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Pornography, Prostitution, Rape and Sexual Assault

End the Violence Against Women Now

One in 3 women and girls may be beaten, coerced into sex or otherwise abused in their lifetime. Shocking, isn’t it?

But what’s equally upsetting is that most women don’t denounce their abusers because they are afraid of further violence and of being stigmatized. Help us speak out for these women.  Add your name to this rapidly growing book of names so it becomes a powerful lever to advocate for change. Be counted and let survivors of violence know that they can count on you.

Add your name to this rapidly growing book of names.

Thanks, Helzeph.

Heart

Discussion

8 thoughts on “End the Violence Against Women Now

  1. Signed, and I’ve passed it onto some friends.

    Posted by sparklematrix | April 25, 2008, 10:37 pm
  2. Signed and sent to my email where I can forward it more easily.

    Thanks for this!!

    Posted by Gayle | April 26, 2008, 1:46 pm
  3. When women take seriously the need to train their daughter self-defense, and the day that every girl strikes back with brutal force against the bully boys on the play ground, that will be the day the world will start turning into a safer place for women and girls.

    We have to realize that men brutalize women and girls because they can. Women the world over never seem to realize that when a civil “male’ war comes along, their male neighbors are going to turn into rapists and killers. Just ask the women in Rwanda.

    We can talk about this male violence endlessly on these blogs, but really I think it is high time that women realize that men are monsters, that they don’t care what they do, and that men feel entitled to abuse, rape, and humiliate women.

    When women take charge and stop “producing” the oppressors, then we’ll see something new in the world. Men will change when women force them to. It’s as simple as that.

    I see no change in men. All of this stuff could have been written 40 years ago or 150 years ago or 2000 years ago.

    Fight back women. Refuse to have male children, reduce this population of violent tyrants. Seems simple to me.

    Posted by Satsuma | April 27, 2008, 12:52 am
  4. I have an brief story to add to this. I am the mother of a seven year old boy. He was at a park recently and decided to make a joke about a little girls panties, that he happened to catch a glimpse of. She took great offense to his behavior and threw rocks at him. The other little girls on the playground joined in and threw rocks at him. He came home crying and upset, expecting me to storm over to the park to defend him. Instead I told him this, “The lesson you learned today, is not disrespect women. Though you are a boy and think that you are tougher and stronger, today you learned that a girl is more than capable of defending herself.” He was not at all please but I believe he learned a valuable lesson at an early age.

    Posted by Renee | April 28, 2008, 3:31 am
  5. Hey, Renee, thanks for that, and so true. Respect for girls is something boys have to be taught from the time they are small, given all the messages they receive constantly that it’s funny or okay to be disrespectful towards girls and women.

    Posted by womensspace | April 28, 2008, 4:23 pm
  6. News on the WarFront for Women’s HUMAN RIGHTS….

    alert:

    from Iran, FEMINISTS ARE WHORES AND SPIES–ATTACKS ARE INCREASING–BLOGS/WEBSITES ARE BEING SHUT DOWN

    Tehran, 27 May (AKI) – A top Iranian cleric from the northeast, Ayatollah Ahmad Elmalhoda, has reportedly called feminists “whores and foreign spies”.

    “These whores, clutching a piece of paper in their hands to gather signatures, are working for foreign powers and want to destabilise the Islamic Republic,” said Elmalhoda.

    He is the highly influential prayer leader in the northeastern holy Shia city of Mashad.

    Elmalhoda has called on the government to “intervene decisively against these whores, because it is improper to leave them to act with impunity.”

    A few weeks ago, Elmalhoda said women who do not wear the Islamic veil as instructed “turned men into animals.”

    Verbal attacks against feminists in Iran are also being accompanied by a vast judicial offensive.

    Eight feminists involved in a campaign to gather “a million signatures in favour of equality” were recently given jail terms of various lengths and sentenced to public floggings.

    The Iranian authorities have in the last two weeks censured twelve websites close to the feminist movement.
    http://www.adnkronos.com/AKI/English/Religion/?id=1.0.2200287203

    ————

    With hotel chains setting up Sharia hotels [MANDATORY SHARIA FOR ALL WHO ENTER],

    the Archbishop of England calling for Sharia [esp for women] to appease [April 2008],

    and Banking setting up Sharia law–won’t be long,

    till Feminism [whores and spies] in America, will be shut up, via the Sharia advocates…

    won’t be long at all.

    hilarious thing is, is the number of women, who have helped to bring this on….

    go figure…

    Posted by Tasha | May 30, 2008, 11:32 pm
  7. Just in case someone is wondering…

    yes, I am VERY VOCAL against the Sharia, and will continue to be so, as well as,

    I will fight the Sharia Courts in this country no matter what, and they can scream racist bigot till they are blue in the face,

    Why,

    for many reasons, but just a recent one,

    for Amina and Sarah, two young women, SHOT DEAD LIKE DOGS, by their father–

    Texas, in 2008–in the religious tradition of honor killing…

    RIGHT IN OUR COUNTRY,

    and I will be Vocal, until there is Justice, for those two women and all the other women like her,

    and if it means, going against some women, so be it.

    Human Rights for Women, TO HELL WITH RELIGIOUS EXCUSES AND TOLERANCE FOR ABUSES OF WOMEN/CHILDREN…

    in the meantime, if you aren’t aware of what public floggings are of women in Iran, you should be…

    when they flog women, they literally pull the skin right off their bodies, its an extremely horridly painful TORTURE,

    their crimes–WANTING EQUAL RIGHTS AS HUMAN BEINGS,

    not special rights, not even rights necessarily to abortion, but the RIGHT TO HAVE SOME SAY SO,

    in how they are treated,

    don’t believe the lies and the hype, sure they can divorce–MANDATORY LOSING THEIR KIDS/DAUGHTERS IN PROCESS–

    the numbers of women forced into trafficking and prostitution in Iran is just astronomical, so much for the whole purity thing/modesty,

    its not modesty, its barbarism and horrid suppression that, I truly don’t think cultural relativists/apologists understand.

    NOTHING INFURIATES ME MORE than to read all the anti-racism discourse among feminists then some of those same feminists will be apologetic and supportive of these very regimes that yes, CONDONE SLAVERY of women,

    half of the population of the human race. Once it was African Americans sold on auction blocks, like animals,

    Today, 2008–over half of the world,

    SELLS GIRLS AND WOMEN, INTO MARRIAGES AGAINST THEIR WILL–TO MEN, WHO ARE OLD ENOUGH TO BE THEIR GRANDDAD, [SOME OF THESE GIRLS YOUNGER THAN NINE, HAVING CHILDREN BY BIRTH AT THE AGE OF TEN, ONE MIDWIFE IN AFGHANISTAN SAID, SHE HAD TO HOLD A TEN YEAR OLD GIRL IN HER LAP WHILE SHE GAVE BIRTH, TERRIFIED AND NEARLY DIED],

    GIRLS/WOMEN BEATEN, ENSLAVED, TREATED WORSE THAN DOGS, RAPED REPEATEDLY, FORBIDDEN TO EVER BE OUTSIDE ALONE OR TO EVEN FEEL FOR ONCE,

    WHAT ITS LIKE TO HAVE WIND THROUGH THEIR HAIR…

    OR TO BE FREE–

    ITs not just the Veiling–ITS THE NOT BEING ABLE TO SING,

    TO DANCE,

    TO EVEN EAT ICE-CREAM IN PUBLIC [thats a fact…its too provocative]

    THATS SLAVERY…

    and I HATE IT.

    so, racist bigot, sure, pull out the race card CAIR–

    but I’ll fight that damn slavery of women, if it means my death.

    GUESS ITS THE OLE YANKEE IN ME,

    ABOLITION OF SLAVERY OF WOMEN NOW…

    AND I DO MEAN, NOW.

    END THE SLAVERY, END THE SEGREGATION/APARTHEID AGAINST WOMEN…

    NO EXCUSES, NO TOLERANCE FOR, NONE,

    RELIGIOUS LAWS BE DAMNED….

    Tasha

    Posted by Tasha | May 31, 2008, 3:54 am
  8. Not only that,

    lets stop calling the Holocaust in Sudan, ethnic cleansing and civil war…

    its Holocaust against those who won’t ‘convert’ to Islam…

    [Muslims butchering/raping and Forcing conversions of Non-Muslims],

    I’m sick of the PC covering up of what is really going on in Sudan/Darfur. Everyone KNOWs the truth–

    why not just say it.

    AND ITS NOT JUST IN SUDAN EITHER…

    IF we, are going to END the raping and butchering of women in these countries we HAVE to stop sugar coating the Reality of what is going on, and just confront it dead on…

    we would have NO ISSUE in doing so if it was Christians or Catholics or Jews…

    I”m sick, of the double standards…I don’t care WHAT RELIGION,

    none, have Any right, to FORCE CONVERSIONS OR TO PERSECUTE, RAPE, TORTURE ANY WHO CHOOSE TO CONVERT TO ANOTHER FAITH OR TO NO FAITH AT ALL…

    Several women this past year [one now] have been jailed, raped, and killed, for converting Away from Islam to another faith or in just refusing faith altogether and yet, its the very ones, who scream for tolerance,

    I say, if we Truly care about Women’s Human Rights–we Demand TOLERANCE FOR ALL…

    and confront the HYPOCRISY,

    either tolerance and freedom for All faiths/choice, or none,

    and I feel STRONGLY that as Feminists, we have a DUTY to stand up,

    for the most disenfranchised women on the planet, who are suffering alone…its really Pathetic, that the right wing, stands up for these women,

    the rest, are silent. I won’t be, neither should you,

    Regardless of whether you hate Christianity or Judaism or Religion,

    NO WOMAN, SHOULD BE FORCED TO CONVERT AGAINST HER WILL, OR PERSECUTED FOR HER ‘CHOOSING’ ANOTHER FAITH, NO MATTER WHERE SHE LIVES [no man either]

    AND NO WOMAN, SHOULD HAVE TO SUFFER ALONE–FOR MAKING,

    A CHOICE OF BELIEF.

    [case right now in Algeria, woman will be imprisoned for choosing a different faith–in Nigeria [if memory serves me correct] two 14 year old girls, kidnapped, forced to convert–were rescued, they were also going to be forced to marry…ripped apart from their families, this happens all the time, in North Africa, Pakastan, India, and now, the Zealot moonbats are declaring their fatwas over losing two girls whom they declare a religious right to kidnap, rape, and force into marrying and forcing into conversion],

    WE ARE TALKING KIDNAPPINGS, RAPES, FORCED CONVERSIONS AND FORCED MARRIAGES,

    and they are increasing in parts of the world and the neoliberals and capitalists and cultural apologetics are being silent,

    THESE ARE BLATANT HUMAN RIGHT VIOLATIONS…of WOMEN.

    IT is FUTILE,

    to assert Human Rights for only Some women, and leave out millions of other women just because its controversial or that its dangerous or that it might offend,

    or god forbid, have the appearance of right wing or even right wing support…

    For far too long, I’ve read, the Right Wing, and they are right,

    in their question, WHERE IS THE ANGER OF FEMINISTS?

    I must say, I concur, and ask,

    WHERE IS THE ANGER, THE RAGE?

    We aren’t talking, about women’s choice to wear high heels or not, or even about whether women should be sexually active or not…meaning, the typical justified complaints of women in the west,

    we aren’t even talking about poverty in the US,

    these are Human Right violations that are So severe, So horrid, So just beyond Any REASONABLE HUMAN EXPLANATION,

    and yet–for the most part–there is silence, complicity and in that silence,

    basically giving the ‘yes’ to,

    ITS NOT ENOUGH, THAT THERE ARE A FEW EX-PATS [WOMEN] WHO ARE SPEAKING OUT…

    who have lost home, country, family, life, who live with a constant need for 24 hour security due to death threats and retaliation,

    ITS NOT ENOUGH.

    its not ENOUGH–TO JUST GIVE LIP SERVICE…

    in 2008–we have theocrats/autocrats who not only Tolerate human right abuses against women simply because they are daughters of Eve,

    we have theocrats/autocrats and NATION STATES that SANCTION AND PROTECT AND HONOR THE ABUSE OF WOMEN’S HUMAN RIGHTS…

    and THEN, THEY DEMAND WE ALLOW IT IN THE WEST,

    I say, NO, I say NO, and I say,

    it shouldn’t only be the Chestlers in the world standing up…

    IT SHOULD BE ALL WOMEN/FEMINISTS…

    yes its controversial, Yes it means being called a Western Imperialists, Yes it means being called a racist and bigot and every other demonization there is….

    a traitor and what have you…Yes it means, being hated and being threatened,

    BUT IF WE DON’T STAND IN THE FACE OF OPPOSITION NOW,

    HOW IN THE HELL, ARE WE GOING TO STAND IN THE FACE OF THE SAME OPPOSITION AND INDIFFERENCE,

    WHEN ITS OUR DAUGHTERS, WHO ARE AT RISK OF BEING RULED ONE DAY, OR OUR GRANDDAUGHTERS,

    but it shouldn’t even Take that…NOT ONE WOMAN/GIRL,

    NOT ONE, SHOULD LIVE IN THAT KIND OF FEAR–OR FORCE, OR SUPPRESSION OR OPPRESSION,

    NOT ONE.

    We fight and scream about Porn, we fight and scream about Male white PATRIARCHY, we fight and we scream about Sexism and Misogyny and Heterosexual Male Supersupremacy,

    yet we fight not, for the sheer blatant abuses towards women that isn’t just OVER THERE ANYMORE,

    its OVER HERE….

    and BECOMING MORE SO.

    The more we stay silent, the more we Aid those who oppress women in the name of Religion and Sharia, to oppress the women in communities HERE in the West,

    the MORE HONOR KILLINGS WILL HAPPEN, THE MORE RAPES OF WOMEN WILL HAPPEN WITH THE EXCUSE–THEY SHOWED THEIR ARM [SERIOUSLY, IN AUSTRALIA THIS IS HAPPENING], THE MORE WE WILL SEE JUDGES TELLING WOMEN BEING BEATEN EVERY DAY THAT THEY CAN’T DIVORCE BECAUSE THEIR ‘CULTURE AND SHARIA’ WON’T ALLOW IT [happened last year in Germany],

    AND THE MORE WOMEN AND GIRLS WILL DIE,

    IN OUR BACKYARDS.

    I say ENOUGH..I SAY ENOUGH OF THE COWARDICE, ENOUGH OF ONLY THE RIGHT WING MEN PUTTING UP A FIGHT [REGARDLESS OF ALL THAT ENTAILS] AND ENOUGH,

    OF OUR SKIRTING AROUND THE ISSUE,

    I say we STOP BEING AFRAID TO HOLD YES, CULTURE RESPONSIBLE, FOR HUMAN RIGHT VIOLATIONS,

    RELIGION TOO…

    if we Don’t, our Women’s Rights assertions, are USELESS.

    in America there are thousands of girls/women being forced to undergo FGMS, being forced to Marry at ridiculous ages, being forced to veil even if they don’t want to at the threat of being beaten or killed,

    being forced to marry men they choose not to,

    AND YET, WHERE IS THE PROTEST?

    They won’t protest, its too dangerous and not only that–where is THEIR SUPPORT????

    We HAVE SLAVERY RIGHT NOW, IN AMERICA…

    QUESTION IS, FOR ALL THESE SO CALLED -ANTI-SLAVE PEOPLE AND DEMANDS FOR REPARATIONS DUE TO SLAVERY IN THIS NATION–WHICH WAS, THAT SOUTHERN ‘CULTURE’ MIND YOU…–

    WHAT DO WE DO? ALLOW IT? IF WE DO, DEMOCRACY IS A LIE..FREEDOM IS A LIE…AND FEMINISM, ONLY APPLIES, TO SOME,

    NOT TO ALL.

    I’M NOT RIGHT WING–I’M INDEPENDENT LEFT/FAR LEFT–

    AND I SAY,

    ITS TIME, TO STOP, BEING COMPLICIT AND SILENT..AND APOLOGETIC, AND ITS TIME, TO CONFRONT THE SLAVERY OF WOMEN, NO MATTER WHAT–HEAD ON…

    from NPR–SLAVERY IN MODERN DAY AMERICA–OF WOMEN,

    Some Muslims in U.S. Quietly Engage in Polygamy

    by Barbara Bradley Hagerty

    Listen Now [7 min 53 sec] add to playlist

    This is part one of a two-part report.

    Hear Part Two of This Report

    *
    May 28, 2008
    Philly’s Black Muslims Increasingly Turn to Polygamy

    All Things Considered, May 27, 2008 · Although polygamy is illegal in the U.S. and most mosques try to discourage plural marriages, some Muslim men in America have quietly married multiple wives.

    No one knows how many Muslims in the U.S. live in polygamous families. But according to academics researching the issue, estimates range from 50,000 to 100,000 people.

    You can see some of the women involved in polygamous marriages in the lobby of Sanctuary for Families, a nonprofit women’s center in New York City. It bursts with color as a dozen women in bright African dresses and head wraps gather for a weekly noon meeting for West African immigrants. The women come each week to this support group where they discuss hard issues, such as domestic abuse, medical problems, immigration hurdles and polygamy.

    Polygamy is freely practiced in parts of Africa, and almost every one of the women in the group has experienced polygamy firsthand – either as a wife in a plural marriage or having been raised in families with one father who has two or more wives.

    Group member Sarah says that in her native Guinea, the husband springs it on his wife that he’s going to marry someone else. Sarah, like the others interviewed for this story, would give only her first name.

    “Sometimes he say, ‘OK, I am going to be married tomorrow,’ or ‘I’m going to be married today.’ He’s going ask you like that. It happened to me,” she says.

    Sarah begins to cry. Others nod in sympathy. These women are all Muslim. The Koran states that men may marry up to four women. The Prophet Mohammad had multiple wives.

    But there’s a restriction, says Sally, another group member. The husband cannot favor one woman over another – with his wealth or his heart.

    “You have to love them the same way, share everything the same way, equally,” says Sally. “Nobody can do that. It’s impossible.”

    Invisible Lives

    Still, Muslims practice polygamy in the U.S., despite state laws prohibiting it.

    Here’s how a man gets around the laws: He marries one woman under civil law, and then marries one, two or three others in religious ceremonies that are not recognized by the state. In other cases, men marry women in both America and abroad.

    Many women keep quiet for fear of retribution or deportation.

    For example, Sally’s husband moved to the United States from the Ivory Coast before she did. When Sally joined him, she found he had married someone else in America. But without legal immigration papers, she didn’t dare come forward and report him to the authorities.

    She said when she arrived in the U.S., her husband and his new wife put her in the basement.

    “They told me to cook, clean, do everything. I didn’t speak English. And he told me, ‘Don’t say nothing. You say something, she’s going make you deported. And me, I’m going to be in jail.'”

    Eventually, Sally left the house with her children, and now works at a hair braiding salon. But that fear of deportation prevents many from leaving their polygamous relationships.

    “Legally, they’re invisible,” says Julie Dinnerstein, a senior attorney for Sanctuary for Families. “If you are the second or third or fourth wife, that marital relationship is not going to be recognized for immigration purposes. It means if your husband is a citizen or green card holder, he can’t sponsor you. It means if your husband gets asylum, you don’t get asylum at the same time. The man is always going to be in a position of greater power.”

    Secret Ceremonies

    In the past decade, Muslim clerics began to notice that some men who wanted a religious wedding were already married to someone else.

    According to Daisy Khan, who heads the American Society for Muslim Advancement and is married to an imam, polygamy is more common among conservative, less educated immigrants from Africa and Asia. It is rarer among middle-class Muslims from the Middle East. She adds that nowadays, imams do background checks on the grooms to make sure they’re not already married in their home countries.

    Some clerics in the U.S. perform second marriage ceremonies in secret.

    Khan, who does pre-marriage counseling, says she always raises the issue of polygamy with engaged couples.

    “I also explain to them that as a woman, you have certain rights, and as a man, he may one day exercise his right to have a second wife,” Khan says. “And usually the man says, ‘No, no, no. I’m never going to do that.’ And I say, ‘Well, in case you ever get tempted, how about we put that in the contract?'”

    For Others, a Blessing

    Abed Awad, a family law attorney in New Jersey, says for many Muslim men, multiple wives means many children — which is considered a blessing in Islam. And since Islam allows for sexual relations only in marriage, polygamy legitimizes the relationship in God’s eyes.

    Awad says conservative Muslims argue that in polygamy, “You’re actually responsible for that person as your spouse. And the sexual relationship becomes a relationship of love and companionship as opposed to just a sexual fling.”

    Awad stresses he does not condone polygamy. But he says some conservative Muslim women see some advantages — particularly those who are divorced or widowed.

    Mona, a Palestinian woman with six children from her first marriage, is happy to be a second wife. When Mona got divorced in 1990, she became a pariah in her conservative Muslim community in Patterson, N.J.

    “When ladies divorce,” she says, “the people look down on her — looking to her like [she’s] second class.”

    Then 14 years ago, a man approached her to be his second wife. She resisted at first but then grew to admire him and agreed to become his wife. She says her problems evaporated.

    “When I married the second husband, everybody’s OK,” she says, smiling. “If I go anywhere, I’m free, nobody talks, because I have a husband.”

    He provides for both of his families, and he divides time between the two homes. Mona says the first wife was initially angry, but she got used to it.

    “What is the problem? If he is not happy with the first marriage, why he stay all the life like this? You know, my religion is good because it gives man and woman another chance to be happy.”

    NPR is not revealing Mona’s last name, and her husband would not be interviewed for this story. Her husband could be charged with bigamy.

    ‘One Is Enough’

    At Mam African Hair Braiding salon in Queens, N.Y., husbands are often the topic of conversation.

    As the Senegalese owner, Miriam Dougrou, weaves cornrows on a young woman, she says that her father married four women and she had 19 or 20 siblings. She lost count. So did her father.

    “Sometimes he doesn’t know who’s who, and he forget the name” of his children and wives, she said.

    “He calls them No. 1 and No. 2,” says Dougrou’s husband, Timothy.

    Miriam Dougrou does not want Timothy to have a second wife. “Sometime he talked about it — like a joke. But I told him, ‘I’m not joking. Don’t tease me because I won’t be a second wife. I’m going to be the first and last wife.'”

    So does Timothy, who’s sitting in the corner keeping awfully quiet, want a second wife?

    “No,” he says with a half smile. “One is enough for me.”

    Related NPR Stories

    *
    Sep. 12, 2007
    Trial Brings Focus on Polygamy in America
    *
    Oct. 13, 2007
    American Muslim Family Chooses Polygamy
    *
    April 10, 2008
    Report of Abuse Prompts Raid of Polygamous Ranch

    Posted by Tasha | May 31, 2008, 4:29 am

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