I like women… updated January 11, 2013 and Lori needs you!

Today I am re-posting the most widely read page of my blog……almost 10,000 of you read the original.

And I am doing it for two reasons:  Lori needs another surgery or the temporary “fix” on her face is in danger, and her sinuses could collapse at any time…..it really is critical, and once again I hope you respond as you did before after her brutal beating that almost killed her.  Please go to her page on facebook -Lori Aid 2011 – and on the first post you will see her sister Kristine has put the information how you can donate $5 or more to her on paypal.  She needs to raise $75,000.  She has no insurance any more.

And the second reason I am posting is to remind you to look on facebook at “Derby against Domestic Violence” which was created largely because of Lori’s and Rhea’s situations.  Today it has over 2100 on board and I hope you will join too.   Please read the posts on this page (some very disturbing, others with advice and support from those in the same situations), and it may even help you or someone you know.

And don’t forget “Blockers not bullies” also on facebook.

Now read or re-read my most important post ever.

I last saw Lori on November 4th when we both attended the Championships in Atlanta.

It is hard to believe that this beautiful, vibrant woman – who has been through so many painful surgeries- is the subject of this post written  originally a year and a half ago.

Her 16-year old daughter has gotten on with her life after the trauma of seeing her mother with the battered face shown below, and within inches of death.  She is a freshman (!) in college (her first semester: 3 A’s and a B) while Lori is completing her masters degree (!) and working at two jobs trying to keep her head above water and take care of her 5 year-old daughter (who was shielded from this event and does not know of it).  She still requires surgery to restore her right cheek bone; she cannot skate because until she gets the surgery, her sinuses are open to her brain; she cannot even blow her nose.

And Lori, my second Derby wifey, thoroughly enjoyed the championships – she drove her car for 7 hours with friends and all stayed in a room at the Marriott Marquis…..we actually sold $34 worth of her purple and black bracelets to help pay for her continuing medical.  You can go to Lori Aid 2011 and donate if you would like.

Lori was the initial inspiration for Derby Against Domestic Violence, the wonderful facebook site with over 2230 members (please join) who counsel each other, know where to get help for those living in abuse, and more.  If you know somehow in your league or anywhere else in a similar situation, try to help…..it can be difficult, but you may save someone from what Lori went through or worse.

This is written on February 11, 2012.  Lori is much better, her vision is focusing, still needs more surgery and help.  If you would like to see current photos, go to Lori Aid 2011 on facebook, and you will see the posting also by her sister Kristine which gives her paypal account.  She really wants to go to Rollercon, but she cannot fly and must go by surface from Florida…..anyone driving in July to Las Vegas?

(August 22nd update)  Today Lori returned to classes towards her Masters in Social Workers.  It is still a struggle for her, her life in shambles for the past months and struggling to recover.  But she is an inspiration to all (see Lori Aid 2011 on Facebook).  Well she and I kicked around an idea that will require all of  you to help establish.  Read (or re-read this again) and then I will let you know shortly when I will be posting what we want to do that will involve all of Roller Derby.

October 24th 2011 update…..today Lori found out that her attacker was sentenced to 20 years in prison.  She is moving forward with her life and is amazing.    If you want to help Lori please go to “derby against domestic violence” on facebook  and join to tell your story or help others.

The following was first written on May 1, 2011.

I lost my mother to cancer when I was nine;  my sister who was three years older took a lot of responsibility for me (until we were both in high school; I was a pest then), and I lived with my Uncle Oscar and Agatha for a short time when we moved to Illinois and she was wonderful.

And the Roller Derby women looked after me: Ivy King (until I met her again when she was over 90 I never realized she was the raunchiest person in all of the Derby world, but so funny), Mary Youpelle, Ma Bogash, others, as well as Bobbie Johnstone (Atkinson) who was my real surrogate Derby mother.

Lori Milkeris

I am afraid to do this, but the names that jump at me today are Val, Pia, Lauren, Jenn, Juicy, Stacey, Loretta, and dozens more and I better stop before I get in trouble…..but I consider so many real friends.

I have always loved sports, but I knew from my early years that women are often more interesting than men and they want to talk about and get to the real things in life;  not just swap stories about sports, and television and work.  (I’m generalizing, which I hate to do, but it is to give you an idea).  I guess I never learned to treat women as inferiors and even after I broke up with girlfriends, I cannot think of one time that we did not continue to be friends……Judi understands that and I share the feelings with her.

I hate it when any television show or movie shows someone abusing women or children as part of the plot and I will not watch it.

Lori in the hospital.

So you can imagine what I and obviously thousands of others of you felt when we saw the Facebook photo of Lori, a wonderful woman who served in the Air Force, has two children, is going to school with the GI Bill, and is also a Derby girl, with a battered face beyond recognition in a hospital bed, courtesy of her “boyfriend” who sits in jail and should consider himself lucky for not being available to those who love her.

Spousal or any kind of abuse is one of the worst crimes that can be committed.  To be with someone you love and trust and then have that happen is unimaginable, but is way too frequent.

Too often the authorities won’t respond to spousal abuse as they consider that “domestic”.  And also too often, the women (and occasionally men) who are the victims despite the obvious physical signs of abuse deny it, as they are afraid of what will happen to themselves if they don’t.

In the last decade Roller Derby has become a leading outlet for women who want to be empowered and work hard at it;  contrary to popular belief, there is no legal fighting or purposely harming another in Derby.  The women generally support and help each other.

I know a number of the leagues support women’s shelters, but I would like to propose a further step, whether through the WFTDA, the other organizations, the leagues, whomever:  each league should bring in a psychologist to discuss abuse and how anyone can fall victim to it….it doesn’t happen in one day, generally one person so lowers the self-esteem of the other, that when they are beat up they feel they deserve it.  You should look for signs in your skating mates, ask them if they feel OK about it, about their relationships, whatever, to try and stop this horrible practice before it is too late.  I know this is difficult because of the fear of prying;  but if you can open up with each other, it can avoid a tragedy.

I have posted the photo of Lori on this site;  yesterday there were several hundred people who “liked” it (seems an inappropriate use of the word) on Facebook;  as I write this it is approaching 3000.  See how you can aid, financially if possible.  And let Derby as an organization take on the task of trying to recognize and eliminate this awful disease.

I honestly feel that this step is a true expression of love for each other.  And I am sure Lori would like you to contact her on her facebook page with any thoughts you have.

Update:  Lori is recovering, but it is a long and painful process.  She had reconstruction on her face and wiring of her jaw, which only allowed her to eat liquid food through a straw.  The wiring has been removed, but she now has to have more surgery.  She can’t work or go back to school and it is very hard for her, but the indominable  Lori is going forward.  And to see how she looked most recently, go to Lori Aid 2011 on facebook, and look at the photos at the top of the site.  Please leave a message and help if you can.  And also, the best thing we can all do is to work together on recognizing and helping the victims and stopping abuse!

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22 comments on “I like women… updated January 11, 2013 and Lori needs you!

  1. Jerry, In addition to loving women and sports, we also share an abhorrence of fictional depictions of women or children being abused. Earlier tonight I watched Lara Logan on “60 Minutes” talk about the horrifying physical and sexual abuse see suffered in Egypt in February. It was literally stomach turning. I tried to take my traditional post-60 Minutes nap, but that was out of the question. I can’t stop thinking about what Ms. Logan went through while she was simply trying to do her job. Although, there’s nothing simple about a woman covering a revolution in a country like Egypt.

    • If you are going to Rollercon 2012 you may meet Lori at the GoMerch/SeltzerBrand booth 61 and she has her anti-domestic violence bracelets to pay for her medical expenses.

  2. We had a skater on our league that was involved in an abusive relationship. Though she did not suffer anything that Lori is going through, she still put up with abhorrent behavior until a group of us finally convinced her that she deserved better. She’s now in San Diego and living the good life. I only hope that Lori finds the same happiness.

  3. Jerry
    As always you give the public information that is a long time coming in the history & life of your family & of the skaters who are call part of a family that can never be replaced.
    I always tell everyone that Derby was a home and family for all of us for a life time.
    We shared good & bad we all helped each other. Now these gal’s of another generation have slowly found that there a family of developing friendship and will all be there for each other.Please give this lady all the prayers for good health and get well wishes from all the Roller Derby has-beens
    My best and any help please know I am always here .
    Love The one & only Iodine

  4. I agree with you Jerry and so Thankful that there are people out there like you. So many woman go through this life thinking this is how it is supposed to be. Whether it be because that is how they were raised or because a man has taken all their power. I myself grew up in a home where words were used never violence. I also was always against a man placing his hands on me. I am a strong independent mom of 2 beautiful daughters. I did not realize that some of the things that were happening were leading me to this path. Constant argueing because of jealousy and always having to tell where I was. At first I thought it was love but now that I look back it was control. Dealing with us getting in a fight and then him coming home and telling me he had punished a friend or family member or even a stranger. Now that I look I realize his rage was building towards me.
    I was in a bubble as far as what goes on in the world. I now have realized the world is not the great soft sweet place I had thought, there are so many out there that deal with this everyday:( I feel for them. I want to tell you if you are reading this and this is your life, LET US HELP!!! Make a change, do not let someone do this to you. I know easier said then done, but at least think about it. Reach your hand out and I bet someone will help lead you if they can. Lets make the world a safer place for all. Ask questions!!!!!! Be the change you want to see in the world!!!!

  5. I myself was a victim of domestic emotional abuse and at one time physical. I was always seen as the last person it would happen to, but he very slowly, methodically, chipped away at my self esteem, under the guise that it was all for my own good and he was helping me become a better person.

    Only after I was out of the situation (which took me a year and I effectively made myself homeless) did I see what had happened. In my case it’s a psychological tactic called gas lighting, where the bully discreetly taps away at making the “victim” doubt themselves and begin to rely on the bully for guidance. It’s very manipulative. The one hitting incident he managed to twist it that I felt stupid and had imagined it.

    I applaud Lori for being such a positive role model, and a symbol of hope. I sincerely hope her recovery goes well and that she heals both inside and out.

    K x

  6. Abuse really has so many different forms, not just physical… I’ve thought a lot about Lori and the strength she has to get through this situation- and it just reinforces my own life changes to remove the person who was hurting us emotionally and financially without any thought to the repercussions and the actions witnessed by his children. I’m by no means trying to compare to the HORRIBLE trauma Lori endured, but I do believe that derby cultivates a strength in all of us that we might not have ever discovered was there in the first place, and enables us to rise above situations that we otherwise may not have overcome on our own previous to our derby experiences. Love to all the derby people of the world… ❤

  7. Thank you for sharing this, and if Laurie reads this, stay strong lady, you have people from all over who support you or understand a little of what you went through. He will get what he deserves.

    Being someone who has been through something like this (but not to this extent), you are correct to say that it doesn’t happen in a day. Besides the gals feeling bad about themselves, the “SO” can also pull them from whom they spend time with and what they like doing. I was engaged to a man who prevented me from having friends, but only after he broke me down emotionally and made me feel like scum. He even pulled me away from my family. Though free from it for many years now, it still haunts me. I wish I had had a support system at that time.

  8. I am a domestic violence survivor twice, and a mugging victim and I think it is wonderful that you are all supporting her. I know how scary and uncertian these times are for her right now and I want to say to her “You are a survivor and you can do it. He was the weak one. NOT YOU. We on this website love you and I want you to know that you are not alone.” All will be well. You survived the worst part. It can only go uphill from here. :)))))

  9. This is horrendous. I too cringe when I see abuse and violence against women being used as a plot on TV or in films. It just seems to encourage this behaviour.

    If there’s one thing I can suggest is that the men in the league need to come out really strongly and say this is not on. Our brothers could really make a difference here. Initiatives like “White Ribbon” swear campaign in Australia are really helping influence and educate: http://www.whiteribbon.org.au/myoath

    Enough is enough!

  10. Thanks Jerry for the great story and for Lori being an inspiration to all. This fall, my family almost lost my sister to an abusive relationship. He had such control over her that even thought she had broken up with him, he convinced her to get in a car with him. That car ride was an hour of beatings, missing a bullet, and an attempt at a suicide and attempted murder of my sister. She layed in the suv unseen by passer bys for 13 hours until a gentleman walking by saw her body twitching in the wreckage and alerted authorities. She is still recovering from the accident emotionally as well as physically. Having lost 85% of her teeth and breaking 4 vertabraes from being hit on the dash prior to the accident, she still survived. Then also the damage from the accident. She now has been in contact with local women shelters and hopes to speak to young women on the subject and possible ways to prevent it. She is my hero and so are the other survivors. Thanks Lori for sharing your story. My league has discussed your story as well as my sisters and I hope it can help someone.

    • Jaquee and others, if you feel ok about it, please post on facebook at “Derby against Domestic Violence” and join……It has become a Derby project to stop violence. Your story is so tragic and I hope it turns out well.

    • I actually suffered 10 fractured vertabres in my back and neck 2 broken ribs a brain bleed a spleen bleed a 15 inch laceration on my head a degloved shoulder a burst ligament in my hip and now suffer from pts its a long recovery and it wasn’t for my family I wouldn’t be here especially my sister who spent hours up on hours in the hospital with me you are my hero u n mom

  11. Is there any way we can buy the bracelets here in the UK?
    I have followed Lori’s story since it happened and have always thought of her and hoped she is healing well.

    As a derby girl myself, I will always support her and the fight against abuse in general. No body should be subjected to the pain and suffering Lori went through, regardless of their sex.

    • contact her sister Kristine Milkeris-Smith through facebook. You can always make a donation directly if it is too costly to have them sent to the UK. thanks for asking.

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