Friday, May 28, 2010
Cuban Multidisciplinary Society for Sexuality Studies: Statement on Depathologization of Transexualism
5th Cuban Congress of Sexual Education, Orientation and Therapy
The Sexual Diversity section of the Cuban Multidisciplinary Society for the Study of Sexuality (SOCUMES) proposed the adoption of the following Declaration in its General Assembly of Members on 18 January 2010 in Havana, based on a proposal made by the National Commission for Comprehensive Care of Transsexual People, of the National Center for Sexual Education (CENESEX).
Recalling the current inclusion of transsexuality as a mental disorder in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders IV (DSM-IV) published by American Psychiatric Association (APA) and the International Classification of Diseases (ICD-10) of the World Health Organization (WHO);
Recalling also that the Standards of Care adopted in Cuba by the National Commission for Comprehensive Care of Transsexual People rely on those published by the World Professional Association for Transgender Health (WPATH), which also includes the classification of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders and International Classification of Diseases E-10;
Considering that the American Psychiatric Association will publish in 2012 the fifth version of the above mentioned manual and that the chief and other specialists of the working group responsible for the review have recently proposed the non-removal of this category, as well as the application of corrective psychological therapy to children, to the sex assigned at birth;
Taking into account the concern expressed by individuals and human rights groups at the international level regarding this issue,
Considering that all transgender people -including transsexuality, transvestites and intersex people- may be vulnerable to marginalization, discrimination and stigma, based on the socially regulated binary approach that recognizes only two gender identities: male and female;
Considering also that the above classifications perpetuate and deepen social discrimination against these groups, causing irreversible physical and psychological damage that can lead these people to commit suicide;
Considering in addition that transsexuality and other transgender expressions are not an option for a lifestyle and that the modifications to their bodies have no cosmetic intentions. It is a right and an inner need to live with the gender identity which the person feels to belong;
Recalling the Yogyakarta Principles on the application of international human rights law in relation to sexual orientation and gender identity, especially Principle 18 on "Protection from Medical Abuses" which, among other things, make States and governments responsible to “ensure that any medical or psychological treatment or counseling does not, explicitly or implicitly, treat sexual orientation and gender identity as medical conditions to be treated, cured or suppressed”;
Considering that the right to public health and universal free access to its services are guaranteed by the Cuban government for all, but still requires additional laws to fully protect the rights of transgender people;
Recalling Resolution 126 of Public Health Ministry, of 4 June 2008, which regulates the procedures involved in health care for transsexuals;
Recognizing that multidisciplinary care provided by the National Commission for Comprehensive Care of Transsexual People, since its foundation in 1979 until today, has led to a remarkable improvement in the quality of life of transsexual people and their families.
Express our support for the removal of transsexuality from the international classification of mental disorder, especially in the DSM-V update to be published in 2010.
Reject the application of psychological therapies for transgender people, in order to reverse their gender identity, as well as sex reassignment surgeries performed to those under 18 years old.
Reaffirm that transsexuality and other transgender identities are expressions of sexual diversity, to which it must be ensured all psychological, medical and surgical treatments required to alleviate alterations to the mental health of these individuals, as a result of stigma and discrimination.
Also reaffirm that the implementation of these procedures respects sexual rights of each person, and are consistent with bio-ethical principles of autonomy, nonmaleficence, beneficence and justice.
Reaffirm in addition that transgender care should be comprehensive, beyond just medical and psychological care, to ensure recognition and respect for their individual rights.
Reiterate the need to consider all necessary legislations to ensure recognition of these rights, especially the Gender Identity Bill, which includes the identity change regardless sex reassignment surgery performance.
Call for a broader implementation of educational strategies regarding sexual orientation and gender identity at all levels of education and to the general population, as stated in the National Program for Sexual Education.
Reaffirm the need to include the attention to transgendered people in comprehensive social policies of the State and Government of Cuba, in correspondence with the “Declaration of the General Assembly of the United Nations, condemning the violation of human rights based on sexual orientation and identity gender ", supported by Cuba on 18 December 2008.
Havana, 22 January 2010
World Professional Association for Transgender Health on DSM 5 & De-Psychopathologisation Statement on Gender Variance
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 26, 2010
The World Professional Association for Transgender Health has prepared and released a statement urging the de-psychopathologisation of gender variance worldwide. The statemen is as follows:
The WPATH Board of Directors strongly urges the de-psychopathologisation of gender variance worldwide. The expression of gender characteristics, including identities, that are not stereotypically associated with one’s assigned sex at birth is a common and culturally-diverse human phenomenon which should not be judged as inherently pathological or negative.
Excerpt: Improvements over DSM IV- TR
We would like to begin with expressing our respect for the work of the WGSGID and the Gender Identity Disorders subworkgroup, in particular, concerning the proposed changes for the diagnosis and the revised criteria. The proposal is definitely a step in the right direction, addressing several of the primary concerns raised about the diagnosis as currently stated in DSM IV-TR.
(1) The change in name from Gender Identity Disorder to Gender Incongruence is an improvement. It is less pathologizing as it no longer implies that one’s identity is disordered.
(2) The proposed criteria are better able to account for the diversity in gender and transgender identities encountered in clinical practice, reflecting the paradigm shift
away from a binary understanding and treatment approach toward affirmation of a spectrum of transgender identities (Bockting, 2008).
(3) Criterion 1, “a strong desire to be of the other gender or an insistence that he or she is of the other gender,” is proposed as required in order to qualify for a diagnosis of Gender Incongruence in Children. This will appropriately prevent children with a gender variant expression without an incongruence between gender identity and sex assigned at birth to receive the diagnosis, which was a common point of critique for DSM IV (e.g., Bockting & Ehrbar, 2005). Gender role nonconformity is not uncommon among children who go on to develop a gay or lesbian identity, and hence the diagnosis was viewed by many critics as a diagnosis of homosexuality in disguise, potentially justifying “reparative” therapy (see also Zucker, 2005). Requiring criterion 1 should alleviate at least part of this concern.
(4) Adding a specifier of “with or without a Disorder of Sex Development” is an improvement over the need to use the “Not Otherwise Specified” diagnosis because individuals with intersex conditions may have a similar experience regarding their gender identity and desire corresponding treatment interventions. In DSM IV-TR, individuals with intersex conditions are specifically excluded from the unqualified diagnosis (American Psychiatric Association, 2000).
(5) The removal of the specifier of sexual orientation is a welcome change, acknowledging that gender identity and sexual orientation are two separate components of identity that are often conflated (e.g., Bockting, Benner, & Coleman, 2009); transgender individuals may be attracted to men, women, or other transgender persons, and their sexual orientation is of little or no consequence for making treatment decisions.
(6) The proposed diagnosis includes an “exit clause” so that individuals who have successfully resolved their incongruence no longer are considered to have a mental disorder.
Tuesday, May 25, 2010
A resident contacted THE WEEKEND STAR complaining about the women who she said walked around their yard nude.
People claimed they have heard the women, who reportedly moved to the community about six months ago, moaning and groaning inside the house.
Is not like dem a hide it
THE WEEKEND STAR visited the community at the time but nobody was apparently present at the identified house.
Residents said the house is occupied at times by at least six women. One resident said, "Is not like dem a hide it ... . A pure women live inna di house and dem up front wid it ... ."
She added, "More time yu see dem ova deh a walk naked ..., plus yu see dem all a hug up and kiss up and more time yu all hear dem ova deh like dem a have sex.
It nuh look good if a did up to me alone, dem haffi fi leave."
Another resident said while nobody has confronted the women, their actions have really upset some members of the community.
But despite the anger from some residents, there are those who have no issue with the women.
me personally nuh care
"A di people dem business, me personally nuh care ... . Yu know how long me want meet dem pon di road so me can chat to dem but a pure taxi dem take or dem fren dem weh drive come pick dem up ... . Mi love dem," an excited sounding resident, 24-year-old Travis Walker, said.
Meanwhile, the Clarendon and Area 3 police said they have only heard tales of the situation.
"Well, we have heard stories but it seems it's more than that ... . If they are walking about naked, then they can be charged and if they are making other residents uncomfortable, then we will look into it," Detective Corporal Vaughn Jackson of the Area 3 police said.
1- 876- 968- 4901
1- 876- 968- 4902
1- 876- 968- 4903
1- 888- 991- 4072 (Toll Free)
1- 866- 546- 5106 (Int'l Toll Free)
The letter reads: "Lesbians on your talk show"
I write regarding your recent discussion with the lesbians on your talk show. I do not believe that being treated badly by men is good cause for women to become lesbians. There are lesbians who have never been with men and so have never been beaten or abused by them. So that would not be their reason for being gay.
I bet you will never hear a man say that he is gay because his last girlfriend mistreated him. I think one would have to be curious as to what it would be like to be with another woman and then decide that they would like to choose that lifestyle.
breakdown in the morals
I would also like to add that I don't think that lesbians are in abundance all of a sudden. I just think people are now more aware of things because of the introduction of the cable television and the Internet. There is also a breakdown in the morals of our society so people are not afraid to speak out as they once were a few years ago.
Another thing too, is that one of the women on the programme said that if she didn't use a condom when she was having sex with her personal man, she could get pregnant. Are there no other ways for the women to protect themselves from pregnancy?
The only method of contraceptive for men is the condom but there are so many different methods for women. So, that is just another excuse.
What you have written has merit. Many lesbians use the excuse of abuse as reason for becoming gay. But it is an excuse and nothing but an excuse. Most girls who are lesbians were introduced to the lifestyle by other girls. They were told that it is "nice" to be gay than to have men as lovers. Many experimented with it in high school. Some high schools are known to have a very high number of lesbians.
And, unfortunately, many lesbians have admitted that they got involved with their female coaches who invited them home for sleepovers and introduced homosexual behaviour to them.
Never shall I forget a woman who came to see me, in tears, because her daughter refused to return home after she spent a couple days with her female coach. Now, I do not want anybody to believe that I am saying that all female coaches are lesbians. I am not saying that at all. I am just making a point that many lesbians have become involved with their coaches and other members of their team.
These girls were not abused by men. Many were offered money and were promised that they were not to worry about meeting their daily necessities. All they had to do was to love women and not become involved with men.
It is true that cable television, Internet and the availability of pornographic movies have all contributed to giving people the impression that the gay lifestyle is normal. No one should condemn any individual who is gay, but that does not mean that one has to accept their way of life.
Gender Identity Disorders
302.6 Gender Identity Disorder in Children
302.85 Gender Identity Disorder in Adolescents or Adults
Gender Incongruence (in Adolescents or Adults) 
A. A marked incongruence between one’s experienced/expressed gender and assigned gender, of at least 6 months duration, as manifested by 2* or more of the following indicators: [2, 3, 4]
1. a marked incongruence between one’s experienced/expressed gender and primary and/or secondary sex characteristics (or, in young adolescents, the anticipated secondary sex characteristics) [13, 16]
2. a strong desire to be rid of one’s primary and/or secondary sex characteristics because of a marked incongruence with one’s experienced/expressed gender (or, in young adolescents, a desire to prevent the development of the anticipated secondary sex characteristics) 
3. a strong desire for the primary and/or secondary sex characteristics of the other gender
4. a strong desire to be of the other gender (or some alternative gender different from one’s assigned gender)
5. a strong desire to be treated as the other gender (or some alternative gender different from one’s assigned gender)
6. a strong conviction that one has the typical feelings and reactions of the other gender (or some alternative gender different from one’s assigned gender)
With a disorder of sex development
Without a disorder of sex development
[14, 15, 16, 19]
and the ‘Rational’ from the site:
For the adult criteria, we propose, on a preliminary basis, the requirement of only 2 indicators. This is based on a preliminary secondary data analysis of 154 adolescent and adults patients with GID compared to 684 controls (Deogracias et al., 2007; Singh et al., 2010). From a 27-item dimensional measure of gender dysphoria, the Gender Identity/Gender Dysphoria Questionnaire for Adolescents and Adults (GIDYQ), we extracted five items that correspond to the proposed A2-A6 indicators (we could not extract a corresponding item for A1). Each item was rated on a 5-point response scale, ranging from Never to Always, with the past 12 months as the time frame. For the current analysis, we coded a symptom as present if the participant endorsed one of the two most extreme response options (frequently or always) and as absent if the participant endorsed one of the three other options (never, rarely, sometimes). This yielded a true positive rate of 94.2% and a false positive rate of 0.7%. Because the wording of the items on the GIDYQ is not identical to the wording of the proposed indicators, further validational work will be required during field trials.
1. It is proposed that the name gender identity disorder (GID) be replaced by “Gender Incongruence” (GI) because the latter is a descriptive term that better reflects the core of the problem: an incongruence between, on the one hand, what identity one experiences and/or expresses and, on the other hand, how one is expected to live based on one’s assigned gender (usually at birth) (Meyer-Bahlburg, 2009a; Winters, 2005). In a recent survey that we conducted among consumer organizations for transgendered people (Vance et al., in press), many very clearly indicated their rejection of the GID term because, in their view, it contributes to the stigmatization of their condition.
2. In addition to the proposed name change for the diagnosis (see Endnote 1), there are 6 substantive proposed changes to the DSM-IV descriptive and diagnostic material: (a) we have proposed a change in conceptualization of the defining features by emphasizing the phenomenon of “gender incongruence” in contrast to cross-gender identification per se (Meyer-Bahlburg, 2009a); (b) we have proposed a merging of the A and B clinical indicator criteria in DSM-IV (see Endnotes 10, 13); (c) for the adolescent/adult criteria, we have proposed a more detailed and specific set of polythetic indicators than was the case in DSM-IV (Cohen-Kettenis & Pfäfflin, 2009; Zucker, 2006); (d) for the child criteria, we have proposed that the A1 indicator be necessary (but not sufficient) for the diagnosis of GI (see Endnote 5); (e) we have proposed that the “distress/impairment” criterion not be a prerequisite for the diagnosis of GI (see Endnote 15); and (f) we have proposed that subtyping by sexual attraction (for adolescents/adults) be eliminated (see Endnote 18) but that subtyping by the presence or absence of a co-occurring disorder of sex development (DSD) be introduced (see Endnote 14). As in DSM-IV, we recommend one overarching diagnosis, GI, with separate, developmentally-appropriate criteria sets for children vs. adolescents/adults. The text material will provide updated information on developmental trajectory data for clients who received the GI diagnosis in childhood vs. adolescence or adulthood.
The term “sex” has been replaced by assigned “gender” in order to make the criteria applicable to individuals with a DSD (Meyer-Bahlburg, 2009b). During the course of physical sex differentiation, some aspects of biological sex (e.g., 46,XY genes) may be incongruent with other aspects (e.g., the external genitalia); thus, using the term “sex” would be confusing. The change also makes it possible for individuals who have successfully transitioned to “lose” the diagnosis after satisfactory treatment. This resolves the problem that, in the DSM-IV-TR, there was a lack of an “exit clause,” meaning that individuals once diagnosed with GID will always be considered to have the diagnosis, regardless of whether they have transitioned and are psychosocially adjusted in the identified gender role (Winters, 2008). The diagnosis will also be applicable to transitioned individuals who have regrets, because they did not feel like the other gender after all. For instance, a natal male living in the female role and having regrets experiences an incongruence between the “newly assigned” female gender and the experienced/expressed (still or again male) gender.
3. It has been recommended by the Workgroup to delete the “perceived cultural advantages” proviso. This was also recommended by the DSM-IV Subcommittee on Gender Identity Disorders (Bradley et al., 1991). There is no reason to “impute” one causal explanation for GI at the expense of others (Zucker, 1992, 2009).
4. The 6 month duration was introduced to make at least a minimal distinction between very transient and persistent GI. The duration criterion was decided upon by clinical consensus. However, there is no clear empirical literature supporting this particular period (e.g., 3 months vs. 6 months or 6 months vs. 12 months). There was, however, consensus among the group that a lower-bound duration of 6 months would be unlikely to yield false positives.
13. In the DSM-IV, there are two sets of clinical indicators (Criteria A and B). This distinction is not supported by factor analytic studies. The existing studies suggest that the concept of GI is best captured by one underlying dimension (Cohen-Kettenis & van Goozen, 1997; Deogracias et al., 2007; Green, 1987; Johnson et al., 2004; Singh et al., 2010).
14. There is considerable evidence individuals with a DSD experience GI and may wish to change from their assigned gender; the percentage of such individuals who experience GI is syndrome-dependent (Cohen-Kettenis, 2005; Dessens, Slijper, & Drop, 2005; Mazur, 2005; Meyer-Bahlburg, 1994, 2005, 2009a, 2009b). From a phenomenologic perspective, DSD individuals with GI have both similarities and differences to individuals with GI with no known DSD. Developmental trajectories also have similarities and differences. The presence of a DSD is suggestive of a specific causal mechanism that may not be present in individuals without a diagnosable DSD.
15. It is our recommendation that the GI diagnosis be given on the basis of the A criterion alone and that distress and/or impairment (the D criterion in DSM-IV) be evaluated separately and independently. This definitional issue remains under discussion in the DSM-V Task Force for all psychiatric disorders and may have to be revisited pending the outcome of that discussion. Although there are studies showing that adolescents and adults with the DSM-IV diagnosis of GID function poorly, this type of impairment is by no means a universal finding. In some studies, for example, adolescents or adults with GID were found to generally function psychologically in the non-clinical range (Cohen-Kettenis & Pfäfflin, 2009; Meyer-Bahlburg, 2009a). Moreover, increased psychiatric problems in transsexuals appear to be preceded by increased experiences of stigma (Nuttbrock et al., 2009). Postulating “inherent distress” in case one desires to be rid of body parts that do not fit one’s identity is, in the absence of data, also questionable (Meyer-Bahlburg, 2009a).
16. Although the DSM-IV diagnosis of GID encompasses more than transsexualism, it is still often used as an equivalent to transsexualism (Sohn & Bosinski, 2007). For instance, a man can meet the two core criteria if he only believes he has the typical feelings of a woman and does not feel at ease with the male gender role. The same holds for a woman who just frequently passes as a man (e.g., in terms of first name, clothing, and/or haircut) and does not feel comfortable living as a conventional woman. Someone having a GID diagnosis based on these subcriteria clearly differs from a person who identifies completely with the other gender, can only relax when permanently living in the other gender role, has a strong aversion against the sex characteristics of his/her body, and wants to adjust his/her body as much as technically possible in the direction of the desired sex. Those who are distressed by having problems with just one of the two criteria (e.g., feeling uncomfortable living as a conventional man or woman) will have a GIDNOS diagnosis. This is highly confusing for clinicians. It perpetuates the search for the “true transsexual” only, in order to identify the right candidates for hormone and surgical treatment instead of facilitating clinicians to assess the type and severity of any type of GI and offer appropriate treatment. Furthermore, in the DSM-IV, gender identity and gender role were described as a dichotomy (either male or female) rather than a multi-category concept or spectrum (Bockting, 2008; Bornstein, 1994; Ekins & King, 2006; Lev, 2007; Røn, 2002). The current formulation makes more explicit that a conceptualization of GI acknowledging the wide variation of conditions will make it less likely that only one type of treatment is connected to the diagnosis. Taking the above regarding the avoidance of male-female dichotomies into account, in the new formulation, the focus is on the discrepancy between experienced/expressed gender (which can be either male, female, in-between or otherwise) and assigned gender (in most societies male or female) rather than cross-gender identification and same-gender aversion (Cohen-Kettenis & Pfäfflin, 2009).
17. In referring to secondary sex characteristics, anticipation of the development of secondary sex characteristics has been added for young adolescents. Adolescents increasingly show up at gender identity clinics requesting gender reassignment, before the first signs of puberty are visible (Delemarre-van de Waal & Cohen-Kettenis, 2006; Zucker & Cohen-Kettenis, 2008).
18. In contemporary clinical practice, sexual orientation per se plays only a minor role in treatment protocols or decisions. Also, changes as to the preferred gender of sex partner occur during or after treatment (DeCuypere, Janes, & Rubens, 2005; Lawrence, 2005; Schroder & Carroll, 1999). It can be difficult to assess sexual orientation in individuals with a GI diagnosis, as they preoperatively might give incorrect information in order to be approved for hormonal and surgical treatment (Lawrence, 1999). Because sexual orientation subtyping is of interest to researchers in the field, it is recommended that reference to it be addressed in the text, but not as a specifier. It should also be assessed as a dimensional construct.
19. The subworkgroup has had extensive discussion about the placement of GI in the nomenclature for DSM-V, as the meta-structure of the entire manual is under review. The subworkgroup questions the rationale for the current DSM-IV chapter Sexual and Gender Identity Disorders, which contains three major classes of diagnoses: sexual dysfunctions, paraphilias, and gender identity disorders (see Meyer-Bahlburg, 2009a). Various alternative options to the current placement are under consideration.
References (see the APA site for these)
302.6 Gender Identity Disorder Not Otherwise Specified and 302.3 Transvestic Fetishism
Sunday, May 23, 2010
It is a dismissive comment that one hears every so often even from people who ought to know better: "More people have been killed in the name of God and religion than any other cause. I can't be bothered with Christianity."
Apart from the sloppiness of thought involved in this quotation - there is no link established between the tenets of Christianity and the alleged killings "in the name of God" - the allegation of religion and God as the cause of the worst killings is simply not true. Institutionalised atheism leads the field in human carnage.
As Christian apologist Greg Koukl says in his fascinating recent book Tactics (Zondervan, 2009), "Over 66 million wiped out under Lenin, Stalin, and Khrushchev; between 32 million and 61 million Chinese killed under Communist regimes since 1949; one-third of the eight million Khmers - 2.7 million people - were killed between 1975 and 1979 under the communist Khmer Rouge." (p177, his emphasis).
The Guinness Book of World Records 1992 (Facts on File, 1991, 92) is the source of Koukl's statistics. It may be helpful to point out that the estimated war dead from World War I is 15 million and for World War II, 48.2 million.
Another Christian apologist Ravi Zacharias tackles this popular misconception in similar vein and after mentioning the killings under Hitler, Stalin, Mussolini, Mao, et al, urges "The attackers of religion have forgotten that these large-scale slaughters at the hands of anti-theists were the logical outworking of their God-denying philosophy. Contrastingly, the violence spawned by those who killed in the name of Christ would never have been sanctioned by the Christ of the Scriptures. Those who killed in the name of God were clearly self-serving politicisers of religion, an amalgam Christ ever resisted in His life and teaching...Atheism, on the other hand, provides the logical basis for an autonomous, domineering will, expelling morality." (Can Man Live Without God, Word publishing, 1994, 22-23).
I am, etc.,
Rev CLINTON CHISHOLM
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Thanks for your Donations
thank you for your donations via Paypal in helping to keep this blog going, my limited frontline community work, temporary shelter assistance at my home and related costs. Please continue to support me and my allies in this venture that has now become a full time activity. When I first started blogging in late 2007 it was just as a pass time to highlight GLBTQ issues in Jamaica under then JFLAG's blogspot page but now clearly there is a need for more forumatic activity which I want to continue to play my part while raising more real life issues pertinent to us.
Activities & Plans: ongoing and future
- To continue this venture towards website development with an E-zine focus
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Individuals who are mentioned or whose photographs appear on this site are not necessarily Homosexual, HIV positive or have AIDS.
This blog contains pictures that may be disturbing. We have taken the liberty to present these images as evidence of the numerous accounts of homophobic violence meted out to alledged gays in Jamaica.
Faces and names witheld for the victims' protection.
This blog not only watches and covers LGBTQ issues in Jamaica and elsewhere but also general human rights and current affairs where applicable.
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Recent Homophobic Incidents
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What to do if you are attacked (News You Can Use)
Try to reason with the attacker: Establish communication with the person. This takes a lot of courage. However, a conversation may change the intention of an attacker.
Do not try anything foolish: If you know outmanoeuvring the attacker is impossible, do not try it.
Do not appear to be afraid: Look the attacker in the eye and demonstrate that you are not fearful.
This may have a psychological effect on the individual.
The police 119
Crime Stop 311
Steps to Take When Contronted or Arrested by Police
b) Only give name and address and no other information until a lawyer is present to assist
c) Try to be polite even if the scenario is tensed) Don’t do anything to aggravate the situation
e) Every complaint lodged at a police station should be filed and a receipt produced, this is not a legal requirement but an administrative one for the police to track reports
f) Never sign to a statement other than the one produced by you in the presence of the officer(s)
g) Try to capture a recording of the exchange or incident or call someone so they can hear what occurs, place on speed dial important numbers or text someone as soon as possible
h) File a civil suit if you feel your rights have been violatedi) When making a statement to the police have all or most of the facts and details together for e.g. "a car" vs. "the car" represents two different descriptions
j) Avoid having the police writing the statement on your behalf except incases of injuries, make sure what you want to say is recorded carefully, ask for a copy if it means that you have to return for it
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