Monday, October 22, 2012

Young Song, The Dog Killer Next Door

Residents of California and communities in the United States have good reason to be concerned about the whereabouts of animal abusers like Young Song. In story after heartbreaking story, abusers repeat their violent crimes against helpless animals, and often go on to victimize people as well.

The man convicted of beating his neighbor’s dog to death with a hammer shows classic behavior symptoms in need of psychological evaluation and treatment (Man who killed dog with hammer banned from owning pets, October, 5 2012). Anyone whose anger and lack of empathy could result in such a heartless act should be punished to the fullest extent of the laws available.

What will become on Young Song after he serves his time, pays his fines and completes counseling, if any was ordered?  Will he return to the home where he lived when he brutally killed his neighbor’s dog or will he move?

I would want to know if a violent or repeat animal abuser were living next door to me and my family. Animal abuse is often just the tip of the iceberg.  According to the Animal Legal Defense Fund, animal abusers are five times more likely to commit violent crimes against people and four times more likely to commit property crimes than are individuals without a history of animal abuse.

Convicted animal abusers pose a real, ongoing threat to pets, families, and communities.  Having an animal abuse registry would be an invaluable tool.  An animal abuse registry would require mandatory registration and community notification for convicted animal abusers.  This would make a dramatic difference in keeping offenders away from potential new victims allowing animal shelters and humane societies to more thoroughly screen potential adopters—and by alerting the public to their whereabouts.

Full story here

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Saturday, October 20, 2012

Pledge to be an Active Bystander

 This video demonstrates the Bystander Effect.



Bystander effect

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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The bystander effect or Genovese syndrome is a social psychological phenomenon that refers to cases where individuals do not offer any means of help in an emergency situation to the victim when other people are present. The probability of help has often appeared to be inversely related to the number of bystanders; in other words, the greater the number of bystanders, the less likely it is that any one of them will help. The mere presence of other bystanders greatly decreases intervention. In general, this is believed to happen because as the number of bystanders increases, any given bystander is less likely to notice the situation, interpret the incident as a problem, and less likely to assume responsibility for taking action.[1] Read more here.


  • “It isn’t my problem.” - Violence is EVERYONE'S problem. We are all affected by abuse and violence in our communities.

  • “It isn’t going to change anything.” – Your action is going to help others see that they can take a stand against violence. It also shows the victim she or he is not alone.

  • “It may make things worse, or the abuser might turn on me.” - The point of being an active bystander is to help the situation calm down, not create more violence.

  • “Maybe I’m making a big deal out of nothing.” - Any kind of violence IS a big deal, even grabbing someone’s arm or yelling in their face; even calling someone names. If it seems wrong, it probably is.

  • “They might have started it or deserved it.” - No one chooses to be abused, and no one ever deserves to be abused.

  • “I’m not a ‘rat’.” - Being an active bystander does not mean you’re being a ‘rat’ or that you’re weak. It means you have zero tolerance for abuse and violence.

  • “No one else seems to care that this is happening.” - Many people want to see an end to abuse and violence, but are unsure of how or when to speak up.  

It takes one person to take stand up and out of the crowd to intervene and prevent abuse and violence.  Don't expect anyone else will have the strength to do it.  It must be you!

Research indicates that when presented with a need/call for help, people may be less likely to intervene with there are a lot of people around. They expect that someone else will handle the situation.

Is it your responsibility? Yes it is.

You may ask yourself a few questions:
Is it a problem or risky situation I should be aware of?
Is there an animal or someone that needs help?
Can I or others be part of the solution?

Other questions to ask yourself during the situation:
How can I keep myself safe?
What are my available options?
Are there others I may call upon for help?
What are the benefits/costs for taking action?
What is the cost of not acting? If you choose not to act in some way, how does that impact someone’s life?

Preventing abuse or an act of violence is a MORAL duty. A duty we should do because “it’s the right thing to do.” Sometimes it may help to think of others as a sister, brother or your family's companion animal – what would you do to protect your family?

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Tuesday, October 2, 2012

How to Identify Signs of Child Abuse

With 1 in 6 boys and 1 in 4 girls undergoing childhood abuse, seeing the signs is important. The physical signs of child abuse are well known, but what happens when the symptoms are hidden and don't include bruises. Here are some of the other less obvious signs that a child is potentially in an abusive situation.

Discount grades and academic achievement as a sign of a well adjusted child. Children who are ritually or frequently abused learn to adapt and hide all symptoms of their abuse. Rather than just worrying about the child with low grades, the child who overachieves and places all their time and focus on academics may be exhibiting escape behaviors.

Watch for sudden extrovert behaviors in a suspected abused child. Children who play the class clown or seem happy and friendly all the time may be undergoing severe abuse. They don't wish to deal with the reality of their own life and so place a thick happy mask on their feelings and circumstances.

Note risk taking behavior or an adventurous personality as a sign of possible abuse. Another method of escape and an indicator of low self worth, the abused child may test their mind and body to extremes, participate in dangerous activities or deliberately place themselves in harm's way. Observe those children who seem willing to try anything for other signs of abuse.

Be aware that children undergoing abuse will go out of their way to help others. When a child always seems focused on the minor problems and worries of their friends and always seems to put others first, they could be enduring abuse. A sense that they are less than others or not worth worrying about is the behavior of a child who feels small or useless. This is a sign of abuse.

Visit ehow to learn more.

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