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by Sarah Drummond In cities across America, teens have their share of difficulties dealing with abuse. Whether it is neglect, bullying, psychological or emotional abuse, verbal abuse, physical abuse, hate crimes, drug and alcohol abuse, or sexual abuse. Anybody, rich or poor, can become a victim. Abuse can be found anywhere, without even trying to look for it. Most common places are at school or at home, usually known as their “comfort place.” Physical abuse is the most typical form of abuse; it can be actions that cause physical injuries, producing significant amount of pain or leaving marks. Any type of abuse can be influenced by drugs or alcohol. “Over a stupid situation, the fights always started over some insignificant thing. Feelings escalated and before I knew it I had a pair of hands around my neck and I was being shaken violently, you hear about things like that, but when it happens the victims are always helpless, just like how I was, helpless. It’s a scary feeling.” said Natalie Hayden*, a senior at PSL. This occurrence was caused by her father who was currently under the influence of marijuana. Natalie’s* father was actually abused himself. It has been proven; abuse can be passed down, due to self-experience. Natalie* is no longer living with that specific guardian. “I, like many children I’m sure, have been physically abused. I remember once in a blind rage, my mother broke three doors in our old apartment, that I had locked behind me trying to escape her malevolent fury. When she finally cornered me, she took hold of the top of my head against the wall until she was satisfied. Trust me, I can think of numerous other joyous occasions besides that particular one” said Ano Nymous* As well as Natalie*, Ano* is not longer living with that significant person. This occurrence was caused by alcoholism.

Parents and teachers are not the only subjects, guilty of abuse. Many occasions abuse involves your significant other. “He would always tell me how beautiful and wonderful I was, and kept mentioning how lucky he was to have me. Hearing him say all these things made me feel like I was on cloud nine. I later realized a change in his attitude and his moods would flip, as if he was bipolar. Then one day I didn’t answer him the way he expected me to and within a few seconds he grabbed me by the pony tail, threw me on the bed and held me down, screaming and spiting in my face. Honestly, I felt scared and helpless. I didn’t know what to do at the time. I’ve never seen this side of him before, and I’ve never been in a situation like this so I didn’t know what I should have done at the time. Even though he was 4 years older then me I never thought I would have seen an aggressive, controlling side to him like this,” said eighteen year old Laura Burn* a senior at PSLH. There are many young females who are verbally, sexually, and physically abused by their boyfriends. According to the Justice Department, 16- to 24-year-old women are the victims of relationship abuse, more than other age groups. Laura Burn* got a restraining order against her 22-yearold boyfriend, after he numerously beat her and left marks and bruises all over her body. Cyber bullying is also a form of abuse that is harrasment that became popular, especially since the upbringing off sites such as myspace, facebook, or even instant messaging. “Cyber bullying is when the internet, cell phone or other devices are used to send or post text or images intended to hurt or embarrass another person. It can involve harass, or even threats,” said Janine Hogan.

by Keven Paret “I sell cigarettes for a living and I wish I could only live a normal life, a life with my parents, a life with formal education at school, and a life not full of pain,” said Sunny, a child labor victim from Dhaka, Bangladesh. Millions of children across the globe are victims of extreme child labor abuse. According to UNICEF (United Nations Children’s fund) there are over 158 million children, roughly a sixth of the world’s children, engaged in child labor, ranging from sweatshop labor to prostitution. Who is to blame? Most child labor occurs in third world nations in which the economic situation is poor and law regulation is scarce. However, most child labor is propagated by Western corporations who seek to make a quick profit by the utilization of the cheap labor force that comes in the form of children. Corporations such as Coca Cola and

Coping w by Caitlin Jones

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* Names within the article have been changed.

by Olivia Douglas Animal cruelty is a well known form of abuse in this country. As noted in animal cruelty cases reporting, 784 (57 percent) of people intentionally abused their animals, and 589(43 percent) of people were involved in extreme animal abuse. (The Humane Society of the United States or HSUS.) This also includes dog fighting; which is a contest where two dogs- usually aggressive breeds, are prepared and trained to fight in a pit with plywood walls in exchange for money and entertainment. Another form of animal abuse involves cockfighting which is when two or more cocks are placed in an enclosure, to fight each other and after leads to death. Another type of animal abuse is animal hoarding, any animal can fall victim to this abuse. Animal hoarding is having more animals than usual without proper care of food, housing, and medical care. These cases are sometimes dealt with as mental disorders. The owners are usually deeply attached to their pets and have a hard time without them, and harm the animals by not giving them the proper care they need, sometimes unintentionally. However, there are owners who intentionally abuse their animals; they deprive them of water, shelter, medical care, and a loving family.

Some people who commit these crimes suffer from their own problems. There is a much deeper reason as to why owners abuse their animals that many are not aware of. “I feel that it is messed up, because the animal does not deserve it, the animals should be treated like humans, it is wrong for them to abuse the animal. The owner should go to jail for life,” said Anna Kellogs. Neglecting an animal involves starvation, dehydration, infestations, or allowing the collar to grow into the animal’s skin. It also includes no shelter from bad weather or in general, and not taking them to receive the care they need and deserve. Seventy million animals are tortured and killed in laboratories each year, and 10 billion are slaughtered for human consumption each year, and nearly 90 percent of animal abuse calls to animal control involve animal neglect, according to ausrrailianfauna.com/animalcruelty.php. “I don’t think people should take up more than they can manage. If they can’t take care of their pet, they need to bring the pet in and let them get the proper treatment they deserve. And if they don’t want to hand the pets over to the officials when they can no longer care for the pets, then they deserve to go to jail and suffer the consequences,” said Deita Cadet. * Names within the article have been changed.

by Alissa Heilman Depending on where in the world you live will depend on the laws one may have to follow. “As Americans, we have justified bending the rules by creating excuses, what many citizens do not realize is that it is breaking the law,” said Jennifer Acosta.* People find it very easy to come up with an excuse when it comes to breaking the laws. This political failure can happen for several reasons. No matter how serious the reason may be, when politics fails, the tolerance of law breaking takes control. At times, a law has been passed by another generation with other ideas involving rights and wrongs. Many people tend to speed through traffic knowing they are not supposed to, not thinking about whom else they are sharing the road with. According to safedrivingtest.com/morespeed.html, in 2002, speeding was a contributing factor in 36 percent of all fatal crashes, and 13,713 lives were lost in speeding related crashes. If they happen to create an accident, not only do they put

themselves in danger, they also put other drivers in harm as well. Not realizing since it is their fault they will have to pay for the damage and health insurance. “Reckless drivers should be prosecuted, putting peoples lives in harms way,’’ said Alexis Shotts. Loitering is a law that is also often broken. In some cases, high school students linger around liquor stores. In various occasions, they will be fined or will be given community service hours to complete. As for other states the authorities have the right to arrest. These days young adults abuse alcohol. They abuse it more than any other type of addiction. Still young, they do not really know the side affects of drinking. There are two major signs and symptoms of alcoholism. Neither one of them is good for you but trying to be cool and earn popularity, young adults do not realize they are only hurting themselves. * Names within the article have been changed.

by Lindsay Parkin Drug abuse is on the rise among teenagers, in St. Lucie County as 9.6 percent of teens have abused drugs. (www.nida.nih.gov) According to drug statistics from the National Institute on Drug Abuse, teens as young as thirteen have already tried drugs as powerful as cocaine. Teens might tell themselves they will only try a drug once, but many find themselves under constant peer pressure to continue to experiment with drugs. Most teens do not start using drugs expecting to develop


Nike are common offenders. In 2004, the Human Rights Watch reported that the Cola giant was using Child labor in El Salvador, in order to cultivate and harvest their sugar cane fields. Although El Salvador has protective measures to prevent this, the Cola Giant has circumvented such measures by classifying young workers as “helpers.” Nike, the sportswear company, has had multiple infractions of child abuse. The company, worth four billion dollars, pays child employees $2.17 a day, for 12 hour shifts. The money is simply only enough to survive to the following day to work again. Companies like Nike have a mentality that they will pay their child employees only enough to get them by to the next day of grueling labor. It costs the company five dollars to produce a pair of shoes, yet are sold for an average of $125 in America.

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iety of abuse. From drug abuse a mass percentage of Americans me form of it. , though, the first big steps are at there is a problem, admit it to nal help. cal, sexual, and even emotional g help because they are ashamed at this way of life is normal. such as self-abuse or drug and lieve that they can control the end it anytime that they would y stops them from seeking help

p.net and the National Institute way to cope after identifying the ct that there are triggers that set or to use drugs and alcohol and e triggers are. Once these triggers of addressing them should be possibly be avoided altogether. er healthier ways to express and ress, anger, and sadness. There upport groups that those dealing o for more help and support. It d that drug, alcohol, and self on. issues such as sexual, physical, be a little different. Something ember is that they cannot blame was done to them. One of the ake is to tell someone that these ing and to understand that abuse mething that should be occurring

ll happening, the best thing that e abuser that they are not afraid , demand respect and proper

by Krystal St Peter Sometimes, the worst kind of abuser is the abused. Self abuse reaches farther than drugs and alcohol; self abuse deals with cutting, burning, continuous pulling of one’s hair, purposely breaking bones, repeated head banging, eating disorders, as well as self endured emotional abuse. Any deliberate act to harm oneself is a form of self abuse. These acts can wind up being the starting point down the path to suicide. Twenty percent of women and fourteen percent of men have admitted to physically harming themselves. (cornell.elliottback.com/self-inflicted-injury/) Keeping in mind that not all self abusers openly admit to such actions, the percentage is actually greater than currently calculated. Cutters more than often cut their wrists in order to release emotional pain. The majority of cutters make cuts “across the river” or horizontally on their wrist as compared to a cut “downstream” which starts at the center of the wrist and goes all the way to the underside of the elbow. A “downstream” cut results in instant death. Trying to conceal proof of cutting, some cutters will cut around their ankles or on their calves. However, not all self-abusers can stomach the sight of blood, some act out with the power to burn. Some will choose the method of branding, burning oneself with a hot object; while others use common objects such as erasers to cause multiple friction burns. “I used to burn myself; I’d take a metal bracelet and hold it over a candle flame and then imprint the design on my skin. This went on from about my seventh grade year till my sophomore year of high school,” said Korie Sage.* Self abuse, however, goes beyond just the physical markers; there are also problems with self endured emotional abuse. People with a self-hating attitude put themselves down day after day and are considered self abusers. “Nobody likes me.” “I have no friends.” “I hate my life.” Among many other phrases are parts of their

daily lives. Thoughts like these can lead to depression, which in the long run may result in more self harm. “It was mainly a lack of confidence in my ability to perform, mainly in sports. I’ve put much emotional pain on myself; people in general caused me to do so. I allowed it to continue for a long time, about 4-5 years,” said Rhett Samuel.* Every case of self abuse is triggered by something different. Quite often it comes from having been abused at a young age, especially sexually. Relationship problems with significant others, parents, as well as friends can bring upon a want to harm one’s self. A self abuser often feels the need to be in control, harming themselves give them that control they have been looking for. (www.rcpsych.ac.uk) “The past situations in my childhood such as sexual abuse, lack of parents being around like I would have wanted them to be, low self esteem, bad choice in friends and lack of confidence in talking about my problems. Other factors included, wanting to be left alone and not trusting the world and hating my mother,” said Evan Vanilla.* Not all self abuse ends in death; however, there are a number of cases that lead to it. Death by suicide is the eleventh leading cause of death in the United States, by far outnumbering death by homicide, 32,637 to 18,124. Only one person commits suicide for every 25 attempts. 52 percent of suicide is committed by a firearm. (www.mentalhealthconnection.org/suicide_stats.php) One step to putting an end to self abusing is by talking to someone every time the need to harm one’s self comes up. Not all people are willing to open up to counselors or even their own family; they may feel more comfortable opening up to people who can relate better by finding online help websites. Friends are always a good beginning support system for someone who wishes to stop harming themselves, but professional help is a must for those who wish to heal.

* Names within the article have been changed.

by Kayla Payne In many countries, rape is still not a crime today, a thought that causes women and men to cringe, in places like America. Even though rape has been considered a felony by US CODE Title 18, Part 1, Chapter 109A, 2242, that does not mean it is uncommon. Disturbingly, it is children that are more often then not victims of sexual abuse. In a US study, it was believed that one out of every ten boys and two out of every ten girls are sexually abused by their thirteenth year. (childmolestationprevention.org/) Sexual abuse is any form of forcing or tricking someone into performing sexual acts, usually by someone the individual knows as opposed to a complete stranger. Sexual assault is using physical force to the situation while incest is sexual relations between two family members. “My brother was raped at ten and it was traumatizing to him. He-it’s a touchy subject-he seems fine, but I can sometimes feel that the memory haunts him,” said Joey*. Sexual assault is normally unnecessary when taking advantage of a trusting child, a scary thought considering we teach children to listen and respect their elders, the same people who could take advantage of that child or teenager. And that trust also tends to cause a child to be against

turning in their assailant because they do not want them to be harmed. Despite not wanting to explain, it does not mean that the child is not affected by the incident. “These disclosures can be as painful as the incest itself; the child believing he or she is telling on someone he or she loves and reliving the horrible experience. They want it to stop.” (www.livestrong.com/article/12505-sexual-abuse-incest.) Victims are often so deeply scarred by sexual abuse and sometimes never speak about it until years later after the abuse has stopped “It’s really sick and it can really screw people up. I noticed that a lot of the people that I feel weird around or just want to avoid actually end up to be people who were sexually abused.” said Nadine LaPonza, a senior at PSLH. There are different types of abuse with many symptoms that can be observed, the most extreme being running away and early pregnancy. The best method of coping is to talk with the victim, or for the victim to confide in a friend or adult. Sexual abuse is an increasing problem with less people coming out and talking about it, resulting in no gain for victims. * Names within the article have been changed.

nded, survivors often feel guilt, and fear. What survivors need abuser is strictly to be blamed no excuses for it. Anger can be a in the strength needed to push buse and coping, as long as that mselves. ng is for the survivor to allow er feelings come to them. The takes time and energy, and it is ax when needed.

a substance abuse problem, and most teens probably see their drug use as a casual way to have fun. The biggest consequence to casual drug use can be that it develops into a true addiction. Very few addicts recognize when they have crossed the line from casual use to addiction. According to www.drugabuse.gov, Marijuana use and prescription drugs are the main attraction to youth drug users. Vicodin continues to be abused at unacceptably high levels. Many of the drugs used by seniors are prescription drugs or are available over the counter, like cough medicine.

by Samantha Wilson Alcohol abuse is a continuous problem country for a long time. Ever since its availability people have abused alcohol since it is an intoxicating substance that changes the state of mind. The effects of alcohol depend on a variety of factors, including size, weight, age, and how much food and alcohol are consumed. Alcohol takes away inhibitions. If a girl is too shy to talk to a guy and she has a drink, she will definitely get the guts to talk to that guy. Other short term effects of alcohol include dizziness, talkativeness, slurred speech, impaired judgment, and impaired coordination. (www.drugfree.org) Alcohol does not always have to be a bad thing. A lot of people just drink it occasionally without abusing, such as a glass of wine at dinner or a drink at a Christmas party. A good part of the time, though, it becomes a problem. More than 18 percent of Americans experience alcohol abuse or alcohol dependence at some time in their lives. (www.gdcada.org)

“I know someone addicted to alcohol in my family. They have lost everything,” said Bob*, a student at Port St. Lucie High. Alcohol abuse does not just result in health issues. It can and will affect everything around: school, sports, and the home. People don’t see the effects of alcohol abuse until it is to late. For example, the realization will hit after a car accident because of intoxication because they had to have the drink. Then it hits that there just might be a problem. Not only is alcohol abuse in teens a major issue, parents abusing alcohol is also a big problem. An estimated 6.6 million children under 18 live in households with at least one alcoholic parent. (www.alcohol-information.com) Alcohol abuse not only affects the individual, it affects everyone around them. For example, a child with an alcoholic parent is going to worry about that parent and therefore, they will probably do poorly in school. When adults are alcoholics, their children have a much higher chance of becoming an alcoholic also. * Names within the article have been changed.

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