Posts Tagged Susan Murphy Milano


“WHY DON’T THEY JUST LEAVE? (Asked the legislator, the police, the neighbor, the passive observer etc…)

The Sabel (Cabbage) Palmetto Tree of South Carolina – 


They are remarkably hardy, resistant to fire, floods, coastal conditions, cold, high winds and drought. Sabal palmettos are very cold-hardy and able to survive relatively short periods of temperatures as low as 7 °F –(13 °C)  and occasionally much lower. Maintenance of the Cabbage Palm tree is very easy and very adaptable. This palm is known to tolerate drought, standing water and brackish water. Even though this palm is drought-tolerant, it thrives on regular light watering and regular feeding. It is highly tolerant of salt winds, but not saltwater flooding.

Under such hardy palms swaying in the breeze, lives a state, the State of South Carolina under siege with the highest homicide rate against women in the country, for the third time in ten years!   Many of these victims have come through a personal siege of their own, of which intimate partner violence is a very real component.  They have had to be hardy, adaptable and tolerate extremes…just like the mighty Sabel palm. Who is there to offer a safety net?  Enter Elmire Raven, M.A. (pronounced El-meer), Executive Director of My Sister’s House in North Charleston, South Carolina!

The primary reasons given by victims for remaining or returning to their abusive relationships generally fall within a few categories.   According to Raven, a seasoned professional who has lived and worked in the trenches with the victims of intimate partner violence for 25 years, the heart of the matter can be distilled to the following justifications. (I commented regarding each category below.)   Keep in mind, that generalities can be dangerous, as every person; every case has its complexities. However, these truths continue to bind victims to their abusers just the same.

  • Love – is blind- When we’re in it, we see what we want to see…
  • Paternity – is a biological fact of life, but it has noting to do with morality;
  • Potential Homelessness – keeps us down and out and nowhere to rest our weary mind;
  • No Transportation- No wheels or anyone to provide those wheels forces us to remain a “prisoner of our current circumstances;”
  • No Financial Resources- If a woman has no money to sustain her plan of escape; it cannot proceed, as basic financial resources and a way to continue a cash flow is vital to independence.

Why is it that legislators, police, neighbors and others believe that it is a simple matter of “just leaving?”   The truth is, they do not understand the dynamics, the clever manipulations and keen observations of the abuser and the power they have over the victim; what information, threats they use to “keep the woman in line.” In the mind of the victim, the perpetrator’s threats are  worse than her current situation.  And so, frequently, she is resigned to “go along to get along,” taking the abuse, injuries and terror in stride, devoid of dignity, living a surreal numbing existence.

One tool in the “Domestic Violence toolbox” being circulated nationally in honor of the years of effort by the late Susan Murphy Milano, is the prevention tool known as the EAA -Evidentiary Abuse Affidavit which is a component of her revolutionary Document the Abuse program.

My Sister's House, Elmire Raven, Shattered Lives RadioAlthough South Carolina has consistently been in the “top ten” of intimate partner homicides, the tri-county area which My Sister’s House serves has recently seen a decrease in the numbers within their area. The most significant reason is the unity of organizations, the pooling of resources, and working together for the common goal, helping victims.  They have also taken on the added responsibility of providing temporary resources for survivors of human trafficking, a growing population with unique requirements, and different from those of domestic violence.

Shattered Lives Radio had the pleasure of examining the issues surrounding intimate partner violence in South Carolina and universally.

Join us for the interview with Elmire Raven. Below are selected written highlights of the show.

 Listen to Shattered Lives Radio

  • Introduction to our guest
  • The evolution of domestic violence –IPV programs in the South and what they offer now
  • Ranking of Number one in homicides against women- Why?
  • Guns, legislation and what a perpetrator is charged with….OR NOT!
  • The Key- Community support and involvement
  • Discussion of housing, transportation  and the trips to court
  • No tools in order to leave…..
  • The victim – Making a decision; What’s involved? 35% -5 to 7 times…..
  • Do they ever turn people away?
  • A discussion of “to report or not to report”
  • Opportunities for cutting edge collaborations with Human Trafficking and HIV initiatives:
  • Human Trafficking victims – A very complex issue!
  • Building a new facility in the future!
  • Donation & Contact Information:
  • Administrative Line: 843-747-4069;
  • 24 Hour Hotline:   843-744-3242  In -State
  • 1-800-273 –HOPE  Nationwide-24/7

Questions for the Listening Audience:

  • What’s the significance of these numbers in the discussion– 36, 85?
  • In Elmire’s opinion, what is the biggest influence on the number of homicides in South Carolina?
  • Criminal Domestic Violence Coordinating Council – What’s it all about?
  • Is the faith-based community part of  the answer?  Why-Why-not?
  • What are the components of their volunteer program?
  • What is the main reason why women return to their abusers?
  • How is enabling a factor and reasons for returning to the shelter?
  • How to we sort out “getting the perpetrator in trouble” versus stopping the abuse?
  • What is the average stay for residents at My Sister’s House?
  • Is there a central place in Southeastern South Carolina for those who are trafficked?
  • What can be done in rural areas?
  • What influences  came to play in Elmire’s success with My Sister’s House?
  • What was Elmire’s parting comment re debunking the greatest myth?

The comments expressed on this website or on the broadcasts of Shattered Lives do not necessarily reflect the opinions or beliefs of the hosts, producers, or other guests.


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“HUG FEST” (Reflections of the 9th Annual CUE Center Conference for the Missing)

CUE Center National Conference


Photo by  Cynthia Hayden Guinn

People talk about the major milestones in life that leave lasting impressions – the birth of a child, marriage, the death of a loved one, transitions of achievement such as graduations, religious rites etc.   However, the average person will never know the extent of the life changing experience noted at the Community United Effort (CUE) Center for the Missing Conference until you are a participant and active observer.

The recent 9th Annual Conference held at the Courtyard Marriott Carolina Beach Hotel was a sight to behold on so many levels.  Ladyjustice was treated to this incredible event for a consecutive year along with 2-300 others…

Familiar faces, southern jargon, a tireless network of volunteers at the ready, a meeting of the minds for information exchange,  the crossing of hearts and many, many, many HUGS throughout the four days – essentially a non-stop HUG FEST!

Upon arrival, LJ was asked at the registration desk when she would be presenting….which was very flattering and a bit amusing, as almost without exception presenters “get only one chance at bat.” Changing of the guard and the experts is healthy and keeps things fresh…

The pressure and responsibility was off for this crime fighter….  A year had passed with a much larger “resume” of radio shows and catalog of diverse blogs… a greater expanse of social media exposure  and Voila…. more credibility.

On the surface, the CUE Center Conference possesses the usual ingredients – a registration process, various gear and books for purchase, exhibit tables, an agenda filled with activity, entertainment,  Southern style food, endless donated gift baskets ad raffle opportunities,  an impressive lineup of speakers and many dedicated volunteers to address your every need. BUT, BUT, BUT, the most amazing aspect for this writer was the opportunity to observe the new connections made between people, between agencies and organizations,  between states, between “newbies” and veterans of the conference… AND the appreciation for what the CUE Center consists of at its core.

It’s as if a few hundred light bulbs were perpetually popping all over the place to Ladyjustice’s delight! Not only that, but two very special events enhanced the overall experience.

As a memorial tribute to friend, colleague, mentor, homicide survivor, victim advocate and intimate partner homicide expert, Susan Murphy Milano, heart shaped lanterns took to the skies…. From the water’s edge and hotel balconies, one witnessed a long line of illumination floating to greet Susan in heaven. Working in teams of two, participants released lights of hope and love against the backdrop of crashing surf….such a soulful reminder of SMM’s presence that will forever live in our hearts. Monica Caison, Founder of the CUE Center also created a special passages award, presented by Delilah Jones on behalf of our beloved Susan Murphy Milano.

Secondly, the Candlelight Vigil at Riverfront Park was a tapestry of emotion.  Uplifting song, a little levity delivered by the MC, interspersed with the sobering fact that we were there to honor the missing and perhaps presumed dead, the beautiful yet shocking wall of victims, inspirational words and prayers by religious leaders… the heart wrenching stories of surviving family members, award presentations to wonderful volunteers, the finale ritual of lighting candles were contrasted by the bitter cold air and ONE THOUSAND HUGS AND TEARS…

Reflections of Selected Presenters and CUE Members…. (Just a Few Highlights) 

“Inspirational, raw, spoken from the heart with great pride and frequent tears shed.” Such is an accurate description of Marilyn Gambrell- a pioneer for “disposable children” of incarcerated family members;

“Effervescent, high energy, caring, very creatively visual, medically based and “a little preachy for your own good.” Such is the essence of Dr. Dalal Akoury with her incomparable style of conveying information;

“Tell it like it is, wounded, but far from defeated, caring and legally precise…” Michelle Cruz readily admits her hard knocks, using her personal experience to the best advantage to present and future victims of crime;

“A friendly, approachable, down home story teller, motherly, keen observer and investigator with a huge network of colleagues…” Sheryl McCollum uses her common sense and her instincts to accomplish amazing things, taking another look where others have not been as successful;

“A snappy dresser, legal eagle commentator who gets to the heart of the matter in the courtroom and in the spotlight of television and radio.”  Holly Hughes is hard hitting and can match wits with anyone, is a staunch advocate for crime victims and law enforcement as well;

“Such a gentleman, dedicated and skilled rescuer and sonar technician” (as well as coffee delivery man)

“Loving, “huggy” dedicated, law enforcement and missing persons advocate, animal rights activist with a heart of gold.”  Yup… that’s Connie Braddock;

“A petit ‘tiger in your tank,’ loving mother, searcher/rescuer and a “find a way around every obstacle” kind of person.”  Kelly Osborn is the epitome of fearless perseverance;

“Offering help, kindness, spiritual support when it really matters and many, many photos….    Lisa Valentino is the consummate friend and volunteer, a virtual fixture around “the CUE water cooler;”

“Feisty to the nth degree,  takes no crap from anyone, gifted and compassionate friend to all people involved in missing persons.“ Yes indeed, that’s our Monica!

We highly encourage all readers to become familiar with all of these movers and shakers for the missing.  Do it today…Do it tomorrow… Just do it!



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Life Altering Pursuits: Changing Stress and Harnessing Resiliency


A former colleague and dear friend, just prior to her passing on to heaven, referred to her life’s work for those experiencing intimate partner violence, the EAA (Evidentiary Abuse Affidavit) as a “beautiful symphony.”  When one can manage the demands of the day, minimize the harmful stress and truly harness resiliency, no matter what the challenge, there is indeed a “beautiful symphony” at work!

Pam Ressler, RN and Founder of Stress Resources, LLC, is that rare combination of compassionate and skilled healthcare provider, researcher, instructor, healer and a woman and mother who also knows devastating personal loss.  Following a long career in nursing…she saw the need to make a greater contribution, learning and imparting holistic mind/body medicine to those in her profession and beyond. Ladyjustice and Delilah joined her  in discussion focusing on stress management and resiliency …. ‘Pertinent to everyone facing violence,  personal crisis, tragedy of mass proportions and terminal or chronic illnesses.

To listen to the Podcast: CLICK HERE

  • Introduction to guest, Pam Ressler, RN;
  • Stress and the forms it takes; Who it affects;
  • Pam’s background and the evolution of Stress Resources, LLC;
  • “Mindfulness” the greatest need or commonality across different environments;
  • Exciting research to validate mindfulness;
  • UMass Worcester 1979 Jon Kabat Zinn – Mindfulness Resiliency ad Meditation  into the Heath care setting with Chronic Pain Patients
  • Building Resiliency Tools: & Neuroimaging
  • Anatomy of Fear 101 – Brain Changes with Mindfulness;
  • Shifting versus shirking….
  • Delilah on the fascination of neuroscience and bringing it to the level of public comprehension;
  • Pam’s makes her case for the importance of social media;
  • Ladyjustice asks  if resiliency genetically based; How do we determine who can come out whole and can resiliency be learned?
  • Studies in concentration camp survivors and workplace situations Victor Frankel and  Suzanne Cabbasa
  • “The Three C’s and more….  “- Control, Commitment, Challenge, Connection;                             Suzanne C. Kobasa ;
  • Delilah speaks candidly about her experience and emotions with her caretaking with Susan Murphy-Milano;
  • Re-defining Connection…..  spirituality, feeling larger than one’s self- making meaning of your life;
  • A discussion of caregiver blogs and the benefits…
  • The sense of being overwhelmed with trauma and how to keep others connected;
  • A blog as a record…. the person is not forgotten- Susan Murphy Milano and Newtown Mass Murder examples;
  • Chat room question: Has Pam worked with families who have members who go missing?
  • Differences with unpredictable, prolonged illness;
  • Our perception of dealing with our adversity if it is a chronic situation: A study of young women with kids with and without chronic illness; Jon Kabat Zinn;;
  • Why do we need to be concerned about caregivers… What are the consequences?
  • What are the positive outcomes of the Elizabeth Blackburn study?
  • Delilah on the lack of resources for Caregivers….
  • Aging and chronic disease- How to take this information in the virtual level
  • For a later show: telling our stories and honoring health and wellness:

Stress Resources, LLC
97 Lowell Rd.
Concord, MA  01742

Office Address:
97 Lowell Rd. 3rd floor
Concord, MA  01742
Phone:  978.369.5243
Fax:      978.369.5853

Questions to be Answered by listening to this Radio Show;

  1. Can we be less stressed if we can  just get a few more things done?
  2. When did mind/body tools become essential and why?
  3. Building Mindfulness- What’s it all about?;
  4. What are the consequences of stepping away from the moment?
  5. What were the results of mindfulness
  6. What are the important findings in the brain when we use mindfulness meditation?
  7. What do professional athletes do to enhance performance?
  8. What is the charge of the medical profession so they we can utilize these tools?
  9. How do some people “ride the wave vs. being pulled under?”
  10. Understanding the Three C’s…
  11. Why is the “Fourth C Connection” essential? How do we find resiliency through blogging?
  12. How do the Four C’s relate to blogging?
  13. How to find hope and healing in the darkest of tragedies?
  14. What are kilomeres?

Shattered Lives, Pam Ressler,Stress Resources,ImaginePublicityPamela Katz Ressler, MS, RN, HN-BC is the founder of Stress Resources in Concord, Massachusetts, a firm specializing in building resiliency for individuals and organizations through tools of connection, communication and compassion, Pam is a frequent speaker to local, national and international audiences on strategies of resiliency and serves on the board of directors of the Integrative Medicine Alliance. She is an adjunct faculty member at both Tufts University School of Medicine and UMass Boston (College of Nursing and Health Sciences), and recently served as a consultant on a federal grant addressing stress resiliency for new nursing graduates. Pam is a frequent contributor to various print and online journals, and has been interviewed extensively on her research on resiliency and social media in healthcare.  Her interest in stress resiliency stems from her 30 years of work in the healthcare industry, but more importantly from her own life as a mother, wife, daughter, sister, aunt, friend, business owner, educator, community volunteer, etc, etc, etc…and her attempt to find balance, sanity, and joy amidst the mess, chaos, and beauty of life.

To learn more about Stress Resources visit the website:

Life Altering Pursuits:  Changing Stress and Harnessing Resiliency

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Thank You World…From “Ladyjustice”


(Observing the One Year Anniversary of “Shattered Lives” Radio Show)

February 4, 2012 to the present…. One year of wonderment… education, passion, tears, laughter and helping many, many people….  Where do I begin?  It has been… and continues to be immensely rewarding.  It is a heck of a lot of work… But most of all, this groundbreaking show is a true pleasure and a labor of love.  It helps to feed Ladyjustice’s insatiable intellectual curiosity and creativity… and keeps her out of trouble…most of the time!

As they say on the Award shows, “I wish I had time to thank each and every person in a special way.” However, I do not… The best way to thank everyone is to continue to do this work as a public service…and to honor my father, who was murdered by a career criminal almost 32 years ago…  

With the exception of my mentors in this venture, I can only list the guests: “stars appearing in my constellation.”

*** I encourage you to please go to the archives, enjoy and learn from all of them!  

  • Susan  Murphy-Milano – My mentor and dear friend, motivator who pushed me beyond my limits, who saw the possibilities when I didn’t…whose voice is still in my head and forever in my heart.  I hope she would be proud of me and this milestone;
  • Delilah Jones – the master PR professional, jovial co-host, dear friend, compassionate caretaker, “mother hen” and invaluable resource, I thank her for all that she has given over and above her prescribed role…. My life would not be the same without her presence and guidance;

List of Guests and Affiliations:

  • Introduction to Ladyjustice with  interview by Delilah;
  • St. Mark Varnau- San Diego Police Department – Elder Abuse;
  • Janice Smolinski- Billy’s Law and Adults Who Go Missing;
  • Sam & Wanda Rieger- Creators of the Melanie Ilene Rieger Memorial Conference against Violence (on behalf of their daughter);
  • Robin Kramer Interval House-DV;
  • Bob Rahn, PI, Management Resources, Ltd;
  • Michelle Cruz,  Connecticut State Victim Advocate;
  • 10) Dr. Laurie Roth, TBI;
  • 11) Robin McHalen True Colors-LGBTQ;
  • Denny & Faith Griffin- Vehicular Death;
  • Tim Palmbach – Forensic Science, Henry Lee Institute;
  • Andrew Norton, Legislative Liaison, State of CT  Services for the Blind;
  • Anna Doraghazi  & Lavinia Masters – Sexual Assault;
  • Melissa Cann – Family Survivor – Long Island Serial Killer;
  • “At the Movies” Reviews with Ladyjustice & Delilah;
  • Duane Bowers – Trauma Specialist (#1)
  • Chuck Elgin & Robin Moore- Sonar & Rescue Dog Techniques;
  • Kim Anklin – Management resources Ltd; Sexual Harassment;
  • Ann Baldwin- Baldwin Media;
  • Raymond Bechard “The BerlinTrnpike” Human Trafficking;
  • Kim & Kristin Anklin-Workplace Harassment –Violence;
  • Imagine Publicity – Showcase of Clients;
  • Roger Sylvestre- Ct Fire Academy;
  • Michael Dooling, Author of “Clueless  in New England”
  • David Francis – The Jon Francis Foundation;
  • Antoinette Bosco- The Death Penalty;
  • Diane Tomassetti-  Baggins End Guest House-

“Pampering Yourself”

  • Derek VonLuchene – Ryan United;
  • David Kaczynski-Brother of the Unabomber ;
  • Duane Bowers –Caretakers #2;
  • Marylyn Gambrell- No More Victims” Kids of                           Incarcerated Parents;
  • Susan Murphy –Milano “Holding My Hand Through Hell”
  • Dottie Laster & Betty Houbion – Human Trafficking;
  • Peter Valentin Henry Lee Institute Evidence Collection;
  • Al Dressler- Facechecks- Vito Colucci Investigations;
  • Bob Rahn-Cold Case Vernon Jones;
  • Jillian Maas Backman- “Getting in Touch with Your Spiritual Side”
  • John & Becky Glezen PFLAG- Hartford;
  • Michale Callahan- “Too Politically Sensitive”
  • Duane Bowers –Sandy Hook Massacre #3;
  • Melissa Marshall- Disability Issues;
  • Eryn Cervantes – Citizens Against Homicide Conference;
  • Marilyn Gambrell – “No More Victims” (#2);
  • Anna Doraghazi CONNSACS – Richard Fourtin Case – etc. (#2);
  • Diane Fanning True Crime & Fiction Author 

     Thank you very much…from the bottom of my heart! 

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Birthday Blog: Hitchin’ My Star to a New Wagon


Navigating your life is not a matter of purchasing a GPS…  Following your dreams is not on Google Maps…. Knowing what’s right is to take risk and follow your gut… most often outside the parameters of your comfort zone…  As much as we would like to pretend that the “Great and Powerful Oz” is behind the curtain watching your back and directing your future…along with Dorothy and Toto…we know that just ain’t happening in real life…. And another thing… no soul mate, parent, PR manager or CEO can make it happen either… It’s all about YOU…or ME…

Ladyjustice just tries too hard….that has been her” MO” all of her life…  In old age can she relax a little? Of course, with the proper influences…

This writer’s life could be seen as a life of hardship if you are the one pressing your nose against the glass to get a better view.  However, from the inside, it has not been bad…despite some unusual adversities.  And so…birthdays are times for reflection…  To try to change your life for the better…to begin a new chapter in a new land is like….getting that last puzzle piece to fit so that the full picture comes together.  However, that piece isn’t in place yet…and the puzzle is gathering a little dust… ‘But not for long with the right connection-the opportune break….

A wise friend recently gave Ladyjustice a reality check if such changes were to be made… It was a bitter pill indeed… but one that needed to be heard…and one that  can be embraced.  Perhaps the pocketbook will be less and the pot at the end of the rainbow filled with something other than gold coins… But… should the barriers stop Ladyjustice?   Not at all….

It is fun to contemplate the newness of what it could be… the getting used to a different way…putting up with the down sides in favor of the good parts.   It is about connection and limiting the connections that no longer work.  And… you can believe there are rumblings from those who can’t understand why “Ladyjustice” isn’t acting as predicted…isn’t following the usual course…   Truth is…Ladyjustice has always been a “pioneering woman” in some arenas.  Question is…. How much of a pioneer does she want to be in this “change up your life scenario?”

Ladyjustice is a minimalist in terms of collection of material goods. (If you recall from last year’s birthday blog… she was content with a new stapler at work (And…. is still waiting, Hear that Santa?) HA!

The richness to be captured is with new people connections…for she is a social animal at heart… She needs people…just like Barbra Streisand…to be one of the luckiest people in the world… and not in the superficial sense. So how to find that… in a land where people are indeed a melting pot from many areas,…but not standoffish as the New England stereotype goes….  Ladyjustice  even talks to people in elevators…So watch out…

Pioneers and pioneering women…. Permit me to digress a bit to share this fascinating way of life of the real pioneer women in the days of covered wagons, lest I complain too much….


(Excerpts from two blogs)

By the year 1869 when the first transcontinental railroad was finished, over 350,000 pioneers had taken the Oregon Trail to start a new life. Many of these were women and most were accompanied by children. From the very first wagon train on, women would see and experience hardship like none they had ever imagined. Husbands often made the decision to start life over in the west without ever asking whether the wives thought this was a good decision or how it might affect them. in a few instances, women traveled westward by themselves.

CanavanNellie-MabelMeins39WagonBefore heading west, many women often spent their day doing nothing more than visiting, needlework, and the occasional gardening of flowers. They had married men who were established as businessmen in the towns they then lived in. They never dreamed these same men, entrepreneurs at heart, would listen to tales of gold and prosperous green land west, and decide to pack up their families and head out themselves. Others were not from as wealthy families; their men were laborers, and already working the land, they themselves working alongside them. Neither type was in most instances prepared for the hardships that lay ahead.

Before a family could head west, first the wagon must be packed. This task fell normally to the woman of the house. A list would be prepared, household items that they would no longer need or deemed unable to be carried along, would be sold off first, to help pay for the trip. This would be the first of many heartbreaking hardships.

Most women would soon realize that personal possessions did not mean as much though, as the more basic supplies soon came to mean life itself. The wagon would be packed. Clothing and furniture were packed. Food was the main item to be gathered. This would have included mainly staples, such as beans, coffee, flour, salt, a cow to be milked, and dried meat. As they traveled, many families would run low on food, and it was common to slaughter and eat the oxen they had brought along to start their new life over once they arrived at their destination.

In the end, pioneer women would leave more than discarded furniture along the trail as they traveled west. Many buried not only one child, but also several. A child could fall out of a wagon and quickly be run over before anyone could even react. Husbands killed during accidents were also not that exceptional.

Pioneer women themselves also perished. Typhoid and cholera traveled quickly through many wagon trains, killing at random. Indian skirmishes did occur, but not as many as one might think. Most Indian skirmishes were with the settlers who had reached their destinations. Babies were born in the roughest conditions. Many died and the women would not only have the heartbreak of the infants’ death, but also of having to leave behind the body in a place that they knew they would never again see.

Pioneer women were not always “women.” Girls learned to grow up fast, and if not, were forced to. Marriage as young as 14 and 15 was very common. Once a family had reached their destination, hired hands that had accompanied these families west often married into the family. The idea of a familiar face for a neighbor in a strange land was often enough for a father to give permission for his daughters to marry, even at such a young age. Mothers also would welcome their daughters as neighbors over some stranger.

Once they did reach their destination, the work was far from over. A house would need to be built, and as many arrived in the late summer or fall, that meant that this work often would be done in the cold of winter. Women quickly learned to wield an ax right alongside their husbands. At the first sign of spring, a garden would need to be planted. Trees were cleared and stumps removed, the ground would need to be worked up. This often entailed heavy work behind an ox or mule. After the planting was done, water would need to be supplied. This was besides water for cooking, cleaning, and washing that they were already hauling each day.

Pioneer women also had to deal with rodents, marauding animals, including bear and coyotes, and lions. Indians were also a concern, and some did fall to their deaths by the Indians’ hand. Where were the men when all this was being done? Working the fields or mining were the two most usual occupations.  The remainder of the work fell to the women and the oldest children if there were any.

Standard equipment : Examples: Her iron ware was stashed in a box that hung outside the wagon, and her butter churn was put in by the washtub. When all was packed and ready, she added a feather mattress and pillows, which would be laid on top of the boxes and over a side of shoe leather at night, with two comforters on top “and we have a good enough bed for anyone to sleep on”. The wagon was lined with green cloth, to make it pleasant and soft for the eye, with three or four large pockets on each side, to hold many little conveniences-looking glasses, combs, brushes, and so on.” One other important item mentioned in most diaries of the overland westward journeys is the “India rubber water bottle” (somewhat similar to a very large hot water bottle).

Pioneer women were responsible for a lot more…including inventory control: Because women were often responsible for the growing, storing and preparing of food at home, families relied heavily on their knowledge and experience when calculating how much and what kind of supplies they would need on the trail. A well-stocked, wisely packed wagon made all the difference on a long journey where travelers were likely to find themselves without food, water, or shelter if they had not planned carefully beforehand.

And so…who does Ladyjustiice want to be as the next year rolls around?


Some Examples-


Dr Quinn Medicine Woman:  (After All… Ladyjustice is all set… as she has been schooled, worked as a Rehab therapist  and “worked up like a guinea pig” in lots of medical setting… and her initials spell Dr. Gore How perfect!)

The series begins in the year 1867 and centers on a proper and wealthy female physician from Boston, Massachusetts ; Michaela Quinn (Jane Seymour) ; familiarly known as ‘Dr. Mike’. adapts to her new life as a mother, with the children, while finding true love with Sully. Furthermore, she acts as a one-woman mission to convince the townspeople that a female doctor can successfully practice medicine.

Carrie Nation:  after a tumultuous childhood filled with dysfunction, Carrie married an alcoholic physician and subsequently developed a very passionate attitude against alcohol. With the proceeds from selling the land her father had given her (as well as the proceeds from her husband’s estate), Carrie built a small house in Holden, Missouri. She moved there with her mother-in-law and Charlien, and attended the Normal Institute in Warrensburg, Missouri, earning her teaching certificate in July 1872. She taught at a school in Holden for four years but was fired from her job Responding to the revelation, Nation gathered several rocks – “smashers”, she called them – and proceeded to Dobson’s Saloon on June 7. Announcing “Men, I have come to save you from a drunkard’s fate,” she began to destroy the saloon’s stock with her cache of rocks. After she similarly destroyed two other saloons in Kiowa, a tornado hit eastern Kansas, which she took as divine approval of her actions.[2]

“Hatchetations “Nation continued her destructive ways in Kansas, her fame spreading through her growing arrest record. After she led a raid in Wichita her husband joked that she should use a hatchet next time for maximum damage. Nation replied, “That is the most sensible thing you have said since I married you.”[2] The couple divorced in 1901, not having had any children.[10]

Alone or accompanied by hymn-singing women she would march into a bar, and sing and pray while smashing bar fixtures and stock with a hatchet. Her actions often did not include other people, just herself. Between 1900 and 1910 she was arrested some 30 times for “hatchetations,” as she came to call them. Nation paid her jail fines from lecture-tour fees and sales of souvenir hatchets.[11] In April 1901 Nation came to Kansas City, Missouri, a city known for its wide opposition to the temperance movement, and smashed liquor in various bars on 12th Street in Downtown Kansas City.[12] She was arrested, hauled into court and fined $500 ($13,400 in 2011 dollars),[13] although the judge suspended the fine so long as Nation never returned to Kansas City.[1

Harriet Tubman:(born Araminta Harriet Ross; 1820 – March 10, 1913) was an African-Americanabolitionist, humanitarian, and Union spy during the American Civil War. Born into slavery, Tubman escaped and subsequently made more than thirteen missions to rescue more than 70 slaves[1] using the network of antislavery activists and safe houses known as the Underground Railroad. She later helped John Brown recruit men for his raid on Harpers Ferry, and in the post-war era struggled for women’s suffrage.

As a child in Dorchester County, Maryland, Tubman was beaten by masters to whom she was hired out. Early in her life, she suffered a severe head wound when hit by a heavy metal weight. The injury caused disabling seizures, narcoleptic attacks, headaches, and powerful visionary and dream experiences, which occurred throughout her life. A devout Christian, Tubman ascribed the visions and vivid dreams to revelations from God.

In 1849, Tubman escaped to Philadelphia, then immediately returned to Maryland to rescue her family. Slowly, one group at a time, she brought relatives out of the state, and eventually guided dozens of other slaves to freedom. Traveling by night, Tubman (or “Moses”, as she was called) “never lost a passenger.

Susan Murphy –Milano-

Susan Murphy Milano,  was one of the nation’s leading pioneer advocates for victims of intimate partner violence,  and resided in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. At the end of her life… Susan Murphy Milano began her one woman crusade in 1989 after the death of her beloved mother at the hands of her police detective father. Growing up in a household which held many secrets, she vowed that the world would look differently at battered women and provide necessary resources which weren’t available to help her mother.

Murphy Milano’s books, “Defending Our Lives”, “Moving Out, Moving On” and Time’s Up, are considered the “bibles” of how to make the move away from abuse and deal with the many confusing situations surrounding violence prevention, stalking, break-up or divorce.

Her latest book, based on the experiences of her life, “Holding My Hand Through Hell,” was released on October 4, 2012.

Susan received many awards and accolades through the years for her work with victims of abuse, and her quest for justice was instrumental in the passage of the Illinois Stalking Law and the Lauternberg Act.


Although Ladyjustice has admiration for the accomplishments of all pioneering women (their  unorthodox methods aside,)  in truth, she wants to be no one other than herself….  Forever learning,  ever changing , ever evolving ever connecting  and helping others along her path!

Birthdays aren’t  so bad after all! 





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The End of Life Journey

As an active observer –participant in the struggle to survive the indomitable forces of cancer…taking a once vibrant woman who told others to “follow her lead as if they had jumping beans in their pants”… and then to gradually succumb to the ravages of the disease, is an experience no one should have to participate in or witness first hand…

It’s an up and down roller coaster ride with so many complex forces to consider, that it catches everyone  off guard… even if your physician, attorney, support  services, hospice try to prepare you … There are a multitude of things that shock and shake you to your very core!  Things that should be that aren’t… Things that don’t make sense in a civilized society, screwed up priorities…  Things that mystify given all that public servants like Susan Murphy-Milano have given to countless others in this world…           We begin to question the existence of God …or God’s wisdom in the unfairness of it all…

If you are a homicide survivor and grew up feeling like a “little medical specimen” for others to study like Ladyjustice, you probably think you know it all when it comes to grief.  However, the trials and tribulations…the long haul nature of cancer in its later stages has been a whole new experience for THIS crime fighter to contend with…

Unless you are there to witness the process in person or have had the experience previously, you have little cognizance of the time, effort, dedication, financial costs, energy expended and emotional toll it takes… not only on the person suffering the cancer, and the caretaker, but the “second ring” of persons as Trauma Specialist Duane Bowers would say.

In addition, when the person who has the cancer does not have immediate family who care, the “second ring” becomes the “first ring” – filling in the gaps…in a very noble and heroic way!

Ladyjustice sometimes feels helpless to make a continuing real contribution when separated geographically. E-mails and postings, support from the circle of friends can all help assuage the grief…  But phone calls can’t realistically be returned “just because you want to know”. Therefore, your head tells you that patience, understanding and compassion MUST kick in…even if your heart tells you otherwise… You may try to assist others as a distraction and cause for the greater good while others are busy.

During this life altering ordeal with Susan Murphy-Milano, Ladyjustice has learned many, many lessons such as:

God – is present and has a plan that we mere morals most likely will not fully understand…if at all. With time and reflection some answers may come to us;

Friendship – is thrown into high gear with the wonderful support that springs forth by those who “always cared anyway’ literally going the extra mile and more… Core people will remain, while others will fall back into their former routines;

Respect- ABOUNDS ….particularly for those closest to the crisis. We must keep in mind that EVERYONE grieves and copes differently according to their comfort level. We can offer help in many forms personally or professionally.  Just because it is OUR need to give, it is not really about us …even if we are hurting!    Ladyjustice and others need to remember and give others their space and own way to process, come to terms and move to the next part of their journey in their chosen ways.   Safe in the knowledge that we care and can be called on, others can and will in their own time take it…with a little encouragement;

Community – consists of the “inner circle,” large groups bound together by the heart wrenching situation, divided into still other sub-groups.  Some participation is active, some is passive. It is an imposition at times for passive observers to ask others to “catch me up” on the details when they too are in the throws of their own activity and grief.  Always be respectful and take the time to use the resources that are out there…Some participants are” the caboose “on the train, some are the engineers and regular passengers” to use a metaphor… That’s just the way it unfolds…

Priorities- whether you are the caretaker, a friend, acquaintance, fan or cheerleader…and involved with someone with a life threatening illness/disease, YOUR priorities will change…at least for the short term…and maybe forever. Your suffering is temporary in the scheme of life,  as is the person’s with the illness until they are in God’s eternal home.         If you suffer too long and too intensely, please seek professional help to put you on the correct path with your loved one…

Health – After this traumatic experience, if you tended to be unhealthy in your eating habits, lifestyle, sleep patterns, your weight, smoking , drinking, workaholic nature… you too will take pause…and hopefully make some type of qualitative, if not quantitative life altering change.  However, do it at your own pace… Listen to your physician, but refuse to” be bullied into change “ if you aren’t ready for “leaps and bounds of change”.  Smaller steps will do… as long as you keep on the path…

Never again will you say “Cancer… (or whatever) can’t happen to me or those I love.”   That refrain is all too common … Take it from a homicide survivor… Yes it can…

If you think you are not up to the task… you will be, because you have to be…  You will do it…’Just look at the “Susan and Delilah blueprint example” we have before us….  Truly amazing!

With Love and Respect,


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Holding My Hand Through Hell: A Review


“Hey baby it’s a mean ol’ world…

‘Gotta keep your feet on the ground…

‘Gotta have a heart like Jesus…

When the devil come to knock you down…

Trust what’s inside you…

And head’s up for the wrecking ball…

Head’s up for the wrecking ball!”

(Singer-Songwriter Beth Nielsen Chapman)

When the trees in your personal forest are so thick with dysfunction and terror… When a propped window held open by a screwdriver is the difference between life and death… When your world is surrounded by constant death threats and acts of violence… What can you do?

Susan Murphy, the “little girl lost” took charge of the situation to rescue her mother. Little did she know at her tender age… in the process of her personal nightmare she would grow up to build a legacy saving thousands of other victims in the grip of intimate partner and family violence for years to come…

To the outside world, hers was the happy home of a decorated police officer. In reality, Susan took on the protector role to shield her mother as best she could… ending in the ultimate acts of murder and suicide committed by her cop monster-father.

Navigating such a childhood consisted of making deals with God in between questioning his existence while others chose to ignore.

“Holding My Hand Through Hell” is so much more than just one women’s story of domestic violence. It is the epitome of hope, courage, strength and survival against all odds.  “The Hell book” is a journey like no other, as told in riveting detail through the words of a child…turned woman.

Like a mismatched tapestry, there is a richness and simplicity in her tale…  But, evil is always in the shadows.

This book is replete with examples of “survival of the fittest” overcoming terror for yet another instance…until the next time, keeping us on “high alert” from the first to the last page… The devastation is palpable, as Susan keeps moving forward regardless of the cost.

As the ultimate survivor, Susan takes her readers into the most intimate places of her existence. As an adult, she does her best to seek stability and sanity as a “regular member of society.” However, the house of horrors always lives within, as she finds comfort and love…in “all the wrong places”, continuing to suffer incredible losses along her path.

As an author, Murphy-Milano is masterful in painting a picture with great depth, emotion and vulnerability. The reader, is literally transformed, viscerally shaken and forever changed… trying to fathom how the unbelievable events are indeed true… but they are….  Everyone who reads “Holding My Hand Through Hell” will come away with their own personal indelible message- guaranteed!

Susan Murphy Milano is a one of a kind role model for victims of violent crime. Her greatest achievement – her own survival… couched in the painful knowledge that she was unable to save her mother in the end… in spite of Herculean efforts. She survived and taught the masses how to survive…and come out alive…in an arena where even angels fear to tread.

To learn more about Susan Murphy Milano and her work, please visit the following sites:






HOLDING MY HAND THROUGH HELL can be ordered from

Ice Cube Press,


Barnes & Noble

and all other online book retailers as well as through your local book stores.





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Susan Murphy-Milano- Reaching for the Stars… and Attaining her Goals


“If you wait to do everything until you’re sure it’s right, you’ll probably never do much of anything.” – Win Borden

A person must begin by being still and listening in order to become aware of his path, but after that he must actively follow it. Such activity arises from trust, not from the egomania of “I will, I do”.                      A human being attains his highest freedom when he can speak the words: “Lord, not my will, but Thy will be done”.                                              Thorwald Dethlefsen”


Such are the words of wisdom… are the truths reflected in the myriad of accomplishments and legacy of Susan Murphy-Milano….  As Susan battles her fight with stage four cancer, the world continues to benefit from her lifetime of work. She spoke candidly with Ladyjustice and Delilah about her life, her “baby” the EAA –Evidentiary Abuse Affidavit… and most importantly, her newly published memoir from called “Holding My Hand through Hell.”  ‘So much more than an account of living and surviving with domestic violence, it is a positive affirmation of life…and is certain to be yet another teaching tool from her toolbox.  It is awe inspiring!  This book is the courage that endangered women and men need….   Delilah recounted their relationship, the evolution of the book and the marvel of this incomparable woman. 


Join the Journey…. CLICK HERE…


  • Delilah discussing what the public needs to know about this book… A ride from the beginning to the end…
  • Feedback from reviewers and authors…
  • Ladyjustice’s take on the book in general …
  • How HMHTH impacted the life of a woman…
  • The impact of her life and now living with Stage Four Cancer;
  • The difficulties of writing this book over three year’s time;
  • SMM’s life filled with taking the risks…
  • Susan speaks:  Her description of the book and making people accountable, making people’s lives matter;
  • Stacy Petersen’s kids will never know hope;
  • Susan’s  hope – keeping her mother alive;
  • The words and lessons are powerful enough to get the word out – What really happened – No more excuses;
  • Self-revelations- very painful;
  • If Susan gave in, she would let the killer and spirits of other’s win;
  • It’s about God – June 23rd her Cancer diagnosis;
  • The irony of success- multiple projects;
  • God’s timing… You can come through on the other side;
  • The last two years…” I have never felt so loved;”
  • Susan on Delilah’s dedication as  her caretaker;
  • Susan’s opportunity to preserve her words…..
  • Susan’s wishes for her son… Hoping for a pathway to understanding of the truth for him and her kid sister….
  • “I didn’t choose this work… It chose me…”
  • The EAA- “A beautiful symphony;”
  • Saying I’m sorry isn’t that hard…. The cowards…
  • “Homicide occurs and everyone turns away like the plague… It’s the same with cancer;”
  • “God allows things to happen even if you are good; Everything has a reason and purpose;”
  • No second victimization-   “It’s all in the timing;”
  • “I’ve led a heck of a life… in uncharted territory… Go with your heart…”
  • Delilah reads a passage…and sheds a few tears…
  • “Delilah…”The last key in the bunch that opens the door…. “
  • Susan’s parting words… HMHTH- spreading hope with the book;
  • Delilah and “Ladyjustice“ talking about the book’s content;
  • A real life journey… Failures  turning them into a benefit for others;
  • Susan goes to the end’s of the earth to make things happens;
  • Susan’s unique  gifts of analysis, problem solving  and her ability to take on and solve the impossible highest risk cases;
  • How did she come through all of her high risk personal problems??
  • “Ladyjustice” on the savyness of a little girl and “making deals with God”;
  • Susan as the mother role – the protector;
  •  “Ladyjustice” on the personal costs…
  • Delilah on Susan as a great teacher and her favorite phrase:     “Get out of your own way;”
  • HMHTH as a teaching tool – You can spot the red flags in your world;
  • Textbook  nature and HMHTH as a companion to the EAA;
  •  “If you wait to do everything until you’re sure it’s right, you’ll probably never do much of anything.” – Win Borden
  • Moving forward….  Never be called a victim;
  • “Ladyjustice” on: How does a person do what she did on a shoestring?  “Finding a way…”
  • A better mousetrap…;
  • Why isn’t the EAA embraced by more people… It’s NOT about lack of resources…
  • The nature of dealing with systems – the frustration of Delilah and “Ladyjustice;
  • “Ladyjustice” on mundane complaints versus the hard truths…
  • “Ladyjustice” on Susan’s ability to bring things down to their essence;
  • Delilah on the “layers of the onion” and the core truth;
  • The truth is very difficult to handle… for victims and the general public…. The true believers;
  • Delilah on training versus instincts and being open to what the universe has to offer and giving it back to others;
  • HMHTH – A book filled with her love by revealing and facing the truth… it will help and save so many more lives;
  • It’s unbelievable….  HMHTH – Three years in the making;
  • “Time’s Up” book,  “Saving our Lives”, “Moving Up, Moving On” book;
  • A testament to God’s powers… those pebbles in the path…
  • The virtual tour- What’s it about? Who’s included?
  • A list of the participants….
  • Thank-yous



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“Good” is a Relative Term… “Goodness” Never Wavers



Donna R. Gore, LadyJustice,Susan Murphy-Milano

Thirty minute lunches don’t allow much time to write during the work week. However, Ladyjustice has “squeezed time like the proverbial lemon” over the past weeks to fit in more “quality time of the heart” where Susan Murphy Milano is concerned. As LJ sat in a stark 1960’s kitchen lunchroom today… it suddenly occurred to her! A light bulb suddenly glowed… When a person cares about another person with a life threatening illness, everyone’s life is irreparably changed.  What happens? Your yardstick changes…When you are in the throes of such a disconcerting, emotional situation, you realize, “Good” is a relative term…whereas “Goodness” never wavers

“Good” used to be this “energizer bunny” of a person, called “Jane Wayne,” up at all hours of the night with a cell phone affixed to her ear, EAA documents spread out before her and a crunchy snack at hand;

Good” used to be sassy dialogue, dissecting a cold case bit by bit, “Jane Wayne” and Delilah discussing the issues over the airwaves; strutting in high heels or taking a quick smoke;

Good” used to be taking an intimate partner violence victim to task for not doing his or her job in taking responsibility and doing the required work to save their lives;

Good” used to be indulging in Greek food and vegetarian delights;

Good” used to be frequent commuter flights, pickups and radio studio dates between Florida and Myrtle Beach;

Good” used to be being knee deep in developing projects for academia, TV, book deals and locating the technology to take the EAA to the next level;

Good” used to be those lengthy phone conversations with mentees, colleagues turned friends, validating each other, caring for each other’s causes;

What a difference a couple of months make….

Now, good means sleeping through the night;

Now, good means a relatively pain free day;

Now, good means eating food that your system can tolerate;

Now, good means tumors that appear to be shrinking;

Now, good means the time to listen to music, read a card or watch a movie;

Now, good means talking about memories and sharing a laugh;

Now, good means feeling the comfort of healing therapies and spiritual guidance;

Goodness”…on the other hand… never wavers

Goodness is a person who is selfless to a fault and puts other’s needs before their own;

Goodness is a person who teaches others by their own example;

Goodness” is a person who isn’t afraid to break the rules for an immediate need or for a good cause;

Goodness” is achieving major accomplishments even if credit doesn’t come back to you…;

“Goodness” is never forgetting those who helped you and believed in you;

Goodness” begets goodness;


Susan still has “good” days.”  She is “goodness” personified!


Written with Irrepressible Love,






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Definition: “A person who makes a substantive, yet unrecognized contribution; a person whose bravery is unknown or not acknowledged”

Donna R. Gore, LadyJustice,Shattered Lives

If you look around our immediate environment, Ladyjustice is confident that we all know at least a few people who go above and beyond the call of duty for others. If on good terms, most would do such things for their family members… THAT… doesn’t make them a hero…  Biological ties have an unspoken responsibility …and love.

Unsung heroes go quietly about their business and serve others in extraordinary ways….  They do it expecting nothing at all in return. They are selfless, particularly when they see an emergent need for a person or organization for which they care about.

The people this writer refers to are not generally people “in the limelight.”  They often are your average citizens who have a calling and sense of compassion that exceeds typical boundaries. Such people get involved… whether it’s a one time first responder … or someone who makes a significant investment of time for one person, a group, or for “the greater good of all.”

Every reader might compose their own list… Ladyjustice knows of many people fitting this description at this juncture.  At this point in time, the following people continue to ‘capture LJ’s thought… and heart for one reason or another…  They should be acknowledged…. For it is never to late to admit, “My cup runneth over for you with love and admiration.”

 (A purely alphabetical list…)

Dr. Dalal Akoury

Founder, CEO- President of AwareMed Health and Wellness Resource Organization- Myrtle Beach, South Carolina;  Specialties in Pediatrics, Family Practice, Emergency Medicine; Hormone Specialist;  Medical Degree from the University of Alexandria Facility of Medicine , Alexandria, Egypt; Personal physician to Susan Murphy Milano.

Dr. Akoury is a founding member of the International Organization of Integrative Cancer Physicians.  She is fellowship trained and certified in anti-aging functional and regenerative medicine, and has more than twenty years of accumulated experience in emergency medicine and pediatrics. Dr. Akoury says, “My mission is to ignite the spark of health deep within everyone, and to allow this sparkle of wellness to shine through everyone’s eyes, becoming one with the universe, and aligning body, mind, and spirit.”

 Monica Caison

She is one of a brood of 11 children and native of Florida.  As a rebellious teenager she had her brush with the law, but…that experience made her grow up ever faster… and in the interim, she personally knew at least three families who had members “go missing” by the time she reached age 25!  Then, she had an epiphany, Why not create an agency specifically designed to locate missing persons and assist with the needs of their loved ones?   And that’s exactly what she did in 1994! She founded the Community United Effort (CUE) Center for Missing Persons, based in   Wilmington, North Carolina. Since that time, she has assisted over 9,000 families of the missing by providing absolutely free services (of which there are a boatload!).The organization is staffed by volunteers and FUNDED ENTIRELY BY DONATIONS! 

How Monica does what she does each and every day, remains an enigma… She works…and is on call 24/7; She takes calls and cases from all over the United States.  She takes no salary… and I don’t think her husband is a relative of the Bill Gates clan! Monica also offers youth mentoring and college internships.   It appears she seldom sleeps, probably doesn’t eat much and values her smoke breaks when she can fit them in….. Interviews have revealed a “diamond in the rough”…. with some salty language “to get the point across”.  However, when she speaks of the plight of specific victims, there is no one more compassionate or caring…

Melissa Cann

Melissa “Missy” Cann carries on valiantly….. contending with multiple life tragedies…   She is the sister of Maureen Brainard-Barnes, one of many victims of the so-called “Long Island Serial Killer.”  Melissa is her voice and the champion of all women who have been lost under similar circumstances.    She is a mother, wife, sister, supportive friend and volunteer.  But, who could have known that she would literally and figuratively walk the path where the Long Island Serial Killer stalked and ultimately killed his victims?   She could not have known… nor was she prepared for this journey!

However, Missy has willingly taken a “crash course” in crime victimization like no other…  Her mission is to raise reward money for other victims and their families…     But more importantly, she seeks accuracy, and respect from the media and the general public when speaking about these victims! 

Addie Carone:

Addie Carone has suffered the slings and arrows of daily living…. However, she has faced much than the average person, still living life on its own terms, dealing with insurmountable losses and facing them head on in her own determined way…

She is a New England Yankee, a Connecticut resident, an octogenarian, with a strong constitution, whose will and fortitude defies the trouble that has stayed on her doorstep for 25 years, in one form or another…..  And it is only in the recent past, that she has been able to sweep most of it away…..    Remnants remaining, as the murderer and longtime fugitive, Adam Zachs shows his true colors- feeling a sense of entitlement and lack of responsibility for taking a precious life.  What’s a woman to do? LIVE YOUR LIFE IN SPITE OF….  But never forgetting….

Addie’s twin son Peter was murdered in March 1987, with the perpetrator released on bond…setting in motion a virtual lifetime of not knowing, a fugitive status, which took on international proportions. She lives her life with a sense od grace and “new normalcy” and she does “what one has to do.”

Daniel Hernandez, Jr.

A former Upward Bound Student and political intern to former Congresswoman Gabriel Gifford’s, who survived and continues miraculous recovery following the mass murders in Arizona. 

‘Just five short days earlier he had begun his assignment to assist Gabby.This junior at the University of Arizona acted quickly and remained collected under a barrage of bullets!  Why is this feat so remarkable?   

He acted without hesitation. He used triage methods commonly enforced in emergency situations to quickly assess who needed help most. Using his hand, he applied pressure to the entry wound on her forehead, pulling her into his lap and holding her upright so she wouldn’t choke on her own blood. He used a clean smock from Safeway’s meat department on the entrance wound, unaware that there was an exit wound.  He never left her during the ordeal…

Daniel waited at the hospital while she was undergoing surgery.  He reportedly heard on National Public Radio and comments from others that Gabby had died.  Later, he learned she was alive in body and in spirit…

Arizona State Representative, Matt Heinz, who is also a physician, told the Arizona Republic newspaper, “The fact that Hernandez was nearby and was able to react quickly probably saved Gifford’s life.”

Daniel’s comments included: “Of course you’re afraid. You just have to stay calm and collected.  You do no good to anyone if you have a breakdown….  It was probably not a good idea to run toward the gunshots, but people needed help.”

Betty Houbion

As a former business and trade consultant with a master’s in business management, Betty Houbion worked miracles recently with the conservative South Carolina legislature…. She used her skills to organize the effort to end human trafficking. Over that time, she saw the effort grow from a core of “a very few people” a few years ago to about 50 who showed up for a Statehouse rally in January and from there to email contacts numbering in the thousands.

Betty put her business on the back burner…She had bigger priorities “for the greater good.”

She was a force to be reckoned with concerning the effort to pass the law dedicated to making a difference and a dent in human trafficking in South Carolina. She and fellow advocates with the assistance of Rep. Nelson Hardwick proposed the law in 2009. Since then, Betty has worked on the effort every day.

It took more than three years of pushing legislators, sending emails, holding rallies and doing everything they could to raise awareness of the repugnant activity. It’s been a hard row to hoe, but the volunteers have been tireless in their efforts. Concerned citizens can make a real difference if they have the will and determination to see their efforts through!

On Monday,  June 18, 2012, the Governor of South Carolina signed the law cracking down on human trafficking, a crime that has already taken place across the state in recent years and to which  the Myrtle Beach area is especially vulnerable, with its high transient and visitor population.

The new law seeks to better support victims of trafficking with counseling and financial aid, and it increases penalties for those convicted of the loathsome act. Among the most important provisions are the addition of asset forfeiture to the consequences for trafficking – forcing traffickers to pay for the crime-fighting efforts that will catch the next trafficker – and the creation of a state trafficking task force, charged with both coordinating the state effort between law enforcement, government and nonprofits, and with creating public awareness campaigns to raise the profile of the issue!  Good show, Betty!

Delilah Jones

Delilah is the President of, administrator of the Time’s Up blogblogspot .com and She is a master publicist, social media advisor and website designer to name a few skills…

However, she is so much more than this… She has shown her true colors for years, as a dedicated friend to all of us…but most especially to Susan Murphy Milano in this acute time of need as she battles stage four cancer.  A supporter, caregiver, cajoler, writer, researcher, hand holder, messenger, and always the positive thinker and ever compassionate person and “mother hen” when she needs to be…   Delilah we love and respect you for who you are…for Susan and for everyone for whom you “go the extra mile.”

Joy Huber:

Joy Huber is a stage four young adult cancer survivor and the Author & Founder of “Cancer with Joy.” She is an award-winning international presenter, individual coach, and songwriter. Joy helps the newly diagnosed and those on their support team (caregivers, spouses, family, friends, etc.) learn how to transform fear into happiness with resources, support, and en‘courage’ment.

Joy wrote “Cancer with Joy:  How to Transform Fear into Happiness and Find the Bright Side Effects” to be the essential resource for the newly diagnosed and those currently in treatment providing helpful and highly valuable information that saves precious time, energy, and money. Joy is an inspiration, and her humor and positive energy ignites others to transform their experience with cancer from negative to “Cancer with Joy.”

Joy’s clients have included hospitals, churches, large companies and small business, the government, non-profits, colleges, and associations. Her “Cancer with Joy” presentation is highly sought-after by cancer treatment centers, hospitals, support groups, and survivor rallies. “Cancer with Joy” the book was published by Morgan James Publishing of New York City. Joy’s co-written song, “Bright Side Effects,” is part of the book’s subtitle.  Watch the Music Video featuring pictures of the day Joy had her head shaved at 

Janice Smolinski

Janice Smolinski’s quiet spoken and friendly demeanor defies the “tiger in her tank” that has sprung forth more times than she would like in the fight to locate her missing son, Billy.  Billy’s case and the effort to pass legislation bearing his name has taken up residence on the Peace4the Missing site as well as a customized website, Justice4Billy, since 2004.

This case is called the hot potato…not because they are “hot on the trail of finding Billy.”  It has this reputation in the morass of local, state and federal errors that have consumed this family’s life… but not weakened their resolve or determination in their quest to find answers!

“The good part” is that Jan climbed the legislative and Congressional Mount Everest to achieve State of Connecticut HB 6113 pertaining to the manner in which State police handle missing adults.  HB 6113 is as a major step toward protecting missing and endangered adults. The bill requires police departments to accept all reports filed of all missing persons age 18 and older without delay and to input all collected information into appropriate databases in efforts to locate them.

In a bipartisan effort, with the assistance of Congressmen Christopher Murphy (D -CT) and Ted Poe (R- Texas),the Help Find the Missing Act, “Billy’s Law”  was initially introduced to empower families and loved ones of the missing to find justice by helping to secure funding for the only federal database for missing persons and unidentified remains that can be cross-searched, accessed and added to by the public – the National Missing and Unidentified Persons System (NamUs).  This database enables the loved ones of the missing to search for a match and add valuable information to the case profile that only they know once it has been approved by the law enforcement agency handling their case.

The legislation helps to streamline the reporting process for law enforcement and medical examiners by connecting two major federal missing persons and unidentified remains databases- the FBI’s National Crime Information Center (NCIC) and the NamUs.  Connecting these databases makes them more comprehensive and more likely to lead to a match between a missing person and unidentified human remains.

“Billy’s Law” also creates incentive grants programs to coroners, medical examiners, and law enforcement agencies to help facilitate the reporting of missing persons and unidentified remains to the federal databases. Grants can also be used for training programs on how to correctly use the databases and best handle these cases, and the recipients of these grants must provide a dollar in matching funds for every two dollars in federal funds.

Billy’s Law” builds upon Connecticut’s 2007 Law Enforcement and Missing Persons law as it also calls for the issuance of broad recommendations for standards and procedures for law enforcement to follow in dealing with missing persons and unidentified remains.

As it stands, it was about the money with “naysayer” former US  Congressman  Dr. Tom Coburn of Oklahoma, saying that 10 million to be shared among 17,000 police departments was “too expensive” such that it was lowered to 8 million.   And now, with a new Congress, the bill must be re-introduced as HR 1300 and SR 702.

Co-sponsors are needed in nearly every state (except Connecticut)   The link below provides templates, sample letters, data and information with which to arm yourself.  Don’t take no for an answer… Be persistent!

BILLY’S LAW: Everything You Need to Know and DO to HELP PASS BILLY’S LAW


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