Author: TWK Admin

Ways to talk about sexual abuse and assault

According to the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network, 93% of children that have been sexually assaulted know their perpetrator and the recent scandal involving Larry Nassar, the former USA Gymnastics and Michigan State doctor, has reiterated how even “trusted” adults can manipulate a situation and do things that are not appropriate with a child. It’s important to know what sexual assault is and what to do if someone is making you feel uncomfortable.

Below are some tips from Krav Maga Worldwide, a global leader in defense training, on how to approach this difficult and sometimes uncomfortable subject.

Start the conversation early. This may seem very early but children under 12 are most at risk at 4 years old. Even if they can’t speak well, children at this age are busy figuring out the world. And they certainly understand and remember a lot more than adults usually realize. Its never to early to talk about this subject with your parents and caregivers.

Understand the only instances when private parts can be seen and touched. Nobody – including a parent or caregiver – should see or touch your private parts (what a swimming suit covers up) – unless they’re keeping them clean, safe, or healthy.

Talk openly about sexuality and sexual abuse. Abusers will sometimes say that the abuse should be kept a secret. Know that if someone is touching or talking in ways that makes you uncomfortable or scared, that it should not stay a secret.

Babysitters, coaches and teachers can all be perpetrators. Don’t assume all adults can be trusted. According to the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network, 93% of children that have been sexually assaulted know their perpetrator. It’s important to understand that just because the person is considered a “trusted” adult they can still manipulate a situation and do things that are not appropriate.

Inform yourself about the tricks used by sexual predators. Such as continued accidental touching, or where the predator tricks you into thinking there is an emergency and you must go with the predator.

Trust your inner voice. Especially that feeling we all have inside that tells us what feels right and what feels wrong or uncomfortable. Many who have been sexually abused describe a feeling of discomfort as having a “yucky” feeling inside. You must trust or honor your inner voice or that “yucky” feeling.

You have the right to say NO! As the majority of abuse is based on coercion rather than force, learning to say NO strongly and forcefully really can make a big difference in many situations.

 About Krav Maga Worldwide

Founded in 1997 to promote Krav Maga throughout the United States and around the world, Krav Maga Worldwide trains and certifies instructors and licenses over 150 authorized Krav Maga Worldwide training centers in the United States, Canada, Japan, Mexico, South America, and Europe, as well as over 800 law enforcement agencies and military units. Krav Maga offers the highest caliber of instruction to thousands of people, supporting the company’s core commitment to improving and saving lives. Krav Maga Worldwide continues to develop, promote and implement self-defense and fitness programs. For additional information, visit: www.kravmaga.com.

 

Don’t Want Braces? Talk to Your Parents About These Options

For the majority of teens and pre-teens, braces have become a rite of passage—a symbol that you’re growing up. These metal wires often stay on for years, resulting in straighter and more beautiful teeth than ever before. While there’s no doubt that the results of braces will guarantee you a beautiful and functional smile, many teens don’t like how braces look and find them embarrassing.

Fortunately, there are other orthodontic alternatives.

1. Clear Plastic Braces

For those who don’t like the look of metal braces, these nearly invisible alternatives are definitely worth considering. Each ‘tray’ or set of clear aligners is custom made for each patient, with adjustments made over the course of treatment. These are suitable for addressing a variety of dental issues, including overcrowding, crooked teeth, gaps, overbite, and underbite. According to Dentaly.org, clear aligners are used anywhere from 9-18 months. That’s much shorter than the usual treatment period for braces. Plus, you can take out clear aligners when you eat and to brush and floss, making your daily dental hygiene routine that much easier.

2. Lingual Braces

While traditional braces are attached to the front of the teeth, lingual braces are actually attached to the back. They function in the exact same way as regular metal braces, but just without the metal on the front of your smile. They correct all the same problems that regular metal braces do, but without the embarrassment. That being said, their location can sometimes feel uncomfortable or strange to the tongue. Also, their location and position may make them a challenge to keep clean, so you’ll have to be extra diligent at brushing and flossing. Many dentists recommend getting an oral irrigation device to help clear food debris from these kind of braces to help keep them clean.

3. Veneers

Northstar Dental explains that veneersare a cosmetic dental procedure in which a thin layer of porcelain or composite material is placed over the outside of the tooth.For those who are only looking to change the look of their teeth, but not to alter their position, veneers may be the best option. These are custom-made porcelain caps that are permanently attached to the teeth. The end result is a normal-looking set of teeth that are straight and perfectly aligned with all the others. This is generally a great option for broken, discolored, or cracked teeth that can’t otherwise be corrected.

4. Ceramic Braces

With ceramic braces, the brackets are made of porcelain so that they blend in with the teeth and are less noticeable. Tooth-colored wires are also available to further make the appearance less noticeable. Metamorphosis Dental says that “Although ceramic braces may not be recommendable for a few cases of misalignment and biting problems, it is suitable for treating crooked teeth, overbite or overjet and widely spaced teeth or crowded teeth. Ceramic braces are generally more expensive but with given advantages when compared to metal braces.” These are as effective as braces, but they tend to be less painful and to irritate the gums less.

Kissing Braces Goodbye!

Talk to your parents if you don’t want traditional metal braces, because there are good alternatives! From there, you can work with your dentist to determine which option is best for you and your teeth. You might be surprised by which choice can help make your teeth look beautiful without the need for metal wires.

What to Do if a Friend or Family Member Has a Drug or Alcohol Problem

In 2014, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration concluded that approximately 22 million people suffered from a substance abuse disorder. In 2016, that number dropped by only 1 million. The same study found that 8.2 million of those people also suffer from a mental health disorder for both years. While living with addiction is hard, knowing someone with that addiction can be even harder. You want to help them, but feel that your voice will fall on deaf ears; especially, if they are your peers or family members. The right strategy will not only give you the confidence you need to speak up but will also save their life.

Be Well Informed

Before taking the plunge into a deep conversation, you should thoroughly know your topic. Many websites will give you in-depth information on the causes and effects of addiction. For example, the SAMHSA.gov website offers yearly data reports on substance abuse. The site also provides material on how to get help for someone who suffers from substance abuse and mental health disorders. In most cases, the addiction is used to hide depression, self-esteem disorders, and other mental health issues that are being suppressed by your friend or family member. You can also call a rehab facility and discuss your concerns with a professional without having to commit to anything. After you have studied on the subject, approach your loved one when they are not under the influence of their addiction. Explain to them how you feel and reassure them that they are not alone in the journey.

Be a Positive Support System

While the urge to take your friend or family member straight to a rehab center or AA/NA meeting is strong, sometimes the best therapy is knowing that you are there for them in their darkest hour. The most frustrating part of addiction for both you and your loved one is understanding the addiction recovery process. Recovering from addiction is different for each person. There will be times of anger, resentment, and withdrawal from your loved one. There will be times where they will mess up. Be patient with them and remember each day is a new day. Of course, if you do have to take them to a rehab center, be sure and maintain that same positivity. Their quality of life in the rehab center is just as important to their treatment as the therapy. Remember, addiction is just a disease, and you are just visiting a sick friend or family member.

When someone has an addiction, that person is not the only person who is affected by the habit. You have suffered the emotional rollercoaster of their addiction. While they are in a rehab center or meeting, take that time to go to Al-Anon meetings. These meetings are structured to help you understand their sufferings and help you learn how to deal with the recovery. Furthermore, plan events to distract your friend or family member during these hard times you know they are weak. The road to recovery might be a long journey, but in the end, their life is worth the trip.

Resources:

https://americanaddictioncenters.org/rehab-guide/addiction-statistics/

https://www.samhsa.gov/

http://www.midwestinstituteforaddiction.org/

How Can I Create a Relaxing Study Environment?

As a student, studying is a big part of having success and getting your work done. You will spend a large amount of time studying for tests and homework assignments. To get your work done with high quality, it is necessary to have a good environment to study in. Trying to prepare for a test or focus on a difficult assignment becomes nearly impossible when your environment is distracting or noisy. Here are some of the best ways to set up a relaxing study environment.

Find a Quiet Place

As stated before, noise and distractions are going to make it very difficult to study. The best thing that you can do is find a quiet area. If you are a high school student and still live at home, find an area in your home that is calm, like a corner of the basement or your room. If you decide to designate your room to study in, don’t do it in your bed. Studying in your bed will make you more likely to fall asleep and possibly not get your work done. It will also make it harder for your brain to relax when it is actually time for you to sleep. If you are a college student and live on campus, there are tons of quiet places to study in. Libraries and study rooms are widely available on college campuses and make for a great environment to study in.

Make Yourself Comfortable

If you are in a public area, this may not work for you. However, if you are in your room or dorm, you can make your study area more relaxing with a few simple tricks. First of all, some people really enjoy playing soft music in the background. Studies have shown that calm music can help stimulate the brain and make remembering things easier. Another way to make your area more relaxing is to diffuse relaxing scents. The aroma in your room can greatly affect your productivity. Try using a diffuser along with a scent like lavender or sandalwood, which are both known for their relaxing properties. You should also try to let some natural light in. Natural light puts less stress on your eyes, which can help you relax more.

Block Out Distractions

As a student, we are often drawn to one specific distraction: our phone. Cell phones can make a study session much less productive, especially if you get sucked down the rabbit hole of social media. If you want to have a good study environment, the phone needs to go. The simple act of muting your phone and setting it aside can allow you to have a much better study environment. Resist the urge to check it, except on scheduled study breaks and make sure you give yourself a time limit.

As you can see, there are many quick and easy ways to create a relaxing study environment. Each method is pretty simple for students to perform. If you are having a hard time being productive in your current study environment, try a few of the things we discussed here.

Living Sober: How Can I Avoid Drugs?

Your teenage years are complicated. You have to handle school, work, puberty, dating, and any number of other issues. It is so easy to get overwhelmed and to end up in a situation that you don’t want to be. So many teens turn to drugs or alcohol to help them deal, even though they know how bad that can be. So how can you find a way to avoid ending up in that situation.

Find Things You Love

A lot of teens turn to drugs because they are bored or they don’t enjoy anything that they are doing with their life. One of the best ways to avoid ending up in that situation is to find a hobby or two that you love. This can be an organized extra-curricular activity, a class, or just something that you do during when you have a moment. Not only can this bring joy to your life, but it can also act as a great stress relief.

Make Good Friends

The type of people you spend your time with is going to influence who you are and what you do. Peer pressure is a real thing, and it can have a huge effect when it is applied over a long period of time. If your friends are drinking and doing drugs, it is pretty likely you will end up doing the same at some point. Surrounding yourself with good friends who will support your decision to avoid drugs is going to be crucial to sticking with it.

Take Care of Yourself

One of the most common ways that teens end up with a drug addiction problem is through injury. Serious sports or work injuries are often treated with a narcotic prescription that evolves into an addiction. Those who are addicted then turn to more accessible drugs like heroin to feed that need. To avoid ending up in this situation, you need to take proper care of yourself. Stretch properly before playing sports and make sure you don’t push yourself too far. If you do end up needing to take heavy-duty prescriptions, set up a plan with your doctor and parents to avoid ending up addicted.

It is important to do everything you can to avoid drugs, regardless of your age. They can have a permanently damaging effect on all areas of your life, and you don’t want that. The temporary high you may get isn’t worth the lifetime of addiction and regret.

How to Get More Volunteer Experience

Let your volunteer experience show potential schools and (employers) that you are dedicated, self-motivated, and that you care about something other than yourself. If you are looking for volunteer opportunities within your community, use what speaks to you. As a teen looking to beef up their volunteer experience, here are some volunteer options to consider.

Define Your Cause

If you haven’t done so already, think about what motivates you. Is it relevant to the work you want to do? Defining the purpose of why you are volunteering will guide you toward the best opportunities. At the end of the day, you will be donating your time, so it should be doing something that you can connect with.

Make Connections

Now that you have your cause, contact local establishments for volunteer opportunities. The following organizations often have current openings:

Big Brothers Big Sisters of America. Provide care and support for local children by volunteering as a mentor to younger kids.

Animal Rescue Shelters. Assist with cleaning, feeding, and general care of animals in your town.

Food Pantries. 1 in 6 people in America faces hunger. Get out there and help!

National Parks. If you love the outdoors and wildlife preservation, this opportunity is for you. Apply at your most local park and learn lots of useful wildlife tips and tricks.

Your Local Library. Education is the key to success. Help provide knowledge to your local community by tutoring, helping with Storytime or re-shelving books part-time.

RedCross. Help prepare your local community for disasters and others when in crisis.

Retirement Homes. Spend time with the elders of your community with a smile and an afternoon of fun.

Goodwill. Consistently donate clothing or household goods

Be Genuine

When an employer is seeking potential candidates, they want to hire the best. This does not mean volunteering for ten different organizations to meaninglessly fill up space on your resume.

If you volunteered your time for a day with a few different organizations, you are not going to benefit by placing this information on your resume. Complete or continuously stay committed to one or two organizations. This will show that these are causes that you care about, you’re a team player, and you can make a commitment. As with many things in life, quality is more valuable than quantity.

No matter where you volunteer, remember that employers want candidates that have strong values. Make your resume stand out and showcase the hard work and dedication you have given to your volunteer programs. Include important details and statistics about the projects you have completed. In the end, create your resume to represent who you are as a person and an employee.

5 Stupid Things Teens Do That They Might Not Realize Are Crimes

Remember that house you toilet-papered with your friends last Halloween? Or maybe the nude photos you sent to your boyfriend? How about mooning that annoying teacher in the school parking lot? All potential crimes. These are the top 5 stupid things that we see teenagers doing that are potential crimes with real, punishable consequences. Don’t make the mistake of thinking that these activities are “harmless” or “something everybody does in high school.” You don’t want to find yourself in court.

#1: Mooning

This might be one of the oldest, dumbest pranks—so you’d think it would be considered harmless. Unfortunately, you’d be wrong. Today, mooning is considered indecent exposure, which is a kind of “lewd act”. Lewd acts are illegal because of the exposure of genitals. Summit Defense explains that “For example, if a woman ‘flashes’ her breasts at her boyfriend in a [public area], and her intention is to sexually excite herself or her boyfriend, then she could be charged with committing a lewd act in a public place. It would also be an offense for a man in a car to flash his buttocks – usually referred to as ‘mooning’ – at a lady driving another car with the intention of offending her.” Whether or not you intend to sexually harass someone, the case can be made that sexually offending someone was your goal. As a result, a criminal case can be made against you for indecent exposure. Public indecency is considered a type of sex crime, and it isn’t worth the risk for a gag.

#2: Toilet Papering and Egging

Halloween prank or not, technically, toilet-papering and egging someone’s home is a crime. If the police are called, the crime will be considered “vandalism” or “criminal mischief.” In both cases, fines and potential jail time are on the table. In fact, in 2015 a story broke about 13 teenagers between the ages of 15 and 17 who were arrested and charged for egging cars and houses. Skip this prank; come up with something more original and something that isn’t going to land you in trouble with the law.

#3: Sending Nudes

This one is straightforward: sending nudes as a teenager is considered criminal. Why? As someone who is under the age of eighteen, your nude photo is considered to be child pornography. Sexting laws vary by state, but all states agree that it is a crime to own or possess a “sexually explicit image of a minor.” It is also a crime to photograph and send a “sexually explicit image of a minor”, because it is considered the creation and distribution of child pornography. This cannot be emphasized enough: do not sext your boyfriend or girlfriend. Do not ask your boyfriend or girlfriend for nudes. Both acts are a criminal offense, and if charged and convicted, you will be required to register as a sex offender. The consequences of breaking this law will follow you for the rest of your life. It’s never worth it.

#4: Hazing

College hazing stories have taken over the internet. We see stories every year with new sorority and fraternity pledges who have succumbed to injuries from these initiation activities. Teenagers and high schoolers are also on board with the hazing trend, especially teens involved in clubs or sports teams. Maybe you pulled down someone’s pants at school, or forced them to eat something disgusting, or beat up someone who wanted to join your club. Maybe you taunted someone or sent threatening messages. If you are bullying someone as a form of “hazing,” what you are doing is criminal. Hazing classmates, whether or not the victim goes along with it, is a criminal offense.

#5: Stealing

This last one might seem obvious, but many teenagers think they can get away with stealing from grocery stores and supermarkets and retailers. They try to swipe a pair of shoes, a tube of lipstick, or a candy bar. Maybe you might feel like the price isn’t fair; maybe your friends are doing it; maybe you’re tempted because it’s a rush of excitement. But the few moments of thrill you might get from shoplifting aren’t worth the price of being caught. It doesn’t matter how big or small or cheap or expensive the stolen item is; stealing is stealing and it can land you in court with a criminal charge PLUS getting a hefty bill from the store’s lawyers for damages. Being charged with a misdemeanor or a felony for stealing will affect your chances at getting hired for a job that you want, and for getting into the colleges you’re applying for. And here’s one last thing to consider—according to NASP,shoplifting affects more than the offender. It overburdens the police and the courts, adds to a store’s security expenses, costs consumers more for goods, costs communities lost dollars in sales taxes and hurts children and families.” Shoplifting hurts everyone. Find another way to entertain yourself and get that thrill you’re seeking.

Living as a teenager is stressful and dealing with peer pressure can be daunting, but don’t give in. If your friends are engaging in any of this behavior, remind yourself of the potential consequences. Fines, jail time, and criminal records are not worth the few minutes of fun. Be adventurous and take chances, but not with these activities.

What’s Trending in Makeup This Year?

2018 is in full swing, and that means there are so many new looks to try out. Being on trend has never been so fun. This year’s makeup trends feature range from low-key to vivid and eye-catching. Some of these looks are a little out there, but here are some of the current favorites.

Technicolor Eyeshadow

Bright, bold neon shades will turn heads this summer. You can pair two brilliant colors to get the ultimate effect. Don’t go overboard on the mascara, keep it light and let the eyeshadow do the talking. If you choose this look, keep your lipstick nude or very light pink to avoid looking overdone.

Daring Brows

Your brows are meant to be seen, not hidden. Make sure you have full and shaped brows. Threading or waxing brows will provide the cleanest shape if you need to calm your brows down, but if you need to fill them out a little, turn to microblading. Microblading is more natural looking than powder or pencil and it can help you shape your brow perfectly.

Spa Skin

Everyone leaves the spa looking revitalized and refreshed, and that’s what you want your skin to look like all the time. To get the look go for beige, brown, and gold neutral shades. Skin needs to appear dewy, as if you just got out of the shower. A light dusting of highlighter will help you to glow.

Vertical Glitter Eyeliner

Keep your makeup neutral and bring a pop of character with a colorful glitter eyeliner. The new trend has the liner applied vertically up the eyelid and continuing down under the eye. Done right this look is downright enchanting, but it might be better for a party or concert than your high school hallways.

Red Lips

Honestly, classic red lipstick is ageless and never goes out of style. This year, it should be paired with neutral allover makeup with the only pop of color coming from those ruby red lips. Even if you are super casual and dressed down, the red lip will elevate your look.

This year it is all about standing out and doing something different. 2018 makeup trends include innovative eyeliners, bold brows, brilliant eyeshadows, ruby red lips, spa skin, and glitter galore. Try one trend or try them all because the application is half fun right? These new makeup trends are ideal for a night out with the girls, a hot date, wedding reception, or really anywhere you want to ‘wow’ with your mad makeup skills.

3 Areas to Focus on When Finding Your Look

Everywhere you look, you see social media and ads aimed at telling you how you should look, what you should be doing, and how to become more popular. From the latest selfie trend to the newest makeup look, it is impossible to keep up with all the changes that are constantly happening. Your teen and young adult years are a great time to work on finding yourself and your look, but what areas should be focusing on?

Fab Haircut and Color

Your hair can have a dramatic impact on how you look, both in cut and color. If you have had one hairstyle for a long time, it might be time to change it up. A transformation cut can instantly give your style new life and open up new opportunities for you to experiment with new looks. If you want to go longer instead of shorter, you can also try hair extensions. These faux hair pieces can add length, volume, or a shock of color to your hair.

You can also experiment with a new hair color. Before you go crazy with the color, make sure that there aren’t any restrictions on what color hair you can have at work or school. You don’t want to try something new and have to undo it immediately. If you aren’t sure about a color, but you want to try it anyway, consider just doing a chunk of your hair or using a temporary hair dye.

Whiter, Straighter Teeth

Your smile is one of the first features people are drawn to, and keeping your teeth white and straight can help you seem more attractive. If you struggle with crooked or yellow teeth, it is time to fix that. You can find any number of teeth whitening products that fit your needs. If you don’t want to deal with all the metal and annoyances that come with braces, look into some alternatives. Plastic aligners allow you to keep your smile metal free while fixing your dental problems fairly quickly.

Change Your Wardrobe

One of the best ways to find a new style is to experiment with different clothing styles. You never know what looks good on you until you try it, and you don’t have to break the bank to find attractive clothes. Start by going through your closet and getting rid of anything that doesn’t fit or that you haven’t worn in the last year. You will be surprised by how much you can clear out. Then bargain shop! Thrift stores can be a goldmine of cheap clothes that you can supplement your style with.

These areas are a great place to start when trying to invent a new look for yourself. Don’t be afraid to go against the flow and find what fits well with you. What is most important is that you feel comfortable.

Develop These Skills and Start Your Writing Career

If you have a way with words, writing is a fantastic and diverse career choice. You can get into writing web copy (such as this very article), news writing, fiction writing, and more. The world really is your oyster. However, like all career paths you’ll need to develop some skills in order to kick start that dream career. Here’s what you need to have in order to be a good writer.

Research Skills

No matter what you want to write about, you’ll need to have the research skills in order to do it. For example, as a freelance writer, you could be asked to write about multiple topics in one day. You might write one piece on mountain biking, another on home repair, and a third on resume writing tips. You need to be able to find the information you need in order to write well.

The best thing to do is learn how to perform advanced Google searches.

Ability To Generate New Ideas

You’ll need to come up with new ideas constantly as a writer. You’ll be looking for new business all the time, and you’ll be asked for ideas that you can sell on to companies. You won’t have time for the dreaded writer’s block here.

A good way to generate ideas is to think about who your audience is, and what they want from you. For example, say you write for a filmmaking blog. Sit down and brainstorm as many ideas for blogs that their audience would want to read. You could write about camera techniques, how to find the best actors, and how to storyboard a film.

When you’re generating these ideas, you’ll need to communicate them well with prospective clients. You need to refine your ability to pitch. They key is to get straight to the point.

Self Reliance

Writing is a unique job as you’re often alone with your laptop and your thoughts. You need to be fiercely motivated in order to be a writer and actually make money.

‘Many people think they want to be a writer, until they realise how much they need to motivate themselves’ says recruiting consultant Peter Davies from UK Top Writers. ‘However, once they find themselves having to work alone, they find it very difficult.’ You’ll really have to be motivated to get everything done on your own.

Good Editing Skills

Good writing doesn’t happen when you put pen to paper, or fingers to keyboard. It’s in how you edit what you’ve written to make it really shine. You’ve got to be able to come back to your work and not be afraid to make changes, to make it better.

You’ll also need to have the knowhow to edit and correct grammar when needed. Good grammar is the cornerstone of good writing, so you’ll need plenty of knowledge and online references to make your writing excellent.

Social Skills

You need to be able to network if you want to get writing opportunities. It’s important that you find like minded people and start working with them. This is where social media comes in. There’s never been an easier way to find your people and opportunities. Don’t be afraid to speak up and tell your network that you’re looking for writing work. You’ll be amazed at what can come your way.

Being Able To Ask For Help

Yes, you may initially spend your time writing alone, but at some point you’ll need to be able to ask for help. Remember, the best writers improve as they’re always asking for feedback and thoughts on their writing.

Like in any job, you’ll only get better if you listen to others and get help when you need it. You can do this online, thanks to the wide range of services on offer. For example, Grammarix will help you with improving your grammar, and State Of Writing is full of writing guides that you can put to good use.

Persistence

Finally, to be a writer you’ve got to be persistent. This is especially true if you’re going to work as a freelance writer. You’ve got to keep getting out there, asking for opportunities, and looking for work. It can sound exhausting, but to the right person it can be a welcome challenge. If you don’t want to do the same thing every day and relish the challenge, writing is for you.

There you have it. Develop these skills, and you can become a successful writer, no matter what field you want to work in. Get practicing now and you’ll go a long way.

Rachel Summers is an education writer living in the UK. She works with several different institutions, including leading writing service Australian Reviewer. Her goal is to help students get the most out of their school years, and to help them get the assistance they need.