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http://au.reachout.com/find/articles/an-abusive-relationship This offers tips on what to do / say to convince someone why they shouldn't remain in an abusive relationship. The problem with abusive relationships is that people who have been abused for so long see the abuse as being normal, a one off, or are scared of what happens if they leave. There are Australian domestic violence services (Rape Crisis Centre, Mens Line, Centre Against Sexual Assault Crisis, Police/Ambulance/Fire Brigade is 000)

http://www.heart-2-heart.ca/men/The Excellent advice on how abused men can leave violent relationships. The advice can also apply to abused women, and people of other genders. It covers safety, legal and financial issues, evidence documenting the abuse (photos, affidavits, journal/diary), contact details of domestic violence services, financial documents (credit card/mortgage/insurance/investment documents, your Will). This also offers great advice on how to convince someone to leave an abusive relationship and not be fooled when the abuser pretends to have changed their ways.

Also, something important to keep in mind: Domestic violence is a Child Protection issue. Many domestic violence situations (more than fifty percent) involve child neglect or child abuse. In Australia, children witnessing/hearing domestic violence is considered a form of abuse.
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End the Silence is a campaign that aims to destroy the silence surrounding sexual violence. It gives survivors of sexual assault a voice, by enabling them to share their emotions and thoughts - through stories, art, and poetry on their experiences, trauma and healing. The stories are confronting and powerful. They can be uplifting, but also triggering. Please take care of yourself by ensuring you are in a safe place and with someone who cares about you while you read these stories. You can learn more and join the campaign here:

http://www.endthesilencecampaign.org/about-2/

I'm relieved and  so glad that survivors can speak out about their trauma. Abuse grows from silence. We need to speak out to end it. Please add your voice to help end abuse. Problems shared can be halved, especially when you share them with people who have experienced what you have been through.

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Hi everyone,

Please consider spreading the word about LiNK, donating or joining them. LiNK helps rescue North Korean refugees fleeing torture and trauma. It doesn't depend on government funding or on political parties. It relies on private donations, which makes them independent and enables them in forming impartial recommendations. Thank you so much.

From the website http://linkglobal.org/who-we-are/faq.html :

LiNK is a non-profit, non-partisan organization that is supported solely by private donors. Our work entails aiding and protecting North Korean refugees in the underground, advocating on their behalf and for the North Korean crisis in general, providing assistance upon resettlement in countries that will provide them with asylum, and raising awareness through creative media (such as videos) and mobilizing the grassroots through official LiNK chapters.

Estimates of up to 300,000 refugees have fled to neighboring China and are hiding in the underground. These refugees risk torture and execution if captured and repatriated to North Korea. In violation of the 1951 Convention on the Status of Refugees and its 1967 Protocol, China repatriates all North Koreans who have illegally crossed the border.

Women and Children: North Korean refugees in China, particularly women and children, face serious exploitation and sex trafficking. Over 80% of North Korean refugees are victims of human trafficking in China. Within North Korea, children are routinely forced into child labor, and are subject to extremely abusive or dangerous situations.

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Hi everyone,

Some fascinating and useful information on simple ways to help people recover from trauma:

Psychetruth's video "Psychology of Trauma & Distress; Helping People Overcome" (narrated by John Breeding)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W3kQgE1tlUI

I'm glad that Breeding's listed the common symptoms to trauma. I'm also glad that he acknowledged that responses to trauma are not always a sign of mental illness.

Taking things slowly, acknowledging people's feelings is a good way to help people recover from trauma.

Expressing your emotions, letting your energy out in some way (through activity or sport) is a good way to relieve stress. I would have preferred it if he gave more details on how to deal with trauma.
According to John Breeding, Reevaluation counselling advises that you can help traumatised people by doing these things:

-Listen and encourage feelings to be expressed. Be relaxed and confident. Stay close to people.

-You must look after yourself (be relaxed and confident) in order to be able to help other people.

-Crying is a good way to express sadness or outrage, in order to relieve stress.

-Go slow. Take time. Notice what you're feeling in your body. Don't always fill in silences with questions. Help people feel safe. Don't put pressure on the other person to talk.

John Breedings tips on how to deescalate violent or aggressive situations:

- Take deep breath. Let energy settle into lower feet

-adopt a soothing tone of voice

-avoid threatening behaviours/gestures

-state you noticed the aggressive behaviour without shaming or exaggeration

-Offer empathy and paraphrase what the other person said e.g. "I understand that 's a frsutrating situation. You were pissed off."

-Don't threaten to punish someone.

-Say they're not alone. "I'm here with you. I can see that you're frustrated. I know it's hard. We're going to work it out".

-Say something that shows your relationship with the other person can be repaired. "we can work it out. we'll get through this. I'm still with you."

Give chances to save face. "I bet you could handle this. We can get this cleaned up if we work together".
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Hello everyone,

Here are two videos on torture, and how it doesn't work. The videos explain how torture techniques have been used as braiinwashing techniques to extort false confessions.

One of the most disturbing things to my mind is that these techniques of gaining false confessions are used by intelligence agencies to gain accurate information.

Part 1 of Youtube video by psychetruth called: "Guantanamo Bay, Mind Control, Brain Washing Torture, MKUltra"

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6IIxrcDcB5s

Part 2 of the above video:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O8f_-dLYKCY

Definitely worth seeing.

My views on torture are that it would be a very ineffective way of gaining accurate information, because severe trauma and abuse can jumble up people's memories and make them block out parts of their memories. So it doesn't make it easier to remember things and provide accurate information - quite the reverse:

http://www.lawandpsychiatry.com/html/hippocampus.htm

Also, people's memories become more unreliable when they are sleep deprived, starving, or in some cases when they lack medical treatment (because many medical problems can cause memory loss, delirium and confusion:

http://www.webmd.com/brain/tc/confusion-memory-loss-and-altered-alertness-topic-overview ). People's memories can also become more unreliable when they are suffering from depression (as a result of torture).

links on how sleep deprivation, depression and poor nutrition increases memory loss:

http://women.webmd.com/news/20030314/sleep-deprivation-leads-to-trouble-fast

http://www.vitaminsdiary.com/relieve-symptoms/memory-loss.htm
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Hi all,

Please read the following text in italics from Amnesty International and consider donating to them to help Amnesty put an end to torture:

Today, we expect President Obama to announce a plan to close Guantánamo Bay prison. This is a major victory in restoring our values and rehabilitating America’s image worldwide. I want to personally thank you for being part of this fight with us.
we can restore America’s commitment to justice and take our place, once again, as a human rights leader around the world.

Make a tax-deductible donation to our 100 Days Campaign and help us seize this unprecedented opportunity to make human rights a centerpiece of the new Obama administration at this site:

https://takeaction.amnestyusa.org/site/c.jhKPIXPCIoE/b.4906793/k.B455/Watch_the_video_and_support_our_100_Days_campaign/apps/ka/sd/donorcustom.asp?msource=W91JDAY2&auid=4419046&kntaw25429=B44D542885184E76B3031E7AA6252DEE

In addition to closing Guantánamo Bay prison, in his first 100 days in office, we are calling on President Obama to end the use of torture and other inhuman treatment and fully investigate U.S. detention and interrogation policies, including holding accountable those responsible for torture.

Please watch this disturbing
video clip from Taxi to the Dark Side. Then, make a donation of $35, $75 or $100 — whatever you can afford — to help us end the use of torture and restore America’s reputation around the world.

Amnesty members like you have always remained vigilant in the protection of human rights. I am counting on your continued leadership and commitment as we demand a full investigation into all aspects of U.S. detention and interrogation policies and usher in a new era of respect for human rights around the world.
Sincerely,

Larry Cox
Executive Director, Amnesty International


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The Burmese military regime's economic mismanagement, poor governance and oppression of the people, poverty and disease has greatly increased. This September, The Burmese Monks' peaceful protest was violently repressed by the Burmese government. Moreover, the Burmese dictatorship continues its brutal treatment against ethnic minorities, destroying over 3,000 villages, forcing millions from their homes, and conscripting more child soldiers than any country in the world.

From the "Don't Forget Burma" website (http://www.dontforgetburma.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=15&Itemid=41):
Burma, a country of around 50 million people is ruled by fear. A military machine of 500,000 soldiers denies a whole nation its most basic rights. Aung San Suu Kyi, pro-democracy leader and Nobel Peace Prize winner, symbolises the struggle of Burma's people to be free.

Aung San Suu Kyi's Party, the National League for Democracy (NLD) won 82% of the seats in elections held in 1990. The people of Burma overwhelmingly rejected military rule yet the military continues to refuse to transfer power to Burma's democratically elected leaders.

Read more... )

To find out what you can do to help (actions to participate in, petitions to sign and events to attend), go to the "Support the Monks' protest in Burma" Facebook site at http://usydedu.facebook.com/group.php?gid=24957770200

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