To Whom It May Concern

To Whom It May Concern

I am writing this letter to say that our children need special attention both at home and at school. The reality is that some parents or guardians are not looking about them and caring for them the way they are supposed to.

Children have rights to proper supervision, care and healthy lifestyle; as well as social welfare and religious well-being.

Our country Jamaica is blessed with so many positive people so let us work together to save our children.

Yours Truly,
A Concerned Citizen.

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A Letter To My Abuser

Dear Ricky,

I hope you are well and good in health too. I just want to say that I want you to stop abusing women the way you did to me and to change your wicked and evil ways. The way you act at times makes me question if you are a human being with a working heart. When you hit me then dragged me through the dirt I came to the conclusion that you are not human! But I do believe something good can come from you if you just ask the Lord to change you.

I honestly think you need counselling and you need to learn how to treat the woman you are with in a good and respectable way. Always be reminded that you have a mother and sisters. Before you hit a woman or say anything bad to or about her, ask yourself “how would ‘I’ feel if they were getting abuse from a man? What would ‘I’ do?”

Please start treating women with respect  and show them love. The rest is up to you, believe in yourself! If you do not change the bad treatment you give women you will end up in jail! And that is where you will belong then. You need to end all forms of violence against women and stop saying that you have a heart until you start acting like you do only then will good come from you.

Be a real BIG MAN! And remember that God still loves you. Ask him for help.
Sincerely,
One of Your Victims.

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My Views on HIV Criminalization

There are three problems with this. Firstly, HIV experts from around the world concluded that HIV criminalization does nothing to stop the spreading of the virus; instead, these type of laws actually undermine the public health goal of promoting HIV screening and treatment.

If this law should be implemented in Jamaica, people will be even more afraid of knowing their status by implying that sexually active HIV positive people can go to prison if the virus has been transmitted to another.

Secondly, the laws are unjust and counterproductive, stigma and discrimination already surrounds HIV so turning every sexual encounter by positive individuals into a possible criminal act will only add to more shame and stigmatization.

Thirdly, most irritant (to my mind), the laws are simply bad science; most have not been updated since the early 90’s and thus reflect an almost laughable misunderstanding of the virus.

Sex always entails some level of risk. A risk we all are responsible for protecting ourselves against. In a perfect world, the disclosure discussion would precede every sexual encounter, but this isn’t a perfect world.

We will not make it better by locking away people under obsolete law rooted in uncontrollable emotion hysteria, negative attitude and feelings towards homosexuality and junk science.

By: JCW+ Participant

Getting Through Hard Times

Sophie Strachen

We are sturdy beings. But in many ways, we are fragile. We can accept change and loss, but this comes at our own pace and in our own way. And only we and God can determine the timing.
—Codependent No More
Hard times, stressful times, are not all there is to life, but they are part of life, growth, and moving forward.
What we do with hard times, or hard energy, is our choice.
We can use the energy of hard times to work out, and work through, our issues. We can use it to fine-tune our skills and our spirituality. Or we can go through these situations suffering, storing up bitterness, and refusing to grow or change.
Hard times can motivate and mold us to bring out our best. We can use these times to move forward and upward to higher levels of living, loving, and growth.
The choice is ours. Will we let ourselves feel? Will we take a spiritual approach, including gratitude, toward the event? Will we question life and our Higher Power by asking what we’re supposed to be learning and doing? Or will we use the incident to prove old, negative beliefs? Will we say, “Nothing good ever happens to me…. I’m just a victim…. People can’t be trusted…. Life isn’t worth living”?
We do not always require hard energy, or stress, to motivate us to grow and change. We do not have to create stress, seek it, or attract it. But if it’s there, we can learn to channel it into growth and use it for achieving what’s good in life.
God, let my hard times be healing times.

SEXUAL VIOLENCE …. Break the silence

 

Women ages 20 -50 years old

Use one sentence to describe your first sexual encounter

Responses:

I was led to believe that we were going to meet his mother… his mother was not at home; he forced me to have sex.   I had avoided being alone with him for 1 year because I was determined to delay sex until marriage.     I was 14 years old

 

My first sexual encounter was embarrassing and painful.  I never planned to have sex, he did …I was forced…  I was 17

 

My first encounter was with a friend, I was gang raped by 7 of his family members and then given $2,000, I was 15 years old

 

It was not part of our friendship as children.  His friends held me down and gang raped me… My father was going to kill all of them… I was 13 years old

 

I was terrified and sad, I was influenced by friends…I was 14

 

Molestation started when I was 7 years old by a family friend…he was a big man… I was pregnant at age 13 for the landlord he was an old man

 

At age 16 I went to live with my uncle, he would come into my room and have sex with me.  He was in his late fifties

Perspective

Sophie Strachen

Too often, we try to gain a clear perspective before it is time.
That will make us crazy.
We do not always know why things are happening the way they are. We do not always know how a particular relationship will work out. We do not always understand the source of our feelings, why we’ve been led down a particular path, what is being worked out in us, what we are learning, why we needed to recycle, why we had to wait, why we needed to go through a time of discipline, or why a door closed. How our present circumstances will work into the larger scheme of events is not always clear to us. That is how it needs to be.
Perspective will come in retrospect.
We could strain for hours today for the meaning of something that may come in an instant next year.
Let it go. We can let go of our need to figure things out, to feel in control.
Now is the time to be. To feel. To go through it. To allow things to happen. To learn. To let whatever is being worked out in us take its course.
In hindsight, we will know. It will become clear. For today, being is enough. We have been told that all things shall work out for good in our life. We can trust that to happen, even if we cannot see the place today’s events will hold in the larger picture.
Today, I will let things happen without trying to figure everything out. If clarity is not available to me today, I will trust it to come later, in retrospect. I will put simple trust in the truth that all is well, events are unfolding as they should, and all will work out for good in my life—better than I can imagine.

Letting Go of Shame

Sophie’s post

Shame is that dark, powerful feeling that holds us back. Yes, shame can stop us from acting inappropriately. But many of us have learned to attach shame to healthy behaviors that are in our best interest.
In dysfunctional families, shame can be tagged to healthy behaviors such as talking about feelings, making choices, taking care of ourselves, having fun, being successful, or even feeling good about ourselves.
Shame may have been attached to asking for what we want and need, to communicating directly and honestly, and to giving and receiving love.
Sometimes shame disguises itself as fear, rage, indifference, or a need to run and hide, wrote Stephanie E. But if it feels dark and makes us feel bad about being who we are, it’s probably shame.
In recovery, we are learning to identify shame. When we can recognize it, we can begin to let go of it. We can love and accept ourselves—starting now.
We have a right to be, to be here, and to be who we are. And we don’t ever have to let shame tell us any differently.
Today, I will attack and conquer the shame in my life.