all things social work

Financial Assistance: Free and Low Cost Prescriptions

Publix Pharmacies offer free meds…


Kroger Pharmacies offer $4/$10 meds…


Walmart Pharmacies offer $4/$10 meds…

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CSA: Erin’s Law

Erin Merryn has some profound insight into how we protect and educate children…

Growing up in Illinois public schools every year I was educated with my classmates on tornado drills, fire drills, bus drills, stranger danger, and learned the 8 ways to say “NO” to drugs through D.A.R.E.

As a child I never had to take cover because of a real tornado. I never had to stop, drop, and roll or run out of a burning building. I never had to evacuate a school bus due to an emergency, but I had the knowledge to know what to do if any of those situations happened. Where was the drill on how to escape a child molester? Where was the lesson plan on sexual abuse, safe touches, and safe secrets? It never came. I was not educated on “How to Tell Today or How to Get Away.” I was never educated on “My Body Belongs to Me.” When a grown man lay on top of me at 6 1/2 years old and threaten to tie me to a bed if I did not lay still and be quiet as he raped me or when my teenage cousin locked me behind closed doors and warned me, “this is our little secret, no one will believe you, this will destroy our family” as he sexually abused me on a bed I stayed silent. When I was raped and sexually abused as a child I did not know what to do. My body seemed to belong to the men that used and abused it was the message I learned, because I was getting no other message.


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DV: VAWA Reauthorization


Important changes…

How does VAWA affect LGBTQ people?

  • The Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) is up for re-authorization and, with your help, this year’s bill will explicitly include lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) people.  VAWA should ensure that all victims of domestic and dating violence, sexual assault and stalking are eligible for VAWA protections and services regardless of the gender of their perpetrator.
  • LGBTQ people experience domestic violence in 25-35% of relationships, which is the same rate as the general population.
  • LGBTQ victims face discrimination when accessing services, including being turned away from shelter, mis-arrested as the primary aggressor by local law enforcement, and denied orders of protection.
  • Hopefully, the VAWA bill will delineate LGBTQ victims as an under-served population to encourage more effective protection and services for all LGBTQ people who need help.  In a 2010 study, 96% of victim services and law enforcement agencies said that they did not have specific services for LGBTQ victims.  In fact, studies have shown that only one in five survivors of same-gender sexual assault and intimate partner violence received victim services.   For all of these reasons, LGBTQ people need to be included in the re-authorized VAWA.
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Marriage Equality: In Iowa according to Zach Wahls

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DV: National Task Force on Children Exposed to Violence

“Recent research shows that more than 60 percent of American children have been exposed to crime, abuse and violence – many in their own homes.”

…So if you’re a teacher and you have 35 kids in your classroom, then more than 21 of those kids have been exposed in some way to crime, abuse, and violence.  

Are we really that confused about why kids aren’t meeting academic standards?

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Attorney General Eric Holder’s National Task Force on Children Exposed to Violence convened its first of four public hearings to gather expert and community testimony on the epidemic of children’s exposure to violence. Recent research shows that more than 60 percent of American children have been exposed to crime, abuse and violence – many in their own homes. Ten percent of children in the United States have suffered some form of abuse or neglect and one in 16 has been victimized sexually. 

The task force will hold three additional hearings this year in Albuquerque, N.M ., Miami and Detroit. The task force will identify promising practices, programming and community strategies used to prevent and respond to children’s exposure to violence and will also issue a final report to the attorney general presenting its findings and comprehensive policy recommendations. The report will serve as a blueprint for preventing children’s exposure to violence and for reducing the negative effects experienced by children exposed to violence across the United States.

“As a former judge and United States attorney, and now as the Attorney General and the father of three teenagers, protecting and empowering our children is both a personal and professional commitment,” said Attorney General Holder.  “I have made protecting the most vulnerable among us – including our children – a core priority of the Justice Department and this task force brings together a wealth of experience and talent to help us find ways to improve our response to the growing problem of children exposed to violence.”

The task force is composed of 13 leading experts from diverse fields and perspectives, including practitioners, child and family advocates, academic experts and licensed clinicians. Joe Torre, Major League Baseball executive vice president of baseball operations, founder of the Joe Torre Safe at Home Foundation, and a witness of domestic violence as a child himself; and Robert Listenbee Jr, chief of the juvenile unit of the Defender Association of Philadelphia, serve as co-chairs of the task force. The full list of Task force members is located at: .

“Unprecedented numbers of children are exposed to violence, both as victims and witnesses, and they bring their experiences, feelings, learned behaviors and attitudes into their schools and communities,” said Torre. “This isn’t just a family issue; it’s also a community and national public health issue. The Defending Childhood Task Force has the welfare of our most vulnerable children at its center, and I look forward to working with my colleagues to make a significant contribution to solving this urgent problem.”

“Children who experience violence are more likely to abuse drugs and alcohol, fail in school, suffer from mental health problems and engage in delinquent and criminal behavior,” said Listenbee. “The attorney general’s task force creates a tremendous opportunity for our nation to stop this epidemic and give our children the safety and well-being they deserve, while creating a healthier society for everyone.”

Speakers at today’s hearing at the University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law in Baltimore, included United States Attorney General Holder; Sonja Sohn, founder and CEO of ReWired for Change and star of HBO’s “The Wire”; Patrick McCarthy, president and CEO of the Annie E. Casey Foundation; Nigel Cox, chair of the SAVE (Students Against Violence Everywhere) National Advisory Board; and Baltimore and area residents who have experienced family, community and other types of violence.

Details on future hearings will be available on the Defending Childhood website: .

The task force is part of the attorney general’s Defending Childhood Initiative and is staffed by the National Council on Crime and Delinquency (NCCD), a nonprofit research and consulting agency.

To learn more about the task force, visit: .

About the Defending Childhood Initiative and the Task Force

For more information about Attorney General Holder’s Defending Childhood initiative, the Defending Childhood Task Force and upcoming hearings, please visit .

About National Council on Crime and Delinquency

NCCD promotes just and equitable social systems for individuals, families and communities through research, public policy and practice. For more information about NCCD, please visit .

Contact: Department of Justice Main Switchboard – 202-514-2000

Reported by: US Department of Justice

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