The Source of Prevalent Teen Violence and Various Treatment Programs

Teen violence is one of the most predominant problems in American society. This seemingly ceaseless dilemma has resulted in acts of violence such as bullying, verbal and sexual harassment, illegal use of weapons, physical injuries, and even murder. Studies continue to reveal alarming cases of teen violence while crime rates continue to go up. One of the suggested ways of dealing with this social dilemma is via the provisioning of corrective programs for troubled youth.

These corrective programs can help parents rear their teens properly, gradually turning them into decent and law-abiding teens. Although the process cannot be hurried, parents will at least acquire some peace of mind, knowing that changing their children’s attitude is possible. Basically, the rehabilitation treatment begins by determining the origin of such ill behavior.

According to experts, one of the most common causes for this social malady is bullying. Through verbal and physical assault, teenagers tend to develop a rigid character to prevent intimidation or bullying by others. Unfortunately, this eventually leads to physical roughness wherein the abused also becomes an abuser. Other forms of abuse also trigger violent behavior in victims. So as not to feel the gravity of the tragic incident, these teenagers take harmful risks and resort to aggression.

There are some instances when jealousy and an inferiority complex might provoke these young individuals to commit violent acts. They want to achieve a stand-out character, so they emulate the violent stunts they see on battle films. Often, inconsistent parenting also contributes to the development of violent attitudes. When teens lack the guidance that they need from their parents, they are often unable to deal with their personality issues. Thankfully, there are available programs for troubled youth today that can assist parents in correcting the manners of their children.

These programs provide talks and activities that can help teenagers divert their attention and allow them to be involved in more worthwhile activities. They can avoid teen gangs that coerce them to perform illegal activities, engage in drug usage and dealings, and take part in dangerous fights with other teen factions. Furthermore, they can avoid getting into violent teen dating and other forms of school violence where they might be accused of rape and other forms of harassment.

Violence is truly just a product of a previous infliction of violence. Hence, it is imperative to put an end to this cycle as soon as possible. The transformation may be long and difficult, but with the help of professional psychotherapists, healing can begin. Certainly, the whole journey towards that transformation will begin with remedial programs for troubled youth.

What You Should Know About the Gun Law For Toy Guns

It may seem crazy that toy guns would have legal restrictions, but airguns and other toy rifles are often made to look startlingly realistic. Kids may be confused whether they’re picking up their toy or a relative’s loaded real rifle lying around the house. Insolent teens may point their toy guns at a police officer in a standoff, prompting them to get shot by real guns. There is a general federal gun law for toys, but the misuse of these weapons has prompted several local municipalities to create legislation of their own.

Under federal gun law, airsoft guns must be manufactured with a 6 mm orange tip at the barrel end. The packaging must inform consumers that tampering with the manufacturer logo or orange tipped barrel could result in penalties. Individuals who use these guns as though they are real firearms — such as in a robbery or police standoff — will be charged as if the gun were real. U.S. law stipulates that no one under 18 can purchase an airsoft gun. These laws were put in place to protect law enforcement personnel and teens from misunderstandings, injuries and deaths.

In California, the toy gun law stipulates that manufacturers must put an orange ring around the barrel to distinguish shiny toy guns from real weapons. They must also warn on their packaging that the modification of the guns may result in legal ramifications. This year, on New Year’s Day, a retired Sacramento firefighter used a pellet gun to hold up a mini-mart and died in a standoff with the police.

A week later, another man was injured in Rancho Cordova when police responded to a 9-1-1 call and shot at a man holding a gun, which turned out to hold only pellets, not lethal guns ammo. In California, brandishing fake guns as real ones is punishable by a $100 fine for the first offense, $200 for the second offense and is considered a misdemeanor by the third offense.

Not all kids take local gun law edicts seriously, however. In 2006, a Longwood, Florida student painted over the orange tip and threatened students at school with his airgun. The sheriff called to the scene also thought the gun was real and, as a result, shot and killed the student.

Dangerous or not, there is no reason for kids to bring these toy guns to school. Most schools have rules sentencing the child to temporary suspension or even permanent expulsion for bringing airsoft guns on school property. Parents should ensure their kids abide by the laws to protect themselves from harm’s way.

Teen Dating Violence: What Every Girl Should Know

One of the hardest lessons that you’ll ever have to learn is not Chemistry, Calculus or even the laws of Physics. It has nothing to do with history, English Literature or understanding why Maya Angelou’s caged bird sings. It’s how to recognize and get out of an abusive relationship.

Perhaps he only hits you when he’s angry. Maybe he doesn’t hit you at all. Instead he calls you names, tells you that you’re nothing without him and tries to control every move you make. Or maybe he doesn’t do any of these things but there’s a little voice inside your head telling you that YOU’RE TREADING ON DEADLY GROUND. You can’t quite put your finger on it. You’re not entirely sure how to explain it. But you know beyond a shadow of a doubt that there’s something horribly wrong going on. You’re too afraid to ask for help, but too afraid not to. Paralyzed by fear and blinded by love you don’t know which way to turn or how to set yourself free.
If this is happening to you, then you are in an abusive relationship. Regardless of what he tells you or what you may think, you don’t have to take it. And believe it or not, you are not alone. Studies show that one out of five women have experience violence or emotional intimidation in their relationships.

Dating violence is very serious, because many of these relationships end in hospitalizations and some even end in death. And just like you, they all thought it wouldn’t happen to them. This is why it is critical that you seek help and get out if you are in an abusive relationship. The longer you stay the worse your situation will get. I know it’s hard to imagine being without him because you love him and you really want to believe that things will get better. But they won’t unless you leave.

Laurie age 19 says, ” The first time my boyfriend hit me, I couldn’t believe it. He saw me kiss one of my male friends on the cheek and totally flipped out. He waited until we were alone, dragged me behind the building and beat me down to the ground. He told me that it was my fault because I shouldn’t be kissing on other guys when I already have a boyfriend. Could you believe that I stayed with him for two more years after that?”

Michelle age 17 says, ” Rick was the most popular guy in school. I couldn’t believe he wanted to go out with me. He could have any girl he wanted and he chose me. He had a nice car, bought me jewelry and made me feel like I was special. But three months into the relationship things changed. He would call me a bitch or a whore if I even looked at another guy. He told me if I ever left him he would kill me. I didn’t believe him until he took out a gun and pulled the trigger. Luckily it wasn’t loaded.”

Brenda age 21 says, ” I’ve been with Miguel since I was 16. We use to play fight but then it would turn serious. He would choke me and pull my hair. He told me that no one else wanted me because I was fat. I was carrying his baby that’s why I was fat. But he didn’t care. sometimes if he got real angry he hit me in my stomach. He blames me for everything. Half the time I didn’t know what was wrong. If he went out all night with his friends I was supposed to sit by the phone and wait. But if I wanted to hang out with my friends Miguel would have a fit. Even though he hit me it was the name-calling that hurt me the most. I can take a punch, but I don’t like him calling me a “bitch”.

If you or someone you know is in a situation like Laurie, Michelle, or Brenda then you have got to get help and get out . Dating violence happens everywhere and with all kinds of people. Violence is not a normal part of dating. It is not healthy. Hitting and jealousy are not signs of love they are signs of control. Every violent relationship has the potential of ending in murder. Even if the guy doesn’t mean to kill his girlfriend it can happen. Are you willing to take that chance?

What Is Relationship Abuse?

Relationship abuse occurs when you are threatened, coerced, intimidated, insulted or assaulted by the person you are in a relationship with. Relationship abuse is not the same as having an argument. In an abusive relationship one person is afraid of, or intimidated by the other. Relationship abuse does not just happen one time, it is something that happens over and over again. There are three kinds of relationship abuse: emotional, physical, and sexual.

Emotional Abuse

Emotional abuse can be difficult to detect because it’s not as obvious as physical or sexual abuse – but it is damaging none the less. Emotional abuse includes name calling, put downs, being told that you are worthless or ugly, being unfavorably compared to other females, being humiliated, embarrassed, threatened, and ordered around.

Physical Abuse

Physical abuse is hitting, pushing, slapping, kicking, and pulling your hair, punching, choking, throwing things at you or pulling weapons out on you. Physical abuse usually becomes more violent as the relationship progresses. The longer you stay the worse the beatings get. Physical abuse is used to scare you, restrain you and control you. Hitting is not an act of love. It is an act of violence.

Sexual Abuse

Sexual abuse occurs when you are forced, intimidated, manipulated or coerced into participating in a sexual act which can include intercourse, oral sex, fondling or any other type of sexual act. Perhaps he didn’t force you to have sex but he coerced , intimidated or manipulated you into having sex. That’s still sexual abuse and it is not your fault. Maybe he threatened to leave you or spread rumors about you if you didn’t have sex with him. If he did then you were coerced. And you don’t have to take it.

What Are Warning Signs That Will Tell You If Your Boyfriend Has The Potential To Be An Abuser?

The reason so many young women get trapped in abusive relationships is because they don’t know what the early warning signs are. Answer these questions and find out if your boyfriend has the potential to be an abuser.

· Is your boyfriend jealous and possessive?

· Does he try to tell you who to talk to and who you should be friends with?

· Does he become angry and agitated the moment you talk to another guy?

· Does he constantly accuse you of flirting with other guys or cheating on him?

· Does he tell you what to wear?

· Has he ever called you out of your name?

· Does he try to make you feel guilty if you cannot see him?

· Does he ask you your whereabouts whenever he’s unable to reach you?

· Does he try to isolate you from your friends and family?

· Does he have a violent temper?

· Have you ever seen him call another female out of her name?

· Do you find yourself apologizing to your friends for your boyfriend’s remarks or behaviors?

· Does he threaten to leave you if you don’t do what he wants?

· Does he insist on seeing you during all of your free time?

· Do you feel you have to ask him permission before you make a decision?

· Does he spy on you or call you constantly to see what you are doing?

If you answered yes to any of these questions then your boyfriend has the potential to be an abuser. Pay attention to the warning signs and listen to your intuition. If you think that you may be in danger then leave before it’s too late. Talk your feelings through with someone you trust and listen to what your intuition is telling you to do. Don’t make excuses and don’t try to talk yourself out of your feelings.

Are You In An Abusive Relationship?

Many young women do not realize that their relationship is abusive because their boyfriends behave like Dr. Jeckle and Mr. Hyde. One day he is loving and attentive the next day he is violent and enraged. Abusive relationships become more violent over time. Usually an abuser doesn’t start hitting his girlfriend until he feels comfortable in the relationship or she tries to leave him. For your own safety and well-being you need to know if your relationship is abusive. You may have even noticed that there is a predictable pattern to your relationship. Your boyfriend’s moods and behavior may go back and forth in a cycle. This is known as the cycle of violence. I’ll explain this cycle as we go along.

To figure out if you are in an abusive relationship ask yourself these questions.

· Are you afraid of, or intimidated by your boyfriend?

· Have you ever lied to your friends and family to cover up your boyfriend’s behavior?

· Are you afraid to make new friends, because you don’t want to upset your boyfriend?

· Has your boyfriend ever pressured you to do something that made you feel dirty or uncomfortable?

· Has your boyfriend ever put you down, ridiculed you or hurt you in any way?

· Does he slap, shove, kick, shake, pull your hair or throw things at you?

· Has he ever threatened you?

· Has he ever pulled a weapon out on you?

· Do you not see friends and family because of his jealousy?

· Do you feel like you have to walk on eggshells in order to keep him happy?

· Have you been secretive or afraid to tell others about your boyfriend?

· Does he drink, use drugs then becomes violent?

· Does he follow you or constantly make you check in with him?

· Has he ever threatened to hurt you, someone you love, or himself if you leave him?

If you answered yes to any of these questions then you are in an abusive relationship. You may think it’s no big deal. But it is, because it will only get worse. The reason it is so difficult to end an abusive relationship is because an abuser is not always behaving abusively. This is the cycle of violence that I referred to earlier. Barrie Levy author of, ” In Love and In Danger: A Teen’s Guide to Breaking Free of Abusive Relationships,” says that every abusive relationship goes through a three-tier cycle.

Stage 1. The Tension Building Stage

This is the stage where the tension begins to build. You boyfriend becomes more irritable, agitated and explosive. He blows up over little things, lashes out and is extremely critical of you. You feel like you have to walk on eggshells or stay out of his way in order to keep him calm. The tension is so thick you can cut it with a knife.

Stage 2. The Explosion Stage

This is the stage where your boyfriend strikes out – either physically or verbally. He calls you names, throws things at you or assaults you. The longer you stay together the worse the explosions become. Perhaps this time it was a shove or a slap, maybe next time it will be a punch, a kick, or a visit to the emergency room.

Stage 3. Honeymoon Stage

This is the stage where he tells you how sorry he is and swears that it will never happen again. This is what keeps the two of you together. He promises to control his temper. You promise not to upset him. He buys you flowers and candy or writes you passionate love letters. He tells you how much he loves you and that you are the center of his universe. You both make excuses. And you take him back hoping he really means it this time.

What Can You Do If You Are Being Abused?

If you are in an abusive relationship seek help and get out. Talk to someone who can help – a counselor, a teacher, your family, a minister or a trusted friend. There is a listing of helpful numbers in the resource section of this book that can help you figure out your options. There are people who want to help you. You do not have to go through this experience alone. You’ve already taken the first step by reading this chapter. You can begin helping yourself by recognizing that you are lovable, capable and worthwhile and you have the power to heal from this experience. You may feel ashamed, afraid, alone or even depressed but you can move past this and come out stronger. What you need most is time and support to heal. You deserve to be safe. You deserve love that is not violent or abusive. You deserve to go to bed at night not feeling afraid. Here are some things that you can do to be safe.

Take The Abuse Seriously

Dating violence is serious business. You’ve got to take your situation seriously if you want the abuse to stop. Insist that your boyfriend go for counseling to get the help he needs. If you are not ready then at least take a time out period from your relationship until he completes an anger management or counseling program. If he refuses then you must leave for good.

Talk to Someone

Tell someone what is happening. Talk to your family or a trained professional who can help you work through your feelings. You need support to figure out what to do. Talking to your friends can help you get your feelings out but you need the support of your family along with a professional to get through this. If you have been in an abusive relationship for a while, friends and family may already suspect what is going on. They want to help but they may not know how. Keep talking until you find someone who can help you feel safe.

Develop A Safety Plan

If you think that your boyfriend will become violent when you try to cool things off or leave him plan for your safety. Think about whatever you can do not to be alone with him or in the same vicinity. Arrange for friends and family to meet you after school or work. Walk to and from classes with other people. Let your family, roommates or answering machine screen your calls. If you are going out, make sure that someone knows where you are how to contact you, and what time you are coming back. This way if you are not back at that time you said you would be, someone can look for you or call the police.

Plan for Your Safety Now

I will have important numbers on me at all times.

My local precinct # __________________ Counselors # _______________

Friends # ________________________

Domestic Violence Hotline # _________________________

I can tell ________________ and _________________ about my situation and ask them to call the police if they hear or see anything suspicious

If I need a place to stay I can go to (list 3 places) _____________________

_________________________ ____________________________

I can avoid places that I’ll see my ex such as

__________________ __________________ ___________________

If I feel like going back to him I will call __________________ to talk things through and help me figure out what to do.

Let the legal system help you

Your boyfriend’s violence against you is a crime. You can go to the police, your principle, the counselor or the campus security to a file a complaint. You can also get an order of protection against him which is an order by the court that says your abuser has to stay away from you. If he violates the order then he can be arrested. Domestic violence is a serious matter and it’s also against the law.

Join a Support Group

Sometimes it helps to talk to other people who are going through the same situation as you. A support group is a safe place to share your experiences, listen to the experiences of others and figure out how to handle problems when they arise. You don’t have to worry about feeling stupid or being judged because everyone in the group is going through a similar situation. To find a support group in your area speak to a counselor at school, a friend or call one of the hotlines listed in the resource section of this book and ask for a listing of places to go for help.

Do positive things that boost your self-esteem

Spend time with old friends and start making new ones. The simple task of keeping yourself busy will do wonders for your self-esteem. Join a community service project. You will be amazed at how much better you’ll feel when you’re doing good deeds and helping others. Not to mention the great new friends you will make. Take a workshop. Read a good book. Listen to music – no sad songs. Fix up your bedroom. Make a gift basket for a friend or family member who you haven’t seen for a while. The more you get out, the more you’ll realize how much fun life can be without him.

Building a healthy relationship takes work and emotional maturity

In a healthy relationship you are not afraid of your boyfriend. When one of you gets angry you find a healthy way to resolve the situation. You are able to spend time alone and do things together. You do not feel pressured to have sex. You feel appreciated and cared for.
The bottom line is dangerous love can turn into deadly obsession. And there is no good reason to subject yourself to that. While it may be frightening to leave a violent relationship it’s far more dangerous to stay. You deserve to be treated with love and respect. You deserve to be safe. It’s your life and you have the power to take control of it. Look how far you’ve come already.
Romantic love can be exciting, passionate and sometimes addicting. But what you have to keep in mind is when he loves you to death he may send you to the grave to prove it.

Copyright © 2000 by Cassandra Mack

Her Last Breath by Linda Castillo – Amish Buggy Hit-And-Run Crime Fiction/Mystery Book Review

“Her Last Breath” is the fifth and newest murder mystery by “New York Times” bestselling author, Linda Castillo, featuring Kate Burkholder, a former Amish woman and thirty-something chief of police of fictional town, Painters Mill, Ohio.

Amish man, Paul Borntrader, is en route home at dusk with his three young children, from a doctor’s visit, when his buggy is T-boned at an estimated eighty miles an hour. Paul, and his children Norah, and Sara, die at the scene. Eight-year-old David is critically injured.

The driver flees, leaving few clues other than an after market, three-quarter-inch L-pin and a side view mirror. Investigators believe the lack of skid marks indicates premeditated murder; and a 1996 Ford F-250 truck is the weapon.

Who wanted Paul Borntrager and his children dead? An Amish deacon, Paul helped excommunicate some of the Order’s members who’d gone astray. Could the Borntrager murders be revenge?

On duty, Kate responds to the emergency call; and realizes Paul is married to Mattie, her former best friend during her Amish youth. Kate painstakingly informs Mattie of her family’s fatal accident. The two haven’t spoken since Kate’s Amish defection at eighteen.

While Kate’s made her share of enemies since leaving her Amish roots to pursue a career in law enforcement, her heritage is an asset when investigating Amish-related crimes, since she’s able to speak their Pennsylvania Dutch dialect.

Kate’s distraught over the Borntrager murders; yet knows she needs to stay stoic and keep her objectivity during the investigation.

She calls John Tomasetti, a regional agent for the Bureau of Criminal Identification and Investigation. They’ve worked together on previous Amish-related murders, and their professional relationship transcended to romance.

John recently asked Kate to move in with him, a step she’s hesitant to take. He ups the ante when he purchases an old farmhouse located a half -hour from Painters Mill.

“That’s the thing about relationships; no matter how hard you try to keep things simple, all of those gnarly complexities have a way of seeping into the mix,” Kate says.

Amish teen, Daniel Lapp raped Kate when she was fourteen; and she shot him dead in revenge. Her secret risks exposure and her law enforcement career is in jeopardy, when two kids playing at the old Wilbur Seed Company grain elevator find his remains.

Kate experiences the other side of the law when authorities identify his skeleton and question her about his disappearance, since his last whereabouts place him at her family’s farm seventeen years ago.

During her book tours, Castillo talks about her transition from corporate America to author. She’s graduated from two citizens police academies, visited morgues and Amish country to hone her craft of writing entertaining murder mysteries, juxtapositioning the bucolic life of the Amish with crime.

Castillo complements her narrative with Amish sayings, including, “Wer lauert an der Wand, Heert sie eegni Schand,” which means, “If you listen through the wall, you will hear others recite your faults.”
“Her Last Breath” is another testament to Castillo’s writing talents.

Linda Castillo writes for, Minotuar Books, an imprint of Macmillan Publishing. Visit their link to discover many talented writers, including Brad Parks and Paul Doiron.

Boot Camps For Teens – Top 11 Reasons to Consider It

Are you worried that your teen should be placed in a boot camp? What are the signs that your disruptive teen should be placed in one of many boot camps for teens across the country? Most worried parents who think their teen should be placed in a military style environment are relived to find out that there teen does not need a drastic setting like a teen camp. Although these teens need guidance, love, and a stern hand, they are far from needing boot camp. There are teens that will need the strict guidance that a boot camp provides, but how will you know if your teen will benefit from a camp? If your teen has a history of the following on the list, you should be concerned:

1. Drug use
2. Drug selling
3. Assault
4. Robbery
5. Sexual crimes
6. Theft
7. Arson
8. Alcohol use
9. Auto theft
10. Weapons possession
11. Running away

If any of the items listed above is apart of your teens history, or you feel that your teen is heading in the direction of any of these, you should contact one of many boot camps for teens or a teen counselor. Any of the above behaviours listed is serious and calls for serious interventions. If you do have a teen who exhibits these behaviors and they go unchecked, your teen could find himself/herself in deep problems with the law in coming years, so its best to get the upper hand as soon as possible. Don’t waste time and act now. What can you do in the meanwhile, until your teen is on their way to boot camp which usually last 3 months.

You should do everything you can to minimize your teen’s disruptive behavior. You can do this by not participating in any argument/fight that may occur. If you are fighting with your teen, you should notice that it takes two or more people to fight. Stop fighting with your teen and lead by example. Let them know that you will not participate in anything that will pull your energy down. You can do this by explaining to your teen in a calm manner that you understand they are upset about something, but you disagree with them (that’s if you do). If it is something that they are doing that goes against the rules you’ve set, once again in a calm manner, explain the rules and why you have such rules. If they choose to get hysterical, let them, but keep your composure. A cool response is whats always needed.

Your teen isn’t different from most teens–they will rebel. The key is not fighting their rebellious nature, but learning to to live with it. You have to roll with the punches. Once you know that your teen’s rebelliousness isn’t personal, its just part of growing up, you will be able to see it from a calm rational point of view. And since rationality begets rationality, you will smile knowing that you won by not losing your temper.

When your teen notices your new shield of armor, they will also develop a new attitude. They will admire your coolness, and naturally try to imitate it. Being the father of three teens, I know battles will start, but know that every battle isn’t worth fighting. It’s knowing what battle to fight and knowing what battle to walk away from–that’s the key to raising teens.

Boot camps for teens–the jury is still out on their effectiveness. It isn’t a cure all for all situations; and is even over used in most cases. Examine your own particular situation and know that as parents that your the boss.