A Tribute to Womanhood

Welcome to "I Am Woman"...a tribute to all those women who had the courage and perseverance to stand up and fight for their rights. Thanks to those who came before us we enjoy a freedom unknown to women not too long ago. But, sadly, in many parts of the world, women continue to be repressed. In fact, even in this country there are women living today under the threat of violence...completely controlled by a violent spouse. Some may make it; others won't. Hopefully, one day ALL women will be free. May that day come soon.


Domestic Sex Trafficking Bill Passed in the House...Then Shot Down

The Domestic Minor Sex Trafficking Deterrence and Victims Support Act, sponsored by Representative Carolyn Maloney (D-NY), passed the House on Tuesday night. The bill would have established shelters in six regions of the country and provide treatment and services to victims and new resources to law enforcement to prosecute sex traffickers.

Mary Ellison, Director of Public Policy at Polaris Project, clarified, "This passage is a sign that America is starting to realize that children in prostitution are victims of a horrific crime called human trafficking and are in need of services and support."

Unfortunately, an amendment that was attached to the bill  killed it because it differed from the Senate bill and time ran out for the lame duck session.  Politics and politicians.  So far removed from the real world. This was a bill to help save children who had forced into human trafficking.  These are the very people we voted in, and now they turn their backs on children in need.  What is wrong with this picture?  How can they sleep at night?

According to the FBI, more than 100,000 underage girls are exploited for commercial sex in the United States each year. But despite this incredibly high number of  victims, there are only a handful of shelter beds.  Right now, there aren't enough aftercare facilities to serve even 1 per cent of estimated victims. This bill would have not only helped to prevent pimps from victimizing young girls and but would have provided  a safe place for victims to heal.

To our politicians....Shame on you!!!!


Although Christmas is perceived as a time of peace and happiness for families, stress, debt and alcohol levels can create a far from happy holiday season. In fact, even if things are going well, tensions  run high during the holiday season. And when Christmas rolls around, domestic violence seems to escalate, and not only do the victims suffer, but also the children who must bear witness to the abuse, and through the eyes of children, the boundaries between abuser and victim are not always clear.  Often as a means of coping, they take sides or they try to defuse the violence, and when they fail, they blame themselves for not being able to do so.  Some children pretend that it isn't happening.

In many families, there will be no gifts because the abuser will not allow them.  Abusers are self-centered,  and if there is no gain for them,  then they generally classify such expenditure as frivolous. Hence, there is very little joy in Christmas for the children of these dysfunctional relationships.
Examples of financial abuse include: withholding money for Christmas presents and food; where the relationship has ended the abusive partner may withhold child maintenance; and forcing the woman to take debt in her name to meet the family financial needs.  My goodness, that not only happened to me, but 20 years later, when a lien was placed on my bank account and my paycheck garnished....not for a bill I was responsible for, but because I had been bullied to co-sign for a credit card.  It took me over a year of struggling to pay off something that was never mine to begin with.

Domestic Violence victims are not a small minority.  At least 25 percent of all women will experience some sort of domestic violence in their life.  This means that most of us, if we are not a victim ourselves, know someone--sister, friend--cousin--who is a victim.  It affects each and every one of us.  

Here are some suggestions on coping with domestic violence:<

Keep yourself safe. Find a safe place - like a bedroom - where you can hide until the violence is over.

Only step in to help the person who is being hurt if it means you WILL NoT place yourself at risk

Talk to someone you trust about what's happening at home. If you want independent help, contact a service like the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1 (800)SAFE
Try to get the person who is being hurt to seek help from the hospital, battered women's shelters, etc.

If the situation gets really bad, get out of the house and find help. Go and tell a neighbor or call the emergency services.