The Long Shadow: Adult Survivors of Childhood Abuse

It seems you can’t turn on a TV these days without hearing about childhood abuse. References to “the dysfunctional family” are so common they are almost a cliché. 

But behind the cliché is the sad reality: some families are poisonous for children. Childhood abuse, particularly when severe, can cast a long shadow over your life influencing your emotional state, and how you relate to others.

 Even when not abusive, families can be dysfunctional in other ways, such as having a chronically depressed, mentally ill or substance-abusing parent. 

Your upbringing may have left you poorly equipped to parent your own children. In this chapter, I describe one of the most common types of abuse and family dysfunction, and how these experiences could be affecting you.

 Types of Childhood Abuse

Child abuse takes a wide variety of forms, and can range from mild to severe. Even competent parents make mistakes, and have challenges and difficulties. 

Abuse can occur inside the family, and with people who are not family members. By and large, however, the experiences I am describing occur within the home. In severely dysfunctional homes, it’s not unusual for several types of abuse to occur at the same time. 

For example, someone who is sexually abusive is often physically abusive as well. In families where there is partner abuse, there is also likely to be parental depression and substance abuse. What seems to be important, across all these types of abuse, is the overall level of severity and degree of family pathology.

Neglect

Neglect is by far the most common type of child maltreatment. Unlike physical or sexual abuse, where something is actually done, neglect is failure to do something. Types of neglect include not providing food, clothing or medical attention. It can include failure to supervise, provide a safe environment or provide proper education. (Unfortunately, families who home school are often harassed under the education portion of the neglect laws.)

Not surprisingly, neglect is often related to parental substance abuse and depression. Families who neglect their children are often chaotic. Parents don’t seem to be able to “get it together” to provide food or appropriate clothing for their children. In Beth’s family, both her mother and father were alcoholics. She was frequently hungry because her parents spent the money they had on alcohol.

Neglect is often thought to be solely a function of poverty. However, while poverty certainly accounts for some neglect, it is neither fair nor accurate to imply that all poor people neglect their children. There usually is something more, especially in chronically neglectful homes. 

In a paper entitled “The Psychological Ecology of the Neglectful Mother,” Polansky and his colleagues (Polansky, Gaudin, Ammons, & Davis 1985) specifically addressed the issue of poverty in child neglect. In their study, they gathered a group of mothers identified as “neglectful” by social services. They then found another group of mothers who were not neglectful, but had the same income level, education, marital status, ethnicity, and even neighborhood as the neglectful mothers. What they found was illuminating. The mothers identified as neglectful were depressed, had few friends, and seemed unable to take advantage of resources that were available to them in their communities.

Depression in mothers and fathers is also related to neglect. Recall from chapter 2, that depression influences a mother’s ability to interact with her children. One interaction style is “avoidant.” Avoidant mothers disengage from their children, and ignore them much of the time. The other style, “angry-intrusive,” is a risk factor for physical abuse (I’ll discuss this in a minute).

Neglect also happens in the suburbs, and in more subtle forms. Food and clothing may be provided, but the parent might be emotionally absent. Parents may show little interest in their children. Mothers or fathers may have been so emotionally immature that children must care for them, rather than the other way around.

 Parents can also be so uninvolved that they fail to notice when something really serious occurs in their children’s lives. Both Marilyn and Sandy were raised in middle-class homes with neglectful, substance-abusing mothers. Both were raped as teens by kids from their schools. Neither of their families noticed the abrupt change in their behaviors that occurred as a result of being raped. They never asked what was going on, or why their daughters were acting so strangely.

Today coose to make a difference, embrace a soul provide a healing hug you never know what someone is going thru.

Join me by showing compassion to someone that never knew compassion, together we can make the world a better place and provide hope for the broken , the battered, or the abused soul.

Nikki Navarro

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A Story of A Survivor

By Nikki Navarro

   Nina was abused by her partner. 32 years trying for a few months at a time to leave, but ultimately having to go back. Financial control kept her from gaining stability on her own and for her children. Her partner would cut off access to her money, he would also isolate her from family and friends.

Faced with overwhelming hurdles, Nina didn’t know where to start: shelter, employment, childcare, safety, basic needs?

Staying Seemed Easier

She could endure the abuse for the sake of her children.

When things were good, her abuser would build her up, give her an allowance, and provide luxuries that would otherwise be impossible— but within two weeks, the relationship always shifted.

Drugs and alcohol started being used as a means for power and control over Nina’s physical autonomy, and gaslighting was used to control her mind. Coercive abuse was was against Nina by her partner.

Nina Was Stuck

Years later, once all three adult-children moved out of their family home and at the time that was right, several advocate and other on-site community resources were available to assist Nina as she successfully exited her abusive relationship.

She left the Relashionship broken-and Full of Self Doubt

When she met with Nikki, she began her healing journey through strengths-based and other services. Nikki went with her to court; helped her connect to Domestic shelter’s and other programs; and supported her to regain the autonomy stolen from her.

After meeting for a few weeks Nikki did an activity with Nina called the “Marvelous Marble Activity,” where she hands a small stone to Nina and asks to name the things she loves about herself, and to name her strengths.

Together they named attributes like: strong woman, strong mother, kind, courageous, patient, and forgiving. Till today Nina keeps it as a symbol and reminder of her many strengths.

A few weeks later they checked in and talked about the stone; Nina said that she made a jewelry box and included the rock in her box—so whenever she uses her jewelry she has that reminder of positive affirmations .

 Nina was able to find safety and stability. She could be her full authentic self. She could heal.

Let’s hold another victim’s hand and guide them on a healing path

Together we can make a difference

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ABOUT OUR MINISTRY

Domestic Violence Rises During Pandemic

By Nikki Navarro

During the pandemic, we’ve all been asked to stay home to keep ourselves safe. Offices were closed, stay-at-home orders were enforced, and personal liberties were limited. To protect ourselves from the virus, we were told to seek safety in our home. For some people, home is far from safe. Those who suffer at the hands of intimate partner violence (IPV) have found themselves trapped in a prison. Instead of being safe at home, IPV victims have found themselves trapped indoors with their abuser. It’s been a concern voiced by professionals, politicians, and advocates since the beginning of the pandemic. In this article, we’re looking at the realities of domestic violence during pandemic times.

It’s difficult to judge the impact that the pandemic has had on levels of domestic violence. It’s easy to identify why. While the number of calls to domestic violence hotlines has dropped by more than 50% in some areas, we know this is due to limited opportunities for victims to safely connect with these services. 

This trend isn’t universal, and we’ve seen a rise in instances of domestic abuse and violence against women and children across the world. The first two weeks of the pandemic saw an 18% rise in calls to domestic violence hotlines in Spain than the month before. In France, police have reported a 30% increase in domestic violence during pandemic times, with officers being asked to stay vigilant for signs of IPV.

Keeping people inside their homes has led to more dangerous situations where cases of IPV have skyrocketed. We know the number of IPV victims has increased as a result of the pandemic, but it’s almost impossible to narrow this down to a statistic. Violence against women and children can take several forms, including emotional, physical, psychological, or sexual. One in four women and one in ten men suffer from violence at the hands of intimate partners. 

COVID-19 has created what’s been described as a “perfect storm”. Research carried out by the charity Women’s Aid has found that 91% of victims of domestic abuse have said that the pandemic has negatively impacted them in at least one way. 61% said abuse by intimate partners worsened during the pandemic. For these victims, it’s the lack of access to refugee spaces and support services that has led to them feeling trapped. This research also found that 67% of women experiencing abuse by intimate partners said the pandemic had been used as part of the abuse. 

Intimate partner violence is a public health crisis that is spiking as a result of the pandemic. This fact isn’t shocking. Research has shown that cases of domestic violence increase when families are spending more time at home together, such as during the Christmas holidays. At the start of the pandemic, the United Nations called on governments to “put women’s safety first as they respond to the pandemic”. 

The pandemic has exasperated social inequalities and deprivation, which often correlates in higher instances of IPV. While it’s true that IPV does not discriminate across socio-economic and cultural divides, it disproportionally affects marginalized and minority communities. These groups suffer from economic instability, lack of childcare, and unstable housing situations. These social factors can make tensions run high and create situations where IPV can occur. The pandemic has aggravated these issues and increased the risk of instances of IPV.

One form of abuse by intimate partners comes from financial coercion. Victims of IPV often find themselves financially entangled with their intimate partner and put in a position where they don’t have financial independence. The pandemic has led to job losses in almost every industry. Women minorities and those without a college education are the most impacted by rising unemployment per statistics.

IPV also encompasses violence against women and children, who find themselves in the firing line with at-home schooling becoming the norm during the pandemic. COVID-19 has seen a rise in cases of child abuse as virtual learning and child care problems drive up tensions at home. One consequence of at-home learning is that it prevents fewer opportunities for intervention or others to recognize the warning signs of abuse. 

This reality exists for all victims of IPV, with the pandemic limiting the contact they have with people who could report the behaviour on their behave. IPV screenings can be carried out on patients who arrive at a health facility presenting signs of abuse. The pandemic has shifted in-person medical appointments to telemedicine platforms and skype calls. These appointments no longer offer an opportunity for victims to report their abuse, as their intimate partners are often in the room with them. 

The realities of the pandemic have also made it harder for victims to seek out support. Women’s shelters are operating with limited capacity, and some hotels are only open for emergency services. Limits on travel have made it almost impossible for victims to travel across the country or state to seek safety with friends or family.

Domestic violence during pandemic times has put a spotlight on the social and economic factors that lead to violence against women and children by intimate partners. As the world begins to open up again because of the vaccine rollout, public health agencies and domestic violence organizations will see a spike in victims accessing services. On the other of this pandemic, we have an opportunity to address these social and public health issues that so often exacerbate the circumstances that lead to IPV. 

What the pandemic has shown is the need to promote and highlight continued access to services and support. Both from charities and medical professionals, for victims of violence by intimate partners. 

If you find yourself in a situation like this, there is support out there to help you. Charities are still working, medical professionals are there to help, and hotlines are open. You’re not alone – there will always be people there to help. Our website includes community resources that you can avail. Help is out there. No one will judge you. Speak out and seek out help please stay safe. 

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Coping with Pain and Grief

Coping With Grief 

By Nikki Navarro

When you lose someone, you may feel a range of strong emotions, including sorrow, loneliness, helplessness, confusion, and even anger. It could be due to a breakup or divorce, a loss of friendship, miscarriage, or worse, the death of a loved one.

Grieving the loss of someone close to you due to the COVID-19 virus while dealing with the stress, anxiety, and fear related to the pandemic can make emotional healing more difficult. Such death may just be part of the statistics for others, but it is more than that for you.

Coping With Grief Amidst the Pandemic 

The unending bad news about the coronavirus is a constant reminder of the reasons for your anguish and grief. Due to lockdown and social distancing measures, you are forced to stay home, and physically being with friends and other family members may not be possible.

Our current circumstances may make coping with a loved one’s death more challenging than ever, but it doesn’t mean it’s impossible. No one is beyond help, regardless of how deep the wound is.

Connect with friends and family

Whenever you are under the feelings of sorrow, it is common to want to withdraw from others and deny any form of companionship. But avoidance will actually disrupt your healing process and lead to isolation. Even if you’re not comfortable talking about your feelings, it’s vital to express them when you’re grieving.

So spend time with the people you love and accept assistance from others. If you can’t be with them physically, there are other ways to remain connected, like creating group chats or joining video calls. 

Join a support group

Even when surrounded by families and friends, grief can still make you feel alone and lonely. Although you know that you can rely on those around you, it may be hard to be open and honest about how you feel. In this case, a support group will provide you with an ideal avenue to share your pain with others with similar experiences.

Practice self-care

Grief can take a toll on your well-being. It is exhausting and requires a great deal of energy. It can impair your ability to focus, cloud your judgment, suppress your appetite, and cause difficulty sleeping. While it can be easy to take your health for granted when mourning, taking care of yourself is crucial so you can be prepared to deal with physically and emotionally demanding situations.

Since your usual self-care activities and hobbies may not be available due to the pandemic, you might have to be creative in your approach. Think about what helps your mind and body relax. Consider what you find enjoyable, such as reading a book, watching a movie, gardening, or writing in your journal. Of course, exercising and eating healthy are always good for your health.

Conclusion

Dealing with the loss of a loved one may be one of the most difficult challenges for most people. Although the intense feelings of pain and sadness can be overwhelming, help is available. So you never have to do it alone, and remember that there is no shame in seeking help from others.

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ABOUT OUR MINISTRY

Holding Hands And Praying At Bible Study Group Meeting In Community Center

By Nikki Navarro

The Women’s Ministry is designed to help women become empowered and heal from all kinds of expressions of oppression, loss, and sorrow.  For example, the Women’s Ministry can help you if…

  • You’ve ever lost a loved one or experienced dark days of grief, wondering if you carry on without them.
  • You’ve ever received a scary diagnosis about a disease or injury and faced the pain and uncertainty of what will happen next.
  • You’ve sat the bedside of a dying friend whose life had was cut short from the ravages of cancer or some other deadly disease.
  • You’ve been to a funeral for a baby, child, or other close family member, and you’ve watched the sorrow of the others in attendance. 
  • You’ve been deeply wounded, betrayed, abused, mistreated, and rejected by a partner or lover.
  • You’ve ever experienced any extremely difficult situation and have wondered if the anguish and fears you have felt will ever end.

In short, the Ministry is designed to help you through any of these and other oppressive experiences in your life to help you heal by knowing you will get through it, and you will have a caring, supportive community with you to transform yourself and achieve your purpose and fulfillment in life.  

We understand that along the way, you may experience great hurt, like passing through a intense fire.  But then, consider that like a fire walk over burning coals, where you have the focus and fortitude to know you can do it.  For it’s like a purifying bath cleanings your soul of past sorrows and grief, so you come out feeling renewed and restored and ready to attain that happiness you deserve. And often a belief in a divine power can help you heal and make you whole.

I know this is possible because I was stripped of everything in 2015 after an abusive relationship filled with violence followed by a devastating financial collapse in the Great Recession.  But then, at the point where I felt utter despair, I found a new hope in a Church that had spiritually mature women elders who lifted me up offered the motherly love that I had lacked throughout my life.  And most importantly, I came to feel and accept Gods love for me as a newborn child who was born again. So then I experienced restoration, redemption, and a new personal relationship with God through my newfound faith.

After I went through this healing and transformation, my career took off and my husband and I began a successful new business flipping homes and I resumed my insurance career to a newfound success.  

So now, while I love my career, I also have this burning desire to draw on my experience to help women from all the world by empowering them to rise above their limitations, overcome any experiences of oppression, and know that they will find their true purpose in life and attain the happiness and fulfillment they seek.

So now I invite any women who feel the call to join with me and the community of women who are joining together through this ministry to escape any past oppressions and fears and help each other become like shining stars who can glow in the heavens with their new sense of mission, power, and joy.

 

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DEFINING DOMESTIC ABUSE

Financial Control

By controlling money in a relationship, abusive partners prevent freedom. They may take earned money and not allow access to it, or watch over every penny. Preventing employment is also control.

Verbal Abuse

Abusive partners may lie, threaten, intimidate, disrespect, and manipulate their partner. Verbal attacks are an abuser’s attempt to maintain control and may be an early sign of a rocky relationship.

Stalking

Stalking isn’t just for ex’s. Some abusive partners monitor their partner’s every move. From phone trackers to hidden cameras to constant texts and calls, this behavior is another form of control.

Sexual Abuse

Forcing sex, sabotaging birth control and physical violence during intercourse are ways of exerting control over a partner. Sexual exploits may serve as blackmail against the victim for seeking help.

Technology Control

Hacking into social media accounts, devices and email is a form of surveillance- and control. It communicates to the victim that she/he can’t have privacy or freedom. It also makes it hard to signal for help.

Physical Abuse

This is a non-verbal threat that if the abuser isn’t satisfied, there will be more pain and punishment. Intensity and frequency tends to increase over time. Healthy relationships don’t involve punishment.

Threats

Verbal and non-verbal threats of harm to others like family and friends keep victims afraid to seek help or leave. If recorded or witnessed, these threats may be useful in court against the abusive partner.

Murder

If the victim is dead, they can’t tell others about what’s been going on. Murder is the ultimate cover-up to a history of abusive and violent behavior. It’s also the most damaging for everyone involved.

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1V62brmHHauJbBs2heWOW_6YtqbN6jo4-/view?usp=drivesdk

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Police in Cancun Mx

Cancun police shoot down a feminist manifestation

Cancun video #NiUnaMas 2020 Protest Cancun police shoot down a feminist manifestation

The agents burst in with their weapons in hand and shouts of “Now the f****ing women are going to f**k off.” Two journalists are treated for gunshot wounds

Police officers advance firing during the protest. (PHOTO: ELIZABETH RUIZ/ AFP | VIDEO: EPV)

JACOBO GARCÍA

MÉXICO – 10 NOV 2020 – 01:36 GMT-6

On Monday, a group of about 50 municipal police officers from Cancun shot down a feminist demonstration in front of the Municipal Palace in the tourist city. A man in a hooded uniform wearing a bulletproof vest and a long weapon suddenly started shooting at close range in the central square a few meters from the protesters. At least two journalists covering the protests suffered gunshot wounds. Roberto Becerril from La Verdad was hit in the shoulder and Cecilia Solís from Radio Turquesa was hit in the foot by a bullet.

At that time, about 2,000 young people protested in front of public buildings in response to the three brutal killings of women registered in Quintana Roo this weekend. A group of protesters set fire to the woods in front of the passage to protect the building. In the past, young people broke some windows and burned the paper inside.

When the protesters were about to enter the building, the policemen appeared opening fire with a clean shot, which caused the stampede. However, they persecuted and continued to beat those who tried to record the brutal attack. The agents made several arrests, beat and tried to take phones and cameras from journalists covering the protest. Another two journalists had to be treated in a hospital due to the beatings of the police, their colleagues told EL PAÍS.

Alex Castro, from the newspaper Novedades, who was covering the protest for his newspaper, explained that there were about 50 agents in the plaza. Half of them started shooting. “When the bullets began, the police had blocked the two main entrances to the square to prevent us from leaving,” he said an hour after what happened.

The photographer of the newspaper Novedades, Paola Chiomante, told EL PAÍS that she saw agents firing from the roof of the Municipal Palace. According to the photojournalist, the police “were very angry and acted with disproportionate violence” and recalled how she heard the officers shouting “now if the fucking women are going to be worth mothers”, at the time when the uniformed men appeared in the square.

For its part, the official response only agrees on one thing: stand out from what happened. No one has so far assumed responsibility. The Secretary of Public Security of Quintana Roo, Alberto Capella, ordered an investigation into what happened. “What happened in the Municipal Palace of Benito Juárez is in every way unacceptable. I am ordering an internal investigation and making all the information available to the State Prosecutor’s Office to do the same, “he wrote on Twitter.

Feminist anger accumulated grievances throughout the weekend when two women were murdered in less than 24 hours in Cancun and another in José María Morelos, also in the state of Quintana Roo. After an intense search, the bodies of the Cancun women were found Saturday and Sunday night with signs of torture. The latest, the savage murder of Bianca Alejandrina, had a macabre ending this Sunday. The 20-year-old girl had disappeared on Saturday but her remains appeared a day later inside an abandoned plastic bag in a neighborhood of Cancun.

Today’s protest had been called by the Quintana Roo Feminist Network and had become a national trend through the hashtags #JusticiaParaAlexis and #QuintanaRooFeminicida, as a protest against the prosecutor Óscar Montes de Oca, the governor Carlos Joaquín González and the Mayor “Mara” Lezama, for dedicating efforts to “care for the image” of Cancun and not to the safety and protection of women.

For her part, the mayor of Cancun, Mara Lezama, of the ruling Morena party, also distanced herself from the aggression. “In my capacity as municipal president, I will never order any type of repression against the citizens. I have given precise instructions for the corresponding investigations to be carried out ”, she pointed out. Yet another authority that avoided her responsibility, the Ministry of the Interior, demanded an investigation via Twitter from the municipal and state authorities “to the end of the repression and armed aggression against a feminist demonstration,” she wrote on her social network.

So far this year there have been a dozen femicides in Quintana Roo, according to the EFE agency, citing sources from the Prosecutor’s Office. At the national level, Mexico registered 34,608 malicious homicides and 1,012 femicides last year, the highest figures since the murders of women have been counted.

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Overcoming Femicides and Gender-violences in Mexico for a Better Tomorrow

Overcoming Femicides and Gender-violences in Mexico for a Better Tomorrow

Gender inequality and violence against women are exacerbating in Mexico. In 2019, 3825 women lost their lives because of assaults, and in them, around 1000 women died because of femicide. Femicide refers to the “killing of women by men.” There has been a staggering increase in the number of femicides occurring in Mexico in the recent years. As per the research conducted by different organizations, about ten women get killed every week in Mexico because of femicide.

#Niunamenas – A movement to curb violence against women

Different feminist organizations in Mexico take initiatives to overcome the injustices confronted by women. #Niunamenos is one such movement that raises voices against femicides, sexual torture, and gender violence. Susana Chaias, a poet, coined Ni Una Menos, which means “Not One (woman) Less.” She created it during a violent outbreak in Ciudad Juarez in 1995.

#Niunamenos became a movement against gender violence in 2016 after several protests occurred in 40 Mexican cities. These events happened as a revolt after the death of seven women. After these incidents, #Niunamenosattained a wider social media presence too. Currently, #Niunamenos has become a chant against the oppressions confronted by women.

#Niunamenos is a protest of great significance in Mexico, Argentina, Chile, and Peru. Today, #Niunamenos conducts many initiatives to ensure women’s safety.

Struggles and Demonstrations in 2020 before Cancun Protest

In Mexico, there have been several strikes and marches to reduce violence against women. However, the number of injustices faced by women continues to increase with every passing year. Akin to #Niunamenos, many other feminist groups work on empowering women.

In March 2020, as part of International Women’s Day, there was a two-day protest. There was a march from the Revolution Monument to the Constitution Plaza. Eighty-thousand women took part wearing purple clothes to show their support. It was a movement conducted as part of #Niunamenos.

On March 9, 2020, there was a strike where most women employees in Mexico took the day off. Because of this, there was an economic impact of USD 290 million. It was known as #Adaywithoutus. It was a campaign against femicide. It was also striving forward to ensure freedom and safety for Mexican women.

The primary reason behind the two-day protest was the femicide of two girls. They included a 25-year-old girl, Ingrid Escamilla, and a 7-year-old girl, Cecilia Aldright. The way Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador handled domestic violence, also discontented Mexican women.

Even though the movement tried to reduce femicides in Mexico, several cases of injustice happened. El Sol de Mexico presented data on the same. According to them, during the two-day protest against femicide, 11 women became victims of it.

#Niunamenos protestors took over the headquarters of the National Human Rights Commission. It happened a few days before Mexico’s Independence Day.

The protesters turned the building into a shelter for the victims of gender-based assaults. On September 15, strikes took place in various parts of Mexico against the injustices suffered by women. Chihuahua, Quintana Roo, and Cuernavaca are some cities where protests occurred. The principal reason behind these events was the Mexican government’s inability to guarantee security to women.

These are some movements and strikes that took place before the Cancun Protest in Mexico. They have a tremendous impact on the problems confronted by women, especially femicide. Even though many women are coming forward, there seems to be an abuse of power. Because of this, several women continue to face injustices in Mexico.

Cancun Protest – A struggle to curb femicides in Mexico

Cancun is an enchanting location that attracts several thousand tourists every year. In Quintana Roo, Cancun had a feminist protest a few months back in November 2020. The reason that led to the protest was that three femicides occurred within 24 hours in Quintana Roo. Two of them happened in Cancun, and another one took place in Jose Maria Morelos. The bodies of these women showed signs of torture too. One of the women was a 20-year-old who went missing in the first week of November. However, authorities found her body two days later in a mutilated condition in a plastic bag.

Because of these disturbing cases of femicide, #Niunamenos and other feminist groups organized a protest to curb femicide incidents in Mexico. Around two thousand women marched towards the Cancun City building during the event. They were questioning these femicide events. The protesters burned documents and broke the windows of the Cancun City Building. As they were about to enter its premises, around fifty community officers came forward. They were wearing their uniforms with bullet-proof vests and carrying weapons (including A47 guns) with them. They opened fire, injuring many protesters, including young girls and women.

Officers also took place on rooftops and shot demonstrators from there. People present at the event stated the officers shut down the building’s main entrance. It was to prevent the protesters from leaving the place. Apart from that, the officers also confiscated the cameras and mobile phones of demonstrators and journalists. They also attacked them for recording the incident.

Because of the attacks, many protestors endured significant injuries. Journalists also confronted the assaults. Robert Béardd, from La Verdad, experienced severe shoulder damage, and Cecilia Solis, from Radio Turquese, suffered a foot injury.

After the protest in Cancun, the president stated that the government could no longer permit weapons and force during strikes. The governor of the Caribbean Coast State of Quintana Roo, Carlos Joaquin, transferred the blame to Cancun Municipal Police. Based on that, Mara Lezama, the mayor, dismissed the city police chief. However, there were several suggestions from feminist groups to remove the state police chief. However, it did not happen.

The events in Cancun and other parts of Mexico in 2020 depict the abuse of power and growing injustice against women. The government of Mexico has to take immediate and effective measures to reduce gender-violence and femicide. It is the right time to raise voices against these injustices to emancipate and empower Mexican women. #Niunamenos and other feminist organizations in Mexico have to receive more support from the people. So, why not join the change with no further delays?

 

 

 

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Votive Candles

My Soul Healing Journey by Nikki Navarro

My Soul Healing Journey

I was stripped of everything in 2015 – a devastating deadly tornado destroyed our home. Earlier that year after having lived a horrible abusive past life filled with physical as well as verbal violence, mental abuse, rape , near death all caught up with me no more running, I came face to face with my pain. I had to deal with my deep emotional soul wounds. There was no more running. I had attempted suicide, had a brush with death. My earlier childhood and younger years were filled with Trauma

That very same year earlier in May 2015, I’d spent 2 weeks as an inpatient at a rehabilitation center to deal with my pain. We had a routine there to meet groups of women each morning. Each did gather and speak their stories under the deep pain, shame, guilt and anger. I saw Women who had just had their wrists slit and had received stitches, sutured, some with visible battered faces, cut lips, open cuts to their flesh. Others had come off the streets where they worked in prostitution and their partners had beat them in jealous drunk rages. Some were dealing with multiple illicit drugs addictions. All these women masked deep buried pain. All were transferred from the emergency hospital rooms to this mental rehabilitation center. Women of all cultures became family. I noticed that I touched many lives by just being compassionate, listening, without judgment. I wanted to hear their stories. I was sought after and became popular not knowing this would grow to be a calling in my life. I had a great gift that I could speak to women without judgment. I could validate their feelings because I had lived in multiple fits of abuse. I could resonate with them at a deeper level of understanding.

Then an amazing intervention came one sunny day while in the facility garden a sweet inner calmness overcame me. We were allowed 15 minute walks in the lush green garden. I was trying to understand all that was happening when suddenly I felt a warmth thru my body caressed me as if when somebody hugs you and loves you. And a thought whispered to my mind and my heart I heard this inner voice saying “this journey has ended. I will lift you and I will heal you so that you can go out and heal others.” It was divine intervention. That day I embarked on my initial journey one of deep transformation from brokenness to breakthrough! 

Restoration had begun, it would be then that my therapist Renee Austin would later introduce me thru therapy sessions to greater faith, I began to have new hope and perspective. I could connect with the women at the Center on a deep level. Women at the treatment center were all there to deal with pain as I was. We all felt connected thru group therapy and then psychologists. We met with doctors of psychiatry and psychology to deal with all our deep dark soul wounds. We became family. Broken women coming together bonding thru hope. After I was released I would never be the same, I had been touched by a divine source.

Looking back another hard blow our real estate careers took a deep dive in 2008. We would eventually file for bankruptcy. We lost nearly all finances during the 2008 great real estate recession. As a part of my Real Estate Career was wiped out since 2002, we had a life that revolved around material things, Money, Trips, Wild Shopping Sprees, parties and alcohol addiction. I had attempted to mask my pain buried deep underneath with material possessions, yet those deep dark soul wounds festered and were deeply infected, with anger, bitterness, rage, hatred towards my perpetrators etc.  All the negative emotions that I had buried well deep in my soul. I had been hurting others, I had passed on a price tag too high because my family, my sons, as well as my husband, dealt with my inner demons thru my anger, rage, etc. I felt an emptiness and void. I had passed on a debt with a high price tag to the ones I loved to my family and society. I was a woman filled with anger and fury which impeded me to live a life of joy, peace and happiness. 

That was until 2016, my husband and I began to seek a Church. It was after visiting several Churches that I came to one that received me. It was a Pastoral family of 3 generations with a traditional loving family. They had women’s prayer groups and meetings where I was invited. They made me feel like a family I had never had. One became a Mother to me. We would fellowship each Sunday and go to eat. I had been taken under their wing. The elder women parishioners who built me up with unconditional love in its purest form, prayers and hugs. Each Sunday, I wanted to be present to receive this newfound faith with a newfound family. I was empowered by many spiritual Mothers. My life began a process of change deep transformation and healing, redemption and restoration. 

It is why today I am more empowered than ever. I rose from ashes to beauty to pursue my higher calling to help women living under oppression to meet them and walk them thru their pain as if when you hold their hand to cross a bridge that somehow they had lost their path and I helped transition them and walk them to another bright side of healing, redemption and restoration. My husband and I continue to work towards an equal partnership. My husband is learning to heal from his own inner wounds and unhealthy learned behaviors. 

 

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This is my calling Nikki is a Mother to all the oppressed Women, together we can make a difference.

Join Me Nikki in my journey to fight for Women’s Rights.

Author Nikki Navarro 

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