Sexual Violence, and How to Help – Nicholas D. Kristof Blog – NYTimes.com

Today, I learned about domestic violence and immigration. It must be difficult to deal with abuse at home and worry about deportation. There must be some way to streamline the process to help those in need! It is not right for it to take 18 months to 10 years before these people are free from domestic violence.

Most people when they see a close friend or family member in a domestic violence situation, they tell them to leave the relationship. Generally about 5,000 people are killed due to domestic violence. 80% of those deaths occur after leaving the relationship.

Below is an Op-Ed article by Nicholas Kristof on sexual violence. Enjoy.

October 8, 2011, 5:27 PM

Sexual Violence, and How to Help

By NICHOLAS KRISTOF

My Sunday column reports on one of the front lines in the war on sexual violence: Sierra Leone. The civil war has ended there but the war on women and girls continues — and that’s a pattern all over the world. This has been a heartbreaking issue to report on, and I’m sure some readers will want to know how to help.

The organization I worked with in my reporting here is International Rescue Committee, the New York-based aid group. Its local head of women’s programs, Amie Kandeh, is from Sierra Leone, was educated in the U.S. and returned to try to help her country. She’s a force of nature and a wonderful advocate for women. The IRC has a fund to assist women in Sierra Leone through the programs that Amie manages.

As I noted in the column, I also think that the U.S. could make a useful stand by supporting IVAWA, the International Violence Against Women Act. The domestic version, Violence Against Women Act, was a milestone in terms of taking domestic violence seriously, and IVAWA could do the same on a global scale — but it has never found traction in Congress. And I’m appalled to see House Republican initiatives to defund the UN Population Fund, UNFPA, because it supposedly is soft on abortion — it isn’t, and in any case, it plays a crucial role in supporting family planning and programs against sexual violence.

More broadly, there are many other programs that help chip away at sexual violence. Girls’ education, and boys’ education for that matter, help change societies and empower women. Economic programs to give people livelihoods do the same. And I’m sure you have suggestions — please do post them here.

via Globalization and Human Rights – Nicholas D. Kristof Blog – NYTimes.com.

Kabul Kabab House – Fantastic Afghan Food in Flushing, NY

I did go outside today (yes I took a break from my to-do list!) to eat at Kabul Kabab House in Flushing. Do go there! It has really good food. I recommend getting the combo #1 with Kabab Barg (filet mignon) and the lamb kabab with brown rice. It comes with pita bread and a salad! It’s cash only and they add the tax and service charge onto the bill. It came out to $31.

Kabul Kabab House

Kabul Kabab House

New law protects foster kids from identity theft – Yahoo! News

30% of foster kids have their identity stolen. That’s sad. 🙁 I’m glad that there are new laws going into place to prevent this from happening.

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — Dee Saint Franc left the Rhode Island foster care system eager to start life on her own. But when she tried sign up for cable and Internet at Verizon, she learned that breaking free from her past wouldn’t be easy.

A customer service representative told Saint Franc that someone had used her identity to rack up $3,000 worth of delinquent bills dating back to 1998.

“I was like, ‘$3,000? I just turned 18,'” recalled Saint Franc, now 21 and going to college in Providence. “It didn’t make any sense. I was 8 years old in 1998.”

Saint Franc is one of a disturbingly high number of children who leave foster care only to find that someone has stolen their identity to open credit accounts, take out loans or pay bills, authorities say. Studies show that foster children face higher rates of identity theft than other children or even adults.

A provision in a new federal law requires states to run credit checks on older foster children and help resolve cases of identity theft so they can enter adulthood without the burden of someone else’s debt or the stain of bad credit.

Children, and particularly foster children, make great targets for identity thieves, child welfare officials and researchers say. Too young to take out a loan or credit card, they have Social Security numbers that are a clean slate, ripe for exploitation. Children aren’t likely to realize their identity has been stolen until they grow up and apply for credit.

And too often, foster children come from struggling, troubled families where a relative might see a child’s Social Security number as a way to keep the lights on, put food on the table or feed an addiction.

One researcher estimates that as many as 30 percent of foster children may be the victims of identity theft, based on reviews of the credit reports of foster children.

“These children are already behind the eight ball,” said U.S. Rep. Jim Langevin, a Rhode Island Democrat and co-sponsor of the new law requiring credit checks for foster children. “They’re already dealing with psychological and emotional problems because of abuse and neglect. It’s outrageous that they would be further victimized by identity theft and find out about it just when they’re trying to establish themselves with a car loan, apartment or job.”

Overall, children are more likely than adults to be targeted for identity theft, according to researchers at Carnegie Mellon University. The researchers worked with an identity protection company to comb through records of 42,000 children and found more than 10 percent showed signs of identity theft.

About 4 percent of adults are victims of identity theft, according to federal estimates.

The discrepancy may be even worse for foster children. Officials in California reviewed credit reports of foster children in Los Angeles County and found more than 100 victims of identity theft who were 16 and 17 years old. Victims had an average of more than two accounts opened in their name, with an average of $1,800 in debts in each account.

Medical bills and telephone services were the most common type of account, followed by cable television service, credit cards and utilities.

One child was found to have a $217,000 home loan.

Robert Fellmeth, a law professor at the University of San Diego and director of the Children’s Advocacy Institute, estimates that as many as 30 percent of foster children may be the victims of identity theft.

The culprit could be a close relative wanting to pay a bill, open a utility account or support an addiction, Fellmeth said, though foster parents and child welfare officials are sometimes to blame, too.

Fellmeth said states have done a poor job of protecting foster children from identity theft. Too many, he said, age out of the system only to discover their credit is ruined and they have nowhere to turn.

“When these kids turn 18 many of them fall off a cliff,” he said. “The state hands out some brochures, give them a website address and it’s sayonara.”

States including California, Colorado and Connecticut have passed laws mandating credit checks for foster children before they leave state custody.

Langevin said he pushed for the new federal law after hearing one too many heartbreaking stories.

President Barack Obama signed the legislation into law Sept. 30. Langevin said he’d like to build on the law in the future by requiring annual credit checks for all foster children, regardless of their age.

Langevin said he worries that children in the juvenile justice system may be at an increased risk of identity theft, too.

“More broadly, we need to look after these young people in our care and make sure their credit is not abused,” he said. “They’re our responsibility.”

The new law requires child welfare officials to help a foster child fix any problems that pop up on a credit check. Several nonprofit child advocacy groups already provide the service.

Saint Franc entered state custody at age 8. She believes a family member stole her identity and ran up the charges at Verizon. With the help of her social worker, Saint Franc persuaded Verizon to waive the debt. She never reported the crime to police or confronted the relative she suspects of using her identity.

No foster child should have to reopen old wounds like that just as they’re trying to build a life, she said.

“You’re 18, you don’t have a job, don’t have a credit card, don’t have a car or an apartment,” she said. “At least you should have a clean slate.”

via New law protects foster kids from identity theft – Yahoo! News.

At home doing homework

I made a list of about 12 things that I had to complete. I checked off one checkmark today: pre-simulation assignment 2 on stroke. Onto to the next assignment…

I can’t believe I’m inside when it’s 80 degrees and sunny outside. Maybe I should go out and soak up some sun for a little bit…

Today, I saw THE LYONS @ the Vineyard Theatre

Today, I watched The Lyons — a play about end-of-life, LGBT, alcoholism, domestic violence, and a twist at the end of the show, all taking place in a hospital room. It was an intense, but funny story that tied in many issues that families have.

I want to thank Prof. Fidel Lim, one of the Hospital Consultants for the show, for inviting me and other students/faculty/friends. Below is the description of the play from the Vineyard Theatre website.

WORLD PREMIERE

THE LYONS

By NICKY SILVER

Directed by MARK BROKAW

With Michael Esper, Kate Jennings Grant, Linda Lavin, Dick Latessa, Brenda Pressley, Gregory Wooddell

SEPT 22 – OCT 30

Ben Lyons is dying. When his wife, Rita, and grown children gather to say goodbye, they learn that, despite being a family, each of them is utterly isolated. Afraid of closeness and afraid of solitude, they are propelled into foreign territory — human connection. Tony Award®-winners Linda Lavin (BROADWAY BOUND, “Alice”) and Dick Latessa (HAIRSPRAY, CABARET) lead the cast of this outrageously funny and poignant new play about a family you will not forget, from playwright Nicky Silver (The Vineyard’s PTERODACTYLS) and director Mark Brokaw (The Vineyard’s HOW I LEARNED TO DRIVE).

via THE LYONS | Vineyard Theatre.

Don’t stick that Q-Tip into your ear! Instead use OTC Debrox.

Don’t stick that Q-Tip into your ear! Instead use OTC Debrox. The Q-tip can puncture your eardrum, and you’ll have an even harder time hearing. Simply shower and run water into your ear. Or use OTC Debrox. My professor suggested in class so I think that it should be a good choice. Below is the article on Yahoo!

Though many of us reach for cotton swabs to remove earwax, the old adage, “Don’t put anything smaller than your elbow in your ear,” is actually true. “You can use cotton swabs to clean around the [outside folds] of your ears, but you should be very careful not to do what I call the ‘search and destroy,’ because you can inadvertently push the wax in further or you can damage the eardrum,” says J. Randolph Schnitman, MD, a board-certified otolaryngologist (an ear, nose and throat specialist aka an ENT) in Beverly Hills, California. “Wax is produced by the lining of the ear canal and in normal amounts it doesn’t cause a problem.”

For most people, cleaning your inner ear in the shower should be more than adequate when it comes to removing excess wax. “The best thing is just to let the water go in your ear (make sure the water is warm, as cold and hot water can cause you to have vertigo), and [then tilt your head to the side] and dump it out,” says Brett Levine, MD, an ENT in Torrance, California. If earwax build-up is an issue for you, Dr. Levine recommends using an over-the-counter earwax remover that, when applied as directed, will help soften the wax so it washes out easier. You can also try tilting your head to one side and adding a few drops of mineral, baby or olive oil to your ear while in the shower. Wait 1 to 2 seconds for it to dislodge and dissolve the wax, and then tilt your head in the opposite direction, so it can run out of the ear. If neither of these methods work, make an appointment to see a doctor. “Sometimes the wax is just very hard and the drops don’t help make it soft. An ENT doctor can [better] see what he or she is doing [in order to] suction, scoop or grab something that isn’t washing out on its own,” Dr. Levine says.

via 9 Things You Didn’t Know About Your Ears.

Always check expiration date when taking OTC

As a nursing student, I learned about the 5 rights that you must always check before giving a medication to a patient: right patient, right medication, right dose, right time, and right documentation.

Two additional rights that my Adult and Elder I simulation instructor emphasized was allergies and expiration dates.

Today, I rubbed on hydrocortisone 1% for my mosquito bite. Instead of soothing, my bites started to burn. I checked the expiration date after the fact (oops) and saw that it expired in 2007. Honestly, I don’t know how I still have medication from that long ago, but I threw it out right away. So the bottom line is: CHECK THE EXPIRATION DATE before applying, injecting, or ingesting any drug.

Asian American Health Portal

This website provides a wide variety of information on Asian American Health. It’s created by the United States National Library of Medicine.

It has health and diseases topics such as blood diseases, cancer, diabetes, the flu, heart diseases, hepatitis, HIV/AIDS, lung diseases, osteoporosis, and general topics.

There is also a complementary/alternative medicine section on acupuncture, herbal medicine, tai chi/qi gong, traditional medicine, and general topics.

http://asianamericanhealth.nlm.nih.gov/

Why it’s important for Asian Americans to get the Hepatitis B vaccine

“1 in 10 Asian Americans is living with chronic Hepatitis B.” via http://www.asianliver.com/en/

“Hepatitis B vaccination is the best protection. The vaccine can be given safely to infants, children, and adults and is usually given as three doses over about 6 months. Other flexible schedules are available. Pregnant women can be given this vaccine as well. Hepatitis B vaccine is very safe, and side effects are rare. This vaccine is the first vaccine that prevents cancer; it prevents liver cancer caused by HBV infection.” via http://www.immunize.org/catg.d/p4190.pdf

Hepatitis B can be prevented through the Hepatitis B vaccine. via http://liver.stanford.edu/Education/faq.html

Why are Asian Americans at a higher risk for Hepatitis B?

Since 1986, a hepatitis B vaccine has been available and should be given to newborns and children in the United States. The vaccine, however, is unavailable—or has only recently become available—in many parts of the world. You are at higher risk for hepatitis B if you or your mother was born in a region of the world where hepatitis B is common, meaning 2 percent or more of the population is chronically infected with the hepatitis B virus. In most Asian and Pacific Island nations, 8 to 16 percent of the population is chronically infected.

via NATIONAL DIGESTIVE DISEASES INFORMATION CLEARINGHOUSE (NDDIC)