When There’s Violence Against Women

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All of these articles highlight a different aspect of the tragedy of violence against women in our world.

NYT: Afghanistan parent debt: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/04/01/world/asia/afghan-debts-painful-payment-a-daughter-6.html?pagewanted=1&_r=1&smid=fb-nytimes&

China, 336 million abortions in 40 years.  http://www.religiontoday.com/news/china-336-million-abortions-in-barely-four-decades.html

India: abortions of girls on the rise.. http://www.english-online.at/news-articles/people/abortion-of-girls-on-the-rise-in-india.htm

Pregnant women in India, abuse… http://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2013/02/the-everyday-violence-against-pregnant-women-in-india/273045/

India’s rape crisis… http://www.takepart.com/article/2013/03/04/op-ed-indias-rape-crisis-needs-you-channel-your-outrage

Violence in India, via Care… http://www.care-international.org/Media-Releases/tragic-rape-in-india-violence-against-women-must-stop.html

How to reduce violence in India… http://www.csmonitor.com/Commentary/Opinion/2013/0117/India-gang-rape-How-to-reduce-violence-against-women

I have to wonder if the facts they provide are lower than reality.  Women don’t openly share these things. Crimes like these tend to be under-reported.

I’m fascinated by the question of “how can we change this?”

Can things change simply by enough outrage by citizens?

Can the situation change by simply passing a new law? A law is useless unless it’s enforced.

Anyone can make lofty statements, saying this should stop. But how will it end?

In a country like India specifically, where women are marginalized, degraded and not considered worthy enough, how will this change?

A whole paradigm shift in thinking, in the mindset of the people, needs to occur.

At the root of the problem? Not seeing women as persons created in the image of the eternal, creator God. If you see women as anything else, you are not viewing them as God does.

Women in India are sexual objects. Pawns. Servants. Cooks. Laborers. Launderers. The means to a dowry, the means to money. The means to an heir. The means to having a son.

Are women seen as persons with souls, who have minds, thoughts, dreams, and hopes? Persons to be treated with respect and dignity?

Violence perpetuates violence. Children who grow up in the home with it, experience it as adults or become the perpetrators themselves.

Once in the cycle of poverty, abuse, or trafficking, it’s hard to escape. The cycle continues.

What can bring healing? change?

We can offer platitudes. They sound good, and we do need to hear them. We need to hope and we need to hear the voices of those speaking out. (but do they change anything?)

As far as laws? Go ahead and change them. We need to know that the law exists and hope that eventually someone will enforce it… maybe. Eventually. Unless there is a consequence,  however, laws themselves don’t prohibit a crime. Laws+consequence might equal some reduction in atrocity, but not necessarily.

Remember the Civil Rights movement in the U.S.? A law can change what is legal, but it takes longer to change the mindset of the people.

Education? we need it. The world needs to be aware. Tell us, over and over. Remind us, so we don’t forget it. We need the awareness of the issue. Go ahead and report it. But do it over and over. Don’t let us forget. The media shifts from one crisis to another… will we remember this next year? For next year, there will be an atrocity of another kind to hold our attention. Will we forget and move on to the next sensational story?

Go ahead and  institute a national, or international, day for the elimination of violence against women.

It sounds good. We can mostly all agree on that, who would disagree when it sounds so good?

But what is it actually accomplishing? changing?

I can declare tomorrow to be the Appreciate Tomato Day. We can spend the day talking about the tomato, and appreciating it, discussing the different kinds, how we can eat it, cook it, sample it, etc. But will that change anything for the tomato?

So in the case of trafficking and abuse of women, what do we need?

What we really need? Jesus. We know that we need him. So how can we be the hands and feet of Jesus? How can I? As a daughter of India, who by the grace of God, did not grow up in poverty there, I am trying to answer this question for myself. The problem is so vast. I’m asking God to show me how to add my voice to this story.

For a nation like India that claims to be spiritual, where is the change going to come from? from whence?

The situation in India (or anyplace) will change when we start to see women as beloved daughters of God, not as objects to be used, not as worthless, not as liabilities, not as less than human. It will change when we see Jesus.

How to see like this?  Without Jesus, how to see like this?

***

Sharing with Laura at The Wellspring, Jen at Finding Heaven,  Jennifer for Tell His Story and Emily for Imperfect Prose

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7 thoughts on “When There’s Violence Against Women

  1. Bless you for bringing more awareness to this painful truth. Yes to Jesus and may we have His tender mercy toward all, and yes yes to these women who suffer. This is stirring and troubling. My heart breaks, friend. Visiting from IP.

  2. Oh, Anna, yes. We need Jesus. This is such a hard place. Shining a light here–promoting awareness–this is good work. I see your heart here, friend. And it is beautiful.

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