There is pain unimaginable beyond the bubble of family stability and personal responsibility, caring cultures and community. Pain I don't want anywhere me or my family or anyone I know and love.
It's dark and violent and unrelenting and worldwide -- and it's mostly against women and children.
And mostly by men.
I charged myself to raise awareness and to take action to help prevent intimate partner violence (domestic violence) and child abuse. I grew up with it and don't want others to have to.
Men and women alike can and should work together to break the cycle.
Of violence against women.
I found The Pixel Project recently on Twitter and am so glad I did (they're on Facebook as well). The Project Founder and Lead, Regina Yau, tells the story of why she founded the organization and it's a powerful read.
Both sides also need to realise that it’s not just a “women’s issue” – it is EVERYBODY’S issue.
There's a great resource center for men on the site called The Men's Room.
The Pixel Project believes that as men are a major part of the problem, so they are a part of the solution to ending violence against women.
We believe that as a man, you can make a difference and that you have already taken the first step by showing an interest in and support for The Pixel Project.
According to The Pixel Project site:
Violence Against Women, at its core, is about subjugating women. It is the domination of a woman by another human being. One in three women have been abused or subjected to gender-based violence in their lives.
Here are some hard facts:
- The most common persistent act of Violence Against Women is violence by an intimate partner, aka domestic violence. In a 10-year study conducted by the WHO (World Health Organisation), between 15% to 75% of women report physical and/or sexual violence by a husband or partner. Marital rape, a common aspect of domestic violence, is often not seen as a criminal offence, but a domestic dispute, something that could lead to a woman’s death.
- 5,000 women die each year in the dubious name of honour. Most times they are killed to protect the “honour” of the men who abused them. These women were raped, molested, or impregnated against their will. They were then subsequently murdered in cold blood. Some girls were guilty of simply being girls. They too, were murdered because their fathers and uncles thought they needed to be taught a lesson.
- Women and girls are still being forced into marriages against their will, particularly in Asia, the Middle East and sub-Saharan Africa. Many of these women are seen as being merely chattels and are discouraged (sometimes violently) from pursuing their education.
- Worldwide, up to 1 in 5 women report being sexually abused as children. These children are more vulnerable to other forms of abuse in their lives compared to most.
It's almost unfathomable to me to comprehend these facts, especially now that I have a daughter and another child on the way.
Almost unfathomable, but because I remember what happened to my mother and my family when I was a little boy, the pain unimaginable is real, and it needs to end.