martes, 23 de noviembre de 2010

International Day Against Violence Against Women

Violence against girls and women is one of the most common violations of human rights across the globe. Anyone can be affected by violence regardless of age, race, culture, religion, wealth or geography; it is universally present and touches millions of lives every year. In fact, rape and domestic violence are more dangerous than cancer, motor vehicle accidents, war or malaria.

Don´t be fooled by thinking that violence refers only to a physical aspect, the word “violence” refers to any type of physical, sexual, economical and psychological abuse.

Emotional abuse includes being insulted, intimidated, humiliated or isolated. Abusers lower their partner's self-esteem and make them feel helpless to exert control. Emotional abuse does not leave scars that you can see but it can cause serious harm, depression and anxiety, for instance.

Physical abuse: this is the most obvious type of violence: being slapped, kicked, punched, pushed or choked with the result of bruises, scratches, cuts, broken bones and abrasions. However, abusers often consciously hurt their victims in ways difficult to detect.

Economic abuse: this means being denied access to money. It is a very subtle sign of abuse because it leads to financial dependence on the abuser - which is a very effective method of power and control.

Sexual abuse includes a wide range of forced or unwanted sexual activity, including touching and suggestive or offensive comments. Being forced to have sex against your will is rape, even if the perpetrator is your partner or someone you know.

Here´s a video (of the London Metropolitan Police) about a situation which I sincerely hope you are not too familiar with; it's part of a new campaign tagged, "You make the call. We'll make it stop." It is an interactive video: it opens on a man reading who is interrupted by the noise of an increasing violent disturbance in the next flat. In the middle of the video, a message pops up which prompts you to click a box "if you think you should call 999 (the UK's 911)." If you do click, you're taken to another video where the man calls, and the police show up. If you don't click, well, it doesn't sound good. "Nearly 1 in 5 murders in London are the result of domestic violence," claims this video.

And to illustrate another aspect of this horrendous situation, here´s the trailer of a film called TAPESTRIES OF HOPE. Michealene Risley’s documentary exposes the horrors of the rape and sexual abuse of thousands of young girls in Zimbabwe by men who believe it will cure HIV/AIDS. It focuses also on the work of Betty Makoni, Zimbabwean child rights activist who works to shelter, educate and empower female victims through her Zimbabwe-based Girl Child Network.Do you want to get involved and help create change? Click here

And to conclude, a video for women, mothers, grandmas... because we need something nice to finish this tough entry. It is an ad for UK retailer John Lewis. Nine actresses were used for the central female character in the shoot. The music is a reinterpretation of Billy Joel's 'She's Always A Woman', performed by Fyfe Dangerfield, of the band Guillemots.

She can kill with a smile
She can wound with her eyes
She can ruin your faith with her casual lies
And she only reveals what she wants you to see
She hides like a child
But she's always a woman to me

She can lead you to love
She can take you or leave you
She can ask for the truth
But she'll never believe you
And she'll take what you give her, as long as it's free
Yeah, she steals like a thief
But she's always a woman to me
She is frequently kind
And she's suddenly cruel
She can do as she pleases
She's nobody's fool
And she can't be convicted
She's earned her degree
And the most she will do
Is throw shadows at you
But she's always a woman to me

14 comentarios:

  1. Ana Rodríguez25 noviembre, 2010

    I think that we, people from developed countries, should be ashamed of ourselves because we criticize abuses against women in many poor countries but we do not realize that here, in front of ourselves, we have the same problem, a lot of beaten women that do not want to denounce the abuses of a relative, or a even friend. Even so, I think that everyone should try to stop any kind of violence, against women, men, children or animals.

  2. Ana, I agree with you. Thanks for your comment!

  3. Well, when we speak about beaten women, we should speak about the different cultures and the education, to explain this savage behaviour.
    The culture influence too much the way that the people act. People without culture think in a different way, they think that women are inferior and they must do all that they husbands says!A lot of cultures are sexist, it accepts that the men can get married with 2 differents women, and a lot of religions in their holy writings says in an explicit manner that women are inferior to men.
    Sexism and culture ( religion, tradition...) are linked.
    To explain the other important think, the education, we should mention the familiar ambient, the manner that you receive the education.
    Imagine, you´re only a kid, 4 or 5-year-old , and you saw your father beating your mother because she do bad one thing, or she ask something, or question something... it´s logical that you think that this is normal, and you will do it to your girlfriend, or to your women...
    It´s difficult to erradicate this behaviour, but day to day, we´re more convinced that this is a bad think that the society should erradicate.

  4. Gabriel, I agree cultures are different but no culture should accept hurting anyone, and if that means going against tradition, we must help people first, not tradition, don´t you think?
    Education is probably the key word here and spreading it depends on everybody.
    Thanks for your comment! (By the way, have a look at your email so as to correct your grammar and expression mistakes)

  5. María Rodríguez Armas27 noviembre, 2010

    I really get very angry with all those of things! I can't stand it and I don't understand it either! Tradition is not the problem but education and knowledge.

    In my opinion we all are humans who have the same feelings and we don't like to be hurt at all despite the fact that some of the people seem to be longing to make the others feel badly.

    We have to stop on it and try to change people's minda because we are supposed to have a good education and those things which hepl us in order to be nicer.

    I don't really know how to explain the way I'm feeling right now.

  6. María, learning about things and reacting to them is the first step to changing them, so I´m sure the anger you feel will be useful some way or other either now or in the future.
    Thanks for sharing your feelings!

  7. Sara López Arias29 noviembre, 2010

    .After I saw the videos, I was horrified that this goes on. I think we must change our behaviour and this shouldn't exist nowadays. I believe that people have enough culture for this sort of behaviour to stop. But some people think that men and women are doomed not to understand each other, though I disagree.
    And about the video of the little girls, I think is horrifying and everybody knows this but nobody does nothing.

  8. Laura Rodríguez de la Sierra29 noviembre, 2010

    Last friday when we watched these films, I felt really sad. Yes, I think that we should feel happy because we are not beaten woman or beaten children, but if I think in all this people who are beaten by their husbands or fathers...I don't know why but I fell really bad.
    The other one, the trailer of Tapestries of Hope is really moving. I didn't know that people in Africa believes that if you have sex with a virgin you cure your AIDS...I think that people from Europe and America should do something, this things can't happen in 2010.

  9. Sara, don´t be so pessimistic; some people ARE doing things, though we may not notice, but it is so hard to change people´s minds! At your age talking about this and defending your point of view, thus giving the others something to think about, should be enough.
    Laura, it´s only natural that you felt sad after listening to the song and watching the video. That shows you are a sensitive person. I think it is important that everybody knows these things because the more people know, the "easier" it will be to fight against it - I hope!

    Thank you both for your comments!

  10. Unfortunately, the country where I live, the Court lives with "Godfathers" and this has benefits wealthy thugs, without caring about the suffering of women and children who have been victims of domestic violence. Corruption is a cultural disease. They invented the Maria da Penha Law, but it does not work if the husband has financial power. The power of money! It destroy everything!

    I'm disgusted .... because I fight a lot and has been an uphill struggle.

    It is the second time in 03 years, he "kidnaps" my little daughter and I have great difficulty to be able to see her again. That's all because of a pension so small, that means nothing in his pocket, but is destroying my daughter psychologically. I am completely helpless. This time, his game was a lot dirty to break me down!

    Thanks, Simone

  11. Simone, I can feel so much suffering in your comment! I am so sorry for you. Feel free to write to get that pain off your heart - it may help.

  12. Yes... I feel so much! thanks.

  13. Beautiful. Please check out my proposal and support my project to help raise awareness and end violence against women!


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