Esther Dingemans is the director of the Dr. Denis Mukwege Foundation, based in the Netherlands, with a branch in Switzerland. Together with world renowned activist Denis Mukwege, the organization puts rape as a weapon of war and conflict related sexual violence on the international agenda and lobbies for scaling up support for survivors. Previously, Esther […]
Abused… with some memories a little hazy? Well rest assured… remember, you are not crazy. For abusers twist truth… and pound you with repeated lies… as a way to control and manipulate… while the real truth is disguised. And after years go by… and the web of lies has grown… sometimes it takes others to […]
I believe that abortion will be always a polemic subject. Each person has their own reasons and we should respect their choice.
By Huffington Post
I am not a Stereotype
Stereotypes Hurt. No More Labels!!
Women of all colors, races, religions ethnic groups and nationalities face double jeopardy.
I will not be defined by the narrow conventions of your mangled mind.
Me and Patti LaBelle got a new attitude.
I will not be typecast by the slant of my eyes, the color of my skin or country of origin.
I am a Woman of faith of dignity who demands and commands respect.
I refuse to suffer indignities of your racist sexist perversions.
I follow the laws of God as dictated by my belief system whatever it may be.
I am not an exotic playtoy or life size Barbie doll existing only to gratify, satisfy or fulfill your twisted sadistic carnal predilections.
I am not the one and today is not your day.
I will not be afraid and will not back down.
I am not a victim.
I am more than a survivor.
I am defiant.
You do not have license to ill.
My height, weight, shape do not delineate me as a loose woman or a hot number.
I am not your Ethiopian Chocolate Fantasy or submissive Asian delight found in the back covers of men’s magazines.
I am not your Indian Maiden with feathers in her hair or a sari wrapped around her waist.
If I’m a Lesbian nothing between your legs will make me straight and certainly does not impress me.
Whatever fever you got, be it Jungle Fever, Yellow Fever, Red Fever, Hot Spicy Latina Fever, I’m about to throw cold water all over it and knock you out cold. Get over yourself. You’re not all that and a bag of chips.
I choose who, when, where and if I will lay my body down.
I am the Goddess and only the worthy may gain access to the Temple. As Women we are called to maintain order in the Universe. Ladies ~ Realize your calling.
Ladies sexual abuse, workplace bullying and sexual harassment is the Elephant in the Room that everybody sees but fails to acknowledge its presence. Instead we step lightly around him hoping he will go away of his accord. Do not remain silent.
Speak up. Speak out.
I remember this time when I was about 12 years old, while at the pool, and a boy, who was more like a young man, was dunking me in the water. I remember it was all fun and games for the first few dunks. It was around the third or fourth dunk that things got […]
If you are in immediate danger, please call 911
January is National Stalking Awareness Month and it is fundamental to alert the society that stalking should be taken seriously. Classifying as a childish behavior and ignoring the signs of being stalked are very common behaviors in our society, however, a lot of cases can quickly escalate and the victim can end up abused and/or dead.
According to the Stalking National Center, about 7.5 millon people are stalked in one year in United States.
- 61% of this number are female victims are stalked by a current or former intimate partner.
- 76% of intimate partner femicide* victims have been stalked by their intimate partner.
- 67% had been physically abused by their intimate partner.
- 89% of femicide victims who had been physically assaulted had also been stalked in the 12 months before their murder.
- 79% of abused femicide victims reported being stalked during the same period that they were abused.
- 54% of femicide victims reported stalking to police before they were killed by their stalkers.
Unfortunately, threatening, attacking, assaulting and killing are situations suffered by the victims. Stalkers can be unpredictable and dangerous. In addition, their behaviors do not follow a partner; they can start an indirect communication by texting and suddenly be at the victim’s doorstep.
So, if you are a victim suffering from being stalked, what should you do about it?
The guide has several safety tips such as:
- Have a phone nearby at all times, preferably one to which the stalker has never had access. Memorize emergency numbers, and make sure that 911 and helpful family or friends are on speed dial.
- Vary routines, including changing routes to work, school, the grocery store, and other places regularly frequented.
- Do not interact with the person stalking or harassing you. Responding to stalker’s actions may reinforce their behavior.
Being well-informed and prepared will keep you safer.
Help us to raise awareness about stalking. It is real and must be taken seriously. If you were stalked and would like to share your story with us. Please send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
1. the act of killing a woman, as by domestic partner
or a member of a criminal enterprise
2. massacre of women and girls
We Are All The Same Project ideas started with my sketchbook, #weareathesame, that I made for The Sketchbook Project organized by the Brooklyn Art Library.
#weareallthesame is a piece that tries to translate the pain and the blood of every single woman who is suffering from sexual exploitation and domestic violence. Every person who touches this book is literally going to be marked. I hope that attention-getting effect pushes each individual to speak out about these issues.
I witnessed domestic violence in my family, and it is very challenging to talk about it. The victims and the aggressors of my life were people that I love and I loved (passed away). In summary, the internal mental and emotional scars are going to be carried with me for my entire life; these memories are translated to people around me thru my speech and anxiety. Speaking out thru art and media is fighting against domestic violence and human trafficking.** It is also an urging to place gender equality and women’s empowerment paramount within our society.
Every time that I meet my friends from college, they remind me how crazy I was for reporting illegal transsexual prostitution, writing about drug trafficking, and dreaming about covering national and international wars. The dream never happened. I believe that my choices were for the best in order to heal various personal issues.
However, an outstanding opportunity to be working for the research department of Half the Sky a few years ago made my urge of speaking out about society issues awaken even further. Working for only six months, I had the opportunity to speak with people from different cultures and classes who were trafficked, who suffered all kinds of abuse at home and on the street. So many stories were told to me, and so deeply moved me, that I decided to do my own research after I finished that project. My friends from college, and I, applied for a different fund in Brazil to report stories of women that were forced into slavery in the sex tourism industry, girls who were trafficked into Spain and many more sad stories of kids who are sexually abused by their parents by the age of 5.
Shocked, by how some people can be so cruel, combined with my own experiences of witnessing domestic violence, made me create this project to speak up about the abuses, but those negative actions also promoted the gender equality and women’s empowerment I am driven to make a reality now! My personal goal is to study deeply how race, sexual inequality, history, women’s behaviors and combined projects are the sequential result of an abusive society.
I am Brazilian and the facts listed below break my heart.
- According to the UN, Brazil has the 5th highest index of femicides in the world.
- According to PRI, “the number of women killed in homicides in Brazil keeps on increasing”
- Also according to PRI, this number is higher among black women, which highlights racial discrimination issues that also plague Brazil.
- According to the Mapa da Violência 2015 (“Map of Violence 2015”), the main source of data and information on the topic in the country, there are 13 femicides every day in Brazil.
Read the complete article below.
The movement #NiUnaMenos started in Argentina, but its message and impact has crossed the borders of the country and is now the voice of all Latin America protesting violence against women. On November 25th, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women established by the United Nations, women marched in Rio de Janeiro, São […]
I was watching this video and I decided to share it with you. Ione Wells – How We Talk About Sexual Assault Online.
“Let us hold people to account, without descending into a culture that thrives off shaming and injustice ourselves.”
by Vanessa Daniela
I know it is painful to write about our traumas, let alone seeing our deepest, more raw, and highly embarrassing feelings in print. If, we do not talk about the pain and humiliation we feel, we will never be heard. Worse yet, violence is going to keep happening over and over again to other women and girls unless we say, “Stop!” through any media possible.
I would like to tell you a story that I heard on November 3rd on the #Guyswefucked podcast. If you never listen to it, please do not judge by the name. The hostesses, Corinne Fisher and Krystyna Hutchinson, are always telling funny stories, but also discussing relevant subjects such as sexism, racism, and women’s rights.
I will summarize the letter that one of the hostesses narrated: A girl asked for help with a tough situation that she has been in for far too long. When she was a freshman in college, she became an EMT on the College Rescue Squad. What she thought was the best decision she had made, because she loved to help people and she was very willing to help anyone regardless of the situation. The Squad worked very closely with the police and dealt with women and girls who were raped or had gone thru vulnerable situations related to their gender.
After one year working at the Rescue, the Rescue captain started flirting with her. She considered him only as a coworker and did not want to give him any chance to think otherwise because she thought that was not appropriate. She felt they were on honest terms until she found out that she had been taken off from the Squad list as an EMT eligible to enter in an advanced class to gain her certification. She was so mad after this discovery that she was determined to work even harder toward her goal. She came to work, even during her time off, to help people.
The Captain was always on her shift, even when he was not working. In the beginning, she thought that was annoying, but then she thought again. Perhaps that situation would be good because he could see how much effort she was putting in. She hoped he would sign her off to take the advanced class. After a month of this pattern of behaviors, she was glad to be training with on the duty crew. However, one night when the duty crew got a call, they left by themselves – without her.
Since she thought the training was done, she started to pack up the equipment. However, the Captain told her she was not finished. He said that he wanted to expand her knowledge and see her work even harder before leaving; he told her that would start with the heart monitor. He told her to lie on the stretcher and take the role of a patient. She was hesitant, immediately a sick feeling come over her.
She asked him if they could use the dummy as the heart patient, but he said, “No. Then he explained that it was in the training closet. And, as this was going to be a quick training, he did not want to get it out.
She accepted the role of the patient with the reassurance that he said it would be a fast training exercise. He started putting the electrons on her, but as she was wearing a sports bra; it was hard for him to put them on. When he told her to take off the sports bra, she refused. Then, he told her to lie down. He got his trauma shears and started cutting her other clothes off. She tried to fall back and push him away, but she was too weak against his strength. She screamed and asked him to stop! However, he did not listen to her. At that point, she mentally blacked out. She only remembered the heart monitor beeping really fast because her heart was pounding so rapidly. When she became conscious and looked down, her clothes were all cut. He said that the training was over.
It took a week for her to get the nerve to go the campus police, but they did not help her. They just made offensive jokes. She went to different police departments; nobody would believe her. After that, she took a month off from the College Rescue Squad, but the captain always would try to talk with her in class. She tried to go back to the Rescue Squad. However, she would have a panic attack every time due to recalling her traumatic experience in that space. She lost friends and she was labeled as “a drama queen.” So, she decided to transfer schools and rescue squads. EMT teams are like a community as it is a hard job woven with trust in each other; no one would give her a recommendation because of the effects of trust being ripped away by her captain. She was finally able to transfer as an EMS to a town that was close by.
After a year of trying to recover from her traumatic experience, going to therapy, and moving to a new location, she was able to move inside the new organization. She got the job she wanted. Soon, the captain from the College Rescue Squad got a job as ED tech in the hospital where she reported. He was off College Rescue Squad since he had graduated from college; the other squad was all just college students. His new job in the hospital was basically to assist the nurses. Now, her job was to bring patients and transfer their care to him, which made her sick to her stomach. Even though, she knew they were in good hands in their relationship to his medical skills, her haunting memories of his violation of her trust on a personal level would not rest in her mind.
However, she continued to do her job. One night she got a call to rescue a seventeen-year-old female who was raped at gunpoint. She and her team got there and it appeared like any other rape call: (1) careful not to mess up a crime scene, (2) make sure that the patient was medically stable, and (3) try to get the story right from the victim. Protocol demands that EMT’s advocate for the victims they rescue even after they drop them off in the hospital. Sometimes EMT’s testify in court, if necessary. EMT’s document everything they find to have accurate written records. This procedure is so important because usually EMT’s are the first people to contact with victims after an assault.
All rape calls hit an empathetic emotional hot nerve for her. She was always ready to help those victims with a higher level of compassion than other EMT’s. She promised every girl that each of them would safe in the hospital. However, this one night, when her team arrived at the hospital and entered a room, former “Captain” shows up. He introduces himself to the victim and asks to take her vitals. She lost her ability to remain calm inside; she did not know what to do. She watched her rapist touch this new, young, recently traumatize rape victim in less than one hour from the time that her assault had happened. The pain that she felt at the moment was worse than what she had felt during the time when she was being raped. Her drive to protect this younger victim overcome her ability to remain either emotional calm or physically detached.
She told the hospital staff that the young girl victim should have a female staff member take her vital signs. Luckily, the former “Captain” was escorted from the room. She watched this scene and heard her inner voice saying, “It kills me to know that he is there treating people who went thru the same trauma I did and then they are in a vulnerable situation again in the hospital when he is present!”
She went to the police, friends, and organizations to explain the situation. She spoke the truth, but she was not heard. None of the people she reached out to listened to her. They did not listen, or take any action; they only made sure that the victim was okay. However, they did nothing to her abuser; he was still in the same hospital with that new victim. She is still trying very hard to get him fired from that position. She does not know what to do anymore to protect other women from harm except to speak out again, and again.
We hope that this girl victim finds the help she needs as well as all the newer victims of rape. Speak up, immediately, and later too; our voice will be heard here in print forever.
For the complete story please find the link to the podcast
Guys We Fucked
Episode from November 3rd, 2016
By Dr. Jacqueline
I am so profoundly grateful that traumatic scars are not visible from the outside. Had they been, I would have lived my life looking like Cher’s son in “Mask.” Instead, I was beaten and emotionally abused entirely because of my gender. I was raped and impregnated entirely because of my gender. My first child was legally taken from me entirely because of his gender, ‘Had you given birth to a girl, we would have given her up for adoption,” my mother smirked as she told me just hours after my son was born.
In January of 1962, I was almost 15 years of age, but by today’s standards, what I knew about my body, reproduction, or sex in general was about that of today’s toddlers. There was no Internet in 1962, no sex education classes, no older or young siblings in my home, no long term friendships in my transient military lifestyle (I’d experienced 23 moves by age eight), and no access to books to answer any questions about how my body functioned. Not once had my mother said, “I love you,” read me a story, or said a kind word to me. She was totally absorbed in staying a numb as possible with alcohol and prescription drugs while finding fault with anything I did or said. Yet, she talked a lot in public to strangers, “I wanted six tall sons, and all I got was Jackie,” was her mantra.
She beat me many times a month. Also, she kept detailed lists of what she considered to be my transgressions to make sure each one was converted into another physical beating as soon as my father returned home. She bragged to others about her adeptness with making sure I was never “a spoiled only child.” Not a single teacher, military staff, or military medical personnel ever questioned my body having bruises in various states of healing.
My father was usually away (as long as a year) following military orders. I learned later that he applied for as many T.D.Y’s (temporary active duty) as possible. He did anything to be away from my overbearing, always complaining, alcoholic mother. He told me that she was a total embarrassment to him and kept him from ever making permanent officer status; he was a Warrant Officer when he served in WWII.
My parents knew each other only 28 days before their wedding: August 6, 1940. My Roman Catholic Polish father was 5’ 8” tall then; my Lutheran Scottish heritage mother was 6’ 1.” His parents disowned the couple. The “why” reply they each gave in to years of questions from friends about their initial attraction was: “We both dreamed of having six tall sons.”
My mother was, as usual, in bed that early January morning when Bill Fulford (18), a Navy dependent, came over to get me to walk to school. I was wearing a large circle skirt, down to the top of my Bobby Socks, over at least one 100-yard stiffly starched petticoat. I did not refuse when Bill wanted to hold me gently and lovingly on our couch, “To neck” he said. But somehow, though all that nylon, he ejaculated on my underwear. I was too ignorant to know what on earth that wetness was that I asked him about as we walked to school. “It’s nothing,” he replied.
But, soon I found out that it was not – “nothing;” I was pregnant.
Before and since January 1962, my body was knocked down, kicked, and beaten with hands, sticks, wooden paddles, rulers, metal fly-swatters (with the fabric gone, so the rusty wire cut me) and more. However, after that date, each beating ended with military issue steel toed black leather boots with zippers to hold in extra insulation and weight was driven into my body lying sprawled out on the floor. Today, my hips, back, and legs hurt all the time; my spine is horribly twisted and my knees fail me. I think you now know why.
By May 1962, I was in Trenton, New Jersey, in a nunnery. To this day, I have a dear friend, “My Big Sister” from those months of being hidden away. As I gave birth before the age of 16, I lost legal rights to my perfect baby boy. All I was able to offer him was his first name. My parents pretended they adopted him. I came home to even more hatred being expressed toward my gender: “A son would never have caused us this grief!” they yelled at me. I felt so dirty.
So, I married a man whose parents were kind to me; I ignored the fact that he was so much like my mother. He was also an alcoholic and physically violent, but that was my normal. He needed to have a child to avoid the draft; I was proven to be fertile and willing to work outside the home. As soon as my gorgeous daughter was born, and appeared to be going to live (she three holes in her heart, and had suffered a heart attack at four-and-a-half months of age), he left us to be with the lady whom he had been in love with for years.
Soon, I was a divorcee, a mother, and “Just a waitress” at just barely 19 of age. My parents had disowned me, my beloved maternal grandparents were dead, and I had never had contact with any other relatives. So, I married a certified brilliant, but mentally twisted, father of two who said he loved the idea of a blended family. Again, I ignored the fact that he was an alcoholic and physically violent toward me, as once again that was my normal.
My oldest son was 5 when his daughter (then 6), his son (then 4) and my daughter (then 3), became a family. For nearly seven years, I worked three jobs help him to be awarded a Ph.D. at the University of Illinois without any debt and to pay child support for his daughter and son. He beat me even outdoors in front of the neighbors, and yet, no one ever stopped him – even the police I called.
The day he graduated he announced at the dinner table, “From now on you will all call me Sir!” When I laughed, he slapped me so hard my body went through the doorway into the living room. A few weeks later, I found him having sex with our foster daughter – she was 17. Later I learned that he was also having sex with my oldest son at the same time. Although we divorced in 1974, it was not until his death in February of 2015 that his bullying of me ceased. His last revenge for not staying married to him was to instill in my oldest son the same disrespectful attitude toward women that Donald Trump’s video released in October 2016 displayed.
It was a long hard road to learn to love myself; it took nearly half a century. I did many things to assure myself that I was loveable. The first was entering college late in life, and the last was getting my doctorate in 2010; that was 43 years after I swore that I would earn a Ph.D.
Today, I focus on empowering those who are ESL or Special Education students, especially girls. I have over 20 years of marriage to my best friend. I have been an ordained minister and the manager of a non-profit since 1986. And, last but very far from least, I have a daughter whom I love, respect, and could not imagine being more perfect. She too has spent her adult empowering girls and women.