Hands Off, Inc

"We are a community made up of people determine to intercede for Commercially Sexually Exploited Children and young women, through training, raising awareness, and safe dwelling. "

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What’s Killing Your Teenager?


October is National Bullying Awareness month so what better time to address the deadly effects of it. I felt the need and importance to write this piece on Teen Suicide in the desire to help and bring awareness to this critical crisis facing our young people. First we need to identify Adolescent Suicide for what is…which is trying to fix a temporary problem with a permanent solution!

4 American teenagers per day between the ages of 13-19 commit suicide daily, alarming…yes! Can we change these numbers? yes. Many teenagers commit suicide on impulse for reasons such as a relationship ends, low self-esteem, peer pressure but the number one cause is “BULLYING.”

Bullying is not only physical but physiological torment as well, those are the scars that cut the deepest and are not always visible. When teens make the decision to commit suicide they are not thinking about the loved ones left behind, they are not in a rational state of mind, they are just trying to find away to end the pain at that moment. Parents may view a breakup or bullying as a passing event “kids will be kids it will make them stronger, I went through that too etc..etc..blah, blah” Guess what parents they don’t think like you, nor do they react like you. They have their own identity, feelings, emotions, impulses, and the tolerance level is not the same.

When your young person comes to you for help, never diminish their feelings with a pat on the back. Take everything your youngsters says seriously, especially when they are brave enough to open up to you. Please remember you are what they identify as safe, a place of refuge where they can cry without judgement. The world around them is already tearing them down, it is your job to build them up.

Teenagers are secretive and do hide a lot but as a parent/care taker the signs are the same!!! Unhealthy relationships are also controlling relationships/friendships “hey if you don’t go to the party I’m telling everyone that you did….” or if they are dating, are they constantly texting and having to answer their whereabouts to a boyfriend or girlfriend? ?are they being manipulated? “Stacey is not answering my calls.” The “silent treatment” is a power move used to gain control and manipulate. Teens become even more secretive when they are struggling with something, they lose their appetite “no I’m going to skip dinner, I’m going to bed instead I’m tired.” The start skipping classes and missing school “mom I’m not feeling well enough to go to school today.” ( See I’m an old school mom, so I will show up to the school and check things out)…

Parent’s you must speak with your teens daily. They may be reluctant but meet them in their own elements, go to the movies, take a trip together, do something they want to do and just start “HEARING” them. The signs are there but we take for granted we know what they are capable of, and that is furthest from the truth!!!!

Children who are abused abuse others, the cycle continues because the “BULLIER” is also hurting but does not know how to deal with it. They transfer that abuse because it makes them feel better, no longer alone. Aggression is a very visible sign that something is going on deeper below the surface. The “BULLIER” is not only aggressive but, manipulative, they flock to friendships weaker than themselves because they feel more in control, they are also very critical of others “look at this guy he is so stupid haha.” Many resources are available today from school counselors to youth organizations all in the business of helping young people gain a healthy control of their lives and environment.

Harbor House of Central Florida has an excellent program called Project Courage which engages youth in the communities from Pre-k to 12 grade students receive consistent messaging about healthy relationships and positive interaction for more info contact  www.harborhousefl.com.

Talk… Listen…. Love

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Don’t Allow Your Perecption to Deceive You!


Over the last few weeks I have been working on a project. The vision was given by God to bring forth a much needed aide in the lives of young women. The task has been tedious, daunting, exhausting and still yet thrilling, fulfilling and enjoyable all at the same time. The doors that have closed in my face are too many to count ye the small narrow ones held the greatest influence. Then I started to learn first hand about the power of deceptive perceptions.

The power of influence has left me in awe of what perception can do to a person plan or idea, but influence can build, create and also tear down. When we have a plan or idea we become excited and full of energy, and ready to take the ‘bull by the horn’. Naturally we need strong people around us who we think can help bring the plans to life. I looked for people who I thought were important and fit my idea of who had great influence, I allowed my limited perception to take hold of the image I was creating. The deeper I glared at the perception I found it to be very hollow and filled with nothing. They looked right, dressed right, sound right the perception seemed right but it was an illusion. People have the “fake it till you make it” syndrome but often times they put so much work in faking it that they never really make it. And instead of looking for the substance we get caught in the illusion and say to ourselves  “no surely this person is successful they have 5000 friends on facebook and 15 thousand on Insta-lie oh sorry instagram, they even have pictures with famous people, wait they have pictures of them doing charity work.” Then we start to rationalize the perception. They have to keep up the charade, they spend more than they make because the image has to be maintained. Unfortunately I was bamboozled by some of these people, I expected more from them just based on the name they carried and the things I saw them do. Beloved it was all a show and God was teaching me a lesson I would never forget. The greatest lesson of my life.

Slowly I started to let go of the idea that people would catch on to my vision and help me work the plan. God was showing me that in me, was the influence I needed, my own perception of where I was and where I was going needed to be adjusted. The more I stopped focusing on the doors that closed and the people that closed them, I was able to see the narrow one that opened. Then I realized I had everything I already needed to walk through it, the few people with me fit and the others fell off. The people I perceived to be so great, were not great after all they were not equipped to even help me tie my show lace. So I could no longer expect anymore than they were qualified to give.

God gives us favor with man, our own influence is greater than we will ever know if we don’t use it wisely. We have to be careful not judge a book by it’s cover because the story maybe very different. The story about the subway man comes to mind. A man was sitting in a subway car to his destination, when a father with his children entered. The father sat down and closed his eyes and sat back while is children were loud and rambunctious bringing a lot of attention to them. The father seemed to validate the behavior by not tending to them. Finally the man said to him “sir can you shut up your children they are bothering everyone” and the father responded ” your right I should do something, we just came back from the hospital where their mother just died and hour ago, I guess I don’t know how to handle it and they don’t either” the man was filled with grief and compassion for the father and his children. The perception was the father was a bad father allowing his children to be unruly without discipline.

There are many forms of perception don’t allow what you see to deceive you. Self awareness will help to guide us in our own explanatory thoughts to not see people as objects or esteem them beyond their capabilities. Perhaps we should look a little closer ask questions, we can hear what’s going on in our neighbors house but we won’t really know unless we are in their.