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Every October, we recognize Domestic Violence Awareness Month. This year, it comes at a time when domestic violence has been in the news. As we take in the media coverage of athletes and others involved in domestic violence, we need to reflect upon this epidemic that is plaguing our communities.
Despite pervasive and problematic stereotypes that are often perpetuated by the media, we know that domestic violence is not just an issue that affects heterosexual, cisgender women. According to a recent publication from Northwestern’s Feinberg School of Medicine, researchers found that LGBTQ individuals are at similar, if not higher risk of experiencing domestic violence than their heterosexual counterparts (LGBT Domestic Violence Report).
That information came as a shock to many members of our community, probably because we rarely see or hear about domestic violence within queer relationships. It’s not depicted on the news or Law and Order. No one is talking about domestic violence on Modern Family.
So it comes as no surprise that when LGBTQ people are in an abusive relationship, many of them feel that they have nowhere to turn. Isolation is one of the most common tactics used by a perpetrator to exert power and control over a victim, so many people who are experiencing domestic violence don’t have a strong support system. That can make it that much more difficult for them to leave their abuser.
In addition, just as it can be incredibly stressful to come out as LGBTQ, coming out as a survivor of violence can be extremely scary. LGBTQ survivors may face additional barriers and challenges when seeking medical care, reporting to law enforcement or trying to find a safe place to sleep if they choose to leave an abusive relationship.
This is why it is so important for all of us to have a basic understanding of the dynamics of domestic violence. At KCAVP, we work directly with LGBTQ survivors of violence every day, but one of the most common phone calls we receive is actually from a friend or loved one of someone who is in an abusive relationship.
If someone we care about reveals to us that they are experiencing abuse, it’s possible that we are the only person in whom they have confided, and that can feel like a pretty big burden if we don’t know what to do next. Domestic violence can be a very difficult topic to discuss in queer communities, but we need to move beyond our comfort zone in order to be supportive of the survivors we know.
The first thing that you should keep in mind when supporting a survivor of domestic violence is that leaving an abusive relationship is not easy. Asking someone why they don’t “just leave” may feel like a valid question in the moment, but in fact, it may come across as though you are blaming a victim for the abuse they are experiencing.
Leaving at the drop of a hat may not be safe for a survivor. They may have concerns about retaliation, stalking, financial security or any number of other things. If we send the message that leaving is the only solution that we will support, we increase the likelihood that our loved one may simply stop talking to us about the abuse, which furthers the power and control that their abuser has over them. You may not like every choice a survivor makes, but it’s critical that you remember that every decision needs to be their own.
Being a supportive friend can sometimes feel overwhelming, but here are some important and simple phrases I want you to remember that can really help.
“I’m so sorry.”
“I believe you.”
“It’s not your fault.”
Helping a loved one isn’t about being someone’s savior. It isn’t about stepping in and taking over the situation. It’s about letting a survivor know that they have options. It’s about helping them realize that they are not responsible for the abuse they have been enduring. It’s about listening and safety-planning. It’s about being by their side no matter what.
And always remember, none of us is alone in this. If you or a loved one is experiencing violence and needs help, please call KCAVP.
After the last 2 years of dealing with the pandemic and packing on those COVID pounds here are some motivational quotes that can be the spark plugs to our wellness engines. You can have a full tank of gas, a clean carburetor, all the fluids topped off, and 300 horsepower of Detroit’s finest under the hood, but you’re going nowhere without that initial spark. In your quest for well-being, you need a catalyst to move you from idle to ideal. Here are some motivational jolts to inspire you to get your health and fitness vehicle moving.
Make time for exercise each dayPhoto by Victor Freitas on Unsplash
Thomas Paine said, “The harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph.” You will have conflicts with making time for exercise each day. The treadmill will conflict with your enjoyment of the living-room couch and its fluffy pillows. Your body will engage in conflict with dumbbells and exercise balls as it seeks better health. Embrace these conflicts with excitement, and walk through the smoke and fire. Triumph is waiting on the other side.
Marathon runnersPhoto by Miguel A. Amutio on Unsplash
John F. Kennedy said, “Things do not happen. Things are made to happen.” The firefighter’s 55-pound weight loss did not just happen one day on a call. The computer programmer’s success in the Chicago Marathon did not just happen on a Sunday in October. The 4th grade teacher’s significant drop in cholesterol level did not just happen the day before spring break. These people made things happen…and it took time.
Ralph Marston of The Daily Motivator website, wrote, “What you do today can improve all your tomorrows.” Let today be the first day in 28 years without a cigarette. Stay an extra five minutes on the recumbent bike at the gym today. Start training today for the three-day breast cancer walk that is scheduled for the fall. Tomorrow is always waiting to see what you put in your piggy bank today. Invest wisely and watch the dividends grow.
Full MoonPhoto by CHUTTERSNAP on Unsplash
Jill McLemore once said, “Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you will land amongst the stars.” Set that goal to trim 75 pounds from your body. Only losing 42 pounds puts you way out there with the North Star. Aim to run 750 miles this year. Coming up 68 miles short will still put you past that former planet Pluto and on your way to the Orion constellation. Dropping eight waist sizes by Christmas instead of the projected 10 will let you glow with the luminescence of several brilliant wonders in the sky. By the way, I think there’s a full moon tonight!
Zig Ziglar stated, “You don’t have to be great to start, but you have to start to be great.” Tom Cruise was another aspiring pretty face in Hollywood about 30 years ago before starting to audition for parts in TV shows. Jared Fogle was a morbidly obese college student at Indiana University in the 1990s before beginning his Subway diet. Mark Zuckerberg was just another starry-eyed Ivy Leaguer until he began to implement a social network idea. They all have that common bond: They started something.
These motivational quotes should help get your wellness engine running and once your car is started there’s no telling where your health and fitness can go. Don't forget to end me a postcard when you get there!
This health and fitness article is brought to you by that guy who’s sneaky like a black hole and bright like a nebula. My name is Ron Blake and I can be found playing with my telescope at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Curative has announced that it is currently providing COVID-19 no-cost testing in your area at Metropolitan Community College.
Stay safe and get tested!
You can schedule COVID-19 Test at curative.com, and receive results in 24-48 hours.
Curative is the leading provider of COVID-19 testing in the United States. Curative’s mission is to end the COVID-19 pandemic by providing simple-to-use and painless testing at scale to produce reliable data for patients and health officials. We know that broad access to testing, robust contact tracing, and a vaccine are necessary to end the pandemic.
Is there any cost?
Regarding the tests, there is no out of pocket cost to the individual. Through the CARES act, all individuals with health insurance will be covered for a COVID-19 test. No one is ever charged a copay or deductible.
For uninsured individuals, they are covered under the HRSA fund under the CARES act. Curative will never send a bill to any individual getting a COVID-19 test through any of our testing sites.
How soon do I get the results?
Curative provides results within 24 hours of arrival at our lab (if not sooner). We pride ourselves on our ability to distribute tests rapidly, test patients easily, and send them their results quickly. Other highlights include:
· Non-invasive cheek swab (video) that is more accurate (~90%) than a nasopharyngeal test (~80%)
· Can be self-collected under supervision by lightly-trained individuals (so no onsite medical professional required)
· Results within 24 hours of receipt at our lab
· Lab capacity to process tens of thousands of additional tests
· Manufacturing capacity to meet any order size
· Minimal PPE requirement due to the test’s self-collected method
Please visit curative.com to schedule your no-cost appointment TODAY at a site nearest to you. Together we can end this pandemic!
Curative believes that communal well-being is fundamental to individual health.
Curative is building infrastructure to make essential health services easier to access for everyone. Their infrastructure is designed to change as the world does—offering nearby access, affordable services, and science-based guidance.
Their efforts are supported by the optimism and ambition we share with communities across the US, and together we’re imagining new ways to help more people stay safe, healthy, and informed wherever they are.
“I wish I could work out, too, but I just don’t have the motivation!”
Give me a dollar for every time I’ve heard that and I’d be in Cabo San Lucas with an umbrella drink right now. Let’s identify a few of your motivations to get you on the right path. They are there … you just need to realize them so you can make it a great 2022.
How about getting healthy so you can be at that Christmas celebration in 30 years with all the family gathered around and exchanging presents? There will be nieces, nephews, brothers, sisters, children and maybe some grandchildren, all enjoying the sounds and sights of the season. That would be amazing!
How about being healthy so you can watch the first man land on Mars in 2030? You hear all the talk about preparing for a mission to Mars, but it will be a long time in coming. Just think if you were alive and well to see it happen!
How about being healthy so you can attend that 60-year class reunion? It might even be nice to walk into the function with a spring in your step and a glow of health about you! Many of your classmates will have walked past St. Peter and those pearly gates by that time, but you can give yourself a chance to stay here with some proactive measures.
How about being healthy so you can spend more time being relaxed and retired? It would be awesome to just not have to do anything you didn’t want to do! Get up every day and use that watch they gave you as a fashion accessory only. With a healthy body, you can spend ample time in the lap of leisure well into your 90s.
How about being healthy so you can walk your dog with your grandkids or great-nephews after that Thanksgiving meal many years down the road? It will be so cool to have that turkey dinner with all the relatives, but it’ll be even more fun to be able to move around without having to catch your breath between steps.
How about being healthy so you can continue to enjoy vibrant sunsets, thrilling football games, colorful leaves in the fall, summer barbecues, or birthday cards in the mail?
Everyone can find the motivation to work out! You just have to identify which motivation will get you to your starting line each day and which will help you get to your daily finish line.
There are plenty of great things to enjoy in life. Find your motivation and start earning your frequent flyer miles for your healthy life. Then soar into the future with excitement about what will be!
This article of motivation is brought to you by a guy who knows a good thing when he sees it. That guy of good vision is Ron Blake, and he can be spotted on that bright horizon at email@example.com.