Don’t clean up that blood

Scratches, bites, slaps, burns, scars, bruises, contusions, broken bones, rapes, wounds…and after this comes the rest: humiliations, psychological pressures, fear, shame, threats, coercion, stalking, manipulation, intimidation, isolation: an abusive relationship could include these things and many more.

As a volunteer in Armenian Progressive Youth organization I decided to speak up about this serious issues which is a worldwide problem, and very deeply related both to the country I’m volunteering in (Armenia) and to the country I came from (Italy).

Unfortunately statistics claim that 1 women in 4 is victim of personal abuse from the intimate partner at least once in her life-time: this is not just a personal problem, this is a society problem because a society which is not able to protect women is a society in danger.

As a volunteer I asked myself what I could do concretely to fight against this specific kind of violence: the domestic violence. After my negative experience with my neighbors I realized that probably the first step to eradicate domestic violence from the society is to raise awareness.

In the last period of my volunteer service I put all my efforts to reach the primary aim to enhance the consciousness about this topic not only in women’s mind but also in men’s attitude. The victims of the domestic violence are girls and women: it is very important for them to be aware that they should not blame themselves, and that they should not feel guilty for the violence that they suffer. To increase the self-reliance it is important to treat domestic abuse by establishing and maintaining the safety of the victim, providing appropriate legal consequences to the batterer, healing the psychological wounds. In fact, the prognosis of domestic violence can be quite negative if it goes on untreated.

What about the oppressors? I thought that not only the right punishment is enough as a deterrent for other potential abusers. The key is the prevention. It involves providing economic opportunity, mentors, role models, organized community programs for youth and families, a school environment that promotes prevention of abusiveness in any relationship, and adult family members who are nurturing and who provide consistent, structured support.

This is why I decided to stand up against women oppression by realizing a short video which, I hope, can wake up some dormant mind. This is my message to women: fight for your own right to be free, to be independent, to be strong, to be happy and to live in a safe house and safe environment.

Do not tolerate any kind of abuse, even the most little one. Rebel yourselves from any man who abuses you and from a society that put you in the danger to be oppressed. Ask for protection to the police, the social services, all the organizations and shelters.

Do not stand even for a single second any maltreatment direct to your body or soul: nobody has the right to touch you without your consent or to offend you even just verbally. To all the men who are going to watch the video I say:  stand up beside the women you love, create with them a good environment for your family. Respect women and teach to your children to do the same. A man who abuses his wife or girlfriend is not a man, is a coward.

Both men and women can give their contribution to change the society in a better way: just start today.

Armenian Progressive Youth

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