My heart cries for these women. For all women. But it cries for men too. What kind of society have we created? What kind of men have we created? And what are we women to do?
I have been very fortunate to know many kind souls, and men who have treated me so well. Yet, like the ladies above, I still live with an ingrained fear of men. I know men who are just as disgusted by this fact as I am. There are men who are ashamed to be categorized with these other ‘brutes’ of society. Obviously not all men are bad or cruel, but the ones that are have made such a bad name for their sex, and continue to do so. They are a powerful minority.
I hope someday the good men of this world will stand up with the women and children, and help create change. Men are victims in this too, and although I’m not making excuses for their behaviour or saying it is acceptable in any way, my guess is they are victims struggling to break this cycle from their own childhood trauma or abuse. I have my doubts about the grown men in this world changing, and only wish their abuse and harassment would be addressed as unacceptable and demeaning. Women are being blamed in situations that men should be fired for! Women are struggling daily with confusion, fear and guilt over these men and their inappropriate aggression. It is so unfair, and we are stuck in a cycle of violence.
I place my hope in the future. There are generations to come, who need to be taught love, respect, security and how to treat one another.
So how do we do that? We work on preventing an abusive future. We all start advocating for youth. I feel possessed to advocate for children and youth. They are being abused, hurt on so many damaging levels, neglected and discarded. So are women. So are some men!! THIS HAS TO STOP.
As a CYW one of my classes was childhood abuse and neglect… the statistics of sexual abuse among both girls and boys was appalling. As a society we need to teach both girls and boys that they are safe and loved, so they can grow into men and women that love and respect one another.
These issues that cause harm to their well being need to be addressed daily, and not treated as unusual or problematic. Parents, families, teachers, counsellors, childcare providers, all of you become role models. YOU become the safe place for these children to go to and rely on. Only with your love and trust can they become resilient enough to move forward in their lives.
With your help, together, we can start breaking these chains of violence. Somehow we need to teach our children that this world can be a safe place. We need to teach our sons to be gentle, which is not the same as weak. We need to teach youth to walk in their strength and power, without it being a need for them to control others. We need to give them REAL control of themselves, build their self-worth and self-esteem in ways that are healthy for both sexes.
We need to start building a safe future, now. And as the generations trickle down, perhaps one of them will finally know true peace and freedom.