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The Curse of Men

Violence against women and girls continues unabated in every continent, country and culture. It takes a devastating toll on women’s lives, on their families and on society as a whole.

Most societies prohibit such violence – yet the reality is that too often, it is covered up or tacitly condoned.

Ban Ki-moon, United Nations Secretary General [1]

Our Homeland – Our Killing Fields

+ The number of American troops killed in Afghanistan between 2001 to 2017 – 1,833.[2]

+ The number of women killed by men in the US in only one of those years, 2015 – 1,686.

Nine out of 10 victims knew their killers and 55% of the time were murdered by guns.[3]

+ Overall, the most frequently reported crimes against women and girls are assault/homicide, rape/sexual assault.[4]

+ Between 2003 and 2012, 34% of all women murdered were killed by a male intimate partner, compared to only 2.5 percent of male murder victims killed by a female intimate partner.[5]

The Violence of Rape

Sexual assaults by men is the preferred method of torture when targeting women and children.  According to the U.S. Department of Justice, in the United States, approximately 20 million out of 112 million women (18%) in the United States have been raped during their lifetime. Research conducted by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) estimates that approximately 1 in 4 girls and 1 in 6 boys are sexually abused before the age of 18.  Only 16% of all rapes were reported to law enforcement.[6]

Media and legal labels like “child molester” and “pedophile” mask and soften the reality of these crimes.  Child molesters and pedophiles rape children, therefore, they are child rapists.  Let us be clear about who the typical child rapist is.  Although it is true that some rapists are female, it is estimated by The National Center for Victims of Crime that women are the abusers in approximately 14% of cases reported among boys and 6% of cases reported among girls.[7] Therefore, men account for 86% of the reported rapes of boys and 94% of the reported rapes of girls.

According to the United States Department of Justice, approximately 1.8 million adolescents in the United States have been the victims of sexual assault. Of the victims who were sexually abused, 26% were in the age group of 12–14 years and 34% were younger than 9 years. Twenty-eight percent of male rape victims were first raped when they were 10 years old or younger.  Eighty-two percent of all juvenile victims are female.[8]

Violence within Our Homes

Domestic violence is the leading cause of injury to women, more than car accidents, muggings, and rapes combined.  In one day during September, 2013, 66,581 victims were served at domestic violence centers in the U.S., and 36,348 domestic violence victims (19,431 children and 16,917 adults) found refuge in emergency shelters or transitional housing provided by local domestic violence programs.  On a typical day, there are more than 20,000 phone calls placed to domestic violence hotlines nationwide.[9]   The terror and tragedy these facts represent cannot be overstated.

Men’s Other Domain – Prison

Men are overwhelmingly the common denominator for all crimes committed within the United States. Men make up 93% of the prison and jail populations in the United States.  However, out of the women’s prisoners, which make up 7% of the prison population, nearly 6 in 10 of those women in state prisons had experienced physical or sexual abuse before becoming incarcerated. Sixty-nine percent of incarcerated women reported being assaulted before the age of 18.[10]

A World War

Violence against women is a major public health problem and a clear violation of women’s human rights.  Global estimates published by the World Health Organization indicate that approximately 1 in 3 (35%) women worldwide have suffered sexual violence in their lifetime.[11]

According to the United Nations, “Violence against women is not confined to a specific culture, region or country, or to particular groups of women within a society. The roots of violence against women lie in historically unequal power relations between men and women, and persistent discrimination against women.”[12]

“Rape has increasingly been used as a weapon of war. An estimated 60,000 women were raped during the civil war in Sierra Leone (1991-2002), up to 60,000 in the former Yugoslavia (1992-1995), up to 250,000 during the genocide in Rwanda (1994), more than 40,000 in Liberia (1989-2003) and at least 200,000 in the Democratic Republic of the Congo since 1998. Sexual violence has characterized conflicts from Afghanistan to Iraq and from Somalia to Syria.”[13]

In Iraq, Yazidi girls are “raped in public” and sold to ISIS fighters.[14]

Noor (not her real name), a 14-year-old girl from a small village in northern Iraq, was sold 15 times, passed from one Islamic State (ISIS) fighter to the next.  Each time, she was raped.  “The worst moments,” Noor said, “were when one man would sell me to another and I would have to hear them debating what my life was worth.”[15]

Although criminal laws enacted to punish domestic violence have not eradicated the problem, approximately, 603 million women live in countries where domestic violence is not yet considered a crime.[16]  They have no recourse or protection whatsoever.

Worldwide, as many as 1 in 4 women experience physical or sexual violence during pregnancy.  Over 60 million girls are child brides.[17]

Female genital mutilation, infanticide, prenatal sex selection and systematic neglect of girls are widespread in South and East Asia, North Africa, and the Middle East.[18]  Condemnation of these practices is growing, at least in the west, but these abuses are often based in history and culture and resistance to change is difficult to overcome.

In one extreme and horrific situation in Mexico, Karla Jacinto was raped approximately 43,000 times, before the age of 16.  She was raped by judges, religious leaders and police officers in Mexico.[19]

The Damage Done

Eighty-one percent of women who experienced rape, stalking, or physical violence by an intimate partner reported significant short or long-term impacts according to the U.S. Department of Justice.[20]

The United Nations World Health Organization reports sexual and physical violence can lead to depression, post-traumatic stress and other anxiety disorders, sleep difficulties, eating disorders, and suicide attempts.  Women who have survived intimate partner violence are almost twice as likely to experience depression and problem drinking.  The rate was even higher for women who have experienced non-partner sexual violence.

Health effects can also include headaches, back pain, abdominal pain, fibromyalgia, gastrointestinal disorders, limited mobility and poor overall health.  Sexual violence, particularly during childhood, can lead to increased smoking, drug and alcohol abuse, and risky sexual behaviors in later life.  It is also associated with perpetration of violence (for males) and being a victim of violence (for females).

Children who grow up in families where there is violence may suffer a range of behavioral and emotional disturbances.  These can also be associated with perpetrating or experiencing violence later in life.  Intimate partner violence has also been associated with higher rates of infant and child mortality and morbidity (e.g. diarrheal disease, malnutrition).[21]

Wealth and Power

Not only do men wield violent sexual and physical power over women, they also keep women under their control through economic domination worldwide.  A mere eight men own the same wealth as the 3.6 billion people who make up the poorest half of humanity.  In the United States, 1% control 42% of wealth.[22]    That male dominance extends into the corporate structure is reflected by the fact that only 25 of the 500 CEO’s listed as heads of Fortune 500 companies are women.[23]

Politics and Power

In 2015, The Pew Research Center revealed, “Most Americans believe a woman will be elected president within their lifetime, a milestone that would add the U.S. to a growing list of countries that have had a female leader.  But the overall number of countries that have been led by women still remains relatively small, and in most of these countries, women have not held power for long.

There are currently 18 female world leaders, including 12 female heads of government and 11 elected female heads of state (some leaders are both, and figurehead monarchs are not included), according to United Nations data.  These women account for about one-in-ten of today’s leaders of United Nations member states.  Half of them are the first women to hold their country’s highest office.

“Yet, even while the number of female leaders has more than doubled since 2005, a woman in power is hardly the norm around the world.  Sixty-three of 142 nations studied by the World Economic Forum have had a female head of government or state at some point in the 50 years up to 2014, but in nearly two-thirds of those nations a woman was in power for less than four of the 50 years — including 11 countries (17%) where a woman led for less than a year.”[24]

Men have instigated wars since the beginning of time.  Men are the ones who commit war crimes against perceived foreign enemies and often against their own people who assert their basic human rights.  The total destruction of homes, communities and at times entire races of people, have bloodied world history from its creation.  The resulting loss, pain and anguish is beyond measure and all done almost exclusively by men, men like King Herod, Adolph Hitler, Joseph Stalin, Haji Suharto, Pol Pot, Idi Amin, Mao Zedong, Augusto Pinochet, Charles Taylor, Saddam Hussein and Bashar al-Assad, just to name a few.

Neither can American presidents escape responsibility for millions of deaths in unjustifiable wars. During such wars, it is the woman and children who suffer the most. Presidents John F. Kennedy, Lyndon B. Johnson and Richard M. Nixon are responsible for the deaths in Vietnam where “…scholarly estimates, Vietnamese military and civilian deaths ranged from 1.5 million to 3.8 million, with the U.S.-led campaign in Cambodia resulting in 600,000 to 800,000 deaths, and Laotian war mortality estimated at about 1 million.”[25]

“The 8 years (Ronald) Reagan was in office represented one of the most bloody eras in the history of the Western hemisphere, as Washington funneled money, weapons and other supplies to right wing death squads. And the death toll was staggering–more than 70,000 political killings in El Salvador, more than 100,000 in Guatemala, 30,000 killed in the contra war in Nicaragua,” Democracy Now![26]

George W. Bush deceitfully led the United States into a war in Iraq.  “We think it is roughly around half a million people dead. And that is likely a low estimate,” says Amy Hagopian of the University of Washington in Seattle who led an international research team that documented the number of Iraqi deaths. “The survey responses point to around 405,000 deaths attributable to the war and occupation in Iraq from 2003 to 2011.[27] [28]

In a World Controlled by Women

A study has confirmed what most already know, it all comes down to this in summarizing the differences between men and women: “Women are more moral than men. Women prefer to make their decisions based on how it impacts others – which tends to produce better decisions – while men have a more individual approach and are more self-interested.”[29]

Overwhelmingly, the strength of character possessed by women, who put others first, includes:  patience, loving kindness, giving, caring, nurturing, unselfishness, and non-violence backed with intelligence and resilience.  These are the qualities that should control the world and not the self-interest driven males who produce misogynistic, greedy, megalomaniac and violent personalities that rule the world by keeping women in economic, political and physical strangle holds.

The women around the world, like the mostly two-million women who united in protest the day after Donald Trump’s presidential inauguration, would be justified in declaring a political, social and a physical war against men.  There is an accepted universal law — everyone has the right to defend themselves and the moral obligation to protect others from violence. The war against men should be declared and fought with the same ferocity as white men would surely do if 1 out for 4 of them were physically and/or sexually assaulted by a Mexican, an African American or a Muslim.

Women: For the sake of us all, shake off your man made shackles and his death grip. Take control of your families, communities and countries. Make this world a better place.

Men:  Either actively join women in their struggle for basic human rights, including the right to be free from sexual and physical violence, or get out of their way.

David Lynn is a freelance writer and private investigator specializing in civil and human rights violations in Los Angeles and has worked in (6) international war zones. Lynn has served as a homicide investigator for the United Nations and has worked with sexual and domestic abuse victims in the United States, Africa and Mexico. He is a former U.S. Marine sergeant and Vietnam War veteran.

Notes.

[1] Ki-Moon, Ban – Secretary General, “Unite to End Violence Against Women,” United Nations, http://www.un.org/en/women/endviolence/pdf/VAW.pdf

[2] Department of Defense, “Operation Enduring Freedom (Afghanistan), US Casualty Status – Fatalities as of October 19, 2017,”  https://www.defense.gov/casualty.pdf

[3]   Wyman, Julia, “More Than 1,600 Women Murdered by Men in One Year, New Study Finds,” September 21, 2017, Violence Policy Centerhttp://www.vpc.org/press/more-than-1600-women-murdered-by-men-in-one-year-new-study-finds-2/

[4] Emiko Petrosky, MD1; Janet M. Blair, PhD1; Carter J. Betz, MS1; Katherine A. Fowler, PhD1; Shane P.D. Jack, PhD1; Bridget H. Lyons, MPH1, “Racial and Ethnic Differences in Homicides of Adult Women and the Role of Intimate Partner Violence — United States, 2003–2014,” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/66/wr/mm6628a1.htm

[5]  Parsons, Chelsea and Spiegel, Lauren, “Protecting Women from Gun Violence,” Center for American Progress, , June 18, 2014. https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/66/wr/mm6628a1.htm

[6] “Victims of Sexual Abuse,” US Department of Justice, Office of Sex Offender, Monitoring, Apprehending, Sentencing and Tracking, https://www.nsopw.gov/(X(1)S(fxtyqkmbyghivct3hs05xn42))/en-US/Education/FactsStatistics?AspxAutoDetectCookieSupport=1#victims

[7] “Statistics on perpetrators of child sexual abuse,” The National Center for Victims of Crime,

http://victimsofcrime.org/media/reporting-on-child-sexual-abuse/statistics-on-perpetrators-of-csa

[8] “Victims of Sexual Abuse,” US Department of Justice, Office of Sex Offender, Monitoring, Apprehending, Sentencing and Tracking, https://www.nsopw.gov/(X(1)S(fxtyqkmbyghivct3hs05xn42))/en-US/Education/FactsStatistics?AspxAutoDetectCookieSupport=1#victims

[9] “Domestic Violence,” National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, https://www.csusb.edu/sites/csusb/files/National_Domestic_Violence_Statistics.pdf

[10] “Statistics on Women in the Justice System,” January, 2014, Bureau of Justice Statistics, https://www.csosa.gov/newsmedia/factsheets/statistics-on-women-offenders-2014.pdf

[11] “Violence Against Women,” November, 2016, World Health Organization, http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs239/en/

[12] “Unite to End Violence Against Women,” United Nations, http://www.un.org/en/women/endviolence/pdf/VAW.pdf

[13] “Combating Violence Against Women,” 2015, United Nations, http://www.un.org/un70/en/content/70ways

[14] Mezzofiore, Gianluca, “Iraq: Yazidi girls ‘raped in public’ and sold to ISIS fighters before release,” April 10, 2015, International Business Times, http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/iraq-yazidi-girls-raped-public-sold-isis-fighters-before-release-1495594

[15] Yifat, Susskind, “What will it take to stop Isis using rape as a weapon of war?” The Guardian,

https://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2015/feb/17/disarm-isis-rape-weapon-war

[16] “Combating Violence Against Women,” 2015, United Nations, http://www.un.org/un70/en/content/70ways

[17] “Violence Against Women,” November, 2016, World Health Organization, http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs239/en/

[18] “Unite to End Violence Against Women,” United Nations, http://www.un.org/en/women/endviolence/pdf/VAW.pdf

[19] Romo, Rafael, “Human trafficking survivor fights back,” CNN,

http://edition.cnn.com/videos/world/2016/11/28/human-traffic-survivor-speaks-out-romo-pkg.cnn

[20] “Victims of Sexual Abuse,” US Department of Justice, Office of Sex Offender, Monitoring, Apprehending, Sentencing and Tracking, https://www.nsopw.gov/(X(1)S(fxtyqkmbyghivct3hs05xn42))/en-US/Education/FactsStatistics?AspxAutoDetectCookieSupport=1#victims

[21] “Violence Against Women,” November, 2016, World Health Organization, http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs239/en/

[22] “Just 8 people now have the same wealth as the poorest 3.6 billion,” January 15, 2017, Oxfam, https://www.oxfamamerica.org/explore/stories/just-8-people-now-have-the-same-wealth-as-the-poorest-36-billion/

[23] Fairchild, Caroline, “Number of Fortune 500 women CEOs reaches historic high,” June 3, 2014, Fortune,

http://fortune.com/2014/06/03/number-of-fortune-500-women-ceos-reaches-historic-high/

[24] Abigail Geiger, and Kent, Lauren Kent, “Number of women leaders around the world has grown, but they’re still a small group,” March 8, 2017, Pew Research Center, http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2015/07/30/about-one-in-ten-of-todays-world-leaders-are-women/

[25] Tirman, John, “Why do we ignore the civilians killed in American wars?” June 6, 2012, The Washington Post,

[26] “Reagan Was the Butcher of My People: Fr. Miguel D’Escoto Speaks From Nicaragua,” June 8, 2004, Democracy Now![27] Vergano, Don, “Half-Million Iraqis Died in the War, New Study Says,” National Geographic, October 16, 2013

https://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2013/10/131015-iraq-war-deaths-survey-2013/

[28] “Mortality in Iraq Associated with the 2003–2011 War and Occupation: Findings from a National Cluster Sample Survey by the University Collaborative Iraq Mortality Study,”

[29] Furness, Hannah, “Women are more moral than men, survey says,” April 16, 2012, The Telegraph, http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/science/science-news/9206176/Women-are-more-moral-than-men-survey-says.html

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