Category Archives: women

Natural Disasters Perfect Storm for Domestic Violence

What happens when a family is in turmoil from domestic violence and a natural disaster hits?

(Photo credit: KPCC Radio 89.3)

An increase in violence

In circumstances like these I have not seen any agencies speak up about the increased violence that is likely to happen.  If victims do not seek help before a disaster, there is even less help available during, or after a disaster.  The stresses on the victims become more acute and the rage and lack of control of the abuser can skyrocket.

Violence affects one in three women globally and stress can increase the levels and the frequency of domestic violence.

More time at home = More violence

Let’s think about it logically.  If an abuser has a job and is out of the home 8 to 10 hours a day, there is a chance that the other household members get a reprieve from screaming, name calling and physical violence.  The children may have a few hours after school to feel a little “freer,” and may be able to even forget their circumstances for awhile.  Intuitively the kids know when the abuser is most likely to be home.  They have an internal clock that turns on when “stuff” is about to happen.  The parent at home is likely to give verbal cues such as, “Be quiet, you know your father/ mother does not like noise.”

The children may begin to curtail their childish ways and begin to try to behave in more acceptable ways.  It really does not matter what they do as the abuser does not need any reason to explode.  The abuser is the explosive and is watching and waiting for any reason to allow the explosion to burst.

If this happens when the abuser is only home for a few hours, imagine what happens when the abuser is home for days on end.  Days on end with NO water or electricity, or distractions, and a house of scared children and an equally scared spouse will raise the levels of abuse in significant ways.


(Photo taken by unknown publisher)

How can communities help these families?

We can be vigilant for behaviors that are disturbing in the youngest and most vulnerable.

We can be vigilant for outward signs of physical abuse.  We can be brave enough to alert the authorities if we see or feel that things are amiss.

We can live by the adage, “See something, say something.”

Remember, October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month.  Will you be the one to step up and be the change you wish to see in your world?

With gratitude,

Indrani Goradia
Indrani’s Light Foundation | Founder

#TBT Special Interview with Janine Shepherd

Defiant_J.Shepherd_CVRIn 2012, Indrani Goradia hosted her “Unpasteurized Joy” podcast.  She had the honor of interviewing her friend, and author, Janine Shepherd, who is an internationally renowned speaker, and inspired over a million people who watched her TED talk, “A Broken Body Isn’t a Broken Person.”  She’s was featured on “60 Minutes”, “This is Your Life”, and CNN’s “Turning Points”, with Dr Sanjay Gupta.  Since then, Janine has written a book called, “Defiant: A Broken Body is Not A Broken Person.”

janineJanine is also known as the “walking paraplegic,” after a tragic accident stripped her of her Olympic dreams and changed her life forever.  You can watch her TED talk here:  https://youtu.be/bX32U_hfri4

 

Since the political climate in the United States has been incredibly polarizing in recent months, we wanted to share some inspiration and hope with you today.  If you are feeling overwhelmed with emotions of hopelessness, this #TBT podcast is for you!

Please SHARE this interview with a friend or family member if this inspired you.  Also, Janine’s book, “Defiant” gives a detailed account of her story, and it will blow you away. Purchase her book HERE!

“Savor the Season” by Stacie Kenton

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“Tis the season,” so it is said.  For some, it’s a season of joy.  For others, a season of sorrow.  And yet for others, it’s a season of chaos and the feelings of the “unknown.”  At Indrani’s Light, we teach a workshop series called, “Live A Brighter Life.”  One of the modules focuses on self-care.  We talk about daily routines and ways to practice self-care that can be accomplished at a moment’s notice.  One of those ways is using the outdoors as an outlet and release of negative energy, or absorb the beauty of nature to fill your spirit up with happiness and joy.  Whatever your need is in the moment, nature is calling your name!

stacie-kentonOur Director of Relationships & Executive Administrator, Stacie Kenton, wrote an amazing blog this month to get us through the end of the year.  It can many times be a stressful time for us, and we need a reminder to take care of ourselves.

In her personal blog, “Savor the Season,” Stacie gives us 4 tips to connect with nature:

  1. Take it outside
  2. Take full advantage of sunny days
  3. Savor the season’s pleasures
  4. Be present

We encourage you to GO HERE and enjoy Stacie’s full blog.  As Stacie says here …. “I hope you choose to live in this winter and not just through it.”

15 Days of Impact

15-days-of-impact-final

 

This holiday season we are celebrating “15 Days of Impact.”  It’s our way of acknowledging and offering gratitude for all of you who supported and donated to our foundation this year.  Because of your donations, you made an incredible impact on our mission to end violence against women.

So many lives have been touched.
So many women and children have been affected by our Live A Brighter Life curriculum.
So many caregivers who work at women’s shelters are feeling healthier, and navigating their jobs with more confidence, and practicing self-care.

 

“15 Days of Impact”

___________________________________________________________________________

15-days-of-impact-finalDay #1 Impact:  Those of you who donated and supported Indrani’s Light Foundation in 2016 made it possible for 9 people to become certified trainers for Indrani’s Light Foundation!

15-days-of-impact-day-2Day #2 Impact:  Those of you who donated and supported Indrani’s Light Foundation in 2016 made it possible for two of our new ILF trainers to teach the Live A Brighter Life Curriculum online to their own communities!

15-days-of-impact-day-3Day #3 ImpactWithout your support and donation, we would not have been able to send our master trainers, Jeremie Miller and Amy Jaffe, to Houston this year to pursue our Caregiver Project, and teach our LABL curriculum to the staff at the Fort Bend Women’s Center, and keep them from burning out of this challenging career.

15-days-of-impact-day-4Day #4 ImpactWithout your support and donation, we would not have been able to continue monthly follow up calls to the women’s shelters who are involved in our Caregiver Project.

15-days-of-impact-day-5Day #5 Impact: Those of you who donated and supported Indrani’s Light Foundation in 2016 made it possible to complete our summer online Live A Brighter Life course, co-taught by Amy Jaffe and our new volunteer certified trainers.

15-days-of-impact-day-6Day #6 ImpactWithout your support and donation, we would not have been able to send our Director of Education & Training, Amy Jaffe, and our newest certified ILF volunteer trainer, Yvette McIntire, to Houston this fall to teach our Caregiver Project curriculum to the staff of three women’s shelters!

 

15-days-of-impact-day-7Day #7 ImpactThose of you who donated and supported Indrani’s Light Foundation in 2016 made it possible for a Portland, Oregon shelter to sign up for our Caregiver Project for their staff!

 

15-days-of-impact-day-8Day #8 ImpactWithout your support and donation, we would not have been able to provide our new series of “Meditations by Indrani” for people ready to live a brighter life.

 

15-days-of-impact-day-9Day #9 ImpactThose of you who donated and supported Indrani’s Light Foundation in 2016 made it possible to support other domestic violence awareness campaigns, including Domestic Violence Awareness Month, and the United Nation’s “Orange the World” 16 days of activism to end violence against women and girls.

 

15-days-of-impact-day-10Day #10 Impact:   Without your support and donation, we would not have been able to complete a second online fundraiser to raise money to teach the Caregiver Project curriculum to the staff of three women’s shelters in Houston, TX.

15-days-of-impact-day-11Day #11 ImpactThose of you who donated and supported Indrani’s Light Foundation in 2016 made it possible to share and document the global work Indrani is doing to increase awareness about violence against women.

 

 

 

15-days-of-impact-day-12Day #12 Impact:  Those of you who donated and supported Indrani’s Light Foundation in 2016 made it possible for our Caregiver Project to impact our caregivers by showing:

a) 47% increase in their understanding of personal boundaries and why they are important;
b) 43% improvement on understanding why personal boundaries are important to their well-being;
c) 41% increase in the caregivers’ ability to communicate when their boundaries have been crossed, and taking action to protect their boundaries.

 

15-days-of-impact-day-13Day #13 ImpactWithout your support and donation, we would not have been able to share and support our mission through social media!

 

15-days-of-impact-day-14Day #14 ImpactThose of you who donated and supported Indrani’s Light Foundation in 2016 made it possible for the Caregiver Project to help our caregivers make big improvements in their own self-care, showing:

  1. 43% increase in identifying what activities they can do to keep themselves healthy;
  2. 80% increase in their commitment to making self-care a priority in their lives;
  3. 65% improvement in their ability to deal with burnout.

 

 

15-days-of-impact-day-15Day #15 ImpactThose of you who donated and supported Indrani’s Light Foundation in 2016 made it possible for us to teach, raise awareness, support caregivers, certify trainers, and take action to continue our mission to end violence against women.

 

___________________________________________________________________________

If you would like to know more about how you can support Indrani’s Light in making even more of an impact in 2017 you can donate here: http://indranislight.org/15-days-of-impact-2016/

OR DONATE HERE

2016 “Orange the World” Campaign Video Message: Day 13

Here is Indrani’s “Day 13” personal “call to action” video message to you, as we continue to support the UN Women’s “Orange the World” campaign to end violence against women and girls.

Today, Indrani wants to speak directly to those of you experiencing violence in your homes.  You can decide to end violence within your four walls.  #my4walls #brightlife #16days

Please share this video on social media! You can find our Facebook page at “Indrani’s Light.”  You can access all #16days of personal video messages from Indrani.

Let’s END violence against women and girls together!

“ORANGE THE WORLD”

Follow us on Twitter @indranis_light #orangetheworld #16days

 

*Meditate With Indrani *
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Click here to access her FREE meditations

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Click here to access our FREE online recordings

[Live A Brighter Life}

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Click here to support us with a click of a button

[The Caregiver Project}

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It is a big deal: It happened to me

orange-the-world-w-ilf-logoThe unusual topic of conversation seems to follow me.  At business meetings, dinner parties, and coffee dates, people keep talking to me about their childhood abuse.  It makes sense:  my story of abuse motivates my work, and I don’t stop talking about my mission to end violence in every home {TEDTalk}.  Because I share my vulnerable story, people open up to me; some tell of severe cases, others of the occasional slap or scream.  It must be human nature to diffuse pain and suffering because most say that they deserved the abuse.

Let me tell you this… I did not deserve it.

I did not deserve to be beaten because the baby pooped in his diaper and smeared it on the wall.  The baby was one years old and I was five.  I was told to watch the baby, and I was watching the baby.  Regardless, I did not deserve to be hit.  Nothing a child does merits physical pain and emotional suffering – even if it’s to “teach a lesson.”

This is but one incident of parental anger and rage that was not right.  My life of violence was a big deal to me as a child, but it became even bigger when it reared its ugly head after I became a mother.  In my TEDxTalk , I describe how I had to fight the beast inside me for the sake of my own innocent child. I believed, and still do, that “if we do not claim our abuse, we will repeat it.”  It was a big deal to my son that I never beat him. It was a big deal to me that I saved a new generation from violence.

We all have a Moral Imperative to end violence in the world, the majority of which is done towards women and children.  November 25 is the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women and we must all use our voices to make the issue of Gender-Based Violence a big deal.  I will be using my voice in my home country, Trinidad, during the 16 days of Gender Activism Against Gender-Based Violence, to ensure that the issue of violence is not ignored as part of my work with  Maverick Collective and Population Services International (PSI).  I am Trinidadian and am proud to be.  I am, however, not proud that violence is so pervasive and normalized.  Many Trinidadians are of the opinion that violence is needed to “discipline.”  This is not so.

There is much research that shows children who receive violence suffer not only in the present moment but also long into the future.  According to the Centers of Disease Control  abused children are plagued with a long list of repercussions from depression and suicides, to inability to maintain healthy intimate relationships, to becoming abusers themselves.  So if childhood abuse is so common in Trinidad, no wonder 1 in 3 Trinidadians have experienced physical violence from their most recent intimate partner, according to a PSI-Caribbean study.

Reports of crimes related to sexual assault and domestic violence increased by nearly 50% between 2013 and 2014 according to the UN in the Universal Periodic Review of Trinidad and Tobago.  But it doesn’t have to be this way.  Abuse doesn’t have to keep happening to children.  Relationships don’t have to be plagued with violence.  It starts with you. Determine your Adverse Childhood Experiences Score to understand how your childhood may have affected your physical and emotional growth.  If violence happened to you, it is a big deal.  But you also have the power to end it, in your own home, starting today.

Let’s #orangetheworld together, because TOGETHER WE ARE MIGHTY!

With Love & Light,

Indrani Goradia | Founder
Indrani’s Light Foundation

Are You A Victim of Domestic Violence this Election Day?

election-night

Today is Election Day {Note: This was written on Election Day on November 8, 2016}.  As most of us in the United States know, we have been experiencing an unprecedented amount of stress, anger, and emotion around the Presidential campaign. I have to wonder what this kind of stress has on families inside their own homes.  I wonder if this kind of campaign and political chaos has CAUSED mental, physical, or emotional abuse. Well, I did some research. One USA TODAY news article published in October caught my attention ….

USA TODAY – Presidential race causes spike in crisis center calls
Brittany Horn, The (Wilmington, Del.) News Journal 9:09 p.m. EDT October 18, 2016

My suspicion was correct.  According to the article, “In the weekend following the release of Trump’s comments about how he comes onto women, the National Sexual Assault Hotline saw a 33 percent increase in calls, according to the Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network.” In the State of Delaware, there was a spike of 42% in hotline calls alone.  That kind of increase has not happened since the 9/11 attack.  This news story seems to directly relate this increase in hotline calls and website activity to the accusations against Donald Trump, his “bullying” style behavior during the campaign, the well-known “secret recording” on the bus with Billy Bush, and multiple other kinds of statements and behavior Trump has expressed.

I can’t even imagine what the TRUE reality of the numbers of domestic violence victims there are on THIS day alone.  I wonder how many women are being emotionally held hostage from voting in the U.S. this year because they wish to cast their vote for Hillary Clinton.  I wonder how many women are being physically, emotionally, and mentally abused by their male partners, after they return from the voting booths.  Are they “taking one for the team?”

I realize I’m writing about the women victims only in this blog.  I’m not ignoring the fact there may be many men in our country who are suffering the same reality.  But I can’t ignore the numbers of women who are the primary victims.  “In Delaware, 75 percent of all domestic violence victims in 2014 and 2015 were women, according to statistics from the Delaware Domestic Violence Coordinating Council. These acts of violence against them come in the form of assaults, rape, threats and emotional abuse and vary in frequency and severity.” (Brittany Horn, The (Wilmington, Del.) News Journal)

The reason for my blog today is to reach the women who are, or will be victims of domestic abuse today.  I also want to reach the women and MEN who KNOW someone who may be a victim of abuse due to Election Day.  I implore you to reach out for help, or support someone who needs help!  TODAY will be one of the most important and historic political moments in history, and who knows HOW many women and their children will suffer tonight as the results of the election start reporting.

There are some things you can today to stay calm:

  • To help with whatever you are feeling today, and remember you get to feel whatever YOU want, watch this video of Indrani sharing a singing-bowl meditation to ease your stress and heal the world: https://www.facebook.com/indranislight/posts/10154740707869048
  • If you are suffering from abuse, or need to seek help, please call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233. They can guide you to local assistance right away
  • If you are feeling overwhelmed with stress, or need to talk through feelings that have come up during this election, join us for our Live A Brighter Life Virtual Class this coming Thursday, November 10th at 6pm PT.  It is absolutely free, and we will be talking about letting go of shame, the dangers of shame, and acknowledging triggers. Here is the link to join us: http://bit.ly/2dPNEIR

Please know you have help and support out there.  We can teach you tools, and give you support around living a brighter life after the election.  There are professionals at the National Domestic Violence Hotline that are ready to send you help if you need it.  Reach out!  We are here.

With Love & Light,

Amy Jaffe | Indrani’s Light Foundation
Director of Education & Training

 

Are you out there?

are-you-out-thereAnother Domestic Violence Awareness Month comes to an end.  Indrani’s Light Foundation, along with hundreds of other organizations around the country promoted DVAM through social media, public events, emails, fundraisers, and other creative ideas.  I did some research about whether or not the month of October has been effective for domestic violence prevention organizations.  The first DVAM formed in 1987, and evolved from the “Day of Unity,” which was held in 1987 by the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence.

Although there is no hard data about whether or not DVAM has had a direct impact on the decrease of domestic violence, we CAN inform you that the rate of domestic violence has dropped 63% since 1994. (*Bureau of Justice Statistics)  Although this is a promising statistic, the sobering fact is that, in the next five minutes it may take you to read this blog, 100 people will have been abused by an intimate partner in the United States.  And this statistic DOES NOT include the number of mental and emotional abuse victims.

Just imagine for a moment, what the actual number of victims there are, who are suffering from physical, mental, and emotional abuse on the planet right now?  There are hundreds of thousands of women, men, and children in crisis right this very minute, and I am wondering if we are making a difference.  We blog, post informative and educational posts, produce videos to impact people, send out emails every week, and speak on stages about domestic violence prevention.  But are we doing enough?  Can we do more?

At Indrani’s Light, we are a small team who is passionate and determined to support Indrani Goradia’s mission to END violence against women and girls globally.  We are currently focusing on domestic violence in the United States, and work every day to build interest, and recruit people to help us teach our Live A Brighter Life curriculum in their communities to educate the public.  We formed the “Caregiver Project,” in which our trainers travel to women’s shelters and teach our curriculum to the shelter staff, and prevent them from burning out of this very emotionally charged career.

One day I asked Indrani how she stays focused on her mission, and how she keeps from getting discouraged when people do not seem to get involved in helping women and girls. This is what Indrani said … “A future free of gender violence starts with a single daily action from you.” (This is the first thing you will read on our website)  She went on to explain that she helps one woman at a time, and so should I.  We ARE making a difference because we are TAKING ACTION. We may need to work hard to recruit just one ILF Trainer, but that trainer will be worth every minute of effort.  Indrani told me we are doing this work for our children, our grandchildren, and their children.  This mission will not be accomplished overnight, but we will do our damnedest to be the part of history who changed the world, and made violence against women and girls a distant memory.

As I sit here ready to post, yet another, repetitive recruitment post on Facebook ….. I wonder if I’ll get 10 or 20 “likes,” or one comment. What I KNOW is if I post a cute dog or cat video on Facebook, I will get 28,000 views, 25 shares, 300 likes, and about 10 comments. What are we battling with when it comes to awareness and education about human rights? Have we burned the public out on the dark side of the world in which they need to close their eyes and ignore the pandemic of abuse?  I know there are people out there who feel called to help victims of domestic violence, but how do we reach them?  How can we get them to TAKE ACTION?

I will end this blog by asking a single question:

ARE YOU OUT THERE?

If you are ready to help one woman or child from being abused again, please click on this link and join us for our next Live A Brighter Life Class.

With Love & Light,

Amy Jaffe
Director of Education & Training | Indrani’s Light Foundation

 

*Meditate With Indrani *
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Click here to access her FREE meditations

[Meditate with Indrani}

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[Live A Brighter Life}

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[The Caregiver Project}

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Fall Virtual Live A Brighter Life Evening Class

We have officially launched our fall LIVE virtual Live a Brighter Life Night Classes, taught by our Director of Education & Training, Amy Jaffe, and some of our certified LABL Trainers.  As we near the holiday season, we felt this was a wonderful opportunity to teach you the tools to start practicing your boundaries, and saying “No” to your friends, family, and others in your life.  It’s also a great time of the year to take care of yourself, and practice more self-care. We’ll work on some tools to move through some guilt and shame feelings as well.

fall-2016-labl-imageFor the first time ever, we will be teaching the Live a Brighter Life curriculum in the evening so that more people can attend after work, cooking dinner, getting the kids ready for bed.  Classes will be taught from 6pm – 7:30pm PT starting Thursday October 27th. These classes will be held every Thursday evening for the next six weeks (excluding Thanksgiving in the U.S.).

(We realize this time will be quite late for our East Coast community members, hopefully you can still make it live)

If you join us for this free 6-Class series you will learn the tools you need to change your life by:

  • October 27th – Setting boundaries that will protect you and help create healthy relationships during the upcoming holidays
  • November 3rd – Delivering a “Positive No” that will open up your time and energy so you can say “Yes” to what is important (A strong “No” leads to amazing “holiday yeses!)
  • November 10th – Building resilience to feeling shame in your life (let’s face it, time with family can bring up a lot of….stuff)
  • November 17th – Ending the habit of putting everyone else first, and taking care of yourself (holidays can be exhausting, let us help you take care of yourself)
  • December 1st –  Creating a more positive and meaningful day, every day (make this one of your best holidays ever!)
  • December 8th – Being present, and reclaiming yourself!

(Completing this 6-Class series is also the first step in becoming a Live a Brighter Life Trainer.  If you are looking for a way to make an impact with your volunteer work, we would love to add you to our growing list of trainers!)

We made it very simple to sign up.  Just click on THIS LINK and fill out the short form. You’re done! If you need to miss a class …. It’s okay!  We are recording every class so you can listen to it later and catch up for the following week.  I will give you a little homework after every class … but you’ll love this kind of homework!

I hope to see you THIS Thursday at 6pm!

SOCIAL MEDIA SHARING

We could also use your support in spreading the word about our Live A Brighter Life Class. You can use the following text on Facebook, twitter, or your social media platform of choice to get your friends and family involved in stopping the silence:

Facebook: Hey friends! I’m signed up for the FREE Live A Brighter Life online class with Indrani’s Light Foundation starting this THURSDAY at 6pm PT. Will you join me?  We can support each other through this holiday season! Here’s the link for details: http://indranislight.org/labl-2016/

For twitter: @indranis_light is offering their FREE virtual Live A Brighter Life 6-week class starting on Thurs, Oct 27th http://indranislight.org/labl-2016/

With love & light,

 

Team ILF

 

 

Break the Silence: LIVE CALL with Indrani

indrani-in-india-2Indrani Goradia has just returned from India after continuing her global mission to end violence against women and girls. She visited a different city on this trip, and brought back some lessons from her experience there. Indrani was able to teach our Live A Brighter Life classes to groups of women and men, who did a phenomenal job in participating and learning about boundaries, saying “No,” guilt and shame, and most importantly, self-care.

This trip to India was special. Indrani wants to share her experience, and some of the feedback she received from the men, in particular. The lessons Indrani learned from India brought her back home with an urgency to “Break the Silence.”indrani-in-india

As we recognize Domestic Violence Awareness month here in the United States, we need to make real change, and stop domestic violence globally. We MUST talk openly about the issue, not just on Facebook, or YouTube, or when standing in front of big audiences.

We need to break the silence and talk with each other, openly and honestly. Daily.

 

If you want to join Indrani for this LIVE CALL on Thursday, October 20th, 2016 at 10am PT | 1pm ET, all you need to do is use the following information (no email address or option required):

live-call-with-indrani-oct-2016rConference Dial-In Number:
(605) 562-3140
Participant Access Code:
694881#
Canadian Caller Instructions:
Dial: (559)546-1400
Then proceed with regular conference line numbers above.

If you would like to receive a reminder about the call, and hear even more from Indrani, you can sign up for the call here:

http://indranislight.org/break-the-silence/

We could also use your support in spreading the word about this live call with Indrani. You can use the following text on Facebook, twitter, or your social media platform of choice to get your friends and family involved in stopping the silence.

  • Facebook Post |  Stop the Silence: Join me on October 20th at 10am Pacific Time to listen to Indrani Goradia speak about the newest lessons she has learned about ending domestic violence globally http://bit.ly/2ewKDPf
  • For twitter | Stop the Silence: October 20th Indrani Goradia shares what she has learned about ending domestic violence globally http://bit.ly/2ewKDPf

 

Love and light,

Team ILF