UK: Man who falsely accused gay men of rape jailed for six years


A Herefordshire man who falsely claimed he was raped by four gay men has been jailed for six years.

The trial heard that one of the falsely accused took an overdose and another contemplated suicide

The trial heard that one of the falsely accused took an overdose and another contemplated suicide

Mark Wixey, 43, of Belmont, Herefordshire, received the sentence last week at Worcester Crown Court.
Worcester News reports Wixey was jailed for making false rape allegations against four gay men he met on dating websites.
He encountered three of the men on Gaydar and another on a site called Plenty of Fish, meeting up with men in various parts of the country but made false allegations which led to them being investigated and held by police.
The trial heard that one of the falsely accused took an overdose and another contemplated suicide.
Wixey was arrested on suspicion of perverting the course of justice on 20 December 2012.
Initially denying the allegations, Wixey pleaded guilty at Worcester Crown Court to all charges on 18 November.
Police-police-officer-uniform-smiley-emoticon-001085-facebookJudge Robert Juckes QC sentenced him to six years, taking into account Wixey’s decision to plead guilty, he reduced the sentence from eight years to six.
He said the case was unique due to the number of victims and that lawyers were unable to source any previous case history of similar matters involving the victims.
Judge Juckes said Wixey was obviously a “troubled” man but drink had played a major part in the offences. At one stage he had tried to commit suicide.
DC Zoey Carter, the officer in the case for West Mercia Police, said: “The false allegation made by Mr Wixey in Worcester resulted in the arrest, detention and interview of an innocent man. As part of the detention process he was forensically examined and provided intimate samples.
“The victim described the week following his arrest as the worst in his life and believes the incident has changed him completely.

“The nature of these false allegations is quite horrific and the long term effects on the lives of his victims is significant.

“One victim contemplated suicide whilst another was so distraught that he took an overdose which was thankfully unsuccessful. By making this, and the allegations in other police force areas, Mr Wixey has prevented valuable specialist resources from investigating genuine complaints.
?????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????“It’s because West Mercia Police take sexual offence allegations so seriously that the investigation team were determined to ensure Mr Wixey was brought to justice and couldn’t ruin any other lives.
“I am thrilled that we have achieved justice for all the victims concerned and I truly hope that they are now able to put an end to this chapter in their lives and move on. In fact, I received a message from one of the victims this morning thanking us and explaining that he felt like a huge amount of pressure had been lifted and that he felt like he’d been given his life back.”


The Power of Love


holly-johnson-limited-print-1-jpg“The Power of Love” is a song originally recorded and released by English band Frankie Goes to Hollywood. It was written by Holly Johnson, Peter Gill, Mark O’Toole and Brian Nash, four of five members of the band. It was released by the group as their third single.

Initially issued as a single in November 1984, and taken from the album Welcome to the Pleasuredome, “The Power of Love” followed its two predecessors, “Relax” and “Two Tribes”, to the top of the UK images (9)singles chart. It scored the band an early December number-one. “The Power Of Love” was also a top 10 hit in several European countries, in New Zealand, and in Canada.

Here’s the original video for Frankie Goes To Hollywood’s 1984 seasonal Number One, The Power Of Love. Not ostensibly a seasonal song, it has become one of UK’s favourite festive sounds and that journey began with this clever and highly evocative promo.

Since then, reissues and/or remixes of the Frankie Goes To Hollywood recording of this song have been top 10 UK hits on two other occasions, hitting #10 in 1993 and #6 in 2000. “The Power Of Love” has also charted in the UK in a version by Holly Johnson (a solo recording from 1999), and a 2012 version by Gabrielle Aplin.

Praise-You-nun-pray-saint-smiley-emoticon-000709-hugeThere is a biblical aspect to its spirituality and passion; the fact that love is the only thing that matters in the end.”

Aplin’s recording of the song below also went to #1 in the UK, exactly 28 years after the original Frankie Goes To Hollywood single topped the charts. Aplin’s version also enjoyed a resurgence in 2014 thanks to it being the soundtrack to the advert/trailer for TV series “Resurrection”.

The track was first featured during the John Peel Sessions the band performed on during 1983, “The Power of Love” became Frankie Goes To Hollywood‘s third consecutive (and last) #1 UK single in December, 1984.

smiley_countryHolly Johnson, who co-wrote the song, later reminisced: “I always felt like The Power Of Love was the record that would save me in this life.


Anti-bullying Week: Ex-Pride director and LGBT champion on not being a bystander


Ex-director of Manchester Pride, champion of Village businesses and all-round LGBT hero Jackie Crozier writes on the importance of not being a bystander to crime.

6583634309939200I’ve spent a lot of my career trying to fight prejudice and stereotypes – and promote equality – particularly among LGBT communities.

When I was Chair of Manchester’s Village Business Association, I pushed for a new art project to inject life and pride back into ‘Our Village’.

One reason behind the street art scheme was to demonstrate to passers-by that we are proud of who we are and our history. We also wanted to show that we stand up for ourselves, together, through thick and thin.

As Manchester Pride’s Festival Director I was privileged to lead celebrations of LGBT lifestyle and culture in Manchester and, together with our staff, supporters, volunteers, patrons and partners, raised hundreds of thousands of pounds for LGBT community groups and charities in the process.smiley-face-thumbs-up

Despite no longer holding either of those posts I know that I can still help make a difference. I know that we all have a duty and a responsibility to make the world a better place – no matter what we do. That’s why we all need to step up and make a difference.

This Anti-Bullying Week 2014, I’ve been particularly struck by one campaign in particular from lesbian, gay and bisexual equality charity Stonewall.

Stonewall’s #NoBystanders campaign is simple, hard-hitting and inclusive of all and any group who may suffer bullying and prejudice. Its campaign video shows children hearing hateful language from a young age, and demonstrates the way it can progress into adulthood.


And what does #NoBystanders ask of its audience? Pledge to not be a bystander – and stand up for those around you who are being bullied or abused for being who they are.

Sounds pretty simple, I think?

Then do it. Be a role model. Don’t be a bystander. If you hear it, or see it, then stop it. I know I will.32128-Clipart-Illustration-Of-An-Expressive-Yellow-Smiley-Face-Emoticon-With-Hearts-Admiring-His-Crush

And I know that, as a city that looks after its own, that you’ll do it too, Manchester.

No Bystanders is gay rights charity Stonewall’s campaign to tackle bullying and abuse in the LGBT community. It takes place during Anti-Bullying Week from November 17-21.

For more on this story20 Nov 2014 – 09:24AM | By Jackie Crozier


Webinar: Official Launch of COH | Wednesday, Nov 26th


A_preacher_smiley_face_praying_100714-126235-696009We have come dangerously close to accepting the homeless situation as a problem that we just can’t solve.

This is the official launch event of the Canadian Observatory on Homelessness (COH). The COH builds on the work of the Canadian Homelessness Research Network (CHRN) and introduces a program of research that includes local, provincial and national monitoring activities, as well as original research that addresses key issues in homelessness. COH includes researchers, service providers, policy and decision makers, people with lived experience of homelessness as well as graduate and undergraduate students from across Canada with a passion for social justice issues and a desire to solve homelessness in our communities. This webinar will introduce you to the work of the COH and some of its current areas of focus.


images (16)I think what it does is it gives me a much broader perspective than the average politician. You know, having walked in those shoes of being hungry and being homeless. The indignities of not getting health care, or waiting in the public hospital, hoping somebody will care for you. Going to sleep with a toothache because you can’t go to the dentist.


Anti-bullying Week 2014



Monday 17 November marks the start of Anti-bullying Week 2014, coordinated by the Anti-Bullying Alliance.

This year’s focus is to Stop bullying for ALL children and young people – including disabled children and those with special educational needs, children who are significantly more likely to experience bullying in schools and the wider community.

Further information and support from the CPSU


Visit the Anti-bullying Alliance website for further information on Anti-bullying Week and details of how to get involved.


smiley-face_bullhorn_jpg_w300h210Official News Release: Bullying Awareness and Prevention Week at NPSC: “Stand Up! (to bullying)”


Does Cyber Harassment affect Employees? A Survey


Cyberbullying is becoming more and more prevalent. Children, celebrities and campaigners are among those who have experienced abuse, whilst evidence suggests that it is also becoming a problem in workplaces.

4727417010651136In the past decade communication technologies have increasingly infiltrated the workplace. For instance, UK office workers send and receive 10,000 emails per year according to researchers at Warwick Business School. Many of these will be generic work requests, a few might be impolite and some could be downright abusive.

There are reasons to believe that cyberbullying behaviours perpetrated in the organisational context are more subtle than those observed among children and adolescents. This is because employees are bound by regulations that prohibit explicit abuse aimed at co-workers and adults may have developed the capacity to disguise bullying behaviours. Despite this, workplace cyberbullying can still cause harm as researchers have linked it to low job satisfaction, mental strain and intention to quit the organisation.

Examples of workplace cyberbullying can include online threats, overly critical emails and the distribution of embarrassing pictures and personal information. Aspects of computer mediated communication mean that workplace cyberbullying differs from offline workplace bullying in several key ways. For instance, it is possible for perpetrators to remain anonymous, the perpetrator and victim are often in different locations when messages are distributed and cyber acts can be seen by a much larger audience. Furthermore, certain acts of cyberbullying are more permanent than the transience of offline bullying acts and they can be experience by employees outside of the work environment.

Before in-depth research can address workplace cyberbullying it is critical to develop valid and reliable tools to measure it. This is the focus of a study being run by researchers at the University of Sheffield. If you are employed and would like to take part in the study please click on the link below.

Researchers from the University of Sheffield are working with the support of No Bullying to identify how negative behaviours conducted through technology can impact employee health, job satisfaction and working relationships. People are increasingly using technology to communicate with their colleagues. It is therefore important to investigate how negative technology-mediated behaviours affect employees.

If you are employed and would like to contribute to knowledge on cyberbullying within the context of work, we would like to invite you to take a short survey on negative technological experiences, job satisfaction, health and work engagement.

To obtain data that will give a casual indication of how negative technological behaviours affect people, we need to collect data now and again in six months’ time. Therefore we would like to invite you to complete this survey now as well as a second survey that will be distributed in six months.

This study has been ethically approved by the Sheffield University Management School. All responses are anonymous and strictly confidential. You are also free to withdraw from the study at any time by closing the web page. To participate in the study click on this link.

images (10)Learn more about the Study and do take some time to participate in it.smiley-wearing-glasses-reading-a-book

Sam Farley is a doctoral researcher at Sheffield University Management School – email twitter: @sam_farley3

Cyberbullying in the Workplace, Study and Survey Covered by NoBullying Today


Poll finds many Canadians feel bullied at work


Many chose to stay quiet about the issue

987fe6a14f76a535f8c7d0c79ed8-190x250VANCOUVER (NEWS1130) – Some disturbing numbers about bullying in the workplace are coming to light.

A new poll by finds nearly half of all Canadians who responded feel they’ve been bullied at the office, with many blaming their bosses as the main tormenter.

What’s really sad about these statistics is one-quarter of respondents say they actually left a job because they felt they were constantly picked on.

Unfortunately, many workers chose to stay silent about feeling bullied. Meanwhile less than half actually reported it to HR, with less than half reporting nothing was done to fix the problem.

“Our results showed that, despite the prevalence of workplace bullying, many workers do not come forward to report it, and many of those who do feel their complaints aren’t heard,” says Mark Bania, Director of CareerBuilder Canada.

More than half took the problem into their own hands and some had good results. More than one-quarter say the bullying stopped but almost the same number said the issue continued. Two per cent said the problem only got worse.

From intimidation to insults, bullying occurs in many forms. When asked how they felt bullied, workers gave the following responses:

  • They were falsely accused of making mistakes: 54 per cent
  • They were ignored – their comments were dismissed or not acknowledged: 51 per cent
  • The boss or co-workers constantly criticized them: 37 per cent
  • Different standards or policies applied to them that didn’t apply to others: 35 per cent
  • They were the topic of office gossip: 35 per cent
  • Co-workers made belittling comments about them during meetings: 32 per cent
  • The boss yelled at them in front of other co-workers: 24 per cent
  • Others purposely excluded them from projects or meetings: 21 per cent
  • Others picked on them for personal attributes (e.g. race, gender, appearance): 16 per cent
  • Someone stole credit for their work: 15 per cent

When it comes to the biggest workplace bullies, those who have felt bullied at work say bosses are No. 1 tyrants (49%), followed closely by co-workers (47%). Thirty-two percent of workplace bully victims say a customer was the culprit, and 23% felt victimized by a higher-up at the company other than their boss.

Half of office bullying victims say their bullies are older than them, and 28% say their bullies are younger. Twenty-two percent are bullied by people their own age.

When it comes to reporting the problem, the majority of office workers choose to keep silent. Only 44% of workplace bully victims report the problem to HR, and 54% of those workers say no action was taken to relieve the situation.

Fifty-five percent of those who say they’re bullied have taken matters into their own hands to varying results. Twenty-six percent of workers say the bullying stopped when they confronted their tormenter; however, 28% also confronted their bully only to see the bullying continue, and another 2% say the bullying got even worse.

“Workers should feel comfortable coming forward if they feel they are being bullied,” Bania adds, “and employers should take these complaints seriously, as they can lead to larger problems that affect not just the individual employee but the entire organization.”

Related Stories and Links

Sonia Aslam VANCOUVER – NEWS1130 – November 12, 2014


Mobilizing the Data Revolution for Sustainable Development

Originally posted on MY World:

Blog by Caya Johnson, MY World Global Youth Advocate

A World that Counts

“Data are the lifeblood of decision-making and the raw material for accountability.
Without high-quality data providing the right information on the right things at the right
time; designing, monitoring and evaluating effective policies becomes almost impossible.” 

– A World that Counts – Mobilising the Data Revolution for Sustainable Development a report by the IEAG on the Data Revolution, November 2014

In the period leading up to the adoption on the 2015 global sustainable development agenda, a revolution has been emerging at the UN  – a data revolution for sustainable development.

In their report published in May 2013, the High Level Panel of Eminent Persons on the Post-2015 Development Agenda called for a Data Revolution for Sustainable Development to improve the quality of information for both people and governments, for  purposes including a higher standard of accountability and decision-making. The High Level…

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Bullying in fast Forward


Photo courtesy of

Photo courtesy of

Each week I receive hundreds of emails about “BULLYING” and the effects it has on individuals and society as a whole, with my now busy schedule unfortunately I don’t get a chance to read them all rather I have to pick and choose which ones I will read and or post.
So knowing that, I am going to share a few of my personal selections and you can decide which are most important to you or not. Thank you for following along with B.P, and for your support because the end to “BULLYING” starts with you.
By Terry Kinden – November 10, 2014



Stephenville, Newfoundland remembers 9 – 11


Eight passenger planes brought about 1,200 unexpected guests into Stephenville Airport following terrorist attacks in the United States on Sept. 11, 2001.

Eight passenger planes brought about 1,200 unexpected guests into Stephenville Airport following terrorist attacks in the United States on Sept. 11, 2001.

A place to sleep

The Stephenville Airport and it’s people has earned it’s place in History but to our dismay the Stephenville Airport is now closed!

Once they were able to leave the airport, passengers were re-loaded onto buses and taken to accommodations in and around the Stephenville and Corner Brook areas, including the local Royal Newfoundland Regiment‘s Armouries and the Salvation Army‘s Camp of Silver Birches in the Humber Valley.

Many passengers were taken to the Stephenville campus of College of the North Atlantic, where staff had prepared spaghetti, meat sauce and desserts for 1,500 people.

“I recall a woman in her 50s standing in front of the television in the lobby; she was transfixed for minutes as she watched the loops of the buildings collapsing,” said Cyril Organ, then a campus administrator.

“Remember, she had been on a plane for hours and subjected to an intense security process so this was the first time that she saw first-hand what had happened earlier in the day. It occurred to me that the expression on her face had been worn by the rest of us some 12 hours earlier.”

Students gave up their dorm rooms for the passengers, and other passengers were set up in bunks inside classrooms and other areas.

“It was clear that most people were stressed and exhausted, and we tried our best to get them settled as easily as possible,” said Mr. Organ. “It was equally clear that people needed to call home so we set up a number of rooms where people could contact their families to reassure them. One of the airlines had distributed my cell number as the contact number for families and I recall spending a lot of time on the phone on a 24/7 basis.”

And while it was a rather sombre day, Mr. Organ noted there were also few lighter moments.

“We learned that a couple has just been married and were still in their wedding garb. Staff sourced a bottle of wine and made sure they had a room to themselves,” he said.

“I enjoyed the time with the Mexican passengers. Moreso than the other nationalities, they demonstrated a disposition most closely aligned with Newfoundlanders. They had fun, made the best of a bad situation and chipped in to help.”

The pace to keep the passengers as comfortable as possible during the next few days remained intense for the volunteer hosts.

5744966133350400“People forget that these passengers came off the planes with the clothes on their backs,” said Mr. Organ. “Luggage remained on the planes, so everyone needed fresh clothes, and many needed medications urgently. All of these needs were accommodated.”

Many citizens, businesses and organizations donated goods to help the passengers – using the airport as a hub to drop off their donations.

“We had the airport just like a store,” said Ms. Kendall. “The area where the baggage comes in, we had all that lined with products and everybody was bringing us sandwiches and things like that to keep them going.”

On Sept. 14, with the skies re-opened to commercial air traffic, the passengers received word that they’d be heading home. The last of the passengers flew out that evening.

“It happened so fast, that week went like a day,” said Mr. MacNeil, reflecting a decade later on the local relief effort. “To me, we all did what we were supposed to do and there’s no big thing about it.”

He and others credit the countless volunteers who did whatever they could to help the stranded passengers ­- without seeking any praise for what they did.

“I’ve been asked in the years since why the efforts in Stephenville are not more widely known or recognized. I said early and I repeat now that everyone did the right things for the right reasons,” said Mr. Organ.

“Everyone walked away with the satisfaction that flows from a job well done and that’s the recognition that counts.”

However, a bit of acclaim is forthcoming. To thank local people for their efforts on Sept. 11, 2001, a plaque will be unveiled by U.S. Embassy officials in Stephenville on Sept. 19.

Christopher Vaughan – Published on September 12, 2011 – 9-11 remembered – related slideshow





Oh Canada…

Bullying Prevention:

You and me both cause I hold the same concerns for this country and see the same destination as being a destructive one.

Originally posted on Rantings of a Canadian girl:

Life got busy so blogging got left behind. It was alone though, I don’t remember the last time I read a book. All of my little guilty pleasures have fallen by the wayside lately.
However, I needed to get this out. I have taken moments to vent on Facebook but this is the first time I’ve really sat down to vent on my blog. Why now? Because I am scared. Scared for my family, myself and my country. I have been watching everything that I have held dear; everything that we, as a nation, have held up as our ideals for so long being stripped away. I am a fiercely proud Canadian but I see my beloved country being changed without any input from those that live here at all. In fact there has been complete disdain and disregard for what the people of Canada want. We stand by helplessly…

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Searching for Suicide Methods


Suicide-Methods1-642x336Youth suicide rates are sadly out of control. Research from the Center for Disease Control (CDC) says among young people, suicide is third leading cause of their death. About 4,600 young people, between the ages of ten to twenty-four, die from suicide each year.

Death is not the only result from a suicide attempt, because more people survive than die. Around 147,000 youth end up in hospital emergency rooms each year with a self-inflicted injury. Some survivors have permanent damage from the suicide attempt, such as having a brain injury or paralysis. Those who survive have a higher risk of attempting suicide again.

Suicide methods statistics say forty-five percent use guns, forty percent use hanging or suffocating, and eight percent use drug overdoses or poison.

The CDC reports many young people are thinking about suicide. A survey across America found sixteen percent of high school students had seriously contemplated suicide, thirteen percent had made a plan, and eight percent attempted suicide.

Suicide affects all youth. Males die from suicide more frequently than females, but females make more attempts. Deaths from suicides, for ten to twenty-four year-olds, were eighty-one percent boys and nineteen percent girls. Native American youth have the highest suicide rates. Hispanic youth report more suicide attempts than blacks or Caucasians. Suicide is especially impactful for those who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgendered (LGBT). Bullying is a major cause of youth suicide, when those under attack see no other way out. Many adults question why don’t these depressed youth seek help or reach out. Often they do reach out, but others ignore calls for help or do not take them seriously. In the case of bullying, often a call for help has no effect whatsoever on the daily torments these youth are facing.

The Search for Suicide Methods for Teens and Youth Today, Shocking!

There are certain risk factors, which may influence whether a young person attempts suicide. Just because the risk factors exist, does not mean they will attempt suicide. Nevertheless, these are the warning signs as published by the CDC:

  • A previous attempt of suicide
  • Suicide of another family member
  • Mental health problems and depression
  • Using drugs or alcohol
  • A life event, which is extremely stressful
  • A major loss
  • Easy access to firearms or other suicide methods
  • Other youth’s suicidal behavior (copy-cat syndrome)
  • Going to jail

If any of these risk factors are present, there are things to do to help a suicidal young person.

Read the complete story here.


Would You Rather Have a Gay Child or a Dead Child?


10440845_519948914778088_1449047953001362499_n-300x199I am sorry if the title of this post shocks you, or strikes you as harsh or over-dramatic. But honestly, parents don’t realize what they’re asking of their LGBTQ kids. And they don’t realize what their rejection is doing to them.

This is not about inclusion. This is a matter of life and death.

By making their children stick to their own expectations and standards for them — whether they really think their gay child is going to hell or honestly are just ashamed of them — parents are asking their kids to change something inherent, something that son or daughter can’t change. No matter how much they pray or plead. It’s just not happening.
And the message that sends is absolutely devastating. It tells our kids (young, teens or adults) that they are broken, not okay, for whatever reason.

It’s plain wrong. And it can be tragic.

The suicide statistics for LGBTQ youth is alarming — 40% of gay youth contemplate suicide, 50% of transgender youth – 4 to 5 times the rate for their straight peers. And gay youth who come from highly rejecting families are 8.4 times as likely to have attempted suicide as gay peers who reported no or low levels of family rejection.
I have been in dialogue with a close friend about my support and affirmation of gays, and I am heartsick. We are going to meet for coffee, to see if we can find any common ground. She follows Jesus too, so that should be our common ground. But people get disjointed about this, bent out of shape, worked up.
She has already expressed her deep disapproval in me. I am simply loving without condition, which my main job in life (and it’s hers, too!). To even think about meeting with her makes me queasy, but I must speak up for those who deserve to be spoken for.
Just imagine the one who IS gay. How do they feel? Having to discuss this with a family member who doesn’t approve, and other family members, and friends, and church, and society. No wonder this is so hard to walk through. No wonder they feel so alone, because they essentially are so alone.
Family… we are supposed to love and support each other no matter what. If our own family won’t do that, how does that impact our confidence that anyone else can?
Imagine the depth of the shame of a child rejected, condemned, shunned by parents. Or the shame that comes from parents who just “tolerate” their gay child, but the child clearly knows the parents are disgusted by who they are.
And imagine a parent conveying the message that God too is ashamed and disgusted?
Shame is not a good motivator, it’s a horrible motivator that can destroy a person’s heart and spirit. Shame only makes a person feel fundamentally defective, and no one has the right to do that to someone else.

EVERYONE deserves to be treated as a human being. Even people you might disagree with.

I know this can be hard. Please don’t go through it alone. Seek out people to talk to – people who will support and encourage you – people who will affirm, accept and love your gay child, and you too.
I have a secret private Moms group on social media, Rob has a secret private Dads group — email us about those. There are support groups and affirming churches you might consider while you are on this journey.
I am so proud of you for reading this. It may be the first step in making the decision to err on the side of love, to affirm your child. You may have saved their life.
I promise you that it does get better. The answers will come. Just take the next step, and find someone to take it with you.
I am here if you need me.
We know of way too many families who kicked out, condemned, rejected, shunned and shamed their gay child – in Jesus name, claiming they were speaking for God – and who lost their child to suicide or drug abuse.

Please. Don’t. Just don’t. Don’t drive your child over the edge.

Every one of us would regret that for every single day of the rest of our lives.
Breathe. Love them for who they are. Err on the side of love. Trust God with all the rest.
It’s what they deserve because they are human – and because they are your precious child. No matter what.

Just love. Please.

October 28, 2014 by Susan Cottrell
Courtesy of Patheos – Hosting the conversation on faith.


Astronaut Scott Kelly Has a Great Anti-Bullying Message for National Bullying Prevention Awareness Month


Listen up, Earthlings

Photo courtesy of NASA

Photo courtesy of NASA

If a victim were capable of fixing things on their own, the world would have no problems. As NASA astronaut Scott Kelly points out, it’s important not to just be a bystander but instead to speak out when you see something that’s unacceptable in society—whether it’s bullying or anything else. It’s important to have vocal allies. If you won’t take it from me, take it from a spaceman.

You may remember astronaut Scott Kelly as the man who will embark on a year-long mission in space to investigate space’s effects on the human body with the help of his twin brother in March 2015. Kelly recorded this message about standing up against bullying to promote October’s National Bullying Prevention Awareness month and the federal government’s push to stop bullying.

“I felt compelled to act after hearing about the various cases of bullying around the country last year. I thought of my own daughters, and I recalled my experiences as a child watching other kids bully others without accountability,” Kelly said. “Bullying affects not only the child adversely but also stunts our growth as a society. It is everyone’s responsibility to stand up against bullying.”

(via NASA) by Dan Van Winkle for The Mary Sue – Friday, October 24th 2014


An Honest and Responsive Government – the Role of Citizen Voice

Originally posted on MY World:

Blog by Caya Johnson, Global Youth Advocate


“Throughout history, progress has always been driven by citizens, who have the courage to raise their voices” – US President Barack Obama, Open Government Partnership Side-Event, 24 Sept. 2014

By empowering people around the world to have their priorities heard at the UN, the MY World 2015 Global survey has enabled a more transparent and accountable international development process – so perhaps it is unsurprising that these people have a similar aspiration for the openness and accountability of their own governments.  Out of the 16 MY World priorities, “An Honest and Responsive Government” is the 4th most voted for worldwide.

Disaggregated MY World Results on “An Honest and Responsive Governance”
Low HDI Governance

Furthermore, the MY World survey indicates that in low-HDI countries people feel that governance has a very real impact on their lives.  In these countries an honest and responsive government is the…

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United Nations Day



UN staff members dressed in their national costumes to celebrate UN Day © UN Photo

UN staff members dressed in their national costumes to celebrate UN Day © UN Photo

worldsmileyUN Day marks the anniversary of the entry into force in 1945 of the UN Charter. With the ratification of this founding document by the majority of its signatories, including the five permanent members of the Security Council, the United Nations officially came into being.

24 October has been celebrated as United Nations Day since 1948. In 1971, the United Nations General Assembly recommended that the day be observed by Member States as a public holiday.

To read the Secretary-General’s Message for 2014 Click Here»»»


After #GamerGate tweet, Adobe distances itself from Gawker “Bullying” [Updated]


But Adobe employee calls tweet a “case of mistaken identity,” promises an update

Screen-Shot-2014-10-21-at-12.45.59-PM-640x604On Tuesday, Adobe used its official Twitter account to post a condemnation of Gawker Media over accusations of “bullying.” In a confusing move, an Adobe employee tweeted roughly an hour later that the company’s original post was “mistaken,” but as of press time, the original post in question had yet to be taken down or modified.

(As this back-and-forth involves the latest wave of activity attached to the #GamerGate hashtag, you’ll want to study up if you’ve missed out on the hashtag’s rise in recent months.)

On Tuesday morning, a user tweeted at Adobe with #GamerGate hashtags and accusations that Gawker “endorses bullying and hate speech,” along with a call for the company to remove its advertising from Gawker’s network. The tweet didn’t specify where that “endorsement” came from, but another post from that user’s Twitter account pointed to tweets made by Valleywag editor Sam Biddle last week, including statements such as “bring back bullying” and “I’m getting a raise because I made gamers cry.”

These posts came after other jokes and criticism Biddle had posted about #GamerGate. In particular, Biddle criticized a YouTube video that had purported to sum up the hashtag’s concerns about game journalism ethics, but the video relied heavily on recent, refuted accusations while brushing off violent, anonymous threats linked to #GamerGate. Biddle also later apologized for his tweets, and Gawker followed that by distributing an internal memo about the incident, telling its employees, “when a tweet could be innocently misinterpreted, don’t tweet.”

Mistaken identity?

Adobe’s official account posted a response indicating that it was not actively advertising on the site and had asked Gawker to remove its logo (presumably from the company’s “Partners” page, which no longer exists on the network’s advertising hub), then added, “Adobe stands against bullying.”

The tweet attracted a wide variety of responses, alternating between support from active #GamerGate participants and accusations that Adobe was allying with a “hate group.” People who made the latter statement linked to a recent Gawker network report breaking down statements and tactics that had been linked to #GamerGate.

Adobe product manager Divya Manian later responded to the Adobe tweet by saying, “We are working on it; it was a case of mistaken identity,” without clarifying whose identity was mistaken (as the earlier post came from Adobe’s confirmed, blue-checkmark Twitter account). Manian also retweeted a comment by threatened game developer and #GamerGate critic Brianna Wu that read, “I just got off the phone with Adobe. Stay tuned,” implying that a reversal of course would follow.

This was the second major story in the past month linking tech companies and pulled advertising campaigns, following Intel’s decision to pull ads from game development and criticism site Gamasutra after being targeted by an e-mail campaign known as Operation Disrespectful Nod. It also followed a rise in mainstream #GamerGate coverage from outlets such as the New York Times and MSNBC. That coverage has largely focused on the public faces of #GamerGate, almost exclusively women in the game industry who have faced threats and harassment.


On Tuesday night, Adobe sent Ars an e-mail that said, “Please read our Twitter response to this matter.” The e-mail then linked to a single sentence from Adobe’s official Twitter account, which read, “We are vehemently opposed to bullying of any kind and would never support any group that bullies.” That Twitter feed did not clarify whether the company was accusing anybody in particular of bullying, but the original tweet about Gawker remained live on Adobe’s feed.

Our questions about whether the company believed Gawker promotes bullying, or what Divya Manian meant about “mistaken identity,” were left unanswered.

by Sam Machkovech – Oct 21 2014 – view source


Peanut Allergies Lead To Bullying In Schools, Newfoundland Doctor Says (VIDEO)


When a Newfoundland school district reinforced a ban on peanut butter substitutes earlier this month, the head of a company that produces them called it bullying.

n-NUT-ALLERGY-largeAs one doctor in Deer Lake, N.L. tells it, students are using those very products to harass kids with serious nut allergies.

Pediatrician Dr. Susan Russell cheered a move by the Newfoundland and Labrador English School District to ban peanut butter substitutes such as Wowbutter in schools that already have nut-free policies, The Western Star reported.

She said students have smeared Wowbutter on allergy sufferers or their belongings, or even pressured them into eating it. One student, she recalls, was chased down a corridor by someone who said they were holding a peanut butter sandwich. The bullied student now doesn’t want to go back to school.

“The risk is being bullied causes significant psychological harm, but, in this case, there is a real physical threat,” Russell told the newspaper.

Allergy sufferers who come into contact with peanuts can experience anaphylaxis, which is characterized by narrowing airways, throat swelling, a drop in blood pressure or losing consciousness, according to the Mayo Clinic.

It can even be life-threatening; Dr. Richard Lockey, an allergist with the University of South Florida, said sufferers can die from anaphylaxis in minutes, though it’s rarely been reported to happen days or weeks after the initial event.

In an interview with CBC News, Russell said as many as half of kids with food allergies have been bullied, and that 80 per cent of the harassment happens in school.

Beatrice Povolo, marketing director for Anaphylaxis Canada, last year told CTV News the problem is growing.

“The results we have seen in some surveys that we have done is 30 per cent of parents have reported that their child has experienced some form of bullying,” she told the network. “This is concerning, because this seems to be more prevalent than previously known.”

A New York Times article published last year noted that in half of all cases of allergy bullying, the parents were not aware of the situation.

Scott Mahon, president of Wowbutter Foods, was disappointed earlier this month when the school district banned its products from certain classrooms, saying that it would “make life difficult” for certain families.

“We’re supposed to be teaching our kids to accept and embrace and acknowledge the needs and uniqueness of others,” he told CBC News. “Now the school is saying, ‘no, we understand this is a safe product, but we don’t want to take the time to educate and deal with it.”

But Jeff Thompson, the school district’s associate director of education (programs), said it knows that Wowbutter isn’t dangerous, but added that it can be difficult for schools to monitor.



What goes around comes around: Victimization leads to bullying


OTTAWA, October 14, 2014 — Bullying is a significant public health concern. It is associated with notable health problems and academic difficulties for children who get bullied and for those who bully them. Common knowledge suggests that children who are chronically bullied may eventually react with aggression towards their aggressors or others as a way of getting back or protecting themselves. A recent study published in the American Psychological Association’s journal Developmental Psychology by professors John Haltigan and Tracy Vaillancourt from the University of Ottawa confirms that children who are bullied by their peers are more likely to become bullies than bullies becoming victims.

The study included 695 Canadian children who researchers followed yearly from grade 5 (aged 10 or 11) until they entered high school (aged 14 or 15). Each year, the children were asked how much they were bullied by their peers and how much they bullied other students. Participants and their parents were also asked to provide detailed information about their mental health well-being such as how depressed, anxious and hyperactive they were.

Results indicate that for most children, instances of bullying—whether as a victim or a perpetrator—were low for the duration of the study. However, for a subset of children, 6% of the participants, there was evidence that children started off as victims and then became bullies. This victim-to-bully group had higher levels of mental health problems than children who were not involved in bullying or who were bullies only. Similarly, children who had experienced higher levels of victimization but who did not bully others had higher levels of mental health problems compared with children not involved in bullying or who had bullied others only.

These results suggest that aggression does beget aggression and that there is a significant mental health cost associated with being the victim of bullying behaviour. Moreover, identifying children who are frequent targets of peer abuse and providing them with intervention services may help prevent the development of future bullies.

Media inquiries

Danika Gagnon
Media Relations Officer
University of Ottawa
Office: 613-562-5800 ext. 2981
Cell.: 613-863-7221

View Source: University of Ottawa


GLAAD Presents Spirit Day 2014


Spirit Day

Everyone is encouraged to go purple & participate on social media for Spirit Day on Thursday October 16th. Millions wear purple on Spirit Day as a sign of support for lesbian, gay, bisexual & transgender (LGBT) youth & to speak out against bullying.

Spirit Day was started in 2010 as a response to the young people who had taken their own lives after facing bullying incidents. Spirit Day has since garnered widespread support from celebrities, TV news & entertainment programs, corporations, organizations, schools, local communities & even national landmarks. This year actress & trans activist Laverne Cox, the Emmy nominated “Orange is the New Black” star will light the iconic Empire State Building in purple on October 16th.

This is first time that the New York landmark has taken a stand against bullying & gone purple for Spirit Day. Sarah Kate Ellis, President & CEO of GLAAD stated, “By recognizing National Bullying Prevention Month & lighting in purple for Spirit Day, the world’s most famous office building is supporting countless kids across the world. At a time when eight in 10 LGBT youth are harassed at school, it’s critical that we let them know it’s okay to be who you are.” Spirit Day is made possible by the generous support of its national partners PepsiCo & Wells Fargo, as well as official partner Comcast-NBC Universal & supporting partners American Eagle Outfitters & Kirkland & Ellis.

For More Info:
Listen: LGBT Activist Urvashi Vaid Speaks OUT @OUTTAKE VOICES™

View source


Spirit Day

Bullying Prevention:

As tomorrow is Spirit Day, I am sharing my last years Spirit Day post to remind everyone to go purple and support LGBTQI Youth.

Originally posted on The New Bullying Prevention:

View original

The Purrfect Café


Welcome to the Purrfect Café!

PTS is excited to announce our new monthly program – The Purrfect Café!

catOn the 3rd Tuesday of the month, Starting October 21, come and enjoy the company of some fluffy felines in our lounge with coffee, tea and cuddles.

Visiting kitties from the Village Kitten Rescue will be present and attendees will be able to respectfully pet, purr and play with VKR’s cats. Cats in attendance may be available for adoption. Persons with allergies to cats: please see the allergy notice below.

Although cat cafes are a relatively new trend in North America they have been enjoyed for years elsewhere in the world, and with good reason – cat companionship has been shown to help reduce stress and anxiety and to lower blood pressure. Purring in particular “has been linked to lowering stress, decreasing symptoms of Dyspnoea, lessening the chances of having a heart attack, and even strengthening bones.” See here for more information on the benefits of animal companionship.

Respectful Interaction
To help ensure the comfort of kitties and humans alike we ask that you please respect the following guidelines:

  • No teasing, chasing or striking the animals.
  • Approach cats calmly and slowly with your hand extended.
  • Respect kitty consent. Do not hold a cat any longer than it wants to be held.
  • If a cat is hiding or keeping its distance, respect that boundary.


The cats will be provided with food and water, toys, climbing trees and litter boxes. PTS staff and volunteers will supervise the event. The space will be cleaned before and after, and furniture covers will be used.

Notice for Allergies

If you have severe allergies to felines, perhaps attending this program is may not be the right choice for you. Those with minor allergies to felines who want to participate we will have an abundance of tissues onsite. If you have allergies and choose to attend the cafe, PTS nor the Village Cat Rescue are responsible for any allergic reactions you may have to the cats. Please bring the necessary medication you need to manage any reaction you might experience. After the cafe is over, per our cleaning procedures, we will make every effort to reduce the amount of hair and dander present.

Are you as excited about this as we are? Let people know using the hashtag #PurrCafeOtt!


PTS Ottawa - View Source


People vs. Ebola

It’s estimated that up to 1.4 million people could be infected by mid-January. At that scale, this monster threatens the entire world.

6161250629189632Three weeks ago, hundreds of thousands of us went offline to fight climate change. This week, we’re going offline to help stop Ebola.

The Ebola virus is spiraling out of control. Cases in West Africa are doubling every 2-3 weeks and the latest estimate says that up to 1.4 million people could be infected by mid-January. At that scale, this monster threatens the entire world.

Previous Ebola outbreaks have been repeatedly contained at small numbers. But the scale of this epidemic has swamped the region’s weak health systems. Liberia has less than 1 doctor for every 100,000 people. Governments are providing funds, but there just aren’t enough medical staff to stem the epidemic.

That’s where we come in. 39 million people are receiving this email. Our polling shows that 6% of us are health workers – doctors or nurses – that’s nearly 2 million of us. If just 120 doctors among us volunteer, it will *double* the number of doctors in Sierra Leone.

Other volunteers can help too — lab technicians, logisticians, water and sanitation workers, and transport workers. Volunteering means more than time. It means risk. Ebola is highly contagious. Health professionals have already died fighting it. But if there’s any group of people that would consider taking this risk for their fellow human beings, it’s our community. I and others on the Avaaz team are ready to take that risk with you, traveling to the front lines of this crisis.

Great things come from listening to the deepest voices within us. If you’re a health professional, or have other skills that can help, I ask you to take a moment, listen to the part of you that you most trust, and follow it.

Click below to volunteer, see messages from volunteers about why they’ve made this choice, and leave your own message of appreciation and encouragement for them:

Raising your hand to volunteer is the first step. You’ll need to get, and provide, a lot of information to ensure you’re well matched to an available position. You will likely need to discuss this decision with your loved ones, and you can withdraw from the process later if you choose to. For this effort, Avaaz is working with Partners In Health, Save the Children, and International Medical Corps, three of the leading organisations fighting this deadly disease. We are also consulting with the governments of Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Guinea, and the World Health Organization.

While there is substantial risk, there are also clear ways to contain that risk. Ebola is spread by physical contact, so with extreme care, the risk of contracting it can be minimized. So far, 94 health care workers have died of Ebola in Liberia, but almost all of them have been national health workers, who sadly are far less well equipped than international volunteers. With treatment, the chances of surviving the virus are better than 50%.

Many of us, from police to activists to soldiers, have jobs that involve risking our lives for our country. It’s the most powerful statement we can make about what’s worth living for. Taking this risk to fight Ebola, makes a statement that our fellow human beings, wherever they are, are worth living for:

If Ebola spirals further out of control, it could soon threaten us all. The fact that a weak health care system in a small country can let this monster grow to a size that threatens the world is a powerful statement of just how interdependent we are. But this interdependence is far more than just interests. We are connected, all of us, in a community of human beings. All the lies that have divided us – about nation and religion and sexuality – are being torn down, and we are realizing that we really are one people, one tribe. That a young mother and her daughter in Liberia fear the same things and love the same things as a young mother and her daughter in Brazil, or the Netherlands. And in this unfolding understanding, a new world is being born. Out of the darkest places come our brightest lights. Out of the depths of the Ebola nightmare, let’s bring the hope of a new world of one people, willing to give, and sacrifice, for each other.

With hope and determination,

Ricken, John, Alice, Danny, and the whole Avaaz team.


Stopping the Silent Epidemic: Workplace Bullying


October is Bullying Prevention Month

5483732859355136SPRINGFIELD, Ill. - While bullying is typically considered a school-yard problem, there are millions of American adults who say they’ve been victims of bullying on the job. According to a 2014 national survey from the Workplace Bullying Institute (WBI), 27 percent of workers report being bullied by a co-worker or boss. WBI director Dr. Gary Namie says these victims face threats, humiliation, work sabotage and verbal abuse. He calls it a “silent epidemic” that typically occurs behind closed doors. “In adulthood, the bullies target people who pose a threat to them,” says Namie. “So, based on envy, jealousy and attributes that they don’t possess, like technical skill and being well liked, people are targeted.” Illinois’ Senate Bill 2943, introduced early this year by Sen. Ira Silverstein, D-Chicago, would require employers to establish a workplace bullying policy. Namie says it’s a good step, but doesn’t think the bill goes far enough because it doesn’t hold employers liable in bullying cases. The bill is currently in the Labor and Commerce Committee. An estimated 65 million Americans are affected by workplace bullying.

October is Bullying Prevention Month, and Namie hopes it raises awareness about the effects of bullying on victims. He says it can traumatize a person, and even result in Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. In the workplace, he says victims often struggle to get employers to take their case seriously, that’s why employer accountability is an important part of anti-bullying legislation.

“All the advice is, ‘Well, you need to confront your bully.’ Well, if you could’ve, you would’ve, and confrontation by a bully target is ineffective,” says Namie. “Not because they’re ineffective people, but because the power of the employer is behind the bully, not the target.”

Namie’s organization has introduced a “Healthy Workplace Bill” in 26 states, including Illinois, but it has not passed in full form. Namie says it defines an abusive work environment and provides protections, both for employees and employers.

Mary Kuhlman, October 8, 2014 Public News Service – ILview source.