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Everything You Need To Know About The #MeToo Movement

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#MeToo, Victim
Spread of awareness. No more such thing as boys are boys.

By Dr. Bharti Raizada

Sexual violence is widely prevalent and is a real issue.

Sexual violence and associated trauma can range from minor to major.

As per CDC (Center for Disease Control and Prevention), one in every 3 women and one in every 6 men have experienced sexual violence in the form of physical contact.

Many incidents are unreported.

Following statement is from an article, by Brendan Murphy, in AMA wire,

“Nearly, 15% of medical students- 1 in 7-have reported being subjected to offensive sexist remarks or names, while 4% reported being the victim of unwanted sexual harassment, according to data from the 2017 association of American Medical Colleges’ of Graduation questionnaire.”

#MeToo, women, Indian Idol, victim
The hushed whispers are getting louder. Flickr

Who is the victim?

Anyone can be a victim and it can occur at any age- in childhood, in youth or in old age. Victim can be a working woman, homemaker, women in power, or student. It happens in rich families and poor families, in developing countries and developed countries, in joint families and nuclear families, basically everywhere. Boys/males can also be victims.

Who is the Culprit?

  1. Usually, the Perpetrator/Molester/Predator is a male
  2. Family members
  3. People in power
  4. People in workplace.
  5. Even females can be the perpetrators.

These people may have a double personality- one for victims and one for everyone else. They may be well respected in family, community, and society.

Why many victims do not speak at the time of the incident?

  1. They fail to realize what happened
  2. Are in denial
  3. The victim is a child and does not know whom to report and what to say.
  4. Believe that if they speak up then no one will believe them as molesters are usually well respected in the society or are powerful and famous.
  5. Believe that they will not get support and will be asked to shut up, stay silent and hide the incident and will be marginalized.
  6. Believe that they will be blamed and stigmatized for what happened.
  7. If the abuser is a known or family member, they do not want to destroy relations.
  8. Are ashamed to speak up.
  9. Victims are told that it is normal and to just get over it and forget and move forward as there are better things to do in life.
  10. They are threatened with consequences and retaliation.
  11. Are scared of the person or scared to lose job and promotion.
  12. They are labeled a troublemaker.
  13. Reporting and legal proceedings are long; itself a harassment, need money and time off work, become a public incident, and the topic of gossips.
  14. Authorities are working for institutions and corporations and not for victims.
#MeToo, women, Indian Idol, victim
#MeToo movement is a movement against sexual harassment and sexual assault. #MeToo spread virally in October 2017. Flickr

Effects on victim

  1. Mental trauma, Posttraumatic stress disorder
  2. Recollection and reliving of events if they see someone else going through same.
  3. Abnormal relations and sexual life
  4. Becoming the perpetrator herself and driving pleasure by seeing others suffering in a similar way.
  5. Becoming violent and harming the perpetrator
  6. Suicide and homicide can occur

What are the options?

  1. Be strong and say no to abuse.
  2. Expose these people during or immediately after the incident or asap
  3. Collect evidence and report to authorities
  4. Confront the molester directly.
  5. Take counseling
  6. Support other victims.
  7. Males and females who are witnesses should come out of their comfort zones and support victim and speak up the truth
  8. The Person who does this is sick and needs treatment, support, and counseling. Help him also.
  9. Accept victims with dignity, love, and respect. Help them heal. Give them resources.
  10. Forget and forgive. Some victims may even forget the incidence.
  11. Have a big heart and understand that predator is not the same person now and has a family and career and your truth can destroy his world and his family who is not at fault.
  12. Male victim should also speak up and come forward, spread awareness, and help prevent it.
  13. Make support groups for victims, molesters, and their families.
#MeToo, Victim
Do not accept that it is a norm and do not keep tolerating. Flickr

What not to do-

  1. Do not accept that it is a norm and do not keep tolerating
  2. Do not let yourself in risky or life-threatening situations.
  3. Do not spread hate
  4. Do not use this movement as an opportunity to take revenge, blame innocent people, and destroy their relations, family, happiness, career etc. Do not use this movement as a weapon to harass someone.

What is not #metoo:

If someone is telling you to do proper work at workplace.

Someone is harassing you in a way that is not sexual in nature.

Someone is unfair at work.

Consensual sexual act.

Guessing that x person has done it.

#MeToo, Victim
Anyone can be a victim and it can occur at any age. Flickr

The result of this movement

  1. Spread of awareness. No more such thing as boys are boys.
  2. Victims have courage to come forward, speak up and get support.
  3. The perpetrators are being called, and justice is being served.

There are real victims and there are opportunists.

Men are fearing women and are avoiding contact with them. There are talks about consent forms. Should men carry the consent forms with them all the time and get one signed by a girl before any little thing or interaction with females. Men are scared and nervous. They may not like to work with females or guide them or mentor them or hire them out of fear.

What needs to stop

  1. Sexual harassment, assault, molestation, and violence
  2. False allegations, accusations
#MeToo, Victim
Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) politician M.J. Akbar takes the oath during the swearing-in ceremony of new ministers, July 5, 2017, at the Presidential Palace in New Delhi. The Indian minister and veteran newspaper editor announced his resignation, Oct. 17, 2018, while still insisting that the accusations of sexual harassment are false. VOA

Some Shows and Reads based on this issue-

Movie—Monsoon wedding ( family member is influential, well respected and is child predator).

One episode of Satyamev Jayate on child sexual abuse.

Allegations against Dr.  Robicheaux, and Ms. Riley and Dr. Larry Nassar. (People in power and at the workplace).

Allegations against Nana Pateker and Alok Nath (Famous People)

Movie I am- based on Male child sexual abuse by a family member

Dr. Bharti Raizada is a Chicago based anesthesiologist

Next Story

UN Records Grave Violations Against 12,000 School Children in 2018

One of the more troubling trends emerging in the 2018 report is the growing targeting of schools and hospitals from Yemen and Syria to Afghanistan and South Sudan

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conflict, children
FILE - Children play outside a community center at an internally displaced person's camp, in the capital Juba, South Sudan, April 2, 2019. VOA

U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said Tuesday he was “appalled” that more than 12,000 children were killed or maimed last year in some 20 countries at war or in a state of conflict.

The unprecedented level of violence against boys and girls was recorded in the U.N.’s annual report naming and shaming countries and armed groups that perpetrate such violence. In all, the U.N. recorded 24,000 grave violations against children in 2018, including killing, maiming, sexual violence, abductions, recruitment and attacking schools and hospitals.

Worst offender

“But without a doubt, the one situation that really comes to my mind is the worst one — the one we have to do our utmost to reverse — is Somalia,” said Virginia Gamba, U.N. special representative for children in armed conflict, whose office prepares the often-controversial report.

She told reporters that the number of violations across all categories there is very high, providing a worrying picture. She said there is also a lack of engagement with the United Nations to improve protections for children, and she said she hopes to visit Somalia in the next two months to see if there is any possibility to open a dialogue.

Both the Somali National Army and the terrorist group al-Shabab, as well as the Ahlu-Sunna Wal-Jama’a (ASWJ), were included in the report’s annex of perpetrators.

violations, conflict, children
FILE – The clothes of a victim lie in the wreckage of a bus carrying civilians, many of them school children, at the site of a deadly Saudi-led coalition airstrike, Saada, Yemen, Aug. 12, 2018. VOA

Targeting hospitals and schools

One of the more troubling trends emerging in the 2018 report is the growing targeting of schools and hospitals from Yemen and Syria to Afghanistan and South Sudan.

“Here you can actually see the tactics of war, and we are seeing more and more armed groups on purpose destroying schools — and particularly those that engage in girls’ education,” Gamba said. “If you are destroying schools, you are destroying choices.”

She noted that on a recent visit to Mali, she spoke with youth who told her of having no education or vocational opportunities, which means they will have few job prospects. “It seems to me that there is every intention of armed groups to destroy the possibility of giving an alternative to children outside of war usage,” she said.

Treading lightly with Saudi Arabia

In recent years, Saudi Arabia has rejected its listing for its role in the Yemen war, which has led to the report’s annex being separated into two lists — one for grave violators and another for parties that are perpetrating violations but have put in place measures aimed at improving the safety of children.

Saudi Arabia is not listed by name in the 2018 report but rather as the “Coalition to Support Legitimacy in Yemen.” It is not among the most grave violators, despite the report citing numerous airstrikes that killed or maimed 685 children last year. The coalition, which has engaged with the U.N. on the issue, is among those parties that have put in place measures to protect children. The Houthi rebels who they are fighting are on the most serious offenders list.

children, violence
FILE – Medical workers help a child, who was injured in a mortar shell attack, at Medina hospital during Somali Independence day ceremony in Mogadishu, Somalia, July, 1, 2018. VOA

“It’s baffling that the secretary-general’s ‘not-so-bad’ list gives credit to parties that are increasing, not reducing, their violations against children,” said Human Rights Watch children’s rights advocacy director, Jo Becker, in a statement. “Guterres should return to a single list based solely on evidence of violations on the ground.”

Israel vs. Palestinians

Israel was not listed, despite the U.N. verifying the deaths of 57 Palestinian children — 56 were attributable to Israeli forces and one to an Israeli settler — the highest figures since 2014. The report also found that nearly 3,000 Palestinian children were injured during the Great March of Return in March and April of last year, when there were daily protests at the security fence separating the Gaza Strip from Israel.

Gamba said the secretary-general ultimately decides who is listed, and that he has directed her office to further examine the killings and maimings of children in the Palestinian territories and to report back to him by the end of December. She is also to look into the recruitment of children by Palestinian militants.

ALSO READ: Dengue Outbreak Breaks Record in Bangladesh, Hospitals Struggle to Find Space for Patients

The special representative also noted that she has repeatedly sought to engage with both the Israeli and Palestinian authorities and has been unsuccessful, and hoped that the secretary-general’s new directive would enable her access.

“My office was not born to name and shame and attribute, and that’s it,” Gamba said of the controversies her annual blacklist generates. “The job is to raise awareness on the plight of children and to try to prevent the violations and better protect children.” (VOA)