VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN

Kavanaugh attended a Catholic School.

Kavanaugh attended a Catholic school! So? What does that prove? Or even suggest? What came to my mind when I heard Kavanaugh state this, was that there are Catholic Priests who have sexually abused children.

Kavanaugh suggested that we listen to what people he has grown up with, dated, etc., have to say about him. That reminded me of the fact that in the case of men who are perpetrators of Domestic Abuse, often the horrors that happen behind closed doors are not known beyond the confines of the home. Furthermore, often the horrors could not even be imagined by people on the outside, including work colleagues and even friends. Abusers hide the evil side of themselves from the outside world. Of course!

My point: Kavanaugh may well have been a highly respected person by many people, for many years, but that does not prove that he never sexually assaulted any woman. The ex-boyfriend of mine who emotionally and physically abused me, was a medical student and became a Doctor of Medicine over the period of time that he was abusing me. At his workplace and out and about in public, he was charming, funny, very likeable. That was the Dr. Jekyll side of him, that I fell in love with.

Kavanaugh proudly spoke about his esteemed parents. So? He is not either of them; so, this is irrelevant. My aforementioned ex-boyfriend comes from an affluent, respected family. His parents are both Medical Doctors. They have a son who is a perpetrator of Domestic Violence!

Kavanaugh “traveled on Air Force One”. Again, so what? Proves nothing.

Kavanaugh suggested that this type of allegation that he is facing could dissuade people from serving the country. Umm. No. Not if they have nothing they wish to hide!

I noticed that in his opening statement, before being questioned, Kavanaugh stuttered when he said the word “deny”. Just an observation!

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Women’s March

One is not born, but rather becomes, a woman” reflects Simone de Beauvoir in her book The Second Sex (1949), and I have been wondering of the wisdom of this sentence for quite some time. What does it take for a female child to mature into a woman, not only physically but also in a mindset?

I have been a daughter, mother, wife and partner, yet, I can safely say, the first time I really understood the price and pride of being a woman was when I realized I was in an abusive relationship and that I had to co-parent a child with the abuser. Not only was the abuse inseparable from the low regard the abuser had for me as a woman and mother of his child, but also from the lack of institutional understanding and support I suffered as a dv survivor at the hands of the Family Courts.

Fast forward, ten years later, I found myself marching in Washington D.C. on the day of Trump’s inauguration and a year later in New York City. It is incredibly uplifting to be able to march for women’s rights and see how our movement has united the progressive forces in this country. At the march in NYC, I saw people campaigning for the Dreamers, LGBTQ rights, the environment, free Palestine and more, all under the aegis of the Women’s March.

I felt a glimpse of hope, a shift in public discourse and accountability in the air. When I reached 45th Street and heard a policewoman in her loudspeaker tell us “this is where the March ends but your fight will continue,” I could barely hold back my tears. Through hard-earned lessons, I can say, I have become a woman, not only in body, but also in the mind.

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Yes. We Respond To Brock Turner’s Dad

Brock Turner’s father, Dan A. Turner, views rape as “20 minutes of action”!  That is what we find, reading Dan Turner’s court statement.  Brock Turner raped a woman in January 2015.  She was unconscious at the time.  Brock Turner was convicted of three felonies.  Prosecutors wanted a sentence of at least six years in state prison.  Dan Turner felt that such a sentence would be “a steep price to pay for 20 minutes of action”.  First of all, it is disgusting that rape would be described as “minutes of action”!  “Incarceration is not the appropriate punishment for Brock … Probation is the best answer for Brock in this situation”.  My second point is that “this situation” that Dan Turner refers to, is a violent crime that his son has committed.  Brock sexually assaulted a woman and deeply altered this woman’s life forever.  But Dan Turner is more concerned with how his rapist son’s life has been altered.  In his court statement, he wrote, “Brock’s life has been deeply altered forever … His life will never be the one he dreamed about and worked so hard to achieve.”  I ask, “Whose fault is that?”

I am appalled by Dan Turner’s comments in his court statement.  He defends and minimizes the act of rape to such a degree that I, and countless others I feel sure, feel sickened.  “Brock can do so many positive things as a contributor to society”, wrote Dan about his son.  Did I read that correctly?  It seems that Dan is desperate to support his son regardless of how awful his son’s behavior is.  I understand wanting to protect one’s family members, but when a family member sexually violates another human being?  Dan wrote that his son “is totally committed to educating other college age students about the dangers of alcohol consumption and sexual promiscuity”.  How dare he suggest that his son would be a good candidate for communicating with others, with a view to teaching them, about sexual relations!  And bringing up the topic of the dangers of alcohol consumption appears to me to basically be an attempt to discredit the victim of the rape and essentially to blame her for what was so brutally done to her in January of last year.

 

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Being Unsilenced

Brock Turner received a six months prison sentence for raping an unconscious woman on Stanford University’s Campus. The judge felt that a longer sentence would have a “severe impact” on Turner. It is worth mentioning that this prison sentence equals to about 3 months jail time with good behavior.  Turner was facing up to 14 years in prison.

We are not going to write an opinion on this cases outcome, we are going to let the victim words speak to you. In a 12 page letter, the victim who wishes to remain anonymous speaks for all of us…

https://www.buzzfeed.com/katiejmbaker/heres-the-powerful-letter-the-stanford-victim-read-to-her-ra?utm_term=.ffeJkgD8Ny#.yfwKQ0JWe6

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No, No… You don’t get to say those words….

Recently we heard jaw-dropping words from Governor Sarah Palin about her son abusing his girlfriend because of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. It has taken domestic violence advocates years to achieve a modicum of abuser accountability. We still have more to do and Governor Palin’s words attempted to move us back a couple of decades. To a time where abusers can abscond their accountability by blaming victims or provide reasons to justify why they inflicted pain on another person.

As an organization made-up of survivors domestic violence and child witnesses to domestic violence, we cannot allow anyone to take us back to a time where blame is placed on everyone but the abuser. We have worked too hard for abuser accountability and will not let it go.  The lack thereof is why victims domestic violence die.

We support our veterans and believe that they deserve the utmost care and respect for their service. We remain the voice of survivors and speak-out to those who denigrate victims with comments that allow abusers to continue to abuse.

We call on Governor Palin to rethink her comments and recognize the millions of survivors she re-victimized through her comments.

 

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