A Valentine’s Day smoothie for you!
Most of my smoothies are sickly sweet (because of the fruit) but this one has BEETS in it. Not too sweet, not too vegetabley. Just right.
In the blender:
1 cup soy milk (vanilla)
3/4 cup frozen raspberries
2 large steamed beets, chilled
2 scoops protein powder
‘Twas a good one!
Love Shouldn’t Hurt
So, of course, everyone gets swept up in the ‘romantic love’ part of Valentine’s Day. But to me, the holiday has always been about more – love for my family, love for my pets, love for my friends, and – most importantly – love for myself. I wanted to take an opportunity to remind everyone reading this that they deserve to be respected and loved by everyone in their lives – especially romantic partners. Here’s a guest post from my friend, Angela, about some very serious issues for women (and men, too) – domestic violence, abuse, and stalking.
Today is Valentine’s Day—a day to celebrate love and relationships. Yet, on this day, I find myself disturbed by messages that equate romance with stalking—a pattern of behavior that is serious, dangerous, and a crime everywhere in the United States.
Recently, a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention study found that 6.6 million people are stalked in a 12-month period and that 1 in 6 women and 1 in 19 men are stalked at some point in their lifetime. For both female and male stalking victims, the stalker was most often someone they knew or with whom they had a relationship. Stalking can be dangerous and even lethal. In one key study, 76 percent of female victims of intimate partner homicide had been stalked before they were killed. The connections between stalking and violence are clear when looking at these statistics.
The connection became clear to me in January 2007 when my lifelong friend was murdered by her stalker. Jodi Sanderholm was valedictorian of her high school class, a member of the National Honor Society, member of her dance team and apparently a stalking victim. She never dated her stalker yet court records indicate that his obsession with her reached back a decade.
Many people fail to see the seriousness of the crime of stalking. Although jokes about murder or robbery are rare in our society, jokes about stalking are common. People joke about stalking celebrities they like or friends whom they often see or follow on Facebook. And films, advertising, and popular culture often trivialize the crime. Recently, Papyrus Recycled Paper Greetings produced a Valentine’s Day card that was sold in stores including Target and Wegmans. The card’s message— “Stalker is a harsh word. I prefer Valentine” — conflates stalking with love and minimizes the severe impact of the crime. And the sale of this type of product is not an isolated incident. One merely needs to conduct an online search for “stalking T-shirts” or “stalking cards” to find countless examples of such messages.
The minimization of stalking poses one the greatest challenges to effective community responses to this crime. Those charged with responding to victims and holding offenders accountable often minimize the seriousness of stalkers’ behavior and the risk posed by stalking, particularly when stalkers pursue their victims through technology. And victims often tell themselves they are overreacting, which then prevents them from reporting the crime. Being surrounded by cues that minimize stalking may keep victims from seeking help.
Valentine’s Day takes place during National Teen Dating Violence and Awareness Prevention Month and just two weeks after the end of National Stalking Awareness Month. Each of these months provides a prime opportunity to learn more about the realities of abusive and stalking behaviors, to deconstruct social messages about romance and love, and to promote appropriate and healthy relationships. Jodi’s Voice is dedicated to increasing awareness surrounding the crime of stalking and assisting stalking victims. Currently, we are working to secure funding for a documentary highlighting Jodi’s story. You can read more about personal experiences with stalking at www.jodisvoice.org. For more information on stalking visit the Stalking Resource Center at www.ncvc.org/src. For more information on National Teen Dating Violence and Awareness Prevention Month visit www.teendvmonth.org.