As someone who spent the last year studying Victimology everything that Liz illustrated below is indeed very true — a frightening reality… if you will. This is not a woman or man issue this is a human issue — gender based violence impacts everyone. I usually post poetry on birthday’s however, when I received this article from Liz I suggested that it be her birthday post as it is genuinely impactful and a must read.

Happy Birthday Liz! ❤ Sending you tons of love, creativity, and whimsy,

Rania M M Watts, EIC CCIQ Press

How many times? By Liz Lugo

“Dream the impossible and you’ll get the unexpected.” Liz Lugo 💙

How many times do we think before we speak? Are we thinking positively? What effect will have our words — not only in our lives but in other people’s lives and in society?

Let us speak the truth for it will always be the right thing to do no matter the outcomes. And when we have no idea what the truth is, let us keep our mouths shut or busy with matters that we know about.

For years, society has faced the eternal debate on whether “I believe or don’t.” Victims/survivors of verbal abuse, domestic violence, sexual harassment/abuse, and rape have had to deal with the “ay bendito!” and the many fingers pointing at them either to blame them or take pity on them without even knowing how strong these people are. Every single person has something to say, but how many people do something? How many people actually support victims/survivors? Not only women but men. How many people laugh when they hear a man has been beaten by a woman? How many people think these men are weak and don’t see them as they are: victims/survivors?

We need a real change. Every day that passes compromises more the integrity of humanity. Are we willing to let go of that beautiful side that it’s supposed to differentiate us? We can’t keep sitting behind a screen, writing things on social media that probably many of us don’t even know how hard could be for others, how wrong those words are, and the negative effect that could have on others and on society, in general.

How our actions can affect the next generations?

Every person has the power to add a unique spark to the world. Every person is special in their own skin and experiences. And every single day is a new opportunity to not only fight for what we believe it’s right but to think about young people, including kids and newborns. What kind of world do we want for them?

It could sound extremely to some people, but the reality is that people see and people do. People grow afraid, people grow with traumas or thinking that maybe is a curse to be a girl or a boy.

Society believes that sexual abuse, rape, domestic violence, and verbal abuse are matters that only involve girls and women as victims/survivors. We live in a misogyny society that, unfortunately, thinks there’s a strong genre and a weak one. And because of this, society always points at us, girls and women — blaming us and justifying attackers. That’s how we grew up and kids and teens are growing up.

Truth is — violence and toxic behaviors are not genre-related. There’s no such thing as “all women are the same” or “all men are the same.” There’s no such thing as a good or bad genre. There’s no such thing as weak or strong. (*We’re all weak and strong, we just need to understand that in our weakness lies our strength and that strength is higher than our weakness).

Poor mental health is not about genres. It is concerning how society is working. We can’t behave in a way that either we blindly believe or we don’t believe. We can’t trust everything we hear but neither we can’t say “you’re lying.” We have to be extremely careful about what we speak and hear. We have to be extremely careful how we proceed with every single situation.

Accusing innocent men is not how feminism should work. This is dangerous and disrespectful. No one should have an advantage because of their anatomy. We must create a space where boys and men feel safe. Perhaps some people could ask “why?” But, why not? It is so low to allow some women to point at innocent men just because they want to feel powerful, for revenge, or whatever their reason to do such an awful thing. It is disrespectful to real victims and survivors. Could you imagine how a survivor feels with their own struggle? Now, could you imagine how a survivor feels every time another person lies about something that happened to them and they know how huge these traumatic events are? How can someone take a delicate matter just to destroy others?

Understanding what domestic violence, verbal abuse, sexual harassment/abuse and rape involve is as important as protecting our boys and men. We (girls and women) can’t fight this alone and not because we’re not strong enough, that’s BS —- but because we need our allies to understand and embrace the magnitude of these matters. We need them by our side to fight and make society understand that these matters are not genre-related. We need them to reach the goal of protecting every human being.

It is important to create a balance to protect girls and women without forgetting about boys and men. It is important to teach kids the value of a life.

I didn’t grow up thinking there was a curse on me for being a female — but hearing little girls saying that they’re targeted since the day they were born is awful. Do we want that for them? Do we want our boys and men to be afraid of what women could do? There are good women and good men. There are bad women and bad men — this is a basic understanding everyone should have clear in their minds.

To end, stop pointing at victims/survivors. It is awful to see how people blame victims/survivors but don’t look in a mirror before they speak or write. It is awful how some people don’t have empathy but they don’t shut up either. As people keep condemning victims/survivors in a way or another, attackers run away with a trophy, with their lives intact. No one, read this well, NO ONE asks for anything bad to happen to them — or did you ask to have diarrhea, to have your car stolen, or anything that you consider as “bad luck”? Educate yourself. Respect others.

The next time you want to point at someone, point at yourself!

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