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The more she explains, the madder I get. Why can't America have nice things?

Only seven countries in the world don't require paid maternity leave. Bet you can guess one of them.

The more she explains, the madder I get. Why can't America have nice things?
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Ultraviolet

PALAU, RIGHT?


What's with that place, anyway?

Just kidding. You guessed THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA.

AND YOU WERE RIGHT.

BOO-S-A! BOO-S-A!

FACT CHECK TIME! If you take a look at this map, you can see the seven countries highlighted in red that don't offer mandatory paid maternity leave. You have to zoom in like crazy because most of them are tiny islands in the Pacific Ocean (including Palau! Get it together, Palau). Oh, and the United States of America. Even if you're lucky enough to be gainfully employed in the U.S., there is indeed only an 11% chance you have access to paid family leave.

And as many as 40% of workers don't even qualify for unpaid leave.

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Shanda Lynn Poitra was born and raised on the Turtle Mountain Reservation in Belcourt, North Dakota. She lived there until she was 24 years old when she left for college at the University of North Dakota in Grand Forks.

"Unfortunately," she says, "I took my bad relationship with me. At the time, I didn't realize it was so bad, much less, abusive. Seeing and hearing about abusive relationships while growing up gave me the mentality that it was just a normal way of life."

Those college years away from home were difficult for a lot of reasons. She had three small children — two in diapers, one in elementary school — as well as a full-time University class schedule and a part-time job as a housekeeper.

"I wore many masks back then and clothing that would cover the bruises," she remembers. "Despite the darkness that I was living in, I was a great student; I knew that no matter what, I HAD to succeed. I knew there was more to my future than what I was living, so I kept working hard."

While searching for an elective class during this time, she came across a one-credit, 20-hour IMPACT self-defense class that could be done over a weekend. That single credit changed her life forever. It helped give her the confidence to leave her abusive relationship and inspired her to bring IMPACT classes to other Native women in her community.

I walked into class on a Friday thinking that I would simply learn how to handle a person trying to rob me, and I walked out on a Sunday evening with a voice so powerful that I could handle the most passive attacks to my being, along with physical attacks."

It didn't take long for her to notice the difference the class was making in her life.

"I was setting boundaries and people were either respecting them or not, but I was able to acknowledge who was worth keeping in my life and who wasn't," she says.

Following the class, she also joined a roller derby league where she met many other powerful women who inspired her — and during that summer, she found the courage to leave her abuser.

"As afraid as I was, I finally had the courage to report the abuse to legal authorities, and I had the support of friends and family who provided comfort for my children and I during this time," she says.

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This article originally appeared on 07.17.15


About a year ago, clothing brand American Eagle's underwear line, Aerie, stopped retouching photos of their models.

As their CEO Jennifer Foyle said in a statement in 2014, "There is no need to retouch beauty."

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