Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Barbara Potts Wins Human Rights Award

Barbara Potts is a woman of great integrity and compassion. She is first and foremost looking out for the underprivileged and disadvantaged. She is passionate about human rights and so deserving of this award.
I have had the privilege of knowing Barbara over the course of my almost 20 years at Hope House. I continue to be in awe of her spirit and determination to help others and to ensure that their needs are met. Barbara is committed to bettering this community and doing what it takes to ensure the welfare of its citizens.
She has done so much for this community - not just for Hope House - but the community as a whole. She has put in countless volunteer hours at various agencies to help with fundraising, programming, board work and whatever else is on the agenda.
I was fortunate to be a part of a group that was interviewed for a recent article in The Examiner about Barbara. I was so touched hearing the stories that were told of Barbara and all that she has accomplished. She has done so much for so many.
Hope House would not be where we are today if it wasn’t for Barbara. She had the vision to bring a group of people together and start the agency. She has also been on all of our capital campaign committees helping to raise funds for each of our locations. She truly is an inspiration and is admired by so many. I feel fortunate to know Barbara and to know that she continues to care about the agency she started 29 years ago.
Congratulations, Barbara! This award could not have gone to a more deserving individual.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

More Thoughts on Chris Brown

Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic/Getty Images

Thank you to everyone who responded to my blog about Chris Brown. I appreciate the comments, even when I do not agree with them. 

I do not agree with “Anonymous” that this issue is just between Rihanna and Chris. DV is a problem that involves our entire society - it is NOT a family problem.

DV is a crime and must be addressed by society as a whole, not just by the victim. Are there any other crimes where we say it's just between victim and perpetrator?

What if Chris Brown had beaten another performer that wasn’t his girlfriend? Would the response have been different? Would he have been accepted back into the fold so wholeheartedly?

What if he'd beaten a male performer? Would we be so quick to say that it was just between the two of them? My guess is "no". 
Society looks at DV differently than other crimes, holds victims accountable for behavior that isn’t theirs, blames victims for the assaults, and then doesn’t hold the perpetrator accountable.

Why is that? Why are DV victims different from other victims? Until we stop blaming victims of abuse, instead of the abuser, and we hold the abuser accountable, DV will continue to be a problem.

We must see that this crime is unacceptable and we as a society must work to stop it.

Yes, Anonymous, I do think we should boycott Chris Brown’s music. We should say we are not going to support his criminal behavior and his violent outbursts. We should say to him and all other abusers, "You must be accountable for your behavior and I will not support you in your career until you take responsibility and make different decisions."

I personally have boycotted movies and TV shows when I have learned of the abusive nature of the actors. Does it make a difference? By myself, probably not.  But if more people joined me and said "ENOUGH!" maybe we could make a difference and change the world.

As Ryunosuke Satoro said, "Individually we are one drop. Together we are an ocean."   

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Chris Brown and the Grammy Awards

Chris Brown photo: Getty Images

Like many others, I was questioning the decision to have Chris Brown be such a prominent figure at this year’s Grammy awards.

Three years ago, he beat his then-girlfriend, Rihanna, so badly she was almost unrecognizable. He pleaded guilty and received five years probation and community service which, in my opinion, is really not a punishment for the severity of the crime he committed.

If you ask me, he should have gone to prison for the assault… but of course, no one asked me.

Instead of doing prison time and paying restitution for his crime, he is honored at the same place that was the start of the crime three years ago. I am disappointed not only in the organizers of the awards ceremony, but the people in the audience as well. A standing ovation? Really? I do not understand our ability as a society to just forget and not hold people accountable.

I realize that not everyone will agree with me. I realize that some feel that he has “paid his dues” and deserves a second chance. I am all for second chances, but that needs to be earned. How has he taken responsibility?

I have heard him complain that people were being too hard on him and he didn’t deserve all of the negativity. Sorry, but when you commit felony assault I believe some negativity and accountability should come your way!

If he truly has changed and learned from his criminal behavior, then he should take his ability to reach millions of people at a time and let them know:
  • how he has changed for the better
  • how he has made his restitution
  • how is he a better person today 
  • how he has changed his beliefs about women, relationships and physical assault on those you love

I do try to find the best in people and do believe people are capable of change. I hope that he has changed for the sake of his new girlfriend and anyone else that he has relationships with. 

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Children's Mercy Hospital Research Study

Children’s Mercy Hospital is conducting a research study to understand what motivates mothers to seek help for domestic violence and what resources they want and use for this problem. This study will help Children’s Mercy Hospital provide better services for patients and their mothers. They would like to have 300 participants. If you are interested in participating in the study please click on the link below. 

Children’s Mercy Hospital
is conducting a research study to help us learn more about mothers & domestic violence. 
This study will allow us to better serve our patients & families
who experience domestic violence.

If you’re a mother and are at least 18 years of age, you can participate in this study by completing a short online survey found at
The survey is completely confidential and can be completed less than 10 minutes.

Please note that computer use can be monitored
and it is impossible to completely erase your internet footprints.
 If you are afraid your internet and/or computer use might be monitored at home,
please use a safer computer.

If you need to talk with someone about domestic violence, either for yourself
or for a friend or loved one, you can call the Metro Domestic Violence Hotline,
816-HOTLINE (816-468-5463).

This study has been reviewed by the University of Missouri-Kansas City Institutional Review Board.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Bingo with the Missouri Mavericks

Last year's event featured Cole Ruwe and Mike Wakita
calling the bingo games.
What a fun night it will be on February 15th when we host our second annual Bingo with the Mavericks event. It will be held at the Hilton Garden Inn in Independence (map it) and is a very family-oriented, kid-friendly event.

We would love to have you join us as the Maverick hockey players call the bingo, sell extra game cards and mingle with the crowd. It is a great event; fun for all, and supports our critical life-saving services at the same time.

Brandon Coccimiglio signs a fan's shirt at last year's event.
We are so grateful to the Mavericks for picking Hope House as one of their charity partners for this year. We have had the opportunity to sell Chuck a Pucks at the games, and set up a booth to distribute our information to the fans. Awareness is so critical in the fight against domestic violence and these opportunities to reach thousands of people with our services are so helpful.

Bingo festivities start at 6PM. You can purchase tickets online for $15 for adults, and $10 for children under the age of 12. A ticket includes one reusable bingo card. Additional cards can be purchased from the Maverick players for $5. Tickets will also be sold at the door. “Stadium food”, soft drinks and cocktails will be available at fan-friendly prices.

Sponsorship opportunities start at $250. You can purchase a sponsorship online, or contact Libby at 816-257-9334 or for more information.

We look forward to seeing you there.