Tells The Story
have been trying to control their fertility since the beginning of time. Some
of the oldest contraception efforts include hollowing out lemons to serve as a
diaphragm, packing the vagina with animal dung, and wearing animal parts around
Sanger began to fight for contraception education in the early 1900’s. As a
nurse, Sanger would visit women who, because of many pregnancies and large
families, were in ill health. Many did die. Why didn’t these women plan their
pregnancies? Because their access to contraceptive information and devices was
restricted by the Comstock Laws, passed in 1873. This law made it illegal to send any "obscene, lewd,
and/or lascivious" materials through the mail; contraceptive devices and
information were seen as “obscene, lewd, and/or lascivious.”
Sanger was imprisoned many times for breaking the Comstock Laws. She finally
opened the first birth control clinic opened in 1916. The women came in droves:
Sanger and her staff saw 460 women in the span of nine days. After nine days,
the clinic was raided and closed. But Sanger did not give up.
declaring "No woman can call herself free who doesn't own and control her
own body,” Margaret Sanger kept up her fight. In 1923 the first doctor-run
birth control clinic was opened and by 1929 there were 54 birth control clinics
in the United States.
continued their fight. In 1965, the U.S. Supreme Court case, Griswold v. Connecticut, found it unconstitutional
for states to restrict contraception for married
couples because of the U.S. Constitution’s implicit guarantee of the right to privacy.
In 1972,Eisenstadt v Baird extended to right to privacy to single adults,
stating “it would be unreasonable to make the birth of an unwanted child a
punishment for fornication.” And finally, in 1977, with the Carey v Population Services International
case the Supreme Court found that minors had the right to gain access to
amazes me that as a nation we are still debating the right for women to control
their own body, their own welfare, and the health of their children. The recent
assault on women’s reproductive rights is wrong-headed. Contraception allows
women to decide their family size and the spacing of their children.
Contraception helps to keep population in check (that’s a whole ‘nother story).
Being able to control fertility allows women to enjoy sex without the constant
fear of unwanted pregnancy. Sex
is, after all, a vital part of life and love relationships; should anxiety and
fear be part of a woman’s sexual life? Contraception also helps women who
experience painful periods, endometriosis, irregular periods, severe acne, and
other health concerns.
the Republican presidential candidates are attempting to impose their will on
women’s life and health when they promote limiting access to birth control. The
answer is found in herstory. Our world is better because of the access women
have to birth control.
J. Wolfe, Ph. D. Clinical Sexologist
of Children: Empowering people to prevent child sexual abuse
a Clinical Sexologist, it is my goal to help people become more
sexually healthy. In my practice I often work with women who have
been sexually abused during their childhood and/or youth. The
consequences of such abuse can be devastating and include addiction,
eating disorders, teen pregnancy, mental health disorders,
delinquency, and sexual problems. Sexual child abuse is prevalent in
our society and this will not change until we as adults take overt
shows that 1 in 4 girls and 1 in 6 boys will be sexually abused
before their 18
birthdays. Only 10% of child sexual abuse cases are committed by
strangers meaning 90% of
these incidents involve an adult known by the child and/or the
child’s family. This is a chilling statistic and cannot be
ignored. As adults, it is our responsibility to protect the children
in our community from sexual abuse so that they can grow up to lead
healthy productive lives. They are our most precious resource.
of Children is a
revolutionary, research-based sexual abuse prevention training
program developed by the non-profit Darkness to Light.
It educates adults to
prevent, recognize, and react responsibly to the epidemic of child
sexual abuse. Adults who participate in Stewards
of Children training will
learn how sexual abuse affects our communities and about the
long-term and often devastating effects that sexual abuse has on
individuals. Most importantly, participants will leave with simple,
proactive strategies for protecting children from sexual abuse.
core philosophy of Stewards of Children includes:
Adults are better equipped to
prevent, recognize, and react responsibility because of their
maturity and understanding of physical boundaries. Adults are also
the author of public policy and practices that impact children. As
adults, we need to hold others accountable and set standards of
responsibility. If we model attitudes leading to the resolve of
sexual child abuse, others will follow.
Community interaction is essential
to uprooting the social taboos that hold child sexual abuse in place.
Sexual abuse if fueled by denial, fear, and secrecy. Talking, sharing
experiences, and problem solving as a community will help dissolve
that denial, fear, and secrecy. Stewards of Children creates an
environment where child sexual abuse can be acknowledged and openly
discussed, facilitating personal growth and action.
Knowing that child sexual abuse
exists is not enough to protect children. Awareness without action
does nothing for a child who is being abused and may reinforce to the
child that he/she is alone in their experience. Protection requires
action! We must take action through policy and practices that
prevent child sexual abuse. People are valuable and people want to be
a part of positive change, by working together we can create such
change. However, we stay the course in the face of discomfort,
uncertainty, or difficulty.
Consciousness is being aware and
awake to what is going on and to the damage it causes. We must talk
about sexuality publicly, we cannot keeping brushing these issues
under the rug.
It was Mahatma Gandhi who said “we
must become the change we want to see in the world,” this holds
true for child sexual abuse. We choose denial, fear, and complacency
or we choose action.
Personal power begins with the
individual; the individual can make a difference. Personal power is
the ability to trust ourselves and to act, even when is contrary to
the norm of the group. Stewards of Children recognizes that a
community’s health is interdependent with the personal power of its
individuals. There is no collective growth without persons who are
willing to stand-out and take risks.
Congregational United Church of Christ in downtown Asheville is
hosting Darkness to Light's Stewards
of Children program on
Tuesday of every month from 8:30am – 11:30 am. The training is
open to the public and is of specific interest among parents, youth
sports organizations / coaches / camp counselors, youth service
organizations, teachers / school personnel and faith centers.
Protecting Children From
Sexual Child Abuse
During the last month, WNC
has seen a number of child sexual abuse cases reported in the newspaper. Child
sexual abuse is not just a bad experience; it wrecks young lives. Child sexual
abuse can result in addiction, eating disorders, teen pregnancy, mental health
disorders, delinquency and/or sexual problems.
Statistics say 1 in 4
girls and 1 in 6 boys will be sexually abused by age of 18. According to the US
Department of Justice, National Institute of Justice report, in 90% of the incidents of child sexual
abuse, the child knows the adult, or the child’s family knows the adult.
As parent, we cannot let
the statistics paralyze us. We must take action. Because adults are
responsible for protecting children from sexual abuse it is our responsibility
to educate ourselves and advocate for our children. During the three-hour
training, Stewards of Children, participants learn how to prevent,
recognize, and respond appropriately to child sexual abuse. Participants receive
a 38-page workbook that reviews important information that follows up and
reinforces what participants will learn in the workshop. The Stewards
of Children prevention training program was developed by the non-profit
Darkness to Light.