something horrible is happening in the dominican republic. in the first six months of 2012, 98 women were killed. not in accidents, not of old age. killed by the men who "love" them. fathers, boyfriends, husbands, exes.
there are so many things that i could say about this tragedy. but it's all been said. it's all been talked about too much.
and once it had been talked about until one would think there was nothing left to be said - someone, somewhere decided that instead of spending money on prevention programs, education and support, they'd plan a day of remembrance to the "fallen women."
unaffected women all over the country donned a black ribbon for the day and talked about how progressive they were for acknowledging a problem, for one day, that affects far too many of their latina sisters. meanwhile, all the women who really are affected by family violence, stayed at home with their jealous, machista husbands and got beat.
the country did, however, implement a hotline for abused women. i believe it's free and that it operates 24 hours a day. and it's a step in the right direction. it's more than the lip-service given so frequently that nobody hears it anymore.
no more blood.
now, we just need to work together to teach women that they are worth more than they think. to teach women that it's not their fault when someone hits them, that the man hitting them is guilty, not them.
one of my pregnant students broke down and told me that her boyfriend has been beating her since they moved in together, and when i cried with her and told her she didn't deserve that, that she's worth more than a punching bag, she told me that nobody had ever told her "it's not your fault." that everyone had always asked "what did you do to provoke him?"
as long as women continue to be told that they are not valuable, and men are taught to believe that they are the rulers of everything, we'll have the same problem. more women will be beaten, bruised, mistreated and killed.
Feminicide: woman murdered by a man who considered her
personally, i've been convicted over and over again to raise samil to be a man. a real man. with values. who cherishes and adores women - who treats them well - and never believes a woman deserves violence. a man who loves god and wants to be like jesus. a man who knows that what makes us different than animals is our consciousness and ability to make decisions and that saying "i'm a man, i can't control myself" is not an excuse for anything.
and the more women who commit to raising little men to be men and not animals, the better the future will look. actions, friends, speak way louder than words. take your future back, and give it to your kids.