Friday, February 17, 2012

Go Red for Women Challenge 2012

It might seem sort of strange or unbelievable to some people that those experiencing serious symptoms might just be unaware. However, if you have been with your dearest loved one, who thinks s/he is just having a lil' bout of indigestion, and the next thing you know the person is being carted off into an ambulance, wheeled into the emergency room and squeezed into the schedule for emergency open heart surgery, believe me, you never forget the experience. Later, when others joke about, "oh my, I just about had a heart attack," you have flashbacks.

I have passed out information at work on the perils of perpetual sitting and inactivity; I offer people "heart healthy cookies and cake" and snacks on my birthday. I have shared my story with a select few, who expressed a little concern about their health. I am sure some are amused when they witness me huffing and puffing after climbing the 7 flights of stairs, gasping for breath as I nearly stumble into my office. Though recently I have to admit, I have gotten a bit lazy and have not been doing this every morning - or even every other morning {- maybe once or twice a week?!}.

According to statistics from the American Heart Association, 90% of all women have one or more risk factors for developing heart disease and more women die of heart disease than all forms of cancer combined. For women, heart disease is the silent killer - many are unaware that they may be at risk or they are experiencing serious symptoms.

Check this out.

Once I get over this flu bug, I vow to eat more of those fruits and veggies and walk up and down those stairs once again! :-)

I am going red and I am taking up the challenge!

Dr. Duly

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Did you know the following?

"Fact #1: 17.6 % of women in the United States have survived a completed or attempted rape. Of these, 21.6% were younger than age 12 when they were first raped, .... (Full Report of the Prevalence, Incidence, and Consequences of Violence Against Women, Findings from the National Violence Against Women Survey, November, 2000). . . .

Fact #8: Every two minutes, somewhere in America, someone is sexually assaulted. (Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network (RAINN) calculation based on 2000 National Crime Victimization Survey. Bureau of Justice Statistics, U.S. Department of Justice)

Fact #9: One out of every six American women have been the victims of an attempted or completed rape in their lifetime. (Prevalence, Incidence and Consequences of Violence Against Women Survey, National Institute of Justice and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1998)

Fact #10: Factoring in unreported rapes, about 5% - one out of twenty - of rapists will ever spend a day in jail. 19 out of 20 will walk free. (Probability statistics based on US Department of Justice Statistics)

Fact #11: Fewer than half (48%) of all rapes and sexual assaults are reported to the police (DOJ 2001). . . .

Fact #14: According to the National Crime Victimization Survey, more than 260,000 rapes or sexual assaults occurred in 2000; 246,180 of them occurred among females and 14,770, among males (Department of Justice 2001). . . .

Fact #16: More than half of all rapes of women occur before age 18; 22% occur before age 12. (Full Report of the Prevalance, Incidence, and Consequences of Violence Against Women, Findings from the National Violence Against Women Survey, November, 2000). . . .

Fact #18: About 81% of rape victims are white; 18% are black; 1% are of other races. (Violence Against Women, Bureau of Justice Statistics, U.S. Dept. of Justice, 1994.)" Posted at

I assume that these statistics make at least some of us really uncomfortable - this is the reality. Burying our heads in the sand will not make them disappear. Hence, witnessing the level of violence I hear and read about via the media and word of mouth, I made inquiries into programs here in the Chicagoland area for girls.

Having led workshops on "Civil Courage" - "Zivilcourage" - and challenging "everyday" violence in Germany, I was searching for those involved in this area here. In this process I met some great people, one of whom offers such "Self-Defense" training courses for girls. I organized an event in collaboration with the Taylor Family Branch YMCA and Lorie Hermesdorf, police officer at ECC and national certified trainer with R.A.D. Systems. All parents were welcome as well as Officer Lorie covered critical issues for girls aged 6 - 12 in an age-appropriate manner during this first session:

Who is a stranger?

What does a stranger look like?

If you need help who do you call?

How to give a description of a person?

Do you know your home address?

Maintaining safe distances

Defense stance and verbal skills

Use of toy telephone to call 911 and practice giving descriptions

Clothes grab technique with contact to sensitive areas to get loose (stomp top of foot or pinch soft underside of arm near armpit)

Running to safety of trusted adult.

In two hours, the girls learned a lot. It was a great success!

Why not organize such an event in your community?

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Save our Shelter

Save our Shelter was the theme of flash-mob events around the country yesterday - June 4, 2010. I wonder how many people realize just how many individuals need such social services? Shelters provide lifelines to many individuals who have urgent and existential needs.

Every two minutes someone is sexually assaulted in the United States.
Domestic violence has been named "an epidemic" in our country - yet there is the belief among some that we should not be wasting our money. I can think of quite a few other things that are truly "wasting" our national resources - and money - at the moment.
Dr Duly

Sunday, February 21, 2010

The personal is political

Amidst a college session on student retention and success, one participant brought up the phrase, "the personal is political" in explaining her viewpoint on treating students from various cultural and ethnic backgrounds with respect.

I found this quite interesting. Even more interesting was the fact that no one mentioned that this phrase has been used quite frequently in another context - the context of gender. In fact, when I searched, I found that there is even a website with this title.

In 2010 I ask myself and I ask you, besides student retention and success, what significance might "the personal is political" have today?
Dr Duly

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Good and Bad

A few emails responding to the "FALL OF THE WALL" have highlighted the reality that such an incredible and joyful event could be - and was - also followed by pain, injustice, great frustration, despair ....

Current events have also sparked anew the debate on what and who is "good" and "bad," "right" and "wrong" - or "good" and "evil."

I was reminded of the ancient Cherokee story retold by Michael Neill in his book, Feel Happy Now!; it offers some great insight.

A tribal elder is teaching his grandson about life, (I quote):

"A fight is going on inside me," he [the Grandpa and tribal elder] said to the boy.

"It's a terrible fight between two wolves.

"One is evil - he is angry, envy, sorry, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, deception, false pride, superiority, and ego.

"The other is good - he is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith.

"The same fight is going on inside you, and inside every other person, too."

The boy thought about it for a minute, and then asked his grandfather, "Which wolf will win?"

The old Cherokee simply replied, "The one you feed."
(pp. 153 - 154)

Dr Duly

Monday, November 9, 2009

20 Years Ago Today


After hearing the rumors circulating ... I hopped on the U-Bahn at the Free University - where I was studying after serving as a volunteer in a community project in Berlin(West) - and rushed to Checkpoint Charlie.

There I saw the unfathomable right before my very own eyes!

Trabis, roses, Sekt (German Champagne), joyful shouts, tears and a grand celebration!

Around an hour later I rushed home to call and wake up my brother (4 am or so) in Illinois and persuade him to write a story with me and go down to the local newspaper and tell them THAT INCREDIBLE HISTORY - and NEWS - IS BEING MADE - RIGHT NOW and they have a direct link to all the action ;-)!

It challenged people's frames of mind, politics, international strategies .... as well as everyday life for me as a student and later as an author, a consultant, professor and even as a mother.

Since I had coordinated a program visiting families and communities in the East in the mid/late 1980s, I knew many families who were divided and folks who were restless; some shared their dreams of visiting me some day "on the other side." Indeed, one young girl I met in Zwickau with her family became our babysitter in Leipzig, Germany some 10 years after the Wall fell!

Now when I fly back to Germany to teach seminars on the art of dealing with conflicts -- many of my students do not remember ... have no clue ... were not born.

However, the excitement, the unfathomable, the historic and historical significance of that day live on within me! :-)

Take a look to find out what is happening in Berlin!

Dr Duly

Saturday, September 12, 2009

A Time to THINK HARD - not to hardly think

I think it is time that every U.S. American give serious thought about the state of our health care system - whether or not s/he voted for Obama. Place the partisan warfare aside and just think about this issue. I for one, find it appalling that millions in our country are not insured. This "mere fact" is touching many more lives than most people realize.

Seriously, how can this be good for any of us?

Some children are not getting the care they need - which will affect future generations. If they are losing their parents and loved ones, this is affecting families and upcoming generations as well. Just ethically and morally, how can a nation who prides itself in "liberty and justice for all" NOT be concerned about the welfare of all citizens?

It can happen to anyone here, because health insurance is most often available through full-time employment, when employment is lost or is only part-time or undocumented, there is no coverage.

Please read these words with an open and critical mind. What do YOU think? What can be done?!
Dr Duly