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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.

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:

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’


To help your child stay balanced, centered and safe, check out

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 Join the Safe Kids Now community on 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:

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: Join our facebook page: 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:

Friday, April 19, 2013

Terror in Boston - Why Men Kill!

Why would anyone want to kill or maim innocent people? Over the years, as a crime and violence prevention specialist, I've seen many off-centered men without their own identity. The terror in Boston, is just one more example. Here are 2 suggestions to help men find their own identity so they don't become self-destructive. For more information: Check out Questions: Contact us at:

Friday, April 5, 2013

Stop Gun Violence: Strengthen Families

Every day we hear news stories about GUN VIOLENCE! Since the terrible tragedy at Sandy Hook, the media has focused on GUN CONTROL which divides Americans. City leaders have the power to bring people together to reduce fear and stop gun violence. Find out what community leaders can do to strengthen families. When we strengthen families with supportive neighbors, we can greatly reduce youth violence! For more information: Check out the "Adopt-A-Block Guidebook" for individuals, civic and church groups. Convention workshops available with Dr. Barbara Williams and Stephanie Mann. Contact us at:

Friday, March 22, 2013

10 Tips- Create a RESILIENT Child!

Every parent wants their child to be happy and have good friendships. However, life can be tough for children! Give your child the tools he or she needs to develop inner strength.

Parents: Here are 10 Tips to help your children develop resiliency so they can handle the slings and arrows of life. Add your thoughts and ideas so others can learn from you.

SUBSCRIBE - Join us to KEEP KIDS SAFE! We want to hear from you! What information do you need?

Monday, March 4, 2013

Stop BULLY/VICTIM behavior!

BULLIES AND VICTIMS can have deadly, unforeseen consequences.  It is up to adults to give children the tools they need to stop bully behavior at an early age.

Bailey O'Neill was only 11 years old when he was attacked by two bullies.  He died after suffering seizures and other complications.

ADULTS AND PARENTS: 4 steps YOU can take to keep children safe.

Street Safe Kids Guidebook - 10 steps to help develop a spiritually centered child!
For more information:

Monday, February 25, 2013

Amid Perfect Storm for Violence, here's what to do!

(Published by the Bay Area News Group – Contra Costa Times 8-12-12)

The murder of 26 at Sandy Hook School in Newtown CT and 12 killed with 58 wounded at a theater in Aurora, CO are national tragedies sparking debate on gun control.  Based on my experience as a crime and violence prevention consultant, over the past 35 years, I see a need to share what I have learned about violence. (Remove my info and put in your info)

The seed for violent behavior begins at home. Parents good or bad are teachers. Disconnected families in conflict often fail to teach children how to develop healthy relationships.

Mental, physical or sexual abuse can make even the most intelligent child, anti-social. If children’s needs are not met, they can be thrown off balance resulting in anger and feeling powerless. These children can become targets for abuse at school, becoming isolated and alone.

Peers and society also influence impressionable youth. The breakdown in American culture has created a “perfect storm” for violent behavior.

The breakdown of the family

Family conflict, divorce and neglect can create confusion for children.  They often suffer in silence or become bullies with little compassion for others. If adults don’t listen, set boundaries and calmly discipline children, they can become frustrated and angry.

Without guidance and emotional support, children may fail to mature emotionally and often alienate classmates.

Children who excel in school can develop an inflated ego and feel smarter than others. Lacking self-awareness, a small percentage of youth seek revenge to get back at society for the pain they suffer.

Without a conscience, emotionally unstable youth can become obsessed and play “god” in other people’s lives, which can turn deadly.

The breakdown of neighborhoods

In many cities, neighbors are strangers. They expect someone else to solve problems and don’t see their role in keeping the neighborhood safe. This attitude creates social isolation with no check or balance on youthful misbehavior that can develop at an early age. Neighbors must become role models and demonstrate an interest in neighborhood kids.

The breakdown within cities

Disconnected residents allow fear to divide and conquer. Cities deteriorate as prostitutes, drug dealers, gangs and the homeless take over the streets. Neighbors don’t report criminal behavior and may even protect criminals.  Crime goes unchecked which allows gangs to fill the void. Without adult leadership, youth may turn to drugs, sex or other addictions to feel good while everyone else feels powerless! 

The breakdown of values in the media

Movies and television promote sex and violence because it sells. The entertainment industry reinforces human weaknesses. Children are desensitized as immature youth engage in sex and violence without understanding the consequences as moral values disappear.  We become what we promote as disconnected youth feel angry, alone and nobody cares.

The breakdown within the religious community

There are thousands of churches, temples and synagogues in America; however, they don’t work together to inform the community about the power of the human spirit. During the past 50 years, the religious community lost their influence following numerous scandals including pastors stealing from congregations and the abuse of children. Many churches become political action groups as religious leaders did little to bring the community together, spread the need for spiritual values or demonstrate the power of, “Love thy Neighbor.”

What can we do to stop the violence?
Community support strengthens families and helps parents raise successful children.  Here are two things you can do today:

- First, create a network of support around children to help them learn how to develop healthy relationships.  Group participation teaches children to respect others and develop self-control.  Network with friends and neighbors, and get children involved in a variety of activities.

- Second, find emotional support for children at a house of worship of your choice. Help children discover their spiritual center so they don’t become bullies or victims.  Children can discover their identity and become responsible and self-aware.  They will learn how to get along with peers and become better citizens.

Gun control is not the solution to this complex problem!  Government cannot fill the void with more laws or increasing control over American lives. Concerned citizens must work together to strengthen families, organize to make neighborhoods safe for children and get involved to make communities peaceful places to live.

Everyone will benefit as children grow up healthy, happy and able to reach their potential.

Stephanie L. Mann
Crime and Violence Prevention Consultant

Monday, February 18, 2013

Oscar Pistorius: From Hero to Zero!

Domestic violence is a worldwide problem! Oscar Pistorius, an Olympic hero called the "Blade Runner," is accused of killing his girl friend in So. Africa.

  We must understand domestic violence so we can PREVENT terrible tragedies in the future. Find out why men abuse women and what YOU can do to empower children so they don't become victims. To review a copy of Street Safe Kids: 10 step guide to empower youth, Click... We invite you to add your comments!

Monday, February 11, 2013

Guns, Ex-cop and Mental Health

Why would ex-police officer, Christopher Dorner, and an ex-Navy man turn violent toward the LAPD? Why has he targeted his rage toward innocent people?

What was missing in his life? What can you do to make sure boys do not become violent? Here is what I think, tell us what you think! SUBSCRIBE To find our podcasts and subscribe, go to or on Itunes. Available on your Iphone or Ipad, go to:

Saturday, February 2, 2013

GUN Violence: Symptom of Unmet Needs!

If we are going to stop gun violence, think like a mother (and some men). PREVENTION starts at home but if children are neglected...neighbors can help.
Find out what children need to help them overcome pain and hurtful events. For more information or to join our Safe Kids Now Network, email us at:

Friday, January 25, 2013

GUN Control Has Limitations!

Americans are very concerned about gun violence! Politicians are pushing for more gun control, however, guns are selling off the shelves and 250,000 people have joined the NRA since the tragedy at Sandy Hook. We need to bring Americans together, not divide the country!
As a crime and violence prevention specialist for 35 years, here are my thoughts! What do you think? (It may take a moment for PODCAST to appear.) If you want to help strengthen your community, join our Safe Kids Now Network! We will share with you what to do and how to do it! Contact us at:

Thursday, January 17, 2013


Today in USA: 300,000,000 guns in circulation! 

Americans are divided over GUNS! Will more gun laws protect our children?
Let's broaden the discussion, bring people together and work for community change!


"Beyond GUN Control" Tell us what you think! This is your country!

Comment from Ed Delph in Arizona "It is getting pretty tough out there. The more DC legislates the worse it will get. To try and have a behavior change without a family values change will never work. It is amazing how they want to go after the gun rather than the values. People have always had lots of guns in this country. What has changed is humanism has changed the values...from constructive to destructive...." Ed

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Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Spiritual Crisis- Self Aware Kids - Part 7

PARENTS can teach children how to become self aware! We become good or bad role models...depending on how we interact with our whole family at home. Children learn by watching their parent's behavior!
Ideas to strengthen families so children make good decisions for themselves. For more information: