According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, one in four women have experienced domestic violence in her lifetime. 1 Domestic violence is the leading cause of injury to women, more than car accidents, muggings, and rapes combined. Every nine seconds in the United States, a woman is assaulted or beaten. 2 3.3 million children witness domestic violence in their homes every year.3 According to the National Crime Victimization Survey, which includes crimes that were not reported to the police, “232,960 women in the U.S. were raped or sexually assaulted in 2006. That’s more than 600 women every day.”4 The Bureau of Justice reported in 1995, women of all races are about equally vulnerable to violence by an intimate partner. On average, intimate partners murder more than three women and one man in the United States every single day. 2 Even more alarming, 74% of Americans personally know someone who is or has been a victim of domestic violence. That means that statistically speaking, you personally know at least one domestic violence victim. It could be your professor or your student, a co-worker or your neighbor. It could even be your mother, your sister, or your daughter.
However, violence in the household does not end with women. The abuse and neglect of children is also a pressing issue that many domestic violence advocates try to address as well. In fact, child abuse in the United States has recently grown worse. In Appendix 1 is a graph displaying the number of child deaths per day due to child abuse in the US; from 1998 to 2010, it has risen from 3.13 to 5. This gives the United States the worst record in the industrialized nation.15 Each year, 3.3 million reports of child abuse are made in the United States involving 6 million children; reports can include multiple children. 16 Other disturbing statistics include the frequency of reports of child abuse, one report every ten seconds, and the estimation that between 50-60% of child fatalities due to maltreatment are not recorded as such on death certificates.
The statistics do not lie about the severity of the domestic violence problem on a national and global level. It will affect 75% of American citizens sometime in their lifetime, regardless of their age, ethnicity, religion, sexuality, income level, or gender. For many of these victims, those effects may have life-changing, or even life-ending, consequences. Although the United States has passed a comprehensive set of legislation on domestic violence, I still believe there is much more our government can do to help prevent domestic violence and help victims. In my paper, I will present a comprehensive set of facts on how domestic violence affects our country, what is already in place to help prevent domestic violence, and what more can be done.
Not related to a blog assignment, but I just wanted to share: my abroad alma mater, Semester at Sea (which I think I’ve managed to talk about in 95% of my blog posts and comments), is teaming up with a project called the Unreasonable Institute to further global learning and entrepreneurs.
The Unreasonable Institute is a ridiculously cool program which I just found out about a few hours ago, when someone from my SAS voyage posted this video on their pairing on our Facebook voyage wall. From their website:
“We are solving the world’s biggest problems by arming the entrepreneurs who can take them on with the mentorship, capital, and network to make it happen.
Each year, we unite 25 entrepreneurs from every corner of the globe to live under the same roof for six weeks in Boulder, Colorado. These entrepreneurs receive training and build long-term relationships with 50 world-class mentors, ranging from the former Managing Director of Investments at Google.org, to the CTO of HP, to an entrepreneur who’s enabled over 19 million farmers to move out of poverty. In the process, they also form relationships and build their businesses with 20 investment funds, receive legal advice & design consulting, and pitch to hundreds of potential investors and partners.”
These 25 chosen entrepreneurs are deemed the “Unreasonable Fellows” and are picked through an intense selection process; each entrepreneur must be nominated by one of UI’s 140 partners, and go through a 3 stage selection process. And – get ready! – next year, the Unreasonable Fellows will be joining the spring voyage of Semester at Sea to sail around the world and spread their knowledge all over! Their program is named Unreasonable At Sea; they call it transnational entrepreneurship. The Fellows will sail to 14 countries to meet with top government officials, pitch their ideas in front of hundreds of investors, and meet with each country’s top entrepreneurs as well. And I can personally attest that the 600 students who will be joining them on that voyage are all intelligent, driven, and wildly creative; the chances that someone’s idea will not grow, improve, or spread is likely extremely low. This is a truly remarkable spread of global technology and knowledge.
If this does not somehow manage to integrate everything we’ve been talking about in the past few weeks AND the most life-changing, amazing experience ever, I just don’t know what else would fit that list of superlatives. (Excuse me for being sappy, yesterday was my 1 year anniversary of my return to the States after SAS, and I’ve been sad about it all day.) Watch the video here:
Laughter is good for the soul. It’s certainly a cliche, but it’s true. (And here… and here… and here too.) Laughter relaxes muscles, releases endorphins, boosts your immune system, improves blood flow, reduces blood pressure, and helps bond you to others. Think about the last time you really, truly laughed – for me, it was ten minutes ago, joking around with my roommates, who have been my best friends since freshman year. Didn’t you feel great afterwards?
Life is far too serious these days. We spend years trying so desperately to find “the right thing” to do, afraid of failing, trying so hard to succeed. We get caught up in this path that we think will ensure us success: work hard in high school, work harder in college, have the most impressive resume, get a job right away. And yet, statistically speaking, that will leave many of us unfulfilled. This list of the most common regrets on the deathbed says most of us will regret not living a life true to what we really wanted, will regret working so hard, will regret not being happier.
You know, deep down, what will make you happy. Regardless of what my classmates are doing, I’m taking a few months to goof off, live in Australia for a year, and then run around Asia some more. I do this because I know that even if it’s not what the CDC recommends, it’s what I want. I know I’ll be truly, deeply happy. We have to trust ourselves more. The only way to be happy is to do what you really want, not necessarily what your parents want, not necessarily what your friends are doing. So lighten up. Laugh some more. Laugh a lot more. Get some perspective in your life! Know what really matters, and pursue that. You’ll be a lot happier, and the world will be a better place.
Voracious. That’s how I would describe my reading style. From the very beginnings of my lovely life, I have always loved to read. In fact, that’s how I skipped a grade – I was reading chapter books in kindergarten (a little ahead of the curve much?), and I began to split my time between kindergarten and first grade. Two years later, it was decided that I was precocious and apparently socially skilled enough (who knows where on earth they got that idea) and next thing you know, I missed out on the experience that was third grade.
To this day, reading is still one of my favorite activities. That’s all that I do when I’m home! One of my biggest regrets about school is how little time I have for non-academic readings. What a nerd, I know. But if I sat down with a book, I promise you I would get nothing done until I finished that sucker. So this week’s blog post was simultaneously exciting and annoying…. I got to look at fiction books! But…. I got to look at books I wanted to but knew I couldn’t read because otherwise I’d not do my work, fail my classes, and not graduate. Great.
So, this afternoon found me reluctantly heading towards the fiction section on the first floor. The first book to catch my eye was Monday Morning, written by Sanjay Gupta, MD. The cover is mostly black with a large white font, which made it stand out from the rest of the books with picturesque scenes of trees or lakes or other romantic sappy things. When I looked closer, I almost left it; I saw that it was written by a real doctor, who apparently is also the Chief Medical Correspondent to CNN. I’ll be honest, I want nothing to do with dry medical reports, especially if it’s all gonna be bad news. But then I saw the “a novel” line and I was instantly intrigued. A real doctor who is also a reporter who wrote fiction? Wait… what?
I glanced at the inside cover to find a synopsis which goes a little something like this: “Every time surgeons operate, they’re betting their skills are better than the brain tumor, the faulty heart valve, the fractured femur. Sometimes, they’re wrong. At Chelsea General, surgeons answer for bad outcomes at the Morbidity and Mortality conference, known as M & M. This extraordinary peek behind the curtain into what is considered the most secretive meeting in all of medicine is the back drop for the entire book. Continue reading
Almost everyone has heard of the membership warehouse retailer, Costco Wholesale, whether or not you actually choose to shop there. You can find one of their warehouses in over 400 locations around the United States, as well as an additional 200 warehouses in Canada, Mexico, Australia, the United Kingdom, and parts of Asia. Although they are not quite as instantly recognizable as their main competitor, Sam’s Club of Wal-Mart Inc., Costco has attracted somewhat of a cult following due to their unusual business operations. In many financial comparisons, Costco seems to beat out all of their industry competitors. Even in the recent economic downtown, Costco still posted growth in their stock, as well as higher than industry average profits. So what exactly makes Costco so successful? Many business analysts argue that Costco’s focus on corporate social responsibility is what sets them apart from other retailers such as Sam’s Club or BJ’s Warehouse. Their focus on doing “the right thing” for all of their stakeholders, as well as a vision that aims for long-term success, is a unique business model that has interesting implications for many debates within the business world today. Should a company’s main focus be profit? Do they have a responsibility to act in the best interest of all stakeholders? What are the effects of these decisions? Using Costco as a prime example of a socially responsible corporation, I hope to prove that acting in a socially responsible manner towards all stakeholders is ultimately more beneficial for a company. Continue reading
A short while ago, we read an article comparing the business practices of Cost-co and Walmart, and the differences between the two have stuck with me. The closest Cost-co to my home is almost 40 minutes, and as I wasn’t familiar with the membership-based warehouse club, I never paid much attention to Cost-co in the news. However, after we read that article, I was fascinated. An attitude of “nice guys finish last” seems to appear often in the business world, and it was refreshing to see a company that stuck to its core values so strongly and thoroughly do so well.
With that article in mind, I ventured off to the Web Of Knowledge, and searched for Edward Freeman’s Thesis on Stakeholder Theory. I have liked Freeman’s basis for morality in a company’s operations; almost everyone involved in the company is a stakeholder. Not just actual shareholders, but employees, community members, governments, maybe even competitors. It is not enough to just focus on profits anymore. So I was pleased to find Freeman cited in an article discussing the positive effects of labor-friendly policies, titled “Labor-friendly Corporate Practices: Is What is Good for Employees Good for Shareholders?“. Continue reading
It was an interesting point in time, that was for sure. South Africa was, quite literally, the midpoint of our voyage. My itinerary for last spring’s Semester at Sea voyage had us sail from the Bahamas, south to Brazil and up the Amazon River 600 miles, then back out and over to Ghana, before coming down to the southernmost tip of Africa, where I found myself a little over a year ago today. Everything about South Africa screamed different. It is (arguably but commonly viewed) the “most European” of the African countries, and I know after the culture shocks of Dominica, Brazil, and Ghana, we needed some comfort.
I remember that at the time, I was just ready to tackle another country. I had heard from SAS alumni that South Africa was one of the more fun ports, lots to see and do, plus it had a relatively familiar party scene. Certainly, it was safer than the middle of the Amazon rainforest. And it was supposed to be gorgeous. I had big plans and new best friends. Looking back, I realize now that it was the tipping point for when I really became a global traveler. South Africa was just familiar enough to help me realize how much I had already grown, yet just different enough to give me a sweet taste of something new. But after we left South Africa, it was onwards to India and another five countries across Asia – we could no longer hide from the culture shock. We were told to appreciate the familiarities of South Africa, because after we left, we’d be on our own. Continue reading
One of my favorite shows is the British science fiction drama, Misfits. Currently filming its fourth season with an American production in the works, Misfits is just about everything you might want in a show – superheroes, evil villains, obscene language, clever writing, superb acting, dark humor, murder, sex, drinking, and a fantastic soundtrack.
The show follows a group of 5 early 20’s delinquents, sentenced to community service. In the first episode, they are struck by an electrical storm, and each delinquent develops some sort of superpower – immortality, the ability to rewind time, overhearing others’ thoughts, invisibility, and sexual power. Their probation worker is deranged from the storm, and one of our crew kills him in self-defense. Much of the first season revolves around “the gang” trying to prevent anyone from finding out about the murder, as they fear no one will believe that a group of juvenile delinquents has superpowers and had to kill their crazy probation worker in self-defense. It soon becomes clear to the viewer that each episode centers around one villain, usually a citizen who uses a power gained in the storm to harm others, and it is up to our quirky delinquents to stop each villain. Hilarity ensues.
In later seasons, more complex scenarios are introduced – other characters with complicated backgrounds enter the Misfits world, and questions of morality arise. At the end of the second season, our gang has finished their community service and is trying to adjust to normal life. By this time, (spoiler alert!) the appearance of “superpowers” within certain citizens has been outed to society, and their powers are no longer a secret. For some of the gang, their powers are a nuisance. The last episode of the season, a “Christmas Special”, centers around a discouraged vicar, who buys the superpowers of walking on water and telekinesis, and uses these powers to convince people he is the next Jesus. Meanwhile, the same dealer has bought the powers of the misfits. As the vicar exploits his new followers for money, he continues to buy more powers, including some of the gang’s. A follower of the vicar attempts to rob a bar where our misfits are currently day drinking, and in the process, kills one of the gang. Realizing that they cannot save her without their powers (especially the power to reverse time), they run back to the power dealer, who will sell them the remaining powers back for a much higher price than they recieved. What now?
Watch the scene below, starting at 30:00 – hulu will ask to you to log in due to mature content
Reading the prompt, my immediate thought was, oh I know where this is going. We are still racist. We are still sexist. Women are treated as inferiors, but feminism is a trigger word for debates and piss-poor attitudes. And I will certainly agree that we are not all equal, not in terms of race or gender, religion or sexuality, socioeconomic backgrounds, etc. As you can tell from the posts, we’ve all seen it ourselves. I could tell you the typical stories of being advised not to travel without men whilst abroad, of higher auto insurance rates for men (read an article on anti-discriminatory insurance rates in the UK here), of being afraid walking outside at night. But I’ll leave that to my classmates. Instead, I’ll use this time to talk about horses! (Are you sensing a theme in my conversation habits yet?)
I am a three-day eventer – a good basic explanation of eventing can be found here. I have ridden for 14 years, across just about every riding discipline you can imagine, and finally settled on eventing 7 years ago. I’ve ridden all four collegiate years on Bucknell’s equestrian team, serving as secretary and then captain for the years before I went abroad, and now serving as (the unofficial) show team manager. I also ride three days a week at another barn in Milton, and while I’m home, I am at the barn every single day. Horses are truly my life. Laugh all you want, but when you find the one thing that motivates you to get out of bed every morning, that gives you hope for your future when everything seems to be going wrong, you know what I’m talking about. So what does this have to do with our blog post? Continue reading
This week’s prompt allowed me to discover an intriguing business concept as well as its leader – Samasource, founded and led by Leila Janah. Samasource works as a go-between for a company that needs some sort of technological work and a woman, youth, or refugee living in poverty. Essentially, Samasource intends to end poverty by providing the underprivileged with jobs, and therefore, an income. Well, duh, you might think – not exactly a novel concept when you get right down to it. Yet Samasource has found a clever and productive way to go about its mission. Continue reading
Ahhh, Hershey’s. How much more relevant could they be on this day of excessive chocolate consumption? Lamentations on Single’s Awareness Day aside, Hershey’s is a company with a very high profile, both domestic and abroad. You can find a Hershey’s product calling out to every young child in the checkout aisles of grocery stores the whole world around, or in every baking aisle in a store, or dancing across our TV screens in one chocolatey form or another. Additionally, they’re considered a local company for Bucknell students – collaborations with the Milton Hershey school are not uncommon, nor are trips to the beloved Hershey Park.
The issue of politics affecting a citizen’s private sex life is something that I find very intriguing. Whether it’s silly, outdated laws banning certain sexual acts – according to FOX News’ “Sexpert”, only missionary positions for residents of Washington D.C.! – or laws stating who you can and cannot marry, there is no denying that the issue of our government interfering with our sex lives has only grown more complex.
As Proposition 8, California’s ban on gay marriage, was ruled unconstitutional today (see a neutral news article from the NY Times here), I could not help but find an article I found from a blog about Sexuality and Society especially relevant. Continue reading
In the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy’s entry on business ethics, many interesting points are raised on how to define, explain, and apply the concept of business ethics. Our class has already spent a considerable amount of time trying to define ethics and how they fit into our society, our government, and our businesses, and I suspect that those discussions were only the tip of the iceberg. So I was not surprised to find the article awash with conflicting definitions and views, which were both fascinating and frustrating to read about. Continue reading