Addiction in Women Comes With a High Price

Despite this administration’s talk about drugs coming in from Mexico or wherever and we need to stop immigration in order stop the drugs, is really a fairy tale. Drugs have been in the United States for many decades-even at the approval of the government. From the years 1967-1975, the US government allowed a steady stream of crack cocaine to enter into neighborhoods in Harlem with the thought that it would stop African Americans from demanding their rights while disabling the Black Panther Movement. Young people got addicted and died on a daily basis. Dealers were put out on the streets, arrested for a few hours, then released to continue the onslaught that took so many lives during that time. Crack houses became a normal scene in Harlem along with ambulances taking the bodies of young black girls and boys overdosing and hanging on by a thread.

Crack is no longer the “popular” way to get high. There are many more mind erasers, destroyers and psychotic drugs out there that can do so much more damage. More and more people are addicted and the number is growing. But one thing that doesn’t get looked at much is how most people get addicted. Men and women experience a different journey into their addiction. Men may start using drugs because of stress at work or home, gang activity or they grew up around that culture but mostly they are not usually subjected to what women are when they get become addicted. Women most often become addicted because of a circumstance or a situation that has put them in a place of desperation or bondage. When treating women with addiction whether it is a social service or some sort of shelter program we must take into account her mental and behavioral state.
This is so important because if you miss it, it can have dire consequences.

Women addicted to drugs, whatever they may be, usually have a life altering story attached to it. Rape, sex trafficking, domestic violence, exploitation and abuse. All of these thing are tied to drug addiction and if they are not dealt with, the addiction will not be broken. I have seen many women who go into drug rehab facilities and never come out because the violence they encountered has rendered them mentally incapable to function in society therefore they must stay committed. I met one women in Tecate Mexico who was picked up on the streets of LA and brought over the boarder for treatment (she is white and American) and has been there for several years. Her mental state is totally gone, she was raped and her children taken from her from which she may never meet or know who they are. Women have to learn have to survive more than men so being forced into the streets will give them the instincts of “do anything” in order to get in or out of a situation.

For them it’s not just about drug addiction, it’s about violence, social stigma, ostracized by their families and taken from their children. All these factors contribute to being high level bi polar, Schizophrenia and a whole host of mental issues. We cannot treat every addiction the same nor can we compare the opposite sex because in many cases it’s just that, opposite.

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!

Samantha Inesta-BeaSister2aSister

The Brown Menace

So we are back here again. Whenever our attention needs to be diverted it’s always diverted by the “immigrant caravan” the brown menace that are coming to rob, steal and kill Americans-we need a wall. This is an issue that will never cease to be put in the spotlight when deflection is the only solution to cover up the lies we are being told. So, has the wall been built? The answer is no. Have immigrants stopped coming to the border to seek asylum, refuge and a better life? Again, the answer is no. People lives are being used as a bargaining chip for the U.S. President’s plan to “Make America Great Again” a slogan that we are hearing less and less of. If in doing so it means that children are separated from their parents, locked up and abused while women are fleeing abusive husbands and whole families are trying to escape gang violence, then this country should reorganize their priorities.

Latinos from Central America and Mexico are coming because they believe wholeheartedly that they will get to a place were they can live in safety and security but are soon met with hostility and racism. So much so that this administration believes that the only port of entry for human traffickers, smugglers and terrorists is through the Mexican boarder. I guess the rest of the world is secure and these issues don’t plague them. As a matter of fact this President so sure of this that he has shutdown the U.S. government unless he gets a wall on the San Ysidro border in San Diego. This childish, spoiled brat mentality is costing children at the border their lives while hurting families and women who rely on government funding to feed their families. Not to mention the domestic violence services that abused women count on to help rebuild their lives and be safe from their abusers. This is touching more people than anyone can imagine. And it’s still going on.

When you look at the insidious ways we are being led to believe that everything in fine and we are winning, it’s very unsettling. Telling society that the economy is great and unemployment is at an all time low because everyone is working one, two, three jobs while thousands of government employees are not working and have no paycheck. The farce that is being played over and over again that every American is working and are bringing home more money than ever is just plain evil and doesn’t live in the same house as the truth does. Deflection, distortion and lies is what we are being fed. If the demand for the wall is not being met then we must suffer.

This is not just for political commentators or the news media, this is for all of us to have a voice. Whenever a crisis arises that calls for depletion of funding eradication of services and shutdown of programs, it is women that are the most deeply affected. This is why we are in the front lines making our presence known whether we are acknowledged or not. These times don’t call for silence they call for action. We are not looking for popularity or recognition we just want our basic human rights of freedom to live in a place where we can be safe and thrive in our life. The more we are denied and told to be quiet, the more we will push forward until we get OUR demands met.

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!

The Human Rights World Needs A Few Good Women

Samantha Inesta-Executive Director http://www.beasister2asister.org

The one issue that has risen to the top in recent months is human rights. Everything from racist phone calls to the police to massacres of thousands of people due to their religion, ethnicity or land. Rights for farm workers, low-wage workers and sexual harassment in the workplace, women are in a whole category of their own. Nevertheless it is all human rights, the right to live, worship, work and just exist as you please without attacks or persecution. It’s hard to live in this world, everyone has something they’re fighting for and all of those voices screaming in unison with different sicknesses plaguing their lives, it’s hard to hear the problem.

In September of this year I was accepted to a human rights fellowship program that took place in the United States covering Washington D.C., Naples, FL., and Dallas, TX. This wasn’t like any other fellowship because it consisted of all women from countries all over the world. This led to a lot of female bonding, lasting friendships and invitations to do work in several different countries. I was excited. The purpose of this program was to come together in partnership and share the work we were all doing while trying to find solutions on how we can partner and help our women and girls as well as each other. It all seemed so inspiring and empowering but our journey together didn’t meet the expectation most of us were hoping for.

As we made our way to the State Department in Washington D.C. to meet with the people who are in control of giving funding to NGOs and non profits we were prepared to make our cases and felt strongly we would get something in return. Once introductions were finished we dived right into what we came there for however, the response we received left most of us empty and a little frustrated. If you were not already a huge internationally know NGO you would have to partner up with one who was and hope to receive the state funding through them which by the way is taking a big risk. My sisters who were sitting at the table with me were all from other countries, I on the other hand was not so my response was much more disheartening because the US State Department apparently doesn’t think that US non profits deserve their funding-at all. They say that they are working on something to change that but that change has not and probably will not come. The woman at the head of the table either just wasn’t getting it or because of her high position of power just didn’t care. We were all women trying to help other women, why doesn’t she get it? Is what we were thinking but didn’t speak it to life.

The rest of the trip was filled with meetings of other non profits run by women who really just spoke about all the funding they just happened to “stumble onto” that made it possible for them to exist. One women actually drew diagrams for us showing how it would be possible for us to achieve the same thing but one size does not fit all. Our walk through the juvenile and court system in Dallas left us feeling not so warm and fuzzy. It seems that most of these women who are involved in this process have let themselves become jaded. A sad reality is when you see women using human rights a a publicity platform or a campaign promise. When you are blessed financially and want to make a difference, please don’t throw elaborate cocktail parties that don’t yield anything but useless networking. We were ready for a change. Once we stepped off the women’s issues train we hopped onto the refugee and human rights bus and rode it to boarder crossings and farm workers rights. This was where I saw a significant change. Maybe it was because it wasn’t just a women’s issue it was a women, men and children issue. Yes, bad things were happening but there was more of a push a relentlessness of getting what you want but doing it together. Some would argue this is because it’s not just women, it’s men too that’s why more is being done. That’s probably true, we see female migrants suffering just as much of not more than their male counterparts. But there’s more of an outcry a presence that is taken seriously.

Don’t get me wrong, there were some women I met who really wanted to help without helping themselves first but unfortunately it wasn’t many. Our gracious and amazing hosts, some of whom were attorneys, understood these challenges very well but still worked to help us overcome them. These women got it. The ladies in my group were some of the most dedicated, passionate and hard working women in the world of human rights. I am blessed to know them and as much as we try hard to make this a world free of human trafficking, domestic violence, exploitation and abuse, the human rights world still needs a few good women.

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!

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!