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In this new music video collaboration, 16 global artists celebrate the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The artists in the video include Yungchen Lhamo, a Tibetan musician who was born in a Chinese labor camp and at the age of 22 trekked across the Himalayas with her two-year old son to escape oppression from the Chinese regime.

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After a shower, sitting here having some cold milk, a headache and thinking about what I learned last night…..a bombshell that came right on my hands or ears and what I could do was just too little….not that I didn’t want to do more but the situation didn’t imply my direct intervention…..

Today, we talk about our success, conquests as if our rights were recognized and respected everywhere. Nevertheless, the reality is too different.

We still live in an oppressive and submissive environment suffering from the most diversified forms of violence. No matter how intellectually we advance in our countries, everywhere violence against women is a reality.

Violence is a therm with multiple meanings and it’s being used to name since the fiercest forms of torture to the subtle ones on a daily social life, in the family, in our work environment, public institutions, among many.

Back in time, preventing a woman from working out of home, denying her the possibility of going out with her friends or alone, prohibiting her to choose her own hair style or outfit, keeping her from participating in social life, ”small” domestic aggressions like slapping on her face, disqualifying or humiliating her in private or in public, forcing any sexual activity if married, were behaviors considered ”natural”.

Today, many of us still let those kind of ”violence” happen, many do not know behavior like those aren’t ”natural” any more, it never was, and we still let it happen for many reasons, social, cultural, love, financial, emotional weakness, threaten by the aggressor we are afraid of retaliation and then we let the small things go deep down to a whole snow ball that seems growing bigger and bigger most of the times ending in a painful outcome or keeping us captive for an entire life making us slaves of our own family, husbands, inside our own house.

On the opposite side the situation faced by men, aggressed by strangers and in public places, violence against women occurs foremost in their domestic environment and it is committed for their own partners or people with whom they keep affective or intimate relations
like sons, fathers-in-law, cousins, brothers-in-law and other relatives.

Violence against women is a large manifestation, including different kind of aggression to body integrity, psychology and sexuality, it’s the slavery of all times, keeping women from living their freedom because they are afraid and with fear no one lives a real life. It also affects women of all ages, races and social classes, no woman is free from violence against her, it can happen to anyone at any time taking serious damage to physical and mental health, job finding, learning disabilities, prostitution, drug addiction, risk behavior among other very serious rebounds.

According to researches made in several countries with with different populations, culture and backgrounds, most part of women interviewed reported they were physically assaulted, psychologically threaten or sexually abused at least once in their lives.

Standing above the others, the sexual abuse was pointed by researchers as one of the main form of aggression in this whole context.

Although violence is classified in different types, the different forms of aggression do not ever come up isolated. Rapped woman or girls who were sexually abused are generally beaten and continuously submitted to all sorts of threats.

Fearful and threaten they will never press charge or make any accusation, they won’t ask for help, they close themselves and start a painful journey alone until an event, maybe a pregnancy comes up to reveal the cruel story.

Honor as well is a mean of violence since many still kill the woman to ”defend the honor”. See the cases below:

Murder of Wife Justified

15 Year Old Daughter Killed for Honor

Teenager buried Alive

An Honor Killing by any other name

In any case, we don’t have to be in silence, we must cry for help and look for friends, someone in the family, a professional, anyone who could lend us a hand in this case, blog about it, share the pain, we will never be alone, there are many Institutions nowadays willing to listen to us and help us press charge and get rid of a slaver life of violence and abuse, freedom is on the corner and it’s just a few steps away and only us can take those steps.

We must believe in ourselves, in the power of ”reborn from the ashes” that every women has inside, the strong will and the unique ability we have to overcome.

There are a lot of women in this same situation right now and I invite them to wake up and give hands using our power together as one, standing up against violence and that cruelest form of slavery and saying no to abusers of all sorts, let’s talk about it ladies.

Below I’ve made a selection of places we can go to get help or information, we don’t have to be silenced anymore.

Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network
women against abuse
end abuse
ACOG
Victim Law
Womens Health
Abuse
Violence Against Women
Who
Now
Global Health
End Violence
Raising Voices
Broken Spirits Network
Bursting the Bubble
Children of Domestic Violence
Society Against Violence


If Your Are Threatened Or Assaulted and Need Emergency Help, Call 911.

National 24-hour Toll-Free Hotline Numbers:
1-800-799-SAFE (7233)and 1-800-787-3224 (TDD)

If you’re in an abusive relationship, be careful when using the Internet.

Your computer use can be tracked. It is impossible to fully erase the web sites you have visited. If you think someone is tracking your computer use, please use a safer computer. You may be able to use a friend’s computer or a computer at your local library.

I will be adding more resources in this post as I will find them and if you please have anything to share just send me an e-mail.

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From NFSC Co-Founder: Kique Bazan

Dear Friends:

What happened in Haiti, the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere, is nothing short of devastating. It is especially heart-wrenching for those who have seen the poverty and know the needs of the people firsthand.

Before the earthquake, Haiti was already the greatest hotbed of modern-day slavery in the region, containing an estimated 225,000 child slaves. These “restaveks” become domestic servants when their families, desperate to survive, sell them to other households. In 2008 I went to Haiti for my doctoral research and was horrified to see street children, mostly boys and some as young as six, being sold for sex at $1.75.

Since the earthquake, the news reports have revealed a reality that has turned from grim to desperate for the children of Haiti. Children are either separated from their families or orphaned, and traffickers are taking advantage of the situation. Save the Children says that one million unaccompanied children are vulnerable for trafficking in Haiti right now.

During my visit to Haiti I saw different strategies of work. I met people and organizations that are passionate about rediscovering people’s dignity, but I also experienced organizations that defined people by their victimhood. On one hand, it is important to see people’s tragedies in order to gain awareness and prevent the conditions that threaten their wellbeing. On the other, finding those stories that narrate the fulfillment of an individual’s own dreams, in the midst of tragedies, is greatly needed.

At 18-years-old, Fenol is a former “restavek” who escaped enslavement and is transforming his life. He was able to finish high school, get a job, and is preparing for college. As a result, he gained the respect of his peers and is a motivator for other restaveks to pursue their dreams. Fenol helps lead an organization composed of former slaves. These young people were deprived of the most basic human necessities, were neglected and abandoned, faced brutal violence, sexual exploitation, drug addiction, and human rights’ violations – yet they have found among each other the strength and support to improve their lives and the lives of the people around them. They created a system for long-term support and education to broaden their ability to actively participate in their own lives and future.

In the midst of the ruins, we find people like Fenol who are changing the face of Haiti by creating systems that offer concrete, positive results. While earthquakes are the products of nature, the lack of infrastructure and the enslavement of people are not. Therefore, in order to stop the proliferation of trafficking and ongoing vulnerability of children, the Not For Sale Campaign is connecting with individuals and organizations engaged on the ground in vital relief efforts.

One of the most pressing needs to address trafficking is the presence of trained volunteers who can accurately document and register vulnerable children. We are close to forging a partnership where NFSC will train volunteers in our Academy in effective mapping and documentation. Our goal is to equip at least a handful of volunteers for placements ranging from two weeks to a year in Haiti to assist with prevention efforts and to deploy their skills, resources and network to enable people’s dreams of freedom.

If you are interested in receiving training to work with Not For Sale’s efforts in Haiti, please contact us directly at: theacademy@notforsalecampaign.org

Thank you for your ongoing support as we address modern-day slavery amidst this disaster. We will continue to keep you informed as we work to develop innovative solutions to fight trafficking in Haiti.

Sincerely,

Kique Bazan
Co-founder & International Director
Not For Sale Campaign

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There are some 27 million people held in slavery today across the globe.

✳✳ According to 2009 State Department Trafficking in Persons Report over 80% of those trans-nationally trafficked are women and children.

✳✳ The US State department estimates that some 800,000 people are trafficked across international
borders each year and about 80 percent of them are female and at least 50% are children.

✳✳ In 1850 a slave in the Southern United States cost the equivalent of $40,000 today. According to
Free the Slaves, a slave today costs an average of $90.

If you suspect a situation or a potential victim, please call the National Human Trafficking Resource Center hotline at 1-888-3737-888! We highly recommend you take a moment to place this number in your mobile phones now.

Raise Awareness in Ten Steps:

1. Dedicate your Facebook status to the hotline for a week.
2. Put up hotline flyers in Greyhound bus stations.
3. Tell 5 friends to put the hotline number in their cell phones.
4. Hand out information about the hotline at concerts, fairs, and community events.
5. Talk about it. Tell your friends, teachers, teammates, co-workers, and family members about this resource.
6. Invite your friends over to watch a movie on human trafficking and tell them about the hotline.
7. Post the hotline number on your website and/or blog.
8. Put up hotline posters in the windows of local businesses.
9. Ask a teacher, politician, or other local leader to talk about human trafficking and the hotline.
10. Post hotline flyers in motels and hotels in your area.

Resource centers:

polarisproject.org
bridgetofreedomfoundation.org
stopchildslavery.com
notforsalecampaign.org
endslaverynow.com
change.org
unionvoice.org
aft.org

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