Audience at Reclaim The Night

Audience at Reclaim The Night (Photo credit: ludwig van standard lamp)

From a recent article “Violence Against Women an Epidemic”

The Oscar Pistorius murder case in South Africa; rape in the Democratic Republic of the Congo; gang rapes in India; Pakistan acid attacks, and missing and murdered aboriginal women in Canada. Each news item was served up by reporters and anchors as a separate, isolated story. In fact they are all different versions of the same story, told over and over again, night after night, from one country to the next.

It’s true.  And these are the most visible cases.  Try visiting or volunteering at your local domestic violence shelter.  You’ll see that day after day after day there are women who call in, many near death, made homeless by the men they love.  The “men” who mutilated them.  I can safely say, with a clear conscience, that I guarantee you will find them if you look.  And they will have the same first names as every woman you’ve ever loved.

So many of them go back to their abuser; everyone’s fed up with them after that.  Yet so many of these women feel deep down that this is the love they deserve. That is our society.  It’s also evident that they often have no money to get out.  That is our society. For years their significant other has isolated them, kept them from working, and often from driving. Their husbands and boyfriends, either psychopaths or sociopaths, often turn the children against her and a “decent mother” would in no way leave her children at home in that environment.  Some do, and wait until their children see the light, hoping against hope that nothing happens to them.  Many don’t.  These women are our society.

We have to put this problem in perspective.  Most all social change follows chaotic upheaval, for better or worse.   It took a civil war and the almost complete destruction of America to end slavery, and that was after years of activism that paved the way for a change in attitudes.  Nazism followed the economic destruction of Germany in World War I.  The Taliban gained power over Afghanistan following America’s invasion.  It’s all a part of Naomi Klein’s “The Shock Doctrine,” that change comes after social upheaval. It has taken years to get to the point that funding has increased enough to do something to prevent domestic violence and intervene when possible.  But as the bankers loot the country and our officials now look to their corporations for jobs after office, we can not count on them to “protect” us, since change is again in the winds. And it isn’t pretty.  As  Henri Poincare pointed out when he created chaos theory, small defects as we start on a new path magnify thousands of times as the process continues.  We are at that point in our disrespect of women and everything they represent.

Violence against women is an epidemic, a vortex of trauma that spins around them and their children, crippling them.  Yes, there are many unanswered questions, and we can’t answer them overnight.  Despite it all we can still work together to make sure that, despite massive budget cuts across the world, we can lay the psychological foundation for a world safe for women.

What will you do?

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