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Conference: Healthy Relationships
The following transcript was recorded on

Wednesday,19th November, 1997

with Carmel Adkisson of Transforming Communities


©1997-2017 Electric Eggplant




Log file opened at: 11/19/97 6:03:44 PM

LilyCCC: **************************************

LilyCCC: Welcome the TheInSite!

LilyCCC: Our Topic: "Healthy Relationships: Taking Action"

LilyCCC: Our Guest: Carmel Adkisson of Transforming communities.

LilyCCC: Welcome Carmel!!

LilyCCC: ****************************************

LilyCCC: ****************************************

LilyCCC: We are talking about dating violence

LilyCCC: with our guest, Carmel Adkisson!

LilyCCC: If you have a question or comment for Carmel

LilyCCC: please type in a ? and we will add you to the question

LilyCCC: list. We will get to everyone in order so please be

LilyCCC: patient! Again! Welcome!

LilyCCC: ****************************************

LilyCCC: Carmel..Laurel...what would you like to tell us to open today?

CarmelLaur: We're glad to be back. Last week we had a really great discussion, and we hope that this week we're going to be able to answer more questions about domestic violence and abusive relationships, warning signs, and how to support friends. who are in them.

LilyCCC: Carmel, many women who end up in abusive relationships were hurt as small kids. What can we do to help those women who were hurt as kids to heal, before they keep on repeating the cycle?

CarmelLaur: One thing is that a lot of girls who were abused as kids do end up in abusive relationships, but a lot of women and girls who do NOT come from abusive homes end up in abusive relationships as well. In our program, we focus on the societal reasons- why abuse occurs, and continues to be accepted.

jens: well , (all women) you got to be strong and independent

CarmelLaur: Lily, it is true that we need to start talking about these issues earlier, so that girls and boys in abusive homes get the tools to cope, and understand that it is NOT their fault!

LilyCCC: Carmel..what societal issues are involved in domestic violence? Violence is never an acceptable part of a relationship.

LilyCCC: Yes Carmel!

jens: why would anyone dATE violence?

LilyCCC: jens....dating violence

Krazy: I did but I got out of it.

Ailan: Ok, my question is two parts, with a little history, is that ok?

jens: Because , as we know, girls are NEVER violent

Krazy: No its not at all

CarmelLaur: Jens, girls don't get into a relationship knowing that it is abusive. There are little signs that start showing up Their partner start becoming more controlling. It takes time.

Krazy: temper tantrums.

Ailan: I come from an abusive home. my stepfather beat my mother and vice versa. I saw it happen. when I started dating, I got into an abusive relationship. What are the statistics, if any, about the pattern being repeated? and there's a second part.

jens: I have NOT experienced that. Not all guys are violent. As a matter of fact, nearly none are violent!

CarmelLaur: Ailan... the statistics for boys that grow up in abusive homes is that 40-60% of them will become abusers themselves! With girls we see them acting out in different ways, reacting differently to the abuse in their homes.

CarmelLaur: girls usually get depressed, have lower self-esteem. Both boys and girls have been known to have post-traumatic stress disorders. It is always important to focus in on how we can help victims, but what gets lost a lot of the time, and what should be asked a lot more, is why men and boys abuse women and girls. What tells them that they have the right?

Ailan: I know,. i'm in college and doing a term paper on this very subject, as well as it being a personal issue.

LilyCCC: Great question, Carmel!!

Ailan: Can I ask the second part or should I wait again?

Slymenstra: The reason I think they do is because they have built up their anger and if they snap it'll be taken out on that very person

jens: Ok, why do all girls think that they are being abused?

CarmelLaur: Jens... it's called sexism, and it's a systematic form of preference of one group of people over another

jens: Next question: do you think all guys are sexist?

CarmelLaur: by the time a girl reaches the age of 18 in the US, one out of three will experience abuse. This is the reality.

Kelisha: Jens, yes

CarmelLaur: No, Jens... I don't!

Slymenstra: No, because some are just looking for a companion

jens: Why is it a problem? Why don't we just make some rules to nail the violent bastards?

Krazy: Why do women remain in love with abusers?

CarmelLaur: Krazy... good question! Because the guys are not abusers all of the time it's all part of the cycle they don't start out as abusers so when the abuse happens the girl or woman is confused because they love this person and the person says he loves her! It's like, if your mom was abusing you, how confusing would that be???

Krazy: Exactly!

jens: Maybe there is something wrong with some women. It' s the excitement

CarmelLaur: They say they love you and yet they are hitting you. It's like that. Next question. Jens... no one gets excited by being beaten up!!!!

Kelisha: Is anyone in here a rape victim? Have recovered?

LilyCCC: Carmel..right on!

Kelisha: I am

Ailan: yes.

LilyCCC: yes kelisha, I am

Slymenstra: my question is if those guys do that, can they ever stop, or really be happy with a woman? Can they ever settle down to be sane and learn to be happy with someone?

Slymenstra: I am

Kelisha: ok

Krazy: Jens you are obviously not in touch with reality.

LilyCCC: Krazy..please be polite..thanks!

Kelisha: I was a abuse and rape victim but I recovered

CarmelLaur: Kelisha, that's great, and that you are now strong enough to be talking to other people about it. YAY!

CarmelLaur: It's really important to keep talking about it, because silence is violence. The more we talk about our own experiences the more others are encouraged to come forward to you are a very brave woman, Kelisha.

Kelisha: and my last BF was abusive when I was close to breaking up with him, while I got off drugs He was so drugged up he got wild and weird and strange. When I told him it was over he got very violent

LilyCCC: Good for you, Kelisha!

CarmelLaur: Kelisha, I am so glad you got out. It takes a lot of strength

LilyCCC: Yes Carmel..I did a date rape conference on Monday..we had 7 women who had been raped...one just a week ago.

Kelisha: thanks

LilyCCC: Yay Kelisha!!

CarmelLaur: Alcohol and drugs can make the situation worse, but they are NOT the cause of the abusive behavior many people who are alcoholics don't abuse people.

Kelisha: I know. I still(kind of) have a drinking problem, but not as bad Kelisha... have you sought help?

Kelisha: yes I have

CarmelLaur: Kelisha, here's a hot line for victims of dating violence 1 800 799- 7233 You can call them just to talk about the experience. You don't need to currently be in a crisis

cameo: How do we set up crisis centers in areas that don't have them?

CarmelLaur: Cameo, you can call the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence here's the number 303-839-1852 They can give you more information. Under the Violence Against Women Act, we now have more leverage to demand that women are given proper shelter

cameo: Ok, great, because there aren't any around here

LilyCCC: Thanks Carmel!!

CarmelLaur: Go girl! Be an activist for change!!!

Slymenstra: like I said can they ever get to be normal again and be truly in love without hurting that special someone? I know it's kind of stupid but I am a rape victim and I just wonder if that guy can ever be really happy without hurting her like he did me ? I was only three at the time and he was about 40 all I did was answer the door and my sitter had fallen asleep and I know I should have told someone but I didn't.

CarmelLaur: Wow!

LilyCCC: Oh Sly.....I am sorry

CarmelLaur: That's a lot to hold inside, Slymenstra! Have you ever told anyone else, besides us?

Slymenstra: it's kind of weird I forgive him, but still,

Slymenstra: right now I am only 14

Trefle: Sly, that is what you should do, don't dwell on it. Go on with your life. Live.

LilyCCC: Sly....it still affects you....I do understand....did you tell your folks?

Slymenstra: Only my best friend I've known forever but thats it

LilyCCC: Trefle..please..you are greatly minimizing a serious trauma

CarmelLaur: Sly, the first thing you need to do is call a rape crisis center You can't just "go on with your life", until you deal with the past. Believe me, I know

Slymenstra: The thing is, I am over it and it only bothers me when I think I see a him, but it's not him

CarmelLaur: Sly.. in regards to the man changing he needs to be re-educated so he doesn't hurt anyone else. And the only way he can do that is by going through a program, a men's program at a domestic violence center. Men and boys abuse and violate girls because they believe that they have the right to.

Trefle: Carmel, I think you miss one thing- she can't change his life and you don't really need to talk about what he should do. It is her life and she is the one you really need to worry about

LilyCCC: Trefle..please! If you have a comment type in a ! and we will call on you!

futurelink: How can a man say that he loves someone when he hits them with his fists?

CarmelLaur: Sly, as for you, I'd like you to think of yourself. Please do yourself a big favor and call the National Organization for Victim Assistance. The number is 1 800- 879-6682. Talk to the good people there

CarmelLaur: Sly, would you ever think to press charges against this man?

Slymenstra: I have talked to my friends mom who is a counselor and she helped me a lot but she never has told my parents

CarmelLaur: Sly... I would urge you to tell your parents. You did nothing wrong. You need to tell your parents so they can give you support. I would urge you to press charges

Slymenstra: I know I should, but for some reason I want to wait before telling them

CarmelLaur: Any man who violates women or girls, and is not held accountable gets the message that he can do it again. Think about that.

CarmelLaur: Sly, I was molested when I was a child, and didn't say anything until I was 20. By that time it was too late to press charges. And I understand your fear. If you tell, then it makes it real.

LilyCCC: Carmel..great advice!

CarmelLaur: Good luck, sly!

LilyCCC: Ailan, your question?

Ailan: I resist the term "victim" in favor of "survivor". My question is about the "victim" mentality that permeates people's recovery. in my research for my term paper, I found a place called the National Victim's Center and it seemed like such a dichotomy from the help they purport to offer and the image they give women.

Ailan: All the literature i've read says 'victim' this and 'victim' that. Don't you think that lends itself to people thinking "I'm a victim, I don't have to recover", or "I'm a victim, i'm going to slack off for the rest of my life and blame all my problems on this"? Is the term victim attached to a social idea?

CarmelLaur: Ailan...that's a really good point, and I'm glad you brought it up

LilyCCC: Ailan..very good point

CarmelLaur: that's why our organization's's name is "Transforming Communities", Creating Safety and Justice for Women and Girls. We believe "survivors" have agency, the ability to save themselves.

Ailan: where can I find more information on this?

CarmelLaur: email me at [email protected]

cameo: Ailan, a person that keeps all the abuse inside for years and years is a victim. There is a physical and mental destruction that goes on that is inexplicable to someone who hasn't ever been there . Most victims don't "slack" off or blame anyone but themselves. I am a hard working person that never ever has slacked off, and resent that people who think that

LilyCCC: cameo, very good point. Most victims are hyper responsible

cameo: It is so aggravating to have people think that abused people sit on their butts and whine

TIStia: Do you think a lack of self-esteem causes a person to accept abuse?

CarmelLaur: TIStia, a lack of self-esteem is often developed in the abusive relationship. It starts off with put downs, like "you're fat" or "You're ugly". If the girl or woman already has a low self-esteem, these words don't help at all!

Ailan: I know you're busy with answering questions's and facilitating this, but I just wanted to say thank you and that I think what you're doing, hosting this, is wonderful and I wanted to thank you for myself, and for all the other people who came here tonight.

LilyCCC: Thanks ailan!!

ContacTIS: ailan :-), come back next week

ziggy: Do you think that if people make fun of who you are going out with that means you should stop going out with that person?

MarsSaxman: So far we've discussed only men abusing women; do you have any comments on relationships in which a woman abuses a man, whether emotionally or physically?

CarmelLaur: ziggy... are YOU happy in the relationship?

LilyCCC: mars..great point!

CarmelLaur: Mars, it DOES happen Not on the grand scale that we see in male to female violence. We see the same amount of abuse in gay and lesbian relationships

Azrael: whether grand or insignificant- it still hurts

ziggy: Yes, but my friends make fun of my boyfriend because he won't make a move on me

LilyCCC: Azrael,in deed

CarmelLaur: and that's where we see most men who are physically abused in a dating relationship, although any abuse in a relationship is NOT acceptable.

CarmelLaur: ziggy, as long as you're happy that's all that matters.

Slymenstra: Lily sorry- everyone says I should break up with this guy I am seeing. I like him, but they are making fun of him because of his school and his last name (it's Isabella)

CarmelLaur: Next question.

LilyCCC: Carmel..many women don't end up recognizing the impact abuse has had on them until their 30's. I know your group is working to change that. What can we all do to help young women in all communities to see the abuse before it become their life?

CarmelLaur: ziggy.,.. the only one of your friends who is what?

Buncky: why do women take so much junk from us guys then?

CarmelLaur: Lily we need to make girls and their safety a priority. We need to encourage them in schools we need to make sure that girls understand that they are WHOLE human beings, with or without a boyfriend, with or without great looks, with or without popularity. Girls need to know and be told that they are important just being themselves!

Azrael: ah, the ideal world

LilyCCC: Carmel,very much so. Thanks!

CarmelLaur: We need to educate them on the dangers that are out there and that they have the inalienable right to have a voice and use it!

LilyCCC: Azrael ...not if we all work towards that end.

Slymenstra: Girls have to understand that they are great people, but they have to show it through themselves, their real selves

cameo: I am 37 and as Lily well knows the impact that all the years of abuse have finally started hitting home with me to the extent that I have been having trouble functioning on a normal basis lately. I had thought that I was "smart enough...tough enough and self sufficient enough" to handle the things that had happened, but am learning that without support no one is

CarmelLaur: Right on, Sly!

Slymenstra: thanks

CarmelLaur: If any of you have more questions on this issue, please email us at [email protected] Let the revolution begin!

LilyCCC: LOL Carmel..it already has within me........mooohaaaa!

CarmelLaur: Cameo that is a great point.

Azrael We all need support

CarmelLaur: in reclaiming our lives.

cameo winks at Lily it's been a rough ride hasn't it

Slymenstra: I know what I am talking about because I have been helping girls my age for about 3 years

CarmelLaur: Meet with us here, next week, Cameo. We'll be part of your support network.

cameo: I was here last week Carmel lolol

LilyCCC: Cameo..indeed!

Slymenstra: What time Carmel?

CarmelLaur: Laurel: I think it's good that everyone is talking and working things out, and learning from each other.

cameo: seems everyone's computer went nuts

Slymenstra: when do we meet??

LilyCCC: Thanks Carmel!! And thanks to ContacTis and Tistia!!

cameo: Thanks Carmel

Slymenstra love Carmel for helping her through

TIStia: Thanks everyone!

LilyCCC: And thanks to all of you!!!

LilyCCC: Thanks again Carmel. See you next week!!

CarmelLaur: Remember... the sisterhood is powerful. Keep on keepin' on!

Log file closed at: 11/19/97 8:03:44 PM

Total Lines 1191

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