What do Abortion, Domestic Violence, and Sex Trafficking Have in Common? They are ALL violence against women.
Yes, men experience domestic violence and men are trafficked. Men are also certainly impacted by abortion. But, women experience domestic violence more frequently than men and are trafficked more often than men. And, certainly, it’s the woman who goes through the traumatizing experience of having her pregnancy intentionally ended. All three are violent acts against the women forced into these forms of slavery.
Based on what culture tells us about abortion, it may be hard for some to wrap their minds around abortion being called violence against women. It may be even harder to swallow it being called slavery. But what else would you call an industry that makes money off of the use of women’s bodies? Abortion is said to be a choice that women make, but is it really a choice…or is it forced? Forced by circumstances. Forced by a society that says abortion is the easy way out. Forced by partners, family, friends, employers, and churches who aren’t supportive. It seems that abortion is really no choice at all.
The same is true for domestic violence and sex trafficking. The question is often asked, “Why doesn’t she just leave?” The answer to this question is too complex for many to understand, but the reality is that threats, manipulation, lack of resources, abuse, and many other tactics are used to keep women enslaved. Even if they don’t know it.
Harriet Tubman said, “I freed a thousand slaves. I could have freed a thousand more, if only they had known they were slaves.”
Women, let’s stand up against all forms of violence women are forced into…and raise awareness about the enslavement of our sisters. Our moms. Our nieces. Our aunts. Our friends. Our daughters.
Men, you must stand up to oppose violence against women too! You have a lot of power here. The power to stop buying, stop selling, and stop abusing. And you can and should stop encouraging women you impregnate to stop the beating heart of your child.
Church, we have a critical role too and cannot turn a blind eye. We must do more to help women in all of these circumstances: Abusive homes, horrible “occupations,” and unplanned pregnancies. There are many resources available across our communities that we can invest in. Organizations that reach out to women being trafficked. Centers that walk through women in crisis pregnancies. Places that help abused women find safety and security. They need our time and they need our funds. Please give both.
We can and should end violence against women. All forms of violence. But, first, we have to call it what it is and recognize the slavery that is happening all around us.
http://optionline.org (crisis pregnancy and abortion recovery services)
http://www.thehotline.org (domestic violence services)
http://traffickingresourcecenter.org (human trafficking services)