He awakes in a daze. He can’t feel anything but the tears from his mother falling on his forehead as she reaches down for one more grateful kiss that her son survived. He just wondered…why? Never did he think this would happen to him, and neither did anyone else. Champion member of his high school wrestling team, and accepted on a full-ride scholarship to Florida State University for his notorious slamming moves. But, what was he to do now?
Derrick (pseudonym) looks back on his life-altering day that left him in a wheelchair. It all started with a ride to his favorite Asian restaurant with his then girlfriend driving. Everything was fine until their ill-fated journey home. An argument ensued, one too many, that put Derrick over the edge and led him to break-up with his girlfriend minutes after leaving the restaurant. It was only a 15-minute drive back to his house, but that is not what his now ex-girlfriend had in mind. Overcome with emotions she yelled, “If I can’t have you, nobody can!” She jolted the SUV’s steering wheel into a quickly approaching tree at a little over 40 miles an hour. His seat broke and he flew into the back seat where his head hit first and body quickly followed. He lay paralyzed from the neck down. His first memory after he awoke was EMS workers whispering to one another, “I don’t think he’s going to make it.”
Despite the results, Derrick was still his goofy, fun-loving self. His doctors and nurses loved him. They remember him to this day – ten years later. He cracked jokes, even on the operating table. A nurse never left the room without a smile on her face. He would comfort those who visited him rather than the other way around.
Although they said he would never walk again, Derrick’s spirits have led him to a spot on a wheelchair rugby team, a job he loves, friends from all over, and I saw him walk! Yes, unstable and clumsy, but still I saw him walk. A wise man once said, “If you think it, you will achieve it” – Earl Nightingale.
It’s days like these that people reflect back either wishing they could take it all back or realize this was the momentous event that made them who they are today. Derrick inspires me to look at every day as though it’s my last, to live without regret, and to always look on the bright side.
I asked to leave because I couldn’t put up with the abuse any longer: physical and verbal. He grabbed me by my hair and slammed my head into the back of the hotel bed frame. Could nobody hear this?
My best friend at the time was waiting for me in the car. I took too long so she left.
I fell to the ground sobbing and guarding my face with my arms. I kept wishing his friend standing in astonishment over the parallel twin bed would stop him or at least say something. He didn’t. In fact, I later found out he too abused his girlfriend, but he was amazed when he saw someone else do it.
My abuser grew tired and soon after fell asleep. I heard him begin to breath heavily, which was the sign for me to leave. I began to slowly slip out from underneath the sheet, which lay wedged tightly between me and his arm dangling from the bed where I was not allowed to lay. But then, with such force, I felt his callused hand push my head back down. “You’re not going anywhere,” he whispered.
How could he do this? He is shorter than I am, and I knew he didn’t really love me. But, he also knew all of my friends, where I lived and where all my classes were. He also knew that my parents were living in another country.
I remember a time when I had nowhere to go, nobody to tell and only my abuser to face.
The two millionth call to The National Domestic Violence Hotline (NDVH) breaks the silence for yet another brave, “battered, but not broken,” soul on September 30, 2008, just in time to coincidently acknowledge National Violence Awareness Month (October).
This momentous breakthrough not only means a lot to me, but also to the two million callers and counting.
With the programs growing publicity and awareness, nobody has to go through what I once went through.
As proof of NDVH‘s success, calls have more than doubled since the program’s inception on February 24, 1996. It was part of the Congress-established Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) written by Senator, now Vice President-Elect, Joe Biden. His support, along with NDVH CEO Sheryl Cates’ compassion and drive, has created a safe haven for many. Thanks to the attention, awareness and support from the government and giving corporations NDVH has been able to increase their help nationally.
NDVH is the only domestic violence hotline with access to more than 5,000 shelters and domestic violence programs all over the nation. They are also commended for their easily accessible 24-hour, toll-free, confidential lines assisting in over 170 languages through interpreter accompanied by a TTY line available for the Deaf, Deaf-Blind and Hard of Hearing.
The progress of the program has led to an acknowledgment of this still taboo topic, as Texas Council of Family Violence (TCFV) reports, and an increase in crisis intervention, information and referral to victims of domestic violence, perpetrators, friends and families. We see a greater need for this program when viewing the statistics and facts on their Web site. Answering callers’ prayers and keeping one more person safe is all thanks to the gracious efforts of the nonprofit organization NDVH.
If you call, they will answer…
Heidi Montag goes political! Does she even know the meaning of the word?! Heidi Montag, from “The Hills,” has declared that she endorses John McCain for President. As reports roll in about the enormous scoop McCain has caught word and offers splendid reactions and gains exponential publicity from this comical political support. Time.com captures John McCain’s reaction with his response, “I’m honored to have Heidi’s support and I want to assure her that I never miss an episode of ‘The Hills,’ especially since the new season started.” Wow, I hope this is all a joke. As Heidi’s OR McCain’s publicist I would first check to see if Heidi is even registered to vote! The Huffington Post captures McCain’s “serious” reaction best with a short clip showing from the “Morning Joe Discussion” on msnbc.com. At least now he is assured to have the “dumb blonde, non-voting” population through this “campaign-changing” endorsement.
I can see why this would be BIG news. Maybe they do make a great political duo. The sad part is, Heidi’s the serious one, and McCain’s the one making fun of himself. Maybe if the roles were reversed both of them would be doing better in their “careers.”
I believe the smartest remark Montag has made about politics so far, and a for sure sign of her keen interest in the matter, is, “I don’t think anyone cares who Heidi Montag votes for.” Exactly right little lady! And, McCain’s responses are just as bad, “I’m honored to have Heidi’s support.” Oh really, seriously, are you?
As her publicist I might enlighten her on the ways of politics. For instance, you have to be registered to vote, and you may want to uphold some political objectives, morals, goals, stance, anything. Or, you should actually KNOW your political candidate’s platform instead of just uttering, “I’m a Republican and McCain has a lot of experience.” That says it all right there. I guess we can’t blame McCain for her support because she’s not voting for him because of his great stance on Medicare and health issues, but purely because he’s “Republican.” I would also keep that under wraps Republicans.
Her actions are laughed at, her endorsements are meaningless, and I don’t think she even knows that you can’t “call in, like on American Idol,” to cast your vote like comedian Chelsea Handler so cleverly pointed out.
I would have kept this hush-hush if I were them. Although they’re getting great publicity it isn’t good for EITHER of them! In this case, there is such a thing as bad publicity. I don’t want our democracy made to look like an overall joke.
I think Heidi’s publicist needs to work on her image a little bit more before throwing her into the world of politics with the big dogs like Hayden Panettiere. I know Panettiere is younger and a little more emotional, but I think I speak for the majority when I say I would listen to her young, concerned words before Heidi Montag on politics any day…
As you all may already know there is “sufficient” controversy going on about the new Vogue cover taken by my beloved Annie Leibovitz. I thought that it was a big deal just because Lebron James, of all people, is the first Black man on the cover of Vogue! I’m not saying that he isn’t great, but there are A LOT of GREAT Black men out there. Is he really the greatest black man they could have picked, but I figured for the theme they were going for he’s great! The cover is of Lebron James in an aggressive pose while Gisele Bundchen is by his side in her modelesque attire. The picture portrays their different lives of sports versus modeling, which the magazine highlights within containing more photographs of them together and other “like” parings (Ex/Caroline Trentini and Michael Phelps). But, NO, that is not the only controversy. Some have claimed that the dynamic duo resembles that of the iconic King Kong set-up of the chest-beating gorilla ravishing the helpless “white” female victim.
First of all, Gisele is NOT the “typical White” woman. She is Brazilian! And she has graced the cover of numerous magazines, so I do believe she knows what she is doing and is viewed as such. She embodies talent, professionalism, and beauty, which I’m sure was the intention of her pose.
Lebron James is only 23 years old, was this unforeseen controversy the first thing on this immature, young man’s mind when he participated in a history-changing cover shoot? He is amazing at what he does and he makes the claim, as well as being quoted in several places, to have been pictured like this for the soul purpose of showing emotion. Many even know him as “King James,” which is the ONLY connection I see to King Kong.
Also, some have said that other pictures within the magazine would have been more suitable, but I do not believe that is the case when they refer to this image:
They still would have seen controversy in the positioning and poses.
I don’t think even some of the other photos were less controversial either:
We could easily find some controversy with any of these pictures, but that is not how I feel they should be viewed.
Annie Leibovitz is known for this, so what were they expecting?
Annie Leibovitz also shoots for other magazines, and just because this is the first African American to grace Vogue’s cover does not mean she has not broken the barriers with her covers in the past with other people of color. Her “Africa” cover series is a perfect example of this! I do not believe malice was meant by this cover. Instead a “coming together” and barrier pushing cover was persecuted for its flaws instead of being celebrated for its accomplishments.
Here are some of Leibovitz‘s other unquestionable controversial, boundary pushing, masterpieces:
Fox news stated that “Vogue spokesman Patrick O’Connell said the magazine ‘sought to celebrate two superstars at the top of their game’ for the magazine’s annual issue devoted to size and shape.” I believe Vogue’s publicist has done a terrific job in defending their cover, and has made a wise choice in not pulling it. For God’s sake, Annie Leibovitz shot it! I would never question the taste or intention of that woman when so many people have trusted their reputation and image in her hands. These pictures are amazing, and I see Lebron James as a powerful basketball player evoking emotion and Gisele Bundchen as a fluid, experienced, and talented model revealing her expertise and knowledge on Vogue’s cover. I do not see a deadly gorilla taking advantage of a helpless White woman. But, the envelope was pushed yet again as people cry out and pull the race card. There have been times that I agree and people should own up to their mistakes, but this is not one of them. Finally, a magazine has stood up for their artistic and appropriate choice! The images are beautiful and should be embraced. And, the publicity will simply help their sales and viewership. If you don’t agree, then don’t buy the magazine…
Kristen Davis, the actress made famous through her role in the HBO series Sex and the City as “prim and proper ‘Park Avenue Princess’ Charlotte York Goldenblatt,” was rumored to have had a homemade sex tape leaked on the Internet this past Monday (03/16/08). Her “virgin-like” role on the hit series was compromised by this supposed hard-core sex tape scandal. Then this Wednesday (03/18/08) there seemed to be no sex tape produced but “still shots” from this alleged sex tape. As the week moved on Davis continued to deny that it was her in the photos. Just recently, it has been reported, and her name cleared, that it was a Photoshop job for the sex tape stills. But, it has NOW been reported that there are “compromising” (sex) photos out there, which were exposed by Davis’ ex-boyfriend. They were leaked when her ex, Eric Stapleman, apparently in a fit of rage sold them to a “third party” who then had the pictures stolen from him. Kristen’s rep still claims they are not Davis though. Some say that this was all a publicity stunt for their upcoming “Sex and the City” movie said to be released this summer in May. Now, which part is the crisis per say? The part where she had an alleged sex tape, the photos, or the outcry of the hoax itself as a publicity stunt?
As I reviewed eight credible “main stream media” sources I found a lot in common between all of their reports of the incident as it broke throughout the week and to the masses. They all seemed to quote or refer to her or her publicist saying that it was not her in the supposed sex tape. People.monstersandcritics.com even had a quote from Ron Jeremy as if it were recruitment time or an “expert opinion” on the matter of starlets using sex tapes to launch their careers. Obviously, since the sex tape was fabricated this quote and testimonial doesn’t quite work here. All of the media touched on her upcoming movies and her role as Charlotte in the Sex and the City series! They tended to highlight her dainty, sweet characteristics to beef up the shock of Davis actually having a sex tape. MTV.co.uk even had a movie trailer link in the middle of the article, and at the very bottom of the article had links to other celebrities’ sex tapes. I only saw a couple Web sites that claim there still are some “compromising” photos of Davis out there dating back to 1992 (taken by an ex), one site being News.softpedia.com, which links to Inoutstar.com as its source. Others are still stuck on the fraudulent charges of the sex tape and its still shots in their coverage. They all seemed to highlight Davis, as well as the Sex and the City series, upcoming movie, and the sexy claims themselves, in a positive light. Obviously, the photos shown were of the sexy/racy photos being discussed, but some sites like About.com and Associatedcontent.com decided to just put a link to them and show a beautiful smiling or sexy modeling picture of Davis instead. The headlines for these sources tended to be more news worthy and focused on whether the allegations were “true” or not in the title.
The blogs seemed to have a lot more fun with the story. The blogs quoted her or her publicist if they had any quotes at all. The blogs also plugged the upcoming movie for Davis from time to time. All of their headlines seemed to have a play on words relating the “sex” scandal to “Sex and the City,” which also influenced the publicity hoax allegations. Quite a few blogs like Celebrities.com and NZ Herald Blogs actually show either a beautiful and saint-like photo of Davis and/or just a link to the scandalous photos further down the page. But, other blogs who could get their hands on the pictures raced at the chance to post them to attract viewers like Glam.com. Dailyvodcasts.com actually incorporated both positive images and the dirty ones. A lot of them tended to refer back to TMZ and placed the multitude of stories about her in a positive humorous light that would not hurt her career at all. Some have even claimed that it will help her career! The blogs caught onto the “promotional” hoax a lot faster or at least put it out there boldly for all to know. They focused more on the fact that the scandal is all too conveniently promoting sex, which is the topic for their upcoming “Sex and the City” movie to be released again conveniently soon. They concentrated on challenging and criticizing the Davis sex tape and images to the point where they are actually down playing the scandal helping out Davis’ claims, which is the opposite to what the main stream media did.
Sex, sex, sex, and some more sex… Great publicity if you ask me, but also a juicy “crisis” for Davis’ pristine image. Her and her publicist handled it extremely quickly offering immediate quotes and more “appropriate” pictures and letting it go on for no more than three days tops. They were right to squash it quickly, even if it was a media ploy for the upcoming movie release. Look at how many media covered it for God’s sake! I went through three pages of Google searches and there was still more to be viewed. Even the ex-boyfriend got a “plug” in for his head chef duties at the restaurant he works at in Santa Fe.
Her crystal image as herself, and her role as Charlotte, are what made this real “news” and all that much more scandalous. I think that even if it is her in the pictures it would just be added to her laundry list of qualifications for the hit series and liven up her “youthful” look to the media and viewers. Hey look, now she can play more than her one role as the “good girl.” The supposed nude pictures leaked by an ex just come with the territory of past baggage and is probably the reason WHY he’s an EX. She’s gorgeous and I think that with her Sex and the City role any one of those girls can pull off great sex photos and not be seen as taboo or “outrageous” for this day and age.
In this “crisis” case I don’t believe it could have ended badly or any better. Her story was covered with a biased slant towards her, and she was the one quoted in the majority if not all the stories. Her name was cleared for the first two scandles, which makes her allegations and testimonies that much more believable for the future ones. As long as they get the facts out, whatever they may be, as quickly as they can, which they did, they are fine in my book. Now if the pictures end up being authentic I think negating the allegations will not only hurt, but is unwarranted since I don’t feel the truth would have even hurt her image but rather improve it. It’s a great start to a publicity tour! I don’t know if it was her publicist’s sheer brilliance or good hard luck, but she managed to plug Davis’ upcoming movie over the Internet like “wire fire.” In fact, I am just one of many who just spread the fire a little bit more…