Dear President Barack Obama & Secretary Hillary Clinton,
This world is not a safe environment for women. As a junior at Portland State University, my field of focus is Women's Studies. Although my education has been a salient point in my life, it has also been one of the most awful, yet revealing, parts of my life also. Despite my continuing education as a privileged women in the United States; I continue to learn about the atrocities that happened to women in our world and will continue to happen if no one attempts to stop it. Although I am grateful to be able to attend college without the challenges most other women face in our world; violence against women is still a perpetual problem in every institution. My local example is: the rape and violence that occurs on my college campus, and my heart goes out to those who do not, or cannot speak out against it. Luckily I live in a nation that, to some point, recognizes violence against women as a serious crime; so luckily abused women have the opportunity to seek justice and roads to recovery against the violence that has been committed against them. My campus has a fabulous Women's Resource Center for women to seek help with these sorts of serious issues and give them the tools to succeed in their future. Most women in our society have resources to seek help and take action against their aggressors. We have laws in place to prevent crimes of violence committed against women and protect women if they are victims of these circumstances. I do believe much more should be done for women in our society, however, compared to most women who inhabit this world, I have endless resources that they have never or will never have.
Most women in this world DO NOT have any of these resources to help them in these horrid situations. They do not have Women's Resource Centers, they do not have laws to protect them against violence committed against them, they do not have justice or the respect they deserve, and college is obviously out of the question for most women of the world because they are fighting for their lives, and the lives of their children and families every single day. Even though our country sees these problems, it seems like nobody cares for these tortured and battered women at all. (Unless it is an American women). This extreme apathy towards the betterment of women in other countries is sickening. As the most powerful nation of this world it is embarrassing how little we have done to promote the well being of foreign women; but the harm we have inflicted upon them is astronomical. It's a funny thing how history often repeats itself because issues that get swept under the rug like: the mass rapes of the Congo women, the ironing of women's breasts in parts of Africa, female circumcisions, horrid rape laws in Morocco that allow the rapist to marry his victim in order to be acquitted of the crime, and the sex trafficking taking place globally are constantly swept under the rug. The fact that women are so disproportionally affected by crime, violence, AND climate change this CANNOT be an ignored issue any more. The United States has the moral duty to prevent these atrocities committed against women because we have the resources to make it POSSIBLE. We cannot remain passive and wait for crimes to be committed before we take any action against them. I refuse to stand for a country that, once upon a time, refused to help the Jews of Nazi Germany and sent back boats and boats of refugees, and refused to stop the evil of mass murders that was being done, until finally, a crime was committed against us in Pearl Harbor. Who knows how many more millions of Jews would have been exterminated if it wasn't for the price we paid in pearl harbor. I refuse to let that happen again and as our President and Secretary of this nation is it your jobs to right the wrongs that have been done. Do not stand silient and ignorant against these serious crimes. Do not wait for an assault on our grounds before taking real action. DO NOT RE-ACT, PRO-ACT.
Many of these women who continually fight for their lives everyday and need a voice in this world. Our great nation owes it to these women because it is the most HUMANE thing to do. Violence against women is crippling our world no matter what country one may be from; and if we have the ability, and the PRIVILEGE to make a difference, NOTHING should stop us. This issue cannot remain in the dark anymore. As parents yourselves of beautiful daughters, demand better in this world. As the privileged one percent in our society you have the leverage to make this a successful movement against the violence of women globally. Use your immense privileged to save the women in this world before they meet their typical doom. This is not merely just an "African" or "Middle Eastern" problem; THIS IS A GLOBAL PROBLEM THAT AFFECTS EVERYONE THAT INHIBITS THIS WORLD. As Emmanuel Kant would say, it is our moral DUTY to help those that lack autonomous agency in this world; to not act for the women in this world will only perpetuate future violence with our silence.
Please, do not remain passive and dormant about this serious issue of violence committed against women globally. Look within your hearts to recognize your duty as privileged members of this world, and give your voice to those who have none to advocate and create autonomous agency for all women; no matter what country they inhabit.
Simone A. FischerThe International Violence Against Women Act