17 February 2010

On violence

Yes, I know: light posting. Been busy.

One of the things keeping me busy is the usual rounds of agency meetings, where I try and explain what BACA is, what we do, and how we can help. It's getting easier, but still feels like pulling teeth.

One thing I keep running into is the question of violence. Folks see us, and think we're nothing but "hired guns", or vigilantes. And react accordingly.

Let me quote the part of the Mission Statement that causes this:

...however, if the circumstances arise such that we are the only obstacle protecting a child from further abuse, we stand ready to be that obstacle.

People hear that, and think we're all about beating up abusers.

Folks, everyone who focuses on that sentence completely misses the mission of BACA (indeed, what SHOULD be the mission of advocates in general):

...who focus on empowering children to not feel afraid of the world in which they live.

That, right there, should be the most important factor for advocates: to empower victims to become survivors (and, as was mentioned at our local SARC meeting, "thrivers").

Still, I'm always asked about violence. "Is your group willing to use violence? Because we don't condone..."

Let me set the record straight. We don't condone or encourage violence against abusers. Personally, I would rather never see the abuser in a case except at court. Unfortunately, we sometimes have an abuser who feels they can intimidate our little brothers and sisters off the witness stand.

What are we supposed to tell these children? What would make them feel safer: "The only way Chester is getting to you is through me", or "If Chester comes around, I'll call the police and take notes on everything that happens"?

Were I the child, I'd feel better hearing option one, especially coming from a large intimidating guy. Option two just wouldn't fill me with much confidence.

This is not to say we're looking for a fight: far from it. At least in my chapter, we concentrate on "minimum force": we will use only as much force as is necessary to stop a threat. So far, our mere presence has been enough to deter abusers from going after our kids. I pray that will continue.

But, as I told one lady: "I won't ask my members to be sacrificial lambs. If the perp is known to be violent, we'll do whatever it takes to keep our kids safe".

When asked to clarify, I responded "That may mean my life. It may mean the abuser's. That decision is up to the abuser: I won't seek them out, if they just leave our kids alone".

Seems reasonable to me.

10 February 2010

In light of current weather conditions...

Got the blowsnower back from dad-in-law today: folks we were subletting our berth from moved out, so now we do our own snow removal. Shoveled yesterday, and this morning (bacause the wind thought the snow belonged where I moved it from). Today, I fired up the blower, and cut out a nice little parking area...

Then sent a text out to my BACA Chapter, making a motion to change from "BACA: Wisconsin" to "BACA: Hoth".

I might have to get some t-shirts printed up as a gag. Imagine the graphic, with a guy in leathers sitting on a tauntaun (equiped with ape-hangers, of course)... >:)

07 February 2010

Before I forget

If you're reading this before 7pm Central Time...

Go to www.bacanation.com

click on the listen live link, and enjoy some good tunes and thought-provoking pieces.

Stay out of the chatroom though: sometimes gets a tad silly... ;)

Don't ask, don't tell, don't make a big deal...

A whole passel of other bloggers have mentioned the issue of the military's decision to do away with the don't ask/don't tell policy.

I was talking about it with my local Marine Recruiter, and his take gave me a giggle...

"I'm gonna end up with a premium on gays over straights. From my experience, they take better physical care of themselves, have better grades, and don't get in anywhere NEAR as much trouble. They'll be the perfect recruits!"

Couldn't say it better myself.
Sebastian over at Snowflakes in Hell mentionedthe exchange between the Brady Campaign and Starbucks Coffee.

You have to love it when a fairly "hippy" company like Starbucks tells a liberal group to go pound sand. Makes me want a mocha!

06 February 2010

Air Force Cadets get Pagan Worhip area...

... film at 11! :P

Caught this at Support Your Local Gunfighter. Nice to see that the Air Force is stepping up, and giving the pagans an outdoor location for their religious observances. Now, if the military could just step up and do the same... >:)

On a serious note: SYLG commenter RT made the statement "Much of what is in the Wiccan beliefs and in Paganism is actually Satanic. Plain and simple. I’ve lived both lives. I know this to be true."

Now, I don't know RT, and I get the impression that he might be using a bit of snark here. But I've run into this attitude several times before, without ever getting a decent explanation. Could somebody please enlighten me?

And I'll be kinda weighing in on the DADT thing in a post later today...

01 February 2010

Sometime a cigar...

Sabra has an interesting post up over at her place. The shot that gave me a spark:

My experience--as an outside observer, generally, since most of my friends are guys--is that men actually tend to be very straightforward creatures. We just misinterpret them because we look for hidden meanings that aren't there, and they have problems with us because they expect what's on the surface to be what's there, and frankly that's the way it SHOULD be.

Preach it, sister!

Tell you the truth, there have been times I've had to come out and tell someone "I'm not a lawyer: I don't speak in loopholes". Because quite honestly, that seems to be the way some people think...

If I say "I can't make it to your , car's dead", it means exactly that: I would love to be there, but my transportation is doing a doornail impression. If I didn't WANT to be there, I would've told you "not interested".

Unfortunately, even a straightforward "not interested" gets ignored nowadays. It's almost like some people have become salesmen: if they just try a little bit harder, they'll convince you to do whatever it is you have already said "no" to. What IS it with that?

Thankfully, I don't (generally) have that problem with Spoon: she hears what I say*, takes it at face value, and goes forward. And she's learned to, generally, tell when I start "speaking in code": means there's trouble where we are, and she starts paying more attention to what's going on around us.

Sabra's right on this: start out as you intend to go forward. Folks, you can't have a decent relationship with someone if you're treating every conversation as if it were a high school lit assignment, where you have to figure out the author's intent behind their words. Instead, be open and honest, and expect (if not demand) the same in return.

*THE biggest fights we have are when she starts not hearing what I say, but what she THINKS I'm going to say. Whole other topic, there.