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June 2012


I was a joyful little girl in Bangladesh,

Playing, good in school, happy with family.

When in my late teens, a man wanted me to wed.

My family was interested; I was not.

I continued to resist. He was angry.

He said if he could not have me, no one would

One night, when I was sleeping, he entered the window.

I jumped up when I heard the noise. Then, the horror began...

He sprayed acid in my face, and I screamed in terror.

The pain was excruciating. It was a living death.

My parents rushed me to the hospital.

I stayed for many days, fighting for my life, my sight.

When they gave me a mirror, I was horrified, in shock.

The girl I used to be had become a disfigured monster.

The pain and surgeries continued.

My tears only increased the suffering.

No one wanted to look at me. I hid.

I felt my life was over, my spirit destroyed.

My attacker goes free. I tried to testify. I gave up.

Many others like him use acid in revenge, anger.

Then, a Foundation gave me hope. I met other victims.

I was trained for work. I slowly moved forward.

Though I am grotesque, so ugly and disfigured.

I have an inner beauty that I hope can show.

I am a survivor of an acid attack.

A nightmare that changed my life forever.

http://nobelwomensinitiative.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/IMG_0365-300x225.jpgOn May 18th International Campaign to Stop Rape & Gender Violence in Conflict launched in Nairobi, Kenya with a march through the city’s core. The event was organized by  The Green Belt Movement, Physicians for Human Rights and the Wangu Kanja Foundation.

The march was attended by over 400 people including key government officials, local grassroots organizations, and survivors of sexual violence. To find out more about the campaign visit Stop Rape in Conflict www.stoprapeinconflict.org

Roj Women  and Kurdish and Turkish women's rights

 “Stop Stoning and Execution” conference releases a collective resolution

A conference held in January in London by Roj Women’s Association, the International Free Women Foundation and the Organization for Women’s Freedom in Iraq focused on stoning and execution in different parts of the world in particular Iran.

The conference ended with a collective resolution to:

1. Raise awareness about these crimes and to encourage and support struggles against them in Iran, Afghanistan, Iraq, and elsewhere where states legitimizes women’s slaughter.

2. Work in partnership with other campaigns that bring awareness about stoning and execution of women.

3. Continue efforts for femicide to be recognized as crime against humanity like genocide is in international Law and to form an alternative women judicial system against femicide.

4. Denounce these crimes and to mobilise our societies to take stands against these medieval practices.

5. Raise awareness among men and to help them to involve in the struggle for women’s equality and freedom.

6. Reform laws and to create new legislations against all forms of violence and to establish Constitutions that recognize full equality between men and women.

7. Highlight Kurdish women’s struggles and oppose all forms of violence against them.

Eagle Academy for Young Men

In 2004, a group of educators, parents, community leaders and corporate partners, led by the One Hundred Black Men, Inc. opened the first Eagle Academy for Young Men in the South Bronx, NY. The Eagle Model, featuring parental involvement, academic rigor, mentoring, combined with extended day and summer programming was put into practice.

The Eagle Academy for Young Men in the Bronx was the first single sex boys public school to open in New York City in approximately thirty years.  Find out more at Eagle Academy for Young Men


ResurrectionAfterRape Resurrection After Rape: A guide to transforming from victim to survivor, written by  Painter, writer, professor, and self-described unrepentant professional heretic, he is also a Domestic and Sexual Violence Response Professional with a background in work with trauma survivors. He has worked in crisis services in prevention of domestic and sexual violence, where he developed and implemented programs with women's prisons, university sports teams, churches, and Indian tribes.

In 2004, he became the first male given the National Award for Outstanding Advocacy and Community Work in Ending Sexual Violence by the National Sexual Violence Resource Center. In 2005 he was awarded "Most Therapeutic" by his professional peers, and he received top marks from client evaluations every year of his practice. In 2006 he began to teach college courses on domestic violence and crisis intervention as an adjunct professor.

From the Resurrection After Rape website: This is “a deeply-moving, powerful guide for women recovering from rape. What sets this apart from other books on rape is that this one isn't written only by a therapist; it's a collaboration between a therapist (and a male, at that!), and dozens of rape survivors who contribute their insights, journals, and art. Issues addressed include shame, depression, substance abuse, self-injury, spirituality, medical care, PTSD, flashbacks, and panic attacks.”



http://sphotos.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ash4/317578_258973190808447_100000873054750_771751_160394846_n.jpgA couple of weeks ago Aja Belle reached out to us to see if we would feature her video, Because You Send Me Flowers on our website as part of DV awareness and just to reach out to those women that are battered and broken that may just need a voice...It is our pleasure to introduce her to our readers.  

“Aja Belle had been a writer and singer for many years but this was the song she had been waiting to write. The song to give voice to the kind of pain and insecurity she had been living with in previous years. Though most of her life had been filled with music, she found herself lost in love and a troubled relationship. Her only freedom from that was to put down on paper what she was afraid to speak about publicly.

The Lyrics were all from her own personal experiences. The idea of letting someone control her for so long was too embarrassing to put to a melody and sing aloud. And who would want to listen? The current trend in Music had been songs about Strong Independent Divas. She felt alone. Though her abusive relationship had long ended, the memories seemed to still haunt her. Since an outlet was needed, friends who loved her would be less likely to judge her, so she decided to break her silence. She had been living with dark secrets for months now. It was time to let go and move on. The more she talked about her situation the more she found her friends were having similar problems. They too felt Battered and Broken. She was not alone. They were not alone. Whether they were still battling with their emotions or had been strong enough to move on, it helped to talk.

Because You Send Me Flowers was not just one woman’s journey anymore. It needed a voice. 2012 will bring the first official mix tape of the native of Trenton , N.J. Aja Belle has developed a unique style as a result of a lifetime of musical influences. Growing up in a musical family meant Aja was immersed in various forms of music and instruments. Her mother performed with a local music group who entertained using different musical genres. Her grandfather, a singer and avid jazz collector, exposed her to a wealth of music as a child influencing her development.

As an adult Aja continued to sing and write but focused more on her life’s priorities. Finally after taking a much needed break from music, Aja has returned. Her love for writing has continued on through the years and through the insistence of a few producers and local artists she's redefining herself as an artist and marketing as a full blown performer. Watch out for her this year, the demand for her vocals and writing is at an all-time high!

For further information on the artist contact her directly on

Twitter @CoCo_LaBelle422

Like her Fan Page on Facebook AJA BELLE.

Visit the official website AJABELLE.COM and YouTube video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fKyf9Dn1x2U

The Passage of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) Reauthorization of 2011

What is wrong with these People? The U.S. House of representatives and the Senate have yet to re-authorize VAWA. This statement written by Farah Tanis, Co-founder and Executive Director of Black Women's Blueprint says it all.

“Black Women’s Blueprint applauds the Senate for working in a bipartisan manner to pass the Violence Against Women Act Reauthorization of 2011, S.1925. Black Women’s Blueprint especially thanks all the activists of color and allies for their tireless and unwavering leadership in advocating and mobilizing around this bill. The Senate bill incorporates input gathered over two years from more than 2,000 activists, advocacy groups, service providers and criminal justice professionals.

However, although the bill allocates critical resources that can be used to help build a culture of accountability and expand services and protections to more victims from marginalized communities, it also contains compromises that don’t respond to the needs of some of our communities.

As the bill advances in Congress, our work here on the ground is not finished. As women of color standing at the intersection of race, gender, sexuality, class and more, we will continue to be relentless in the struggle to dismantle the unacceptable systems of oppression that designedly besiege our everyday lives. We will continue to fight for the development of policies and initiatives that prioritize the primary prevention of sexual assault, respect women and individual rights, agency and freedoms and holds harm-doers accountable. We will consistently demand justice whether under governmental law, at community levels, or via community strategies for those who have been assaulted; and organize to end sexual assaults of persons from all walks of life, all genders, all sexualities, all races, all ethnicity, and all histories.


The Gender Equality Principles Initiative (GEP) is a groundbreaking project undertaken to help businesses achieve greater gender equality and build more productive workplaces. Take their 2-minute Gender Equality Quiz to test your knowledge of gender equality.


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