Yesterday some very strange things happened in my country and I am trying to understand them to put them in perspective, to the big picture. The day started out the same way, much like any other, I stayed away from the news because the daily diet of negatives, lying politicians, cynical radio talk shows and reports of traffic accidents and brutal murder by the gun, is at times just too much to unravel and understand and make sense of.

So I stayed away for the drama most of the day, I was almost at the end of the day, feeling quite proud that I had heard none of the news that day, when I did what I promised myself I would not do; I listened to the news, and oh Lord I was once again taken- aback. The first story made the point that every month over one hundred girls go missing, there are serious allegations in Jamaica of girls being used in human trafficking. Some of these girls return home at a point, while some are never found and are presumed dead. In this case the Jamaican Children's Registry is tying to arrive at a strategy which will see and island wide sear h when a girl goes missing. I was just shocked at the numbers, over one hundred! Incredible.

Then the Minister of Education, proudly announced that the government would not make condoms available in high schools as Jamaica is a Christian society which holds to the ideal that one man and one woman should use the sanctity of marriage as the space within which intimate relations are negotiated between a man and a woman. He said as well that while Jamaica believes that every man woman and child should treat every Jamaican with respect and tolerance. He also announced that girls who get pregnant before graduation would not be expelled, imagine that.

And while I was thinking that through I got the news that everyone already knew and I did not up to this point: a policeman had shot to death his common law wife. Her mother told the news that she was about to end the relationship with him because she discovered he was married. So this morning three more children are motherless even as citizens accuse the police of bias in the treatment of their colleague.

I am trying to put this and so much more into perspective, what does this say about this country and its women, how do we understand the national sentiment towards women, I am not sure what I will conclude but for now I know that things do not look well for women in this country.


Hi Nadz, You account of the news in Jamaica yesterday is horrifying but unfortunately, it is not better on this side of the World. I am currently working on a video project on battered women who end up spending so many years in prison for killing their abusers. These women often do not get to plead self defense here in the state of Oregon and very little is done to help them before they get to this point of no return and end up killing their abusers. Not much is being done to help or raise awareness about the incredible amount of women who end up dying from the hands of their abusers either. Activists around the issue here in Oregon are pushing for a change in the law so women who kill their abusers do not end up in prison and are able to raise their children. They are also pushing for a domestic violence education to be made compulsory in every schools in the US. I know you are doing amazing work with girls in Jamaica and sometimes it feels overwhelming to see how many need our help, but you are not alone facing these realities. I stand with you. In solidarity!

Delphine Criscenzo

I ask for strength for you in your work and I hope you too wil continue to speak for those who have been silenced.

Life is just for living

Dear Nadz,

I read your post and the statistics you cite of girls who disappear is so shocking and horrible it's hard to wrap my brain around. I can't believe the horror of it. With two young children myself, it is my biggest fear and my heart is so heavy for the parents of these precious children. I can't imagine the pain and horror that they feel; it must be unbearable.

Sorry. I'm sorry for how sick people on this planet are. I pray that by raising our voices and speaking out for justice and equality and helping defend the vulnerable among us that things will get better. You have such a powerful voice and I am inspired by you!!

Don't be discouraged! I hope you continue to be inspired by the work that you do, bringing hope to the most vulnerable among us and helping girls find their own voice and courage!!

With love and gratitude,


______________________________________________________________________________ "I wish I could show you when you are lonely or in darkness the astonishing light of your own being." -Hafiz

Susan I am amazed at it and we are so unmoved by it. Because normally in our minds this is what teen girls do they go off with men, it is allowable. No outrage or condemnation, just acceptance. Nadz

Life is just for living

It is so disheartening to see stories like this in the news...they are all too common. What is wrong with our world, our culture, our training of men that these things keep happening at a pandemic rate? We need to stand up and teach men to be better partners in the world, to respect and treasure women!

And over 100 girls every MONTH going missing?! Oh my...this is shocking and horrifying.I applaud your work with girls empowerment and know that you're making a difference, even if it seems small sometimes. Keep it up!

Scott Beck