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Thursday, December 12, 2013

After SANDY HOOK: Look Beyond Gun Control!

A year ago, Americans were shocked by the tragic loss of 20 children and 6 teachers at Sandy Hook Elementary School. Are you surprised Congress has not passed any new gun control laws? If legislators can’t pass laws, perhaps, we need to focus in a different direction!

All school shooters and violent gang members have something in common. Adam Lanza, the Sandy Hook shooter, was an angry, lonely, troubled young man who was socially isolated with access to guns and violent video games. Just like other violent young men, he lacked strong male role models in his life and a neighborhood and community support system. He didn’t have any spiritual guidance to help develop his coping skills in order to handle his emotions. He was a candidate for mental problems and violent behavior.

If we are going to stop gun violence, let’s start a discussion on what city leaders can do to help strengthen families.

As a crime and violence prevention specialist for 38 years, I see a critical need to address fear and social isolation that drives people to buy guns. When we understand the importance of involvement and neighborhood responsibility, we can restore a sense of community. Disconnected families will discover they are not alone. New neighborhood mentors and role models will emerge as neighbors build trust. Youth need people who care and offer support to help them reach their potential.

Connected and involved neighbors can help cities save millions of dollars. Citizens would no longer feel the need to buy a gun for protection as they help youth stay out of the criminal justice system. Everyone benefits.

WHAT ELECTED, CIVIC AND RELIGIOUS LEADERS CAN DO to create positive, citywide change!

Civic and religious leaders can talk to local elected officials about creating a…
Citizens’ Task Force to focus on strengthening families.

GOAL: Strengthen families through neighborhood support and encourage healthy role models for youth! Citizen involvement reduces fear, anger, stress and isolation, as neighbors work together and build trust.

HOW? Elected and religious leaders have the ability to influence citizens to take charge of their neighborhood safety, which will help strengthen families.

WHY? In cities large and small, families experience divorce, bullying, domestic violence, child abuse, and drug and alcohol abuse. When neighbors get connected, they can help restore a stronger sense of community support.

WHO? Encourage city leaders to appoint a volunteer citizens’ or youth task force to develop a plan to help residents get connected. Depending on city population, appoint a group of 8 to 10 community “doers” to discuss local concerns and focus on a plan of action.

RESIDENTS NEED ENCOURAGEMENT AND LEADERSHIP:
Task Force members can take an active role in speaking to schools, civic and religious groups about the plan. For example: “Adopt-A-Block” can be implemented citywide. Encourage adults and youth to conduct a neighborhood survey. Get willing neighbors together and appoint leaders. Evaluate results and address concerns.

Ideas to get more neighbors and youth involved:
- Clean up graffiti and/or the neighborhood
- Plan a potluck Block Party or social gathering
- Hold an emergency Preparedness meeting
- Moms organize a baby-sitting co-op
- Plant a community garden
- Paint house numbers on curbs (Project for teens)
- Offer leadership training

Reducing fear and building trust is a long-range approach to stopping gun violence. We can no longer afford to ignore the importance of family support and neighborhood involvement if we are going to keep citizens safe and protect our children.


Stephanie L. Mann, Crime and Violence Prevention Consultant
Safe Kids Now
For more information: www.safekidsnow.com



Saturday, November 2, 2013

The Internet Can Disconnect Us!

Feel that vibration in your pocket? Is it an emergency call? No, it’s a Facebook notification; however, teenagers react to it like it is an emergency. Can’t they check it out later? No, the urge is too strong to resist.

The Digital Age has become a great tool to get information in the palm of our hands. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, and iMessage are all on our phones. People are becoming addicted to these social networking sites, and it is affecting their interpersonal relationship with people. It’s so easy to be separated by a screen and a keyboard rather than deal with a person in front of you.

Andrew Chow, a sophomore in Lafayette, CA said “I think most teenagers are abusing the main purpose of using mobile phones which is using the device as a phone. Teens text or use Facebook and log into social networks too often, getting distracted from school work and other more important priorities.”

How much time do you spend on your social networking site than actually talking face to face with your friends? Phones were originally created to help us communicate with others when we couldn’t see them in person. It’s not the phones that are abusive; it’s how people use them that makes it abusive.

It seems that these social networking sites are becoming tools used for bullying. Classmate Isabel Artiaga thinks bullying “is definitely a phase that people go through, especially at this age.” Statistics show that 56% of teens have once been the target of a cyber-bullying activity. Sticks and stones will break your bones, but words and pictures will hurt your child’s feelings. Teens are using Facebook to harass their peers.

It’s amazing what horrible things these teens say to others on the internet, in order to lower people’s self-esteem. A sixth grader commented “Sometimes bullying doesn’t seem like such a big deal just one time, but when it happens repetitively, it can be really depressing for people.”

What parents can do is talk to their children about what is going on with them online. They should sit down with their kids and ask “what would you want me (your parent) if you were being cyber-bullied. Parry Aftab, a New-Jersey-based lawyer and expert on bullying, advocates the ‘stop, block and tell’


approach.

To help your child stay balanced, centered and safe, check out www.safekidsnow.com/streetsafekids

Saturday, June 22, 2013

PREVENT Child Sexual Abuse-Empower children

2 minute REPORT: The 7 MYTHS that keep adults for discussing child sexual abuse.
Children will not be victims if you empower them. To learn more about protecting children, go to www.safekidsnow.com Join the Safe Kids Now community on www.facebook.com/safekidsnow We welcome your comments and questions.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Child Abuse - Mental Health - Shooters

The shooting at Santa Monica College, left 5 dead and 3 wounded. The media started a new debate on MENTAL HEALTH but ignored CHILD ABUSE as a leading cause for violent, self-destructive behavior. If we don't discuss the consequences of child abuse, we will not stop street violence.
Find out how to raise happy, healthy, nonviolent children. For more information go to: www.safekidsnow.com/streetsafekids

Friday, May 31, 2013

Terror in London - What WISE men know

Terrorists brutally killed a young British soldier on a London street. What drives men to murder innocent people for a cause? What do WISE men know that terrorists don't know? We can stop terrorists if we understand the primitive mind and what motivates them! For more information: www.safekidsnow.com Join our facebook page: www.facebook.com/safekidsnow Add your comment! We want to hear from YOU!

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

The SEXing of American Children

The media has made casual SEX common place. No wonder children are having babies and teens are taking drugs. They are NOT emotionally equipped to handle a sexual relationships. Jodi Arias trial is an extreme case of sexual obsession. Here are some ideas to help you empower children and keep them safe. Agree or Disagree...Add your comment!

Monday, April 29, 2013

BOSTON Strong-The Lesson

SPIRITUAL WARFARE! Times have changed and Americans need to change to meet the challenge! Why are religious fanatics attacking us and what 3 things can we do to prevent another attack and create PEACE? HERE ARE SOME IDEAS TO HELP YOU CREATE A SAFER CITY! Questions? For more information contact us at: safeneighborhoods@gmail.com