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Barriere Bits, Issue #002 -- Toddler's death results in new Oklahoma law
July 17, 2007
Welcome to Barriere Bits, the child abuse information e-zine that will provide you with current child abuse information and articles.

In this issue:



What I've Been Doing

For those of you who have read my book, you know that my husband and I spend our summers at a lake about an hour and a half from our home in Kamloops. Weíve been here at the lake off and on throughout June. But for the first time in the twenty plus years weíve been coming, the lake is in bloom a full four weeks late. Right now it looks like pea soup! Even the ducklings were born late this year. Not entirely sure why, but I have my suspicions that the mountain pine beetle may be at the root of the problem.

These flying beetles continue their voracious appetite as they take over hectares of trees at a time. Patch after patch after patch of rust-coloured pine go on for miles. Some mountains have been completely wiped out of our Ponderosa Pine, all because these bugs that are about half the size of a ladybug infest the trees by burrowing into the bark and laying their eggs. Within five years, there wonít be any of this species of pine left in our province. I suspect that this holocaust of sorts has upset the balance of nature. As the trees die off, less and less water is soaked up by their root system. As the water levels rise, the bottom of the lake takes longer to complete its inversion, which may explain why the bloom is in July instead of June. Good news is, though the fishing was lousy last month, rainbow trout has been a staple on our menu for two weeks now!

So, while I've been at the lake, and after a very pleasant 10-day visit by my sister and brother-in-law, Iíve been busy examining reams of material for the feature article in this newsletter, as well as updating various pages on my website.

Why the changes?

After doing some research, I discovered that the search engines may be penalizing my site because of the formatting I use. Itís a complicated process, so I can't really go into details. What I will say is that in an effort to please the search engines so that I can rank higher and therefore increase traffic to my site, Iíve made some changes to my Stories page, as well some of the individual story pages. Iíve eliminated the coloured tables in favour of an all white background. Iíve also removed all story pages from my navigation bar, partly to condense it, partly to decrease download time for my visitors, partly for search engine optimization. As time permits, I'll re-format all story pages, as well as several others.

If youíre having difficulty finding a particular story, my Sitemap page lists all stories in alphabetical order. Archived pages are also listed there.



Feature Article

Updated October 6, 2007: See article Toddler's death results in new Oklahoma law. When you get there, by all means, add your comments.



What do you think? Take the poll.

July's question: Should Kelsey's Law be a national law, not just a state law? Poll now closed. Results will be posted in the August issue of Barriere Bits.

Poll results from June's question: Should grandparent rights supersede parental rights?

  • 33% I agree

  • 56% I disagree

  • 11% I don't know

Thank you to all who registered votes in June's poll.

In order to avoid confusion, starting in this month's issue, I have changed the poll form to a "Yes", "No", "Can't Decide" format.



Newest Website Pages



Newest Stories Pages June 18 Ė July 17, 2007

Stories in Queue

If you've sent me a story and you don't see it posted yet, please be patient. As of this morning, July 17th, I have the following six stories in queue, in the order they will appear when posted on my Stories page:

  • Zara from Dehli, Dakan, India

  • Theresa from Harrington, Delaware, USA

  • Dominique from Houston, Texas, USA

  • Cheryl from ISA, Queensland, Australia

  • Fran from Grande Prairie, Alberta, Canada

  • Rose from Norwich, Connecticut, USA

If your story isn't posted or you don't see it on the above list, it is likely that when I tried to verify your e-mail address, it came back as a "Delivery Failure". Just a reminder: If I cannot verify your e-mail address, I cannot post your story.



Ask Darlene

This is a question I'm often asked through my website: Why don't you allow personal e-mail addresses to be posted on your stories pages?

It would be irresponsible of me to post anyone's e-mail address, since I have no control over who visits and clicks onto the various pages on my website. Many of the story submissions I receive are from youth. If I were to post the personal e-mail address of a youth, it would expose that youth to potential dangers from Internet predators of children.

When someone writes an e-mail, there is no way to know for sure who is doing the writing. There is no way to know if the person is another youth, an adult with ulterior motives, or someone incarcerated in a prison or detention centre.

Furthermore, children and youth are far more likely than an adult to divulge personal information to someone they have met online, personal information that could lead someone directly to them. Internet predators know how to pose as children, they know how to get information from children, and they are experts at luring children and youth. The media has reported several cases of this type of luring, which has often led to an Amber Alert (where the public is made aware of a child gone missing). Many of these children are never found. If they are found, they are all too often found dead.

I will not allow an Internet predator access to anyone through my site, be it a child, a youth or a vulnerable adult. This is why I have made it a rule to never post personal e-mail addresses on any of my pages. I make no exceptions to this rule.

Ask Darlene is now closed for the August issue of Barriere Bits.



Darleneís Healing & Recovery Tip of the Month

Last month I introduced you to a relaxation technique that included deep breathing and a mantra. I also shared one of my own personal secrets to happiness.

This month I'll share a wonderfully relaxing way to have a night-time bath. Not an ordinary bath. Not a "fill the tub, hop in and scrub yourself raw" type of bath. Ladies and gentlemen, I want you to make a ritual of this bath. I want you to plan for this bath. I want you to look forward to this bath.

To my male subscribers, eliminate anything that may sound a little too "girlie" for you, but do consider trying it anyway. You may be pleasantly surprised at how serene a bath like this can be. If you have children, make sure they are in bed and fast asleep so that you can reap the full benefits of this glorious bath.

You'll need:

  • a clean tub
  • a fluffy bath towel--put it next to your tub
  • bath mat--use another towel if you don't have one
  • foam bath or try bath crystals, bath oils, bath milk, etc.
  • neck rest, if you find the support more relaxing
  • candles--nothing strong, consider a scent like vanilla or cinnamon
  • a flame source to light your candles
  • a music player, placed well away from the tub and water
  • CD or other music source--opt for soothing instrumentals
  • PJs or some other night-wear you find comfortable




  • Light the candles for ambiance . . .
  • Turn the lights off . . .
  • Turn your choice of tranquil music on . . .
  • Close the drain . . .
  • Open the water taps . . .
  • Test the temperature of the water on your wrist . . .
  • Adjust the temperature to your personal liking . . .
  • Pour a little bath foam into the stream of tap water . . .
  • Gentlemen, trust me, you'll love it . . . (do it secretly, if you must)
  • Allow the bubbles to build into a sudsy mass . . .
  • Swoosh water onto the back of the tub to warm it . . .
  • When you're undressed, test the water again . . .
  • Adjust the water temperature as necessary . . .
  • Turn the taps off . . .
  • Slip one foot in, then the other . . .
  • Feel the refreshing tingle of the suds on your shins and calves . . .
  • Slowly, lower the rest of yourself in . . .
  • Allow yourself to feel the tingle . . .
  • First on one buttock and thigh . . . then the other . . .
  • Feel the effervescence on your arms and hands . . .
  • Take a deep breath in . . . slowly, let it out . . .
  • Lay back . . . if it's more comfortable, use your neck rest . . .
  • Close your eyes . . .
  • Feel the warmth envelope you . . .
  • Stress starts to slip away as you slip further into the warmth . . .
  • Take a deep breathe in . . . release it through your mouth . . .
  • The warmth has washed away the stress of your day . . .
  • Enjoy the peacefulness of your background music . . .
  • Soak as long as possible . . .
  • When you're ready, slowly rise . . .
  • Use the towel to pat yourself dry . . . ever . . . so . . . slowly . . .
  • Slip into your night-wear . . .
  • Take one last deep, cleansing breath . . .

I hope you find this kind of bath as tranquil as I do.

Author Bio

Darlene Barriere is a child abuse survivor, a violence and abuse prevention educator and author of On My Own Terms, A Memoir.



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