Hurricane Florence is finally off of our newsfeed and out of our forecast.
However, these 12 things never went anywhere and so they still remain to be as important as ever given that hundreds of lives are being affected by each one of them.
Check them out and see if you can make a change in the World today. Even if it's simply by changing your attitude on a subject because, hey, every big change has to start somewhere.
DeVos and Sexual Assault
Thanks to Betsy DeVos, we are back to, publicly, sweeping rape back under the rug on college campuses. If we go along with DeVos, Jess Davidson writes in The Washington Post, young women and men can now be assaulted right by their college campuses and they won't be able to press charges through their campus police.
Well, in simple terms. DeVos is helping campuses protect their own backs rather than watch out for the people who make it possible for there to be a campus at all.
AS IF THAT IS NOT BAD ENOUGH, DeVos has also proposed that the definition of sexual harassment be redefined as: "unwelcome conduct on the basis of sex that is so severe, pervasive and objectively offensive that it denies a person access to the school's education program or activity." How about that, huh?
So, if she gets approval, people who are sexually assaulted will have to be assaulted so severely that they won't be able to continue their "normal" routine while at college.
Let's make sure students are assaulted badly enough so we can be sure that we won't be wasting our time and money in pursuing an assault case.
Way to go, Education Secretary.
Hunger in America
Who would have thought that we would still have national hunger in 2018?
According to WhyHunger, there are 41.2 million Americans who are food insecure. That means that they are forced to skip meals themselves, purchase cheap, nonnutritious foods, or feed their children but not themselves.
So, before you go drop a grand for a stupid iPhone, think about the people in America who don't even have enough money to buy their family food.
Just think, it could even be your neighbor suffering from hunger.
If you are feeling inclined to help this problem that America continues to face, go help your community food pantry or donate cans of food if you don't feel like getting up early to go help pass out bags of groceries to your community.
If nothing else, donate money to nonprofits like WhyHunger to end a battle no one should be fighting.
The Obesity Crisis
The lowest obesity rate in a state is 22.6% and the highest is 38.1%.
Health conditions that are related to obesity can consist of hypertension, diabetes, and physical inactivity. And that's only a few of them.
9 out of the 10 states with the highest rates of inactivity are in the South. Since the agricultural areas have plummeted in the South, these rates will likely continue to climb.
14.8% of high school children had obesity in 2017 and an additional 15.6% of high schoolers were overweight in 2017.
Children between the ages of 10 and 17 had a combined overweight and obesity rate of 28.5% throughout the United States.
Let's face it — we are an obese nation and that's nothing to be proud of. So, instead of sitting in front of the TV and chowing down on a BigMac, get out of the house and get moving.
*All of the above information was found on Stateofobestiy.org
The Homeless in America
There are a total of 6,067 people who are homeless in the state of Virginia and that only consists of the known cases.
In 2015, 2,800 people who were homeless were families.
Last year, 500 people who were homeless were veterans, the people who were willing to give their lives for their country yet their country isn't willing to give them a life worth living now.
In 2017, the national estimate of homeless people in the United States reached 553,742.
And out of 553,742, 34.8% of the people are unsheltered. They have to live on the streets like animals.
Actually, no, some animals have better lives than actual human beings. Think about that.
*All information was gathered from the End Homelessness website.
As most of you know, this has been a big issue and unfortunately, it's been a big issue for a long time.
Regardless if it's because of the little boy who sits in the Oval Office or because of people who think they are above others just because of the color of their skin — Racism is wrong.
4 in 10 African Americans say that they have been treated unfairly in a restaurant or store because of their race.
Earlier this month, a Yale student called the police when she found a fellow student napping in the common room. Her reasoning? Because the student was black.
More than half of the African America population have said that they have felt discrimination in the workplace.
Only 30% of the white population said that racial discrimination is not a problem in today's society. Compare that to the 68% of the white population who said that racial discrimination is still a serious problem in today's society.
So, if the majority of the white population believe that racial discrimination is a serious problem in today's society, why is nothing being done about? Why is it still a problem? Why does skin color still matter in 2018?
*The statistics and information above were originally reported on NBC.
It wouldn't be right if we talked about racism but not police brutality.
I come from a family of police officers and servants of the law and I can honestly say, not all police officers are corrupt.
The news today shows officers abusing their power and mistreating the citizens of this country just because they have the "wrong" skin color is shocking and beyond upsetting.
In unarmed confrontations with the police, it is more likely that the minority group of people being confronted by the police will get killed. It has been shown that nearly 60% of minorities have been killed by a police force while unarmed compared to a small 35% of whites.
Often, people have the notion to believe the very stigmatized statement of, "Oh, they don't know anything other than *blank*." and they will quickly follow that statement with, "So, they deserve it."
Regardless if someone lives in a community where there are drug deals happening, murders occurring, or anything in between, no one deserves to be injustly dealt with.
That means that regardless of where someone comes from or is found, you treat them with the same respect that you would of your own mother.
*Check out Vox.com for more information of police brutality and socioeconomic factors that play a major part in why African Americans get the short end of the stick.
First, ask yourself, "Do I even know what sex trafficking is?"
For a lot of people, they don't and, unfortunately, they are the ones who are most likely to become a victim of the horrendous crime.
Sex trafficking is when someone uses force, fraud, or coercion to cause a commercial sex act with an adult or minor.
If you haven't heard, there is a sex trafficking scam going around currently that is sending people text messages with the message of, "Someone has complimented you on *insert here*, click on this link to go see who it is!" If you didn't know already, do not click the link!
Clicking on the link opens you up to being a potential victim of sex trafficking because once you open that link, the people behind it have all the information on your phone, including your location. Scary, right?
Sex traffickers can find you through your social network, neighborhood, local bars, the internet, and through school. Sex trafficking is disturbingly personal and it's a very serious issue for all ages!
Once someone becomes a victim of sex trafficking it is nearly impossible to escape because the traffickers use physical violence, drugs, and emotional abuse. Their reach is so long that the women and men who are their victims would be signing their own death sentence if they tried to escape and got caught.
Sex traffickers use props to lure you as a way for them to easily kidnap you and take you. This can be pretending to be injured in a parking lot or being broken down on the side of the road.
Be safe. Be smart.
If you believe that you know of someone who is being sex trafficked and is a victim, check out sharedhope.org to know to signs of someone who is being abused.
This is a pretty personal topic for me because I've recently started my own battle with mental health & let me tell you, it's hard. People who battle with mental health have a hard go of it because people can't physically see what's wrong with them so they are quick to negatively judge.
43.8 million people in the United States experience mental illness per year.
21.4% of youth (aged between 13 & 18) suffer from a severe mental health disorder sometime during their life.
Half of the people who experience a substance abuse problem also suffer from a mental illness ~10.2 million adults.
Serious mental illness disorders cost Americans $193.2 billion in lost earnings per year.
Individuals who have a severe mental illness have an increased risk of living with a chronic medical condition — adults living like this tend to die 25 years earlier than anyone else.
Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the US.
More than 90% of children who die from suicide had a mental health condition.
Generally, the minimum wage is ~$7.25 per hour. However, there are a few states, and companies, that have raised the minimum wage to ~$11/hour.
While $11/hour is a great improvement from $7.25/hour, ask yourself this, "Is it still enough to actually live off of?"
The short answer? No.
There was a study done in St. Cloud, Minnesota to see how far your minimum wage actually went and the findings were astounding.
For a single adult, the living wage comes out to $10.64 which supports the theory that $11/hour for the minimum wage is enough, barely.
However, once you add a child to that equation, the living wage increases drastically to $23.00 which does not support the theory that $11/hour is enough to "make a living".
Even if you have two working parents and a single child, they still come $8,700 short of living expenses per year.
What's the solution? Find a way to pay the workers more so they can actually live.
If you want to read more about the statistics that were mentioned above, check out USAToday.com
This is hard for a lot of people, including myself. Personally, I have a hard time respecting the position of our President but rather than bash his name and join the bandwagon of sending him to the depths of hell, think of this saying —
"We are to respect the position, even if we cannot endorse the man."
When Trump was elected President, I was torn between being heartbroken and being furious. I knew that I could never get behind a man like him even if he was the POTUS. However, during the chaos of the reactions from multiple people, that saying came across in a conversation and really stuck with me. Despite Trump being the man he is, he is still holding the position of the leader of my country. He holds the position where many brave, intelligent, and strong men have stood.
It's very hard to submit to unfair authorities, whether it be law officials abusing their power or your parents pushing you a little too far from your comfort zone. But it is vital for us to remember that God works all things to be good for us and for His Will to be carried out.
God is not an unjust God, he strengthens us when we are scared and protects us when we are weak.
Read the book of Revelations if you think you have the worst life or that the world of unjustness is falling particularly heavy on you.
You will soon be surprised that God picks his most faithful followers by how much they are willing to carry for him and how much they are willing to go through to simply be His Child.
There are two types of bullying — indirect and direct.
Regardless of the type, bullying is wrong.
48% of students between grades 6th and 12th have been bullied. That's almost half of the student population.
70.4% of school staff (so adults) have seen bullying but not intervened.
Bullying can be stopped within 10 seconds if someone intervenes 57% of the time.
15% of high schoolers were bullied over the internet.
The most frequent type of bullying that has been recorded to happen was teasing which happened to 43.3% of the student population for middle school children.
Bullying can lead to feelings of rejection, isolation, frustration, depression, and anxiety.
All of these symptoms can lead to suicidal thoughts or attempts.
There is no federal anti-bullying law.
Bullying is wrong and it can seriously turn someone's life upside down. No one, I repeat, no one deserves to be treated like this. If you see someone being bullied, even if it's just teasing, step in and stop it. You could save someone's life.
For more information about how to prevent bullying, check out StopBullying.gov.
Fifty Shades, anyone? Yeah, what Christian Grey did was pretty much domestic violence but nobody actually says that because what's sexy about that? Exactly, nothing is sexy about domestic violence.
Did you know there are six different types of domestic violence?
There's physical abuse, emotional abuse, sexual abuse & coercion, reproductive coercion, financial abuse, and digital abuse.
3 women are murdered every day by an ex or current male partner.
38,028,000 women have experienced domestic violence in their lifetime.
4,774,000 women experience violence from their intimate partner every year.
Out of 1,509 women, 926 of them were killed by an intimate partner and 264 of them were killed by their intimate partner during an argument.
1 in 7 men are victims of domestic violence by their intimate partner.
8,000,000 days of work that women miss because of domestic violence that is subjected to them by their intimate partner. That's equivalent to 32,000 full-time jobs.
The average cost for women who go to the ER for intimate partner violence is $948.
The average cost for men who go to the ER for partner violence is $387.
81% of women are or have been stalked by a male partner.
Our of relationships, 98% experience financial abuse which is the number one reason why abused partners stay with their abuser — they think they need them to survive financially.
If you are a victim of domestic violence or you know of someone who is, please call the Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233.
All of the statistics above were gathered by the Huffington Post.