Author Archives: Administrator

Are you a family caregiver? There is help for you.

November is National Family Caregivers Month. Family caregivers are special people who step in to help friends, relatives, neighbors or life partners with health problems or disabilities. This help ranges from grocery shopping, help with personal grooming, and meal preparation to
providing financial support and basic assistance with medical needs.

Important facts:

About 25 percent of American families (nearly 66 million Americans) serve as unpaid caregivers to adult family members, special needs children, life partners and others in need. Most provide care to a family member, typically a parent who is over the age of 50.

Fourteen percent of care recipients are between ages 18 and 49.

If caregivers were paid on the open market for their services, society would have to spend
about $375 billion.

More than half of caregivers are women and nearly four in ten are men.

Caregivers spend an average of 20 hours per week on caregiving—additional time is
needed when the care recipient has more than one disability.

Caring for a person with disabilities can be physically demanding. This is especially true
for older caregivers.

One-third of all caregivers describe their own health as fair to poor. Caregivers may have
depression and are more likely to become physically ill.

Caregivers often worry that they will not live longer than the person they care for.

In 1900, average Americans could expect to live just 47 years. Today, life expectancy is 75 years, but chronic illness is common in the later years. As a result, older people now require about two years of care prior to death.

Sometimes, caregiving can seem overwhelming and even burdensome. If you are a caregiver and you feel that way, please recognize it is a natural reaction and you are certainly not alone. Caregiving, while very rewarding, is also hard work. You must take care of yourself so that you do not become run down and sick. There is help for the caregiver. Remember, asking for help is a sign of strength not weakness. Reach out.

Tune in for “An hour to kill with Doc Bonn” at high noon ET on Friday, Nov. 30th when Dr. Scott Bonn discusses the importance of family caregiving with his special guest Reverend Greg Johnson, creator of Emblem Health’s “Care for the Family Caregiver” Program and member of
the President’s Committee on Caregiving.

Listen live http://groups.drew.edu/wmnj/

For more information and helpful resources visit: http://www.emblemhealth.com/default.aspx?Page=702

Visit Care for the Family Caregiver on Face book: http://www.facebook.com/careforthefamilycaregiver?ref=ts

Dr. Scott Bonn is Professor of Sociology and Criminology at Drew University and a media expert. He is the author of the critically acclaimed book “Mass Deception: Moral Panic and the U.S. War on Iraq” and is currently writing a book about the possibility of hope and redemption behind prison walls.

 

 

 

Why Doesn’t the U.S. Recognize International Law? Ask Doc Bonn!

The world community has been concerned about genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes throughout the centuries.  In 2002, a treaty-based court, called the International Criminal Court (ICC), was established in The Hague, The Netherlands, for the prosecution of international war crimes committed on or after that date.

The ICC is the first ever permanent international institution, with jurisdiction to prosecute individuals responsible for the most serious crimes of concern to the international community.  The ICC was established by the Rome Statue of the International Criminal Court, so named because it was adopted in Rome, Italy on July 17, 1998 by the United Nations Diplomatic Conference of Plenipotentiaries on the Establishment of an International Criminal Court.  The Rome Statute is an international treaty, binding only on those states which formally express their consent to be bound by its provisions.  Upon ratifying it, these states become formal “Parties” to the Rome Statute.  The Rome Statute entered into force on July 1, 2002 after ratification by 60 countries.  To date, 121 countries, with the notable exceptions of the U.S. and China, have become Parties to the Statute.

The ICC is an independent international organization, and is not part of the United Nations system.  However, the jurisdiction and functioning of the ICC are governed by the Rome Statue, which is a treaty that was initiated by the United Nations.  The ICC has jurisdiction over the most serious crimes of concern to the international community as a whole, i.e., genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes.  Each of these crimes is clearly defined in the Rome Statute and other relevant texts such as the Geneva Conventions.   The Rome Statute clearly stipulates that acting in an official capacity as a head of state, member of government or parliament or as an elected representative or public official in no way exempts a person from prosecution or criminal responsibility.  Superiors or military commanders may be held responsible for criminal offenses committed by persons under their effective command and control or effective authority and control.

According to the Rome Statute, the specific crimes of war that may be prosecuted by the ICC include:

Grave breaches of the Geneva Conventions, such as:

1) Willful killing, or causing great suffering or serious injury to body or health 2)Torture or inhumane treatment

3) Unlawful wanton destruction or appropriation of property

4) Forcing a prisoner of war to serve in the forces of a hostile power

5) Depriving a prisoner of war of a fair trial

6) Unlawful deportation, confinement or transfer

7) Taking hostages

 

 The following acts as part of an international conflict:

1) Directing attacks against civilians

2) Directing attacks against humanitarian workers or U.N. peacekeepers

3) Killing a surrendered combatant

4) Misusing a flag of truce

5) Settlement of occupied territory

6) Deportation of inhabitants of occupied territory

7) Using poison weapons

8) Using civilians as shields

9) Using child soldiers

 

 The following acts as part of a non-international conflict:

1) Murder, cruel or degrading treatment and torture

2) Directing attacks against civilians, humanitarian workers or U.N. peacekeepers

3) Taking hostages

4) Summary execution

5) Pillage

6) Rape, sexual slavery, forced prostitution or forced pregnancy

 

Significantly, the ICC only has jurisdiction over these crimes where they are part of a plan or policy or as part of a large-scale commission of such crimes.  Additionally, the ICC only tries those accused of the gravest crimes, and due to resource limitations (as it is primarily funded by state parties) it is not in a position to bring to justice every person who has committed crimes of concern to the international community.

The ICC is intended to complement, not to replace, national criminal justice systems.  In this regard, the ICC is a court of last resort.  Proceedings before the ICC may be initiated by a state party, the prosecutor or the United Nations Security Council.  It will not act if a case is investigated or prosecuted by a national judicial system unless the national proceedings are not genuine; for example, if formal proceedings were undertaken solely to shield a person from criminal responsibility.  Also, the ICC may exercise jurisdiction over international crimes only if they were committed on the territory of a state party or by one of its nationals.  These conditions, however, do not apply if a situation is referred to the prosecutor by the United Nations Security Council, whose resolutions are binding on all U.N. member states, or if a state makes a declaration accepting the jurisdiction of the ICC.

Although the U.S. originally voted against the adoption of the Rome Statute, President Bill Clinton unexpectedly reversed his position on December 31, 2000, and signed the treaty but indicated that he would not recommend that his successor, George W. Bush, submit it to the Senate for ratification.  On May 6, 2002, the Bush administration announced that it was nullifying the U.S. signature of the treaty.  The main objections to the ICC offered by the Bush administration were interference with national sovereignty and a fear of politically motivated prosecutions.  President Barack Obama has taken no action to change the U.S. position on the ICC he inherited from G.W. Bush.

The refusal of the U.S. to recognize the authority of the ICC over its citizens places it at odds with almost all of its staunchest international allies. Ironically, however, it puts the U.S. in alignment with China, a nation that the U.S. has frequently accused of human rights violations.  Similarly, Iran, Iraq and North Korea do not recognize the court’s authority.  The refusal to recognize the ICC thus aligns the U.S. with the G.W. Bush administration’s so-called axis of evil in rejecting international consensus on war crimes.

How does the refusal of the U.S. to recognize the authority of the ICC make you feel?  I’d like to hear your thoughts on this topic.  Please submit your comments below or email me directly at docbonn1@gmail.com.  Follow me @DocBonn on Twitter.

Tune in for “An hour to kill with Doc Bonn” at high noon ET on Friday, Nov. 9th when Dr. Scott Bonn is joined by Dr. Jonathan Golden, Associate Director of Drew University’s Center on Religion, Culture & Conflict.  Professor Golden is an expert in global conflict and religious studies.  They will discuss international law, terrorism and war crime in the post-9/11 era.  Listen live http://groups.drew.edu/wmnj/

 

Dr. Scott Bonnis Professor of Sociology and Criminology at Drew University and a media expert.  He is the author of the critically acclaimed book “Mass Deception: Moral Panic and the U.S. War on Iraq”and is currently writing a book about the possibility of finding hope and redemption behind prison walls.   

 

 

 

 

 

“Holding My Hand Through Hell” by Susan Murphy Milano is Must Reading!

 

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month, so the timing of the release of this inspiring new book from Susan Murphy Milano couldn’t be more perfect.  This poignant and well-written book tells the story of a police officer’s family and a daughter’s quest for justice long after the heart-wrenching murder of her mother. Susan Murphy Milano embraces a legacy of unconditional love and faith to triumph over a life plagued with unspeakable abuse and pain.

Based on a true story, told with the flow of a novel, spiced with frank wisdom and wit, “Holding My Hand Through Hell” encourages the reader to immerse themselves into this family s life and is an inspiration to become an advocate for change in this world we all share. The book also features a lovely foreword by Diane Fanning, the award winning true crime author of “Mommy’s Little Girl.”

“Holding My Hand Through Hell” will incite discussion, debate, and heightened awareness about hope, survival, abuse, murder, and its impact on our society. In the end, it will leave readers both applauding this woman as well as wondering how she escaped, sometimes at the eleventh hour. Twenty years later, she has realized that God must have been holding her hand through hell, delivering her from the evils of her life in order to save others.

Best-selling author Steve Jackson says, “Raw and riveting ‘Holding My Hand Through Hell’ starts fast and never lets up. In this powerful memoir, author Susan Murphy Milano throws open her personal closet so that we see what drives this woman to tirelessly champion voiceless victims and the people who love them.”

My friend, Susan Murphy Milano, is a specialist in intimate partner violence and works nationally with domestic violence programs, law enforcement and prosecutors providing technical and consulting services in “high risk” domestic violence and stalking related cases. Her principal objective is to intervene before a victim is seriously injured or killed. Susan is the creator of the important and powerful Evidentiary Abuse Affidavit© procedure for domestic violence victims.

Susan’s quest for justice was instrumental in the passage of the Illinois Stalking Law and the Lauternberg Act.  She has been prominently featured in newspapers, magazines, radio and television including: The Oprah Winfrey Show, Larry King Radio, ABC’S 20/20, Justice Files, E-True Hollywood, CNN, Sunday Today Show Profile, Women’s Day, Family Circle, US News and World Report to name only a few.   She has frequently participated in guest media commentary panels on major news programs.

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

SusanMurphy-Milano.Com

DocumentTheAbuse.Com

HoldingMyHandThroughHell.Com

To purchase copies of Holding My Hand Through Hell:  IceCubePress.Com

 

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Do you know the signs of partner abuse?

 

It can be hard to know sometimes if you’re being abused.  Abuse takes so many forms—emotional and physical.  For example, you may think that your intimate partner is allowed to force you to have sex. That’s not true. Forced sex is rape, no matter who does it! Also, you may think that cruel or threatening words do not constitute abuse. They do.  And such emotional or psychological abuse can be an early warning signal that your partner will become physically violent in the future.  Know the signs of abuse.

Below is a list of possible signs of abuse. Some of these behaviors are illegal and can be prosecuted. All of them are wrong. You may be abused if your partner:

  • Monitors what you’re doing all the time
  • Unfairly accuses you of being unfaithful all the time
  • Prevents or discourages you from seeing friends or family
  • Prevents or discourages you from going to work or school
  • Gets very angry during and after drinking alcohol or using drugs
  • Controls how you spend your money
  • Controls your use of needed medicines
  • Decides things for you that you should be allowed to decide (like what to wear or eat)
  • Humiliates you in front of others
  • Destroys your property or things that you care about
  • Threatens to hurt you, the children, or pets
  • Hurts you (by hitting, beating, pushing, shoving, punching, slapping, kicking, or biting)
  • Uses (or threatens to use) a weapon against you
  • Forces you to have sex against your will
  • Controls your birth control or insists that you get pregnant
  • Blames you for his or her violent outbursts
  • Threatens to harm himself or herself when upset with you
  • Says things like, “If I can’t have you then no one can.”

If you think someone is abusing you, please get help.  There are useful links below.  Abuse can have serious and even life threatening physical or emotional effects. No one has the right to hurt you.

Are you in an unhealthy relationship?

Sometimes a relationship might not be abusive, but it can still be unhealthy for you. If you think you might be in an unhealthy relationship, you should be able to talk to your partner about your concerns. If you feel like you can’t talk to your partner, try talking to a trusted friend, family member, or a professional counselor. Consider calling a confidential hotline to get the support you need and to explore next steps. If you’re afraid to end the relationship, call a hotline for help now!

Signs of an unhealthy relationship include:

  • Focusing all your energy on your partner
  • Dropping friends and family or activities you enjoy
  • Feeling pressured or controlled a lot
  • Having more bad times in the relationship than good
  • Feeling sad or scared when with your partner

Signs of a healthy relationship include:

  • Having more good times in the relationship than bad
  • Having a life outside the relationship, with your own friends and activities
  • Making decisions together, with each partner compromising at times
  • Dealing with conflicts by talking honestly
  • Feeling comfortable and able to be yourself
  • Feeling able to take care of yourself
  • Feeling like your partner supports you

If you feel confused about your relationship, a professional counselor can help. Remember, you deserve to be treated with respect and dignity.  For immediate help or more information go to:

National Domestic Violence Hotline http://www.thehotline.org/

Womenshealth.Gov http://www.womenshealth.gov/violence-against-women/mental-health-effects-of-violence/index.cfm

Tune in for “An hour to kill with Doc Bonn” on Friday, Oct. 19 at 12pm ET when he will discuss domestic violence with Sandra L. Brown, M.A., CEO of The Institute for Relational Harm Reduction & Public Pathology Education.  Brown is a psychopathologist, program development specialist, lecturer, and author. Sandra Brown also works closely with Susan Murphy-Milano and Pastor Neil Schori in the development of Document the Abuse utilizing the Evidentiary Abuse Affidavit©.

 Listen to the show live www.groups.drew.edu/wmnj

Dr. Scott Bonn is Professor of Sociology and Criminology at Drew University and a media expert.  He is the author of the critically acclaimed book “Mass Deception: Moral Panic and the U.S. War on Iraq”and is currently writing a book about the public’s fascination with serial killers. 

 

Black and Latino in America: The Race to Incarcerate

 

The number of persons in U.S. prisons is more than 2 million—roughly equal to the entire population of Houston, Texas. The massive U.S. prison population does not mirror the demographic profile of U.S. society, however. The vast majority of U.S. prisoners are poor, uneducated, unskilled, emotionally or psychologically troubled, drug and/or alcohol dependent, and either Black or Latino.

The racial disparity between prisoners and the general population is particularly profound.  Blacks and Latinos together comprise less than 30% of the general population but nearly 70% of the prison population!  How can this be?  Conventional–that is, uninformed–wisdom suggests the reason Blacks and Latinos represent the majority of the prison population is that they commit the majority of all crimes in the U.S.  That is simply not the case.  The reality is that Blacks and Latinos are differentially targeted and processed by the U.S. criminal justice system.

Consider these facts: Blacks alone make up 12% of the U.S. population and comprise 14% of all illegal drug users, but they represent 35% of all drug arrests, 55% of all convictions for drug crimes, and 75% of all those who go to prison for drug crimes!  Disturbingly, racial disparity in justice system processing exists for other crimes as well.  The startling statistics reveal that racially biased processing is common throughout the criminal justice system in the U.S.  Perhaps this should not be surprising, however.  After all, one must remember that the police, district attorneys and judges all have tremendous discretion in whom to arrest, prosecute and sentence.

It is time to pull the blindfold off of lady justice and admit that she is not blind after all. She sees quite well, indeed. Her acute but sometimes prejudiced and biased vision unfortunately leads her to differentially target and process many poor Blacks and Latinos.  The result is a prison population that does not fairly or accurately reflect the true picture or color of crime in the U.S.  Let’s put an end to such practices and deliver justice fairly to all citizens.

Tune in for “An hour to kill with Doc Bonn” Friday, October 12, 2012 at 12pm ET when he discusses injustices in the criminal justice system with special guest, Dr. Kesha Moore, Professor of Sociology at Drew University and expert in race, urban neighborhoods and community development.  Listen live: http://groups.drew.edu/wmnj/

Dr. Scott Bonn is Professor of Sociology and Criminology at Drew University and a media expert.  He is the author of the critically acclaimed book “Mass Deception: Moral Panic and the U.S. War on Iraq,” and is currently writing a book about the public’s fascination with serial killers. Follow him @DocBonn on Twitter.

 

 

What can we do about the serious bullying problem in the U.S.?

 

 

 

October is National Bullying Prevention Month.  Recognizing that bullying is the leading source of violence in U.S. schools, it is important that we all understand the dangers of bullying, as well as, where and how to get help.

 

What causes bullying?

Bullying is a behavior that is often learned in response to stresses in the bully’s world. These stresses can include strained parental relationships or abuse, poor academic performance, unsupportive peer networks or anxiety regarding physical appearance. While bullies give off the appearance of confidence, it is often the case that their actions are driven by insecurities.

 

Harassing and overpowering others gives bullies a sense of superiority, making up for the lack of control in some other part of their lives. Surprisingly, many bullies are often motivated to abuse others because they have been victims of abusive behavior. The anger that they feel as a result of being hurt is directed toward other individuals.

What effect does bullying have on children?

 

Every day children suffer the devastating consequences that result from bullying in our schools. Bullying affects not only the children involved, but also has a negative impact on the entire school environment. Bystanders who witness bullying may either fear that they will be the next victims or deduce that this abusive behavior is tolerable.

Bullying causes both short and long term damage related to:

  • Mental Health: shame, fear, low self-esteem, depression, and suicide
  • Physical Problems: obvious bruises or wounds from harassment, sleep disruptions, bed wetting, psychosomatic pains
  • Social Difficulty: inappropriate social behavior, social isolation, inaccurate social perceptions
  • School Setting: difficulty concentrating, poor academic performance, absenteeism, overall school climate and breakdown of school connectedness, escalating school violence
  • Society: alcohol and drug abuse, gang involvement, violence and crime

Bullying is a serious problem that cannot be ignored. Statistics show that:

  • When asked about the major issues affecting youth today, more 8-15 year olds picked bullying than those who picked drugs, alcohol, racism, AIDS or peer pressure to have sex.
  • Victims of bullying are 5 times more likely to be depressed than their non-victimized peers.
  • Bullied boys are 4 times more likely to be suicidal and bullied girls are 8 times more likely to be suicidal than those who have not been affected by bullying.

The problem has become so serious that bullying has been increasingly considered as a public health issue plaguing our entire nation. Approximately 60% of the boys in grades 6-9 who are classified as bullies are later convicted of at least one crime by the time they are 24 years old and 40% have three or more convictions. It is imperative that we address bullying with school-age children in an effort to keep our schools and streets safer.

General advice for parents

 

As a parent you have the power to help your children whether they are being bullied or victimizing others. When faced with bullying, children need the support from an adult they feel comfortable confiding in. Although you may be unable to directly monitor the situation in your child’s school, you are not powerless. You can be the support your child needs and the voice calling for change in your child’s school.

Specific advice for parents:

  • Spend quality time with your child at home. Talk and listen to them.
  • Be a positive role model and surround you child with other positive role models. Respect others and stand up for yourself when people don’t respect you.
  • Teach your child at an early age not to be a bystander.  Encourage your child to tell a bully to stop, to de-escalate the situation (where appropriate) or to walk away and get help from an adult.  Teach your child that it is never appropriate to: 1) put down others, 2) escalate situations by responding “in-kind” to bullies, or 3) allow others to take videos/photos of personal moments or compromising situations.
  • Help your child to feel good about himself or herself in a healthy way. Encourage your child to set and reach goals.
  • Use positive discipline and teach non-violence.  Teach that using violence to solve problems or deal with anger only makes things worse.
  • If you’re worried about your child or yourself, seek help from school counselors, school support groups, private therapists or your family health-care provider.

To learn what you can do as parents or concerned citizens and for immediate help go to http://www.stopbullying.gov/

Dr. Scott Bonnis Professor of Sociology and Criminology at Drew University and a media expert.  He is the author of the critically acclaimed book “Mass Deception: Moral Panic and the U.S. War on Iraq” and is currently writing a book about the public’s fascination with serial killers.  He is deeply concerned about the dangers of bullying. He is @DocBonn on Twitter.   

 

 

 

 

Is there a difference between sociopaths and psychopaths? Ask Doc Bonn.

Is there a difference between sociopaths and psychopaths? Ask Doc Bonn.

The study of criminal behavior includes an examination of mental disorders that can contribute to deviant behavior. Sociopathy and psychopathy are terms used in psychology and criminology to refer to two separate groups of people with antisocial personality traits.  Significantly, these conditions are not classified as mental illnesses and they are not official diagnostic terms.  In the fourth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV) both sociopathy and psychopathy are listed under the heading of Antisocial Personality Disorder (ASPD). Many psychiatrists and criminologists use the terms interchangeably. I believe there are important distinctions between them, including their causes or etiology.

Sociopathy and psychopathy share many traits, which is the main source of confusion for differentiating them in psychology and criminology. Traits that sociopaths and psychopaths share include:

  • A disregard for laws and social mores
  • A disregard for the rights of others
  • A failure to feel remorse or guilt
  • A tendency to display violent behavior and emotional outbursts

Although there is no consensus among professionals on exactly what differentiates sociopaths from psychopaths, among those who believe each is a separate disorder, there is a list of significant differences. First, sociopaths tend to be nervous and easily agitated. Second, they are likely to be uneducated and live on the fringes of society, unable to hold down a steady job or stay in one place. Some sociopaths form attachments to an individual or group, although they have no regard for society in general. In the eyes of others, sociopaths appear clearly disturbed. Any crimes committed by a sociopath tend to be disorganized and spontaneous. Miguel Rivera (“Charlie Chop-off”) is a classic example of a sociopathic and disorganized serial killer, as is Jack the Ripper.

Psychopaths, on the other hand, often have charming and disarming personalities.  They are manipulative and can easily gain people’s trust. They learn to mimic emotions, despite their inability to actually feel them, and will appear normal to other unsuspecting people. Psychopaths are often educated and hold steady jobs. Some are so good at manipulation and mimicry that they have families and other long-term relationships without those around them ever suspecting their true nature.  An example of such an individual is the serial killer Dennis Rader (“Bind, Torture, Kill”) who had a family, career, civic life and avoided detection for 30 years.

When committing crimes, psychopaths carefully plan out every detail and often have contingency plans in place. Because of the marked difference between the method of crimes committed by sociopaths and psychopaths, the distinction between these disorders is perhaps even more important to criminology than it is to psychology.  That is because psychopathic criminals, unlike sociopathic criminals, commit highly organized crimes often after meticulous planning.  Ted Bundy is a classic example of the psychopathic and organized serial killer.

It is also appears that the causes of psychopathy and sociopathy are quite different.  It is likely that psychopathy is the result of “nature” (genetics) while sociopathy is the result of “nurture” (environment).  According to the late David Lykken, a behavioral geneticist known for his studies on twins, psychopathy is related to a physiological defect that results in the underdevelopment of the part of the brain responsible for impulse control and emotions. Sociopathy, on the other hand, is more the product of childhood traumas and abuse.

Based on this model, sociopaths are capable of empathy or emotional connection with others but only to specific individuals, such as a family member or friend, and only in specific contexts.  Psychopaths, on the other hand, are simply incapable of empathy and are unable to form real emotional bonds with anyone.  It is the ability of psychopaths to effectively mimic empathy and emotional connection that make them particularly dangerous, unassuming and often highly successful criminals.

Tune in for “An hour to kill with Doc Bonn” Friday, September 29, 2012 at 12pm ET when he discusses the minds and homicidal motivations of sociopaths and psychopaths.  Doc Bonn will be joined by special guest, Nina Boski, lifestyle and entertainment expert, to discuss the mass appeal of hit Showtime Television series “Dexter.”  Listen live: http://groups.drew.edu/wmnj/

Dr. Scott Bonn is Professor of Criminology at Drew University and a media expert.  He is the author of the critically acclaimed book “Mass Deception: Moral Panic and the U.S. War on Iraq”and is currently writing a book about the public’s fascination with serial killers. Follow him @DocBonn on Twitter.

 

Doc Bonn asks, are you a family caregiver? There is help for you.

Family caregivers are special people who step in to help friends, relatives, neighbors or life partners with health problems or disabilities.  This help ranges from grocery shopping, help with personal grooming, and meal preparation to providing financial support and basic assistance with medical needs.

 

Important facts:

  • About 25 percent of American families (nearly 66 million Americans) serve as unpaid caregivers to adult family members, special needs children, life partners and others in need. Most provide care to a family member, typically a parent who is over the age of 50.
  • Fourteen percent of care recipients are between ages 18 and 49.
  • If caregivers were paid on the open market for their services, society would have to spend about $375 billion.
  • More than half of caregivers are women and nearly four in ten are men.
  • Caregivers spend an average of 20 hours per week on caregiving—additional time is needed when the care recipient has more than one disability.
  • Caring for a person with disabilities can be physically demanding. This is especially true for older caregivers.
  • One-third of all caregivers describe their own health as fair to poor. Caregivers may have depression and are more likely to become physically ill.
  • Caregivers often worry that they will not live longer than the person they care for.
  • In 1900, average Americans could expect to live just 47 years. Today, life expectancy is 75 years, but chronic illness is common in the later years. As a result, older people now require about two years of care prior to death.

Sometimes, caregiving can seem overwhelming and even burdensome.  If you are a caregiver and you feel that way, please recognize it is a natural reaction and you are certainly not alone.  Caregiving, while very rewarding, is also hard work.  You must take care of yourself so that you do not become run down and sick.  There is help for the caregiver.  Remember, asking for help is a sign of strength not weakness.  Reach out.

For more information and helpful resources visit: http://www.emblemhealth.com/default.aspx?Page=702

Visit Care for the Family Caregiver on Face book: http://www.facebook.com/careforthefamilycaregiver?ref=ts

Dr. Scott Bonn is Professor of Sociology and Criminology at Drew University and a media expert.  He is the author of the critically acclaimed book “Mass Deception: Moral Panic and the U.S. War on Iraq”and is currently writing a book about the public’s fascination with serial killers. 

Sources:
National Alliance for Caregiving and AARP. Caregiving in the U.S. Funded by MetLife Foundation. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. RAND White Paper,. Living Well at the End of Life.

 

Doc Bonn shares the real life atrocity tale of serial killer Edmund Kemper

 

The following is a real life horror story and atrocity tale that defies comprehension.  Edmund Kemper III, a U.S. serial killer and necrophile, also known as “The Co-ed Killer,” was born December 18, 1948, in Burbank, CA.  He was arrested in April, 1973, at the age of 24, after murdering six female students, his own mother, and her mother’s best friend.

Despite his relative youth upon capture, Kemper had actually committed his first two murders nearly a decade earlier.  Kemper was an extremely intelligent child but he engaged in sociopathic behavior early on, including the torture and killing of animals, a common childhood practice among nearly half of all serial killers.  During childhood, Kemper was physically and emotionally abused by his alcoholic mother, Clarnell, who was divorced from his father.  Clarnell frequently locked her son in a dark basement alone at night.

Not too surprisingly, Edmund grew up to hate his mother and, at the age of 14, ran away from home in search of his father in Van Nuys, CA. After locating but being rejected by his father, young Edmund was sent to live with his paternal grandmother and grandfather in North Fork, CA.  Kemper claims that his grandmother, similar to his mother, was very abusive and he disliked her intensely.

In 1964, at the age of 15, Edmund shot his grandmother in the head allegedly just to see what it felt like, and then killed his grandfather, too, because he knew that his grandfather would be angry at him for killing his grandmother.  Kemper was committed to the Atascadero State Hospital for the criminally insane.  To his chagrin, he was released into his mother’s care in 1969, after less than five years of confinement and treatment.  His juvenile criminal record was expunged.

As a young adult, Kemper stood six-foot-nine and weighed 280 pounds.  He frequently thought about killing his mother but wasn’t yet ready to pursue that goal.  The prospect of killing his mother without first perfecting his murder skills on others was too overwhelming for Kemper.  So, between May, 1972, and February, 1973, Kemper embarked on a series of six shocking serial murders in which he picked up hitchhiking female students along the highway and then transported them to rural areas where he would kill them, decapitate, and have sex with their corpses.  He collected their dismembered heads in his apartment and would later have sex with them, too.

Like certain other notorious serial killers such as Dennis Rader, who called himself “Bind, Torture, Kill” based on his actual criminal motivations and modus operandi, Ed Kemper sought public recognition and acclaim for his murders.  This led him to befriend, socialize and drink in a bar called “The Jury Room” with the very law enforcement officers who were actually pursuing the man they called “Big Eddie.”

After finally realizing his ultimate fantasy of killing his mother (and her best friend) on Good Friday, 1973, and having sex with her decapitated head, Edmund Kemper confessed what he had done to authorities by telephone.  However, the police initially refused to believe him, thinking that “Big Eddie” was just pulling a prank on them.  After several calls and the disclosure of information that only the killer would know, Kemper finally convinced the police that he was “The Co-ed Killer.”  He was arrested and later charged with eight murders in the first degree.  Kemper was found guilty and given a life sentence because there was a stay on the death penalty in the U.S. at the time of his conviction.

Given his homicidal obsession with his mother, one might wonder if killing her finally exorcised the demons that tormented Edmund Kemper and gave him closure.  Perhaps you can decide for yourself based on his following actual words.  Sometime after his conviction, Kemper was asked allegedly by a Cosmopolitan magazine reporter during a prison interview how he felt when he saw a pretty girl.  He said, “One side of me says, I’d like to talk to her, date her.  The other side says, I wonder how her head would look on a stick.”

What are your reactions to this real life atrocity tale? I’d like to hear from you.

 

Dr. Scott Bonn is Professor of Sociology and Criminology at Drew University in Madison, NJ.  He is the author of the critically acclaimed book “Mass Deception: Moral Panic and the U.S. War on Iraq”and is currently writing a book about the public’s fascination with psychopathic serial killers in reality and fiction. He is @DocBonn on Twitter.

Doc Bonn Explains White-Collar Crime and Elite Deviance.

 

Would you be surprised to know that white-collar crime is far more costly to U.S. society than so-called street crime?  In fact, it is 100 times more costly.  Yet so much attention is given to street crime by the media, law enforcement and politicians that many of us do not recognize the extent or terrible consequences of white-collar crime and elite deviance in the U.S.

Exactly what are white-collar crime and elite deviance?  White-collar crime involves lying, cheating, and stealing by business and government professionals within the context of their employment.  The term white-collar crime—reportedly coined in 1939—is now synonymous with the full range of frauds committed by business and government professionals.

Contrary to what many people believe, white-collar crime is not a victimless crime. A single scam can destroy a company, devastate families by wiping out their life savings, or cost investors billions of dollars (or even all three, as in the infamous Enron case). Today’s fraud schemes are more sophisticated than ever, and we are dedicated to using our skills to track down the culprits and stop scams before they start.

Listen to Doc Bonn’s analysis of white collar crime  on a recent episode of

Crime Wire: 

http://www.blogtalkradio.com/insidelenz/2012/08/08/crime-wire

 

Unfortunately, the crimes of privileged individuals within the context of either legitimate corporations or government offices frequently go undetected and unprosecuted due to their power and influence in society.  As far back as 1956, the late sociologist C. Wright Mills observed that a small group of wealthy and powerful individuals control America’s dominant institutions (i.e., politics, economy and the military) and they are insulated from public scrutiny.  Mills called this group the power elite.  Interestingly, Mills was echoed in 1961 by President Eisenhower in his farewell address when he warned of the self-serving and criminal acts of the “military-industrial complex”—that is, his term for the power elite.

A central contradiction of the power elite is that they frequently violate the very laws they are sworn to uphold.  Mills argued that bound by mutual interests, the power elite periodically commit acts of elite wrongdoing (e.g., dumping toxic waste) and enact policies (e.g., declaration of an unprovoked war) that are designed to perpetuate their power and preserve their control over society.  Mills stated that elite acts that cause either physical or social harm represent the higher immorality of the power elite.

Mills argued that not only crime per se, but also governmental deeds that cause social harm, regardless of their criminality in a legal sense, be included in the conceptual definition.  Another U.S. sociologist named David Simon in 1995 expanded upon Mills’ concept of the higher immorality to include immoral or unethical acts in his concept of “elite deviance.”  According to Simon, elite deviance is the deviant behavior of societal elites (the people who head governmental or corporate institutions) that makes them negative role models who encourage distrust, cynicism, and alienation among non-elites.

Acts of elite deviance take place in part because of the way corporate, political, and military intelligence institutions are structured: they are bureaucracies.  Significantly, bureaucratic organizations are structured in ways that regularize crime and deviance.  More specifically, bureaucracies are goal-oriented, amoral entities which exist to maximize profits and/or expand their own power.  These goals encourage an ends over means mentality among the top commanders of bureaucracies.  For example, the top executives of a public, for-profit corporation are well aware that the board of directors and shareholders are much more interested in meeting quarterly profit goals than they are in the actual decisions and actions required to meet those goals.

The higher immorality of the power elite is also possible because the elites do not have to win the moral consent of those over whom they hold power.  Instead, a passive U.S. society simply trusts that the elites will act on behalf of the so-called public interest.  C. Wright Mills argued that this condition is accompanied by a “fear of knowledge” and anti-intellectualism in modern society.  Mills concluded that the higher immorality is a systematic feature of the American societal elite.  Its general acceptance by the public without critique is an essential feature of modern U.S. society.

Dr. Scott Bonn is Professor of Criminology at Drew University and a media expert.  He is the author of the critically acclaimed book “Mass Deception: Moral Panic and the U.S. War on Iraq.”  Doc Bonn is currently researching and writing a book on the public’s fascination with serial homicide and psychopathic serial killers in fact and fiction.  Follow him @DocBonn on Twitter and email him directly at docbonn1@gmail.com.

 

 

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 71 other followers