“Bucket List” The Rules…..I’m Doing Me Right Now
June 4, 2015

It was December 15, 2007 when the Hollywood blockbuster “Bucket List” starring Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman hit the world by storm.  The movie cost about $45 million to produce and brought in over $175 million dollars.  The primary plot centered around two terminally ill patients who with nothing to loose deciding to toss restraint to the wind and go out with a bang by doing anything and everything they had always wanted to do but had not yet completed.

Bucket list poster.jpg

Recently an American was on a safari through a lions park where signs in large print were posted warning those driving through the park to keep the vehicle windows up at all times.  For some strange reason according to tour guides in the park people will ignore the verbal and written cautions as if they have nothing to loose and are saying to the world around them “Bucket”.

ABC News recently posted the following regarding the lion incident:

The park where the mauling occurred allows lions to roam while tourists drive through the preserve. A park official said that although visitors are ordered to keep their windows closed, the woman was taking pictures through an open window when the lioness lunged. The vehicle’s driver, believed to be a local tour operator, was also injured and was hospitalized.

South African media have reported that an Australian tourist was bitten by a lion earlier this year while driving through the park with his windows open and a teenager who tried to cut through the park on a bicycle was attacked by a cheetah.

The park official said the lioness would not be killed, but was kept away from tourists after the attack.

Most recently near Jackson, Mississippi a family attending the high school graduation ceremony of a loved one made a decision to ignore the directives of the school district to wait until the end of the awarding of diplomas before cheering and applauding in order for all students to be able to not only hear their name called but to maintain a certain dignity for the commencement ceremony.  A family came to the decision to “Bucket” the schools request and live, celebrate and call out the name of their loved one as if this would be the final commencement they would every attend.

http://news.yahoo.com/video/mississippi-family-members-charged-cheering-225635150.html

Boundaries, regulations, expectations and rules are often in place to protect not only an individual but also the specific institution or environment as well.  The Old Testament nation of Israel continually found themselves in danger and were constantly faced with grief and death because of their decision to “Bucket” many of Gods boundaries, regulations and expectations that were in place to keep them safe.

Deuteronomy 12:8 Ye shall not do after all the things that we do here this day, every man whatsoever is right in his own eyes.

At some point our country, our communities, our families and our churches must accept the reality that putting laws on a “Bucket List” will destroy the very fabric of this world as God intended.

Domestic Violence – It’s Clearly A Crime – Just Not Clearly Defined In Legal Circles
September 8, 2014

Intimate partner violence includes rape, sexual assault, robbery, aggravated assault, and simple assault by a current or former spouse, boyfriend, or girlfriend. This report presents trends in intimate partner violence by sex, and examines intimate partner violence against women by the victim’s age, race and Hispanic origin, marital status, and household composition. Data are from the National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS), which collects information on nonfatal crimes reported and not reported to the police from a nationally representative sample of U.S. households.

Take a look at this video and decide what type of crime is being committed?  Is it simple assault, attempted murder, a felony, or a misunderstanding?  Depending upon the officer, the prosecutor, who the person committing the action is or who the individual on the receiving end of the action is, determines how the incident is handled.

http://www.tmz.com/videos/0_ekaflcqq

Females living in households comprised of one female adult with children experienced intimate partner violence at a rate more than 10 times higher than households with married adults with children and 6 times higher than households with one female only.

Females ages 18 to 24 and 25 to 34 generally experienced the highest rates of intimate partner violence.

From 1994 to 2010, about 4 in 5 victims of intimate partner violence were female.

According to The U.S. Department of Justice in a July 1996 National Institute of Justice report to Congress under the Violence Against Women Act:

Within the criminal justice system, data collection is complicated by the division of
responsibilities across many independent entities—law enforcement agencies,
prosecutors, courts, and corrections. Although some local jurisdictions have
established integrated criminal justice information systems, most criminal justice data
are fragmented along operational boundaries. The continued difficulties in obtaining
complete and accurate criminal history records were cited as one indicator of the
inability to track individuals as they move through the criminal justice system or
recidivate for subsequent crimes.

The U.S. Department of Justice 1996 report revealed another eyeopener:

Multi-jurisdictional—multiple State and local agencies
Because of victim and offender mobility, agencies increasingly must be able to share
information across State and local boundaries. There are several Federal and regional
efforts under way to either provide mechanisms to do this or to encourage the
development of these systems. Achieving this goal will take time, however, and many
technical and organizational obstacles will have to be overcome.
One situation where this has been identified as a serious problem is with court
protection orders because officials outside of the originating jurisdictions generally do
not have ready access to the information required for enforcement. In addition,
policies and standards for issuing court protection orders can vary from area to area, making enforcement across jurisdictional boundaries a complex issue for local authorities.

The absence of a national definition of domestic violence causes irregularities in the
inclusion/exclusion of more informal relationships such as current or ex-boyfriends/
girlfriends, roommates, and cohabitants.  For example, Michigan and Kansas
have added a box on their crime incident report forms that officers must mark to
indicate whether an incident was domestic violence related. Other States (e.g.,
Connecticut, New York, and Wisconsin) have separate forms for reporting domestic
violence. The special domestic violence report form enables States to collect offense specific
information that may be more difficult to include in a general crime incident
report form. Use of a separate form, however, does carry the physical and
psychological burden of additional paperwork, which increases the likelihood that
officers will fail to complete or submit a report.

Because domestic and sexual violence victims can face possible reprisals by the
offenders, a heavy burden of embarrassment, and other repercussions, obtaining their
cooperation can be extremely difficult for law enforcement and other agencies. The
act of reporting domestic violence and some sexual violence incidents may be
considered by victims as a last resort or as a way to make an irreparable break in a
relationship. Consequently, the victims may perceive reporting as an admission of
personal failure that they cannot face or believe is avoidable.
Additionally, the problem of adequate training of personnel in handling these cases
often was cited in the project panel discussions and survey responses. As many
jurisdictions are recognizing the seriousness of these offenses, new laws and policies
are being adopted, which in turn may require time to train all relevant staff in new
procedures and to fully implement them.

For all the above reasons, under reporting of domestic and sexual violence can be
more of a problem than for other types of offenses. Although efforts can be made to
overcome some of the factors hindering accurate reporting, some barriers may never
be completely surmounted given the nature of these crimes and the social and
behavioral issues involved.

Because identifying domestic violence crimes may involve consideration of a criminal
act, the relationship between the victim and offender, and the offender’s motive for
committing the act, properly classifying cases can be more difficult than for other
types of offenses. For example, a crime incident that would normally be considered a
property crime (e.g., a burglary, motor vehicle theft, larceny, or vandalism) could be
classified as a domestic violence incident if the perpetrator’s intent is to harass or
intimidate the victim. This may require the investigating officers to go beyond the
facts initially presented for a complaint to its possible underlying circumstances.
An additional complication for data reporting is that some States have not mandated a
specific domestic violence offense with which to charge an offender. In these
instances, the offender is charged with another offense, but his case may be flagged as
a domestic violence case for reporting purposes. Other States have broader family
violence statutes that include domestic violence.

As early as 1930 the Uniform Crime Reporting System has been in existence and all states contribute data into it in one form or another.  The UCRS was not mandatory however.  In 1980 the FBI replaced the old 1930 UCRS with the National Incident Based Reporting System NIBRS.  The new NIBRS is not mandatory for states to enter data.  Whether it’s the old UCRS reporting or the newer NIBRS reporting system, neither system has a clearly defined category for Domestic Violence under Category A or Category B Crimes. 

Time has come for our communities, schools, churches, businesses and families to demand that individuals who commit domestic violence be held accountable for their behaviors.  Men are to honor women as vessels of high value.  Women are to esteem men as one who is her point man or one who is willing to go before her.  Behaviorally, whenever domestic violence presents itself, it is certain that someone is functioning below God’s expectations.  There is never a time when domestic violence should be accepted or explained away in a civilized society.

5 Things Students Want Parents To Know
September 23, 2012

Parents did you know that your children are the first generation in the history of the world that has access to the entire world without leaving your home?  Children face challenges in their neighborhood but the neighborhood of today is also online as well as the house next door.  Children want parents to become more aware of how important it is for parents to be aware of their definition of neighbors and not just neighbors as defined by mom and dad.  Regardless of how large a child’s neighborhood may grow, children still want parents to know that it is important for family to be involved in their daily lives.

Family and Environment
A large number of different family patterns and environments play an important role in
children’s developmental patterns. Early in life, for example, chaotic or depriving caregiving
can severely disrupt many areas of mental functioning, including language, social and emotional
capacities, and the ability to process information and learn. Mounting evidence suggests that
these environmental patterns affect not only the child’s mind, but the structure of his or her
central nervous system. By the same token, favorable and enriched experiences tailored to the
individual needs of the child and his or her family can exert very positive developmental
influences (Shonkoff & Phillips, 2000).
Therefore, family and environmental patterns are important components of early
identification and preventive intervention efforts. Understanding these patterns is essential for
appreciating the nature of the developmental risk, the mechanism through which it is occurring,
and the type of program that will be required to work with it.
Clinical experience and research also suggests that attempts at early identification of
challenges with at-risk families requires ongoing trusting relationships and an understanding of
the beliefs, values, and coping strategies of caregivers (e.g., for obtaining reliable information
about a child’s development). Asking a parent about an area of the child’s functioning that is
very important to the parent will often lead to a rich description, in comparison to a question
about whether the child has this or that problem.
Yet, creating relationships that will facilitate communication and understanding and lead
to the reliable identification of challenges in at-risk groups is very difficult to do with large
numbers of children and families, especially with multi-problem families. Furthermore, multiproblem families often evidence multi-generational patterns of marginal functioning
characterized by learning problems, delinquency, criminal activity, and mental health disorders
(Buell, 1952; Greenspan, et al., 1987). A number of mental health disorders that can interfere
with caregiving, such as maternal depression, can be present in any family.

For additional information go to: http://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/dd/

Question For Parents:  What does your child talk with you about that surprises you and how do you talk with your children?

The Psychology of Date Rape
August 20, 2011

Rape is defined as sexual acts performed by or on another without consent.  The acts may include vaginal intercourse, anal intercourse, or oral intercourse.  Rape may involve various parts of the physical body or other objects external to the body.  Rape involves threat or force and a failure of consent or the ability to give consent.  Failure to give consent may be because of age or one’s mental ability to consent.  For instance, a minor child cannot consent to sexual intercourse with a majority age person nor can a female who has been drugged consent to sexual intercourse even if she is of majority age.

In the lifetime of females 1 out of three at some point either have experienced or will experience rape according to The National Institute of Health.  Even more tragic from 80% to 90% of all rapes are never reported.  Although men, women or children of all ages are candidates for rape, the majority of rape victims are 16 to 24 years of age and are female.  Because this is also a very fertile age for dating, females are more often in an environment where they may “feel” safe but are really a high profile target for Date Rape.

In Date Rape the rapist actually knows the individual and plans his attack.  The victim may know the rapist from school, study groups, social settings, neighborhoods or even church or shopping trips.  Over 50% of rapes take place in the victims home and access surprisingly is granted because the rapist was given access under false pretense of being a friend, needing help, etc.

Although behavioral changes vary from victim to victim, here are some of the more common traits found in victims of regular and date rape:

1.  A loss of emotional control and an appearance of being confused

2.  Unexplained crying and a feeling of being numb

3.  Being afraid, being angry, being very hostile suddenly toward others

4.  Abnormal anxiety and laughter that is not in line with the environment

5.  Disrupted sleep and eating habits

6.  Sudden isolation from friends and family

In any college year at least 35 students per 1,000 are raped annually.  The time of many rapes is reported to be after midnight by most college students.  Date rape is not unusual to occur by multiple attackers at the same time.

Be aware that rape victims may not seek medical attention for being raped directly but may show up at hospitals or with others complaining of headaches, insomnia, anxiety attacks, etc.

Be very alert and careful about being in an all alone environment with males.  It is not unusual for other females to set up the date rape for male friends.  Be equally cautious around females you really don’t know well and watch out for what is put into your drinks and food.  If for any reason you must leave a glass of beverage unattended, order a new one.  It is safer to spend $1.75 for a glass of soda than to spend the rest of your life struggling with rape.

 

The Psychology of When People Marry
August 17, 2011

 

Although the number of individuals marrying today compared to 50 years ago is lower per 1,000, by no means is marriage becoming a thing of the past.  Don’t believe the hype that there are no men out there for women to marry.  The reality of studies conducted by The Center for Disease Control as of 2002 are in part presented below.

  • Number of marriages: 2,077,000
  • Marriage rate: 6.8 per 1,000 total population
  • Divorce rate: 3.4 per 1,000 population (44 reporting States and D.C.)
The marriage rate as of 2002 of 6.8% per 1,000 exceeds the divorce rate of 3.4% per 1,000 as of 2002.

71% of men and 79% of females between the ages of 25 and 44 have never been married.  An exciting finding shows that by age 40 about 81% of men and 86% of women will get married and surprisingly a larger percentage of females than men who are age 35 to 44 will marry by age 35.

The probability of first marriage by age 18 is low for both men and women: 6% for women and 2% for men.

There is a 50% probability that women will have married for the first time by the age of 25. Not until age 27 is there a 50% probability that men will have married for the first time.

The probability of first marriage by age 30 is 74% for women and 61% for men.

The probability of first marriage by age 40 is 86% for women and 81% for men.

Women have higher probabilities than men of experiencing a first marriage by each age shown, except at age 40 (where the difference is not statistically significant).

Now that you have more factual information please refrain from panic simply because you are not married by the age of 30 or 35.  Notice how high the probability jumps by age 40 for men and women.

What are some of the “old maid” stories you have heard or told regarding the cutoff age for getting married?