Tag Archives: human rights

Teleworking week 4: view from home: domestic violence


I was raised in a family dormitory so I know about domestic violence not from the social publicity of last decade or so. I am thinking of millions who experience domestic violence in confinement and for whom work outside the home might be a/the only survival strategy. When resources are put into national and global emergencies, most vulnerable tend to remain outside the focus. Even if the numbers justify national and global responses to domestic violence.

It was only as of last week that authorities commenced to realise what confinement means for those who share a space with their abusers, after reported cases jumped by 30% in some countries, which are considered developed.

International Organisations started sounding the alarm and a number of statements followed from the Council of Europe and UN. Human rights mechanisms will have to deal with the way domestic violence was dealt with at national levels.

Some global newspapers covered the topic. Journalists do some justice to these victims by bringing the issue to light. The psychological consequences of trauma on victims and, in particular, children and elderly who suffer and witness all this, go into no economic analysis, politicians are currently preoccupied with. I once employed a victim of domestic violence and got to learn lots from this experience. For policy and decision makers these victims appear as casualties of this crisis management, as cynical as it sounds. In fairness, there are jurisdictions which manage it well. We can only hope that their experience will be shared and we will learn from it.

Crisis or no crisis, there is no truth in suffering.



I was traveling from Strasbourg to Frankfurt by bus last Summer. When I arrived at the bus station, there was a huge crowd with luggage, strollers and bags everywhere. Children, elderly, women, men. 50 percent Arabic. A vivid crowd.
My math skills are not great, but I could easily see that one bus will not fit us all. Half an hour later a second bus arrives. The Arab group of passengers rushed to load their luggage into the bus. Once in, children, elderly and women boarded. Men went last. The doors of the second bus are still closed and the Dutch driver is adamant: until the first bus is full, no one gets on the second bus. He says there is one more sit in the first bus. No one moved.
I took my travel bag and moved to the first bus. “They will not blow their own people” my mind reassured me and started designing contingency plans. “Well, done, human rights trained lawyer!”, my heart responds. There it was, a bias I did not even suspect I had. Once in, my brain slowed down. Kids, women were sited in front sits. All men took their seats in the back of the bus. Five minutes later, another white young lady entered the bus. She looked scared screening faces in the bus. She spotted mine and immediately relaxed.
Throughout the two and a half hour trip, there seemed to be a certain unspoken harmonious structure. I sat next to a ten-year old girl who learned German from a grammar book. Her mother and brother sat behind. She was constantly apologizing whenever her children would be louder than usual. An hour into the trip, snack time seemed to be a family meal. Everyone shared with everyone food they had. A baby was crying. All women around would hold him in turns to help the young mother. Where was the danger my brain warned me about?!
“Our biases can be dangerous, even deadly — as we’ve seen in the cases of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, and Eric Garner, in Staten Island, New York. Diversity advocate Vernā Myers looks closely at some of the subconscious attitudes we hold toward out-groups. She makes a plea to all people: Acknowledge your biases. Then move toward, not away from, the groups that make you uncomfortable. In a funny, impassioned, important talk, she shows us how.” Verna Myers http://www.ted.com/talks/verna_myers_how_to_overcome_our_biases_walk_boldly_toward_them

“A Beautiful Body” Book Project


today I came across two videos worth posting and reposting and spreading the word. Both are about unconditional love… Both speak for themselves. See for yourselves: