A Note to President Obama concerning International Violence Against Women Act (I-VAWA)

Airyn Lentija-Sloan
Posted November 29, 2010 from Philippines

Dear President Obama,First Lady,Vice President Biden, Secretary Hillary Clinton and the members of US Government:

I am honoured to be given this rare opportunity to take over the platform and speak with you about the pains behind the tears I have and felt of the abused young girls, teenage girls and women. With the approach of the IVAWA vote, I am asking you to sign this legislation for the women of the world.

Everyday countless women suffered from Domestic Violence. While it is usually physical violence many people forget that mental abuse can be equally traumatic and far more long lasting. In addition to this every year, women in some parts of the world become victims of acid attacks and while a brilliant reconstructive surgeon might restore their damage skin tissue they will never be free from the horror of what they have suffered, of the pain and anguish they have experienced and the deep underlying knowledge that they will never, ever, be the same woman.

There are teenage girls, forced to marry at a very young age. Some are exploited, sold to be used as sex slaves, farmer labourers and worst they will be killed slowly by the harvesting of their organs. There are women also will suffer and die from the after effects of female genital mutilation, stoning and other forms of brutal, barbaric acts.

As a Domestic Worker, I have seen and reported on stories that happen around the world to my fellow women; victims of illegal recruiters, abused, raped and killed and disappeared....conveniently forgotten.

The worst is the fast rising number of women, teenage girls and young girls as young as five who are trafficked and exploited. Sex tourism is one of the major problems of my country, the Philippines and of the world were women form the greater percentage of victims.

Young girls were usually the target of child pornography. I have read The Diary of a Sex Slave where You Mi described the life she had gone through as flesh seller. How she coordinated with US Goverment and testify to shut some of the brothels in the US. How many You Mi's still exist and live and work like animals?


While the world is busy - Hide quoted text - Rotating madly on its axis They were stacked in a half-dozen high, Concrete cages,

Waiting for their turn To be exploited, Tainted, Trafficked, Sold...

Innocent girls as young as five Trapped on the blockade of no-more dreams Where their blood-curdling screams Were persecuted inside them Deprived.. Of being heard...

Behind those walls are painful cries Pleas (for education), Fears (for self worth), Traumas (for AIDS...for Alienation) Have you seen/heard/felt them?

They were there... Somewhere... God knows what they feel...

The trembling of their knees The first time the lining of their dreams Were sliced evilly... Lacerated...

The nipples of their hopes Brutally clawed by the beast Of different races In less than ten hours

They were there... Somewhere... Paining... Penning their blues in the wind The words behind their silent weeping In every excruciating night

Nights and days of drowning In the language of the sex trade And not a ghost of a chance The eons of light invade Their infant lamenting souls

God knows what they feel They were there... Somewhere

Now I am asking for your kind heart to please sign the I-VAWA. Women deserves to be loved and respected. Please endorse and sign I-VAWA and help free the abused women from injustice.

Thank you, Airyn Rano Lentija

The International Violence Against Women Act

Comments 2

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  • Nusrat Ara
    Dec 01, 2010
    Dec 01, 2010

    A poetic letter. thanks for sharing.


  • Jade Frank
    Dec 20, 2010
    Dec 20, 2010

    Dearest Airyn,

    Thank you for participating in the IVAWA letter writing campaign and for sharing your voice and your personal testimony with President Obama, Secretary Clinton, and members of the US Senate on the urgency of ending violence against women.

    We sent copies of your letter in packages, along with your fellow PulseWire members', to these key decision makers, and I am excited to announce that on December 15, the International Violence Against Women Act was approved by the Foreign Relations Committee! Our voices were effective in supporting this bill!

    Next step for the bill: Get passed by the Senate and House by the end of the year. I will keep you updated!

    In friendship and solidarity, Jade Frank

    Online Community Manager World Pulse