Thursday, April 29, 2010

Missy Higgins Music Video Staring Kelly-Anne

Here is a music video. Many thanks to Martin and Caroline for their efforts in producing this.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

And The Best Is Yet To Come !

Yesterday, I learnt that my position in the law firm where I have been working for the past eight months will be abolished shortly. That means I will be out of a job...or should I just say
" in between jobs ". It was sad to hear this but I was told that the layoff had nothing to do with me and that the firm was very satisfied with my work .

I reflected alot last evening about the past months and all I can say is that I was very fortunate to have this experience which allowed me to learn more about my field and to work with amazing lawyers and administrative staff. I also learnt about myself that I am very capable of integrating into new positions, adapting to new people and facing new challenges. That was my fear back in February 2009 when I lost my position at HBC after 28 years of service. At that time , I didn't know how I would be accepted elsewhere nor how I would adapt. It's the fear of the unknown....just like when Kelly-Anne was murdered. The fear of the unknown as to how I was going to live my life without her scared the hell out of me.

I learnt then that moving forward is a daily steps and that it is ok to be afraid and to cry. Going to the fear is the only way to overcome fear....remember, I said once that I work on the 45 th floor of a building. Did I ever tell you that I always was afraid of elevators? I told myself 8 months ago that I was not going to let the elevator situation stop me from reaching my goals therefore it became a non issue.

I now face a new challenge and I really don't know what it will be, but I will let the cards drop as they should and go with flow. I am now more educated in my field of Health & Safety, have the confidence and ability to strive to be the best that I can the best is yet to come!

Friday, April 16, 2010

New Sexual Assult Help LIne

The Quebec government announced today the new sexual assault help line available immediately to all Quebecers.

It is a 24/7 free bilingual service.

The phone number is for Montreal 514-933-9007.

Outside of Montreal is a toll free number 1-888-933-9007.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Domestic Abuse - The Forgotten Ones - Part 2

We take for granted that there are many women who suffer from mental or physical handicaps who are also victims of domestic abuse. These women suffer in a silence that is very unfamiliar to most of us.

It is very easy for a partner to convince the authorities that his wife is just exaggerating or she is not well and makes up stories. A women who has a speech impediment may not be able to articulate to someone what is really happening in her home. The spouses are in complete control of their wives and they know it. So often the men will use their authority to the point of saying that they will put their spouses on the street.

For most, a women in a wheel chair cannot leave her home unassisted. There is a dependency on their husbands or boyfriends that is far greater than most. Many of these women do not work and have no income of their own. They depend on their spouses for every thing and the FEAR of leaving and being put on "the street" to live is every much the determining factor for these women.

As I have previously mentioned in another story, anyone can call 911 and not have to speak. A police car will come to the home where the call is made from.

There are in Montreal shelters for women who are in need of a refuge. I would thing that in most major centers these types of shelters exist. If you now someone who could possibly be a victim of abuse or needs help, check in your community to See if there are specif homes than can receive someone who is handicapped.

We can't forget them.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Domestic Abuse - The Forgotten Ones - Part 1

I would like to reflect about two social groups who we often forget as possible victims of domestic abuse. The first one that I would like to share with you is about the immigrant women who come to our western society to start a new life.

For many of these women, they are sponsored by their husbands or boyfriends. Just imagine the scene. Here a women gets off a plane in a foreign country with her young children. Her new home and neighbourhood awaits her. She doesn't understand the language, the customs nor know her rights. She has little education and knows that she will have to face re- training in order to get a some what decent job, but for now she lives at home with her husband and is busy trying to get her children to adapt to the new school and their new life. The husband has a job and is out everyday working.

What we don't know is that the kind hearted, much respected at work husband, is an abuser. He does come home and when he is in a bad mood, he beats his wife and threatens her by saying that he will send her back to her country without the children if she doesn't do as he says.

This women is now living in FEAR just like western society women who are victims of domestic abuse. But for her, she believes her husband will send her back and keep the children with him. She cant' speak out language, she can't communicate very well with her neighbours, she doesn't
understand what 911 means or is feeling insecure about what the police represent to her in our society. In her country she was always fearful of authority as the police roamed the streets with machine guns.

What this women does not know is that our laws in Quebec ( and I hope elsewhere in North America) will not allow an immigrant women who is a victim of domestic abuse to be deported back to her country. If anything they will be given the support and the aggressor will be dealt with. We have seen much too often women being murdered who have not been in our country for very long. Only two years ago, an immigrant women who had a young baby was found dead in her apartment on Christmas day. The suspect still at large was her husband.

If you know an immigrant women, don't be shy to befriend her and let her know that she has as much rights as any North American women. Give her some useful information as to who she could contact if she needed help. In most communities there are organizations of different faiths and nationalities that could be a support to a new immigrant.

Many women who come from countries where their culture teaches them to be submissive to their husbands does not work in our country. Yes, there are submissive women by choice, not by culture and it is this that these women need to understand that here we do not have to accept abuse in any language.

Here is a link to information booklets available through the Department of Justice Canada government that are in many languages. They are free of charge and you can download them. There is also other useful information on this site. Knowing that this information is available to us may just be what we need to help a women who feels alone and isolated in her new country.

It just may save her life.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Chef Jamie Oliver

Last evening I relaxed in front of the t.v. watching new show on ABC with Jamie Oliver. His mission was to convince and make changes into a community in the USA withing the school board system. His was to bring about a new way of introducing healthier foods in the school's cafeterias. It wasn't about just changing menus and convincing children that there is more to life than burgers and fries, it was about getting a buy in from the first line workers, the food service management and the school commissioners.

Jamie was able to create a crew of six high school students who decided to embark with him for each of their own person reasons. Jamie was able to empower , nurture and support each of his crew as they prepared a beautiful dinner for 80 people from the community. Each team member spoke in front of the guests as to why a project of this type was important for them personally and how it would impact the community.

My whole point in sharing this show with you is that it made me think that if there were more people like Jamie Oliver who would give their time to embark on these types of projects with the school systems we would most probably have students leaving high school with a better direction in their life. We tend to see children slip through the cracks of our system as many are not supported with help and guidance and often are left on the streets getting into trouble.

Empowering children and young adults is probably the biggest gift one can give. They need to know that they have talents and are capable of obtaining their goals with perseverance and dedication. Cooking is a creative, individual art and anyone can do it. It 's a career of giving and loving and of personal satisfaction.

Imagine convincing students to eat healthier. With the high obesity rate amongst the youth, only programs like this will educate not just the children, but also their families.

I can only remember the many times that Kelly-Anne would prepare a meal and see the personal satisfaction it gave to her as we enjoyed very bite.

Hopefully Jamie's efforts will be life lasting and impact many other communities.

Kudos to Jamie Oliver !