Once upon a time in a province somewhere in Canada…I always liked this beginning to a story that starts with once upon a time; it leaves the reader with a feeling of creativity and imagination to choose when they want the story to take place. However to make things easier, my story regarding the meaning behind the creation, and building and development of my not-for-profit website, www.haltnow.ca, or HALT, started back in early 2010.
All my life I wanted to make my piece of the world a better place. Then after forty or so years passing me by like the wind, I finally had a thought, or ‘a calling’, about a direction I should take. Before I go forward I would like to state that I hope I made a positive difference in the lives I have had the blessing to share throughout my life. I guess we can always look back on our lives and question, challenge, feel guilty about, or blame others for the way we are today, but I am just thankful I am alive and able to enjoy life. So there I was in early 2010 having a sleepless night when all of a sudden I started to think that I should start a website to stop bulling, abuse and domestic violence and the most bizarre part of this thought was that the name had to have the world terrorism in it. Yes I thought it was strange as well but I took this thought and ran with it.
I wanted to do it right so I needed a great acronym to work a name around and that is where I came up with HALT which stands for Humanity Against ‘Local Terrorism’. I have had both positive and negative comments on this name telling me that I am going in the right direction. I even added an explanation to our name on my website http://haltnow.ca/about-h-a-l-t stating, that “We chose to use the words “local terrorism” in our company name since the definition of terrorism is both centered around bullying and abuse:
- The unlawful use or threat of violence,
- A person or persons using violent and/or intimidating behavior against another to achieve ones goals,
- A person who inspires fear or dread, and
- The act of violence to create an emotional response through the suffering of the victim(s) to further the abuser’s / bullies goal of control and terror.
A terrorist is not just a person in a far off country; it is the parent that beats (abuses) their children or their mate; or the bully that destroys the life of a fellow student and their family. We must realize that the true enemy, or terrorist, could be living with us in our house, next door or just down the street. We Have to make a stand and work together and put a stop to the threat of BULLYING (child, cyber, workplace, homophobic, sports, cultural), ABUSE (child, wife, husband, elderly, parental) and DOMESTIC VIOLENCE within each of our communities. We must get together and be Proactive and help stop this ‘local terrorism’ not just be Reactive after a problem arises.” I hope that more people can open their eyes to the horrors that are happening around us locally and maybe one day not turning away but standing up to say HALT to these terrible actions.
Many years ago during the wind passing me by I came across a quote (unknown) that I have tried to direct my life with; “Concentrate on what you do well and do it better than anyone else”. So with this mantra in mind I started researching everything that I could find out about bullying, abuse and domestic violence. As The Beatles song goes, I was working “Eight Days a Week” to get this project accomplished. The interesting thing about my research was there were a lot of little bits of information on different areas of each category but not all in one location. So from there I decided to create a library of information on my website that one person could come to and get all they needed from just one location and not the hundred or so I search on. If there was more information that a person needed I hopefully would have a link to someone else’s website for this information and/or help. While I was building this library I happen to come across a book by Jeff Jarvis, “What would Google Do?” and going through it a couple of times, I realized I should not just think on building this for my local city/province but have it built for people around the world (thanks Jeff). Now my focus was to figure out how to touch people throughout this world and hopefully help one of them. My original design was launched in October 2010 just eight months after the initial ‘aha’ moment and let me tell you what a great feeling this was.
Once it was up I knew that it needed more offerings to the viewer’s, so I worked with Noya Designs (and I recommend that if you are looking for a website made and/or designed Noya Designs should be on your list to call). I explained to them that I wanted to build an interactive map of the world the people in trouble or need can click on for help. My idea was that they click on the link “Where to find Help”, which would take you to a map of the world; from there click on the flag of their country, then local state and/or province and they would have their local numbers for the (a) Police (b) Crime Stoppers, (c) Domestic Violence (d) Child Abuse and (e) Suicide Prevention. A huge request but they made it happen as you can see on the website http://haltnow.ca/where-to-find-help-get-help-now. It is still is growing and I will not feel done until I get numbers for every country in the world. If you see that your country is not represented as of yet then send me your local numbers and I will get them added.
I find it funny how things work out when you are doing something positive in the world to help people. In addition to this past section I wanted to have an artist start doing some cartoons for me to have for the younger audience to have something to read and relate to. How was I going to accomplish this, how do I find an artist, who makes the stories, etc, etc.; another challenge with a happy ending. I happen to be waiting for a client in an old converted house (now office) and looking over I happen to see under a pile of newspapers a magazine that was titled “SOS Children’s Safety Magazine”. As I started to flip through it I saw my next mission answered, well at least going off in a different direction. The magazine was filled with cartoons based around bullying and abuse and completely centered around and for kids. http://www.soskidsonline.ca/sos-comics.php I had the pleasure to meet the owner of this wonderful project, Ted Halabi, and asked if we could work together and his drawings onto our website. Ted has the same vision as I do and that is to touch, and hopefully help, as many people around the world as possible. I look forward to adding his cartoons and links in the New Year. Thank you Ted for all your hard work and following your dream of “keeping our communities safe, one child at a time.”
Then talking with a lot of people in business they tell me that there is so much workplace bullying around them with no way to stop it. I myself have seen many forms myself in the few positions I have and looking back it makes me sick to my stomach. So I decided to look at building a course that companies could get their employees to take based on workplace bullying and have a certificate of completion when passed the online course. Nothing to fancy but if it all came together I would have companies/organizations buy in to the notion of putting a stop to workplace bullying and having their staff fallow suit. And wouldn’t you believe it but listening to the radio just days after I heard an interview of a company that has already designed this. I have been in contact and look forward to adding their link into the website next year as well. “What’s meant to be will always find a way” ― Trisha Yearwood.
I am now slowing building a section called “We Miss You”, http://haltnow.ca/category/we-miss-you. We have been seeing a lot of children taking their own lives due to the aggressive and never stopping torment of ongoing bullying and abuse. These children could be your or mine. I wanted to have a section, with the permission of their families, to have a write up of their lives and hopefully have one of these angel’s stories save another child’s life. I pray that this section becomes a positive tool for parents and other children to use and realize that they are so loved.
Here is how the website’s library is set up for all to use (categories and subcategories). Under each one of these topics include (a) definition, (b) who is a victim, (c) who is an abuser/characteristics of, (d) types of (e) preventing (f) warning signs (g) myths (h) effects of/ consequences of and (i) help.
Child abuse [sexual, physical, emotional, neglect]
Domestic Violence: (a) definition, (b) who is a victim, (c) who is an abuser/characteristics of, (d) types of (e) preventing (f) warning signs (g) myths (h) effects of/ consequences of and (i) help.
I hope that this site continues to mature and grow so that anyone that needs help or information will be satisfied with what they find. I also hope and pray that this website helps to save a life somewhere in this world from the ever growing plague that we call bullying, abuse and domestic violence. If you have any recommendations or would like to see something added please let me know. I look forward for this website to continue to grow with information and helpful links and by people like you spreading the word (and this website of course).
You can follow us on:
FaceBook – https://www.facebook.com/haltnow
Twiiter – https://twitter.com/haltbullying