This Saving Angel is highlighting some of the most inspirational quotes that we have read in various articles. The quotes pose as reminders for us and our roles in the oppressive cultures that we (un)knowningly support. Cultures like that of Rape, Violence against Women, Impunity, ‘Victim-blaming’ etc.
Quotes: - "Wombs punctured with guns. Women raped and tortured in front of their husbands and children. Rifles forced into vaginas. Pregnant women beaten to induce miscarriages. Foetuses ripped from wombs. Women kidnapped, blindfolded and beaten on their way to work or school. We saw the scars, the pain and the humiliation. We heard accounts of gang rapes, rape camps and mutilation. Of murder and sexual slavery. We saw the scars of brutality so extreme that survival seemed for some a worse fate than death" - Rehn & Sirleaf, (2002). Women, War and Peace: The Independent Experts’ Assessment on the Impact of Armed Conflict on Women and Women’s Role in Peace Building. New York: United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM): 9. Accessed from the World Wide Web: http://22.214.171.124/info/ucmp/cont/descargas/documento7201.pdf
- “Gender and empathy: Men shouldn’t need to “imagine if it were your wife/daughter/mother”” - Maya
- “Women are tag-marked as shameless transgressors for marrying without the consent of family, seeking divorce, asking for a share in ancestral property or refusing to cover hair, face, or body. Violence against women surges whenever the patriarchal status quo or the traditional mode is challenged” - Ragini Nayak
- “A few months later I realized the nightmare wasn’t over. I had become pregnant from the rape. I went into shock again […] I felt enormous shame and guilt […] The rape and then the trauma of the subsequent choices I made as a result of being raped haunted me for years. I found with the rape that my body healed, but my thought process and inner core were deeply damaged […] I was the one who carried the emotional and psychological burden of being victimized with me. Not the predators who did this to me - I carried it” - Renee Devesty
- “Either we could be complicit in a culture that permitted the mistreatment and harassment of women, or we could hold ourselves, our friends and our family members accountable for the misogyny. We had a responsibility to unlearn” - Joel Anderson
- “Women hold up half the sky” - Chinese Proverb
Impunity Worldwide For as long as patriarchy has been around, so too has the issue of Impunity worldwide. Millions of women suffer at the hands of their nation’s oppressive regimes because of the use of Impunity. Impunity has set free millions of rapists, murderers and ‘would-be’ convicts, while the victim suffers from the stigma and the loss of life - literally.
India In India, women more often than ever resort to committing suicide when faced with having to make that decision of impunity. They cannot withstand the stigma that results from being a rape victim, nor can they ever imagine being forced to marry their rapist. This is exactly what happened to a teen who recently committed suicide after being gang raped and pressured to marry one of her rapists. The victim’s sibling told Newscasts that the local police officers were pressuring her sister to either accept money or marry one of the rapists. Moreover, recently there has been an increase of ‘bus gang-rapes’. Days after the death of Jyoti Singh Pandey, another girl was gang-raped on a bus by 7 men. In saying such, there has been an increase of ‘victim-blaming’ which is also an element of Impunity. Forcing the victim to take the blame for the rapists actions, placing the element of shame on the victim and forcing the victim to make a choice of either protecting their rights or loosing everything they have (whatever little they may have). So many victims because they fear for their lives and the safety of their family turn to committing suicide - this is their life of impunity.
Guatemala For Guatemalan women, suffering the consequences of not assenting to the terms of impunity has resulted in their family home being burnt to ashes, the death of their siblings, jail time or even death. The documentary ‘A Killer’s Paradise’ (2007) documents in detail the reality that so many women live with on a daily basis. A reality much see in the recent death of 2 innocent girls whose bodies were thrown into the Guatemalan streets. On January 16th, 2013, two girls aged 6 and 11 were strangled while holding their rosary beads; on the same day in another part of Guatemala, 2 other women were shot and murdered. In the documentary, the producers follow the life of a recent rape victim who’s father filed charges against her rapist. After her filed charges, the Guatemalan police confronted her with a decision - either she marries her rapist (impunity) or she her home gets burnt down. She refused to marry her rapist and no sooner than that, her house was burnt down and her family lost everything. Since then she has been living in a shack - 4 cement walls with a galvanize roof. This is their life - a life of impunity