Thursday, January 10, 2013

Where Have all the Good People Gone?

It's National Stalking Awareness Month. I read the statistics and I'm floored. I had no idea they were that high, especially since I haven't heard any news stories or read about any stalking incidents must be some over-blown statistic...right?

Wrong. Just last night as I was relaxing a bit and catching up on some current events- mostly the weather- low and behold, breaking news: a man arrested for severely injuring his ex-fiance. And get this, he had been stalking her for months. He even was wearing a motoring bracelet due to stalking charges.

And not only that, but I've been hearing story on top of story about rape and some of those stories have been about teens like in the case of Steubenville, Ohio.

And as I gear up for Teen Dating Abuse Awareness Month, I am reminded of the alarming statistics...1 in 3 teens have been in an abusive relationship. 1 in 3. I've seen that statistic a million times, yet each time I'm just as shocked as the first.

But what really saddened me was finding out the latest online trend with teens... As I was searching for "In the News" stories for my Thursday Moxie Writers post, I came across an alarming new meme called "Hey Girl, Did You Know..." This meme has gone viral. The post started with a mean tease posted on Tumblr. Tumblr took the pictures off, but it was too late. The picture went viral and a new meme was started up, along with a Facebook page. The page has over 40,000 following and has started a new trend-- "teen-shaming."  For this trend, teens snap pics of themselves or hijack pics of others and add captions or comments. These comments are sometimes playful, but most comments are harsh, mean, and extremely hurtful. These photos are tagged and end up going viral. I'm floored. At first glance, it even seems like a harmless prank, but it's not. The poster targets a specific girl...and of course that girl knows. Teen-shaming is an extreme way to bully others.

And this is where it starts- a simple, sometimes silly picture with added words. Do people really think this is okay and fun? It is not only hurtful but more than likely illegal. You can not defame nor harass.

I think this hits a little too close to home for me...I've had my picture hijacked before and nasty, hurtful comments added. It's not fun. It's hard to step away from it when it's in your face, in your own living room and millions of people can see it. I know it's not a reflection of me but a refection of the person who did it to me, yet still it hurts.

As I read these stories, I am more and more convinced that we need to stand up and speak out. It is so important to know what is happening so that we can do something to stop it- or at the very least become aware and promote change.

As teens, we need to let adults know, tell friends, get help and end this violence. As adults and parents, we need to become aware and help put a stop to it. In the end, we need to stop judging others!

Now, more than ever, WE NEED TO BE THE CHANGE. Please know that you can make a difference. Let's make kindness go viral instead!

Stand up and speak out against...

Make sure you head on over to Moxie Writers and read the full story on teen-shaming. It's alarming.

A Few Other Announcements and Updates...

Available Now
I am excited by how Break From You did in the first couple of months after release.  It by far exceeded my expectations. I feel like I still have no idea what I'm doing in this crazy world of publishing and especially have no idea how to get my name out there and make my book more visible. I'm plugging along and learning so much on my path. I'm loving every minute of it...even if I don't seem to have time to turn around. For me the most important thing is to bring awareness to things most people want to ignore, so for that I'm grateful. Thank you for supporting me and my book.

Available now at Amazon, Smashwords, and Barnes and Noble

February is Teen Dating Abuse Awareness Month. I have been gearing up for the month. I will be doing loads of things (such as give-a-ways, deals, etc) through the month of February to help raise awareness with teen dating abuse. Make sure you join me! It's time we wear our hearts on our sleeve and speak out.

February also marks my one year blogging anniversary. feels like just yesterday, I hit my first publish button on blogger. Crazy year.

On last thing- This weekend I will be speaking at a local library's writing group. My presentation will be on storyline and plot points. If you are local and are interested in attending please email me for details.

Have a great day- smile more...add a little kindness!

Best! :)

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