My journey

Isotta Rossoni
Posted July 25, 2016 from Malta
My vision: a world where women do not have to worry about what they are wearing, how they look and behave for fear of being debased, humiliated, or subjected to violence

My name is Isotta and I live in Malta, where I work for a local NGO which supports crime survivors. I was born in Australia and I grew up between Sydney and Northern Italy. Besides Australia and Italy, I have lived in several European countries, where I have experienced gender-based discrimination first-hand, as well as witnessed how ethnic and racial discrimination intensify the harm of sexual discrimination. Women in the Western world face a number of challenges, which include sexual objectification through the media and in their daily lives (at school, in the workplace, in their personal relationships), barriers to career advancement and gender-based violence. The majority of Victim Support Malta's clients are women who have suffered domestic violence or sexual assault. Some of the perpetrators are family members or friends, while others are strangers. When these women approach the authorities to report the crime they have suffered, they are often treated with scepticism and distrust. Their experiences are seldom underplayed, and occasionally ridiculed by many male police officers, who still constitute the majority of the police force. For this reason, many crimes go unreported, and those who are victimised receive little to no support from the authorities. The NGO I work for tries to fill the gaps. My vision is of a world where women do not have to worry about what they are wearing, how they look and behave for fear of being debased, humiliated, or subjected to violence. I am keen to connect with others who share this vision, and use digital platforms to raise awareness.

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Sally maforchi Mboumien
Jul 25, 2016
Jul 25, 2016

Hi sis Nice reading from you. I am captivated by your vision. "My vision is of a world where women do not have to worry about what they are wearing, how they look and behave for fear of being debased, humiliated, or subjected to violence". I must confuse women are really in trouble everywhere since there is a lot of dos and don'ts. I use to think it was an all African issue but now I know better. I pray your NGO do a lot for this oppressed women.

Ese Ajuyah
Jul 25, 2016
Jul 25, 2016

Dear Isotta,

Your story is a very true and honest depiction of realities for women not only in your own space of intervention albeit all over the world.

I connect with these  words "The majority of Victim Support Malta's clients are women who have suffered domestic violence or sexual assault. Some of the perpetrators are family members or friends, while others are strangers. When these women approach the authorities to report the crime they have suffered, they are often treated with scepticism and distrust. Their experiences are seldom underplayed, and occasionally ridiculed by many male police officers, who still constitute the majority of the police force". This is the reality Violence Against Women in most societies.

You are doing a great work, you can also look towards working with the media in your community to build conciousness and garner supports of community members towards reducing the advent of VAW in your community.

Do keep up your good work as we join together in sisterhood towards creating better societies for all women's voices to be heard and respected.

Regards,

Ese

Anoziva Marindire
Jul 26, 2016
Jul 26, 2016

I think we sometimes forget that women in the developed world face as much discrimination as women living in the developing world and need as much support as is rendered to the women say in Africa or parts of Asia. I was touched by the following statement "When these women approach the authorities to report the crime they have suffered, they are often treated with scepticism and distrust. Their experiences are seldom underplayed, and occasionally ridiculed by many male police officers, who still constitute the majority of the police force." and wanted to find out if your organisation is doing work to sensitize the police force on how to deal and attend to rape victims or those coming to report being raped. In Zimbabwe, there have been great inroads in regards to how the police deal with such issues through training the police officer to handle such cases, each police station now has a victim friendly unit manned by specially trained officers where victims go to report and referred to rape clinics etc.

Avera
Jul 27, 2016
Jul 27, 2016

Hi Isotta,

      Your story depicts what happens to us women all over the world. I have traveled the world and the problems we suffer are the same. i used to think that the women in the west were better off in terms of abuse but later found out that they face the same abuse from rape, verbal, visual and physical abuse from partners or other members of their families/communities.

The law enforcement officers behave the same in Cameroon. When a woman reports a crime /abuse against her, it's underplayed. No action is taken. Sometimes they'll ask the woman what she did before the man abused her. In most rape cases, the police would say, the woman asked for it because of the way she dressed.

What can we as women do to stop these perpetrators?

I am also in to empowering women. Keep up the good job hoping that some day, we shall find a solution to our problems and challenges.

cheers,

Avera

BarbaraP
Jul 29, 2016
Jul 29, 2016

Dear Isotta,

Unfortunately the issues you bring up are world-wide.  Women are taken less seriously about crimes they've experienced and belittled by police who want to make them believe they brought it onto themselves.  I applaud your work in Malta and hope that your NGO can reach all the women there who need to be helped.  Thank you for what you are doing.

World Pulse is a perfect place for you to be learning from others, listening to stories and sharing yours as well.  You will find help and companionship in your work. Keep up the great work!

Barbara

Mary Morgan
Jul 31, 2016
Jul 31, 2016

Hello, Isotta

I think one thing I can share with the rest of the sisters that have commented here is that we are not alone in our experience. For this I feel understood by people who have lived extremely different lives than myself, but I also feel very sad that so many women have felt this way.

Its unfortunate that women throughout the world are systematically placed into these situations and I'm also proud of you for doing what you can to make an impact!

Isotta Rossoni
Aug 01, 2016
Aug 01, 2016

Thanks to all of you for your amazing messages and comments. I find it both depressing to see that the challenges we all face are so big and widespread, and heartwarming to know that there are so much dedicated, passionate women who are fighting every day. Thanks for you words and for inspiring me. 

Avera
Aug 01, 2016
Aug 01, 2016

You're welcome dear. Let's keep up the good fight and some day, just about some day, and on this platform, we shall prevail.

cheers,

Avera

torilynnfox
Aug 03, 2016
Aug 03, 2016

It is so frustrating that so much of the world is still living in the past. Inequality to women has never been acceptable, but with how far we have come, its so depressing that this is still an issue on such a large scale. I share your vision as I think all of us in this community do. I'm so glad you're involved with World Pulse because I think it is such a great platform for women all over the world. Good luck with your journey and keep up the good work!!!

Heather Ley
Aug 04, 2016
Aug 04, 2016

Isotta,

I commend you for your amazing work with an incredible ngo. You and this NGO have brought to light and are identifying major gaps in society -- the public's failed recognition of the seriousness of gender-based discrimination within society and the often lack of appropriate services needed for crime survivors, especially survivors of sexual assault or domestic violence. Bringing awareness to these gaps is a major first step. What is even more important, you and the NGO are also providing supportive services to fill that gap! You are a witness of empowering survivors and creating positive change!

The knowledge, vision, and passion you offer to the World Pulse community are major assets. Thank you for you incredible work and sharing your journey!