Melissa Jeltsen
GET UPDATES FROM Melissa Jeltsen

Entries by Melissa Jeltsen

Almost A Third Of Mass Shooting Deaths In 2015 Were Related To Domestic Violence

(2) Comments | Posted May 23, 2016 | 11:35 AM

Thirty-one percent of all mass shooting deaths in 2015 were related to domestic violence incidents, according to a New York Times analysis published Sunday.

The New York Times examined violent episodes in which four or more people were killed or wounded by a firearm, including...

Read Post

A Man Shot His Wife In The Head, And The Media Basically Gave Him A Pass

(0) Comments | Posted May 20, 2016 | 11:32 AM

An elderly man in Florida woke up on Monday morning, urinated, retrieved a Colt .32 caliber revolver from his nightstand and shot his wife in the head while she was still asleep.

Then he had some coffee.

When police...

Read Post

Should Domestic Violence Victims Go To Prison For Killing Their Abusers?

(0) Comments | Posted May 19, 2016 | 12:32 PM

NEW YORK -- LadyKathryn Williams-Julien's first childhood memory is of her father punching her mother in the face. She was 6. Her mother fell to the ground, where Williams-Julien was already cowering. They were eye-to-eye, mother and child, both trembling with fear.


Read Post

L'abuso è abuso. Anche se non ti picchia

(1) Comments | Posted May 18, 2016 | 3:38 AM

Imparate a individuare il controllo coercitivo nelle relazioni abusanti

La violenza fisica è solo uno dei tipi d'abuso che può verificarsi all'interno delle relazioni abusanti.

Magari il tuo partner non ti picchia, ma poi ti viene a dire che sei grassa e brutta ogni volta che è turbato da qualcosa....

Read Post

Pastors, Imams And Rabbis Urge Congress To Close Gun Loopholes For Domestic Abusers

(0) Comments | Posted May 17, 2016 | 4:46 PM

Nearly 500 Christian, Jewish and Muslim faith leaders have signed a letter asking Congress to close loopholes in federal law that allow domestic abusers to own and buy firearms.

"Domestic violence, dating abuse, and stalking are extreme violations of the dignity and humanity...

Read Post

Abuse Is Abuse — Even If He Doesn’t Hit You

(0) Comments | Posted May 16, 2016 | 12:36 PM

Maybe your partner doesn’t hit you, but he calls you fat and ugly each time he gets upset. Maybe he doesn’t hit you, but he confiscates your paycheck and only doles out enough money for the bare essentials. Maybe he doesn’t hit you, but he forces...

Read Post

If You Think Trans Bathroom Access Doesn’t Matter, Listen To This Girl’s Story

(0) Comments | Posted May 13, 2016 | 12:29 PM

Nicole Maines, a transgender activist, knows firsthand the devastating consequences that can result when schools don't allow trans kids to use the bathroom matching their gender identity. 

When she was in fifth grade at a public school in Maine, she was banned from using the girls' bathroom and forced to use a separate staff bathroom. 

In a recent TEDx talk, Maines, who is now a college freshman, shared how the discrimination she faced at school affected her ability to feel normal and comfortable in her own skin.

"Acceptance at home is fundamental yes, but frankly it's just not enough," she said. "Trans youth, like most young people, spend the majority of their time at school. If you spent Monday to Friday from 8 to 3 being told that you weren't okay, that you were wrong, how are you meant to think otherwise?"

Maines identified as a girl from a very early age, and her family accepted her as such. But in one important sense, her school did not.

On Friday, the Obama administration called on school districts around the country to allow transgender students to use bathrooms consistent with their gender identity.

"Schools have a responsibility to provide a safe and nondiscriminatory environment for all students, including transgender students," the guidance read, in part. "A school may not require transgender students to use facilities inconsistent with their gender identity or to use individual-user facilities when other students are not required to do so." 

For Maines, her school's insistence that she use a different bathroom than the other kids had long-lasting ramifications. She and her twin brother left the school. Her family moved. She spent the next few years in a form of hiding, as she feared to tell her new schoolmates about her past. 

"I didn't have any sleepovers and I didn't visit any friends," she said. "I was like a ghost." 

Her family filed a discrimination lawsuit and in 2014, she made history when Maine’s Supreme Court ruled that officials from the public school violated state anti-discrimination law by not allowing her to use the girls’ bathroom. It was the first time that a state court ruled it unlawful to deny transgender students access to the bathroom of the gender with which they identify.

A book about Maines' life, written by Pulitzer Prize winner Amy Ellis Nutt, was released last year.

Maines concluded her TEDx talk by urging others to recognize that they are part of the trans story, whether they want to be or not. 

"You have the power to make a difference in someone's life," she said. "Because you never know when a transgender person is going to come into your life, you need to be prepared and you need to be ready to help...

Read Post

Gun Control Is An Uphill Battle. Here’s One Of The Rare Success Stories.

(0) Comments | Posted May 12, 2016 | 2:25 PM

Lori Jackson did everything right. After her husband Scott Gellatly threatened her, she fled. She filed a police report and requested a temporary restraining order. She moved in with her mother and installed a security system.

Then, Jackson waited for her court date....

Read Post

Officer Captured After Shooting Spree Leaves 3 Dead In Maryland

(0) Comments | Posted May 6, 2016 | 12:39 PM

A federal officer is in custody after allegedly shooting three people dead and injuring three others within 24 hours in the Washington D.C. metropolitan area, in three separate locations.

Eulalio Tordil, 62, allegedly shot and killed his estranged wife on Thursday evening outside High Point High School in Beltsville,...

Read Post

National Teen Birth Rate Plummets To All-Time Low

(0) Comments | Posted April 28, 2016 | 1:43 PM

The national teen birth rate has fallen to a record low, according to a new analysis released Thursday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 

From 2006 to 2014, the teen birth rate declined 41 percent. In 2014, there were 24.2 births for every...

Read Post

Mississippi Fails To Add Domestic Violence As A Legal Reason For Divorce

(0) Comments | Posted April 26, 2016 | 10:21 AM

In Mississippi, a person can get a divorce if their spouse is a habitual drunk, commits adultery, has an incurable mental illness or is naturally impotent.

But if their spouse beats them? That would make things more complicated. As it currently stands, domestic violence is not among...

Read Post

NFL Should Focus Attention On Domestic Violence, Not ‘Deflategate,’ Massachusetts AG Argues

(0) Comments | Posted April 25, 2016 | 4:09 PM

Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey criticized the NFL for wasting resources on the "Deflategate" legal saga on Monday, instead of focusing on more critical issues, such as domestic violence.

"My view remains that the NFL spent way too much time and...

Read Post

8 Family Members Dead In Mass Shooting In Ohio, Authorities Say

(0) Comments | Posted April 22, 2016 | 12:16 PM

At least eight Ohio relatives, including a teenager, were shot to death Friday in killings that authorities said specifically targeted the family.

The killer or killers were on the loose, but Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine said there didn't appear to be a threat to the community.

Read Post

The Inside Story Of How 4 Courageous Reporters Freed More Than 2,000 Slaves

(0) Comments | Posted April 20, 2016 | 3:46 PM

On a remote Indonesian island village, the reporters discovered them: grown men, held against their will in a rusty cage. They were fishermen, many of them hailing originally from Myanmar. But now they were trapped. They were forced to fish for...

Read Post

She Was Acquitted Of Murdering Her Abusive Ex After Years In Prison. Now Comes The Hard Part.

(0) Comments | Posted April 12, 2016 | 3:13 PM

BRIDGEPORT, Conn. — Cherelle Baldwin was technically free.

It had been nine days since her release from York Correctional Institution, Connecticut’s only prison for women. She spent almost three years there, waiting to stand trial...

Read Post

Joe Biden Explains How He Helped Expose America's 'Dirty Little Secret'

(0) Comments | Posted April 4, 2016 | 10:17 AM

He's called it a "public health epidemic." A "stain on the moral character of a society." An issue that "cuts to the very core of how we measure ourselves."

We must, he says, "change the culture." 

Vice President Joe Biden has spent more than...

Read Post

Woman Accused Of Murdering Her Abusive Ex Goes Free After Almost 3 Years Behind Bars

(0) Comments | Posted March 31, 2016 | 9:22 AM

BRIDGEPORT, Conn. — Twelve jurors found Cherelle Baldwin not guilty of murder on Thursday in the death of her ex-boyfriend, Jeffrey Brown. 

Baldwin collapsed to the floor in tears as the verdict was announced. 

"My baby," she cried. "My baby will have his mommy back."


Read Post

Jury Begins Deliberations In Trial Of Woman Accused Of Killing Her Alleged Abuser

(0) Comments | Posted March 29, 2016 | 4:27 PM

BRIDGEPORT, Conn. — A jury has begun deliberations in the trial of Cherelle Baldwin, a young woman accused of killing her allegedly abusive ex-boyfriend, Jeffrey Brown. She maintains that she was acting in self-defense.

The tiny courtroom was packed with family members of both the victim...

Read Post

Woman On Trial In Ex-Boyfriend's Murder Testifies He Was 'Controlling, Abusive'

(0) Comments | Posted March 22, 2016 | 4:54 PM

BRIDGEPORT, Conn. — Cherelle Baldwin held back tears Tuesday as she told a jury how her ex-boyfriend Jeffrey Brown whipped her with his belt and then wrapped it around her neck as her 19-month-old son cried nearby.

Brown sent a rash of threatening texts just before the early-morning...

Read Post

This Woman Is On Trial For Killing A Man She Says Tried To Kill Her

(0) Comments | Posted March 20, 2016 | 9:37 PM

BRIDGEPORT, Conn. — As she awaited her day in court, held on $1 million bail, Cherelle Baldwin missed milestones. Her son’s second birthday, then his third, then his fourth. His first day at preschool. Her younger brother’s college graduation. Her father’s 60th birthday. Funerals for...

Read Post