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Stop Abuse of Women

Say NO to Domestic Abuse

The month of October is designated Domestic Violence Awareness month.  Domestic Violence is a global issue and as the month come to a close it is very important that everyone continue to be mindful and continue to spread awareness so that one day this vicious cycle of abuse will end.

Each year thousands of women across the world die as a result of domestic violence and other forms of physical abuse.  There are thousands who continue to suffer on a daily basis.  The fight against domestic violence like the fight against drug addiction often seem like a losing battle but we must do everything in our powers to end this malady.

Domestic violence is the leading cause of death among women.  In many countries there are laws to protect women against abuse but sometimes these laws are not enforced.  In counties which enforce the laws the fight against domestic violence is still very complex as it is often very difficult to identify someone who is going to snap and kill his partner.  Often it is only the person suffering the abuse and those in the household where it is taking place who knows about it.

The violent nature of their partners leave some women trapped in their relationships immobilized by the fear of what will happen should they attempt to leave.  These fears are justified as statistics shows that seventy-five percent of women killed by their partners lost their lives after ending their relationships.

The journey to end domestic violence against women must begin with women being aware of thing to look out for in an abuser and take measures to avoid these situations.  Abuse of any form is not a normal part of a relationship and is therefore not acceptable.

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Stop Abuse of Women

Stop Abuse of Women

Extreme Jealousy – Another Sign to Watch Out For

It is nice to know that someone loves you and that he may be a little jealous when other men focus too much attention on you.  However when he is jealous to the point where he believes you are having a relationship with every man you talks to, it becomes a problem.  A little jealousy in a relationship is normal but extreme jealousy is unhealthy.  It also shows that your partner may find it difficult to trust anyone.

He is jealous of the relationship you have with your male co-workers or any male for that matter.  He constantly accuses you of sleeping with other men and manufactures affairs where none exists.  He checks your phone records to see who you talk to. He watches you every move and keep tabs on you because he needs to know exactly where you are throughout the day.  His insane jealousy and constant accusations will in time cause you much unhappiness and drain you emotionally.

Extreme jealousy is a sign of insecurity and a jealous partner may get to the point where he refuses to let you out of his sight.  He is suspicious when there is no reason for suspicion.  A man may even physically abuse his woman because in his head she is cheating although technically she is not.  Do not ignore signs of extreme jealousy in a partner.  Jealousy can be a reason for murder to take place and many women have lost lives at the hands of jealous partners.

If your partner is extremely jealous it may be best to walk away from the relationship for your safety and peace of mind.

 

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Stop Abuse of Women

Stop Abuse of Women

Controlling Men… Avoid Them

Falling in love can be a wonderful thing especially when the man appears to be everything that you desire.  You may be so blindly in love with him that it takes a while for you to realize that he is trying to control your life.  

He may be very subtle about it at first; for example it is okay for him to hang out with the guys but if you decide to hang out with your girlfriends he comes up with excuses why you should not go the chief among them being that he wants to spend quality time with you.  You want to hang out with the girls but of course you are thrilled that he wants you home with him. That however is just the beginning, You have a family event to attend but on the day of the event he complains that he is feeling ill.  He tells you it is okay for you to go but you feel guilt about leaving him alone so you stay not realizing that he is slowly manipulating and programming you to do exactly what he wants you to do.

Not all of them however go about controlling you by playing mind games.  Some are rather aggressive and dictates to you exactly what he wants you to do.  He may not want you to go out without him.  He tells you what kind of clothes to wear and may make you throw out what he don’t want you to wear.  He determines the friends you keep and makes you to disassociate yourself from those he doesn’t like.

If you try to question his actions he may try to control you with threats and instill fear in you so you have no choice but to obey him because you are afraid of the consequences if you don’t.  This is the worst kind of control because when you give in to fear it gives him the ultimate power over you and keeps you trapped in the relationship.  He feeds on your fear.  It boosts his ego because he knows he has you exactly where he wants you.

If your partner is physically abusive as well as controlling you could be faced with a big problem if you decide to leave.  He needs to be in control and when you leave it means he is no longer in control.  Even the non aggressive controlling partner may become physical if you try to leave.  He needs to have this control and will try to keep it by whatever means necessary.  He does not believe in the saying,  “If you love someone set them free, if they come back to you then it was meant to be.”  

A controlling partner may feel that if he can’t have you then no one else can.  If he tells you this do not for one moment believe that he is just joking.  Many women have lost their lives after ending controlling relationships.  In killing the woman the man maintains his control and he is often prepared to take his own life so no own gets to be in control of his fate.

To avoid these catastrophic endings or to avoid being trapped in an unhealthy relationship it is best to look out for the signs.  Do not allow yourself to be so blinded by love that you fail to recognize them.  It is always best to walk away before he gets too much control.

 

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Stop Abuse of Women

Say NO to Physical Abuse

He hits you and then says he is sorry.  Another sign  that he is an Abuser!

The first time he hits you or hurt you in any way physically give yourself a reality check.  You need to ask yourself if he loses his temper or get angry for whatever reason does this mean he is going to lash out at you?

After he hits you he may be full of remorse.  He will apologize, tell you how sorry he is and that it will never happen again.  When he hits you the second time, you would have known by this time that he lied and  that it is likely to happen again.

Do not allow yourself to be fooled by his profuse apologies.  Some abusers can be very emotional.  Do not be surprised if he cries and begs you to forgive him.  He will beg for your forgiveness and try to convince you that it will never happen again.  However the abuse will continue unless you remove yourself from the situation.

I recall a friend of mine leaving her abusive boyfriend after he had beaten her badly.  He was very upset about the fact that she had left and went on a mission trying to find her.  I went with him because I wanted to be there for her in case he found her and decided to get nasty.  After visiting two of her relatives home and not finding her he became very emotional and broke down crying.  He said he didn’t know what he would do if she left him for good.  He said he really loved her and he was willing to do anything she asked him to, even go to therapy.  I asked him “If you love her so much why do you keep beating her?  His response was “I don’t know but I promise if she comes back I will never hit her again.”

I remember watching the tears rolling down his cheek and thinking that if I didn’t know better I would almost feel sorry for him.  I was not fooled by his tears.  As it turned out she was staying at a third relative we went that day but he never saw her.  I had a feeling she was there so the minute he parked I ran ahead of him to the house.  When I saw her I could only manage four words, “He is coming hide!”   She did not hesitate but did as I told her.  My mission accomplished I then managed to convince him that she was not there

However a few weeks later he found he and somehow managed to convince her to give him another chance.  Of course the moment she went back to him all his promises of going to therapy and not hitting her again soon went out the window.  He kept abusing her until she decided she had had enough and finally left him for good.  Incidentally she was not the first person to suffer abuse at his hands.

 Do not be fooled my empty promises.  Do what is best for you and so NO to physical abuse.  Please bear in mind that the longer you remain in an abusive relationship the more difficult it is going to be for you to leave.  You have to get out the moment the abuse start! 

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Stop Abuse of Women

5 Year-old Raped and Tortured in India

Last December the people of India were shocked and outraged when a young woman was brutally raped and tortured.  She later died as a result of her injuries.  Now only a few months later another brutal rape and tortured has shocked the nation once more.  This time the victim is only five years old.  
The little girl was moved from a local hospital to Swami Dayanand Hospital in New Delhi on Friday.  She is reported to be alert and stable.  According to doctors she was being given intravenous antibiotics to fight a blood infection and further operations will have to wait until the infection clears up.  “This is the first time I have seen such barbarism”, R. K. Bansal medical superintendent of the hospital said Friday in a televised interview.  “There were injuries to her lips, cheek, arms and anus area.  Her neck had bruise marks suggesting that attempts were made to strangle her.”  He said a bottle almost eight inches long and pieces of candle had been inserted into her private parts.
The five year old went missing on April 15 and was found two days later by neighbors who heard her crying in a locked room in the same New Delhi building where she lives with her family.  She was found alone having left for dead by her attackers.  Anger at the authorities grew after the parents of the girl said the police had failed to take their complaint seriously, failed to carry out an adequate search and then offered them  2000 rupees – about $37 – if they would keep quiet about the case.  On Friday a Television News Channel showed a police officer slapping a female protester in the face.
The police arrested a 22 year-old garment worker early Saturday morning in Bihar.  The suspect had an apartment in the same building as the girl.  He is accused of abducting, raping and torturing her.  The Times of India reported that he told the police he fled the apartment because he believe the girl had died.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh expressed regrets about the incident.  On Saturday the president of The Indian National Congress Party, Sonia Gandhi released a statement saying “Action and not words are required to ensure that such incident never happens again”.  A second suspect was arrested on Monday.
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Stop Abuse of Women

Stop Abuse Of Women

Honor Killings

 

The horrors of honor killings continues.  Late last year a seventeen year old Pakistan girl miraculously cheated death.  Her attacker was her own brother.  Gul Meena life of misery began at the age of twelve when she was married off to a man old enough to be her grandfather.

She says, “My husband was sixty.  Everyday he would beat me.  I would cry and beg him to stop, but he kept on beating me.”  Her family was not very supportive.  “My family would hit me when I complain,” she said.  “They told me you belong in your husband’s house, it is your life.

After five years of abusive Gul Meena met a young Afghan man and finally found the courage to leave her abusive husband in Pakistan.  In November 2012 she packed some of her things and they made their was across the border to the city of Jalalabad in Afghanistan.  She knew what she was doing was dangerous.  Running away from her husband with another man was committing the ultimate sin.   But she was tired of the life she was living.

“I tried to kill myself with poison several times but it didn’t work,” she said.  “I hated my life.  I had to escape.

Days later her older brother tracked them down.  Using an ax he hacked to death Gul Meena’s friend and then struck her fifteen times cutting open her face head and other parts of her body.  Believing that she was dead he escaped back to Pakistan.  The authorities are yet to catch him and his family denies that he tried to kill his sister.

Passersby hearing the commotion discovered Gul lying in a pool of blood in bed and rushed her to the Emergency Department of Nangarhar Regional Medical Centre.  Part of her brain was hanging out of her skull.  Neurosurgeon Zamiruddin Khalid held out little hope that she would survive.  She had lost a lot of blood and her injuries were horrific.  But by some act of God she defeated death and survived.

Even then her troubles were not over; she had received life-saving treatment from doctors and staff at the hospital but she had no one to care for her on the outside.  Gul had been disowned by her family and despite the government and authorities knowing that she was alive and receiving care at the hospital, they wanted nothing to do with her due to the stigma and circumstances surrounding her attack.

She stayed in the hospital for two months thanks to the generosity of doctors who donated money to pay for her medicine.  Finally the organization Women for Afghan women were informed of her situation. They took her in, transporting her back to a shelter in Kabul to give her the love and care she so badly needed.

Gul Meena is one of the thousands of women living in shelters across Afghanistan.  Many of them are victims of attempted honor killings.

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Stop Abuse of Women

Stop Abuse of Women

Bride Burning

Violence against women takes various forms, from Acid Throwing, Female Genital Mutilation, to Torture and Murder.  One of the most heinous of these crimes is Bride Burning.  It is practiced in India, Pakistan and Bangladesh.  The crime is often staged to appear as an accident or suicide.  The victims are usually newly married women whose parents do not have the money to pay off the husband‘s dowry requirements.  The perpetrators are usually the husband’s family or the husband himself. 
Women in these countries do not get much support from their male counterpart.  The husband’s family will harass, threaten and sometimes kill the bride if her family cannot come up with the money or gifts .  With the new wife out-of-the-way , the husband is free to remarry and get a new dowry from his new bride.  In 2010 there were 8391 reported cases of dowry deaths in India alone.
In Pakistan although divorce is possible, it is claimed that some families decide instead to murder unwanted wives.  In most cases of bride burning the woman is doused with kerosene, the helpless defenseless woman is then set on fire and is burned alive.  The deaths are often reported as accidents.  In many cases the police are told the victim was killed by an exploding stove and there is no prosecution. They opt for burning because the chances of prosecution is less.
Bride burning is a wicked, barbaric act.  It is one of the most gruesome forms of human rights violation.
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Stop Abuse of Women

Stop Abuse of Women

Honor Killings

An honor killing is the killing of a member of a family or social group by other members who believe that the victim has brought dishonor upon the family or the community.  In countries such as India where there is little respect for the lives of women, a woman can be killed for simple things such as dressing in a manner which is deemed in appropriate, wanting to terminate or prevent an arranged marriage, desiring to marry by her own choice or engaging in sex outside of marriage.
Women’s rights activists say India’s police are not doing enough to tackle the problem of ‘honor killings’.  Many times the police do not take complaints by the victims seriously.  They do not provide protection for the victims and this boosts the morale of the culprits; they take the law into their own hands.
What is ironic is that simple things that women do are considered sins but the murdering of women is not.  Apparently in the eyes of these perpetrators killing is okay if the victim is a woman.
 The public beheading of a woman by his brother in Kolkata last December highlights the lack  of respect for the lives of women in India.  This incident on December 7, 2012, was another honor killing.  Nilofar Bibi 22, at the time of her death was only fourteen years old when she left home in an arranged marriage.  Bibi alleged that she was tortured by her in-laws and returned to her parents on November 28 but disappeared days later.
Her brother Mehtab Alam 29, found his sister living with an old boyfriend.  He stormed into the house and dragged Bibi into the street in broad daylight.  Passersby watched in horror as he cut off his sister’s head while saying  she had sinned  and had to be punished.  He left his sister’s body in a pool of blood on the road and calmly walked to the police station with her head in his hand to surrender himself.  He walked into the police station and placed the head of his sister and the butcher knife he used to decapitate her on a table in front of the police officer.
The sibling’s family expressed support for Alam saying they were proud he upheld their honor.
I am at a loss to understand what honor this young man upheld.  Honor is protecting and defending the women in your family.  Honor is defending and protecting your sister when the man who  should love and protect her is abusing her.  There is nothing honorable about killing a defenseless woman especially a member of your own family – your sister.  It is a shameful and dishonorable act which must be condemned.  There can be no honor in taking a human life.
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Stop Abuse of Women

Stop Breast Ironing

Young girls in many countries around the world suffer greatly each year from abuse of one form or another.  What is ironic is that in many instances adults believe that what they do is in the best interest of the girls.

There is Female Genital mutilation; a barbaric act of which for most part entail partial of full removal of a woman’s clitoris.  Sex for such a woman, instead of being an expression of love between two people can become a source of pain which she has to endure.  The procedure done without anesthetic and often times without using sterile instruments may result in fatal hemorrhaging or the  risks of serious infections.  This procedure does not benefit women in any way.  It is done to suppress a girl’s sexual feelings, to prevent her from being promiscuous, maintain her virginity until marriage and uphold the family honor.  Upholding the family honor is more important than the health and happiness of girls in countries that practices female genital mutilation.

In some countries there is forced child marriages which basically sentences young girls to a life of misery.  Most live their life in poverty. They are denied educational opportunities, and suffer from poor health, sexual and other forms of abuse. Most of them spend their lives trapped in loveless marriages with men who are often strangers.

 Parents say they do it to protect the girls.  Her husband will protect her from getting raped and he will take care of her.  If this is so, why are there so many horror stories?  The man who they feel will protect, often is the one who her rapist.  She is made to work like a hired help and suffers abuse not only at the hands of her husband but from her in-laws as well.  Although parents are aware of what is happening they continue to marry off their underage daughters because it is never about what the girls want for their lives.  Their happiness is not taken into consideration.  It is about culture and traditions and maintaining the family honor.

What is very worrisome is the fact that the list of abuses against girls and women get longer the deeper you delve.  In the Cameroon their form of abuse is  breast ironing. This particular form of abuse is shrouded in secrecy, not many want to talk about it, but behind closed doors Cameroon girls are suffering torture at the hands of their own mothers.  Breast ironing is done to stop the development of breasts and delay any sign that a girl is developing into an adult. 

Cameroon mothers say they iron their daughters breast to protect them from sexual harassment and rape, and to prevent early pregnancy that would tarnish the family name.. They also want their daughters to pursue an education rather than be forced into an early marriage.

They use objects such as grinding stones, coconut shells, leaves, ladles, spatulas and hammers heated over burning coal.  The hot object is used to press and massage the breasts to flatten them to stop their development.  This they feel will make the girls less attractive to boys and men.

Breast ironing is extremely painful and can cause tissue damage.  There are no medical studies on its effects but medical experts warn that it might contribute towards breast cancer and perhaps interfere with breast-feeding later.  Other possible side effects include breast infections, the formation of abscesses and malformed breasts.  It can lead to permanent damage to the milk ducts and even complete disappearance of one or both breasts.  The girls end up with marks, wrinkles and black spots on their breasts.

 Breast ironing violates the fundamental rights of girls and women – the right to health, physical integrity and freedom from torture.  It does not prevent premarital pregnancy which is on the rise,  accounting for 30% of pregnancies according to local health workers.  This is due to a lack of sex education.  The sex talk and not torture will be more beneficial to Cameroon girls.

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Stop Abuse of Women

Stop Abuse of Women

Bangladesh Child Brides

Although child marriages is illegal there is an increase in the practice in some developing countries.  Bangladesh for instance has the fourth highest rates of child marriages in the world.  Young girls are married by the time they hit puberty and usually move in with their husbands right away.

Most child brides become mothers while they are still children themselves.  Because their bodies are not yet fully developed they are at risk for prolonged or obstructed labor which threatens both the life of the child and the mother.  

Like India one of the main reasons behind child marriages in Bangladesh is poverty and girls from poor families are more likely to become child brides.  The illegal dory system is also a contributor.  Younger brides often require smaller dowries so parents marry off their girls at a young to avoid paying a high dowry which most of them cannot afford.  

These girls are denied a proper education.  They suffer from poor health, give birth to children who are weak and malnourished and raise them in poverty.  Later on some of these same mothers will force their daughters into early marriage and the vicious cycle continues.

Some parents marry off their daughters because they feel they will be safe under the protection of their husbands.  However in many instances these girls are abused by their husbands, sexually,physically, and emotionally.  They also suffer at the hands of their in-laws.

 Rani is a child bride.  She was married at the age of fourteen to the man her mother arranged for her to marry.  “I could not go against my mother’s will,” Rani said.  “So I agreed to marry him without thinking of other options.”

 Rani was constantly beaten by her in-laws and husband . “They beat me for trivial matters,” says Rani.  ” If they think the dress I washed is not clean or the food I cooked is not tasty, they beat me.”

 “He beats me not only with his hands but he uses his belt to beat me,” she says of her husband.  ‘He used to say, “No matter how much you cry or ask for help from others, I will not stop beating you.”

Rani has attempted suicide.  She said, “Once I was so tired of his beatings. I felt so desperate.  I couldn’t take it anymore, I wanted to give away my life.  I tried to commit suicide by hanging myself.”  According to Rani her in-laws were actually pleased when they learned she was going to hang herself.  “I went inside my room and was preparing to hang myself. I screamed, ‘I am going to take away my life!’  My mother-in-law and my husband were relaxing outside the room,” Rani said. “They were listening to what I was saying but they did not try to save me, as I was a burden to them.”

The neighbors informed Rani’s mother about what was taking place.“Then my brother kicked open the door,” Rani says. “At that time, I had already hanged myself. My mother lost her senses when she saw me hanging from a rope. My brother took me on his lap and got me down from the rope. Then my brother took me to the hospital.”

It has been reported that 51 young brides in Bangladesh committed suicide due to mistreatment by their parents-in-law in just one month in 2004.