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Thursday, December 29, 2011

2012: How Safe is Your Community?

Did you know... the safest families live in neighborhoods where people know each other, communicate and build trust relationships with families and children. Family and neighborhood support keep your child safe from bullies, drugs, gangs and violence. People who know each other care and will help protect your child.

Check out these questions and rate your family involvement...

1. Do you know all your neighbors? (10 families around you)
2. Do you know and talk to the youth in your neighborhood?
3. When you see youngsters misbehaving, do you speak up, and correct them and/or notify their parents?
4. Do you accept complaints about your children?
5. Do you watch your neighbors’ home when they are away?
6. Do your neighbors watch your home when you are away?
7. If you hear or see something suspicious, do you contact neighbors or call the police?
8. Do you and your neighbors work together to solve neighborhood issues? (bullies, vandals, lighting, traffic, noise, etc)
9. Do you have a designated neighborhood leader?
10. Do you belong to a neighborhood group or association?
10. Do you have your neighbor's contact information (phone, email).
11. Is your family actively involved in your community? (civic, youth, charity, religious groups)? (Social isolation can escalate violent behavior.)
12. Do you know your elected officials and local police?
13. Do you know what to do in an emergency?
14. Do you know as much about your neighborhood as national issues? You have the power to change your neighborhood!

Rate yourself:
Are you part of the problem? Your neighborhood needs you and your ideas. Get involved!
Set a goal for 2012 to work with neighbors to keep families and children safe.

For more information on what you can do. Check out:
www.safekidsnow.com or contact us at: safeneighborhoods@gmail.com
Tell us what you are doing to help your community on www.facebook.com/stephanie.mann

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

WOMEN! 9 CRITICAL TIPS that could save your life!

1. If you are attacked...The elbow is the strongest point on your body. If you are close enough to use it, do!

2. If a robber asks for your wallet and/or purse, DO NOT HAND IT TO HIM. Toss it away from you....Chances are that he is more interested in your wallet and/or purse than you, and he will go for the wallet/purse. RUN LIKE MAD IN THE OTHER DIRECTION!

3. If you are ever thrown into the trunk of a car,
kick out the back tail lights and stick your arm out the hole and start waving like crazy.. The driver won't see you, but everybody else will.

4. Women have a tendency to get into their cars after shopping, eating, working, etc., and just sit (doing their checkbook, or making a list, etc. DON'T DO THIS!) The predator will be watching you, and this is the perfect opportunity for him to get in on the passenger side, put a gun to your head, and tell you where to go.

AS SOON AS YOU GET INTO YOUR CAR, LOCK THE DOORS AND LEAVE.. If someone is in the car with a gun to your head DO NOT DRIVE OFF, Repeat: DO NOT DRIVE OFF!
Instead gun the engine and speed into anything, wrecking the car. Your Air Bag will save you. If the person is in the back seat
they will get the worst of it. As soon as the car crashes bail out and run. It is better than having them find your body in a remote location.

5. A few notes about getting into your car in a parking lot, or parking garage:
A.) Be aware: look around you, look into your car, at the passenger side floor , and in the back seat.

B.) If you are parked next to a big van, enter your car from the passenger door. Most serial killers attack their victims
by pulling them into their vans while the women are attempting to get into their cars.

C.) Look at the car parked on the driver's side of your vehicle,
and the passenger side.. If a male is sitting alone in the seat nearest your car, you may want to walk back into the mall, or work, and get a guard/policeman to walk you back out.

IT IS ALWAYS BETTER TO BE SAFE THAN SORRY. (And better paranoid than dead.)

6. ALWAYS take the elevator instead of the stairs. Stairwells are horrible places to be alone and the perfect crime spot. This is especially true at NIGHT!)

7. If the predator has a gun and you are not under his control,
ALWAYS RUN! The predator will only hit you (a running target)
4 in 100 times; and even then, it most likely WILL NOT be a vital organ. RUN, Preferably in a zig -zag pattern!

8. As women, we are always trying to be sympathetic: STOP It may get you raped, or killed. Ted Bundy, the serial killer, was a good-looking, well educated man, who ALWAYS played on the sympathies of unsuspecting women. He walked with a cane, or a limp, and often asked 'for help' into his vehicle or with his vehicle, which is when he abducted his next victim.

9. Another Safety Point: Someone just told me that her friend heard a crying baby on her porch the night before last, and she called the police because it was late and she thought it was weird.. The police told her Whatever you do, DO NOT open the door..' The lady then said that it sounded like the baby had crawled near a window, and she was worried that it would crawl to the street and get run over. The policeman said, 'We already have a unit on the way, whatever you do, DO NOT open the door.'

He told her that they think a serial killer has a baby's cry recorded and uses it to coax women out of their homes thinking that someone dropped off a baby.. He said they have not verified it, but have had several calls by women saying that they hear baby's cries outside their doors when they're home alone at night.

10. Water scam! If you wake up in the middle of the night to hear all your taps outside running or what you think is a burst pipe, DO NOT GO OUT TO INVESTIGATE! These people turn on all your outside taps full blast so that you will go out to investigate and then attack.

Stay alert, keep safe, and look out for your neighbors!
Written by Police Officer Tae Kwon for your safety!

Friday, October 28, 2011

Wake Up America...We must protect children!

Penn State University faces a national scandal! In 2002, an assistant football coach witnessed a sexual assault of a child, told administrators and no one reported it to police. Seven more assaults have now been reported.

Americans have heard horror stories about sexual assaults by priests, sex traffickers and the growing porn industry. The tragic truth is, children are sexually assaulted at home and in their neighborhoods every day. These children grow up and become parents. Often, the cycle of abuse continues. Americans are paying a high price for their silence.

When children feel powerless, violated and/or unloved, they act out in self-destructive ways. They may turn to drugs, sex, food, cutting, bullying, become an easy victim or join a gang to feel powerful! Around 80 percent of prison inmates were abused as children.

SPEAK UP TO PROTECT CHILDREN!


During the past year, 3 out of 5 children were exposed to violence at home or in their neighborhoods. It is up to citizens to stop this epidemic. If YOU don’t speak up, you are guilty of allowing abuse to continue.

10 things you can do to help stop child abuse.

1. Watch toddlers at play. A child tries to dominate by shoving playmates and crying for a toy. This is normal, childish behavior. Adults must correct children so they mature properly and learn to respect others. Don’t ignore aggressive behavior! Little bullies can become abusers.

2. STAY ALERT! Don’t let anyone hit, slap or verbally abuse a child. Children need protection, attention and encouragement. Adults are role models. Discipline children by taking way privileges but don’t back down or you will teach a child how to manipulate YOU.

3. Peace starts at home! Make a family rule… we treat each other with respect. Bully/victim behavior is learned at home. (25 percent of women and 10 percent of men are in abusive relationship) Verbal, sexual or physical abuse teaches children to be victims and/or bullies.

4. Don’t be your child’s best friend! Undisciplined children become angry when they don’t have the skills to develop positive friends. They may bully or become targets of abuse because they don’t know what else to do. This could lead them toward self-destructive behaviors.

5. Discuss family problems together and allow everyone to have a voice. Children mature and grow strong when they are heard and help solve conflicts, peacefully.

6. Discipline, rules, love, attention and support give children self-confidence. If bullied, they know they are NOT the problem. Self-worth gives children the inner power to stand up to bullies, walk away and report bad behavior.

7. Self-discipline keeps children safe. For example: If I pick a fight with you and you fight back, I am in control. If I pick a fight with you and you walk away, you are in control. Children can develop courage and character by speaking up and standing up to bullies.

8. Does your school have an “anti-bully” policy? Do neighbors work together to stop bullies on the block? Don’t ignore bullies! They can form gangs and make your neighborhood less safe. Don’t tolerate any destructive behavior.

9. BE AN ADVOCATE and get involved! CNN Special, “Bullying: It stops here!” stated, “Social Combat: the new norm for youth.” We must all speak up and work with neighbors to stop bad behavior.

10. Start a movement to help create a safer environment in your school or in your neighborhood. Ask friends to join you. If you want to know what to do and how to do it, check out safekidsnow.com

Speak up to protect children and our future.

Stephanie L. Mann, Crime and Violence Prevention Consultant
Author, 4 national prevention books.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

14 WAYS TO AVOID VIOLENCE!

DISCUSS WITH CHILDREN...

1. Keep your hands to yourself. Settle disagreements with words, not fists or weapons. (Parents…model non-violent behavior at home.)

2. If a bully provokes you, stay strong. Remember: If you react, he is in control. If you stay cool and calm, you are in control. Walk away!

3. If disputes escalate, seek help! Don’t form an audience. Encourage others to stop tolerating bad behavior.

4. Be alert! Find safe routes for walking to and from school, avoid hot spots (bully or drug house, group hang outs).

5. Know all your neighbors. (Parents: Ask trusted neighbors to be a safe house, if you are away and your child needs help.)

6. Trust your instincts! If they feel threatened or sense danger, get away fast. Run to a group of people, a lighted area or in a store for help.

7. Report any threats, destruction of property or suspicious activities to an adult, police officer or a school authority.

8. NEVER go with someone you don’t know and trust, even if he/she sounds like a nice person. If forced, fight back and run.

9. Don’t use alcohol or drugs. They reduce your self-awareness and make you an easy target for sexual assault and abuse.

10. If someone tries to be mean to you speak up with confidence and walk away. Report if the bad behavior persists. (Parent: Role-play with children what you want them to do.)

11. Hang out with friends who show support for each other. Avoid “friends” who bully, criticize, use put downs and make you feel bad.

12. Get involved in school and community activities (yearbook, chorus, plays, arts, church) to strengthen your network of supportive friend. (Parents: Children need a variety of friends to see and evaluate healthy relationships.)

13. Be a role model for others to follow. Volunteer at school or in the community. Learn to be a leader and encourage friends to join you.

14. Create a network of positive friends, family, neighbors and a religious family to help strengthen your character and ability to get along. A strong conscience (self-awareness) will keep you safe from harm.

For more information and resources: www.safekidsnow.com

Monday, September 26, 2011

Root Cause for Violent Behavior!

Hardly a day passes without youth violence making news. From bullying at school to gang activity in the streets, the problem is pervasive. Most recently, rival teenage gangs traded deadly gunfire in the streets of Macon, Georgia, and the mayor there has vowed to find solutions. Macon is not unique.

We believe the best time to counter violent behavior among the young is before it starts. If we expose children from birth onward to positive, nurturing, nonviolent treatment, and to exemplary adult role models, we can safely predict that they won’t evolve into bullies or gang members. The consensus of child development science concurs with our position in this regard. Merely funneling young lawbreakers into the juvenile system doesn’t get at the root of the problem.

Please carefully consider the following recommendations:

• Add parenting education to the standard high school curriculum with a passing grade as a prerequisite for graduation.

• Make parenting education mandatory for parents who are aid recipients.

• Promote legal reforms that will extend to children the same protections against assault and battery that apply to adults.

Share copies of our publication, "Plain Talk about Spanking" with child-related and healthcare-related organizations and agencies, including schools, hospitals, pediatric clinics, libraries, etc. It can be accessed online at www.nospank.net/ and we furnish FREE download or hard copies upon request.

The benefits that will result from our joint efforts to reform harmful child-rearing customs and habits, and replace them with positive alternatives, will become apparent in due course. As Nelson Mandela observed, "There can be no keener revelation of a society’s soul than the way in which it treats its children."

Video with Jordan Riak, "Plain Talk about Spanking!" at: http://www.youtube.com/user/NeighWatchPioneer


Jordan Riak, Exec. Dir., Parents and Teachers Against Violence in Education (PTAVE); P.O. Box 1033, Alamo, CA 94507; Tel: 925-831-1661; On the Web at www.nospank.net

Monday, September 19, 2011

PLAN AHEAD...for a disaster! (flood, earthquake, hurricane, tornado, fire, etc.)

1. PLAN AHEAD! Know neighbors, their useful skills and equipment. Everyone can help!

2. Work with a neighbor to map your neighborhood. Draw your street (on a poster) with house numbers and list residents, children, elderly and disabled.

3. Use symbols, add location of gas meters and propane tanks to your map. (65% of house fires a caused by gas leaks.) Learn how and when to turn off meters. (Call local provider)

4. Know how to turn off water to the house.

5. Stock up on dry food, canned goods and water to last 5 days.

6. Discuss with family your disaster plan, safety info, location of supplies, meeting place and outside area contact in case local communication fails.

7. Store under your bed, sturdy shoes, gloves, flashlight, battery operated radio, first aid kit, a HELP/OK sign and a to do check list.

8. Create a team of neighbors to check on elderly, disabled and children. Check gas meters, propane tanks and shut off gas, if necessary. Check on homes to offer help.

9. Be prepared to give first aid. (Classes available in your area?) Contact your council member or area rep to find out what your community is doing to prepare for a disaster and get involved. Your community needs YOU.

Monday, August 29, 2011

10 Ways For A Parent To Say I Love You Without Words

• When your child communicates with you, stop what you’re doing and really listen to what they have to say. When your child knows and feels you care about what they are saying, they will feel good about themselves.
• Spend quality time each day with your child. When a child has the undivided attention of their parent, they feel important and cared for.
• Tune into your child’s needs. Respond to what your child may need before they ask; this shows your child you really are paying attention to them.
• Show your child affection without being asked. When you offer a hug to your child without being prompted, they will truly feel your love for them.
• When your child wants to show you something or needs something in that moment, stop what you’re doing and follow their lead. Sometimes they just want to know they are more important than your work.
• Enjoy meals together several times a week. With most people’s hectic schedules, there isn’t always time to hear the details of a child’s day immediately after work. Sharing a meal together allows children the space to talk about what went on in their day after they’ve had some down time and you have too.
• If your child comes home from school or an outing and immediately starts to talk about a sensitive topic, stop and listen to what they’re saying; it is most likely bothering them.
• Intently watch your child. Simply gazing at your child will send energetic vibrations of love their way and they will receive the warm feelings into their being.
• Make eye contact with your child. Sharing a deep gaze with your child sends messages of love through the eyes. The eyes are the gateway to one’s soul and a child knows this.
• Do things for your child. Consciously making their bed and washing their favorite shirt let’s them know you thought about them during your day; it also shows them how to do things for others as well.

Tara Paterson, ACPI Certified Coach for Parents™ of Intuitives
www.parentingintuitives.com
Co-Author of the award winning book- Raising Intuitive Children
Contact info: tara@justformom.com.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Keep Your Child Safe!

PARENTS: Discuss with children how to stay safe. Let children know they can tell you anything and you will listen.

1. Dial 911 in an emergency only. (Show and tell)
2. Never give your name or address to someone you don't know.
3. Never open the door to anyone you do not know.
4. Never tell callers you are home alone.
5. Never cross the street without looking both ways. (Stay in crosswalk)
6. Never accept a ride from someone you don't know.
7. Never play with matches.
8. Never walk alone, always use the buddy system.
9. If you feel scared by someone you don't know, run away and yell for help.
10. Get permission before you ride in a car with anyone.
11. Play in your backyard or near adults.
12. Create a family password in case a stranger needs to pick up your child.
13. If you are lost, look for a police officer, woman with children or a store clerk for help.
14. If someone asks you for help (directions, find a pet), run away and tell a trusted adult.
15. If someone tries to bully you, speak up and tell a trusted adult.
16. If someone tries to grab you, fight back, kick and scream for help.
17. If anything upsets you, tell me immediately and we will work it out together.

PARENTS: For extra protection...create a network of support around children and know all your neighbors!

For more information go to: www.safekidsnow.com

Sunday, July 17, 2011

12 Ways POLICE INCREASED crime!

Do you remember when neighbors knew every child on the block and they called parents if they misbehaved? At that time, neighbors knew how important it was to correct children before destructive behavior got out of control.

Over the years, Americans lost a critical balance between police and citizen responsibility for keeping neighborhoods safe. As citizens backed off, police increased visibility, involvement and technology to control behavior with limited success. Here are 12 ways police increased crime.

1. Police presented unrealistic expectations. National average approx 2.5 officers per 1000 residents. Police cannot keep your neighborhood safe.
2. Police became crime prevention “experts.” Citizens became passive “watchers.” Police and citizens lost a healthy balance of cooperation.
3. Police created dependency by assuming too much responsibility for minor problems including barking dogs, loud music, young vandals and bullies.
4. Police, in some areas, instill fear with local crime statistics. Citizens bought security systems or arm themselves fearing their neighbors.
5. Police increased anger. They received grants and staff support to “fix” neighborhoods. Neighbors backed off. When the money ran out, problems increased.
6. Police assume too much responsibility. Citizens blamed them for not doing their job. Result in some areas…hostility toward police, less cooperation and reporting.
7. Police increased neighborhood isolation. They held meetings and provided home security info. Neighbors arrived as strangers and left as strangers.
8. Police received community-policing grants. Citizens depend on police who didn’t live in the area. Policy shifts, officer leaves and crime, goes up.
9. Police, not parents or adults in the neighborhoods, became the symbol of authority and correction for youth.
10. Police assumed responsibility without understanding the benefits of neighbors solving problems and becoming role models for youth.
11. Police don’t say... it’s your responsibility to keep your neighborhood safe. Police react to crime, citizens prevent crime.
12. Police have many limitations. Residents must take back neighborhood safety if they want to keep children safe.

Americans can restore a healthy balance between police and citizen’s responsibility in the neighborhood. However, neighbors must be involved to help control criminal behavior and correct youth BEFORE they get involved in gangs, drug abuse and violence. Safe neighborhoods require mutual respect and cooperation.

For more information on what you can do to make your community safe, contact: www.safekidsnow.com

The world is a dangerous place to live, not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don't do anything about it. -Albert Einstein

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Neighborhood Test

1. Do you know all your neighbors? (10 families around you)
2. Do you talk to the youth in your neighborhood?
3. When you see youngsters misbehaving, do you speak up, and correct them or notify parents?
4. Do you accept complaints about your children?
5. Do you watch your neighbors’ home when they are away?
6. Do your neighbors watch your home when you are away?
7. If you hear or see something suspicious, do you contact neighbors or call the police?
8. Do you and your neighbors work together to solve neighborhood issues? (bullies, vandals, lighting, noise, etc)
9. Do you have a designated neighborhood leader?
10. Do you have your neighbors contact (phone, email) information.
11. Is your family actively involved in your community? (civic, youth, charity, religious groups)?
12. Do you know your elected officials and local police?
13. Do you know what to do in an emergency?
14. Do you know as much about your community as you know about national problems?

Rate yourself:
Are you part of the problem? Your neighborhood needs you and your ideas.
Set a goal for a YES on every question to help keep families and children safe.

For more information on what you can do. Check out:
www.safekidsnow.com or contact us at: safeneighborhoods@gmail.com

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

KEEP KIDS SAFE: Why you need to know your neighbors!

1. Connected neighbors respond in an emergency and create community for youth.
2. Disconnected neighbors allow negative people to corrupt kids. Connected neighbors can become great mentors.
3. To stay safe! Connected neighbors communicate by phone or email on changing conditions in the neighborhood.
4. When neighbors are connected and care, youth feel respected and they don’t vandalize property.
5. Connected neighbors don’t tolerate drugs, gangs or criminals. They work together & report. Ignorance is blind & deadly.
6. Connected neighbors speak up to solve minor problems and become role models for kids.
7. Connected neighbors care & correct destructive behavior before kids get out of control.

Add your ideas!

Monday, June 6, 2011

EVIL: The invisible epidemic

The Jaycee Dugard Case should alert every parent. At age 11, Jaycee was kidnapped by a predator and became a sex slave. When Phillip and Nancy Garrido were sentenced, Jaycee’s statement read, "Phillip, I have always been a thing for your own amusement. I hated every second of every day of 18 years because of you and the sexual perversion you forced on me. What you and Nancy did was reprehensible …to trick young girls for pleasure is evil."

The sad reality is, America has an epidemic of evil as cult leaders enslave followers and pimps force women into sexual slavery. Young girls like Jaycee are vulnerable as men lust over pornography, which can become an addiction. California, alone, has 63,000 registered sex offenders.

Why do men turn evil?
As a community organizer for 36 years, I have seen many adults who grew up with neglect and abuse. As children, they never learned how to handle anger, frustration and fear. They learned to manipulate, lie or bully to survive. Self-gratification became their drug of choice. Without a moral foundation or spiritual understanding of self, they shut down their conscience and victimized others to feel powerful.

Can evil be prevented?
Lack of self-awareness has created a spiritual void. Humans are spiritual beings with the power to overcome any adversity. When people know how to stay spiritually centered, they don’t overreact to negative pressures. It is critical that adults give children the tools they need to handle their emotions. Spiritually centered youth develop a self-protective conscience and inner wisdom.

Responsible parents create a network of family and friends so children have support. Children feel empowered when people listen and care. When youth see a positive direction for their life, they will not take a self-destructive path.

Three things the religious community can do to assist their community:
1. EDUCATE - Members of the religious community can send a message that failure to develop self-awareness and self-discipline can lead to misuse of sex or other addictions.
2. LISTEN - Create neighborhood "Empathy Centers." Offer the community a safe haven for people to discuss anxieties and share experiences.
3. SUPPORT - Reach out into neighborhoods and help the community connect and grow stronger. Social isolation allows evil to go unchallenged.

Jaycee Dugard and her two children, fathered by her predator, were held captive in his backyard for 18 years. Neighbors must communicate and ask questions. Connected neighbors can keep neighborhoods safe.

When the religious community helps to shine a light on evil, the invisible epidemic will be exposed. American families will grow stronger and our communities will be safer for everyone, especially children.

Stephanie L. Mann, Crime and Violence Prevention Consultant
Safe Kids Now!
www.safekidsnow.com

Monday, May 23, 2011

Cyberbullying Tips For Parents

• Give kids a code of conduct. Tell them if they wouldn't say something to someone's face, they shouldn't text it, instant message it or post it.
• Ask if they know someone who has been cyberbullied. Sometimes kids will open up about someone's pain before admitting their own.
• Establish consequences for bullying behavior.
• Monitor their media use.
• Tell kids not to share passwords with friends.
• Use privacy settings.
• Remind them... all private information can be made public.
• Tell kids what to do if they're harassed: Block bullies and inform parents or trusted adults. Save evidence in case it is need for reporting.
Source: Common Sense Media

Friday, May 13, 2011

5 MYTHS - Keeping neighborhoods locked into crime!

For decades, community leaders have perpetuated myths.

Myth #1 Police can keep us safe.

The national average is 2.5 police for every 1000 citizens. The job of police is to react when crimes occur.

Myth #2 Money will solve problems.
Taxpayers spend billions on programs, security, swat teams, training, scanning equipment and surveillance cameras. Money has not stopped gangs, demand for drugs or violence on streets. When an area receives funding, violators move.

Myth #3 Laws control behavior.
Laws have limited power. Law-abiding citizens obey laws. Criminals, gangs, pimps and drug dealers pay little attention.

Myth #4 Racism keeps the community down.
Blaming people who look different perpetuates anger. Anger gives disconnected youth an excuse to be violent. Gangs, like warring tribes, turn youth into uneducated men who end up in prison.

Myth #5 Poverty keeps people from progressing.
Politicians gain power with an illusion of compassion. The on going, “War on Poverty” and “War on Drugs” cost billions. In our zeal to “help” the poor, we can destroy self-confidence and create dependency.

Myths have some truth but they don’t change community behavior.

Crossroads…will security require more surveillance and less freedom or will we focus on supporting neighborhoods and strengthening families?

A national goal: strengthen families.
Children need support to discover their self-protective conscience. When youth have a supportive network of family, friends and church family, they learn they have potential and make responsible choices. Most city youth, do not join gangs, take drugs or become violent but they do need a safe city.

Creating peaceful cities will take:
1. A spiritual awakening to raise children with a conscience.
2. Community participation to build strong neighborhoods.

City leaders can train citizen “community coaches”
to work with neighbors to reduce anger and overcome fear. Coaches who speak the language within a neighborhood can educate people so they won’t become victims. Neighbors can stop bullies and destructive behavior at an early age. As people work together, youth see new role models.

Civic and church groups can adopt one block to bring people together and build relationships. They can plan activities; a block party, plant a garden, sponsor a safety fair or prepare for emergencies. Involved neighbors become teachers and mentors.

As community support grows, city residents can heal and cities will become safer for everyone.

Stephanie L. Mann, Crime and Violence Prevention Consultant
Author: “The Adopt-A-Block Guidebook: 10 steps to a safe and healthy neighborhood.”
“Street Safe Kids: 10 step guide to building self-esteem and staying centered.”
www.safekidsnow.com

Friday, May 6, 2011

STOPPING TERRORISM… a winnable challenge!

“Must stay on guard,” (Bay Area News Group 5-2-11), is a message for all citizens. However, Americans need to know what they can do to reduce this dangerous threat to our safety.

Terrorism is an unholy war with evil leaders spreading fear to promote their agenda. Terrorists want to rule the world and convince followers to sacrifice themselves for heavenly rewards. Na├»ve followers don’t question and become extremely dangerous.

For centuries, charismatic men have twisted religion for their own purpose. American examples include:
- Rev. Jim Jones persuaded followers to relocate from San Francisco to Jonestown, Guyana where 909 people died.
- David Koresh and 74 followers perished in Waco, Texas.
- Timothy McVeigh blew up the Oklahoma City federal building, killing 168.

Dictators and gang leaders also spread fear to manipulate the “spiritually blind.” However, they could not survive without a culture that glorifies ego-driven men who play god in other people’s lives. Uninformed, uneducated citizens allow ruthless leaders to prosper!

The Challenges Ahead for America
Many Americans don’t understand the power of the human spirit to be renewed and enlightened. When citizens are disconnected from support, they may not be self-aware or aware of their surroundings and “on guard.”

Responsible religions strengthen support for families. They discover the human spirit can develop a self-protective conscience and intuition. When we learn to trust our instincts and gain self-confidence, we grow with courage, speak up and take action.

Neighborhood involvement strengthens families. When neighbors communicate, they become observant and pay attention to neighborhood safety. Connected neighbors share information and build trust. In the process, they stop the social isolation that allows criminal behavior to go unnoticed.

Americans must stand together to win this unholy war. Informed, involved neighbors can PREVENT future attacks. When our enemies see how we value families, neighborhoods and communities, we will send a message that we stand for peaceful co-existence for all.

Stephanie L. Mann, Crime and Violence Prevention Consultant
www.safekidsnow.com

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Airport "pat downs" can put your child in danger!

WARNING!
I teach parents to teach children not to let ANY adult touch them in the area covered by a bathing suit. Now we see videos of young girls and boys being patted down by strangers at airports. This can be confusing to a small child and, possibility, make it easier for a predator to abuse your child.

Parents, talk to your children and explain the difference, "I was with you."

REMEMBER...most predators are people your child already knows. Get the message across, if you are not with them, they can scream, yell and run away if touched in a private area. They need to tell you or a trusted adult, immediately.

Children are smart but YOU need to talk to them and give them permission. Role playing how you want them to react can help them understand what to do and how to do it.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

14 THINGS YOUR BURGLAR WON'T TELL YOU:

1. Of course I look familiar. I was here just last week cleaning your carpets, painting your shutters, or delivering your new refrigerator.

2. Hey, thanks for letting me use the bathroom when I was working in your yard last week. While I was in there, I unlatched the back window to make my return a little easier.

3. Yes, I really do look for newspapers piled up on the driveway. And I might leave a pizza flyer in your front door to see how long it takes you to remove it..

4. A good security company alarms the window over the sink. And the windows on the second floor, which often access the master bedroom - and your jewelry. It's not a bad idea to put motion detectors up there too.

5. I always knock first. If you answer, I'll ask for directions somewhere or offer to clean your gutters. (Don't take me up on it.)

6. Do you really think I won't look in your sock drawer? I always check dresser drawers, the bedside table, and the medicine cabinet. Helpful hint: I almost never go into kids' rooms.

7. A loud TV or radio can be a better deterrent than the best alarm system.

8. Sometimes, I carry a clipboard. Sometimes, I dress like a lawn guy and carry a rake. I do my best to never, ever look like a crook.

9. The two things I hate most: loud dogs and nosy neighbors.

10. I'll break a window to get in, even if it makes a little noise. If your neighbor hears one loud sound, he'll stop what he's doing and wait to hear it again. If he doesn't hear it again, he'll just go back to what he was doing. It's human nature.

11. I look for signs that you're home, and for flat screen TVs or gaming systems. I'll drive or walk through your neighborhood at night, before you close the blinds, just to pick my targets.

12. Avoid announcing your vacation on your Facebook page. It's easier than you think to look up your address.

13. To you, leaving that window open just a crack during the day is a way to let in a little fresh air. To me, it's an invitation.

14. If you don't answer when I knock, I try the door. Occasionally, I hit the jackpot and walk right in.

Sources: Convicted burglars in North Carolina , Oregon , California , and Kentucky ; security consultant Chris McGoey, who runs http://www.crimedoctor.com// and Richard T. Wright, a criminology professor at the University of Missouri-St. Louis, who interviewed 105 burglars for his book Burglars on the Job.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

10 things parents can do to build confidence and keep children safe

Children grow strong and resilient if you:
1. Let children know they are awesome by taking 10 minutes every day to ask questions and listen without judgments.
2. Teach children to grow strong from within by setting an example of staying cool, calm and collected, no matter what is going on. Anger breeds anxiety and confusion.
3. Create rule and boundaries for the family and stick to consequences for bad behavior.
4. Work out problems together! Anger and stress weakens the immune system and makes your family less healthy.
5. Allow children to make mistakes. Children learn from failure and discover that life can be difficult. They grow stronger and wiser.
6. Encourage children to speak up and stand up for themselves without any anger.
7. Teach children to use their instincts and intuition. If they don’t feel safe, run away. Always have children use the buddy system.
8. Teach children how to handle a bully. Children grow strong by discussing solutions, role-playing and encouragement.
9. Surround your child with a positive network of support. Your family, friends and neighbors are your child’s role models and mentors.
10. Do something special with each child every week. Go to the park, a movie, play a game, invite their friend to join your family, etc.

For more information: Go to www.safekidsnow.com/streetsafekids.html

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

5 CLUES YOUR NEIGHBORHOOD IS DANGEROUS!

1. Fear and easily intimidated neighbors who don’t trust each other.
2. Lack of communication between neighbors. (Problems escalate)
3. Assuming someone else will speak up and stop juvenile bad behavior.
4. Ignoring criminal behavior and hoping it will go away.
5. Observing suspicious strangers or activities but failure to report criminal behavior.

YOU have the power to change your neighborhood. Even if your neighborhood seems safe, don't be fooled. Get neighbors together to share information.

Find out what you can do. Go to "Safe Kids Now" and contact us!

Children deserve a safe place to grow up so they can reach their potential!

Monday, February 7, 2011

THE PERFECT STORM FOR GUN VIOLENCE

Here are 14 reasons why America has become the most violent industrialized nation in the world.

- 51% of marriages fail
- 25% of women in abusive relationships
- Children ignored or abused at home
- Gangs offer protection and support
- Drugs offer escape and money
- Neighbors are strangers
- Cities cutting budgets
- Teachers are overwhelmed
- Police try to control criminal behavior
- Religious leaders ignore local community problems
- Adults blame others for their failings
- Parents don’t take responsibility for their child’s behavior
- Families overindulge or over protect children
- Easy access to guns

Community support and involvement strengthens families. It takes a village….

Every day more than 80 Americans die from gun violence. (Source: Coalition to Stop Gun Violence)

Stephanie Mann, Crime and Violence Prevention Consultant

Friday, January 28, 2011

HOW TO BREAK THE CYCLE OF VIOLENCE!

For decades, politicians have tried to break the cycle of violence by hiring more police and implementing new laws. Those strategies and other penalties have limitations because they do little to prevent the next generation from following the same destructive path.

City officials seem stumped on how to stop violence. In San Francisco, violence claimed 98 lives in 2008. Mayor Gavin Newsome said: “Nothing that I have tried to resolve has been more frustrating and vexing than solving the issue of why a 14-year-old would take the life of a 15-year-old with a weapon of war.”

The U.C. Berkeley School of Law researchers recently reported gangs terrorizing the same neighborhoods over and over again.

As a crime and violence prevention consultant, I know that gang leaders and drug dealers intimidate neighbors and instill fear against the police so they can control neighborhoods and continue, “business as usual.”

Police often focus on “hot spot” neighborhoods. However, after a sweep to eliminate criminals, neighbors need immediate follow up with “hands on” help to get organized. Without support, new criminals fill the void.

So how can the cycle of violence be broken?

BE A COMMUNITY ACTIVIST
Community activists can play an important role to end the social isolation that fuels crime, drug abuse and violence.

Activists can promote the simple act of neighbors working together which reduces fear and restores hope. Community activists can identify neighborhood leaders and enlist businesses, civic and church groups to support neighbors. They can assist neighbors in running meetings, planning an agenda and motivate neighbors to help strengthen family support.

When people feel connected and develop confidence, they stop the “no snitch” attitude and stop tolerating burglars, rapists, gangs, predators and drug dealers.

KEEP FAMILIES SAFE!
Ideas to keep neighborhood groups going and growing:
1. Neighbors need good communication to stay connected with regular meetings, phone trees, emails and, possibly, a newsletter.
2. Community leaders (neighbors, churches, civic groups) can help plan social gatherings, block parties, establish block parent programs, map neighborhoods for safety, create community gardens, plan youth safety day, implement emergency preparedness and help other neighbors form “Neighborhood Watch” groups.
3. Local officials can promote citizen involvement and reward neighbors for creating safer neighborhoods with trees, benches, swings, improved lighting, etc.
4. Neighborhood and civic groups can sponsor youth poster or essay contests.
5. Business groups or agencies can promote healthy competition between neighborhood groups. They might promote jump rope, basketball, skateboard, singing and dancing contests.
6. Local officials can honor and recognize neighborhood leaders!

Together neighbors provide a check and balance and reduce the social isolation that tolerates bullies, domestic violence and destructive youth behavior. When neighbors work together, they become role models, mentors, speak up and help solve problems.

Citizen involvement creates healthy, safe neighborhoods for families – and helps to reverse the cycle of violence.
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WHAT YOU CAN DO
- Talk to your local representative and your police chief.
- Offer assistance to help your community.
- Make presentations to local civic, business and youth groups. Get their input.
- Encourage community leaders to focus on community support for families.

Follow the example of Rebecca Kimbel, Area Governor of Toastmasters’ International. She joined Safe Kids Now and became a community activist. She makes presentations throughout Northern California and writes articles for her local newspapers.

By Stephanie L. Mann
For more information: www.safekidsnow.com

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

ARIZONA TRAGEDY: A WAKE UP CALL!

Twenty-two year old Jared Loughner killed six and wounded 14 innocent people in Tucson. The public reaction; a “deranged monster.” Others blame political speeches. Loughner’s friends called him a “social outcast.” (Contra Costa Times 1-10-11)

This tragic event is a wake up call. We need to identify root causes and examine solutions for violent behavior. Human beings have the power to make choices for good or evil regardless of what has happened in the past.

Violent people were often victims. They never learned how to look within to find their own identity. They feel victimized and powerless. Lacking self-awareness, they can spiral out of control by dwelling on past traumas or injustices. Anger, if left unresolved, grows into rage and confused thinking. They blame others and may seek a cause to feel powerful. Their ego says, “I am right and others are wrong” as they shut down their conscience and play god. If no one intervenes, they look for a victim to relieve their pain and feel in control. I.e. a rapist attacks a vulnerable woman, a predator attacks a child, and an angry husband abuses and isolates his wife. This is spiritual ignorance at its worst.

Loughner was not born “deranged” but anger made him think and act in self-destructive ways. He became an outcast and felt justified in hurting others. Mass murderers are often “loner” with “no remorse.”

How can we prevent children from becoming a social outcast?


Consider these ideas:

1. Spiritual ignorance – Children growing up with mental, physical or sexual abuse at home learn, the biggest bully wins. Violent movies, video games and TV reinforce that message. Without spiritual understanding of self, young people do not learn healthy life skills to help them handle feelings of love or hate. A spiritually off centered child can become a bully or the victim of a bully. If human (spiritual) beings dwell on anger, they can become self-destructive or may turn their anger on the community.

What you can do…
Look within your family, set boundaries, listen, demonstrate respect for each other and speak without anger. Do not tolerate bully behavior at home or in your neighborhood. Children need strong, caring families to learn self-awareness and self-discipline.

2. Social alienation fuels violence – When young people feel isolated and lack a network of support from family, friends, neighbors or a religious family, they struggle to develop self-confidence and courage.

What you can do… Successful parents create a network of support around children and seek wisdom from family, friends, teachers and neighbors. A network of support builds trust. Encourage your network to correct unacceptable behavior. Children will develop respect for others and their property. A caring network offers encouragement, mentors and role models. Involved citizens demonstrate how to become contributing members of the community.

We can make our homes and neighborhoods safe places to live and help young people from “falling through the cracks” or becoming “social outcasts.” United, we have the power to create peace at home and in our communities.


Stephanie L. Mann, Crime and Violence Prevention Consultant
Safe Kids Now!
www.safekidsnow.com