Pelham - Windham News
6 - May 7, 2010
Governor Signs Law Better Protecting Victims of Domestic Violence
submitted by Colin Manning
Governor John Lynch signed a new law on Tuesday aimed at better protecting victims of domestic violence. Surrounded by lawmakers, victims’ advocates, and members the Cantin family, Governor Lynch signed House Bill 1634, which makes the act of non-fatal strangulation a felony. Melissa Cantin Charbonneau was killed last October by her estranged husband, who had been arrested two days prior for allegedly assaulting and strangling Melissa. “Today, we are taking another important step forward in our fight against domestic violence,” Governor Lynch said. “We here in New Hampshire recognize the impact of strangulation on its victims. And we are taking action to strengthen our laws to protect victims, potentially save lives, and hold batterers accountable.” Nationally, strangulation is recognized as one of the top risk factors for domestic violence homicide. According to the Governor’s Commission on Domestic and Sexual Violence, 26 percent of the homicides committed from 1990 to 2008 were a result of domestic violence. “Over the last several decades, domestic and sexual violence has been viewed in a new light. What was once a hidden crime has been brought to the forefront of public attention,” Governor Lynch said. “We are working together to help victims create new lives, and we are continuing to put in place here in New Hampshire new protections and laws to fight these crimes.” The new law was supported by the Attorney General’s Office, the New Hampshire Chiefs of Police Association, the New Hampshire Trooper’s Association, the New Hampshire Police Association, the New Hampshire Sheriffs Association, and the New Hampshire Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence. HB 1634 was sponsored by Representatives Steve Shurtleff of Concord, David Bettencourt of Salem, Beth Rodd of Bradford, and Warren Groen of Rochester.
Celebrate. Remember. Fight Back.
Overcoming the Loss of a Loved One to Cancer
submitted by Michelle Wilson
The American Cancer Society Relay for Life became a passion of mine and a way for me to fight back against cancer after losing my father to lung cancer when I was only 13 years old. In some ways, I wish I could have said that he battled it, but he truly didn’t have a chance to fight it. By the time anyone knew why my father had been having backaches and terrible coughs, it was too late. My father entered the hospital on New Years Eve and died in the hospital 17 days later. As a teenager, I was unclear as to how to handle the news of the cancer and, later, the death. At first, I tried to carry on with everyday activities and pretend it wasn’t happening; a decision that I live to regret years later after not realizing how limited my time with him truly was. Later, family and friends supported us as we went through a difficult time getting back on our feet. Although all of their kind words, cards, and hugs were wonderful, it just wasn’t enough. Soon, a childhood friend introduced me to the Relay for Life event in Vermont. It was from that point on that I knew I could turn something so terrible into something so powerful. For several years, I was a participant in the event. I raised money, and signed up to walk year after year. Each year that I participated, I added to my reasons to relay. I lost my uncle to pancreatic cancer and my grandma to lymphoma, along with many other loved ones. Providing care for my grandma in between my college courses as she battled cancer once again brought on new meaning. I knew we still hadn’t achieved the goal of finding a cure for cancer, and I needed to educate more people about the funding of lifesaving research and programs. Then, 10 years ago when I started my teaching career, I formed
my own team with a colleague who had the same passion as I did. I was a team captain and participated in the Cobb County Relay for Life in Marietta, GA. Each year that I have participated in this moving event, the more involved and larger the event has become. Upon moving back to New England and continuing my teaching career at Golden Brook School in Windham, I was unsure as to
Kim Chaffee, Gina Michaud, and B.J. Martin
how quickly I would be able to form a team. I was going to take a year off as a team captain and focus my attention on other parts of my life. Soon, Kim Chaffee, a now-best friend and colleague, shared with me that her brother-in-law had just been diagnosed with cancer and how helpless she felt. I knew the feeling, but didn’t know how quickly I would be able to pull together a team. The next day, I told her that I knew a way she could feel like she was making a difference. Together, we formed a team and since then, we have had a team at Golden Brook School that has grown to over 30 team members, including staff, family, and friends. Last year, Team Golden Brook School raised over $10,000 for the American Cancer Society and came in second place for fundraising at the Greater Derry/Londonderry Relay for Life at Pinkerton Academy. This year, we hope to do the same, and can with your support. The American Cancer Society Relay for Life is truly a life-
changing event. It provides an opportunity for people all over the world to celebrate the lives of those who are or have battled cancer, remember loved ones who lost their lives to cancer, and to continue to fight back as a team against this terrible disease. This year, friend and colleague Gina Michaud joins me as co-captain, and we have set up many events with our team to ensure that we can raise over $10,000 towards cancer research. For more information, feel free to visit my Website, www. InnerOasisCounseling.com/retreat
, www.InnerOasisCounseling. com, or www.TheMomOasis.com
Within a few pages of Finding the Deep River Within: A woman’s Guide to Recovering Balance and Meaning in Everyday Life, I
knew I loved Abby Seixas’ (rhymes with gracious) wisdom and her beautiful writing. Her book and her practices were a breath of fresh air and exactly what I found I had been yearning for in my own life! Similar to my own story, she is a therapist for whom the transition to motherhood left her feeling overwhelmed and wondering if she was somehow inadequate. Abby knew there had to be a way to reconnect to a sense of balance and enjoyment in life, and she started leading groups with other women to explore how connecting to one’s own “deep river within” can help us from getting caught up in the busy-ness and overwhelm of our modern world.
She has since helped countless women around the world, and has been featured on major media like O, which is Oprah Winfrey’s
magazine; the Today Show, Body and Soul Magazine, and many,
many others (visit www.deepriverwithin.com
for more information). When I came across Abby’s book, I had just developed my own Mom Oasis principles to help me cope with overwhelm, and I knew that I wanted to connect with this wonderful, wise woman! I e-mailed Abby just after finishing the first chapter, and soon after, we met for lunch. She invited me to go through her training to lead Deep River groups and retreats, and I feel privileged to have worked with Abby firsthand and for the opportunity to bring her message and principles to many more women. When you participate in a day-long “retreat,” you will learn:
• Why it is hard to slow down • About the possibility and benefits of finding your “deep river” within You will practice how to:
• Slow down in a meaningful way • Connect with the inner part of you that helps create balance and meaning
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• Start developing the six practices: o Take Time-In o Make Boundaries o Befriend Feelings o Tame Self-Expectations o Practice Presence o Do Something You Love Thanks for letting me share my story; I hope you will join us in our fight and soon share yours, too! Only together can we make a difference.
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