9 Ways to Prevent Violence in your Community

Protect our Children

There are many more than eight ways to prevent violence in your community.

In this blog, we talk about how we can prevent violence in the school, the home, and the community through intervention programs, what teachers and bystanders can do when a child is bullied, and how to protect you and your family from online stalkers.  Here’s some food for thought for preventing domestic violence – make a good decision when choosing a mate!  But I digress…

First, think about these questions.  

Why send a child to detention instead of counseling?

Why send a drug-addict to jail instead of life-skills training?

Why not give a hug instead of a spanking?

We are a society that punishes  

Because we believe in punishment and strict discipline, does that make our society a bullying society?  We threaten and cajole and punish in not-so-very-nice ways.  We control the under-ling and make fun of them.  We blame victims for being in their terrible situation, and at the same time, invalidate their cries for help. 

We give little latitude to the child who is defiant or having a meltdown.  These are impulses children must learn to control, we believe, and if they lose control, we punish them.

Viktor Frankl says:
abnormal behavior in an abnormal situation is normal.

We give children adult problems and expect them to respond in like an adult.  This is unfair to the child and does not help his situation at all.

This does not make much sense once you think about it, does it?

What makes even less sense is that people are in denial that they are part of the problem.   We decide gun control laws will control people’s impulsive behavior, but every school shooting was planned in advance.  School shooters are severely bullied, have tried every way to get their bully(ies) to leave them alone, and bringing a gun to school is the last resort.

This is why it is important for communities to implement programs to end the violence in homes and school.  Too many children are left in the cold, doors closed to them, unable to make their way.  And that is the purpose of this article, to bring awareness of solutions that will bring these children in from the cold.

The quickest way to heal a lonely heart is to give



Huggy reminds us to give a child a hug
Huggy says, “Give hugs, not hits”.

The quickest way for a community to help heal these children is to implement programs that do so.

Nine Ways to Prevent Violence in Your Community

    1. Police officers connect with the community in a non-threatening, non-violent way
    2. Schools actively stop the bullying
    3. Teachers identify and understand children in trauma
    4. Parents proactively advocate for children
    5. Mental health counseling treats the trauma
    6. Healthcare providers consider how social and family environments impact overall health and behavior
    7. Social Services comfort and counsel the family without separating them
    8. Communities offer family-oriented activities
    9. Daycare centers that take children in the evenings and weekends, when many low-income families must work

Policemen seem to only see people in trouble – making trouble, to be more exact.  The old-town sheriff that knew everyone, and everyone knew him as a friend and a protector has taken the way of old-time America.  This system was never perfect, and some people took advantage of their power, but overall, there was the home-spun goodness of people trying to work things out in a logical way.

Trauma-sensitive schools are necessary in today’s world.  With so many children at a disadvantage because of their home lives and violent neighborhoods, many children are traumatized.  We try to put these rounded-headed children into square holes and wonder why they do not fit in.  To add to the mix, these same children are bullied in school, not just by their classmates, but sad to say, by their teachers, as well.  

Both policemen and teachers have the toughest jobs in the world.  They are left to manage unruly children.  They believe the only way to do so is to have a strict policy of behavior with no leniency.  Unfortunately, this very thinking is part of the problem.

The states that spend the most on mental health spend the least on prisons.
Incarceration and mental health are inversely related.
States with high incarceration rates spend the least on mental health.

Mental health.  Less than half the people in America that need mental health care have access to it.  There are not enough therapists to go around, and there are barriers in getting to counseling which keep people from seeking help. 

      • Taking time off work.
      • Having no transportation to the appointment. 
      • Finding a daycare for an hour or two.
      • School counselors are usually not trained in treating trauma.

Mental health agencies, the medical community, and social services play a vital role in the mental health of our nation.  In some communities, these three work together, but for the most part, they are separate entities dealing with the same individuals.

Collaboration between the three, with the client in the middle of the equation, allows professionals to understand their client’s unique position in life.  Assuming everyone who is depressed needs an antidepressant, ignoring the fact that their client lives in poverty, or deciding that families should be separated when there is a violent dispute, are not good ways to build strong families.


Daycare and preschools.  Now we come to the crux of the problem.  Daycare and early childhood intervention.  Some states are waking up to the music and understanding preschools and daycare are paramount for a family to succeed.

When a parent works evening or weekends, and there is no daycare, they rely on friends and relatives to watch their children.  The child often gets pushed aside, in the way, and questioned, “why are you here?”  Friends, boyfriends and relatives prove they can be quite abusive when left alone with their charges.

The highest rate of poverty is with single moms.  You may be in this position.  Where do your kids go when you have to work the graveyard shift?  Or do you tell your boss you do not have a babysitter, and then you lose your job because you cannot show up to work?

Providing daycare to all children who need it is the #1 intervention communities can implement to prevent violence.  The second is to ensure that all children receive adequate preschool education.  Children who do not attend preschool find themselves at a great disadvantage in the first year of school.  By grade three, if the child does not show an interest in school, the risk of dropping out and getting arrested increases exponentially.

Solutions for ending domestic violence and stalking

1. The higher the potential for violence and the risk of mental illness, the more aggressive the prosecution and intensive psychiatric treatment should be.
2. Place stalkers that re-offend their restraining orders on strict probational supervision, especially during the couple’s separation when the tempers are most heated.
3. Proactive police work identifies domestic violence and domination before the violence escalates.
4. Counseling and social services offer trauma therapy and family building skills.

Here again, mental health counseling and community programs help families stay together.  Seventy-five percent of stalking cases are male intimate stalkers.  This means husband or boyfriend gone crazy.  Women also stalk, but not in as great of numbers or with such intensity as men. 

I’m sure there are men who will disagree with this, but the data shows otherwise.

When talking about data, though, you have to understand that no matter how straightforward the numbers seem, they are skewed towards some bias.  In the case of men stalked by women, the numbers would probably be higher, but there are reasons for them not being as accurate as we would like.

  1. A man is more likely to be arrested than a woman.  Even if “she started it,” if physical evidence points toward the man, the police are more apt to believe the woman’s story.  
  2. Men are less likely to initiate a call to the police.  Their woman gets a little crazy but he thinks he can handle her – until things get out of control.
  3. She is a vicious little snake and cannot let go.  She reports her “ex” over little things and the next thing he knows, he ‘s facing a stalking charge.  How did that happen?

You never really know the person you fall in love with, we all have dark sides we keep hidden.  It isn’t until things start going sour – the love, the money, the stress -and then the dark side comes out.

We all have demons and baggage we carry into a relationship, but to be healthy, one must bring those demons out of their baggage compartment into the open and process the memories.

Mate selection.  Picking the right mate seems like a no-brainer, but judging from the failed and violent relationships I see, people are not careful about who they pick for a lifetime of love.  It is too easy to get married, too easy to become pregnant, too easy to find yourself in BIG trouble. 

Choosing the right mate is the biggest and most important decision you can make in your life.  Ask yourself, “Is this someone I want to be the father/mother of my children?”  If you hesitate, you have your answer.  Please, do not put your future children into an abusive relationship.  You have this choice.  Make a good one.

Stop the bullying in schools!*


Bystander strategies that make things better:

      • spend time with me
      • talk to me
      • help me get away
      • call me
      • give me advice
      • help me tell
      • distract me
      • listen to me
      • tell an adult

57% of incidences stop when a peer intervenes
on behalf of the student being bullied

Peer actions were more helpful than educator or self-help actions

Trying to change the behavior of the bully makes things worse
(fighting, getting back at them, telling them to stop)



Most helpful things teachers can do

      • Listen to the student
      • Check in with them afterward to see if bullying has stopped
      • Give the student advice on how to handle the situation

Most harmful things teachers can do

    • Tell the student to solve the problem themselves
    • Tell the student if he/ she acted differently they wouldn’t be having problems
    • Ignore what is going on
    • Tell the student to stop tattling
    • Tell the student not to let the bully bother him/her

Actions that have the most negative impact

    • Telling the bully to stop
    • Telling the bully how I feel
    • Walking away
    • Pretending the bully does not exist



A caring, sharing community.
“For if you are free to fail, you are free to try.”

Community Aid

      • A strong social-welfare net
      • Health programs that people can afford
      • Community-based education
      • Creative activities for children and youth
      • Mentorship

Community Pride

      • Encouragement and strong social ties
      • Feeling of connectedness
      • Caring people
      • Tolerance to those different from oneself
      • Education
      • Conflicts resolved in such a way that no one loses face
      • Counseling for traumatized kids at young ages

So there you have it.  Many more than eight ways we can prevent violence in our communities.  We can be smarter about who we pick as a mate, we can get involved in our schools and advocate for stricter bullying policies.  We can show the leaders in our communities the benefits of instituting kid- and parent-friendly programs into the community that helps build strong families.

If people are well fed, contented in their life, and at peace with their friends and family, there is no need for violence prevention.  This, in itself, is the recipe for a healthy society.


It is time to stop the talk and put words into action. There are many ways we can slow this cycle of violence our world has fallen into. A grassroots effort begins by making a conscious effort to practice kindness and compassion.


kids holding hands



*References for this article:
Broderick, P.C., Blewitt, P. (2010). The life span. Human development for helping professionals. Pearson. USA.

Davis, S., & Nixon, C. (2010). The youth voice research project: Victimization and strategies.
Mohandie, K., Meloy, J.R., McGowan, M.G.., & Williams, J. (2006). The RECON Typology of stalking: Reliability and validity based upon a large sample of North American stalkers. Journal of Forensic Science. 
One in 100: Behind bars in America: 2008. PEW Center on the States.

Child Abuse and the Deep Blue Sea

“I told you to shut up!” shouts the mom in the store. The next thing I hear is a reverberating SLAP as she hit her 3-year-old daughter’s face.

The slap did not slow the child down a bit. She was just as unruly throughout the rest of the store as she was before. Obviously the slap did not mean anything to either the mom or the daughter. It was just a way of expressing anger – not even intended to discipline. Continue reading Child Abuse and the Deep Blue Sea

Bullying and Depression in Children

According to ABC News, 160,000 children a day stay home from school because they are afraid of their bully. Both boys and girls are equally distressed when bullied.

Now is a good time to look at the connection between bullies and suicide. Suicide is the second leading cause of deaths in ages 5 to 25. The leading cause is depression.

Why are our children so depressed?

It is safe to say things have not gotten better over the years for our children, including their ability to cope.

Consider the point of the view of the child who is so terribly bullied by his classmates that he feels the only answer to his problems is to shoot them away.

Why do some children take their own lives, and some take the lives of others? A person in distress turns one of two ways – either inward on themselves, or outward on others. What causes such grief for someone to destroy themselves or others?

What happens to the mind/body/soul when a child is bullied:

The longer the duration of the bullying, the more intense the distress for the bullied. It is difficult enough for an adult with the maturity to rationalize and problem solve to not go down the thinking path that naturally comes with being bullied.

Children do not have the maturity to make rational decisions. Even adults become so pent up and angry that they are no longer thinking rationally. The longer the bullying, the more difficult it is to tolerate emotionally.

In the beginning of the bullying, it seems like a joke. “They are bothering me again.” We tend to laugh this off. Why admit someone is making us uncomfortable? But after a while, when the taunts do not stop, distress rises.

Warning Signs for Parents:

Your child will make excuses not to go to school, his grades will drop, as well as his interest in life, and he will be preoccupied and slow to bring himself around when spoken to.

For many children, these are signs of boredom or problems at home. But when your naturally happy-go-lucky child is bullied at school, the symptoms slowly intensify.

Behaviors change; he is irritable and short-tempered. Some become withdrawn, others are unruly and are often sent to detention. There are problems between the bullied and the bully, and these two frequently appear in the principal’s office for discipline. If the bully is true to form, he blames his victim, the principal believes him, and your child, the bullied, gets reprimanded and punished for not getting along.

This scenario is repeated over and over. Your child is devastated. His friends are no longer friendly to him; he may be lucky to have someone to sympathize, but your child is alone in his distress. The teachers tell him he lies. He soon learns not to talk about his bully problems because people intimidate him and will not listen. They hear the words, but they churn them into what they want to believe, which is not at all what your child is trying to say.

He will give you hints about his problems. He may sound like he’s blaming others as the reason for why he is not getting along. He will tell you how the teachers and principal are unfair. He will tell you incredible truths, if you will listen.

Most of us gloss over these signs and participate in the denial. Parents advise their child to try to get along, and generally do not take the time to listen to his problem. They minimize what he is telling them, and assume it is something he can work out with a little bit of forethought. Teachers tell him they do not see the bullying, so therefore it does not exist. Of course, teachers do not see anything. Every good bully knows to pull the pranks when the teacher is not looking.

What is a child to do?

Where does your distraught child turn? Who will help him? He is stuck in a vacuum where no one listens, and they do not believe him if they do listen. People will justify the bully’s actions, rationalizing the things they do. They tell your child to stop being so sensitive and grow a thick skin.

“Life is tough, kid, you have to learn to live with it.”

Your child should not have to live with a bully; to be so intimidated that they are afraid to be anywhere near the bully and his friends. No child should have to take a different route from home or school just so they will not be harassed by people bigger and tougher. No child should have to miss a single day of school because the adults in his life cannot help him solve his problem.

What does bullying do to your child’s mind, to his thinking? If we can understand what goes on his brain, we can stop the trauma. Having experienced many of these feelings myself, I can tell you with certainty, your child is in gut-wrenching emotional pain.



Negative People Bring you Down

you;re so stupidWhat would happen if you got rid of all the negative people in your life? The complainers, whiners, and manipulators. The abusers.

If you stopped associating with all those people who bring you grief, who would be left?  What percentage of your life consists of negativity?

We know, intellectually, that negative people bring us down, but even so, we live, work, sleep and eat with them.  We do our best to ignore them, to appease them, to understand them, but by the end of the day, we are tired of their drama.

Continue reading Negative People Bring you Down

Power and Control Issues in Relationships

Signs of Partner Violence

Power and Control.  We all need it.  There is nothing wrong with wanting your way.  But when it becomes an issue where your partner insists on calling the shots, tells you what to do and becomes angry when you do not, then this is power and control out of control.

The only thing predictable about an abusive partner is their unpredictable behavior.  One minute they are pleasant, the next minute they are biting your head off.

Continue reading Power and Control Issues in Relationships

Functional vs. Dysfunctional Families


In many cultures around the world, the family is the cornerstone of society – and of the individual’s life.  Family means everything.

Look to the cultures that understand the importance of supporting family and you see people who are generally happier.  It is difficult to not be happy with love and laughter flowing around you.

The family structure was so instrumental in the Chinese culture, that when Buddhism was transported from India, the Chinese insisted that the philosophy change to meet the family’s needs.  Even today, in our fast-paced world, people travel thousands of miles just to be with family and friends for the Chinese New Year.  Watch this video to see how important family is to the Chinese people.

This bonding is essential for a functional family.  Absence does not make the heart grow fonder.  Connection with family members and friends makes one more connected to themselves.

“Filial duty” which is duty to one’s family members, is not stressed enough in American homes.  Rather, we want to be “independent” and go our own way.  The problem with that is we go so far on our way that we become isolated from our past and those who love us. 

Then when there are problems with life, we have no one to turn to.  No one to care enough to help.  The American family structure has crumbled to the point where children cannot wait to get out of their homes, never to return.

In a functional family, family members freely express their ideas and feelings without fear of recrimination and feel safe in this knowledge. A healthy family supports one another in good times, and troubled times, with warmth and understanding. Family members are satisfied and content, and compromise is easy.

A dysfunctional family environment is the opposite. There is coldness, fear of expressing one’s emotion, and children feel misunderstood by their parents. This distancing may not be a sign of poor parenting skills, but a lack of social learning on the part of the parent.

If individual family members can heal, the family heals. With healthy families comes a healthy society. A society where people are happy and productive, not depressed and violent.

How we can help families

    • Stop the talk and put words into action to  slow this cycle of violence our world has fallen into.
    • Begin a grassroots effort to make a conscious effort to practice kindness and compassion.
    • Implement programs that bring the family together.
    • Engage public officials to work together in finding ways to stop the violence in our communities.

The American Medical Association’s Diagnostic and Treatment Guidelines on Domestic Violence state that,

“Family violence usually results from the abuse of power or the domination and victimization of a physically less powerful person by a physically more powerful person.” 

Unequal financial resources, unstable family connections , or troubling health status are situations in which the more powerful person exerts inappropriate control or intimidation over the less powerful person.

Any misuse of power, especially that which involves physical violence or psychologic intimidation, constitutes abuse.

    • A perpetrator is a person who performs or permits the actions that constitute abuse or neglect.
    • The term “batterer” refers more specifically to a perpetrator who engages in physical violence.
    • The most familiar constellation for partner violence is one in which the (current or ex-) husband or boyfriend is the perpetrator and the wife or girlfriend is the victim.
    • Men who are in homosexual relationships are often victims of partner violence.

Interpersonal violence and abuse, especially between relatives and domestic partners, are leading causes of morbidity and mortality.

Family physicians and other professionals who provide primary care health services must deal with acute presentations and chronic sequelae of this epidemic.

Many victims of abuse hesitate to seek help, while those who batter are often difficult to identify.

Take the Quantum Leap into Abundance: A Guide to the Good Life

from the back cover

Abundance. What does it look like?

Is it owning a room full of gold? Laying in a field of flowers? Or perhaps living in Shangri-La.

When do you know when you have enough? Where do you find abundance in the first place?

We are told to “have a better life,” but no instructions come with that advice. We wander around blindly, without direction, looking for the path of our dreams.

Finding self-esteem, losing weight, becoming less depressed – it seems that we should naturally know how to do these things. And we feel like failures because our dreams never happen.

We are not failures. We just don’t know how to accomplish our goals.

In this book, you will find:
    • a no-nonsense approach to building a kinder self-image
    • how to build meditation and gratitude into your day
    • how people turn peak experiences into life-defining moments
    • the real-world Shangri-La where people live beyond 100 years
    • what an ancient great swordsman says about spirit and iron will
    • how to have a more satisfying life
the story behind the book

Life cannot be all about trauma and bad thoughts.  There must be a counterbalance to the negativity in our lives.  This is why I wrote this book.

Each of us has a deep reserve of strength bubbling inside of us, whether we want to believe it or not.  

Take the Quantum Leap into Abundance:  A guide to the good life is not a book that tells you to think rich and you will be rich.

Since I wrote this book in 2017, quantum leap has gained momentum.  The Secret started the rush, I believe, but my book is different from the rest.  Different because my book talks about taking the right actions that will lead you to your dreams.

We want something, but our lives do not match our desires.  We want riches, but we are in a dead-end job.  We want a good life, but we cut corners.

Sorry to disappoint, the only way you will get anything accomplished in your life is to get off the couch and take positive steps toward that accomplishment.

Here is a brief overview of what’s inside this book

Hobson’s Choice is a term for choices that we really do not make.  We take it or leave it.  After an accident or with a disability, you did not choose to be in that situation, but here you are.  Hobson’s choice.

One of my favorite people is Admiral Stockdale.  You will learn about his story, but I will give you a hint:

It is called the Stockdale paradox.

stockdale paradox

Pin this on your wall where you can look at it often.  It will help you through the rough times.

We talk about belonging and having a positive self-image.  Are you a good communicator?  Did you know listening is an art?

Have you ever heard of the “Talking Stick?” This is how many early cultures communicated in meetings.  The only person allowed to speak was the one holding the talking stick.  This would come in handy in many situations today!

the talking stick

The idea of “do unto others as you would have them do unto you,” is not just a phrase from the Bible. It is a way of life for many cultures.  Reciprocity.

Learn about the philosophy of life from the world’s greatest swordsman and how you can apply it to your life today.  (No sword needed.)  And I present to you a different way of meditation – I have dropped hints in other blogs.

And last but not least – a chapter on faith and forgiveness.

Forgiveness is not something you do for the other person.  You forgive them so you can get on with YOUR life.  Why harbor grudges and hatred? 

Let them go.  Do not let negative people control you.  

an excerpt from the book
Come, take the Quantum Leap into Abundance
Watch your dreams come true!

a book cover with mountains and sun shining$4.99 and $12.99


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