The statistics are overwhelming. Violence against women is horrifying. The number of rapes, sexual acts against women, and physical or domestic violence against women is beyond believable. Yet it happens every moment of every day.
Today I do not want to talk about the violence. I do not want to think about rape or hatred against women. I want to think about love. I want to think about all the men that adore their wives, girlfriends, and daughters. I want to think about the laughter, the joy, and of all the men that encourage the women in their lives to be their badass selves. Those are the men we need to champion. Those are the men that need to stand tall and be an example for violent men. You can be a man and love your woman. You can be a man and be head over heels for your woman. Love her. Cuddle her. Allow her badass self to shine through and bless the world.
I am one of those women. My man lets my badass self shine through. He lets me be ME. Even if I sometimes makes him blush by being myself. Even if I may embarrass him. I get to be me.
Today is International Women’s Day. To all men out there, let your women shine. Let them be free. Let them be their authentic selves. Cherish them. Love them. Pamper them. To all women out there. Shine. Be free. Pamper yourself. Pamper other women. Today is a day to hug, love, and appreciate womanhood.
This song was just released today. It is called: “One Woman.”
VAWA is the Violence Against Women Act. Keep reading. It is important to know for your daughters, wife, sisters, niece, and friends. “The Violence Against Women Act is a United States federal law passed in 1994, reauthorized in 2000, again in 2005, and is up for reauthorization this year.” In my post last Friday I talked about One Billion Rising. A campaign that raises awareness calls an end to violence against women. Last week, the Senate passed the VAWA act providing $659 million over five years for some domestic violence programs. Next week the House of Representatives will vote on VAWA. That means there is still time to communicate with your Representative. This can mean a local rape crisis center stays open. It can mean women’s shelters in your community stay open. It can mean that another woman is safe.
This is an issue that is near and dear to me.
Please support VAWA. It is not something we should take for granted. We need to do what we can to continue to raise awareness and not assume that because VAWA was in effect in the past, that it will be passed next week. We all can remember presidential elections that we thought, oh it is a shoo in, and things happened differently. As I think about the many recent events where we have seen violence in general, Newtown, Connecticut, Colorado Theater shootings, the list goes on, I wonder about the violence happening to women that we do not see on the nightly news.
This Huffington Post article states:
“On average, four to five women are murdered by their husbands or boyfriends each day in the United States as a result of domestic violence. Over 200,000 people are sexually assaulted each year in this country.”
Not a statistic we want to think about, but one we should ponder. This is a no brainer for me. This should be part of being a world citizen, honoring and protecting all humans. It is 2013, we should no longer have to talk about violence against women. We should not have to differentiate between men and women. The reality is we do have to fight for this initiative. Speak up. Let your voice be heard.
Yesterday you might have received flowers or chocolates or gone out to dinner. A day of sharing love. I have never really been a fan of Valentine’s Day. Yes, I believe in love, doting, and pampering, but I think it should happen every day of the year, not a random day in February. What I do like about February 14 is that for the past 15 years, groups of women have come together to stand for women (V-Day). Events like “The Vagina Monologues” that Eve Ensler started on February 14 many years ago. This year, when researching which initiative I wanted to support, tears filled my eyes. I found “One Billion Rising.” The first few lines on the Girl Effect website says:
“One in three women on the planet will be raped or beaten in her lifetime. With a global population of seven billion, that breaks down to one billion abused women. On 14 February the One Billion Rising campaign will call for an end to such violence.”
One billion. I am one of those one billion women. I am a survivor. You probably know more of those one billion than you realize. It could have happened to your best friend, mother, sister, cousin, or coworker.
While we rise together as a force, we need to collaborate together so the number goes from one in three to ZERO. We need to end the violence against women. This is a personal, local, national, and global issue. Violence against women will touch every single one of those one billion women for the rest of their life. One billion is shocking. Absolutely shocking, horrifying, unimaginable. My tears are ones of anguish, pain, shock, sadness. How did this happen? How is this possible?
I know it is February 15 and I am a little late to share this information, but the message needs to continue to be shared. Forget chocolates and flowers. They do not matter if a woman is given flowers on the February 14 and beaten on February 15. We need to dance, rise, educate, and raise awareness for violence against women.