties Against Repeat Domestic Abusers (via Romeoville Patch)

“This law will help protect victims in our community and serve as a deterrent to future domestic abuse,” says state Rep. Emily McAsey. Received from the Office of State Representative Emily McAsey: Legislation sponsored by state Rep. Emily McAsey to…

Continue reading “New law targets repeat abusers”

Let’s take a mom out to eat with Causes.com

Having been to a shelter, I can say it was a fight for food sometimes. Picture 20 or so women each with multiple kids all living in the same building. And sharing one kitchen. And sharing a few bathrooms. There was nothing private about it. I didn’t leave my home with any groceries. I didn’t even think of eating. I just wanted to get out of there in one piece and protect my children. I was tired of the abuse and the cycle.

So the kids and I went to the domestic violence shelter for 30 days. Imagine when I found myself in a building with one kitchen, a few bathrooms, and a houseful of women and children. The women would fight over freezer space, and shelf space in the kitchen. It was a fight for privacy in the bathroom. When I did buy a few things at the grocery store, I had to write my name on them in black magic marker and put them in the community kitchen. Sometimes, they would just disappear. I know it was hard for all of us. Yet this was the last thing I wanted to have to go through after leaving my home.

That’s why Prayers and Promises is donating Gift Cards to those affected by domestic violence at causes.com To let a mom go out to dinner with her kids and help her remember that she will make it. To provide a small token of hope – that things will change for the better. Let’s put our Prayers and Promises to work and be a blessing to those in need.

Sign the pledge – buy a card – feed a mom and her kids today!

 

Here is the link to the Pledge: https://www.causes.com/campaigns/72192-provide-food-and-gas-gift-cards-to-domestic-violence-victims

Causes.com site
Causes.com site

“Don’t pick on people, jump on their failures, criticize their faults—unless, of course, you want the same treatment. Don’t condemn those who are down; that hardness can boomerang. Be easy on people; you’ll find life a lot easier. Give away your life; you’ll find life given back, but not merely given back—given back with bonus and blessing. Giving, not getting, is the way. Generosity begets generosity.” Luke 6:37-38
The Message (MSG)

The Message (MSG)
Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson

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Prayers and Promises – a poem from domestic violence

I wrote this poem to share what it feels like to go to church on a Sunday morning when you are living in domestic violence. Oftentimes the abuser likes to play up how spiritual he is so he can use God’s word to justify what he does. The abuser will take the Word and twist it to batter his wife with. Seriously. Many times Pastors just give the Abuser more ammunition when they cram messages on the husband’s authority down our throats. The Abuser loves that. Now he gives himself permission to do whatever he wants to his wife, and uses God and the Pastor’s word as justification. He’s the King right? And we are supposed to submit and obey right girls? Yeah, that was fun. Thanks so much. So glad I could come.

As a victim, we know how to smile and tell everyone everything is “fine”. But do you see it in our eyes? We are screaming on the inside for someone to see. For someone to take us aside and listen to what is really going on. But “he” knows and “he” won’t let us talk to anyone without standing right beside us. No talking, no telling – that’s the rule. Or it gets worse when we get home.

 

Prayers and Promises

©2014 Diana Rasmussen

I come to you today
I’m sitting in this pew
Looking for answers
And a life made new

Do I tell you what happens
When I make it home?
I’m a prisoner of war
Behind his locked door

Can you give me a prayer?
Can you give me a promise?
Something to hold onto
in the middle of chaos

You see Mr Jekyll
All smiles and lies but
He twists what you say
To get his own way

Starting tonight I know
The accusations start
When I run and hide
Because he’s Mr. Hyde

Can you give me a prayer?
Can you give me a promise?
Something to hold onto
in the middle of chaos

Renew my mind
Restore my hope
Show me your grace
Rebuild this broken place

Prayers and promises
Of what will someday be
Lord, help me to see
Things can change someday

Profile of an Abuser/Batterer

1. Jealousy (questioning her constantly about whereabouts, and jealous of time she spends away from him).

2. Controlling behavior (I’ve had clients who’s victim couldn’t get a job, leave the house or bathe without his permission)

3. Isolation (Makes partner move away from family and friends so that she depends on him solely for support.)

4. Forces her to have sex against her will (I’ve had several clients who forced their partners to have sex with their friends and forces sex when she is asleep.)

5. Holds very rigid gender roles (Believes that her job is just to cater to him, he is the “king of the castle.”)

(Source: Psychology Today: Behind the Veil)

“All human beings, as we meet them, are commingled out of good and evil: and Edward Hyde, alone, in the ranks of mankind, was pure evil.” 
― Robert Louis StevensonThe Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde

 

 

PowerandControl

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I Cut Today – a Poem Inspired by TWLOHA (Trigger Warning)

When I saw the Daily Prompt today, I knew I needed to share this poem.  I have known many cutters in my life. You can tell it in their eyes, not just the marks on their bodies.  From what I have learned, it is a way that someone in intense pain reacts in a moment of despair.  What do you do with that level of pain?  How do you express what you cannot put into words?  It may or may not turn into an addiction.   And there are triggers. I have been there.  Today, I am ok today but I have to share that I used to do this when I was in a very, very sick relationship. And I got help.  

If you know someone, or you have cut, please tell someone today. You are not alone.   Sharing how you feel brings the pain out of the darkness and into the light. There is healing.  It doesn’t have to stay this way – really…

I CUT TODAY
©2013 Diana Rasmussen

I cut today
Couldn’t cope
With life
Anyway

Welcome to
My Midnight
A moment of
raw passionate
despair

Followed those
Ugly feelings
Underground
While they
Whispered Sweet
Nothings in
My ear

Aren’t you
Tired of
Trying
To fit into
Your pretty
World of
Pretend?

Dancing with
That Demon
Death again
Paraded
around
Like he was
an old friend
Held out his
Hand and led
Me in

He says
Pour me
Just one
More round
And we
Will start
This song
And dance
All over again
While I swim
in hopelessness
With no
Way out

Should have
Shut that
liars mouth
Instead I
Fell for
It again

So no
I’m not
Healed yet
But I won’t
Quit I’ll
get him yet

Stuff all those lies
Down his own throat
Let him chew on his
Own words yet

At least
when I
bleed I
know I’m
still alive
And the battle
Isn’t over yet

“You’ll need coffee shops and sunsets and road trips. Airplanes and passports and new songs and old songs, but people more than anything else. You will need other people and you will need to be that other person to someone else, a living, breathing screaming invitation to believe better things.”
~ TWLOHA shirt

What is To Write Love on Her Arms?
To Write Love on Her Arms is a non-profit movement dedicated to presenting hope and finding help for people struggling with depression, addiction, self-injury, and suicide. TWLOHA exists to encourage, inform, inspire, and invest directly into treatment and recovery.

To Write Love on Her Arms began in Orlando, FL in 2006 when our founder, Jamie Tworkowski, wrote a story about a friend who struggled with self-injury and addiction and the five days preceding her entry into treatment. The story, which was entitled “To Write Love on Her Arms,” went viral, and T-shirts were initially printed and sold as a way to pay for that friend’s treatment. Since then, TWLOHA has become a non-profit which serves as a bridge to hope and help for people facing the same issues. (Source: http://twloha.com/faqs/general)

 

FOR MORE HELP SEE: 

TWLOHA

PDF for Self Harm by decd.sa.gov.au

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline

Self Injuring and Cutting – the Mayo Clinic

Suicide Prevention Resource Center 

American Foundation Suicide Prevention

The Butterfly Project

Source: http://stopthepainnow.tumblr.com/thebutterflyproject
Source: http://stopthepainnow.tumblr.com/thebutterflyproject

This is my Response for  Daily Prompt: Moment of Clarity

Tell us about a time you’d been trying to solve a knotty problem — maybe it was an interpersonal problem, a life problem, a big ol’ problem — and you had a moment of clarity when the solution appeared to you, as though you were struck by lightening.

Photographers, artists, poets: show us AWESTRUCK.

 

Why we stay: trauma bonding

Why we stay: trauma bonding.

Wow, what a great post. I think that this is the hardest part for people who have not lived in abuse.  They don’t understand.  Trauma bonding. Stockholm Syndrome.

the psychological tendency of a hostage to bond with, identify with, or sympathize with his or her captor

Call it what you want, but it is not love. It was survival. No wonder we have such a hard time understanding what love is, and what love isn’t.

Castle of Fear

From: PinterestCastle of Fear – that’s where you live when you live with an Abuser.

Looks pretty from the outside – but there is a dungeon on the inside – with chains, gates, and bars.

And you are Rapunzel – trapped inside.

Daily Prompt: Safety First

Share the story of a time you felt unsafe.

Photographers, artists, poets: show us SAFETY.

Here is my story of living in that Castle of Fear:

Snow White Darkness (may trigger – be safe).

“Smothered by control

a tormented soul         

trapped in his castle

her tears rolling mist

proof she  exists

in Snow White Darkness”

~©2013 Diana Rasmussen~

                   

        

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. Daily Prompt: Safety First | Under the Monkey Tree
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  4. Dailypost/safety | annetteharris42
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  6. Cat Pics : Safety First | Icezine

Walk With Walker

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OK, I had my ‘rant’ yesterday.  Yep, it’s really easy to find out what our government is doing ‘wrong’. But that doesn’t help anyone.  And if I am not willing to be part of the solution, then my mama told me to, “keep my mouth shut!”.  So, funny how God works….I got this email yesterday from the Janesville Convention and Visitors Bureau   I had forgotten I had signed up with them.  But they really do an awesome job letting you know what is going on around town.  And, as a blogger – you know we want to be ‘in the know’!

So back to the e-mail.  As it turns out, the First Lady of Wisconsin, Tonette Walker,  was coming to Janesville, WI today for her initiative WALK WITH WALKER.   Yeah, really!  So, guess who went? Yep, that’d be me – and about 20-30 other fans and supporters.  It was held at Rotary Gardens, 2.0 mile walk.  And I’m thinking, O.K. Ms. D, you broke your leg 1 1/2 years ago, you have this metal rod in it, you haven’t exercised in idk how long, and you wanna go for a walk?  Yep, arguing with myself the whole way there.

So, I get there, and I have to say I was humbled.  Let me tell you about some of the people I met.  There were some ladies there from New Life AOG, one of the bigger churches in our town, and we shared a conversation about kids fundraisers, (Culvers this Sunday to help their Missions Trip), mission trips, and how they just wanted to support Tonette as well. And then there was Kristi from the Janesville CVB, Mary from Rotary Gardens, and many others.

And let me tell you about Tiffany Black. She came over right away and started handing out pedometers to everyone.  Come to find out she is the Chief of Staff the First Lady.  Later we got to swap house stories, someday she will be in this gorgeous old Victorian house.  And she has a baby coming – Feb 8th or so.  How exciting! Remember that first baby?  She hasn’t found out if it’s a girl or boy yet, she and her husband want it to be a surprise!

And let me tell you about Tonette Walker.  She is real, she is approachable, and she is kind. She made it a point to talk to each of us before, during, and after our walk together.  Ordinary, everyday people mattered to her.  There was no show, no pretense, just a down-to-earth inspiring woman.  She shared how WALK WITH WALKER started when her husband Scott was Milwaukee County Executive and how she decided to keep the initiative going.  This was her 30th walk this year,  and she likes it because it is a great place to get out and experience all the great places in WI, and meet all the people. And only one thing stayed constant – the weather always changed!  We had snow on the ground, but she shared about a time walking when it was over 100 degrees!

And then, on our walk, I met Carol.  Carol is 76 and she and her husband go golfing every Thursday in Janesville with a Seniors team.  And she is the ‘baby’ of the group.  I learned about her kids and her grandkids, volleyball, and swimming, and how she loves to garden. We held up the tail end of the walk, but I was so grateful that I got to meet her.

After our walk we all had coffee and power bars.  I sat down and marvelled at the diversity of the group there today.  And I had to admit to myself, I had it all wrong. I had never taken the time to know those who serve our state or country.  And, I have to confess, I have not really done my part in praying for our leaders.  Not at all.  I was too busy criticizing them.  Yep.  I know how much we get ‘spit’ on and ‘yelled’ at, I can’t even imagine what someone who is in a public office has to deal with on a daily basis.  And can you say, “stress”?  

Join me won’t you? In getting to know and pray for  your Representatives, Senators, Mayors, Governors, President, City Council Members, their staff, and their families – and yes Lord, even the NSA.  Thank you for the pleasant surprise today Lord.  When I did have a moment to talk with Tonette, I just shared that, “we are praying for you and your family”.  Idk what her beliefs are, that is not my business.  But I do want to pray for her, and her husband  and family.

Dear Lord,

Thank you for bringing Tonette to Janesville today, and Tiffany, and Carol, and all the others that were there today.  Thank you for helping me see better today. I confess, I had shut off my prayers for those in Public Offices, but no more.  Lord, I pray that you would bless them, protect them, and fill them with joy.  Bless them in their ordinary, everyday life Lord no matter where they go. I pray that you would give them wisdom, give them joy,and give them peace that surpasses all understanding, in Jesus Name.

MORE RESOURCES

Yes, They Really Are Watching You

You may see the new badge on top of my page.  It is for The Internet Defense League.  You can click on it to learn more. It is also a widget here at WordPress. And I have a new category “ACTIVISM”.

Basically, I do NOT believe that our Government has the right to spy on me or you – without our permission.  But again, they are doing it anyway.  Phone calls, E-mails, Cameras, Computers, our internet searches may be recorded – without our knowledge or permission. Now there have been some that have said no, I am not going to do this, and have left their jobs.  They talked to the media and are now being thrown in jail for TELLING THE TRUTH – that our data is our data.

The funny thing is, my husband and I have our own IT company.  We have gone to multiple businesses and private residences to fix many computers or flat screen tvs.  I can’t tell you how many times I have put a piece of tape over that camera on the laptop, or totally unplug the X-Box Connect – because IT WOULD AUTOMATICALLY TURN ON!

“StopWatching.us is a coalition of more than 100 public advocacy organizations and companies from across the political spectrum. Join the movement at https://rally.stopwatching.us. This video harnesses the voices of celebrities, activists, legal experts, and other prominent figures in speaking out against mass surveillance by the NSA. Please share widely to help us spread the message that we will not stand for the dragnet surveillance of our communications. ”  YouTube Video Description

And the scary thing is that now the government is now OUTSOURCING Spying Technology- letting private companies spy with no legal ramifications and spying on ordinary Americans.

Featured Image source: http://gigaom.com/2013/07/02/the-internet-defense-league-rallies-to-restore-the-fourth

It is the Soldier

It is the soldier, not the reporter, Who has given us freedom of the press.

It is the soldier, not the poet, Who has given us freedom of speech.

It is the soldier, not the organizer, Who gave us the freedom to demonstrate

It is the soldier, Who salutes the flag, Who serves beneath the flag.

And whose coffin is draped by the flag, Who allows the protester to burn the flag.”

~Father Dennis Edward O’Brien, USMC

image

Photo Source:

http://findingmyinnercourage.wordpress.com/2013/11/11/distinguished-veterans/

10 Things to Do When an Abuser Ignores Your NO

I have recently been reminded of the fear that returns when you are being stalked.  This is part of my story that I haven’t shared yet.  After separating from an Abuser it is the most dangerous time for a woman who has been in an abusive relationship.  And once we leave, the stalking begins.

What is stalking you ask?  

Being hunted down with the intent to harm or kill – just like an animal.  

That’s what it feels like.  Your phone starts ringing – 15 times in an hour, you get home from work and there are flowers on your front step with no note, you drive to the store and see his car in the rear view mirror, you wake up in the middle of the night to someone outside your patio door – that’s what it is like.

According to WomensHealth.gov:

Stalking is contact (usually two or more times) from someone that makes you feel afraid or harassed.

Examples of stalking include:

  • Following or spying on you
  • Sending you unwanted emails or letters
  • Calling you often
  • Showing up at your house, school, or work
  • Leaving you unwanted gifts
From: archive.constantcontact.com
From: archive.constantcontact.com

So what do we do?  How do we make it stop?  I wish there were an easy answer to this.

10 THINGS TO DO WHEN THE ABUSER IGNORES YOUR ‘NO’

1.  Journal Everything

That means texts, phone calls, times and places where he has been following you.  Get a notebook and carry it everywhere. Make sure your time and date stamp is ‘on’ for your phone.  One of the best pieces of advice I got from a Police Officer is that in court the Judge will be looking for a pattern.  Be sure to note the date, the time, and the place each incident occurs.

2.  Get Your First Restraining Order

There are different types of Restraining Orders depending if you have lived together or not.  And it may vary from State to State.  I can’t tell you how frustrated I was when I went to court, presented my whole case, and the Judge told me that he would love to grant the restraining order – however he couldn’t because I filled it out the wrong form. He said I would have to fill out the right form, and schedule another court appearance, and THEN he could grant the restraining order.  Yeah – really.

And be sure to know the terms of your Restraining Order – how far away does the Abuser need to be, can he call, text, whatever.  And know how long it is in force.  Be smart, use this order to your advantage.

3. Utilize the Resources at your Local Women’s Shelter

Most Shelters have free counselors, free meetings, and access to legal aides.  They are on your side.  They will help you.  I got help with forms, finding local agencies to find a new home, food stamps, bus tokens, etc.  They have been through this before.  And many Shelters offer free living accommodations for yourself and your children for 30 days.  No, it’s not the Ritz Carlton – but it is safe. And they have gates to keep him out!

4. After You Get the Restraining Order – Prepare Yourself – He WILL Break It

Have an action plan of what to do when the Abuser violates the Restraining Order.  Be ready to call the Police anytime and anywhere.  Carry your phone with you everywhere you go – even the bathroom, and be ready to call for help.  Be sure it is always charged.  Remember, the Abuser is in stalker mode now, he feels you are his ‘property’ and nobody is going to tell him what to do.

5. Travel with a friend

Having a witness goes a long way in court.  Be sure to tell your neighbors, friends, family exactly what is happening.  This is not the time to keep quiet.  The more eyes you have on you the better.  And be sure that your ‘friend’ is not forwarding the Abuser information.  I have had that happen too.

6.  Change Your Routine

Many times the Abuser knows where you will be and when. Change your routine.  Go to work a different way.  Park in a different place.  Go to a different grocery store.  I have had to quit jobs, leave cities, change my phone, etc. No, it was not fair. But it was worth it.

7.  Change Your Phone Number 

Yes, really.  It is one way to stop the calls.  And do not give this new number out to everyone.  I made that mistake once and the Abuser got my new number from a ‘friend’.  I got another phone, and another ‘friend’.

8. Change your Locks and install Motion Sensors and/or Cameras.

Definitely change your locks both for your house and car.  Seriously.  If the Abuser still has a key, he WILL use it. Use technology in your favor. These days motion sensors and IP Cameras are very inexpensive and easy to use. Yes, he may break it, but then call the Police – report it. I had left my bicycle outside my apartment.  When I went to go to work, I noticed that ‘someone’ had jumped on the back tire and bent it.  I called the Police and reported it.  They will know who did it, and will most likely catch him doing it again!

9.  Print out a Hard Copy of Any Online Harassment

With Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and everything else this WILL be an area where the Abuser will ‘talk trash’. They seem to have to prove to everyone their side of the story.  And DO NOT RESPOND to them.  You have to abide by the rules of the Restraining Order as well.  If you talk or respond to the Abuser you may inadvertently hurt yourself.  The Police will have a hard time enforcing the order if YOU are the one who broke it.  And yes, the Abuser will use it against you. Don’t believe his words – believe his actions!

10. Call the Police

More than likely the Abuser will break the terms of the Court Order. Be prepared to call the Police every single time it happens.  You got your restraining order for a reason.  And if you don’t have one – get it now!

I thought once I had that piece of paper the Abuser would leave me alone.  I was wrong.  His attempts to contact me or see me INCREASED!  I don’t know why this surprised me.  But the Abuser is after control –  of you.  And in their mind they ‘own’ you.  Hearing ‘NO’ from a Judge or Police Officer will often motivate the Abuser to break that rule!  They don’t hear the word ‘NO’, they think ‘Yeah right, who are you to tell me what to do?”  Use this to your advantage.  Be ready.  Be safe.  And Be well.

Here is the post that reminded me what this was like.

THE FEAR: my stalking abuser is back.

WHERE TO GET MORE INFORMATION:

(Featured Image Source: www.metrodenvercriminaldefense.com

Photo above from: archive.constantcontact.com)