Some of the most difficult – and often, most dangerous – part of the work done by activists, organisations, grassroots groups and individuals for the cause to prevent and stop Violence Against Women (VAW) is helping women to escape and heal from the violence they have experienced. In cases where gender-based violence takes the form of domestic violence or culturally sanctioned ritual violence such as Female Genital Mutilation, an additional difficulty lies in getting women and girls to take steps to get or accept help to escape the violence being done to them.
In today’s 16 for 16 blog entry, The Pixel Project presents 16 resources for women wanting to get help escaping or healing from various forms of VAW as well as those who wish to understand why and how a particular form of VAW occurs in order to successfully help the women and girls who need it.
This is by no means a comprehensive list of resources but it is a good starting point. To access the resource for each type of violence just click the hyperlink.
It’s time to stop violence against women. Together.
Edited and introduced by Regina Yau; Research and summaries by Eliska Hahn.
“Power and Control” is a documentary film that addresses a life and death issue during a time of urgent crisis. The film is a timely and comprehensive exploration of physical and emotional abuse in our society, as refracted through the story of Kim Mosher, a Duluth, MN mother of three. A significant amount of video content for survivors, educators, law enforcement, and health care workers is available. Professors and teachers will find lots of new material in the “For Educators” section including resources to spark class discussion and material for assignments, research papers and further study.
Unfortunately, many women walk away from their abusers with life long physical scars, but it is also almost certain than every survivor will suffer from some form of Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome/Disorder-commonly refered to as PTSD. This site has several articles and links to other online resources as well as an excerpt from “The Courage to Heal” workbook for those that are healing from PTSD as a direct result result of Domestic Violence.
The Great Escape: Special for Victims of Domestic Violence is a special feature on the Women’s Justice Center website in based in Santa Rosa, California. The entire site, including this article, is complete with bilingual options (Spanish or English) for all of it’s content. The Great Escape is intended to help those in a Domestic Violence situation form an initial plan and take the first steps to escaping the violence. Part 2 lists and defines the potentials sources of help available to women in most every community.
Rape and Sexual Assault
From the A.A.R.D.V.A.R.C. (An Abuse, Rape, and Domestic Violence Resource Collection) website this resource is a brief, easy to understand assessment of the stages of emotional healing a victim of rape can expect to go through. These, as well as many other issues that often occur after being sexually victimized, are covered in greater detail in other areas of the site. This site also provided resources by state, a self help bookstore (for victims, survivors, family & friends) as well as a self defense/personal protection store powered by Amazon.
This list of positive affirmations is presented by Pandora’s Project which is a non profit dedicated specifically to providing support and resources to survivors of rape and sexual abuse. One of the most potentially damaging and long lasting effects of sexual assault is the negative effect it has on the victims self perception and self worth. Pandora’s Project supplies this list of affirmations tailored to the survivor that she can print out and read every day. Many other resources, as well as an online support group called “Pandora’s Aquarium” are also available.
This 3 page paper written by the University of Texas at Austin Counseling and Mental Health Center is a practical, step-by-step guide for victims -from the first frantic moments after the assault happens through what to expect every step along the way on your journey back to reclaiming your life. As well as tips for the victim on ways to take care of herself, there is also an advice and action section for family and friends so that they can be of help to the victim and deal with their own emotions toward the abuse and abuser.
Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting (FGM/FGC)
A site that features a free collection of articles about female genital cutting (also known as female genital mutilation and female circumcision) published in The New York Times as well as a navigation portal for other resources from around the web about female genital cutting as selected by researchers and editors of The New York Times. These resources include literally hundreds of articles, documents, reports, books, multimedia, etc. and is one of the most comprehensive resources on this subject on the web.
TRIGGER WARNING: VIDEO CONTAINS DISTRESSING AND DISTURBING IMAGES
This nearly 9 minute video produced in July 2010 is a truly horrifying expose of how up to 2,000 Muslim girls in the UK are being taken back to the old country to have their genitals mutilated and prepared for forced marriage. Its heart breaking and difficult to watch, however it is factual and educational. Survivors talk about the traumatic effect female genital mutilation has on their lives.
A short, 2 part documentary about Mary (aged 14 years) and Alice (who is in her early 20’s) from Kenya. Both are affected by the traditional rite of passage into womanhood: genital cutting. Mary and her community are preparing for her ceremonial cutting, and Alice is studying to be a social worker to work against female genital mutilation. As the first in her community to refuse the practice, Alice has paid a high price for her choice to break with tradition. Alice tells of the different myths she encounters in the community around her, as to why circumcision is practiced. Mary, on the other hand, has no voice. She just goes through the preparations and rituals in silence.
Forced Marriage and Honour Killing
A 2 page article written for National Geographic News that helps to shine light on the dark practice of “honor” killings (also known as “dowry deaths” or “crimes of passion”). Reports submitted to the United Nations Commission on Human Rights show that honor killings have occurred in Bangladesh, Great Britain, Brazil, Ecuador, Egypt, India, Israel, Italy, Jordan, Pakistan, Morocco, Sweden, Turkey, and Uganda. In countries not submitting reports to the UN, the practice was condoned under the rule of the fundamentalist Taliban government in Afghanistan, and has been reported in Iraq and Iran.
British women are being pushed by their families into forced marriages, unprotected by the authorities. This resource provides a five minute video interview with Jasvinder Sanghera, author of “Shame” and founder of Karma Nirvana (a registered charity which operates nationally in the United Kingdom, supporting victims and survivors of forced marriages and honour based violence http://www.karmanirvana.org.uk/). Several other women’s stories of forced marriage are included in the article that accompanies the video.
Human Trafficking/Sex Trafficking/Forced Prostitution
This site by the Academy for Educational Development (AED) is the “go-to” resource on the web for global human trafficking education, news, activism, publications, reports, research, and much more. The site states that “the purpose of this (web) site is to bring Government and NGOs in the East Asia and Pacific together to cooperate and learn from each other’s experiences in their efforts to combat human trafficking”. Publications are broken down by topic/category or by country for easy location of information. This site also features power point presentations as well as “toolkits” for use in combating the many types of human trafficking.
Europe’s free circulation of people and goods has spawned a slave trade: Portuguese women are being lured over the border to Spain, where they are sold into prostitution. Electric shocks, cigarette burns and severe beatings frighten many Portuguese women into the job. We go inside Portuguese-owned puticlubs (whorehouses) – technically illegal, but tolerated by the authorities. You can buy sex with any one of the women gyrating in thigh boots by the empty dance floor. Those who refuse to work are tortured. They move bars every three weeks, to coincide with their menstrual cycle. We ask one bar-owner why he offers ‘hostesses’. He concedes: ‘There are no Saints here’. The women are exploited to the point of exhaustion, diseased or addicted to drugs. Video cameras, barred windows and high walls keep them in. Contains horrific testimony.
A 225 page complete journal from 2009 produced by The Protection Project Journal of Human Rights and Civil Society (a human rights research institute based at The Johns Hopkins University, School of Advanced International Studies in Washington, D.C.) that includes extensive information articles, short essays, interviews, book reviews, annotated bibliography, and other information for the purpose of education, awareness, and combating sex trafficking on every cultural level, worldwide.
Every single day in societies across the world, women are still openly harassed on the streets and in other public spaces. This video is a great educational tool that describes the leering, lecherous ogling, comments, whistles, honks, kissing noises, and non-sexually explicit evaluative comments, to more insulting and threatening behavior like vulgar gestures, sexually charged comments, flashing, and stalking, to illegal actions like public masturbation, sexual touching, assault, and murder. Join the movement and stop street harassment.
Street harassment is any action or comment between strangers in public places that is disrespectful, unwelcome, threatening and/or harassing and is motivated by gender. In countries like India and Bangladesh, it’s termed “eve teasing”. Street harassment is a human rights issue because it limitswomen’sabilitytobeinpublic as often or as comfortably as most men.This website is a resource center where visitors can access lists of statistics, articles, films, and campaignsaround street harassment as well as ideasforaction to stop street harassment in their community. Stop Street Harassment also provides people with a place to sharetheirstories.