From the beginning of the beginning, women have experienced violence at the hands of men. On the seven continents, domestic violence, war rape and sexual assault continues into the twenty-first century. Consider the other types of abuse females’ experience: emotional, verbal, social, financial, religious, cultural. Whether communist countries, socialist countries, or democratic countries—the war on women rages on and on and on.
Violence towards women and girls is being labeled as a global pandemic. The World Health Organization concluded that violence against women is a “global public health problem of epidemic proportions, requiring urgent action.”
Why do males use patriarchal power to control and abuse women? Because they can.
Women are being murdered by men they know and men they don’t know. Person hood and personal power withheld—replaced by terror, torture, and trauma.
I suggest that men read The Last Girl: My Story of Captivity, and My Fight Against the Islamic State by Nadia Murad. In 2014, Murad along with thousands of young women and girls (from the Yazidi community in Iraq) was captured and forced into sexual slavery by ISIS. Three months later, she escaped.
Women objectified by monstrous men become females with minds and bodies ravaged and raped. Cowardly males with seared consciences consumed by corrosive ideologies of evil and immorality—soulless creatures existing in their fists. They are dead men walking—zombies that still take breaths. Deaf eyes looking upon their deviant deeds with cancerous corneas—they have ceased being human. Violence is used to humiliate, oppress, and punish. And as you read Murad’s story, imagine these girls are your daughters or sisters or nieces. Taste the salt in their tears. Hear their petrified screams. They cry out for rescue, but nobody comes.
The British medical journal The Lancet (2014) released a series on Violence Against Women and Girls, calling on governments to respond to violence against women. The Lancet urges funding of programs that challenge male control over women; that reduce levels of childhood exposures to violence; that reform discriminatory family laws; that strengthen women’s economic and legal rights; and that eliminate gender inequalities in access to employment and secondary education. www.thelancet.com/.
At the World Health Assembly in 2016, Member States endorsed a global plan of action on strengthening the role of the health systems in addressing interpersonal violence, in particular against women and girls and against children. Healthcare workers are being trained in Syria, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Myanmar, Uganda for the purpose of helping female survivors of violence.
The global plan of action was adopted with a resolution (EB 138.R3) that was co-sponsored by 44 Member States including: Australia, Brazil, Canada, Georgia, Guatemala, Iceland, India, Mexico, Norway, Switzerland, Thailand, Tunisia, Turkey, United States of America, Uruguay, Zambia, and the European Union. www.who.int/.
Leaders in countries across the globe need to declare a peace treaty against domestic violence and sexualized violence on behalf of females. When will men stand up for the rights of women to life lives free from violence in every home, every community, every town, every region, every country? Because females are humans—not property. Men do not own women.
When will husbands, partners, fathers, and sons stand up for women? Home is supposed to be a haven—not a hellacious hideout.
When will pastors, ministers, rabbis, and religious leaders stand up for women? Members of churches, temples, synagogues, mosques, and places of worship must take a stand. And keep standing.
When will governments and politicians take a stand? Even in countries with trained police, laws and criminal justice systems, female violence continues.
Violence against women happens during times of peace and during times of war.
No more excuses for inaction on violence against women. Exploitation, cruelty, and abuse against women will not stop until men stand up and speak out.
Violence against women and girls no more across the globe.
Reach:Melissa Martin, Ph.D, is an author, columnist, educator, and therapist. She lives in Scioto County. www.melissamartinchildrensauthor.com. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.