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International End Violence Towards Women’s Day is a Dangerous Joke

Hashtag #OrangeTheWorld was trending this morning. Everyone from the European Commission, politicians of various kinds, official State twitter accounts and the virtue-signaling media and arts types to your average opinion-owning Joe and Johanna were all making sure they put their hashtags and empty sentiments in place so they got those virtuous likes. The powerful cannot be seen to be refusing to make lip service to prescribed ‘action days’, but the reality of their actions (and lack of them) speak a whole different story.

Flurries of words emerged with pro forma sentiments, with banal and meaningless words declaring violence towards women being wrong filling up timelines and spilling out into the world. These are words that mean nothing as long as the Hague Convention on Parental Child Abduction continues to force women to stay with their violent partners just so they are able to protect and stay with their children.

Let me make this clear, the UN, the European Commission, all these huge international governing bodies make lip service to protecting women and combating violence against women, yet they allow the Hague to continue to risk women’s lives.

If you want to know more about how The Hague does this, Filia have put together a very informative series of articles, and are currently running a project to try and get the law changed so that women are not in so much danger.

Of course anyone who knows me knows that I won’t be happy with anything less than the law being totally repealed. That is my right. I have suffered enough for over twenty years to have earnt the right to feel this way. I am also incredibly grateful that Filia have put together such a knowledgeable and competent group of women to fight the good fight on behalf of Hague mothers. I understand that real world constraints require a pragmatic approach. There is a gulf between what is possible, and what is desirable. As a result I will remain uncharacteristically silent on the matter. I am too closely impacted to be of any use, or to be properly grateful.

This is not about me and my torture by the Hague. This is about the women to come, the mothers of the future who deserve the right to not suffer like I have suffered over the years.

What concerns me is the lip service being paid by those in power to the cause of ending violence against women, and the absolute hypocrisy of their words. Their actions do not bear witness to their sentiments. It is empty and meaningless. No real support or change will ever happen because these are not people who DO that are running the world, they are people who say, and then get tied up in red tape and diplomacy, instead of actually drawing a line in the sand of public opinion and saying ‘enough is enough’. There needs to be real and severe consequences for men who hit women. Instead violent men use these laws to attack the women who are the real victims.

I am sick to death with the people with the power, with the funds and with the ability to effect real change playing the media ‘like’ game, whilst actually doing nothing that helps the female victims of violence at all. It is all hot air and no actual helping hand. These people are not asking those who have lived it what is needed. Practical help has to be begged for and is very hard to access, and for those of us in international marriages, we are hung out to dry in the name of diplomacy and international law.

I don’t know how these large governmental organizations can consider themselves to be doing any kind of work that is worthwhile. Filia is a tiny charity with a small budget and a wonderful staff of absolutely dedicated women who work for the love of helping women. They are doing more than any UN Women’s Rights group can ever dream of. We are tied up in red tape and capitalism. Everything is about the money and pleasing the men, and meanwhile women are being beaten, are struggling and dying as a result.

#EndViolence #OrangeTheWorld will not end violence against women. It will not save a single life. None of it will. Someone has to care about the individual women, the reality of life in a patriarchal nightmare, and for now that help and support is only provided by Filia. For that I am immensely grateful. Think before you tweet. If it is empty words and playing for likes and retweets, why bother? I am at the point where I do not believe women will ever be protected by the police or by the law, and instead have to survive both of those things as well as their violent and sometimes deadly husbands. That is my reality. That is my experience. That is my life and it is more than a damn hashtag and a ‘thoughts and prayers’ banal tweet from some useless twit who has no idea what that has meant in reality for me and many other women. People think a tweet and a comment is enough: it is not and never will be. Action and real change is needed. I am not holding out for much hope, to so many people violence against women is a joke or something to be lawyered out of, and that will never be good enough.

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