WHY WE MUST ADVOCATE FOR EXERCISE AS A PANACEA OF OUR HEALTH PROBLEMS

Healthy living is a combination of a healthy body and a sound mind. The importance of food and keeping well hydrated is a given, but sometimes the need and importance of exercise to the body is usually overlooked due to our busy schedules and lifestyles. The importance of exercise cannot be overemphasized and it’s resulting benefits to our well-being. As such, there is a need to understand what exercise is, it’s benefits and how it helps to reduce or solve health problems that can arise.

WHAT IS EXERCISE : This is any physical activity that enhances or maintains physical fitness and overall health and wellness.

WHY EXERCISE IS IMPORTANT: it helps to improve health and reduce the risk of developing certain diseases such as Type 2 Diabetes and Heart (Cardiovascular) illness. It has both immediate and long-term benefits.

DIAGRAM SHOWING BENEFITS OF EXERCISES

TYPES OF EXERCISES AND THEIR EFFECTS

There are various types of exercises one can do. These include :

  • Aerobic: It increases your breathing and heart rates. It keeps the lungs and heart healthy examples are Climbing the stairs, Jogging and taking a Brisk walk.
  • Strength Training: This keeps the bones and muscles strong. It helps especially the elderly keep a measure of their independence as bones get more brittle and weak as we age. Example Using resistance bands or Lifting free weights.
  • Flexibility Exercises :This helps to keep the body limber and maintain a wide range of motion or mobility. This is important as it helps to combat conditions like arthritis that limit movement. Example Stretching various body parts especially in the mornings when we just wake up or by doing yoga.
  • Balancing Exercises: This improves your balance. It strengthens the core and legs. It further helps to  prevent falls. Examples include standing on one leg or practicing taichi

SAFE WAYS TO EXERCISE

  • Always do proper warm-ups and cool-downs. At least 5-10 minutes of stretching or slow-jogs.
  • Always pay attention to signs of injury- pains, strains to prevent stressing or aggravating it.
  • Watch your form especially during strength training. If you are not up for it; take a break and rest up. DO NOT PUSH THROUGH SO YOU DO NOT HURT YOURSELF.
  • Always stay hydrated. Keep replenishing lost electrolytes by taking fruit infused water or other drinks.
  • Always dress appropriately. To prevent circulation loss due to tight clothes or tripping over loose or ill-fitting ones.
  • Always have rest days. This is very important, as it gives the body the chance to breathe and repair itself. This will also prevent burnout from over use.

SIMPLE EVERYDAY HACKS TO GET IN SOME EXERCISE IN YOUR DAILY ACTIVITIES

  • Take the stairs.
  • Walk as often as you can
  • Stand up- to improve blood circulation after periods of being in a single position or sitting for too long.
  • Carry bags- While grocery shopping, it helps put in some strength training for your arms. Ensure you always keep a good posture (back straight and shoulders back) as this engages the core.
  • Squat daily- 30 secs a day will help train your ankles, legs, hips and improve stability.

DIAGRAM SHOWING 5 SIMPLE EXERCISES YOU CAN DO

Cultivating a habit and a lifestyle of doing exercises for a minimum of 30 minutes a day will produce many health benefits and it may surprise you that it was the panacea you needed to resolve that lingering health concern.

Reference:

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Exercise
https://www.activehealth.sg/read/physical-activity/10-benefits-of-physical-activity
https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/healthyliving/physical-activity-its-important

Written by Chioma Ahumareze Ukwandu

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UNDERSTANDING RAPE; SAFETY AND SECURITY GUIDES

Preamble; I welcome you all to our first periods of training and awareness sessions. I congratulate you for accepting the voluntary tasks of giving back to the society through this very important organization.

The aim of this presentation is to increase our knowledge base on the concept and dangers of rape; Understanding the physical, emotional and psychological trauma associated with it, safety tips and guides to recovering from sexual violence trauma among other things.

WHAT IS RAPE?

Rape is a form of sexual assault which means sexual intercourse without consent of both adult party. When a person forces his or herself on another for sexual gratification without the partner’s full consent, it is termed rape. It covers a variety of intercourse in the vagina, anus, mouth and other body parts.

Rape happens on streets, in cars, in schools, in parks, and in homes. A rapist has no regard for age, race, or social status. Rape is not a selective crime. It is in most cases, random and is being perpetuated by close allies. Personal safety, however, must begin with the individual.

TYPES OF RAPE.

Rape has been grouped in different ways depending on the case scenarios. Basically, rape is categorized into date rape and statutory rape

  • Date rape refers to a well-planned and thoughtful sexual violence against the wish of a sexually matured adult victim. It requires force, intimidation, threats and fear in order to complete the act of sexual intercourse. 
  • Statutory rape is the act of having consensual intercourse with someone who you know or should have known is under 18 years of age. In this case the under 18 year old girl though might have given consent for sex, it is considered a rape against the adult male because by law she is considered not matured enough to take such decisions.
  • Groth typology

 Nicholas Groth, a renowned Clinical psychologist in his model categorized rape according to the rapist’s intents into 3 types.

  • Anger rape: this is also called Corrective rape

The goal of this rapist is to humiliate and hurt their victim as a way of venting their anger; they express their contempt for their victim through physical violence and profane language. The rapists sees sex as a weapon to defile, debase and degrade the victim hence, rape constitutes the ultimate expression of their anger. Anger rape is characterized by physical brutality, much more physical force is used during the assault than would be necessary if the intent were simply to overpower the victim and achieve penetration. This type of offender attacks their victim by grabbing, striking and knocking the victim to the ground, beating them, tearing their clothes, and raping them.

  • Power assertive rapist

For these rapists, rape becomes a way to compensate for their underlying feelings of inadequacy and feeds their issues of mastery, control, dominance, strength, intimidation, authority and capability. The intent of the power rapist is to assert their competency. The power rapist relies upon verbal threats, intimidation with a weapon, and only uses the amount of force necessary to subdue the victim.

The power rapist tends to have fantasies about sexual conquests and rape. They may believe that even though the victim initially resists them, that once they overpower their victim, the victim will eventually enjoy the rape. The rapist believes that the victim enjoyed what was done to them, and they may even ask the victim to meet them for a date later. Hence, their offenses may become repetitive and compulsive. They may commit a series of rapes over a short period of time.

  • Sadistic rape

For this rapist, sexual excitement is associated with the inflicting of pain upon their victim. The offender finds the intentional maltreatment of their victim intensely gratifying and takes pleasure in the victim’s torment, pain, anguish, distress, helplessness, and suffering; they find the victim’s struggling with them to be an erotic experience.

The sadistic rapist’s assaults are deliberate, calculated, and preplanned. They will often wear a disguise or will blindfold their victims. The victims of a sadistic rapist may not survive the attack. For some offenders, the ultimate satisfaction is gained from murdering the victim.

Myths and facts about rape and sexual assaults

Dispelling the negative, toxic, victim-blaming myths about sexual violence can help rape victims start the healing process. Let us consider a few of such myths.

Myth 1: It’s not rape if you have had sex with the person before.

Fact: haven previously consented to sex with someone does not give them perpetual rights to your body. If your spouse, boyfriend, or lover forces sex against your will, it is rape.

Myth 2: You can spot a rapist by the way he looks or acts.

Fact: There’s no surefire way to identify a rapist. Many appear completely normal, friendly, charming, and non-threatening.

Myth 3: If you didn’t fight back, then it wasn’t rape.

Fact: During a sexual assault, it’s extremely common to freeze. Your brain and body shuts down in shock, making it difficult to move, speak, or think especially when threaten.

Myth 4: People who are raped “ask for it” by the way they dress.

Fact: Rape is a crime of opportunity. Studies show that rapists choose victims based on their vulnerability, not on how sexy they appear or how flirtatious they are. Mad women and children don’t look sexy but are raped.

Myth 5: Date rape is often a misunderstanding.

Fact: Date rapists often defend themselves by claiming the assault was a drunken mistake or miscommunication. But research shows that the vast majority of date rapists are repeat offenders. These men target vulnerable people and often ply them with alcohol in order to rape them.

Effects and aftermath of rape and sexual violence

Rape is a traumatic experience that impacts its victims with physical, psychological, emotional, and sociological trauma. Even though the effects and aftermath of rape varies among victims, individuals tend to suffer from similar issues found within these four categories

Physical impacts of rape.

  • Gynecological effects

It includes:

  • Vaginal/ anal bleeding or infection
  • Vaginitis  or vaginal inflammation
  • Dyspareunia – painful sexual intercourse
  • Vaginismus  – a condition affecting a woman’s ability to engage in any form of Vaginal  penetration
  • Chronic pelvic pain
  • Urinary tract infection
  • Pregnancy
  • Hypoactive sexual desire disorder
  • HIV/AIDS
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy may result from rape.
  • Any pregnancy resulting from an encounter with a stranger carries a higher risk of pre-eclampsia, the condition in which hypertension arises in pregnancy in association with significant amounts of protein in the urine.
  • Sexually transmitted diseases ( gonorrhea, syphilis, etc)

Psychological and Emotional Impacts

Survivors of rape may often have anxiety and fear directly following their attack.

  • Anxiety
  • Feelings of dread
  • Feeling nervous
  • Feeling tense or uneasy
  • Having panic attacks
  • Having an irrational response to certain stimuli
  • Having avoidance and/or escape response
  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
  • Depression
  • Self-blame

Self-blame is among the most common of both short- and long-term effects and functions as an avoidance coping skills that inhibits the healing process and can often be remedied by a cognitive therapy technique known as cognitive restructuring.

There are two main types of self-blame: behavioral self-blame (undeserved blame based on actions) and characterological self-blame (undeserved blame based on character). Behavioral self-blamers feel that they should have done something differently, and therefore feel at fault. Characterological self-blamers feel there is something inherently wrong with them which has caused them to deserve to be assaulted.

 Psychological Impact in Male survivors includes a long-term depression, anxiety, anger, confusion about their masculinity, confusion about their sexuality, and grief. In most cases, male victims resorts to fantasies of revenge or retaliation.

  • Suicide

Regardless of age or gender, the trauma of being raped or sexually assaulted can be shattering, leaving you feeling scared, ashamed, and alone or plagued by nightmares, flashbacks, and other unpleasant memories. The world doesn’t feel like a safe place anymore. You no longer trust others. You don’t even trust yourself. You may question your judgment, your self-worth, and even your sanity. You may blame yourself for what happened or believe that you’re “dirty” or “damaged goods.” Relationships feel dangerous, intimacy impossible. The experience of being raped can lead to suicidal behavior as early as adolescence.

Sociological impact

After a sexual assault, victims are subjected to investigations and, in some cases, mistreatment. Victims undergo medical examinations and are interviewed by police. During the criminal trial, victims suffer a loss of privacy and their credibility may be challenged. .

  • Secondary victimization

 Secondary victimization is the re-traumatization of the sexual assault, abuse, or rape victim through the responses of individuals and institutions. Types of secondary victimization include victim blaming and inappropriate post-assault behavior or language by medical personnel or other organizations with which the victim has contact. Secondary victimization is especially common in cases of drug facilitated, acquaintance, and statutory rape.

  • Stigmatization
  • Isolation
  • Victim blaming. The term victim blaming refers to holding the victim of a crime to be responsible for that crime, either in whole or in part. In the context of rape, it refers to the attitude that certain victim behaviors (such as flirting or wearing sexually provocative clothing) may have encouraged the assault.

This can cause the victim to believe the crime was indeed their fault. Rapists are known to use victim blaming as their primary psychological disconnect from their crime(s). Female rape victims receive more blame when they exhibit behavior which breaks the gender roles of society. Society uses this behavior as a justification for the rape. Similarly, blame placed on female rape victims often depends on the victim’s attractiveness and respectability. While such behavior has no justified correlation to an attack, it can be used in victim blaming. A “rape supportive” society refers to when perpetrators are perceived as justified for raping. Male victims are more often blamed by society for their rape due to weakness or emasculation. The lack of support and community for male rape victims is furthered by the lack of attention given to sexual assaults of males by society.

Recovering from Rape and Sexual Trauma

Recovering from sexual assault takes time, and the healing process can be painful. But you can regain your sense of control, rebuild your self-worth, and learn to heal.

Steps to Recovering from rape or sexual trauma

Step 1: Open up about what happened to you

It can be extraordinarily difficult to admit that you were raped or sexually assaulted. There’s a stigma attached. It can make you feel dirty and weak. You may also be afraid of how others will react. Will they judge you? Look at you differently? It seems easier to downplay what happened or keep it a secret. But when you stay silent, you deny yourself help and reinforce your victimhood.

Reach out to someone you trust. It’s common to think that if you don’t talk about your rape, it didn’t really happen. But you can’t heal when you’re avoiding the truth. And hiding only adds to feelings of shame. As scary as it is to open up, it will set you free. However, it’s important to be selective about who you tell, especially at first. Your best bet is someone who will be supportive, empathetic, and calm. If you don’t have someone you trust, talk to a therapist.

Challenge your sense of helplessness and isolation. Trauma leaves you feeling powerless and vulnerable. It’s important to remind yourself that you have strengths and coping skills that can get you through tough times.

Consider joining a support group for other rape or sexual abuse survivors. Support groups can help you feel less isolated and alone. They also provide invaluable information on how to cope with symptoms and work towards recovery. If you can’t find a support group in your area, look for an online group.

Step 2: Cope with feelings of guilt and shame

Even if you intellectually understand that you’re not to blame for the rape or sexual attack, you may still struggle with a sense of guilt or shame. These feelings can surface immediately following the assault or arise years after the attack. But as you acknowledge the truth of what happened, it will be easier to fully accept that you are not responsible. You did not bring the assault on yourself and you have nothing to be ashamed about.

Feelings of guilt and shame often stem from misconceptions such as:

You didn’t stop the assault from happening. After the fact, it’s easy to second guess what you did or didn’t do. But when you’re in the midst of an assault, your brain and body are in shock. You can’t think clearly. Many people say they feel “frozen.” Don’t judge yourself for this natural reaction to trauma. You did the best you could under extreme circumstances. If you could have stopped the assault, you would have.

You trusted someone you “shouldn’t” have. One of the most difficult things to deal with following an assault by someone you know is the violation of trust. It’s natural to start questioning yourself and wondering if you missed warning signs. Just remember that your attacker is the only one to blame. Don’t beat yourself up for assuming that your attacker was a decent human being. Your attacker is the one who should feel guilty and ashamed, not you.

You were drunk or not cautious enough. Regardless of the circumstances, the only one who is responsible for the assault is the perpetrator. You did not ask for it or deserve what happened to you. Assign responsibility where it belongs: on the rapist.

Step 3: Prepare for flashbacks and upsetting memories

When you go through something stressful, your body temporarily goes into “fight-or-flight” mode. When the threat has passed, your body calms down. But traumatic experiences such as rape can cause your nervous system to become stuck in a state of high alert. You’re hyper sensitive to the smallest of stimuli. This is the case for many rape survivors. Flashbacks, nightmares, and intrusive memories are extremely common, especially in the first few months following the assault. If your nervous system remains “stuck” in the long-term and you develop post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), they can last much longer.

To reduce the stress of flashbacks and upsetting memories:

Try to anticipate and prepare for triggers. Common triggers include anniversary dates; people or places associated with the rape; and certain sights, sounds, or smells. If you are aware of what triggers may cause an upsetting reaction, you’ll be in a better position to understand what’s happening and take steps to calm down.

Pay attention to your body’s danger signals. Your body and emotions give you clues when you’re starting to feel stressed and unsafe. These clues include feeling tense, holding your breath, shortness of breath, hot flashes, dizziness, and nausea.

Simple breathing exercise for anxiety

  • Sit or stand comfortably with your back straight. Put one hand on your chest and the other on your stomach.
  • Take a slow breath in through your nose, counting to four. The hand on your stomach should rise. The hand on your chest should move very little.
  • Hold your breath for a count of seven.
  • Exhale through your mouth to a count of eight, pushing out as much air as you can while contracting your abdominal muscles. The hand on your stomach should move in as you exhale, but your other hand should move very little.
  • Inhale again, repeating the cycle until you feel relaxed and centered.

Step 4: Stay connected

It’s common to feel isolated and disconnected from others following a sexual assault. You may feel tempted to withdraw from social activities and your loved ones. But it’s important to stay connected to life and the people who care about you. Support from other people is vital to your recovery. But remember that support doesn’t mean that you always have to talk about or dwell on what happened. Having fun and laughing with people who care about you can be equally healing.

Participate in social activities, even if you don’t feel like it. Do “normal” things with other people, things that have nothing to do with the sexual trauma.

Reconnect with old friends. If you’ve retreated from relationships that were once important to you, make the effort to reconnect.

Make new friends. If you live alone or far from family and friends, try to reach out and make new friends. Take a class or join a club to meet people with similar interests, connect to an alumni association, or reach out to neighbors or work colleagues

Step 5: Nurture yourself

Take time to rest and restore your body’s balance. That means taking a break when you’re tired and avoiding the temptation to lose yourself by throwing yourself into activities. Avoid doing anything compulsively, including working. If you’re having trouble relaxing and letting down your guard, you may benefit from relaxation techniques such as meditation and yoga.

Be smart about media consumption. Avoid watching any program that could trigger bad memories or flashbacks. This includes obvious things such as news reports about sexual violence and sexually explicit TV shows and movies. But you may also want to temporarily avoid anything that’s over-stimulating, including social media.

Take care of yourself physically. It’s always important to eat rightexercise regularly, and get plenty of sleep—but even more so when you’re healing from trauma. Exercise in particular can soothe your traumatized nervous system, relieve stress, and help you feel more powerful and in control of your body.

Avoid alcohol and drugs. Avoid the temptation to self-medicate with alcohol or drugs. Substance use worsens many symptoms of trauma, including emotional numbing, social isolation, anger, and depression. It also interferes with treatment and can contribute to problems at home and in your relationships.

Safety tips to avoiding Sexual Assault and Rape

  • Awareness and assertive behavior may be your best defense against becoming an “easy target.”
  • Hold your head up; walk confidently, directly and at a steady pace.
  • If you feel you are in danger of being attacked try to escape the situation by running away from it if you can.
  • Try in any way you can to attract attention to yourself. Screaming help or Fire is a good way to accomplish this.
  • If you are being followed, head for a well-lit area where you think there will be other people who may be able to help you.
  • Stay alert and aware. Know where the exits are if you are in a building. In crowded places such as nightclubs, always let someone know where you will be. Do not go to isolated places in a building, if you must go, take a friend. Always turn around and look at whoever may be behind you.
  • If you walk or jog for exercise, try to vary your route and time on the street. To be predictable is risky.
  • Take a self-defense course.
  • Trust your “gut instincts.” If a person, place or situation makes you uneasy, leave or change it immediately.

Safety Tips – In Your Car

  • Always make sure you lock your car doors, whether or not you are in the car. Always check the floor and back seat before getting into your car.
  • When returning to your car, make sure your keys are in your hand, ready for use in unlocking the door and turning on the ignition. They can also be used as a weapon, should that become necessary.
  • If you suspect that you are being followed while driving, keep on going — do not stop and pullover until you get to some place that is well lit and where there are other people to assist you. If possible, drive to the nearest police station to let them know you are being followed.
  • Avoid parking lots and garages that are poorly lit. Do not walk to and from your parked car alone if it is at night. Ask a group to walk together to the cars.
  • If your car should break down, raise the hood and remain in the car with the doors locked until the police arrive. If you have a cell phone, call someone for help. If someone should stop and offer to assist you, roll down the window just enough to tell them they can call the police for you.
  • Don’t grant or receive lifts to strangers

Safety Tips – At Home

  • Have good locks (dead bolts are best) installed on all doors and be sure to use them. Make sure all windows are locked and well secured.
  • Be sure you know whom you are opening your door to. If a sales or repair person is legitimate, they will not mind your asking to see identification and confirming their identity with the company they represent.
  • Residence hall staff and/or university employees will not mind identifying themselves when they knock on your door.
  • If a stranger comes to your door requesting assistance (e.g. to make a phone call, car trouble, etc) offer to call the necessary people for him/her. Do not make yourself vulnerable by opening your door to a stranger, especially if you live by yourself or are at home alone.
  • For women who live by themselves in a house or apartment, never advertise the fact by listing your full name in the phone book or on a mailbox. Use instead your first two initials, or even add another name.
  • Be cautious about revealing any personal information over the telephone and/or Internet.
  • Draw your curtains or blinds shut at night so people on the outside cannot determine who is in the residence.
  • Do not hide a spare key in obvious places such as under the mat, in a potted plant, in a fake rock or on the doorsill, etc. Residence hall students should keep their room keys in their possession at all times. Do not leave door keys hanging in locks or laying out in plain view of others. Always lock your doors after you enter your residence hall room/house/apartment and also when you leave.
  • Talk to roommates about the importance of everyone following the safety strategies at all times.
  • Never admit that you or a neighbor are home alone.
  • Do not prop open any doors to a residence hall, house or apartment building at any time.

Safety Tips – Dating

  • Know your sexual limits. What you want is critical, and you need to know what that is. Be assertive about your limits. You have the right to say “no.”
  • Communicate your desires. Communication leads to stronger and more fulfilling relationships.
  • Avoid being alone in isolated locations. If someone is leading you toward a secluded area, try to get away as quickly as possible.
  • Rape can occur when one or both individuals are under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Set limits on alcohol consumption.
  • Be aware of ‘’Date-Rape drugs’’. The drugs (Rohypnol, GHB) are odorless and tasteless and can be easily slipped into soft drinks, juices or alcoholic drinks undetected. Do not leave your beverage unattended or accept something to drink from someone you do not know well and trust.
  • Attend large parties with friends you can trust. Agree to “look out” for one another. Try to leave with your group, rather than alone or with someone you don’t know very well.
  • Don’t be afraid to “make waves” or hurt someone’s feelings if you feel they are threatening to you. Better a few minutes of social awkwardness or embarrassment than the trauma of sexual assault.

Note; following these tips and strategies does not guarantee that a sexual assault will not occur. They are offered as strategies to reduce the likelihood of becoming a victim.

How to help someone recover from rape or sexual trauma

When a spouse, partner, sibling, or other loved one has been raped or sexually assaulted, it can generate painful emotions and take a heavy toll on your relationship. You may feel angry and frustrated, be desperate for your relationship to return to how it was before the assault, or even want to retaliate against your loved one’s attacker. But it’s your patience, understanding, and support that your loved one needs now, not more displays of aggression or violence.

Let your loved one know that you still love them.

Allow your loved one to open up at their own pace. 

Encourage your loved one to seek help, but don’t pressurize.

Show empathy and caution about physical intimacy.

Take care of yourself. 

 Be patient. Healing from the trauma of rape or sexual assault takes time. Flashbacks, nightmares, debilitating fear, and other symptom of PTSD can persist long after any physical injuries have healed.

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

After a traumatic event, it is typical to have feelings of anxiety, stress, or fear, making it difficult to adjust or cope for some time afterwards. This describes PTSD and manifest in the following ways;

  • Self-Harm – Deliberate self-harm, or self-injury, is when a person inflicts physical harm on himself or herself, usually in secret.
  • Sexually Transmitted Infections – A sexually transmitted infection (STI) is a bacterial or viral infection passed from one person to another through vaginal, anal, or oral contact.
  • Substance Abuse – If you are concerned that you’re using substances in a way that could be harmful to your health or have concerns for someone you care about, consider learning more about the warning signs and places to find support.
  • Dissociation – Dissociation is one of the many defense mechanisms the brain can use to cope with the trauma of sexual violence.
  • Panic Attacks – A panic attack is a sudden feeling of intense fear and anxiety that happens in situations when there may be no immediate danger. They tend to affect people who have experienced trauma, abuse, or high levels of stress.
  •  – Sexual violence can affect survivors in many ways, including perceptions of the body and feelings of control.
  • Pregnancy – If you were recently raped, you may have concerns about becoming pregnant from the attack.
  • Sleep Disorders – Symptoms of sleep disorders can include trouble falling or staying asleep, sleeping at unusual times of day, or sleeping for longer or shorter than usual.
  • Suicide – Suicide is preventable and suicidal thoughts aren’t permanent. If you are thinking about suicide, there are resources to give you the support you need to get through this tough time.
  • Adult Survivors of Child Sexual Abuse – Many perpetrators of sexual abuse are in a position of trust or responsible for the child’s care, such as a family member, teacher, clergy member, or coach

References

  1. Melinda Smith et al. 2019, (Recovering from rape and sexual trauma)

2.  Olle L. Medical Responses to Adults who have experienced Sexual Assault. Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetrics and Gynecology. 2004.

3.  Sexual Assault. A publication of National Women’s Health Information Center of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office on Women’s Health and accessed via http://forwoman.gov/faq/sexualassault.htm .

4. Isely PJ, Gehrenbeck-Shim D. Sexual assault of men in the community. J Comm. Psych. 1997;25(2):159–166. [Google Scholar]

5. Holmes WC, Slap GB. Sexual abuse of boys. Definition, p

6. “Statutory Rape Known to Law Enforcement” (PDF). U.S. Department of Justice – Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention. Retrieved 2008-03-24.

7.  “State Legislators’ Handbook for Statutory Rape Issues” (PDF). U.S Department of Justice – Office for Victims of Crime. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2008-03-13. Retrieved 2008-03-24.

WRITTEN BY: BRIGHT IFANG (NATIONAL VICE PRESIDENT, HEALTH SERVICES A-HSEAI)

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ELECTRICAL SAFETY AWARENESS IN OUR HOMES

Electricity is one aspect of technology that has come to stay. Believe it or not, Electricity enhances almost all of our daily activities thereby making all sectors of life easier. We can boldly say that we have come to love electricity so much that when it is not available we feel somewhat frustrated. Electricity makes our homes brighter, keeps us warm and entertained. What would we do without it? In as much as electricity has made our lives easier, we must not disregard all the risks it comes with.

Today, electricity is so common that we do not pay so much attention to all the safety tips and rules that guide the use of electricity in our homes. Nevertheless, we must be armed with these safety tips in order to teach our wards and loved ones better about electrical safety.

WHAT IS ELECTRICAL SAFETY?

Electrical safety are measures taken or put in place to prevent the harmful and dangerous effects of electricity such as fires, shocks, burns, falls and a lot more while using electricity at home or at a workplace.

Here are Safety tips to be aware of while using electricity in our homes.

AVOID OVERLOADING YOUR OUTLETS

A lot of people are guilty of overloading electrical outlets. Some others go as far as running connections from one extension cord to another mostly out of ignorance. Every electrical outlet is designed to hold or accommodate a certain amount of electricity. A lot of ugly damages can occur if this ‘certain amount’ is exceeded. A fire could start from plugging too many devices into your socket or any electrical outlet at once. Use an energy-saving power strip that can safely carry everything you wish to plug. Get a trained electrician to install one for you.

REPLACE OR REPAIR DAMAGED POWER CORDS

Once you detect an exposed wire or the melting away of the protective covering of wire in your home, do well to bring in an electrician to replace or repair it. Never overlook an exposed wire in your home especially if you have children around.

KEEP ELECTRICAL EQUIPMENT AWAY FROM WATER

Water does not conduct electricity. Are you shocked? Well, you shouldn’t be. Water doesn’t conduct electricity, rather the particles present in water such as iron, calcium, sodium, and so on are the actual conductors of electricity and once present in water can cause electric shock if brought in contact with electricity.

EDUCATE YOUR CHILDREN TO PROTECT THEM FROM HAZARDS

Teach your kids the dangers of electricity and for the toddlers, who would want to touch everything they see, install tamper-resistant safety caps on all unused electrical outlets.

AVOID THE USE OF EXTENSION CORDS AS MUCH AS YOU CAN

Do not use extension cords, but if you must, do not let the cords crisscross the floors of your home as it may cause a fall or your toddler might put his or her hand in the outlets. Tidy up all loose cords and put them away to prevent your kids from playing the game of Tug of war with it.

References:

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electrical_safety_standards

By

Anita Alexa Njoku

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FOOD SAFETY AND WHY WE MUST PRACTICE IT

The importance of food safety cannot be overemphasized; as this directly affects the food we consume (into our body) for their nutrients. Food safety can sometimes be mistaken to be food hygiene but they are not the same though they overlap.

WHAT IS FOOD SAFETY AND FOOD HYIGENCE

Food safety encompasses all the business practices that must be adhered to ensure food is fit for consumption (farm – finished product). Food Hygiene is one of the important practices which make it a subcategory of food safety (personal hygiene, safe food handling, cross contamination etc).  Food Safety is very important especially now during this pandemic with the increase of food delivery and home cooking so as to prevent contamination of our food.

SIMPLE SAFE FOOD HANDLING PRACTICES THAT CAN KEEP YOU SAFE

A critical part of healthy living is eating good food.  We can reduce contaminating our food by following safe food handling practices be it at home or in a restaurant. There are four basic principles to reduce risk of food contamination. These are:

CLEAN:

  • Wash hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use warm water if available, and close tap with tissue towel to avoid contaminating washed hands.
  • Sanitize Surfaces- clean surface with hot soapy water.
  • Clean sweep refrigerated foods once a week – to remove spoiling or spoilt foods.

Keep your appliances clean.

Rinse your vegetables and fruits before eating, cutting and cooking. This should be done even if peeling to prevent transfer to the inside.

SEPARATE:

  • When shopping keep meat, raw sea food in a separate bag to prevent cross contamination with other goods, through blood or chemicals used to preserve frozen foods.
  • Separate food when preparing and serving. Always use a clean cutting board for vegetables and a different one for raw food such as meat.
  • Do not put cooked food on a plate that was used for raw food without washing the plate.

 COOK

  • Always cook to safe internal temperatures (well done and cooked through).  This is usually between 62 – 100 degrees Celsius (Depending on what is being cooked).

CHILL:

  • Raw food (meat, fish) be put in the fridge right away.
  • Follow the 2 hour rule- Put food in fridge within 2 hours of cooking or buying from store.
  • Thaw food in the fridge, under cold water or in a microwave.
  • Marinate food in the fridge.

DIAGRAM SHOWING SAFE HANDLE OF FOOD

During this period, it’s best to be more conscious of what we eat and how we handle it. Our food is our first medicine to having a healthy body and increases our chance of combating diseases and illnesses, of which coronavirus is inclusive.

Chioma Ahumareze Ukwandu,

P.R.O Department, A-HSEAI

Reference:

https://www.fda.gov/consumers/free-publications-women/food-safety-home

https://www.choosemyplate.gov/ten-tips-be-food-safe

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WHAT IS BIODIVERSITY?

BIODIVERSITY

As we mark world environmental day, this year our focus is on biodiversity. Its importance and how our actions are affecting it.

WHAT IS BIODIVERSITY

This is the sum of all the different species of animals, plants, fungi and micro-organisms living on earth and the different habitats. Biodiversity is an intrinsic part of everything from food production to medicine and research (we use at least 40,000 species of plant and animals daily).  All around the world, a large number of people are still dependent on wild species for some or all their food, shelter and clothing. We are all dependent on nature and her many gifts.

WHY BIODIVERSITY IS IMPRTANT AND WHY WE SHOULD CARE

Our biodiversity is important because “At least 40 per cent of the world’s economy and 80 per cent of the needs of the poor are derived from biological resources. In addition, the richer the diversity of life, the greater the opportunity for medical discoveries, economic development, and adaptive responses to such new challenges as climate change. The Convention about Life on Earth, Convention on Biodiversity web site.

A healthy biodiversity provides a number of natural services to everyone:

  1. Ecosystem Services:
  2. Protection of water resources.
  3. Soil formation and protection.
  4. Nutrient storage and recycling.
  5. Contribution to climate stability.
  6. Pollution breakdown and absorption.
  7. Recovery from unpredictable events (regrowth after wildfires).
  • Biological Resource:
  • Food, medicinal & pharmaceutical resources and drug
  •  Wood products (Trees used for carpentry, paper).
  • Breeding stocks and population reservoirs.
  • Future resources (young trees, animals).
  • Diversity in genes and ecosystem.
  • Social Benefits :
  • Cultural Values.
  • Recreation and tourism
  • Education, research and monitoring.

DIAGRAM SHOWING INTERDEPENDENCE OF BIODIVERSITY

All these are free gifts, available for our use. These are mostly renewable, imagine if we had to pay to replace everything; the price would be enormously expensive.

THINGS AFFECTING OUR BIODIVERSITY

As humans spread across the earth, some of our actions have led to devastating impacts. These impacts include:

  1. Deforestation: Leading to loss of plants, animals due to habitats being destroyed.
  2. Extinction of Animals: Due to hunting for sports and food.
  3. Climate Change: Increased impact and occurrence of hurricanes and earth quakes, Ozone depletion and greenhouse gas emission.
  4. Pollution: Due to large emissions of gas flaring, waste, plastics have resulted in air, water and underground pollution.

HOW TO CONSERVE OUR BIODIVERSITY

  1. Government Legislations:  Intentional planting of trees to replace those cut down.
  2. Nature Preserves: Protected habitats.
  3. Captive breeding and seed banks.
  4. Sustainable living.
  5. Habitat restoration.
  6. Education and research.

It is extremely important for us to protect our biodiversity, so that we can preserve and secure our future.

References:

https://www.slader.com/discussion/question/what-are-the-major-factors-affecting-biodiversity-today-which-one-currently-has-the-greatest-overall-effect-how-is-climate-change-different

https://www.globalissues.org/article/170/why-is-biodiversity-important-who-cares

By Chioma Ahumareze Ukwandu

Media and Publicity, A-HSEAI

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Safety goggles

Because you only have two eyes, and they cannot be replaced – Eye injuries in the workplace are common, but they’re also easily avoidable in the majority of cases.

WHY TAKE THE RISK?

Safety goggles are a vital necessity in any workplace that includes potential eye hazards. Having the proper eye protection in place is essential in many work environments to guard against injuries and to meet international requirements.

It is important for employers to provide personal protective equipment to their employees and ensure its proper use.

Eye protection must be provided when necessary to protect against chemical, environmental, radiological or mechanical irritants hazards.

Some of the most common occupations that have a high risk of eye injury are construction, medical care, electrical work, plumbing, welding, and auto repair. Even if your main industry is not one of the occupations listed here, there could still be certain departments or tasks within your business that might require the use of safety goggles such as maintenance and repair work on equipment used for your business.

Safety goggles are recommended or required any time the following potential eye hazards are present in the workplace:

  1. Flying Debris(dust, concrete, metal, wood, etc.).
  2. Chemicals (liquids and gases)
  3. Radiation (visible light, ultraviolet, heat, infrared, lasers, etc.).

Consider the type of work performed in all areas of your business to determine if potential eye hazards are present in your workplace.

Will Any Safety goggle Work?

The specific safety eyewear to use can vary hugely depending on your situation. It could be that traditional safety goggles with side protection or even entire face shields are best suited to protecting your eyes from injury. Do the research and make sure that whenever you are working in a potentially hazardous environment, you use the right safety equipment.

Some features of safety goggles are:

  1. Highly impact-resistant.
  2. Provide a tight, form-fitting facial seal.
  3. Protect the entire eye area against hazards coming from any direction.
  4. Some can be worn over prescription glasses and contact lenses.

Reasons to wear safety glasses:

  1. It’s the LAW – in many instances where eye hazards exist.
  2. Eye injuries are painful and often times the damage sustained is permanent.
  3. Injuries can happen at any time and rarely come with any warning.

Always remember no one think it will happen to them until it happens

BE SAFETY CONSCIOUS!!

Thank you and GOD bless.

Onoriede Ighemena Isaac

Media/Publicity Dpt., HSEAI

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ActNow Climate Action Campaign

As A-HSEAI member, you have the power to tackle climate change.

Small changes can make a big difference if we all work together. The United Nations has identified 10 key actions that you can take in your daily life and record here.

People around the world have already recorded 714307 climate actions and A-HSEAI is bringing you the opportunity to do yours.

ActNow is the United Nations’ global call to individual action on climate change. The campaign is a critical part of the UN’s coordinated effort to raise awareness, ambition, and action for climate change and accelerate implementation of the Paris Agreement.

Primarily an online and social media campaign, ActNow will educate and encourage individual actions, mainly by adjusting consumption patterns. By changing our habits and routines, and making choices that have less harmful effects on the environment, we have the power to confront the climate challenge.

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THE ILLEGAL TRADE IN WILDLIFE

THE ILLEGAL TRADE IN WILDLIFE is driving species to the brink of extinction while posing environmental, economic, development and security risks. But we can reverse this trend. Countries around the world, the United Nations, A-HSEAI, many other international and national organizations, businesses, governments and key opinion leaders are all working together to raise awareness, enact and enforce stronger laws, and step up support to local communities efforts to stop the illegal trade in wildlife.

This trade thrives on ignorance, indifference and turning a blind eye to the laws that govern it. But the more we know, the more we can see how our decisions have a major impact on wildlife, people and the planet. The good news is that we really can tackle illegal trade in wildlife

This campaign is part of an ambitious agenda that is being driven by the UN which recognizes wildlife crime as a serious crime and a threat to our shared sustainable development. The new 2030 agenda of the UN sets out Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) which have an explicit focus on protecting the integrity of our ecosystems by targeting the environmental crimes, that take place both on land and at sea.

JOIN THE 3 MILLION OTHERS WHO HAVE PLEDGED TO PROTECT THEIR KINDRED SPECIES. UNLEASH YOUR WILD INSTINCT TO PROTECT LIFE AND START A MOVEMENT! GIVE YOUR NAME TO CHANGE THE GAME

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Free Online Course on Solving Climate Crisis

Are you a A-HSEAI member?

Have you registered on hseai.org?

Do you want to find out how nature can help in protecting people from disasters and solving the climate crisis?

If your answer is yes then this free online course is for you!

Learn what young people and teachers, policy makers, practitioners, businesses and engineers can do to get involved in our race against the climate emergency.

Cost: Free of charge
Location: Online course

This course is being developed with support from the European Union

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Biodiversity

As members of A-HSEAI, we have a role to play in preventing biodiversity loss and preserving nature for our future. If we are to change the course of destruction, we must first learn about what we can do; share that knowledge with others on World Environment Day; and once it is safe to do so, act on the things we need to change.

A-HSEAI is providing us A HANDY ACTION SET FOR EVERYDAY SUSTAINABLE LIVING by https://anatomyofaction.org/

The Anatomy of Action outlines the top level changes any individual can make to support the growing shift to global sustainability.

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