The Female Resistance

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From North Africa to the Middle East to Latin America, women all over the world are taking to the streets to speak out against everything from violence against women to abortion and murders of outspoken journalists who criticize authoritarian regimes. This is without a doubt a female resistance to a system that has suppressed freedom of speech, human rights and the rights of women and children. Never before in history have we seen record numbers of women coming out into the streets and demanding justice from governments that refuse to listen to the issues they face. This is a movement that will remembered throughout history.

The first women’s rights movement  in the United States started in 1848 in Seneca Falls, NY. Sixty-eight women were accompanied by thirty-two men as they signed a Declaration of Sentiments that included a set of twelve resolutions that called for the  equal treatment of women and men under the law as well as voting rights for women. In 1869 Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton formed the National Woman Suffrage Association that focused on voting rights for women. Fast forward to 2018 and the women’s  movement has expanded to issues like rape, sexual harassment, violence against women, sex trafficking, unequal pay, inequality and racism. These same women are also fighting for the freedom of our country and those that come here. All of this begs the question: “If we are such a free and democratic country, why is women’s human rights an issue?” Probably because it was hidden and manipulated into the idea that women are happy just the way they are and enjoying the freedom of a democratic utopia. This mindset quickly fell apart when the feminist movement started to take shape.

The 60’s and 70’s showed women burning their bras calling for autonomy, abortion rights and reproductive rights. What’s more is women speaking out against domestic violence, sexual harassment in the workplace, misogyny and gender discrimination all things that have really exploded in the present day. The Civil Rights movement in the 1960’s gave way to the collapse of European colonialism in Africa, the Caribbean and parts of Latin America and Southeast Asia. Women from these countries proposed a “Post-Colonial” and “Third World” feminism, something that iconic feminists like Chandra Talpade Mohanty, Angela Davis and Alice Walker agree with. This view challenged western feminism as being ethnocentric and not including women of other cultures and colors. We see this problem coming to light again when we hear the phrase “White Women’s Feminism”. Women of color feel they are being given certain freedoms because of their white counterparts who they feel are being listened to and respected more than they are. The thinking that if all women want something to change white women need to lead the charge and speak out. Because of this we see culturally specific women’s movements that target women from a certain, country, religion or ethnicity. Women are no longer fighting together but in solidarity for others who are not from the same background. If you are white you can’t fight with African American women but you can be in solidarity with them. If you are European you can’t fight with Arabic women but you can be in solidarity with them. So even though it may look like all women are fighting together in fact, they are divided by country, culture, ethnicity and religion.

Western feminism can be credited with starting a women’s human rights movement but it failed to support all women. Social media being the conduit it is for connections all over the world, can be the connector to understanding one another and the issues we face in our respective homelands. When we go on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram uploading pictures of ourselves with other women marching or protesting we use the word sisters quite often and that’s a good thing but we’re still marching in our own movement created specifically for us. Almost every news media report or tweet we see involves women resisting, creating a revolution and we feel proud and encouraged, it fuels our fire and reminds us that we too can cause a revolution. But, do we just want to stand in solidarity or do we want to fight together. The revolution cannot continue if we are not speaking as one.  #BeSisters

 

 

Thanks so much for taking the time to read this blog! BeaSister2aSister is a 501(c)3 non profit that helps survivors of human trafficking, domestic violence, abuse and exploitation to gain the skills and tools to become self sustainable again and break away from interdependence. We are based in the United States with programs in several countries.

If you would like to help us bring survivors out of dependence and into self sustainability, please visit our website @ http://www.beasister2asister.org & click on give today. You can make a one time donation or be a sustainable reoccurring donor. Thanks for supporting!

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Navigating The Waters of LA

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Change is good. Change comes in different forms from a new job to starting a new life, change can be exciting. Sometimes we really need a change and when the opportunity presents itself-we take it because we know it will be better for us. That’s what we help survivors do on their journey to self sustainability we encourage them to embrace the change.

Starting fresh can be a scary thing, especially when you don’t know what the future holds but you keep you faith strong knowing that somehow, some way, it will all work out. BeaSister2aSister believes that change is good and even though it can be a little frightening, it can also be exhilarating and adventurous. We are starting new programs in Southern California, Los Angeles, Los Angeles County and San Diego. In addition to New York along with several countries we are working in, BeaSister2aSister has expanded our programs to have a wider reach into helping women and girls. Having a hand in big cities, places where young women are most vulnerable to being trafficked and exploited, positions us at the right point to help those who are lost in the cycle of programs that are keeping them dependent and helpless. We know that giving women and girls opportunities to be successful on their own without a interdependent relationship is empowering and strengthening.

If we are not afraid to embrace change we can go a long way and achieve success become the women we were meant to be. We have only been in LA for a sort time but we are already engaging with young women and helping them to live up to their full potential, hunger for more and not live a life of complacency. There are many more out there who can benefit from change and growth. BeaSister2asister understands that it’s not that easy for some women to take this new opportunity to start over. They may have ties to certain people who have helped them in the beginning but are no longer giving them what they need but have become attached to them. They may have children they are waiting to be reunited with and don’t want to leave or go far away for fear they may never see them again due to a abusive marriage which turned into a abusive divorce. Whatever the reason is, BeaSister2aSister will work with them so that they can see that staying complacent and waiting for change to come to them will get them to where they want to be nor will it help them on the path of sustainability.

BeaSister2aSister wants to be where young women and girls are craving for change, desperate for something new but don’t know how to access it because they have been living with trauma and re-victimization. We feel we are positioned in an area where we can reach  young women who are survivors of trafficking, domestic violence, exploitation and abuse as well as being a service to refugee women who are coming across the border seeking asylum for violence back in their country. As the ever-changing nature of violence against women progresses, we will be there to offer hope and new life filled with independence and self sustainability. We love LA!

 

Thanks so much for taking the time to read this blog! BeaSister2aSister is a 501(c)3 non profit that helps survivors of human trafficking, domestic violence, abuse and exploitation to gain the skills and tools to become self sustainable again and break away from interdependence. We are based in the United States with programs in several countries.

If you would like to help us bring survivors out of dependence and into self sustainability, please visit our website @ http://www.beasister2asister.org & click on give today. You can make a one time donation or be a sustainable reoccurring donor. Thanks for supporting!

 

Women And Revolution

Divided We Fall

Samantha Inesta – Founder/Executive Director

BeaSister2aSister.org

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Sexual assault, rape, domestic violence, #MeToo, gender gap are some of the things that are dividing women in this current age. Patriarchy and race are at odds with one another because if you’re a white woman of privilege, patriarchy is your friend. All sides have their artillery ready for the gender, race and class war that seems to be rearing it’s ugly head demanding attention. In the middle of all this, real victims are suffering. Women who have been trying for years to get their voices heard are now caught up in the fray that is women’s rights.

America has awoken from their slumber of sexism and misogyny and realized this is a stain on their democracy making women not as free as they appear. #MeToo has emboldened women to speak out and not worry about backlash because your sisters are behind you. But as we saw with Dr. Christine Blasey Ford, not everyone was feeling the sisterly love. Older white women are re-victimizing their younger counterparts while putting themselves on a higher pedestal of purity. The tide is changing and those of us who are trying to make a difference are not always able to make it to shore and grab a lifesaver. Depending on how you were raised and from what cultural background you came from will determine your place in society. As women we struggle with the gender roles that we were assigned. Don’t talk so loud, push your feelings deep down, don’t over react, don’t bring attention to yourself etc. But perhaps the one that’s getting the most attention these days is women showing their rage and anger when they are assaulted, attacked and demeaned. Women have a right to feel the way they do because not only do we feel the oppression from men but also from the systems put in place to keep us controlled. The last thing we need is to have other women who we would think would be on our side, against us.

Most women have experienced some sort of violent attack whether it was sexual or otherwise by a male and our culture dictates we shouldn’t say anything to anyone because it’s too embarrassing. Keep it to yourself. This type of thinking will not serve women well, it will manifest itself in ways that are destructive. Depression, anxiety, mental health and suicide are all things that most women will suffer. Compartmentalization comes into play when blocking out parts of a life that isn’t popular in your inner circle. Instead of dealing with the pain and moving onto a healing process, it’s easier to use that pain against others who have suffered similar situations. This is were the divide begins. The racial component manifests itself as women from a lower  socioeconomic status where marginalization is imminent and justification is always present, but this adjusts itself when the status is higher than expected but the outcome is the same.

When women march the idea is to create change for all women no matter who they are, but the reality is change comes to some, not all. Old stereotypes are alive and well and used frequently. In the United States women’s human rights are segregated. We have rights for African American women, Latino women, Indigenous women, Asian women etc. This suggests we are more divided than ever. This hurts rights for women so much in the sense that when really important decisions need to made concerning the lives of all women, there is a bias. This bias can hurt or destroy the futures of many women and girls based on cultural stereotypes that are overly exaggerated. The state that were are living in right now is a breeding ground for this type of division to grow and fester until women will no longer care about anyone but themselves-some already do. Within this divide there is a commonality that all women share. They suffer the same in violent relationships and marriages, they may experience sexual assault and rape and feel the same shame and victimization. When it comes to violence against women there is no divide because women all suffer the same but choose to be divided in their pain. 

Support and solidarity is something new for most women in this country because they’ve never been truly united and these growing pains hurt. Maybe we will be able to move forward one day and say that “I don’t care who she is or what she’s done, I will support and believe her.” This is all easier said than done, a lot of chains must fall before women can recognize that even though we come in different shapes sizes and colors, when we hurt, we all hurt the same.

 

Thanks so much for taking the time to read this blog! BeaSister2aSister is a 501(c)3 non profit that helps survivors of human trafficking, domestic violence, abuse and exploitation to gain the skills and tools to become self sustainable again and break away from interdependence. We are based in the United States with programs in several countries.

If you would like to help us bring survivors out of dependence and into self sustainability, please visit our website @ http://www.beasister2asister.org & click on give today. You can make a one time donation or be a sustainable re-occurring donor. Thanks for supporting!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Domestic Violence & Asylum in The Trump Era

IMG_6145Samantha Inesta

Founder/Executive Director BeaSister2aSister.org

With all of the chaos still happening at the boarders and children still separated from their parents in detention facilities where most are being abused, being a domestic violence victim is no longer applicable to claim asylum.  This shouldn’t be too surprising. Women in the United States who are victims of domestic violence are not treated much differently. 1 in 3 women are a victim of domestic violence, 1 in 7 women have been stalked by an intimate partner and the presence of a gun in a home where there is domestic violence increases the risk of death by 500%. These are recent statistics put out by the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NCADV). When a women finds herself  to be a victim she experiences higher levels of depression, anxiety and suicidal tendencies. There are so many factors that come into play that destroy a woman’s life as well as the children she is trying to protect. The vulnerability of a child when they are the witness of a traumatic and violent event can leave a devastating impact and scar them for life. The threat to a woman losing her life to domestic violence in the States is the same as if she was coming from Central America and not receiving the right protections. ...read more...

What DHS Doesn’t Want You to Know About Detained Minors

IMG_6145Samantha Inesta-Executive Director-BeaSister2aSister

The separation of children from their parents at the border is still a disease that is plaguing the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Health & Human Services (HHS), the US government and everyone who wants them reunited. Hiding the gender segregation of the children should’ve been a pretty big red flag. Separating the boys from the girls suggests there is some sort of plan in place that is not designed to keep them safe but subservient. For the longest time no one knew what was happening in those detention centers, not the parents, not the people in congress against this decision-nobody. Until now. ...read more...