Archive for the 'sexual abuse' Category

26
Apr
14

a chance meeting of vaginas

a chance meeting of vaginasTonight I witnessed and participated in the power of a woman’s voice.

Not only did I get to see the Vagina monologues performed for the first time, but the cost of my ticket was donated to save the education and prevention program at SAVS; Sexual Assault Victim & Prevention Resources.  The statistics are staggering and yet they are not enough for the federal government to find it in their budget to fund this program.  It was an amazing experience to see how a small group of women rose up to fight for this much needed organization by hosting this event.  And the community responded.  Tonight it was sold out!

Make sure it is sold out the rest of weekend or find out more information on how to donate to SAVS at the following:  http://www.vdayoc.com/index.html

What was even more moving and inspiring to me, was the woman I met tonight by happenstance.  There was one empty seat beside me and she took it.  In a matter of minutes she shared that only recently had she taken the journey from being a victim of sexual assault to a survivor, despite the fact that the violation occurred decades ago.  She was afraid to speak up; told to be silent; her culture, her family demanded it.

Yet here she was; beautiful, strong and unafraid; the first night she had gone out by herself in years.  What an inspiration.  She shared how she didn’t know how to get to the venue; didn’t know where to park but found a spot directly outside.  Didn’t have money for the meter and someone generously gave it to her.  She didn’t even have a ticket to the sold out performance, but as she walked up to the window someone was selling theirs back.  And then she and I met.

“It was all meant to be,” she said.  I believe her.  I have never gotten into a car with a stranger, but we were no longer strangers.  She had shared her secret with me.  And it was no longer a secret; no longer shameful or dirty.  She was free.  And I got to witness it.  She was beautiful and hopes to pass on the strength of her voice to others.  She certainly has to me.

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14
Mar
14

just say vagina

just say vaginaVagina.  There, I “said” it.  Now that it’s out in the open, let’s talk about it.

In honor of Women’s History Month I viewed the documentary “V-Day:  Until the Violence Stops.”  This is a powerful film which depicts the V-Day movement across the world; stripping away the silence associated with sexual abuse against women.  It all started with “The Vagina Monologues” and has reached around the globe empowering and liberating women.

Why don’t we talk about it?  Shame.  Embarassment.  Fear.  Guilt.  Doubt.  Living in a patriarchal society easily instills women with the belief that they are “lesser than.”  That they too are to blame.  That they asked for it or somehow deserved.  And even if they don’t believe all that, families and friends either don’t know how or want to talk about it.  The result?  Victims remain invisible.

Though women need to rise up and share their stories in order to both liberate themselves and help others heal, I’ve heard it said that the key to stopping sexual violence against women is in educating men.  If a man learns how to respect women and see them as equal, they will not violate their human rights.  This seems like an obvious, after all, we don’t teach our little boys how to rape, do we?  So I guess those who behave this way do so due to biological factors –it’s not because they are influenced by society in any way.

Women can demand respect.  Women can protect themselves.  Women can stand united.

But until men stop seeing the vagina as a part of his rights as a man, women will not be free.

Men we ask that you respect us.  Men we ask that you protect us.  Men we ask that you stand with us.  United and free.

For more information on the V-Day movement:  V-Day Movement