Hello Sisters, Brothers and Unidentified readers of our strange little world, as you may know I took a bit of a break from writing for the last few months. It’s been a rather stressful few years, as you can imagine, but I have some pretty happy updates…I think?
I did this thing, where I decided I wasn’t going to go backwards, and then I realized that I want to do exactly that. I’ve been trying to figure out why, and it occured to me, that when you have left a world filled with violence, pain and suffering, you somehow convince yourself that you’re going to be just fine on your own.
Okay well I hate to scare you but I promised truth on this website, the truth is that it’s really fucking hard. I saw one of my favorite people in the world the other day, and I realized after calling out to him, that he isn’t allowed to talk to me any more.
I’ve experienced a lot of shit, we all know this by now, but the worst is the exit rule, you know the one that says “when you’ve left a relationship one partner gets all the friends, and the other one gets nothing?”
To be fair most of the friends suck to begin with, so that’s not much of a loss, but there are those ten or fifteen people who you wish you’d spent more time getting to know. Those people you wish you’d had more time to make memories with, and the fact that you realize how much you put yourself out there, only to be beaten down, kicked and smacked around and told you’re still not good enough.
Then there is the crushing realization that if those same people you miss, didn’t protect you back in the day, not only are they not your people, but that your heart is entirely broken by people who might love you, or might want to love you, but aren’t worth wasting your life away for.
I’ve spent far too much time doing that lately, which is ironic since I was never the kind of woman who should have gotten into these situations, as so recently told to me by an RCMP officer, when they asked “why are you letting yourself get raped by groups of men?”
Yes, that happened, and yes it sucked, and yes it made me realize that not only am I completely not alone in this fight against the idea that women are to blame for being raped, but that Surrey RCMP’s finest, who seem to have the right to decide what “I” do in my life time, are in fact talking with victims of sexual abuse and rape like this on a regular basis…I’m not original enough to be the only one.
I know this, because today I opened the paper to learn about the death of not one but two more young women:
Much like Reena Virk, Maple Batalia, and so many others that the idea of trying to hunt for the names of these women, list them, and post them for you to read is not daunting persay, but too heart breaking.
I think about the men that used to be in my world every single day, I think about these guys because despite what the press or the police think they know, or might know, say or don’t say, for a time they were my only family, my only friends.
There are so many things I could say about why women don’t get help, but all I can think…is that today I went to a registered Psychiatrist, and I tried to explain to him how worried I am, how afraid I am and all he could say was “you have nothing to be afraid of.”
For reasons I won’t get into again, I have plenty of reason to be afraid, and literally no one seems to care, and this is why women like Reena, Emily, Bhavkiran, and Maple are dying and no one seems to care. Google “Murdered woman in Surrey,” and you come up with far too many hits for anyone in Surrey to feel comfortable with.
I asked my adopted ma, tonight why it is that all the strong, beautiful powerful women I know are smart, and at one point in their lives rather successful, until they let the wrong male type person into their lives.
I am not going to sit here and male bash the men in Surrey, because I happen to know some truly great men living here, but the point is that at any point, largely in due because of this website, I “could” theoretically, end up a photo on a Police officer’s wall with the tag line “If you have any information…”
That is the worst case scenario, but given the experience I have had on this earth, the fact that I am not dead yet is nothing short of a Miracle sent by the Elder’s and the Elderess themselves.
I don’t want to end up a marked Maple Tree in a park somewhere, I don’t want to explain to my daughters that girls in Surrey just aren’t an issue for the city, and I am not going to tear down the good work being done by the city in order to shame them for the things that I think they need to work on, like I normally would.
I just think that in 2019, we clearly have what can only be considered an epidemic and not only is no one paying attention to the volumes of women in this country who die at the hands of lovers, partners, friends, and total strangers. This doesn’t include the number of children who grow up in abusive relationships and then follow the same pattern because well…in my case…it’s comfortable in the darkness.
To answer the inevitable question, “what can we do to help?” I don’t have an answer, my only point here is that it sucks.
From Ending Violence in BC I found these stats:
- Over half of women in BC have experienced physical or sexual violence since the age of 16…that’s more than one million women in our province.
- Every year in BC there are over 60,000 physical or sexual assaults against women – almost all of them are committed by men.
- In BC, there are over 1000 physical or sexual assaults against women every week.
- Over 60% of British Columbians personally know at least one woman who has been sexually or physically assaulted.
- Only 12% of sexual assaults against women are reported to the police.
- One in three women will be sexually assaulted in her lifetime.
- As of 2010, there were 582 known reports of missing or murdered Aboriginal women in Canada with BC recording more than any other province. Research shows that victimization rates are much higher among Aboriginal than non- Aboriginal women. Twenty-four percent of Aboriginal women said that they had been victims of domestic violence in the five-year period ending in 2004. Geographic isolation, lack of access to services, lack of transportation, and poverty heighten risk for Aboriginal women.
- In the 2005/06 fiscal year, spouse assault accounted for more requests for victim services than any other offence. In that year, 21,197 BC victims of spouse assault requested services from a victim service program.
- In 2006, 12% or approximately 1 in 8 prosecutions in BC were domestic violence cases. This does not include those returning to court on breaches of orders as a result of prosecution for domestic violence. The situation is actually much worse than these statistics indicate because most spouse assault incidents are not reported to police. (The results of the 2004 General Social Survey (GSS) on Victimization indicate that only 28% of victims of spousal violence reported these incidents to police.)
- While national statistics on domestic violence amongst immigrants are somewhat unreliable for a number of reasons (including the fact that they are based on telephone surveys of people who speak English or French) we do know that social isolation, lack of information about rights and available services, lack of English language skills and lack of services available in their own language, immigration and sponsorship issues, poverty, and lack of support from their cultural community increase the vulnerability of immigrant women. This has been tragically illustrated by recent murders and serious assaults of South Asian women in BC.
- 30 to 40 per cent of children who witness the abuse of their moms, also experience direct physical abuse themselves.
- In Canada, it’s estimated that every year, 800,000 children witness a woman being abused.
I don’t have an answer, I won’t ask you to donate, or take to the streets, I am not asking you to create a hash tag, but thanks to Alabama we’ve just been officially told that our lives don’t matter, so maybe if you could find it in your heart, you’ll leave some suggestions below. Maybe we can inspire each other.
Sending all my love, (and thoughts and prayers :()
Cameron Beau Canan