The Trafficking of Women and Why “Me Too” Just Won’t Cut It.

torn

An estimated 500,000 women are trafficked every year into sexual slavery and even when caught the perpetrators are seldom held accountable. Excused by a justice system that is corrupt, they continue to treat human beings as if they are nothing more than mere bodies for them to do with as they please. Again, in order for these pigs to do what they do, they are supported by people who know what is going on, who see what is going on and who do nothing. They are supported by all the people who pay to use these women, caring nothing that these women are there against their will.

These women are taken and forced into prostitution because they are poor and desperate or they are victims of war and of natural disasters. They have no hope to help themselves and have few options. It is not uncommon for them to be burdened with a need for money for healthcare for themselves or loved ones. We talk about not being able to catch the perpetrators as if that is the answer. Why aren’t we doing more about poverty?  Why is it we are so afraid to peel back the layers of our damaged world, to get beyond the symptoms and address the actual source?  While the fish is great when you are starving, the fishing pole and directions not only feed the body, they feed the soul.  People want the right to self-determine, to create their own lives and make their own choices.  You know, like all of us privileged first world people do.  When did we get to the point where first aid was it.  We arrive at the scene of the accidents, stem the blood flow, and then leave them by the side of the road to die.

THIS is an issue that women should be caring about and speaking to. How dare we complain about inequality and our first world issues when there are women being treated like this. Where is our compassion?? How can we justify our outrage over our right to equal pay and complaining that we cannot buy a new designer purse without a raise in our salary when there are women who just want the right to not be taken from their families and raped every night by dozens of men?  We are outraged by the rich and famous having their “ass grabbed,”  how about listening to the nightmare that these women live with?  And before someone else comes up with some ridiculous, social media sign of solidarity, “me too” campaign, this is a problem that requires real help.  I don’t know that we can fix the damage that has been done to those who manage to escape but I do know that those who are still there right now, have no chance unless we decide that they matter.

I doubt very much that at the end of this life we get to smile and say we helped because we wrote “me too” on a computer screen, or because we burned incense for them one night.  Life is real.  Suffering is real.  This is our world and whether doing nothing may be our most damning crime.

Advertisements

The Death of Hollywood and the Echo of the Silence.

 

Silence of Hollywood“Lying is done with words, and also with silence.”  Adrienne Rich

“We can easily forgive a child who is afraid of the dark; the real tragedy of life is when men are afraid of the light.”  Plato

Hollywood has erupted with a number of actresses coming forward to speak out regarding the abuse they suffered at the hands of American Producer Harvey Weinstein. Weinstein and his brother founded Miramax which has been responsible for successful films such as Pulp Fiction and Good Will Hunting. He has received numerous awards for his work and has been active in issues such as AIDS and Juvenile Diabetes. He was, undoubtedly, a Hollywood powerhouse who had the connections to make or break careers.

Sexual assault is rampant around the world and I have long been an active voice speaking out against it as well as advocating for the victims. I am in no way minimizing what any woman suffers in my comments regarding this particular case but I have some serious concerns and I think they are concerns that should be shared.

Lately, there has been a whole stream of public figures who stand accused of various sexual assaults. Some people are hopeful that this signals a new willingness to expose these atrocities and that they represent our commitment to draw a line in the sand and say “No more.” We seem to circumvent the whole legal process meant to determine guilt and jump straight to judgement. Guilt appears to be amplified by the public lives of the accused. Is it easier for us to comment on a life that we already feel we have a right to because we see them in our own homes on our media devices and on the news? It appears to at least polarize the accusers as legitimate and the accused as guilty. No-one seems to worry about questioning what we read and hear. A trial and its outcome are irrelevant. As long as you have Gloria Allred on one side of the microphone, the truth is irrelevant.

The story never dies and the accused, even if innocent, will never completely recover. Continue reading

Anyone Remember the Real Victims?

tumblr_odn6bx0rxo1ue8tbmo1_1280

This is not particularly against Bill Clinton. It is not a political statement. It is just he is the latest in a long line of rapists who make the same assertion.

They don’t want anyone discussing their past criminal activities, “it isn’t fair.”

People think that IF a person is caught, (which, btw, is the only thing that stops them, at least temporarily, because none of them voluntarily stop, and most of them resume their activities as soon as possible) and IF they are prosecuted, and IF they are found guilty, and IF they do jail time . . . that once that time is over that is all there is to it, the whole thing can just go away.

They feel it is completely unfair to make them forever have to live with their mistake. The further the distance between the time of their incident and when someone brings it up, the more unfair it is. Because the passage of time, after all, fixes everything. Doesn’t it?? Continue reading

Monsters Under the Bed

monsters under the bed

Bill Cosby – latest in the groups of “wholesome” entertainers that families welcomed into their homes and enjoyed for years, oblivious to the reality. Like others before, he not only denied the rumours of his sexual abuse, he attacked and belittled the victims encouraging die hard fans to turn against them and victimize them even further.

The fear of not being believed is the biggest barrier for many victims of sexual abuse. Time does no-one any healing favours here. It bolsters the idea for the perpetrator that they can act without any real consequences and it furthers the idea for the victims that they don’t matter. Justice is not just about law, it is often necessary to facilitate, or even begin, the process of healing.

I would like to single out Janice Dickinson among Bill Crosby’s victims. Who has not watched her over the years, with her out of control and often inappropriate behaviour and her eventual stint with Dr. Drew in rehab and not realized there is something really wrong with this woman? When we see people who act out like she did, we tend to discount them as people. We no longer seem to be able to look at symptoms and search for the underlying cause. It is easier to convince ourselves, some people are just like that, and to blame her.  Have we become that callous we no longer see pain? Continue reading

Surviving Childhood Sexual Abuse Should Not Be This Hard

there's a difference

Our headlines are full of politicians and priests and ministers and teachers and doctors  who have abused children.  We turn our anger towards the individuals and the organizations – meaning the disembodied structure.

This is a plea.

Politicians and priests and minister and teachers and doctors … and parents, and anyone else … even the organizations … cannot do what they do without the support of the people around them.  There are people around the paedophiles, who at worst support and aid what they do, and at best, know and do nothing.  There are people who did not know but when they find out, do nothing.  There are people who make the victim the criminal.  People who do nothing to reach out and support the victim.  People who close their eyes and say it does not involve them. Continue reading

Invisible Scars – It’s Not Just About Women

In keeping with my last post where I spoke about the long term impact of sexual abuse on its victims, I need to underscore that with … it can be even worse for men.  Our ideas of men’s abilities to get over things, or deal with them get in the way.  So does our expectation that men be strong.  But most of all it is our idea that shields us from the thought that men could ever be victims of sexual abuse.  We forget those little boys grow up.   We forget that men can also be raped.

I am for anything that raises our awareness, speaks of our compassion, and offers a bridge of healing.

Letter From a Mother of a Courageous Daughter

courage

Dear Doctors and Dentists;

I appreciate that you are busy people with a busy schedule and you have devised a way of doing things that works for you and you may even feel is wise and prudent.

Human beings are not blocks of wood.

You can’t just apply one technique across everyone. Continue reading