What About Us?

It’s been a while since I’ve felt the need to blog.

Last week, they announced the verdict of the Eric Garner case which resulted in the officer not being charged.  My heart sank, tears came to my eyes and my mind searched for a reason why this happened.  Just as Jon Stewart pointed out, unlike the ambiguities of the Ferguson case, this case had none, zero.  It was on video, filmed, the murder of this man by a police officer. Clear cut.  Not surprisingly, this proof did nothing.

Police brutality affects us all, however, minorities suffer a much greater impact, loss of life, assault.  The thought that my family could be pulled over for a DWH (driving while Hispanic) or worse…and that is a terrifying thought to me.  My skin is white, I don’t look mixed so I don’t have to be afraid.

There is another reason why I came here to blog.  Lately, NFL players have been voicing their protest of Eric Garner’s trial and Ferguson.  They have entered the field with their arms raised, they have worn shirts saying “I can’t breathe” and that same sentence has been written on their shoes, wrist bands and more.

I applaud their protest, I love that they are using their voice to speak up not only for minorities, but against police brutality, for the families who voices are so limited.  They made the choice to make a public statement, using their status to change our society and I love that.

At the same time though, it makes me want to scream at them in anger, it makes me want to cry, it makes me want to shake them and look them in the eye and say what about us!  Why weren’t there any players using their voice when a woman was knocked unconscious by her partner, why weren’t there players using their voice when a woman was raped, why weren’t their players using their voice when a child was beaten?

For decades, the NFL has harbored, supported and covered up domestic violence and sexual assault cases.  Finally, in 2014, something is being done about it.  Their own organization supports perpetrators of violent crimes, crimes of physical assaults and sexual assault, crimes that kill women and children.  Every day, it is estimated that 3 women are murdered in the United States by an intimate partner.

How many women can’t breathe because the man they love grabs their throat and tightens his grip? How many women can’t breathe because he broke her ribs? How many women can’t breathe because every day they are in fear for their lives?  How many children can’t breathe through their tears of pain? How many women and children can no longer breathe because their life has come to an end?

The video of a woman being assaulted and knocked unconscious brought attention to the problem that has been going on in the NFL for decades.  Since 2000 alone, there have been over 70 domestic violence related arrests….Players now have been asked to or forced into participating in Domestic Violence commercials and campaigns, but no player has voluntarily offered up his voice in this fight. Before this season, no player has voluntarily used his actions or clothing during a game or practice to say that what the NFL has done for decades is wrong, that the perpetrators of these crimes, the abusers, the rapists, the murders, should be in jail.

Again, while I can support their protest, I also have the right to feel angry at them for ignoring the abusers in their own organization.

Through my partner, a die-hard Chargers fan, I have a new-found appreciation and love for this sport.  I haven’t missed a Chargers game all season.  Even when I’m at work, I watch it on my phone.

However, as a woman, I feel that this sport, like so many others, is purely for men where women are reduced to the color pink, the amount of cleavage we show and how short our skirts are.  I can’t help but feel  ignored and marginalized knowing that higher ups in this organization would rather hide and protect these abusers for a profit then do anything about it.  Even the players don’t want to take a stand….

All I can hope for, as in most cases, is that things do change and maybe, eventually, these athletes will volunteer their voices for all of the women who have been harmed or killed.  I hope they will fight for a change.

♥ Meggie

Stop the Victim Blaming

I was just reading this article about an ESPN reporter who went off about the Ray Rice situation.  For those of you who don’t know, Rice is a professional football player accused of knocking his then fiancée out and dragging her unconscious body into an elevator.  As of right now, his punishment is a 2 game suspension.

Stephen Smith begins by saying how deplorable it is for any man to lay his hand on a woman. He talks about how he would involve law enforcement.  A good start right? but then things get infuriating…

He continues to talk about thing he would tell women which would be “let’s make sure we don’t do anything to provoke wrong actions” because we all know that in an abusive situation, the victim (man or woman) has obviously done something bad enough to be beaten.  WRONG!

Another reporter, Michelle Beadle, began to speak out against his ridiculous statement so he defended himself.  He reiterated that domestic violence is wrong, that no one should ever do it but of course he follows that up ” But what about addressing women on how they can help prevent the obvious wrong being done upon them?”  Are you being serious right now?  He obviously has no comprehension as to what an abusive relationship is.

I think if people could prevent domestic violence, no one would be in that situation in the first place….  Women’s actions do NOT cause an intimate partner to become violent with them.  Men’s actions do NOT cause an intimate partner to become violent with them.  How are they supposed to prevent it? Please do share with the world your preventative measures.  I’m sure we’d all love to hear them.

Do they include not dating a violent person?  Well, the thing is, with domestic violence perpetrators, victims don’t know they’re violent until they are already in the relationship.  Perpetrators don’t act violent toward everyone they know and they can be the most charming men/women you will ever meet.

Is another preventative measure to not be around them if they are under the influence of alcohol?  Well, alcohol does NOT cause domestic violence.  Alcohol, as everyone knows, lowers inhibitions and makes it easier for true personality to come out.

Domestic violence is about control over a person.  Victims can be men or women and perpetrators can be men or women.  Victims can feel lost, hopeless and worthless.  They can also feel as though they deserve these actions when in fact they don’t at all or they can feel that if they love them enough, the abuse will change.  No two victims feel the same way.

Let’s just remember though, a victims does nothing to deserve violence, a victims does nothing to provoke violence and any decision a victim makes really has no relation to violence.  If a partner is willing to lay their hands on the person they say they love, there is no reason for that ever and therefore women (or men) do NOT need to make sure they don’t provoke the actions of an abuser.

I truly don’t think he will ever understand why his statement was so wrong but this is why we need to continue to raise awareness of issues like domestic violence. We need to teach our young men and women what domestic violence and sexual assault is so our future generations don’t grow up saying statements like this.

♥ Meggie

Super Bowl

If you live in the United States you know Super Bowl Sunday is this weekend.  Really if you live even in a neighboring country you can probably hear the cheers from across the border for the Super Bowl, they might be loud enough to hear across the ocean!  I’m not a football fan, but even I have been to Super Bowl parties and join in the festivities!  My sister and I also love to watch the Puppy Bowl on animal planet when we’re home, lol.

With any large event like this, there are always human rights violations.  Even with the Olympics, there are massive human rights violations.  This year I am participating in a social media campaign against Human Trafficking during the Super Bowl.  Prostitution is a massive problem and women are brought to where the game is held to be sold and used for sex.  According to Shared Hope International, “during the Super Bowl in Miami 3 years ago, 10,000 prostituted women were brought into the city to be trafficked”.

I read this great quote, “let’s stop reading statistics and let’s start changing them”,  This is a great place to start, so easy, the ability to share this information is at your fingertips.

This campaign is focused on spreading the word.  Yes this is a fun event and should be enjoyed but people also have to remember what goes on at these events aren’t always positive.  If you tell yourself that you can do nothing so why think about it, just imagine if every one thought like that, if everyone believed that they should do nothing because it won’t make a difference.  We wouldn’t have some of these amazing organizations we have, children wouldn’t be rescued from abusive homes, men and women wouldn’t be saved from trafficking, there would be no aid for lesser developed countries.  Don’t put limits on the positivity you can bring to the world.

This campaign is not about boycotting the game, instead, throughout the Super Bowl, Shared Hope International and the Defenders USA (which is a part of Shared Hope International, a coalition of men that fight human trafficking) will be posting information on Facebook and tweeting information to be re-tweeted and re-posted.  During the Super Bowl last year there were “12.2 million posts on social networking sites” (Shared Hope International).  Imagine if you were posting during the game and you just hit one button to re-tweet or re-post information, information to fight Human Trafficking, an awful by-product of this event.  While you are loving the game and every minute, there are thousands of women and children being used in the sex industry.

I have joined this event on Facebook.  The link is here.  You have to be logged in to Facebook to access it.  The title is “Super Bowl Media Activism:Human Trafficking.  The Facebook for the Defenders USA is here.  The Facebook for Shared Hope International is here. For just a little more information, here is a video from WAR (Women at Risk) International about human trafficking (Click here).

Take two seconds, join our campaign and during the game to re-post or re-tweet something, one post or every single one.  This is something that affects us all.  Imagine if it was your mother, sister, daughter or son, brother or father who was kidnapped or sold and forced into the sex industry.  These are family members, loved ones.  Enjoy your day, have fun at your Super Bowl parties with friends and family, but just remember and think about the other side of that joy, spreading information only takes a few seconds.

“Let’s stop reading statistics and start changing them”