By David Walsh-Little
Iraqi bombs continue to hit
More Afghani flesh waits in the wing
The new leaders transition only a bit
The failures that two party politics bring
"We can’t let the banks fail"
Yet, workers can fall down the slippery slop
For Wall Street, the feds puts a hefty finger on the scale
For the rest of us, well, we get to audaciously hope
Solutions rise from the bottom of society’s edifice
Not unlike a climbing sunflower
Voting for elites doesn’t equate to justice
For that, we need to democratize power
Critical thinking and truthful action is what history has provided
Change will never come from politicians- their views have already been decided.
t r u t h o u t | 11.26
Rape's Vast Toll in
Monday 24 November 2008
by: Anna Badkhen, The Christian Science Monitor
Many rape victims have escaped to
Amman, Jordan - As though recoiling from her own memories, Khalida shrank deeper into her faded armchair with each sentence she told: of how gunmen apparently working for Iraq's Interior Ministry kidnapped her, beat and raped her; of how they discarded her on a Baghdad sidewalk.
But her suffering did not end when she fled
Rumors spread fast in
Khalida never reported the incident. Like tens of thousands of Iraqi refugees in
Her story sheds light on a problem that is little researched, poorly understood, and largely ignored: Iraqi rape victims who now live in
"The lack of legal status does lead to these sorts of protection issues [and] puts them in very exploitative situations," says Imran Riza, who heads the mission in
Rape is a common weapon of any war; no one knows how many Iraqi women have been raped since the war began in 2003. Most crimes against women "are not reported because of stigma, fear of retaliation, or lack of confidence in the police," MADRE, an international women's rights group, wrote in its 2007 report about violence against women in
A handful of organizations are working to help rape victims in
But militias often target women's rights advocates in
Documenting sexual assault in
Similarly, no one has tried to estimate how many Iraqi refugees have been raped while in
Mr. Habashneh has treated approximately 40 Iraqi rape victims for clinical depression and post-traumatic stress disorder. But he estimates that they are just a fraction of Iraqi refugees who had been raped.
Psychiatrists like Habashneh charge between $25 and $40 per visit, too expensive for most Iraqi refugees, who, like Khalida, live hand-to-mouth on monthly handouts of about $100 from international agencies.
Many victims are afraid to go outside or travel to a clinic out of fear of being detained by Jordanian authorities.
To help these women, women's rights organizations in Jordan must coordinate with larger agencies, such as UNHCR, to provide care and programs that would help the victims earn money "because rape survivors are alienated from their family and therefore have no way to sustain themselves," Ms. Susskind says.
But so far, these resources are not available for most Iraqi rape victims in
She did not tell her husband that she had been raped but he figured it out. Now, Khalida does not blame him for going away, or for leaving her so vulnerable to men who wish to prey on her.
"I have his phone number," she says, sobbing quietly. "I dial it sometimes for the kids to talk to their father. Sometimes, because I love him, I like to hear his voice. But when I say 'hello' he hangs up."
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"The master class has always declared the wars; the subject class has always fought the battles. The master class has had all to gain and nothing to lose, while the subject class has had nothing to gain and everything to lose--especially their lives." Eugene Victor Debs