Friday, February 26, 2010

Astonishing! Unprecedented! Pretty!

You may know that I am not exactly what some would refer to as a "green thumb". Plants in my care can expect a lifespan equivalent to that of a goldfish at the fair - sometimes it's a few days, most often it's a couple weeks and once it was almost a year.

That's why what has just happened in my office is astonishing, unprecedented and also pretty. You see, I inherited an orchid from Jeon the Office Manager. Jeon made this decision with full understanding of the horticultural obstacles I have faced but my office gets much better light than his does.

Look closely at this picture of my office from August. On the table you'll see the orchid with two measly leaves and a stake sticking out of the middle of it. Kind of sad.


Around October leaves started to grow - which in and of itself is a success for me. Not death. And actual proof of life. But then there were blooms! Almost real flowers! I kept my fingers crossed and was prepared for disappointment (this has unfortunately happened before). This is what the orchid looked like yesterday ...
And then this happened ...
Yep. I told you it was astonishing, unprecedented and pretty.

See that there are other blooms in addition to the one flower. This means not only have I managed to grow one blossom but that others may follow. And isn't it great to see something so beautiful in the middle of all this crappy weather?

Now I know that I didn't do this alone and I'm not solely responsible for this success. Mother Nature deserves some acknowledgement. As does Jeon, who remembered to water it while I was out of the office. So thanks to them. But a huge pat on the back to myself!

I wonder if there is room for "Orchid Master" on my business cards ...

Thursday, February 25, 2010

From a Fellow Advocate

from Lisa Paladin, Hotline Advocate since Winter 2007

On my way to work yesterday morning I heard a story on National Public Radio that caught my attention. It began, "We're going to spend the next few minutes on a problem college campuses have been facing for a long time now, yet the statistics continue to be chilling."

As a volunteer advocate for the Cleveland Rape Crisis Center, that was all I needed to hear to know what the story would be about.

NPR's coverage of how rape is handled on college campuses was both informative and sensitive, and includes both the recording of the story aired on NPR and an online transcript with additional statistics, links, and a discussion forum.

Thanks, NPR, for helping to promote awareness of this issue, and for lending your "voice" to survivors everywhere.

Campus Rape Victims: A Struggle For Justice
A college campus isn't the first place that comes to mind in a discussion about violent crime.

But research funded by the U.S. Department of Justice estimates that 1 out of 5 college women will be sexually assaulted. NPR's investigative unit teamed up with journalists at the
Center for Public Integrity (CPI) to look at the failure of schools — and the government agency that oversees them — to prevent these assaults and then to resolve these cases.

A Hidden Attack
When a woman is sexually assaulted on a college campus, her most common reaction is to keep it quiet. Laura Dunn says she stayed quiet about what happened in April 2004 at the end of her freshman year at the University of Wisconsin.

"I always thought that rape was when someone got attacked by a stranger and you had to fight back," she says.

That night, Dunn was drinking so many raspberry vodkas that they cut her off at a frat house party. Still, she knew and trusted the two men who took her back to a house for what she thought was a quick stop before the next party. Instead, she says they raped her as she passed in and out of consciousness.

For a long time, she had a hard time even letting herself call it a rape. It just didn't make sense with the way she saw her life. For one thing, she had a boyfriend she had been dating for four years.

for the article in its entirety or to listen to the story, please visit:
http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=124001493&sc=fb&cc=fp

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Huron Hospital Domestic Violence Forum

Michele Sorrell, SANE Coordinator at Huron Hospital, and staff from the Domestic Violence Center will be holding a forum at Huron Hospital on Domestic Violence.

Friday, March 5, 2010
8:30am – 10:30am and 4pm – 6pm
Huron Hospital Auditorium

The forum is in response to the Huron Hospital/Cleveland Clinic nurses who were killed in recent years because of domestic violence.

The agenda for the forum is as follows:

Brief Overview of Definitions of Domestic Violence/ Intimate Partner Violence

Helping Ourselves and Helping Others: 2 Cleveland Clinic
Employee’s Perspectives

If I Think Someone is Being Harmed, What Do I Do?

Ingredients for a Healthy Relationship

The Program Goal of the presentation is to impart critical knowledge to those present about the impact of domestic violence on the lives of patients, co-workers and family and friends.

Program Objectives include the following:

· Obtain a base of knowledge regarding the scope and prevalence of domestic violence;

· Acquire an understanding of the definition of domestic violence, cycle of violence, power and
control and windows of opportunity to intervene;

· Learn effective ways to help one’s self and others regarding the issue of domestic violence;

· Understand the importance of healthy relationships in personal and professional
relationships.

If you are interested in attending the forum or have questions, please contact Michele at MSorrell@cchseast.org or 216.761.8278.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Volunteers Still Needed for Research Study

Researchers at the Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing with the permission of the Cleveland Rape Crisis Center are conducting a study to learn more about the lived experience of individuals who experienced a military sexual trauma.


You may take part in this research study if you:
  • Have experienced a military sexual trauma (sexually assaulted or harassed while serving in the military) during any era, conflict, or peacetime
You may not take part in this research study if you:
  • Are under the influence of alcohol or drugs at the time of the interview

  • Are experiencing psychotic or manic symptoms which would interfere with your being able to focus on the interview

  • Are currently experiencing an acute crisis which would prohibit you from being able to focus on the interview

  • Are currently seen by the researcher for care (to be determined during intial phone contact)

What will be asked of you to do?

  • Talk with the female researcher to learn more about the study so you can make an informed decision

  • Be willing to talk about your life after the military sexual trauma occurred

  • Participate in an interview of about 60-90 minutes (you may be asked to participate in a second interview if you agree to it)

  • Review a summary of the findings from everyone who participated ot ensure your experience is accurately represented

  • You will be compensated for participation in this study.

If you are interested in learning more about this study or if you have questions, please contact the researcher at 440-382-8636

Friday, February 19, 2010

Women are Less Forgiving

From Fellow Hotline Advocate Heather Tripp


Heather found this and thought that fellow volunteers would be just as exasperated about this as she was. http://www.bust.com/blog/2010/02/17/women-more-likely-to-blame-rape-victims.html.


A majority of women believe some rape victims should take responsibility for what happened, a survey suggests.


Almost three quarters of the women who believed this said if a victim got into bed with the assailant before an attack they should accept some responsibility.

One-third blamed victims who had dressed provocatively or gone back to the attacker's house for a drink.

The survey of more than 1,000 people in London marked the 10th anniversary of the Haven service for rape victims.

More than half of those of both sexes questioned said there were some circumstances when a rape victim should accept responsibility for an attack.


Less forgiving
The study found that women were less forgiving of the victim than men.

Of the women who believed some victims should take responsibility, 71% thought a person should accept responsibility when getting into bed with someone, compared with 57% of men.
Elizabeth Harrison from Haven said there was never an excuse for forcing a woman to do something she did not want to.

"Clearly, women are in a position where they need to take responsibility for themselves - but whatever you wear and whatever you do does not give somebody else the right to rape you.


"It's important people take the time to actually look at what they are doing and make sure the person they are with is actually wanting to go ahead with what they are proposing."

The survey also found more than one in 10 people were unsure whether they would report being raped to the police, and 2% said they would definitely not do so.
The main reasons were being too embarrassed or ashamed (55%), wanting to forget it had happened (41%) and not wanting to go to court (38%).

Meanwhile, the survey suggested that many people are relaxed about their safety. Almost half of people have walked home via side streets on their own.
One in five has been so drunk they have lost their memory, while one in five has got into a taxi without checking whether it is licensed.

Hardening attitudes
When asked about their own experiences, more than a third of those polled said they had been in a situation where they could have been made to have sex against their will.

Women are more likely to have been in this situation - 40% compared to 20%.

And one in five adults had been in a situation where they were made to have sex when they did not want to. This had happened to more women (23%) than men (20%).

It is depressing that people are still quick to blame the victim of rape rather than placing the responsibility where it actually belongs - squarely on the shoulders of the perpetrator

The online survey, titled Wake Up To Rape, polled 1,061 people aged 18 to 50, comprising 712 women and 349 men.

An Amnesty International report five years ago found that a significant minority of British people laid the blame for rape at victims themselves.

BBC home affairs correspondent Danny Shaw says this latest study suggests attitudes may have hardened. And the findings may help explain why juries are reluctant to convict in some rape trials.

Amnesty International's UK director Kate Allen said the new findings were "alarming but sadly not surprising".

"It is depressing that, nearly half a decade later, people are still quick to blame the victim of rape rather than placing the responsibility where it actually belongs - squarely on the shoulders of the perpetrator," she said.

"The government has announced that it will develop an 'integrated strategy' to tackle violence against women and these findings are another reminder of how urgent this is and how proper training, support and resourcing will be vital in making it a reality."

The Home Office said it had introduced a number of measures to the service provided to rape victims, including new police and prosecutors' guidance, monitoring of services and funding for support for rape victims.

A spokeswoman said: "The government is determined to ensure that every victim has immediate access to the services and support they need so that more victims have the confidence to come forward and report these crimes and we can bring the perpetrators to justice."


http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/8515592.stm

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Continued Recognition for Janet Boehler

So you've all seen the great piece on Janet Boehler's hard work for and dedication to survivors of sexual assault. Check out who else appreciates Janet!

Dear Sergeant Boehler,

I was pleased to read in the Chagrin Valley Times that you will be the recipient of this year's Cleveland Rape Crisis Center Arete Award. Congratulations on being chosen for such a prestigious and much-deserved award! I am exceedingly proud of you and the great honor that you have brought to the Village of Moreland Hills.

The services that you provide for the Cleveland Rape Crisis Center are invaluable to the people whose lives you touch in such a positive way during times of crisis. It is during times of crisis that we are at our weakest and having a positive source of comfort and security available is priceless. Giving of one's own time in an effort to give back to the community is an honorable quality worth acknowledgement.

Thank you for your continued contributions.

Sincerely,
Susan C. Renda
Mayor, Village of Moreland Hills

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Janet Boehler Recognized in The Times

The CRCC's volunteers are achieving much-deserved notoriety left and right! This great feature ran in The Times on December 24, 2009.

Since my photo does not do the article justice, please read below!


Rape-crisis award goes to police officer
by Sali McSherry

Moreland Hills police Sgt. Janet Boehler, of South Russell, received the 2009 Overall Arete Award from the Cleveland Rape Crisis Center.

Ms. Boehler has been active in the community as a police officer and volunteer, from coordinating Safety Town to training her dog, Colby, to be a therapy dog and more. Last year, she earned the Community Volunteer of the Year award from the Orange Federation.

Wendy Hanna, of the rape crisis center, said it was fitting for Ms. Boehler to receive the volunteer of the year award because of her commitment to the crisis center, her extraordinary ability to comfort victims and her extensive training dealing with sex crimes, victim advocacy and victim assistance programs.

As a face-to-face Advocate for the Cleveland Rape Crisis Center, she is on-call to meet rape survivors at the emergency room or police station.

"Every survivor is different. Some are so shocked they are silent throughout the entire process, others are so angry they can't wait to get out and find the rapist," Ms. Boehler said.

She's been active at the center since 2005. The award was given for her "strength, bravery, intelligence and passion, each working to achieve real results, for the unique and irreplaceable effectiveness" she brings to the center and for the long lasting and pervasive outcomes of her talents, according to the accolade.

"As an advocate, I am able to be with the survivor, offer her or him comfort, explain the procedure of collecting forensic evidence during the exam, answer questions about options available legally to the survivor and provide information on the many outstanding services available through the CRCC.

"As an advocate, I am the first face of the CRCC the survivor comes in contact with, and it is important I maintain a professional yet compassionate role. The things I do or say can make or break the survivor's decision to seek professional help through the health system, law enforcement, legal system and the CRCC," Ms. Boehler said.

Each call takes at least three to four hours, Ms. Boehler said. One night, she took the two most difficult calls of her life, a 3-year-old girl and a 2-year-old girl, both who allegedly were sexually assaulted by a relative and scared to death, she said.

"I find satisfaction in knowing I was a part of the survivor's first steps towards recovery from a very traumatic, life-changing event. No one will ever be the same after any type of sexual assault, but early intervention can make a huge difference in beginning the healing process. It is very emotional not only for the survivor but also emotionally draining for the sane nurse and the advocate. The room is usually filled with so much tension, fear and disbelief it could be cut with a knife.

"The first and most important thing I share with any survivor that it was not her fault and not to second guess or blame herself for anything that happened. Most survivors are in the 'if only I had done this or that' frame of mind combined with the physical and emotional trauma. It all takes quite a toll on the survivor," Ms. Boehler said.

"I stay with the survivor as long as she needs me or until all the exams, follow-up and often interviews by the police are completed. I start with a hug and end with a hug. I assure the survivor she will get through this and come out a stronger person at the end," she said.

The 24-hour rape crisis hot line is (216)619-6192. For more information about volunteering, call (216)619-6194.

Fabulous, right? Well, The Times and the CRCC aren't the only ones who took notice. Stay tuned for tomorrow's post to find out who else recognized Janet's great work!

Monday, February 15, 2010

Momentum 2010: Ohio Women's Summit


Governor, First Lady Announce Momentum 2010:
Ohio Women’s Summit on March 8

White House Senior Advisor Valerie Jarrett to Keynote Event on International Women’s Day

Columbus, Ohio – Ohio Governor Ted Strickland and First Lady Frances Strickland today announced Momentum 2010: Ohio Women’s Summit, a statewide event to discuss and promote the status of Ohio women and girls in the areas of economics, education, and health.

“Women have made tremendous strides in recent decades and have become successful leaders in education, politics, athletics, business and other professional disciplines. However, much remains to be done to achieve gender equity in Ohio and across the globe,” Governor Strickland said. “Momentum 2010 will provide an opportunity for Ohioans to engage with each other and discuss ways to advance the status of women and girls across the state.”

The Governor’s Office for Women’s Initiatives and Outreach and First Lady Strickland are hosting the forum on March 8, International Women’s Day, at the Vern Riffe Center in Columbus.

“I look forward to a day of celebrating Ohio women and their accomplishments, as well as taking a closer look at how we can further strengthen the power of women in today’s society,” said First Lady Strickland.

Momentum 2010 will be a forum for women to network, come together on women’s policy priorities, and celebrate International Women’s Day.

A statewide Young Women’s Summit for girls ages 12-18 is also being planned at the Columbus School for Girls on Sunday, March 7.

Registration for both events is available at http://www.ohiowomen2010.org/.

Momentum 2010 will consist of a series of workshops, panel discussions and speakers. The event will address topics ranging from access to higher education, women and leadership, violence against women, and the advancement of women in science, technology, engineering and math careers. The summit will help women with strategies to lead healthy, safe and financially-stable lives, as well as enhance collaboration among women and women’s organizations.

Participants will also have the opportunity to network with women members of Governor’s Strickland’s Cabinet.

A diverse range of speakers will participate in Momentum 2010, including Governor Strickland, First Lady Frances Strickland, Pulitzer Prize winner and Cleveland Plain Dealer columnist Connie Schultz, philanthropist Mavis Leno, and diversity and inclusion expert Audra Bohannon.

Valerie Jarrett, White House senior advisor and assistant to President Barack Obama for Intergovernmental Affairs and Public Engagement, will serve as the keynote speaker for the event. Jarrett also serves as chair of the White House Council on Women and Girls.

Jarrett, a leader in the business, government and non-profit communities, served as President/CEO, as well as executive vice president, of the Habitat Company prior to joining the White House. She also served Chicago city government in several roles, including deputy chief of staff for Mayor Richard Daley. Jarrett also held membership on several corporate and non-profit boards prior to joining the Obama administration.

She received a bachelor’s degree from Stanford University in 1978 and a law degree from the University of Michigan in 1981.

A full list of confirmed speakers, as well as the summit, can be found at http://www.ohiowomen2010.org/. Additional speakers may be added in the coming days.

Momentum 2010 seeks to engage diverse groups of Ohio women, including those of different ages, regions, race/ethnicity, and those with disabilities. Nearly 300 individuals have joined the Momentum 2010 host committee and nearly 60 groups have signed on as supporting organizations.

Related Momentum 2010 events will focus on incarcerated women and girls and take place at the Franklin Pre-Release Center and Scioto Juvenile Correctional Facility in March.

Complete details and registration information can be found at http://www.ohiowomen2010.org/. The cost of registration for the Women’s Summit is $25 through February 4, and $45 February 5 and later. The flat registration fee for the Young Women’s Summit is $5.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Thank you Cricket

I want to thank Cricket Rerko for her wonderful presntation on the SANE program.

Cricket offered great information on the realities of working in an emergency room. She talked about how gratifying being a SANE nurse can be but also the struggles and road blocks that the SANE program has over come and still faces.

Cricket also talked about some of the changes she has seen in the SANE program since she has been working there as well as some changes that are planned for the future at Fairview Hospital.

The volunteers and staff that attended the presentation felt that the presentation was useful to them as advocates for survivors of sexual assault.
Comments from some of the attendees:

"The speaker offered helpful information from the perspective of a medical professional, which will help me to be a better advocate."

"An excellent presentation- I think that she did a very through job."
"Good speaker. I'm liking the CE program."

I thought that this was a great presentation and am excited for the presentations we have set up for the rest of the year.


Scheduled Events

March 23rd - Steve from United Way's First Call for Help 211

April 15th - Lydia From the Board of Developmental Disabilities

May 17th - Tracie a Neuroscientist speaking on PTSD and the Brain

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Volunteers Needed for a Research Study

Researchers at the Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing with the permission of the Cleveland Rape Crisis Center are conducting a study to learn more about the lived experience of individuals who experienced a military sexual trauma.

You may take part in this research study if you:

  • Have experienced a military sexual trauma (sexually assaulted or harassed while serving in the military) during any era, conflict, or peacetime

You may not take part in this research study if you:

  • Are under the influence of alcohol or drugs at the time of the interview
  • Are experiencing psychotic or manic symptoms which would interfere with your being able to focus on the interview
  • Are currently experiencing an acute crisis which would prohibit you from being able to focus on the interview
  • Are currently seen by the researcher for care (to be determined during intial phone contact)

What will be asked of you to do?

  • Talk with the female researcher to learn more about the study so you can make an informed decision
  • Be willing to talk about your life after the military sexual trauma occurred
  • Participate in an interview of about 60-90 minutes (you may be asked to participate in a second interview if you agree to it)
  • Review a summary of the findings from everyone who participated ot ensure your experience is accurately represented

You will be compensated for participation in this study.

If you are interested in learning more about this study or if you have questions, please contact the researcher at 440-382-8636

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Continuing Education Program's Next Event

Don’t forget!

Tomorrow is the next Continuing Education Event. Cricket, a SANE nurse and member of the SART team, will speak about her role as a SANE nurse and the effectiveness of the SART program.

The event will begin at 11am and will be held in the Training room. The Training room is located on the 14th floor right in the elevator lobby and has a glass door. Small snacks will be provided. Feel free to bring food with you.

There are still spaces open. RSVP as soon as possible if you are interested in attending. And as always, if you have any questions please feel free to email or call Sarah at sarahb@clevelandrcc.org or 216-619-6194x116.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

A little inspiration...

A little inspiration from www.quotegarden.com...


"Those who can, do. Those who can do more, volunteer."

-Author Unknown



Monday, February 8, 2010

Girl Power Can Save The World

By Eve Ensler, From CNN

The future is "girl." Imagine girl is a cell that each of us -- boys and girls -- are born with. Imagine this girl cell is central to the evolution of our species and an assurance of the continuation of the human race.

Now imagine that a few powerful people, invested in owning this world, understood that the oppression of this cell was key to retaining their power, so they reinterpreted this cell, undermining its value and making us believe that it is weak. They initiated a process to crush, eradicate, annihilate, humiliate, belittle, censor, reduce and kill off the girl cell.

This was called patriarchy.

Imagine girl is a chip in the huge microcosm of our collective consciousness, which is essential to the balance, wisdom and future of humanity.

Imagine that girl is the part of each of us that feels compassion, empathy, passion, intensity, association, relationship, emotion, play, resistance, vulnerability, intuitive intelligence, vision.

Imagine that compassion informs wisdom. That vulnerability is our greatest strength. That emotions have inherent logic and lead to radical saving action.

Now remember that those in power essentially taught us and conditioned us to believe the opposite:

  • Compassion clouds your thinking.
  • Vulnerability is weakness.
  • Emotions are not to be trusted.
  • Don't take things personally.
  • To be a boy means not to be a girl.
  • To be a man means not to be a girl.
  • To be a leader means not to be a girl.

It must be very powerful to be a girl if everyone Is taught not to be one.

Having traveled the planet for 12 years, visiting more than 60 countries and living in the rape mines of the world, I have been with girls. I have witnessed their realities.

I have seen girls with knife wounds and cigarette burns, treated like garbage, beaten by their brothers and fathers and boyfriends and mothers, starving themselves to death to look the way they are supposed to look -- which is close to invisible.

We are so accustomed to prohibiting girls from being the subjects of their own life that we have turned them into objects: commodities in the marketplace, bodies to be bought and sold and plundered and married off or raped in war. Buying a girl is cheaper than buying a cow in many places.

I have been with boys as well, watched as they have been ridiculed, censored and abused for their tenderness, their doubts, their grief, their need for comfort and protection. I have seen how the tyranny of masculinity has forced boys and then men to cut off their hearts and cast them into a brutal, lonely state of disassociation and isolation.

The state of girl, the condition of girl -- in the world and in us -- will determine if this species survives.

I believe unleashing the intensity of girl, the outrage of girl, the passion of girl, is the only way to chip away the thick sludge of denial, oppression and indifference that has led to our insane acceptance of a world spinning us toward our end.

What I have witnessed across this planet is the wild natural resiliency, fierceness, grace and nobility of girl.

The girl cell is our greatest resource, a renewable, untapped energy field like the wind. It is there for us, if we activate it and allow it to resist, dare, challenge, feel and connect.

The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Eve Ensler.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Public Input Sought By Special Commission

From Megan O' Bryan, Special Commission Member and CRCC President/CEO

The public is invited to offer input, ideas and suggestions on Missing Persons and Sex Crimes Investigations in the City of Cleveland. This is part of a project commissioned by Mayor Frank Jackson to examine how these crimes are responded to and investigated in Cleveland; and to offer recommendations for improvement and systemic change.

The Commission wants to hear your perceptions of, experiences with, and ideas about how Cleveland law enforcement responds to sex crimes and missing person reports. What would you like to see changed? Your input will be included in a final report created by the Commission, though names will not be identified.

Please use your voice by attending an upcoming Community Forum, all held from 6:00-7:30 pm. at Cleveland Public Library branches.

Monday, Feb 8
West Park Branch
3805 West 157th St.

Tuesday, Feb 9
Collinwood Branch
65 East 152nd St.

Also, through February 28, citizens may also submit ideas, suggestions or comments via US mail, voicemail or email:

Mail:
Special Commission
PO Box 93296
Cleveland, OH 44101

Voicemail Number: 877-322-9866

Email: mailto:mcommissioninput@gmail.com

Please post this information or forward. Thank you.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

February's Continuing Education

I am writing with updates about the Continuing Education Program. More speakers have been scheduled.

We got great feedback from the first event with Christy from DVC. The volunteers who attended felt that hearing from this speaker would help them become better hotline or F2F advocates.

I am so excited to announce our next two speakers that have been scheduled.

Scheduled Continuing Education Dates

February 11th @ 11am
“Cricket” will be speaking on the SANE program


March 23rd @ 6pm
Steve will be speaking about services provided by 211 Cleveland


April 15th @ 6pm
Lydia from the Board of Developmental Disabilities will be speaking about individuals with special needs

May 17th @6pm
Tracie, a Neuroscientist from Oberlin will be speaking about PTSD and the Brain





Please RSVP to Sarah sarahb@clevelandrcc.org or 216-619-6194x116 if you are interested in attending any of these dates.



Additional Dates are scheduled
June 16th
July 21st
Aug. 31st
Sept. 20th
Oct. 20th
Nov. 18th

Additional Topics Suggested
Planned Parenthood
Police Detectives
Speaker about OH laws around SA/Rape
CRCC Staff
LGBT Community Center
Movie/Book and a Discussion
A Training review session
Educating boys about Rape/DV

All of the opportunities will be held at the Cleveland Rape Crisis Center, 526 Superior Ave.,1400, Cleveland, OH 44114.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Fun Facts about February

Everybody loves an alliteration.

I found a website with lots of information about February. (I was not able to find any one answer as to why February has only 28 days. What reasons have you heard?)

Astrological Signs
Aquarius: January 20 - February 18
Pisces: February 19 - March 20

Birthstone
Amethyst

Flower (Who knew months had flowers?)
Violet

February 2004 had 5 Sundays! This is an occurrence that only happens every 28 years ... the next time it happens wont be until 2032.

There are a lot of Monthyly Observances so I picked a few that I thought were interesting.
Black History Month
AMD/Low Vision Awareness Month
Condom Month
Bake For Family Fun Month
Snack Food Month
Chocolate Month
Candy Month
Children's Dental Health Month

There were also several Weekly Observances (I picked One from each week)
The First Week in February is Women's Heart Week
The Second Week in February is Sexual Responsibility Week (National Condom Week)
The Third Week in February is Random Acts of Kindness Week
The Fourth Week in February is Eating Disorders Awareness Week (National)

To look up more fun facts about February or to pick a different month go to http://www.butlerwebs.com/holidays/february.htm.

And of Course HAPPY GROUNDHOGS DAY!!!