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Identifying Signs of Domestic Violence in a Relationship

In Domestic Violence, Relationships by Sarah Hink

It is surprisingly easy to lose yourself in a relationship. After a relationship begins, a lot of people find themselves focused on their partner, while naturally pulling away from their daily routines and even from friends. Unfortunately, a lot of us are optimists, so when we find a partner we are attracted to—and who seems to reciprocate our feelings—we tend to overlook red flags. For your health and safety, it is critical not to overlook red flags of domestic violence. Control Control is an enormous part of an abusive relationship, and can include controlling where a person goes, who they can talk to, their access to money, what they can wear, and their daily activities. In other words, abusers seek to limit their partner’s ability to make decisions for themselves. …

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Reclaiming Family Dinners

In Parenting, Relationships by Sarah Hink

Teen addiction is a very real problem. Whether your child is binge drinking with friends, smoking, “vaping”, experimenting with K2, marijuana, or hard drugs, parents should be aware of the short and long-term effects that addiction poses on their children. It is a truly dangerous path to start down at a critical stage of their physical, social, and emotional development. In response to the risks of teen addiction, the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse encourages parents to engage and spend time with their children in order to reduce the risks of substance abuse and other self-harming behaviors. Try Reinstating Family Dinners Parents are therefore encouraged to have dinner with their children. This is based on the common sense theory that when children spend more quality time with their …

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Appreciating Good Grandparents

In Parenting, Relationships by Carly Baker

Grandparents love their grandkids. Aside from all the spoiling and sugar-filled memories, the relationship between grandparents and grandchildren can be a very meaningful and developmentally important relationship in a child’s life. If a healthy grandparent-grandchild relationship is something you are interested in fostering, consider some the following ways to acknowledge the grandparent-grandchild relationship. Let Them Spend Time Together As your parents age—especially if they retire—they tend to have more free time and an increasing need for help. There is a natural role reversal where you, who was once their dependent child, transition into more of a caretaker role as your parents become seniors. If there is a positive relationship, encourage your children to spend time with your parents. Let your children keep them company and be their helper for household …

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Be Kind to Humankind

In Community, Lifestyle, Relationships by Elizabeth Stephenson

We’re living through a rough time in our country. The civil discourse regarding social and political issues has become toxic, with lines drawn in the sand and neither side willing to give an inch to the other. This is really sad, as long term friendships have been tested and fractured as a result. Nevertheless, we should never forget what unites us, which is our humanity and our ultimate desire to leave the world better for our children. “Be Kind to Humankind” is an annual week—celebrated since 1988—that celebrates humanity through exhibiting kindness on a daily basis. This year, it falls on the week of August 25-31, 2018. According to the movement’s official website, each day of the week is designated with its own theme, including: Sunday, August 25th: “Sacrifice Our …

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Anti Stalking Laws in North Carolina

In Domestic Violence, Relationships by Elizabeth Stephenson

Stalking is terrifying, dangerous, and sometimes deadly for victims. Beyond the invasion of privacy, stalking creates a virtual prison and constant threat for a victim—possibly leaving lasting psychological damage. Because of the emotional trauma, extreme danger, and the “strong connections” between stalking and domestic violence and sexual assault, stalking is a crime in North Carolina. The Crime of Stalking Specifically, under North Carolina General Statute § 14-277.3A, a person commits the crime of stalking if: the person “willfully on more than one occasion harasses another person without legal purpose or willfully engages in a course of conduct directed at a specific person without legal purpose”; and the person “knows or should know that the harassment or the course of conduct would cause a reasonable person to” fear for their safety …

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International Day of Friendship

In Relationships by Elizabeth Stephenson

Whatever side of the political aisle you sit, it is hard to deny that we are living in an incredibly divisive time. It seems like every time we look at the news, there are three new national stories that seem to fuel peoples’ passions and widen the divide. For the sake of our Country and for the sake of our own mental health, it is important to occasionally step back to look at what we have in common, instead of focusing on our differences. For example, even if we have fundamental disagreements, we should not doubt that every one of us wants to leave the world a better place for our children. With that in mind, July 30th is the International Day of Friendship. Initiated by the United Nations in …

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The Many Facets of Independence Day

In Lifestyle, Relationships by Sarah Hink

Independence Day is upon us. With it comes a day off, family and friends, hot dogs, parties, and fireworks. It is also an opportunity to reflect on the many facets of what independence means: the historic independence of our Country from British rule, independence as individual Americans with the rights of equal protection and due process, independence from our parents as adults, and our autonomy to make decisions for ourselves. There is great value in every aspect of our independence, and if you have separated or divorced a spouse, Independence Day is a prime day to reflect on what we have. Financial Independence During your former marriage, you may not have agreed with the way money was being spent or may have been removed from financial decisions. Following your separation …

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National Reconciliation Day

In Relationships by Elizabeth Stephenson

Back in 1989, National Advice Columnist, Ann Landers, received a letter from a reader that lamented how “the years are flying by” and how he has grown apart from his parents and relatives, who are all growing old and getting sick. The reader also recalled the regrets of lifelong friendships and relationships that had completely fallen apart based on “the feelings I`ve hurt, and I recall my own hurt feelings-the misunderstandings and unmended fences that separated us and set up barriers.” The reader therefore proposed “Reconciliation Day”, which “could be set aside to reach out and make amends” and when “[e]veryone would vow to write a letter or make a phone call and mend a strained or broken relationship.” It would also be a day “on which we would all …

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Addressing Substance Abuse in a Relationship

In Relationships, Separation & Divorce by Sarah Hink

Lying. Cheating. Drinking in the morning. Long absences and frequent disappearances. Stealing to buy drugs. Selling property to buy drugs. Domestic violence. Impaired judgment. Criminal conduct. Driving while impaired. Child neglect and endangerment. Losing employment. Health problems. If you are married to an addict, all of the aforementioned traits may be very familiar. Simply put, alcohol and drug abuse ruin relationships. This is because substance abusers lie to protect their addiction and make their addiction the top priority in their lives. This doesn’t leave a whole lot of room for you, your children, and your plans. Seeking Professional Help You have options and there is no shame in seeking help for your spouse. If you or your spouse is employed, you should first contact your Employee Assistance Program (EAP), which …

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Guns and Domestic Violence

In Domestic Violence by Sarah Hink

Domestic violence is pervasive, terrifying, and deadly. In far too many violent relationships, the cycle of power and control ends in homicide of the domestic violence victim. The details and patterns of escalation that led to these homicides are horrific, and involve strangulation, lighting the victims on fire, knives, and vehicular homicide. However, in the overwhelming majority of these murders, the abuser used firearms to kill the victim. In 2016, the Associated Press conducted an analysis of homicide data across 49 states and determined that an average of 760 Americans are killed each year in gun violence by their intimate partners or former intimate partners. The vast majority of those killed by guns were girlfriends and wives of the perpetrators. The National Domestic Violence Hotline reports that firearms are used …