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By Dora Mekouar
When she was in college, Patricia Cumbie says she was attacked by a man at a party.
“I am a rape survivor. I was sexually assaulted when I was a student many years ago now,” says Cumbie, who is in her 50s. “And I remember at the time feeling like, ‘Oh, is what happened to me a crime or not?’ And I think that’s a very common reaction for a lot of survivors, you know because violence against women is so normalized.”
Cumbie is among the one in three women worldwide who will experience physical or sexual violence in her lifetime.
“Violence against women has been called, by global leaders, the human rights issue of our time, a pandemic,” says Cheryl Thomas, executive director of Global Rights for Women. “One hundred thirty-seven women a day are killed by their intimate partners or their family members … so, it’s a dramatic, dramatic human rights crisis.”
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Violence against women is so widespread that U.S. President Joe Biden is asking Congress to almost double the funding — to $1 billion — for the Justice Department’s Office on Violence Against Women, which provides funding and programming support for services for victims of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking.
“In addition, $120 million is provided to expand our efforts to address widespread rape kit backlogs,” Attorney General Merrick Garland told Congress earlier this month, “and to fund new investigative training programs for law enforcement officers and prosecutors and units dedicated to investigating gender-based violence.”
Taking the lead
The United States has been a leader in the violence against women movement since 1994 when Congress passed the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), federal legislation that holds perpetrators accountable while providing services for victims of gender-based violence. The bill was the culmination of an effort started in 1990 by then-Senator Biden and was the first legislation of its kind in the world. Funds for VAWA are administered by the Justice Department’s Office on Violence Against Women.
“The signal that the Biden administration is sending with this kind of funding is a really powerful one, and it’s really urgent,” Thomas says. “There are countries and advocates and legal systems all over the world that look to the United States for leadership. And it takes attention and resources and money to continue the kind of leadership we showed at the beginning of the movement, and we need to up our game to continue that leadership.”
Victoria Banyard, a professor of social work and associate director of the Center on Violence Against Women and Children at Rutgers University, says the Biden administration’s request for additional funds is a start.
“But I think we also need to continue to innovate in terms of thinking about new ideas related to prevention, not just intervention,” she says. “So, we certainly need to keep supporting the resources that support survivors, because that absolutely needs to happen. But I think we also need to be really encouraging people to be innovative about how we try to keep this problem from happening in the first place.”
‘Society accepts violence against women
Cumbie, who is now director of communications for Global Rights for Women, which works to prevent violence against women and girls, says it’s critically important for the president to set an example when combating a problem that has historically been widely tolerated.
“Yes, society accepts violence against women,” Cumbie says. “Domestic violence is the privilege in power that men have to abuse women and their belief in their own right to treat someone a certain way. … Certainly, there is stranger danger, but by and large, the violence is carried out by people that we know and love, which is part of what makes it such a complicated conversation.”
That was the case with Comfort Dondo, a Zimbabwean immigrant in Minneapolis who says she spent five years in an abusive marriage with a man she met in college.
“I speak for African Americans, that’s my experience when we end up marrying white men. The white man has more power over her, access to money, for good lawyers, language, and they also know the system very well,” Dondo says, speaking of her own struggles, as well as her work as an advocate for immigrant African women who have been exposed to domestic violence and abuse.
“And when I called the Minneapolis Police Department — several times I called them because I was fearful for my life — they would come, and they would not even talk to me or take a report. They would talk to him.”
Dondo says her husband’s superior knowledge of how the court system works resulted in her losing custody of her child.
“I’m fighting now to get my son, and this is the plight of a lot of women,” Dondo says. “When we talk about domestic abuse, it goes beyond just the beating. It is the emotional torture of alienating a woman from her babies.”
Thomas says violence against women is tolerated across borders because most societies are accustomed to seeing men in dominating roles. The general concept of masculinity revolves around having power and control.
“Whether it’s sexual harassment or criminal sexual assault or domestic violence or blowing up a girls’ school in Afghanistan, those are all connected acts, and I think that it has been accepted,” Thomas says. “And when we accept it, we institutionalize it.”
It’s an age-old problem, but new technology can help potential abusers polish their skills. Online searches provide tips for men looking to psychologically abuse their female partner, while the use of stalker were applications as a tool of domestic abuse against women spiked in 2020. Bride’s Magazine, best known for showcasing beautiful gowns and dream honeymoon locales, now also counsels brides-to-be on how to spot an abusive man.
“We tend to still see a lot of tolerance of the use of harassment and violence in relationships,” Banyard says. “These forms of violence are also really interconnected with much more widespread and ingrained systemic problems of inequality, and those inequalities and health disparities are based on race, they’re based on social class, and they’re based on gender, and those also very much affect what’s happening in terms of violence.”
Violence against women can take many forms, from verbal abuse, emotional abuse, and physical violence, to isolating a woman from friends and loved ones, to economic abuse.
“If you’re experiencing physical violence, for example, you might have to miss time at work. Or because of ongoing violence and shame, a woman may not come to work, and her attendance might be spotty, and she might lose her job. Or her partner wants her to not work, so he keeps her from having a career,” Cumbie says. “There are lots of different ways that domestic violence impacts women and really holds them back economically.”
Stopping violence before it happens
For Banyard and others, domestic violence always comes back to prevention. Everyone has a role to play in ending these forms of violence, whether it’s as an activist or active bystander, or working to model healthy relationships and social norms, or in mentoring young people, Banyard says.
“We’re going to keep just having to spin our wheels … if we don’t get more upstream and really get better at building the foundation to keep this from happening in the first place,” she says. “So, I would really like to see a lot of energy and time and resources, even more than has been allocated to date, around prevention.”
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After escaping her marriage, Dondo pursued a master’s degree, persevering in her studies even through periods when she was homeless. She eventually founded Phumulani, a nonprofit devoted to stopping violence and abuse of women, particularly those from the African diaspora.
She and others believe a key way to stem violence against women is to ask men to join the discussion.
“I think the feminist movement in this country has also excluded the perpetrators, who are disproportionately men, from the table. So, they’re not even aware of what they’re doing,” Dondo says. “I think for me, it’s important to bring the men to the table and hold them accountable, with love, while at the table, so that they will not go and say, ‘We didn’t know that was abuse.’” (VOA/KB)
OṀ KALMASHARAHITABHŨMYAI NAMAH:
OṀ (AUM) -KAL-MA-SHA-RA-HI-TA-BHOO-MYAI— NA-MA-HA
ॐ कल्मषरहितभूम्यै नमः
(Kalmasham: Tainted, blemish, dirty, sinful, wicked, foul, dosha, opprobrium, stigma; Rahita: Absent, devoid of)
Kalmasham is the opposite of purity; it means impure, contaminated and defective. The word is used in several senses such as: defective, fault, sin, dosham, tainted, vice, crime, disrespect, abuse, evil and contamination. However, it is also used in a technical sense in certain fields of knowledge. In Vedic literature we see words like pavitram, and pavitrata in the opposite sense of kalmasham. We, as Hindus, see everything as pure and equitable with God in an implied meaning that every atom at the microscopic level is part of the Supreme Power (Bhagavān). Having this knowledge and understanding, Hindus see the presence of God in living as well as non-living objects and have a pavitra meaning- kalmasharahita bandham.
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In Vedas and Purāṇās, Lord Shri Ramachandra Murty is portrayed without any defects and His marriage with Sīta was described as kalmasharahitam. He was glorified as the one who strictly observed the 'ekapatnī vratam' meaning-'one wife as a life partner'. Even when Sīta was abducted by the demon- Rāvaṇa and he kept her in his palace for a year, Rama did not look at another woman. The same credit goes to His consort and wife Sīta, who came out of Agni (pyre of fire) as a shining diamond proving her chastity and kalmasharahitam to the world. Our sacred literature is full of these incidents. Our dharmaśhāstrās explain that what is kalmasham is that which brings defection to one's purity. They advise purity in our thought, speech and actions.
God Ram and Goddess SitaGetty Pictures
There are many relationships we have as an individual. Some are pure and kalmasharahitam, as opposed to other relationships, like extramarital affairs. The relationship between husband and wife; brother and sister; father and daughter; parents and children; between siblings; teacher and student; among friends; and last but not least, between a devotee and his desired, beloved and personal god are considered kalmasharahitam.
ALSO READ: Celebrate Holi In The Land Of Krishna
As a country, we have never waged war against another country with the intention of occupancy and robbing their wealth, or to convert them to our religion. We do not have that kalmasham on our hands or in our hearts.
Our land is 'Kalmasharahita Bhūmi'.
Xander Schauffele held off the late challenges from the chasing pack, none more so than Rory Sabbatini of Slovakia — who got without a single stroke of the American — to win a gold medal in the men's individual golf tournament at the Summer Olympic Games in Tokyo.
It was a huge victory for the 27-year-old at this point of his career. Despite often being amongst the favorites in the latest golf odds, the San Diego-native is yet to win one of golf's four majors — The Open, The Masters, The USPGA and The US Open — and he will certainly be hoping that he can use this triumph in Tokyo to push on next season.
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With nine top-10 finishes in 18 appearances at the majors, six of which have been inside the top five (including finishing second at the 2018 Open and 2019 Masters), Schauffele is making a bit of name for himself as a nearly man in the sport's biggest tournaments, and that it is a duck he will certainly be hoping to break sooner rather than later.
Whilst not a major, winning an Olympic gold medal in golf is not to be sniffed at, and it is the kind of victory that the 27-year-old might just have needed to give him that boost to kick on and finally get his hands on one of the major trophies — even though he will need to wait until next year as the recent Open at Royal St. George's in Kent marked the end of this year's major schedule.
Some golfer's may have played down winning the men's tournament at the Olympics, but for Schauffele, whose grandparents live in Tokyo, taking the gold medal back to the United States with him was at the very top of his priority list.
Olympic GameGetty Pictures
"I really wanted to win for my dad. I am sure he is crying somewhere right now. I kind of wanted this one more than any other," Schauffele said after his one-stroke victory.
"You are trying to represent your country to the best of your ability and then you add family stuff on top of that. I'm probably going to have a nice call with my grandparents tonight.
"Everyone is back home watching. I was feeling the love from San Diego and Las Vegas this whole time. I'm a little speechless right now, quite honestly."
Form and momentum are key in the game of golf, and whilst this is a victory that has come somewhat late in the season, when there are no majors left to vie for, if Schauffele can just carry on playing at the top of his game for the remaining month or so, perhaps even landing a second TOUR Championship in the last tournament of 2021, which he will now likely be tipped to win on the best golf predictions sites, then there is no reason why he can't bring his current form with him into next season.
The Masters is up first, taking place in mid-April, and the prestigious Augusta National hasn't been too bad to the American over the last couple of years, as he finished second in 2019 before scuppering the same position late on to finish tied for third this year. If he can keep up the form that resulted in him winning gold at the Olympics, then he may just find himself being fitting into that sought-after Green Jacket.
It's fair to say that it's only a matter of time before Schauffele lands his maiden major triumph, and there's no doubt that scooping a gold medal at the Olympics will have only helped his cause!
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Today, e-learning is one of the best alternatives for studying despite quarantine restrictions. Still, it has its own flaws, which are noticeable during the long-term experience. From one point, students learn to be independent and prepare their homework without extra help. Usually, everyone can buy essays for sale online and prepare for classes efficiently. And from the other point, online learning demands the highest responsibility. Let's find out why the face-to-face educational process is still more productive.
1. Too many distractions.
Needless to say that staying at home and learning are the biggest incompatibilities. When you get ready for your class, you often forget about how clean your house is or whether you have enough food for the day. In e-learning, the reality is that students should take care not only of the studying process but housekeeping as well.
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2. Not enough help from teachers.
The teacher's work during e-learning is to present the material and make it easy to understand. Still, this might be challenging for both sides. When the teacher sees that most students can get along with it, it is easier to pay attention to one or two from class who hasn't progressed much. Otherwise, while the subject is difficult for most of the class, it is almost impossible to dedicate attention to each while explaining the material better.
3. Less communication.
That feeling that you are far away from your friends can't leave you. Even if you don't have enough time to build strong friendships, studying in class helps students gain better results. Healthy competition plays a significant role in education, and everyone who stands for e-learning only should consider this aspect.
4. Access to online materials only.
When students write their texts or work on other assignments, they need to have more than Wikipedia. Studying in campus libraries is much more fun than sitting in one place to look for necessary information. Beside the traditional references, you can get feedback on your drafts.
Less movement with e-learning brings both positives and negatives in students' lifestyles.Getty pictures
5. Lack of individual approach.
E-learning is all about individual learning. Indeed, you can connect to your teacher or classmates online, but still, the schedule makes strict boundaries that you can't text or call them in late at night. When students are in class, a teacher can spread their attention to the whole audience and see how every student perceives material simultaneously.
6. Staying mostly at home.
Less movement with e-learning brings both positives and negatives in students' lifestyles. On the one hand, you don't need to spend hours driving on public transport or being stuck in traffic. And also, you don't have that vital time to prepare your mind for studying. On the road, we listen to audiobooks or read traditional ones, observe life, and think about further studies. This is the way our brain gets ready for classes, so it is less stressful for students to learn when they arrive at class.
7. Higher electricity bill.
Yeah, paying more for internet and electricity consumption is one more disadvantage of e-learning. When you study in class, you can use a public school Wi-Fi connection and charge your laptop in there as well. And while staying at home, you need to think about how much time you spend studying not to increase your electricity bill. Even if you pay for an Internet connection even when you don't study at home, electricity use significantly increases while you start e-learning.
Due to current epidemic measurement restrictions, many schools consider e-learning as one of the best variants to make education available for everyone. Still, e-learning can be a challenging affair for most students and teachers. To cope with it, they need to achieve new skills and apply them to the new reality.
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