Go On! Speak Out!

Posted on November 24th, 2008 by A/C

‘Everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration, without distinction of any kind, such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status. Furthermore, no distinction shall be made on the basis of the political, jurisdictional or international status of the country or territory to which a person belongs, whether it is independent, trust, non-self-governing or under any other limitation of sovereignty.’- The Universal Declaration of Human Rights

In this 21st Century after a millennium of War, Violence, physical, mental and Emotional Abuse to we continue to perpetrate and suffer such things.

If we look back over the history of the human race, it is shown we are capable of the most amazing things, space travel, exploration, scientific Endeavour’s, research into disease, moments of great Heroism and kindness, but intertwined with these great moments in history is moments of great horror.

It seems the human race has two faces, one of tremendous beauty, kindness, and caring, the other capable of most horrendous sins.

Most people believe and understand a person worth is not dependant on their skin colour, their faith, their size, gender, place of birth or indeed age.  Worth is not measured by the number of years they have been on this planet or the money in the bank, it is measured by something far less tangible, ‘Not how much we love but how much we are loved by others’

25th November is International Human Rights Day and International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women.

Both extremely important topics to recognize and speak about. Both subjects which individuals, families, authorities and governments have long swept under the carpet.
They are subjects, which at times contain information which most of us can only dream about in our most hated Nightmares and some details our imaginations could never fathom (thankfully).

To look back on history shows us many things, not the least being such things give no gains.
Moments in history where violence has been used such, as wars really have no place.  Those, which suffer, are not the people who perpetrate the circumstances, which brought about the violence, but the people, which have nothing to do with it.

It is not all doom and gloom as I have found some inspiration in the following:

Inspiration in the shift in the Global Communities thinking,
Inspiration in the attitudes of Nations around the globe,
Inspiration in Communities intolerance of this treatment,
In individual attitudes,
In the changing laws associated with such crimes.

To this day I still cannot understand why in any part of this great planet, Humans must treat each other in such disgusting and divisive ways.  Possibly my own Naivety or just wishful thinking taking a hold as some of the things I have learnt are beyond anything I though humans were capable of. But I am not going to tell you about all the horrible things imposed on the females of our species, nor am I going to try the Shock and Awe tactics used so painfully by our media to raise awareness.

I am simply going to ask every Flower Smeller out there a QUESTION.

YES! That is all just one.

WHY!

Why is Violence and Abuse allowed to continue?
Why we must put up with such disgusting behavior?
Why as women do we not stand up and say NO MORE!
Why do women suffer in silence too scared to speak out?
Why do we allow those committing Abuse to continue to do so?
Why if we know something is going on do we choose to ignore it?

What does it matter whether you are male or female, we both have a place within our societies.
Perhaps rather than focusing our genetic differences, placing boundaries within our societies and arguing who’s better, who’s right and wrong, maybe just maybe we should start focusing on what makes us humans, the roles we can play to further the next generations, the strength which lie in our respective genders, and how we can inspires others into the next millennium.

The Most Inspiring Day will be when

This is now longer happening,

When Men and Women, Boys and Girls see each other as equals.

Believe we each have equal value in our societies!

Respect each other as Human Beings

Trust in each other and ourselves regardless of our gender.

That day will be truly inspiring.


32 Responses to “Go On! Speak Out!”

  1. I agree, but one of the huge first steps is liking/loving yourself. If you are unable to do that, you put onto other people all of your bad feelings about yourself (projection). It takes a conscious effort and a desire to make a difference despite our brokenness as people. Everyone has brokenness, but it is what we do with that. Some remain angry and bitter and others take a better route. I keep thinking of the Awakening song that Jim shared. My question is when because we all have it within us. When is because it will change one day. As one person, in the global garden, I want to make a difference.

    Why? denial, fear, self-centered, don’t know what to do, don’t want to get involved, that is someone else’s problem. When are people going to learn that we need to take care of each other? Funny, every generation asks that question. When do we learn?

    Great post AC. Not an easy one to answer. But, we can start just in our own family, move on to friends, coworkers, those we interact with in the community, and continue to increase that circle.

  2. We all have the capacity within us for compassion and caring and the capacity to do horrendous things. We all have that within us as a psychological make up. It is how we grow up and handle what we are given in life that makes a difference, but not the only one. But, we all have both within…scary isn’t it. Most don’t really look at our darkside, but that is as important because it enables us to view those people who do horrendous things as broken people who gave into the easier. I sound like Star Wars…didn’t mean to, but there are amazing psychological truths in that movie.

  3. Gareth in Thailand says:

    And violence against men?

    Often forgotten there are men who are abused. Some men actually would never hit a woman no matter what, I am one of them and can proudly hold my head up high that its never happened. However I had a nutter girlfriend once who decided that when she was upset it was OK to lash out. I threw her out pretty sharpish after the third time it happened but was then chastised by a lot of mutual friends and had her nutter mother and father turn up and try and have a go at me. In the end I had to punch her father as he got a bit out of order and dumped the mutual friends as they had sided with the bunny boiler. Luckily the police took no interest and I got away with it, they decided it was 50/50 and probably would be classed as self defence however there was zero belief from all parties (police included) that I had a case, this is quite a common attitude and stories like this normally provoke one of a series of typical reactions.
    You’re lying;
    You must have hit her first;
    Laughter accompanied by lots of jokes about being hen pecked and so on;
    Disbelief;
    Dismissal as surely a woman can’t really beat you in a fight (except she’s the only one allowed to fight);
    You must have really done something to provoke her (sure, like leave the toilet seat up);

    One other thing to consider is the women who defend their partners. When I was 20 I saw a bloke hit his girlfriend/wife and when I stepped in and restrained him she attacked me and when berserk, I bid them farewell and thougth they were welcome to each other.

    Beware the bunny boilers.

    • A/C says:

      Bunny boilers havent heard that one years…. ;)

      Your point is totally valid one and I was hoping someone would throw Men’s abuse in..
      The stereo typing of domestic violence has always been men at women, but it can happen the other way..
      thats partly why I chose to combine the two…

      My boys would never hit a girl, thats not just Me mum saying it, the have said ‘You just don’t hit a girl ever’
      and thats that.. and quite frankly they wouldnt dare are they would have me to answer too…..
      There is nothing worse in this world than dissappointing your mother.

      My eldest had a heck of fight with his best mate at the time, nearly beat him into hospital if his other mates hadnt stepped in…
      He caught him hitting his girlfriend, she did go to hospital… My son was so enraged he lost it completely…. thankfully no charges where laid, as even the police said enough is enough (it had been an ongoing issue) they were hoping someone would do what my son did.. unfortunately it had to my boy….

      However if it had of been the other way around I would like to think the reaction would be similar if not very much less hands/fists on.. but I fear it would have been seen much like the reaction to yours was…

      Men being seen as whimps, sooks etc.. this is so wrong.. There are plenty of women out there who are more than capable of such things, its just that the guys dont say because mostly of the reason stated…

      Human Rights and the Elimination of Violence Period regardless of Gender…. Lets Stop it Now….

    • GIT,

      First, what are bunny boilers?

      Great comment. Men being abuse is a bigger problem. Not in that the frequency is higher, but they are the most underreported and underserved group in domestic violence and crimes of rape. However, the effects can be devastating.

      I’m glad you did what you did. Because it is never okay for anyone to be abused…Anyone, no matter the circumstance. That is an area that has more stigma than others than I’ve mentioned before. Abuse can happen to anyone anywhere. Men have the added burden of being stigmatized and often ridiculed.

      CC

      • arvind says:

        Yes Gareth, just what are bunny boilers?

        Coming from an Indian heritage, I must say women are still seen as second class citizens, and only slightly less in Indian communities in the west.

        Even in London in places like Southall you get to hear of some terrible cases of domestic violence against women.

        Growing up in Kenya one of my worst memories was of an Indian neighbour beating up his wife and only stopping when the neighbours intervened. There is just no excuse for such behaviour even though we could rationalise it by saying that everyone has their own issues.

        Maybe it all just comes down to not being loved enough.

        As for all this fighting around the world, I once had an inspirational quote on my wall during my days as a starry eyed student – “Wars will cease when men refuse to fight”

        Will such a day ever come?!

        I sincerely hope so.

        • Svasti says:

          I do believe ‘bunny boiler’ is a term coined after the Michael Douglas/Glenn Close movie “Fatal Attraction”. Y’know… the scene in the kitchen with the pots ‘n’ pans and the cooking and the missing pet rabbit?

          Say no more :)

        • A/C says:

          hehehehehe..

          I couldnt put it better.. lol
          very diplomatic…

  4. Excellent point, with your blog post AC. Just a few hours ago I was lamenting how much of our human history and even cultural mythos is filled with abuse of the weak and abuse of women. We’ve only so very recently achieved our status and recognition in the world and there are still so many places and cultures where people and women are being mistreated and abused. Every time I think about it I feel so lucky to have been born here in the states.

    Not that Britain and Australia aren’t great places either. :P

    • A/C says:

      We are lucky to born where we are, but it isnt equality, at least not here…
      Women still get paid less for the job as a man… there is plenty of discrimination etc..
      It is just that it isnt as plantent as it is in other places…

      Things are changing and both genders are begining to see there is a better way..
      The stats on Abuse and violent crimes against women is astounding, 1 in 3 women and girls.. in the USA alone and thats just the ones they know about..
      That doesnt count in mental scaring or any other effects from witnessing such things…..

      Shocking stuff..

      It will change it has too…..

  5. Jim says:

    A RIPPER article AC as they say in your neck of the woods…

    Humans rights for both boys n girls is the way forward – I believe that very few people in the world actually get out of bed at the start of the day to hurt and abuse others, right?

    • A/C says:

      Thanks Jim

      With the exception of a few I would have to say you are right, but by the end of the day, the story can be very different…
      Part of the trick is to know what is happening, and saying no more…

  6. Svasti says:

    Ah, A/C…

    [deep breath...]

    Violence against women… well, one particular woman – me – is the very reason my blog was born. Its my creative outlet for all of the pain, terror, trauma, repression, depression and post-traumatic stress I’ve been dealt as a result of someone’s inability to control themselves one night just over three years ago.

    So the topic of violence (and like Gareth rightly pointed out, not just male against female violence, but I’d also add in same gender violence too for that matter) is one I’ve been particularly close to for some time now. Without meaning to shamelessly plug my blog (although I guess I am!!) feel free to go have a read…

    I don’t think its a case of violence and abuse being allowed to continue. It happens because human nature is as it is. Within us all is the fight or flight mechanism. For those people without enough maturity and awareness – physical, mental and emotional abuse are outlets that help them feel more in control, less fearful. And sadly it becomes a pattern, a way of coping with whatever has been thrown in their direction.

    We don’t have to put up with this behaviour. He only got one shot at me, just that one night – the next day I was getting a protection order in place. But the internal damage he’d done had already set in. There’s been a huge toll in the rebuilding. And let me say (in case you hadn’t already guessed) that I’m not one of those lay down and take it types. I’ve fought for my healing really hard and I’ve been incredibly surprised at how long its took to regain a certain balance.

    I never thought PTSD could happen from an incident like mine. I thought it was something people suffered when they were in a war, or a major disaster. Its a very real and frightening phenomena, and its pretty friggin rough on the body, mind and soul.

    Cruelly, that balance has been thrown somewhat only very recently, with another repressed memory surfacing and dragging everything I thought I’d dealt with back to the surface. More PTSD, unexpected, unwelcome, unwanted. There’s no real warning. Its been incredibly humbling and painful to realise its not all over yet. Not that I thought it was all completely over – I know I have major trust issues with men – but I thought I was through the worst of emotional/mental trauma and turmoil.

    My brain is only just recovering from the very ‘jelly-like’ state that an episode turns it into. I’m back seeing my very helpful therapist. But none of it makes sense and everything – I mean everything – hurts. The panic attacks that go with those episodes? Have to be seen to be believed. After months of being free of this itchy scalp condition I had for years, its returned overnight (fear, panic, anxiety, trauma causing physical reactions).

    Women can and do say no – but its really cultural conditioning enmasse that people must work to change. Before I was assaulted, I could’ve never understood the impact such a thing can have on someone’s life. I’m guessing that’s the case for a whole lot of other people in the world too. They are complacent via ignorance – that sort of violence has never touched their lives and they can’t imagine why its important to really instill in their children the supreme wrongness of it all.

    Why the silence? Good question… I’m a smart, sassy, independent woman with a great career in the digital arena. I was carefree and never ever considered something like this could happen to me. Until it did. And people can tell you “its not your fault” a million times, but there’s a huge degree of shame and fear that goes along with this sort of experience.

    Shame – how could this happen to me? Why didn’t I know better? How is it I couldn’t see what he was like (and believe me, he showed no signs of being a violent type before this one night)?

    Fear – I don’t want people to feel sorry for me. I don’t want them to judge me as weak. I don’t want to be taken advantage of (there are people who pray on those in a vulnerable state). I don’t want to be looked upon as ‘different’ for what happened to me.

    The police… the night I was assaulted were exceptionally unhelpful. I guess they’ve got so much going on, so many ‘worse’ things to deal with… and they’re under-staffed. And we rely on our police forces to manage law and order. Yet violence like this is considered not enough of a problem to send a police car out to comfort someone who’s been severly traumatised and go arrest the bastard who did it.

    The night I was assaulted, many people would have heard my screams for help but no help came. And, very few people in my life have had enough courage, emotional fortitude and good old fashioned compassion to deal with the emotional aftermath that night has wrought in my life.

    I don’t mean to sound like I’m being dramatic or over-stating what happened. I hope I haven’t. I’ve had to be very careful about who I tell these things to – and for whatever reason its been so much easier to do in the anonymous environs of a blog. I’ve gained more support from people who don’t know me than from most of the people that do.

    Why? Well, I think as CC said, many people don’t want to look, lest they see something that reminds them of their own fears and/or mortality.

    I don’t judge them for that, I simply understand that not everyone is equipped that way.

    And I continue to talk to those who can listen and understand. And I continue my healing process, damn determined this will not cast a shadow over my life any longer than absolutely necessary.

    • Svasti,

      Congratulations for sharing this here! I’m so proud of you. You have come a long way. :-)

      (((Svasti)))

      CC

      • Svasti says:

        Thanks CC – just back from another session with my therapist tonight – its all good, but in the process of working it through, it damn well hurts, as you know…

    • A/C says:

      Svasti… Thank you for sharing your experience…

      Many blessing to you and hugs hugs and hugs….

      The PTSD is horrid… anxiety attacks, panic attacks, then there is the depression to go with it….
      The smallest thing can trigger anyone or all of them…. I hate it…. but you do learn to cope with it or is it that you learn to except it and move through it..

      Did they get that $%#@^&*( *&^%$$#….???

      Thats one heck of a journey you are on.. Svasti and one which takes courage, confidence and the Aussie fighting spirit all of which you have….
      Never let yourself trick you into thinking you did something wrong, No woman deserves that sort of treatment…

      The Shame you feel is HIS not yours, Shame for his behaviour, shame for being a weak person both in mind and spirit… A right ‘B’

      The Fear is HIS also… fear of people seeing him for what he truly is…. a truly weak, cruel, lowlife of a man

      To you, I send strength, Hopes and dreams, and compassion….

      Hugs and Blessing

      • Svasti says:

        Thanks heaps A/C,

        The hugs are more than welcome. Its one of the things I’ve missed like crazy – too afraid to get close to men in my life, but at the same time desperately wanting (safe) male hugs. I just haven’t been able to do it – well, I have recently just begun that process (reaching out to male friends I think I can trust), but it aint easy.

        Yeah, PTSD… what a f*#king sick joke that is! I think it was easier when I was experiencing it more frequently and because I’ve been pretty free of these sorts of episodes for months… its hit so much harder. Might have been easier to get hit with a concrete baseball bat than this!

        No, he was never charged. I did get a very long protection order in place though, and I took action in other ways – letting his ex (with whom he has kids) know what happened, and the place I met him (where he used to work as a musician), I told them too. And they were pretty unhappy about it, because they want their patrons to be safe. So I think I did him out of a job at that venue anyway…

        Its so easy to say – ofcourse its not my fault. Logically I know that. But its not so easy. And I get it – you know, how weak he is, how much pain and fear he must have to have to act in that way. I know from talking to his ex that I was certainly not the first person he’s assaulted.

        And I learned in therapy that often, men with violent tendencies are exceptionally good at hiding that side of their personalities.

        So I know all of that, but still, some of my anger is reserved for myself, and I certainly haven’t forgiven myself yet on an energetic level… no matter what I know logically and reasonably. Its just not that simple. Wish it was!!

        But I keep up the good fight. The ongoing attempts at acceptance. And finally it seems, I’ve been able to let out all of the murderous rage I’ve been feeling that I never felt at the time… because I was too fearful and sad and concerned with making sure I got out of that situation in one piece.

        So finally, it seems I’d processed enough that my sub-concious said okay, she’s doing well enough – let’s send out the next wave of stuff to get processed.

        And that’s what I’m in the middle of right now.

        Thanks, thanks… so much for your lovely words…

        • Jim says:

          (((GROUP HUGS ALL ROUND)))

        • Thanks Jim…very much needed.

        • A/C says:

          I am glad to the healing process is taking shape… slowly better I guess…. although we would like it all gone sooner rather than later…
          Yes PTSD is totally wacked, horrid the way it sneaks up on you….. and just when you think I am all good, BAM there she goes just to let you know I am still here…. grrrrr….

          Not right he wasnt charged, but at least let the people who needed to know in on his true self….

          Be kind to yourself… your worth it….
          Hugs

        • Svasti says:

          Yeah thanks Jim!

          A/C – if its okay with you, I’d like to write a post on my blog pointing to this one and kind of replicating much of my essay, I mean comments here… perhaps condensed and edited. But I think it would be great to draw others to this conversation as well.
          What do you think?

        • A/C says:

          no worries Svasti.. sounds great….

          send me the link when you do and I’ll stop by…. lol..

  7. I keep disconnecting myself from this topic telling myself that it has nothing to do with me or my past. Denial…violence and abuse don’t fit my situation.

    • Svasti says:

      Yeah, perhaps the violence you experienced… that of a young child at the hands of an adult is not connected? As you know CC, sometimes its easier to say “no, that doesn’t apply to me” even if it does… That way, we get to fend it off, put a buffer between ourselves and the horror.

      Then again, when does violence of one person against another not apply to everyone? We should all care. Some of the current photo journalism coming out of Somalia breaks my heart!

  8. arvind says:

    Maybe peace will break out in the world one day and all these wars will cease.

    Peace in our time? Why not?!

    But I do believe that first we have to find that peace within ourselves. So personally I am currently focussing on creating more peaceful and quiet moments in my own little world.

    My world today – the rest of the world tomorrow :-)

    • A/C says:

      those are the words I like to hear ring out on the 6pm News…

      PEACE HAS BROKEN OUT ALL OVER THE WORLD…

      WE ARE IN WORLD PEACE ONE

      WP1
      How cool would that be

  9. iWalk says:

    You are right!

    Lets do something together, maybe we can help change the world…:D

  10. Bobby says:

    I do agree with what I have read,but the simple Fact is we all should be aware of Individual Rights for what might be right for you may be wrong for someone else,now by saying that for every Action has a Reaction we are all links in the chain around the World what we put in to it we get out of it in Return. so I say when you first start your day look at yourself and smile for you have a lot to be Thankful for in this World take it with you through your day and pass it on to all people you meet on your way through this Life.PS a man never hits a Lady or he is not a man at all and should be caged for this is just Abuse.

    • A/C says:

      GDay Bobby…

      True that its not one size fits all… but there a basic rights which every person is entitled to…..

      I guess a place to start is the way to go…. we can build from there…..

  11. czechyoself says:

    This is a great article. All people need to be respected the same way.

  12. [...] 27 November, 2008 by Svasti Over at the irrepressible Go! Smell The Flowers blog, one of the regular contributors “Aussie Cynic” (aka A/C aka Kesa) has written a post titled “Go On! Speak Out!“. [...]

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