Below are two posts calling out to everyone to commit to ending gender based violence.
In Sweden, with a new law passed, lack of consent for sex is enough to constitute a crime.
According to the latest newsletter from Battered Women’s Support Services, more women in Canada are stepping forward to report violence, but not enough is being done.
“Women are not experiencing violence by accident or because of a natural vulnerability – rather, violence against women is the result of structural, deep-rooted discrimination and cultural norms.”
Time for change, for deep forgiveness, masculine and feminine.
Now is the time for peace within, without.
Sweden Says Sex Without Consent
Under Any Circumstance Is Rape
By Meka Beresford, Global Citizen, May 24, 2018
LONDON, May 23 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) — Sweden on Wednesday outlawed sex not based on mutual consent, with campaigners hoping other European countries would also toughen up rape legislation after the #MeToo anti-harassment campaign.
With the new law, Sweden will join a small number of countries, including Britain and Canada, where the lack of consent in sex, even without violence, is enough to constitute a crime.
Details about the law on the Swedish government website said there will no longer be a requirement to prove violence or the threat of violence to obtain a conviction.
The law, due to come into force on July 1, stopped short of making expressed consent a condition for consensual sex but stressed passivity was not a sign of agreeing to sex.
Women’s rights campaigners said they hoped the law would spark change across Europe, where most nations still define rape as an act carried out with the use or threat of violence.
“While there is still a great distance to travel, we are hopeful that today’s decision will herald a Europe-wide shift in legislation and in attitudes,” Anna Blus, a researcher on women’s rights for Amnesty International, said in a statement.
Law and order is likely to be a major issue in Sweden’s parliamentary election in September, with the populist, opposition Sweden Democrats linking public concern about a rising crime rate to an increase in immigrants.
The government said the incidence of sexual offences was rising in Sweden with young women facing the greatest risk but too few of these offences were reported.
The new law will introduce two new offences, negligent rape and negligent sexual abuse, carrying a maximum prison term of four years.
The new law, as published previously, stated that “in the judgment of whether participation is voluntary, it should be taken into special consideration whether consent has been expressed in words or action.”
“If a person wants to engage in sexual activities with someone who remains inactive or gives ambiguous signals, he or she will therefore have to find out if the other person is willing,” the law read.
Elin Sundin, head of Swedish consent campaign group Fatta, said the move came as women globally were stressing the importance of “bodily rights” in the wake of #MeToo.
“When it comes to sexual consent and integrity and bodily rights it is something close to the heart of many women,” Sundin told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.
(Reporting by Meka Beresford @mekaberesford, editing by Belinda Goldsmith. Please credit the Thomson Reuters Foundation, the charitable arm of Thomson Reuters, that covers humanitarian news, women’s rights, trafficking, property rights, climate change and resilience. Visit http://news.trust.org)
Battered Women’s Support Services Newsletter
Today, we commemorate December 6th the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence against Women following the murder of 14 female engineering students at l’École Polytechnique de Montreal in 1989.
BWSS commemorates the many ways in which women experience gender-based violence — from Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls, transgender women, gender non-binary folks and the broad spectrum of women girls across Canada.
This day continues to be a poignant reminder of the ongoing work that needs to be done to end gender based violence. Today is as important as it was in 1989 with the murders of the 14 women in Montreal.
It reminds us how endemic and how much of an epidemic that violence against women is in Canada. Unlike other criminal activity in Canada, for the last 40 years reports of violence against women and girls has increased.
This week, Statistics Canada released their 2017 profile on police-reported rates of abuse for seniors, children, youth and intimate partners.
Not surprisingly, they have found that gender- based violence has increased since 2016 based on what we see daily on the front line and through social movements like #MeToo that have had a direct effect on increased reporting to police and victim based services like BWSS.
In 2017, close to one-third of all police-reported victims in Canada were victims of intimate partner violence. As has been the case in previous years, females were over-represented, accounting for almost 8 in 10 victims.
In fact, violence committed by an intimate partner (45%) was the most common type of violence experienced by female victims of violent crime in 2017.
It is important to note that these are statistics based on police reports and that the majority of women and girls do not report to the police, they often report to family, friends and community based organizations, like BWSS, instead.
66 women were murdered by their intimate partner in Canada in 2017. Intimate partner violence and homicide are an ongoing violation of human rights. Not only does it deprive women of their lives but also has detrimental effects on their children.
The rate of violence against seniors also increase by four per cent between 2016 and 2017. There were 11,380 seniors aged 65 and older who were victims of police-reported violence in 2017. Slightly more than half of the seniors abused by family were women, with 32 per cent who were victimized by their husbands.
Annually, approximately 1,400 senior women reach out to BWSS looking for assistance because of an abusive situation within a current relationship with a husband and/or with an adult child and/or with a caregiver.
Police-reported family violence against children and youth higher in 2017 than 2016 with rates of violence were higher for female victims in every metropolitan area in Canada.
Over 4,500 girls and young women experienced sexual violence in 2017. Given that approximately 10% of assaults are reported, the actual number is much higher.
Canada needs to do more in support of women and girls who experience violence.
We must recognize that women are not experiencing violence by accident or because of a natural vulnerability – rather, violence against women is the result of structural, deep-rooted discrimination and cultural norms.
As individuals, community and society we must commit to ending gender based violence in Canada.
While there is definitely a need for societal attitudes to shift in order to overcome the problematic attitudes and beliefs that leads to male violence against women, trans women and gender non-binary folks. Various policies and practices need to change in Canada in support of violence prevention and survivors.
What We Can Do
We can, with deep forgiveness for our entire journey, help in the healing of the masculine and the feminine.
In order to do this individually there’s need for consistent quiet time, meditation time, to remember the situations out of alignment in order to do the work.
Allowing the situations to arise is a methodical practise. It’s not something to be rushed and it’s one that can done on deeper and deeper levels, a fascinating process for peace, for freedom, not only for our selves, but for many.
When we forgive our selves in meditation for not expressing and experiencing our Divinity — situations from the past, the feelings held from trauma, the “being right” and disarray created — we heal, communities and societies heal.
We can call on Sanat Kumara, our Planetary Logos, Keeper of Universal Law, for help:
I invoke Sanat Kumara, the Universal Law of Transmutation,
of Transformation for all situations out of alignment
with my Divinity. I ask for help BALANCING
my masculine and feminine energies,
d e e p forgiveness of everything
within, and therefore without.
Thank you, Sanat Kumara,
for your assistance.