Wednesday, September 17, 2008


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10 Year Old Girl Dies

As an Advocate I have studied and been witness to the experience of survivors of violence on numerous levels. That said, I am still affected by what I hear and see. I feel it is imperitive that we, as a global community be aware of not only abuse in our own backyards but that of our sisters and brothers around the globe. The incidence of violence is no longer an epidemic. It is in fact, pandemic.

It is time to open our ears, our eyes, our hearts....our consciousness. There is no black and white solution, but solutions are there. We must first, educate....ourselves and each other.

Key facts:

* Female genital mutilation (FGM) includes procedures that intentionally alter or injure female genital organs for non-medical reasons.
* An estimated 100 to 140 million girls and women worldwide are currently living with the consequences of FGM.
* In Africa, about three million girls are at risk for FGM annually.
* The procedure has no health benefits for girls and women.
* Procedures can cause severe bleeding and problems urinating, and later, potential childbirth complications and newborn deaths.
* It is mostly carried out on young girls sometime between infancy and age 15 years.
* FGM is internationally recognized as a violation of the human rights of girls and women.

The following is an excerpt from the V-Report from Kenya: 10 Year Old Girl Dies from FGM

V-Day supporter Kim Rosen was recently working at the V-Day Safe House in Narok Kenya, and sent us this first hand report of tragic death that we wanted to share with you. V-Day is committed to continuing to work to end Female Genital Mutilation. This story reminds us all that there is more work to be done.

On August 18, in the tiny village of Narosura in the Rift Valley, a 10 year-old girl died from Female Genital Mutilation. At 5 that morning she was cut. By 10, she had bled to death.

Her family wrapped the body in a sheet and secretly buried it a few yards from their huts. By that afternoon, there was no evidence of the crime.

If it were not for the network of conscience that Agnes Pareyio has woven into the Maasai community, this child's death would have gone unnoticed. But an anonymous "informer" called her on the morning of the ceremony, in time for her to send one of her collaborators and an officer of the law to the hasty funeral.

As a result, for the first time in Maasai history, a circumciser has been arrested.

This child's death is reminder that the work is far from done. Girls are still being cut in the Rift Valley and many other places in the world. Some are dying. All are scarred for life. Agnes Pareyio is one of the leading activists of the V-Day movement. Please join us in continuing to support her work to change the fate of Maasai girls and stop FGM worldwide.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Help Pass Senate Bill 1738—The PROTECT Our Children Act

Help Pass Senate Bill 1738—The PROTECT Our Children Act Hundreds of thousands of children are victims of sexual abuse each year. Due to the sheer lack of resources, law enforcement is unable to follow up on the majority of leads they have.
The PROTECT Our Children Act will:
Authorize over $320 million over the next five years in desperately needed funding for law enforcement to investigate child exploitation. Mandate that child rescue be a top priority for law enforcement receiving federal funding. Allocate funds for high-tech computer software that can track down Internet predators. Act Now!Your U.S. senators will be voting on the bill soon, so it is crucial you contact them immediately.Go to to find contact information for the senators in your state. Search for your senator by name or state by clicking on the arrow from either dropdown menu. Contact information is provided here. To send an e-mail, click on "Web Form" below his or her name, and e-mail your letter to make a difference!
Call Your SenatorsIf you choose to contact your senators by phone, be sure to tell them, "Vote yes on Senate Bill 1738—The PROTECT Our Children Act."
Write to Your SenatorsIf you choose to write a letter, fax, telegram or e-mail, you may use the following sample letter—and modify it how you see fit.
Dear Senator:
I know that you believe, like I do, that we must do everything possible to protect children from sexual predators. That is why I am asking for your help.
Last year alone, U.S. law enforcement identified over 300,000 criminals who were trafficking in movies and pictures of young children being raped and tortured. Experts say that one in every three of these criminals has local child victims. Child pornography trafficking over the Internet has given us a trail of evidence that leads straight to their doorsteps, but the vast majority of these children will never be rescued because investigators are overwhelmed, outnumbered and underfunded.
As your constituent, I urge you to do everything in your power to pass the PROTECT Our Children Act (S. 1738, Biden-Hatch). This bipartisan legislation passed the House 415-2, but it is now the victim of petty partisan politics.
Now that we know where these children are and how to protect them, there is no excuse for the Senate to fail to take action this session.
(Your name here)
Instructions for How to Copy and Paste the LetterTo copy and paste the letter into your senator's web form at, point your mouse arrow at the beginning of the text that you want to copy. Click your left mouse button and hold it down. While holding the left mouse button, drag your arrow to the end of the text that you want to copy. Release the button. The text should be highlighted. Place your mouse arrow over the highlighted text, click your right mouse button once and let go. A new menu should appear. Select Copy from the drop down menu. When you get to the message form field for your senator at, point your arrow at the beginning of the message field that you want to copy your text to and right click with your mouse. Click Paste from this menu. Submit your form and help our children!

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

What Barack Obama Means For the Fatherless

What Barack Obama Means to the FatherlessBy: Sarah Elise Stauffer (View Profile)A good survior friend of mine and I were waxing on this and he asked me to write a little about it, so my dear lovely here you go(You are a wonderful man and father! Remember that!):We took our kids to see Obama at a rally a couple of weeks ago. It was electric, amazing, and very powerful to do with our kids. We believe in teaching them to honor that they HAVE A VOICE, TO USE THAT VOICE, AND EFFECT CHANGE, TO BE OPINIONATED, AND NOT TO BE SHEEP."To know what you prefer instead of humbly saying Amen to what the world tells you ought to prefer is to have kept your soul alive."Robert Louis StevensonObama is sincere and eloquent, brilliant beyond an ivy league level-he is emotionally intelligent. He is socially intelligent. And he alleviates my need for cyniscim. I was raised by cynics. I threw that veil of shame-and many others- off years ago. I refuse to pass that to my kids. That will not be their legacy. Or mine. But I understand it and empathize with those feeling it. It is easier in some ways to remain cynical. It is safer than putting yourself out there, we think, because then we risk disappointment. Sometimes it means going against your own inherited family rules(it did in my case.), spoken or unspoken. My children have made me believe in life, they kind of pulled the rug out from under my very cynical nature. My hubby the same, he went against his upbringing to become extremely positive, politically outspoken, and idealistic. Kids, they do the damndest thangs. ;)This country could use some hope. It's as if some people are allergic to it. I understand. One thing he said that resonated deeply with me and especially with my survivor friends was that "FATHERS IN THIS COUNTRY OWE MORE TO THEIR KIDS-THEY NEED TO STAND UP AND BE MEN AND BE A REAL FATHER TO THEIR CHILDREN." HE IS USING HIS PERSONAL PAIN AS A FATHERLESS CHILD to effect social change. SO important. I do not care if you are republican, independent, libertarian, liberal, purple people eater, whattheheckever, this is a common universal need. Touting family values is one thing, valuing family another. Fathers need to be there for their offspring. Period. That your father was absent, abusive, nonexistent, or otherwise emotionally/physically not there must be faced. And felt. This is of interest to all of us who either had abusive fathers, or nonabusive fathers. Every father needs to be more emotionally in tune and available to their kids. Fathers need to protect and provide, but they need to exhibit empathy and reverence toward and for their children. So many children, girls and boys, are growing up feeling a vague uneasy sense of disconnectedness, they are acting out (criminal behavior, hurting others, etc) or acting in(self destructive, my hubby and I both did this for years as teens) because of this: Just because you are a 'father' and you bring home the proverbial bacon does not mean you are done. My husband is a fabulous example-because he shows the boys it good and right to feel, how to conduct oneself as a man, to empathize with another's struggle, to express their dreams and hopes, to be kind and sensitive to women, children, other men, humans all over, to think about animals, to honor the life force itself. In this rigidly patriarchal society we have lost the sacrament of the sensitive male. Fathers showing their feelings, imagine that. Golly gee. To their sons, to their daughters. What a novel idea. It touches my life so much that Obama is verbalizing this reality, fathers are not fathers just because they provide. That's a provider. Fathers are not fathers just because they made a baby, that's a sperm donor. A child knows when a parent is giving them their energy-it's an energy, a connection, a soul feeling. They know it. It is a soul nourishment. To all my survivor friends, I know this means something deeply profound to you as well. To anyone who has not directly experienced father issues, I know you can be proud of this as well. Obama is challenging the staus quo by saying this. He is calling out those fathers who are emotionally lazy and do not want to own up to their own feelings about fatherhood. Kids are growing up feeling fundamentally flawed inside because of their parents issues, issues that they project all over the child-who then absorbs the crap as their own. To me, that's what Obama is about. Now, I am a proud Democrat, a very liberal one, although I do believe in the death penalty for child killers and rapers, but I say this as a woman, mother, wife, and daughter of two very inadequate, abandoning, abusive parents. I don't care that Obama is more moderate than I might like-I don't think he'll be legalizing pot or confronting the failed drug war, putting nonviolent drug offenders in rehab instead of prison, for instance. Nor has any candidate gotten up there and said, "I plan to erradicate incest, because 1/3 girls and 1/5 boys are sexually abused in this country." I'm still waiting on that. BUT, that he is voicing this call for fathers to step up-is why-among a zillion other reasons(health care,we were personally affected by no health insurance when our first son was born, it was awful and everyone should enjoy a wonderful socialized health care system, it's working beautifully for Australia, Europe, even Cuba for fuck's sake),pro choice rights(it's a desicion that belongs to a woman, it is her body and that is that.) ,actually addressing sources of unwanted pregnancy and aiming to prevent it(fathers in the home loving their daughters would help this too), sex education is the only realistic way to do this, less warmongering more diplomacy, ANY diplomacy at this point, more gun control(I don't want kids getting their hands on guns, our country is number one for gun related death, just more control, you NRA folks just chill, for me, we need to screen people and keep guns out of the hands of kids like Dylan Klebold and prevent more Columbines), shall I go on) I will proudly vote for him. Anyone who can not find a reason to do the same I ask you to think about this, just this, the subject of fathers It's something I think we can all agree on. Namaste.