Last year Airyn was one of several writers and poets asked to draft a suitable letter and poem which would be forwarded to President Obama. Airyn duly submitted the draft and poem and did not hear anything else. Yesterday she discovered that her work had been used and published in the Women Thrive Worldwide website after being forwarded to President Obama, the First Lady, Vice President Biden, Secretary Hillary Clinton and others.
The website may be seen at: http://www.womenthrive.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=1015&Itemid=28
I am reproducing the letter and poem here for your information.
AIRYN LENTIJA ON VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN
On November 29, 2010 Airyn Lentija of the Philippines submitted the following letter to the Obama administration in support of the International Violence Against Women Act (IVAWA).
Dear President Obama, First Lady, Vice President Biden, Secretary Hillary Clinton and the members of US Government:
I am honored to be given this rare opportunity to take over the platform and speak with you about the pains behind the tears I have and felt of the abused young girls, teenage girls and women. With the approach of the IVAWA vote, I am asking you to sign this legislation for the women of the world.
Everyday countless women suffered from Domestic Violence. While it is usually physical violence many people forget that mental abuse can be equally traumatic and far more long lasting. In addition to this every year, women in some parts of the world become victims of acid attacks and while a brilliant reconstructive surgeon might restore their damage skin tissue they will never be free from the horror of what they have suffered, of the pain and anguish they have experienced and the deep underlying knowledge that they will never, ever, be the same woman.
There are teenage girls, forced to marry at a very young age. Some are exploited, sold to be used as sex slaves, farmer labourers and worst they will be killed slowly by the harvesting of their organs. There are women also will suffer and die from the after effects of female genital mutilation, stoning and other forms of brutal, barbaric acts.
As a Domestic Worker, I have seen and reported on stories that happen around the world to my fellow women; victims of illegal recruiters, abused, raped and killed and disappeared....conveniently forgotten.
The worst is the fast rising number of women, teenage girls and young girls as young as five who are trafficked and exploited. Sex tourism is one of the major problems of my country, the Philippines and of the world were women form the greater percentage of victims.
Young girls were usually the target of child pornography. I have read The Diary of a Sex Slave where You Mi described the life she had gone through as flesh seller. How she coordinated with US Goverment and testify to shut some of the brothels in the US. How many You Mi's still exist and live and work like animals?
THE YOUNG VICTIM OF SEX TRADE
While the world is busy
Rotating madly on its axis
They were stacked in a half-dozen high,
Waiting for their turn
To be exploited,
Innocent girls as young as five
Trapped on the blockade of no-more dreams
Where their blood-curdling screams
Were persecuted inside them
Of being heard...
Behind those walls are painful cries
Pleas (for education),
Fears (for self worth),
Traumas (for AIDS...for Alienation)
Have you seen/heard/felt them?
They were there...
God knows what they feel...
The trembling of their knees
The first time the lining of their dreams
Were sliced evilly...
The nipples of their hopes
Brutally clawed by the beast
Of different races
In less than ten hours
They were there...
Penning their blues in the wind
The words behind their silent weeping
In every excruciating night
Nights and days of drowning
In the language of the sex trade
And not a ghost of a chance
The eons of light invade
Their infant lamenting souls
God knows what they feel
They were there...
Now I am asking for your kind heart to please sign the I-VAWA. Women deserves to be loved and respected. Please endorse and sign I-VAWA and help free the abused women from injustice.
Airyn Rano Lentija