Tag Archives: Candice Curtis

Bruised But Not Broken

Reports of domestic violence have been circulating the world like a contagious disease in recent months, as incidents of violence have sparked the attention of the media and the public. Reports of interpersonal abuse have flooded social media this year, led by the cases involving NFL players. The NFL suspended Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice for two games after a video was released showing him assaulting his then-fiancee in an altercation at a New Jersey casino. Adrian Peterson, a running back for the Minnesota Vikings, was suspended a whole season without pay after he admitted hitting his four-year-old son.

According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, one in every four women will experience domestic violence in her lifetime. Roughly 1.3 million women are victims of physical assault by an intimate partner each year, and 85 percent of domestic violence victims are women.

“Jealousy,” said Lilyana, a former spouse of an abuser. “It [the abuse] stemmed from jealousy. That what it manifested from at that time. I’m sure it came from something he was dealing with, but I didn’t realize at the time.”

Lilyana said she remembers wondering what she was going to do if she left the marriage. At the time she had a job and owned a business, but that business had ties to her husband, and she said she was too young to have much confidence in her ability to live on her own. “The abuser plays on any insecurity you might have,” she said. Lilyana said her daughter’s protection and safety was her main concern, and when she felt that was compromised, or could be compromised, that was the signal for her that the marriage could not go on.

“It’s a painful memory,” she said, “but I can put it in perspective, and know that it could happen to anybody. People are human and they make mistakes. Some people have psychological issues they’ll always deal with, maybe because of their upbringing.”

Theresa Knott, an Assistant Professor in CSUN’s Department of Social Work, said a rocky, unstable upbringing could be linked to a person becoming violent as an adult. Most of the time, Knott said, the victim has nothing to do with the behavior and actions of the abuser.

“Domestic abuse, referred to as interpersonal violence, is related to control,” Knott said. “When an individual feels that the environment is out of their control, they tend to try to bring it back into their control.”

The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence reports that most cases of domestic violence are never reported to the police. Another reality of domestic violence is that females who are between the ages of 20 and 24 are at the greatest risk of non-fatal intimate partner violence.

Los Angeles Police Department Detective Stephanie Diaz said she receives nearly 10 to 20 domestic violence radio calls a day into the Devonshire Division.

“Alcohol and drugs are the precursors to domestic violence,” Diaz said. Many abusers have a history of abusing substances, which results in them lashing out, and reacting a certain way, consciously and unconsciously.

“We need to change the narrative,” Knott said. “We speak a lot about women and why they stay, and I think the discourse needs to focus on the perpetrators of abuse.”


Moderator: Daniel Max

Producer: Stephanie Murguia

Anchor: Candice Curtis

Reporters: Bryan Ramirez, Stephanie Murguia, Ugochi Obinma

Social Media Editor: Gabriela Rodriguez

Comments Off on Bruised But Not Broken

Overdosing America

More and more people are using prescription drugs for reasons not intended by their doctors.

Prescription pain medications kill more than 20,000 people in the United States each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It’s more than heroin and cocaine overdoses combined.

Dr. Stan Galperson, Director of Residential and Outpatient Programs at Tarzana Treatment Centers said that while these prescription drugs are addicting they do have legitimate uses.

“Where would we be without pain relief? I mean you go under the knife and surgery and you come out and you just take a couple of aspirin? I don’t think so,” Galperson said. “They all have legitimate purposes, but you know the potential of abuse is pretty high.”

Addicts are willing to go to extreme lengths to hide their addiction. However, there will usually be clues that may give the addicts away.

Ali, who wants to remain anonymous, has been clean and sober for 5 and 1/2 years. She said she believed she was doing a good job in keeping her secret hidden.

“I thought I was hiding it, but at the end it came out,” she said. “I lost a lot of weight, my hair was falling out, my skin was yellow. I didn’t think anything was wrong.”

While no one decides to get addicted to prescription medication, many wonder what these drugs have that make them so addictive for some people.

“They alter your brain chemistry,” Galperson said. “The drugs themselves is not what gets you high, it’s the manipulation that takes place. But what happens is after months and years of abuse, you alter your brain chemistry, and so now you are depleted, and using the drugs helps you feel normal again. It just becomes a vicious cycle. It’s really hard to break.”

According to the CDC, drug overdose has become the leading cause of injury death in the United States. Every day more than 100 people die as a result of drug overdose and close to 7,000 are treated in emergency departments.

“I got to a point where I no longer wanted to be alive,” Ali said. “I couldn’t even look at myself in the mirror anymore, and the only thing I knew how to do, the only solution I had, was to take drugs or drink alcohol to not feel. I numbed myself out. I didn’t know how to deal with life on a daily basis.”

One part of California Proposition 46, on the ballot this November, requires health care practitioners to consult the state prescription drug history database before prescribing certain controlled substances.

“That part of the bill I like,” Galperson said.  “Addicts and alcoholics are very manipulative people, so it’s nothing to go from one doctor and get a prescription and go across the street to another doctor and get a prescription. If my doctor knows I’m already being prescribed over here, it will limit access. I think that’s smart and we have the technology, so we should go ahead and do it.”


Moderator: Stephanie Murguia

Producer: Candice Curtis

Anchor: Gabriela Rodriguez

Reporter: Danny Max

Social Media Editor: Ugochi Obinma

Comments Off on Overdosing America

Friday Night Lights Out


That’s the word that every football player wants the chance to hear as often as possible.

But no player wants to lose the chance because of a head injury or concussion that happened during the game.

According to the U.S. Centers For Disease Control and Prevention, four million high school students throughout the nation suffer head injuries and concussions every year.

In response to growing concern, Gov. Jerry Brown signed AB 2127, which limits middle and high school football teams to only two full-contact practices per week, and prohibits contact practice during the off-season. The new football restrictions go into effect on Jan. 1, 2015.

Ellis Green, former football player and 16-year football coach at Westlake High School, said he is already aware of how hard he pushes his players.

“It’s something you have to do in each sport, especially in football, “Green said. “However, there is a fine line when pushing a player to their limit.”

CSUN Assistant Athletic Trainer Ashley Meyer said reports of head injuries have increased, partly due to increased competitiveness, but also due to increased education among parents, coaches and trainers.

“Head injuries and concussions are such a hot topic right now,” Meyer said. “People are more aware of it, of what to look for, and how to prevent it. It is more so an increase of diagnosis than in the number of athletes.”

Green said football concussions were practically unheard of when he started coaching sixteen years ago, but now they are a main topic of concern.

“What this means is that coaches need to try to educate themselves, so that they can help educate the parents, and therefore educate their kids,” he said.

Meyer listed five key symptoms of identifying a concussion:

  • Headache
  • Fracture (contact head-to-head or head-to-ground)
  • Abnormal presentation of a person’s behavior (ex. feeling nauseous, dizzy, taking long to respond to questions)
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Spotty vision

“We look at things such as long-term or short-term memory,” Meyer said. “We ask the [player] to remember a few words, and ask them few basic cognition questions. Balance is also another key thing, as they can’t fake that.”

June Dubreuil, who has three football-playing sons, emphasized the parents’ responsibility to be actively involved in their children’s safety.

“I will spend the money on helmets, shoulder pads and whatever else is necessary for my sons, even if I don’t have the money,” she said. “Football is a brutal sport and I want to protect my children.”

Green said football isn’t the only brutal sport.

“As of recent, football has gotten a bad rep,” he said. “There have been injuries in other sports like soccer, hockey and basketball, but you don’t hear about it all the time. It’s because football has two players banging their head against one another as they’re tackling. It’s a contact sport, but there’re a lot of contact sports.”

Green said the bond between a coach and trainer is important to injury prevention.

“There used to be a time where coaches didn’t like to hear a trainer’s input because they would remove a player off the game,” he said, “but times have changed now, as a coach understands where a trainer is coming from now.”

Many involved in youth sports say the benefits outweigh the risks.

“It’s really great, especially in team sports, having to learn how to depend on other people, and trust other people, and communicate effectively with other people, and work towards a common goal,” Meyer said, “and that’s a huge thing for people to learn, especially as a child or a young adult.”

“I have three boys,” Dubreuil said, “…and they were very physical, and keeping them active and in positive activities, it kept them from fighting, and it kept my china closet intact, and it was fun…and they care about winning and losing, and that’s important…They’re the men that they are because of athletics.”

“Very few [high school athletes] are going to become professional athletes, “Green said. “But all of them are going to have to go into the working world, and that’s where they’re going to show what they learned on the football field.”


Moderator: Candice Curtis

Producer: Candice Curtis

Anchor: Stephanie Murguia

Reporters: Danny Max, Bryan Ramirez, Stephanie Murguia and Gabriela Rodriguez

Social Media Editor: Gabriela Rodriguez

Comments Off on Friday Night Lights Out

All Work No Pay

Despite juggling four specialized coffee drinks in one hand and a pile of paperwork in the other, many interns are still able to speak out about being exploited in the workplace.

According to the Department of Labor’s Fair Labor and Standards Act, employers must meet six criteria when it comes to justifying an unpaid internship:

  • The internship, even though it includes actual operation of the facilities of the employer, is similar to training which would be given in an educational environment;
  • The internship experience is for the benefit of the intern;
  • The intern does not displace regular employees, but works under close supervision of existing staff;
  • The employer that provides the training derives no immediate advantage from the activities of the intern; and on occasion its operations may actually be impeded;
  • The intern is not necessarily entitled to a job at the conclusion of the internship;
  • The employer and the intern understand that the intern is not entitled to wages for the time spent in the internship.

But increased unemployment rates in the wake of the Great Recession seemed to have given some employers a chance to blur the lines set by federal law, and several lawsuits filed by unpaid interns claimed employers took the educational aspect away from interns, in favor of excessive work that should have been done by paid employees. The courts tended to agree. The renewed attention to the issue has meant a change in policy for some employers, who now report their intention to pay their interns, or in some cases, to drop their internship programs altogether.

The National Association of Colleges and Employers reports that most employers say they do use internships to recruit new employees.

“I think internships lead to jobs if there’s a job for them to lead to,” CSUN Cinema & Television Arts Professor Kim Paul Friedman said. “In my personal experience, I haven’t seen companies create jobs for interns.”

But Friedman said if a company finds a candidate who is good at what they’re doing, enthusiastic and hardworking, companies will take notice.

Jordan Helo was the internship coordinator at CSUN’s Career Center, and held many internships herself, both paid and unpaid.

Helo agreed that internships do not always lead to jobs, at least not always with the company providing the internship.

“From my experience, an internships hasn’t directly led me to a job in that company, but to the next internship or position, and has worked as sort of a resume builder,” Helo said.

Interns and legal experts agree that while the federal law doesn’t require internships to lead to jobs, it does require them to lead to training and experience. If they don’t, the interns should be getting paid.

“If you ask people to do real work, then they should get real pay,” labor attorney Manuel H. Miller said.

But Friedman said the recent lawsuits against employers probably won’t stop all employers from offering unpaid internships to students willing to learn and in need of experience.

“Laws, rules and all that are only as good as your ability to enforce them,” Friedman said.


Moderator: Danny Max

Producer: Stephanie Murguia

Anchor: Bryan Ramirez

Reporter: Candice Curtis, Stephanie Murguia, Ugochi Obinma

Social Media Editors: Ugochi Obinma, Gabriela Rodriguez, Candice Curtis

Comments Off on All Work No Pay