End Violations of Women’s Peace
Adelaide, South Australia
This article is written in honor and tribute to the lives of girls and women who have suffered at the hand of violence. The assault against the female gender globally is barbaric, and for any human being to ignore the violation of women’s peace and safety is simply morally wrong. I personally feel so impacted by the recent newspaper stories of the gang rape of women that I have dedicated my time to discuss this issue with the broader reading community in hope that it will trigger action that will bring this violence to an end.
I am not a feminist, but I believe in equality for women. I believe women have the right to respect, honor, and dignity. Any act that is perpetrated towards women such as rape, domestic violence, or murder cannot be ignored or pushed aside. A time has come when women need to unify, nationally and globally, to bring an end to violence, starting at a community level through to government. I do not despise men, but I despise those men who have violated women. Tougher laws need to be implemented, so that the level of violence against women may be curtailed. We have to understand that violence may never be fully dissolved in society, but at least if there are tougher consequences for perpetrators the majority may think twice about committing horrendous crimes against women. One needs to realize that to bring justice, much work needs to transpire and it will not happen overnight.
There has always been a struggle for women throughout history to be considered ‘equal’ to men. The right to vote for women took a long time coming. However in our modern world there are still women who are restricted by various rules and regulations, as to what they wear, what they can do, where they can go, and what they can say. Women are not second class citizens. Today we should honor and give praise for the brave actions of Malala Yousafzai, the fourteen-year-old who recently asserted that ‘girls have a right to education.’ As you may recall, the Pakistan Taliban took umbrage at Malala’s actions and the situation nearly took her life. Malala was shot in the head and neck on her way home from school. Her life was spared but there is now a bounty on head. The perpetrators want her dead.
You may also have heard of the gang rape and subsequent death of medical student Jyoti Singh. Jyoti’s death does not remain in isolation. Several other gang rapes have been reported in Delhi, regardless of the protests.
It would be ignorant of me to suggest that crimes against women only occur in third world countries. Domestic violence is everywhere. Sometimes it is masked by the perpetrator and the victim. On a personal level I know of at least three women, close friends of mine, who have suffered enormously at the hands of men. Two of the three are married and still endure abuse by their husbands. The other friend is a widow in her senior years, who was gang raped by at least seven men from an army barracks during her youth. The ordeal she endured nearly cost her life and has scarred her deeply. Having suffered amnesia, it took my friend 30 years to remember exactly what the men had done to her.
Violence against women is global. Now it is time for global action. And it starts with the empowerment of women: individual by individual, one female at a time, on an international level. This is my vision and I want that vision to impact the lives of women in my time and this generation. In a world of vast technological change, monetary growth, and what appears to be a bright future for the ‘chosen’ few, I personally cannot sleep as peacefully, for the plight of women resounds in my heart over and over.
If I can at least impact one reader of this article, I will be very happy. For if I can capture her heart and mind then she will hopefully feel empowered; stirred up enough to tell someone else. Hopefully a ‘domino’ effect will occur. One voice can reach many. I quote a favorite saying of mine, ‘Thoughts become action!”
Through my teaching career I began to work towards empowering the female gender, one student at a time. Through well-constructed lessons and talks I have promoted self-confidence and the importance of education as a way forward. I believe knowledge is power. Education can provide this; but so too, what is necessary is a general knowledge of support groups that can offer help in times of crisis. In Australia our government has presented a television and media campaign to the national public called ‘Violence against Women. Australia says NO’
Here are a few ways that I believe you and I can start to bring about positive change for women:
1. Remember: Never face anything on your own. Always voice your opinion with other women in unison. Strength in numbers is the key.
2. Empower your daughters and other women who you know in the knowledge that they are valued and should be treated with respect.
3. Get together and start community help groups. Be prepared for backlash from men in the community.
4. Support local rallies and national rallies if possible, or wherever women are gathered together to march against sexual violence: http://www.actionaid.org/
5. Letters, petitions. and meetings with MPs (Members of Parliament) can always move things forward at a government level. More needs to happen in this area: http://australia.gov.au
6. Go online and look up help groups for women. Bring your voice out of the darkness and start talking to other women who may be suffering from domestic violence. Women’s help lines: Australia National contact: 1800 200 526 and South Australia contact: 1800 677 278.
*For her safety, the author of this article will remain anonymous.
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The views and opinions expressed by the author do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of Peace X Peace.