“No more hurting people”

April 15, 2013 by Peter · Leave a Comment 

“No more hurting people” – Martin Richard, 8, killed in Boston Marathon attack.

Violence: “The intentional use of physical force or power, threatened or actual, against oneself, another person, or against a group or community, that either results in or has a high likelihood of resulting in injury, death, psychological harm, maldevelopment, or deprivation.”

The World Health Organization’s World Report on Violence and Health estimates that over a million people lose their lives to violence and millions more are injured and maimed every year. The report states that violence is “among the leading causes of death among people aged 15-44 years worldwide, accounting for 14% of deaths among males and 7% of deaths among females.”

What is infinitely disturbing is the myriad forms this violence takes and how pervasive and borderless it is. Across the globe and across the centuries, humans have committed the most barbaric acts, limited only by their imaginations, and the march of civilization has done little to change the grim reality that on any given day, in every corner of our planet, gruesome and ungodly things are done to women, children and men.

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The top ten list you shouldn’t be reading

December 20, 2012 by Peter · Leave a Comment 

A new year’s list of travesties:

  1. It costs just 25 cents a day to provide a child with the vitamins and nutrients to grow up healthy, but every hour of every day, 300 children die from malnutrition.
  2. One in seven people on earth goes to bed hungry each night while the top 40 highest-earning hedge fund managers made a combined $13.2 billion in a single year.
  3. Global military spending exceeds $1.7 trillion per year, 100 times more than annual cancer research spending.
  4. 1.4 billion people in developing countries live on $1.25 a day or less, while the global video game market is nearly $50 billion. Read more

What kind of creature rapes children?

September 8, 2010 by Peter · Leave a Comment 

In a post on violence, I wrote:

The World Health Organization’s World Report on Violence and Health estimates that over a million people lose their lives to violence and millions more are injured and maimed every year. The report states that violence is “among the leading causes of death among people aged 15-44 years worldwide, accounting for 14% of deaths among males and 7% of deaths among females.”

What’s so disturbing is the myriad forms this violence takes and how deeply pervasive and borderless it is. Across the globe and across the centuries, humans have committed the most barbaric acts, limited only by their imaginations, and the march of civilization has done little to change the grim reality that on any given day, in every corner of our planet, gruesome and ungodly things are done to women, children and men.

Reading reports about children raped in Congo, I can’t fathom what kind of creature rapes anyone, let alone children.

Who does things like this:

A Jamaican taxi driver has been accused of raping a 12-year-old girl and then burying her alive after he thought he had strangled her to death, authorities said on Wednesday.

Or this:

Jessica Marie Lunsford was a nine-year-old girl who was abducted from her home in Homosassa, Florida in the early morning of February 24, 2005. Believed held captive over the weekend, she was raped and later murdered by 47-year-old John Couey who was living nearby.

Or this:

Marc Clifton Bryant, a Utah fugitive who was convicted after torturing a 16 year old girl with a blowtorch and screwdriver while he raped her, has been captured. Bryant was convicted in April on charges of aggravated kidnapping, child abuse, criminal solicitation, rape of a minor and making terroristic threats. Investigators say Bryant handcuffed a 16-year-old girl to a bed, raped her, tortured her with a blowtorch and scarred her with a heated screwdriver.

Individuals who commit these evil acts are not human. They are beyond description. Heinous beyond words.

Light a candle for Richel Nova

September 6, 2010 by Peter · Leave a Comment 

In many traditions, lighting a candle is a gesture of remembrance, of respect, of empathy, a way of keeping someone in our thoughts. Human violence is a monstrosity we live with daily and I believe we honor victims by thinking of them and acknowledging the pain they’ve been through.

Light a candle for Richel Nova:

Boston police have arrested three suspects who they say stabbed a Domino’s pizza delivery man and drove off in his car.

Two teenangers and a 20-year-old are charged with homicide in what investigators described as a brutal crime.

Suffolk County District Attorney Daniel Conley said 58-year-old Richel Nova’s death “was chilling in its callousness and violence.”

CNN affiliate WCVB reported that the three suspects broke into a vacant home Thursday night and then made a call for pizza to be delivered, according to police.

When Nova arrived, he was stabbed multiple times at the kitchen door, police said.

… Friends told WCVB that Nova, a Dominican immigrant who moved to Massachusetts more than 20 years ago, worked three jobs to provide a better life for his son and twin 20-year-old daughters.

“It’s a shame,” friend Rafael Hernandez told WCVB. “You come here to change your life and do better, and that’s what happens to you.”

Michel Andre St. Jean, 20, Alexander Emmanuel Gallett, 18 and Yamiley Mathurin, 17 are accused of homicide, armed robbery and armed breaking and entering of a dwelling.

UPDATE: Cries break out during funeral for Richel Nova:

Mourners wailed and clung to each other for support as the late Richel Nova was honored in a small but intensely emotional funeral in East Boston this morning. Nova’s emotionally distraught twin daughters and their mother clung to each other for support. Hymns sung in Spanish were broken by wails and cries of grief from mourners.

Nova’s friends and family were joined by Mayor Thomas M. Menino and Police Commissioner Edward Davis. Police had a heavy presence outside keeping intersections open as the funeral procession arrived and left.

Violence against women and the law

August 19, 2010 by Peter · 2 Comments 

Striking:

[O]nly about one third of countries around the world have laws in place to combat violence against women, and in most of these countries those laws are not enforced, well resourced or taken seriously.

Violence against women and girls, in the form of human trafficking, harmful cultural practices, rape as a tactic of war and domestic violence, is one of the single greatest barriers holding women back. A staggering statistic: one out of every three women will be a victim of violence in her lifetime. And the problem is getting worse every year.

I stick by this New Year’s prediction:

Another decade closes, another decade dawns, another thing you can bet on in the years to come: women across this planet will be disrespected, beaten, abused, violated, oppressed. Simply for being born female.

I have one child, a daughter. Not yet 2. But I know full well that her gender automatically brings with it the likelihood that at some point (perhaps at many points), she’ll be treated like a second-class citizen.