Just days ago, I had a friend murdered while trying to save women from human trafficking. She had chosen everyday to risk her life to give other women freedom. In the battle against human trafficking, intervention work is hard and dangerous. Even though we know this, it is still shocking and heart-wrenching when something like this happens.
On Tuesday, I reflected on the 100-year anniversary of Women's International Day. I read so many incredible stories, blogs, posts and heard about wonderful events. But wouldn't it be great to continue to hear everyday about these individuals, organizations and efforts that are making a difference in our lives?
I posted about her on Twitter and Facebook and got a flood of condolences and emails. I was overwhelmed by the number of women who shared stories about other women they had lost in some violent way. I don't know the statistics but this was enough of a stark pattern to make me stop, cry and think.
Also, there were a number of people who "unfollowed" me on Twitter after I posted about my friend's murder. Are we not comfortable reading about these narratives? Clearly, the pain of these stories touch us deeply. In the flood of very personal stories that people shared with me, they shared privately rather than discuss openly.
100 years of celebrating... Some are speaking with vigor but some still, understandably, are not. Violence against women continues on a large scale. We talk about the scarcity of our resources: food, oil, water... But there is one resource that we could have in abundance that we have control over: Love and care for all of us.