Traditionally women have been seen as and forced to be second class citizens. All throughout written history, they have been expected to obey their husbands, accept any and all violence. They have been supposed to tolerate adultery. They have been made to feed their families with little or no help from their man. Marriage was a business arrangement to solidify relations between countries, as a mediation between warring clans or families. Marriage also used to require a bride price. Marry my daughter and I will give you 10 horses, 12 goats, and 6 bracelets of silver. We like to think times have changed but women continue to cook, clean, have babies and never speak about anything important.
Violence is happening around the world to men, women and children, but the women and children carry the brunt of the scars of the violence. Women may not look strong, but millions are strong. This is the story of such women and what they chose to do when violence drove them from their villages.
To the bravery and strength of every woman who surmounts her poverty, illiteracy, and homelessness and carves out for herself and her children a better life: I say you are heroines. Be proud of yourselves and children be proud of your Moms. Their strength keeps you all alive. Their bravery has shown the people of Colombia that women and children do matter. It shows that violence does not always win.
Displaced by violence, Colombian women build their own city
LIGA DE MUJERES DESPLAZADAS.
Some 6 million Colombians, more than half of them women, have been forced out of their homes due to a decades-long conflict between leftist guerrilla groups and parliamentary forces. On a plot of land outside the municipality of Turbaco, a group of displaced women have convened to build themselves a new home. They call themselves “The League of Displaced Women,” and their village the “City of Women.”
According to a feature in The Guardian, the idea for a female-fronted village was first conceived by displaced women living in El Pozón, an impoverished neighborhood of Cartagena. “We realized we had so many things in common that were affecting us,” said Yajaira Mejía, whose husband was murdered in 2001. “We were in a critically vulnerable state.” With the help of Patricia Guerrero, a lawyer from Bogotá, the women lobbied government agencies and eventually were granted enough money to buy land on the outskirts of Turbaco. The League of Displaced Women trained in construction, and began building houses. There are now 102 homes in the City of Women.
The League’s path to independence has not been easy. Because they were labeled as leftist guerillas, they have been susceptible to violence by right wing forces. Unidentified men once set fire to the City of Women’s communal hall, and the daughter of a founding League member was murdered. The partner of another League member was killed and dismembered.
But the women have not been deterred from their mission to empower female victims of internecine violence. The League has submitted a complaint with the Inter-American Commission of Human Rights, claiming that the Colombian government failed to protect them from gender-based violence. And Patricia Guerrero, who is now the director of the League, has been pressing the government to expand the City of Women. “We built 100 houses,” she told The Guardian. “The government should build 100 more for other members of the organization.”
Colombia’s City of Women: a haven from violence
Women who had lost everything to conflict came together in their struggle for survival, learning the skills to build a neighbourhood of 102 homes
As with most Colombian cities, the roads of the busy northern town of Turbaco are laid out in a grid of numbered streets and avenues. But in one particular neighbourhood the main thoroughfare has a special name: Street of the Women Warriors.
The designation is a fitting tribute to the indomitable spirit of the women – all victims of Colombia’s decades-long internal conflict – who came together, organised themselves and built the neighbourhood of 102 homes with their own hands.
The idea for the City of Women was born in El Pozón, a poor, crowded and impoverished neighbourhood of Cartagena, far from the stunning colonial architecture that draws tourists from around the world. The city’s marginal neighbourhoods instead attract hundreds of thousands of people forcibly displaced from other areas of the country.
Yajaira Mejía, 45, was forced from her home twice. First, in 1998, she and her family fled the town of Plato, Magdalena, for Valledupar when one of her brothers-in-law was killed and another disappeared. Then, in 2001, her husband – who sold fruit and vegetables on Valledupar’s streets – was shot dead.
By the time Mejía arrived in El Pozón with her two small children, joining thousands of other displaced people, women there had already started organising. They would meet in the yards of their homes, precariously built from plastic tarp.
They were victims of the warring factions, including leftist guerrilla groups, rightwing paramilitary armies and even government forces. But what brought them together was their new struggle to survive.
“We realised we had so many things in common that were affecting us,” says Mejía. “We were in a critically vulnerable state.”
Patricia Guerrero, a lawyer from the Colombian capital Bogotá, encouraged and guided them. They called themselves the League of Displaced Women.
“She told us about our rights and helped us identify our needs,” says Mejía, noting that most of the women were unaware that as victims of the conflict they were entitled to aid and support from the government.
“Patricia made us realise that we needed to demand our rights, not ask for handouts,” she says.
They were labelled leftist guerrillas, which put them at risk of retaliation by rightwing paramilitary militias that had a strong and growing presence in the area. When one member of the group was raped, the league took it as a warning for all of them.
Still, they continued meeting, organising, planning.
One of the most pressing needs for the women was safe and stable housing for them and their families. After years of lobbying and knocking on the doors of aid agencies and government offices, they secured enough money through grants and subsidies to buy land on the outskirts of Turbaco.
The women trained in construction, and set out to build their own homes.
“We wanted to do it ourselves, to make these houses really ours,” says Deyanira Reyes, 48, another member of the league who lives in the City of Women.
In the darkest days of her displacement, when she lived in a squatter village, Reyes had a recurrent dream of walking up to a house and opening the door with a key. “It wasn’t a mansion, but it was my home,” she says.
Her dream became reality in 2006 when the league completed the 102 houses comprising the City of Women, each 78 sq m with a combined living/dining room, a kitchen, two bedrooms, a small backyard and a front porch.
Things didn’t always go smoothly, Mejía and Reyes recall. In 2004, the partner of one woman disappeared. He was a security guard at the breezeblock factory run by the league.
When his dismembered body was found several days later, construction work was halted and several women decided to pull out from the project.
“We panicked,” says Mejía. “We were afraid to go out on to the streets.”
But the man’s widow begged the women to continue. “She gave us the strength to carry on,” says Reyes.
In 2006, unidentified men set fire to the thatched roof of the communal hall where the women held their meetings. They rebuilt it.
And in 2011 the adult daughter of one of the founding women of the league, who was living in the city, was murdered.
“We make some people angry with our persistence,” says Mejía.
Guerrero, the director of the league, says she is now pressing the government to build more homes. “We built 100 houses – the government should build 100 more for other members of the organisation,” she says.
But the league is not just about building homes. It is also about creating female leaders.
Throughout the process of discovering and demanding their rights, the women have become more confident. “When we started off, these women couldn’t look a mayor in the eye. Now they’re not afraid of anything,” she says.
Guerrero is turning her attention to demanding justice and reparations for the crimes committed against the women and against the league as an organisation.
Not one of the 144 individual cases of crimes against the women, which include murder, rape and forced disappearances, has been resolved. No one has been held to account.
The same is true for the crimes against the organisation.
The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights is studying the admissibility of a complaint the league brought against the Colombian government for a failure to provide access to justice and prevent gender-based violence.
This comes as the government is preparing itself for a post-conflict scenario if a final peace deal is signed with the Farc, which could happen soon.
A study of the league’s experience by the University of Los Andes in Bogotá recommended that the group’s work be studied and replicated by other organisations.
“In particular we would like to underscore the surprising combination of concrete projects to relieve poverty with strategies of long and short-term legal challenges and lobbying efforts on both a national and international level,” the study’s authors wrote.
As a successful organisation, the League of Displaced Women is preparing the next generation to continue to fight for women’s rights.
“Boys and girls who are growing up in the City of Women suckled the breasts of women becoming aware of their rights, demanding them. They have grown up with it,” says Guerrero.
“And they will continue our fight.”
Let us all help them continue the fight, the work, the sacrifices. Let us lift up our voices and declare that all violence must stop in this world. Let us support all of their brave efforts.
While medical research is a legitimate activity of scientists, even today, there are ethical and moral limitations and considerations that MUST be addressed. Medical research has been done in the past, by more than one country, illegally and immorally upon its citizens. In America, it was the syphilis testing on blacks; and studies involving convicts and college students.
There is good reason for the limitations and ethics surrounding medical research. Not every scientist who conducts medical research truly has the best interests of humankind — and certainly not of his subjects — at heart. Often, such so-called researchers are looking to make an indelible name for themselves in the scientific community, regardless of the cost.
Perhaps the worst experimentation done on human beings was headed by Dr. Josef Mengele at the concentration camps in World War II. Jews, Gypsies, Poles, Russians, the disabled, the very young and very old — any “undesirables” — were all experimented on, and the majority of these helpless human subjects died.
As I have said more than once: This may NEVER happen again.
In order for us to be sure these atrocities are never repeated, we need to know what happened before. It is my duty to tell you what I know of what happened to these people; these human beings; these helpless internees.
Josef Mengele and the Nazi doctors tortured men, women andchildren and did medical experiments of unspeakable horror during the Holocaust. Victims were put into pressure chambers, tested with drugs, castrated, frozen to death. Children were exposed to experimental surgeries performed without anesthesia, transfusions of blood from one to another, isolation endurance, reaction to various stimuli. The Nazi doctors made injections with lethal germs, sex change operations, removal of organs and limbs.
to investigate the limits of human endurance and existence at extremely high altitudes. The victims were placed in the low-pressure chamber and thereafter the simulated altitude therein was raised. Many victims died as a result of these experiments and others suffered grave injury, torture, and ill-treatment.
Incendiary Bomb Experiments
to test the effect of various pharmaceutical preparations on phosphorous burns. These burns were inflicted on the victims with phosphorous matter taken from incendiary bombs, and caused severe pain, suffering, and serious bodily injury.
to investigate the most effective means of treating persons who had been severely chilled or frozen. The victims were forced to remain in a tank of ice water for up to 3 hours. Extreme rigor developed in a short time. Numerous victims died in the course of these experiments. After the survivors were severely chilled, rewarming was attempted by various means. In another series of experiments, the victims were kept naked outdoors for many hours at temperatures below freezing. The victims screamed with pain as their bodies froze.
to study various methods of making sea water drinkable. The victims were deprived of all food and given only chemically processed sea water. Such experiments caused great pain and suffering and resulted in serious bodily injury to the victims.
to investigate immunization for and treatment of malaria. The victims were infected by mosquitoes or by injections of extracts of the mucous glands of mosquitoes. After having contracted malaria the victims were treated with various drugs to test their relative efficacy. Over 1,000 victims were used in these experiments. Many died and others suffered severe pain and permanent disability.
Mustard Gas Experiments
to investigate the most effective treatment of wounds caused by Mustard gas. Wounds deliberately inflicted on the victims were infected with Mustard gas. Some of the victims died as a result of these experiments and others suffered intense pain and injury.
to investigate the effectiveness of sulfanilamide. Wounds deliberately inflicted on the victims were infected with bacteria such as streptococcus, gas gangrene, and tetanus. Circulation of blood was interrupted by tying off blood vessels at both ends of the wound to create a condition similar to that of a battlefield wound. Infection was aggravated by forcing wood shavings and ground glass into the wounds. The infection was treated with sulfanilamide and other drugs to determine their effectiveness. Many victims died as a result of these experiments and others suffered serious injury and intense agony.
Spotted Fever (Typhus) Experiments
to investigate the effectiveness of spotted fever and other vaccines. Numerous victims were deliberately infected with spotted fever virus in order to keep the virus alive – over 90 percent of the victims died as a result.
Experiments with Poison
to investigate the effect of various poisons upon human beings. The poisons were secretly administered to the victims in their food. The victims died as a result of the poison or were killed immediately in order to permit autopsies. In or about September 1944 the victims were shot with poison bullets and suffered torture and death.
The Holocaust was the systematic annihilation of millions of Jews by the Nazi regime during World War 2. In 1933 approximately nine million Jews lived in the 21 countries of Europe that would be occupied by Germany during the war. By 1945 two out of every three European Jews had been killed.
The European Jews were the primary victims of the Holocaust. But Jews were not the only group singled out for persecution by Hitler’s Nazi regime. As many as one-half million Gypsies, at least 250,000 mentally or physically disabled persons, and more than three million Soviet prisoners-of-war also fell victim to Nazi genocide. Jehovah’s Witnesses, homosexuals, Social Democrats, Communists, partisans, trade unionists, Polish intelligentsia and other undesirables were also victims of the hate and aggression carried out by the Nazis.
The number of children killed during the Holocaust is not fathomable and full statistics for the tragic fate of children who died will never be known. Some estimates range as high as 1.5 million murdered children. This figure includes more than 1.2 million Jewish children, tens of thousands of Gypsy children and thousands of institutionalized handicapped children who were murdered under Nazi rule in Germany and occupied Europe.
Germany (1938 Borders)
Belgium & Luxembourg
Hungary & Ukraine
Poland & USSR
Source: Nizkor Project statistics derived from Yad Vashem and Fleming, Hitler and the Final Solution.
The world outside Nazi Europe received numerous press reports in the 1930s about the persecution of Jews. By 1942 the governments of the United States and Great Britain had confirmed reports about the Final Solution – Germany’s intent to kill all the Jews of Europe. However, influenced by antisemitism and fear of a massive influx of refugees, neither country modified their refugee politics. No specific attempts to stop or slow the genocide were made until mounting pressure eventually forced the United States to undertake limited rescue efforts in 1944.
In Europe, rampant antisemitism incited citizens of many German-occupied countries to collaborate with the Nazis in their genocidal policies. There were, however, individuals and groups in every occupied nation who, at great personal risk, helped hide those targeted by the Nazis.
One nation, Denmark, saved most of its Jews in a nighttime rescue operation in 1943 in which Jews were ferried in fishing boats to safety in neutral Sweden.
were established 1996 to promote education about the history of the Holocaust and assist visitors in developing understanding of the ramifications of prejudice and racism. The resources include essays, poems, eyewitness testimonies, photographs, documents, films, literature, timelines, links.
Result of a medical experiment on a prisoner. Buchenwald concentration camp, Germany, date uncertain.Photograph
A victim of Nazi medical experiments. Buchenwald concentration camp, Germany, date uncertain.Photograph
A victim of a Nazi medical experiment is immersed in icy water at the Dachau concentration camp. SS doctor Sigmund Rascher oversees the experiment. Germany, 1942.Photograph
A prisoner in a compression chamber loses consciousness (and later dies) during an experiment to determine altitudes at which aircraft crews could survive without oxygen. Dachau, Germany, 1942.Photograph
A Romani (Gypsy) victim of Nazi medical experiments to make seawater potable. Dachau concentration camp, Germany, 1944.Photograph
A Romani (Gypsy) victim of Nazi medical experiments to make seawater potable. Dachau concentration camp, Germany, 1944.Photograph
A Soviet prisoner of war, victim of a tuberculosis medical experiment at Neuengamme concentration camp. Germany, late 1944.Photograph
A Jewish child is forced to show the scar left after SS physicians removed his lymph nodes. This child was one of 20 Jewish children injected with tuberculosis germs as part of a medical experiment. All were murdered on April 20, 1945. Neuengamme concentration camp, Germany, between December 1944 and February 1945.Photograph
Seven-year-old Jacqueline Morgenstern, later a victim of tuberculosis medical experiments at the Neuengamme concentration camp. She was murdered just before the liberation of the camp. Paris, France, 1940.Photograph
A war crimes investigation photo of the disfigured leg of a survivor from Ravensbrueck, Polish political prisoner Helena Hegier (Rafalska), who was subjected to medical experiments in 1942. This photograph was entered as evidence for the prosecution at the Medical Trial in Nuremberg. The disfiguring scars resulted from incisions made by medical personnel that were purposely infected with bacteria, dirt, and slivers of glass.Photograph
Victims of Dr. Josef Mengele’s medical experiments at Auschwitz-Birkenau. Poland, 1944.Photograph
Eduard, Elisabeth, and Alexander Hornemann. The boys, victims of tuberculosis medical experiments at Neuengamme concentration camp, were murdered shortly before liberation. Elisabeth died of typhus in Auschwitz. The Netherlands, prewar.Photograph
Soviet soldiers inspect a box containing poison used in medical experiments. Auschwitz, Poland, after January 27, 1945.Photograph
United Nations personnel vaccinate an 11-year-old concentration camp survivor who was a victim of medical experiments at the Auschwitz camp. Bergen-Belsen displaced persons camp, Germany, May 1946.Photograph
Four Polish women arrive at the Nuremberg train station to serve as prosecution witnesses at the Doctors Trial. From left to right are Jadwiga Dzido, Maria Broel-Plater, Maria Kusmierczuk, and Wladislawa Karolewska. December 15, 1946.Photograph
Josef Mengele, German physician and SS captain. In 1943, he was named SS garrison physician (Standortartz) of Auschwitz. In that capacity, he was responsible for the differentiation and selection of those fit to work and those destined for gassing. Mengele also carried out human experiments on camp inmates, especially twins. Place and date uncertain.Photograph
Nazi physician Carl Clauberg, who performed medical experiments on prisoners in Block 10 of the Auschwitz camp. Place and date uncertain.Photograph
Friedrich Hoffman, holding a stack of death records, testifies about the murder of 324 Catholic priests who were exposed to malaria during Nazi medical experiments at Dachau concentration camp. Dachau, Germany, November 22, 1945.Photograph
Wladislava Karolewska, a victim of medical experiments at the Ravensbrueck camp, was one of four Polish women who appeared as prosecution witnesses at the Doctors Trial. Nuremberg, Germany, December 22, 1946.Photograph
Concentration camp survivor Jadwiga Dzido shows her scarred leg to the Nuremberg court, while an expert medical witness explains the nature of the procedures inflicted on her in the Ravensbrück concentration camp on November 22, 1942. The experiments, including injections of highly potent bacteria, were performed by defendants Herta Oberheuser and Fritz Ernst Fischer. December 20, 1946.Photograph
Waldemar Hoven, head SS doctor at the Buchenwald concentration camp, during his trial before an American military tribunal. Hoven conducted medical experiments on prisoners. Nuremberg, Germany, June 23, 1947.Photograph
Herta Oberhauser, who was a physician at the Ravenbrueck concentration camp, is sentenced at the Doctors Trial in Nuremberg. Oberhauser was found guilty of performing medical experiments on camp inmates and was sentenced to 20 years in prison. Nuremberg, Germany, August 20, 1947.Photograph
Victor Brack, one of the Nazi doctors on trial for having conducted medical experiments on concentration camp prisoners. Nuremberg, Germany, August 1947.Photograph
With the campaign for US President, and everything else that’s happening in the US and around the world today, it’s easy to forget about Mother Earth.
We continue to violate Mother Earth, on a daily basis, and some of here most wonderful creatures, such as Kamok, in the video below, are now endanger of becoming extinct.
Elephants continue to be killed for their ivory tusks, which is so senseless and cruel. Rhinoceroses are being killed for their horns. Poachers take their trophies and leave the bodies to rot as they carry off their spoils from the hunt.
We cannot continue to rape and pollute our planet and not expect to lose many wonderful creatures and, eventually, ourselves as our planet becomes less and less habitable.
Wild animals, like children, are part of our rich inheritance from our ancestors and we are not doing a good job of taking care of either.
Children are hungry, children are homeless, children are illiterate and unloved.
Baby Kamok lost her herd and her mommy due to a physical condition, but luckily for her — and for us — there are people who care, who took her in, and healed her and protected her from predators.
We can do no less for our own children, for ALL the children who live on Mother Earth, because we are all one race — the human race — and all children are ours.
I found this on the “A Mighty Girl” Facebook site, a story of a truly remarkable, brave woman who, during World War II, was so ruled by love that she saved thousands of Jewish children.
I think, in today’s world where hate is dominating our lives, news and elections, we could all learn from her goodness and love.
A Mighty Girl
February 15 at 10:15am ·
Today in Mighty Girl history, Irena Sendler — one of the great, unsung heroes of the WWII who led a secret operation that successfully smuggled 2,500 Jewish children out of the Warsaw Ghetto, saving them from almost certain death — was born in 1910.
Sendler was a Polish Catholic nurse and social worker who began aiding Jews as early as 1939 after the Germans invaded Poland. At first, she helped to create false documents for over 3,000 Jewish families and later joined the Zegota, the underground Polish resistance organization created to aid the country’s Jewish population.
In 1943, Sendler became head of Zegota’s children’s division and used her special access to the Warsaw Ghetto, granted to Social Welfare Department employees to conduct inspections for typhus, to set up a smuggling operation. She and her colleagues began secretly transporting babies and children out of the Ghetto by hiding them in an ambulance with a false bottom or in baskets, coffins, and even potato sacks. The children were then given false identities and placed with Polish families or in orphanages. To allow the children to be reunited with any surviving relatives following the war, Sendler buried lists containing the identities and locations of the children in jars.
After rescuing over 2,500 children, Sendler was arrested by the Gestapo, tortured and sentenced to death. Fortunately, Zegota was able to bribe the German guards as she was on her way to execution and she was forced to live in hiding for the remainder of the war. In 1965, Sendler was honored by Yad Vashem as one of the Polish Righteous among the Nations for her wartime efforts. She passed away in 2008 at the age of 98.
A fascinating part of Sendler’s incredible story is that it may have been entirely lost to history except for the impressive research efforts of several high school students in Kansas. In 1999, high school teacher Norm Conard encouraged three of his students, Megan Stewart, Elizabeth Cambers, and Sabrina Coons, to work on a year-long National History Day project. Starting with a short news clipping that mentioned Sendler, the girls conducted a year-long investigation into her life and, ultimately, wrote a play about Sendler entitled “Life in a Jar.”
The play ignited interest in Sendler’s story and it has been performed hundreds of times across the US, Canada, and in Poland. The young researchers also had an opportunity to meet Sendler in Poland in 2001; the forgotten hero whose amazing story they helped bring to light.
If you’d like to inspire your kids with Irena Sendler’s amazing story, we recommend the following titles for young readers:
– “Jars of Hope:How One Woman Helped Save 2,500 Children During the Holocaust” for ages 7 to 11 at http://www.amightygirl.com/jars-of-hope
– “Irena Sendler and the Children of the Warsaw Ghetto” for ages 8 to 11 at http://www.amightygirl.com/irena-sendler
– “Irena’s Jar of Secrets” for ages 6 to 10 at http://www.amightygirl.com/irena-s-jars-of-secrets
– “Irena Sendler: Bringing Life to Children of the Holocaust” for ages 10 to 14 at http://www.amightygirl.com/irena-sendler-biography
For an excellent book about Sendler’s life and the Kansas students’ project to bring her story to light, we highly recommend “Life in a Jar: The Irena Sendler Project” for ages 13 and up at http://www.amightygirl.com/life-in-a-jar-the-irena-sendler-…
There have also been two films produced about Sendler: “The Courageous Heart of Irena Sendler,” starring Anna Paquin, for ages 13 and up http://www.amightygirl.com/the-courageous-heart-of-irena-sendler) and a documentary, “Irena Sendler: In the Name of Their Mothers,” for ages 12 and up (http://www.amightygirl.com/irena-sendler-in-the-name-of-their-mothers).
And, for more books for children and teens about girls and women who lived during the Holocaust period — including stories of other heroic resisters and rescuers — check out the recommendations in our blog post for Holocaust Remembrance Week at http://www.amightygirl.com/blog/?p=2726
May we all be able to get past the hate and bigotry and walk in a world filled with people who practice compassion and love. May we all have the courage of our convictions and not settle for just walking through this life asleep. May we all begin to take baby steps toward peace and acceptance. Ready to care about others and to stand up for those who can’t help themselves.
Military child rape and sexualabuse—what the Pentagon does not want you to know
By Leslie Salzillo from dailykos.com
Wednesday Jan 06, 20164:56 PM EST
This is a tough one to write. In a recent report, a incredibly disturbing statistic has been revealed involving the military and child rape and sexual abuse.
There were at least 1,584 substantiated cases of military dependents being sexually abused between fiscal years 2010 and 2014, according to the data. Enlisted service members sexually abused children in 840 cases. Family members of the victims accounted for the second largest category with 332 cases.
Most of the enlisted offenders were males whose ranks ranged between E-4 and E-6. In the Marine Corps and Army, for example, those troops are corporals, sergeants and staff sergeants. Officers were involved in 49 of the cases. The victims were overwhelmingly female.
In one instance, Marine Capt. Aaron C. Masa sexually abused a fellow Marine buddy’s three-year-old stepdaughter. He also took sexually explicit photos of the toddler and her infant sister. The three-year-old began having nightmares and sleeping by the door. She said she “hurt down there.” When her mother took her to the hospital the child was happy and the hospital staff diagnosed her with a urinary track infection and treated her with antibiotics. It wasn’t until the child told a neighbor she didn’t like Masa and he touched her—and “made it hurt.” Military authorities stepped in and Masa, 24, admitted to five instances of sexually assaulting the toddler. He is currently serving 30 years in prison.
Clair Burnish with AntiMedia writes that the data accounts “only for cases involving military dependents” which are the only child victims.
In other words, children outside military families who are sexually assaulted by troops simply aren’t accounted for. This fact, in itself, creates enormous lingering doubts about the reasons for lack of tracking — and for the actuality of the victim count.
On international levels, ColumbiaReports.com cites historian Renan Vega of the Pedagogic University in Bogotá whose research reveals a 2004 case in Melgar where 53 underage girls were allegedly sexually abused by military contractors “who moreover filmed [the abuse] and sold the films as pornographic material.” Vega explained:
There exists abundant information about the sexual violence absolute impunity thanks to the bilateral agreements and diplomatic immunity of United States officials.
Burnish with AntiMedia adds that according to the Colombian report, “no disciplinary or legal action was ever undertaken, so tracking the perpetrators is next to impossible.”
But of those cases that do reach trial, the numbers are no less than shocking. According to a previous study by the AP from November 2015, this apparent rampant child sexual assault issue among the troops is clearly evidenced; of the 61% confined in the military’s prison network for sex crimes, over half the cases involved children as victims.
The question: What is the U.S. military doing to help end this military plague?
There are reportedly three Democratic senators who are urging Defense Secretary Ash Carter to lift what they called the military justice system’s “cloak of secrecy” and make records from sex-crimes investigations and trials more accessible. You can privately message or post on Defense Secretary Carter’s Facebook Page. As for addressing the thousands of alleged military sexual assault crimes in Columbian, by U.S. military, U.S. President Barack Obama sent Special Envoy Bernie Aronson to Colombia to assist in the process. Sadly, Columbia is only one country—out of how many?
As well as addressing these atrocious crimes, causes and solutions must be explored so they don’t continue to occur. After helping and protecting victims/potential victims, extensive mental health evaluations and treatment for U.S. troops would do well to also top the list.
There is nothing worse than hurting a child in any way. These children have been traumatized and will carry the scars for ever. I spent a bit of time of counseling adults who had been molested as children. That it would happen in our military, makes me cry. We trust them to save people from war. Not to torture children with sexual abuse. I realize not all military personnel are guilty, but it is like the Catholic Church. How do you know who is a danger to children and who is not.
I have been thinking about holidays and children. Not just American children, but children in the UK and children in India. I have been worrying about children in Russia and in Jamaica.
I have been thinking of children who don’t have good role models or lunch money. I have been thinking about children who are afraid and ones who like to look at books and yet they can’t read. They can’t write their names. This is for all the children around the globe, every last noisy, coughing, running, laughing, crying, dirty, sassy one of them. I hope they have someone to hug them tonight when they go to bed and I hope they did not see violence today.
If the Child is Safe
We pray for children
who sneak popsicles before supper,
who erase holes in math workbooks,
who can never find their shoes.
And we pray for those
who stare at photographers from behind barbed wire,
who can’t bound down the street in a new pair of sneakers.
who never counted ” potatoes”,
who are born in places we wouldn’t be caught dead,
who never go to the circus,
who live in an x-rated world.
We pray for children
who bring us sticky kisses and fistfulls of dandelions,
who hug us in a hurry and forget their lunch money.
And we pray for those
who never get dessert,
who have no safe blanket to drag behind them, who watch their parents die,
who can’t find any bread to steal,
who don’t have any rooms to clean up,
whose pictures aren’t on anybody’s dresser,
whose monsters are real.
We pray for children
who spend all their allowance before Tuesday,
who throw tantrums in the grocery store and pick at their food,
who like ghost stories,
who shove dirty clothes under the bed, and never rinse the tub,
who get visits from the tooth fairy,
who don’t like to be kissed in front of the carpool,
who squirm in church or temple and scream in the phone,
whose tears we sometimes laugh at and
whose smiles can make us cry.
And we pray for children who want to be carried
and for those who must,
for those we never give up on and for those who don’t get a second chance.
For those we smother…and for those who will grab
the hand of anybody kind enough to offer it.
—Marian Wright Edelman
This time of year, everyone is looking for presents. Some people just have everything or you don’t know them well enough to be certain to find the right present. A lot of time gets wasted on trying to find the perfect item. Well, I have a suggestion. You can go to Heifer.com and decide how much you want to spend. Your money will be added to others and a flock of chicks, ducks or geese will be sent to a village where there is extreme famine and poverty. You can send a part of a cow or goat. It is your choice. These gifts will help to feed their owners and the animals can breed and everyone is better off. You get a card to send to your friend or relative and the family or village gets what you pick for them. Perhaps, this year because of your kindness, there will be more children who will not go hungry and will be ever so grateful for the kind stranger who helped fill their belly.
Heifer.com is an organization which has been around for seventy years. They provide livestock and environmentally sound agricultural training to improve the lives of people who struggle to have reliable sources of food. They are currently working in thirty countries.
What we can do for a child of this world.
Children around the world playing. We can help them to continue to do so.
Livsstil, familjeliv och karriär, pensionär från Stockholms innerstad, farmor lång erfarenhet som entreprenör, distriktschef, rekryterare, säljare, bokningschef, säljchef delar med sig av sina erfarenheter, tips, idéer med mera.