Violence Against Women All Over the World is Real
By Marivir R. Montebon
At the altar on Foley Square today, November 25, women’s rights advocates and feminists will take time for silence in protest of the non-indictment of police officer Darren Wilson in the murder of teenager Michael Brown in August this year.
AF3IRM national chairperson Jolene Levid said the issue in Ferguson is a woman’s issue: “The killing of youth of color is a woman’s issue. Ferguson is a feminist issue. Women of color fear for their lives and for their children’s. We are subject to daily terrorism by the police, the military, the government — this is state terrorism.”
New York City — Last summer, the murder of Filipina nurse Jennifer Bongco in Winslow Township in New Jersey sent chills to the Filipino community. Her five-year-old daughter saw how the alleged assailant, Kevin Ambrose, hit and stabbed her in the wee hours of July 25 during the fight inside the car.
In a recorded statement, the young child told police, “Kevin hurt Mommy” after they started arguing. Kevin reportedly drove the child back to the house and drove away again with Jennifer, a nurse of 20 years.
The child, with bloodied hands and clothes, went back to their house, banging on the front door, and told her older sister what she saw. “Kevin hit mommy with a cookie dough,” she said. The older sister said she did not quite know what she meant.
Police authorities said Jennifer’s body was left by the roadside at Erial and Wilton Landing road near her home. Her body was discovered by a pizza deliveryman at about 12:30 AM.
Ambrose was arrested by police in less than 24 hours and is now facing murder charges and a bail of $2million, the Camden County Prosecutor’s Office said. He had a previous charge for drugs in 2014.
Unfortunate as it was but the death of Bongco has added to the gruesome fact on women being victimized by their own intimate partners. Murder of women by family or intimate relationships is a prevalent crime in the US.
A 2009 study by the Bureau of Justice Statistics showed that women in the US have been victims of murder by their own partners (70% of the crime volume on women victims of domestic violence), and there has little change of this situation since its benchmark year in 1993.
Men, on the other hand, were more likely to be killed by strangers than the people they know. The same study noted that 67% of men murdered were perpetrated by strangers and only 10% by people they knew.
To honor their memory and continuously seek justice for their demise, a transnational feminist organization will build an altar of homage and remembrance of missing, murdered, and trafficked women all over the world. With the theme “Missing, Murdered, and Trafficked: Elements of Femicide, AF3IRM will set up the altar in the evening of Tuesday, November 25th at the Foley Park in lower Manhattan.
This is a local expression of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women and the first day of the 16 Days of Women’s Activism Against Gender Violence.
The altar will feature photographs of missing, murdered, and trafficked women from Juarez, Mexico; the Highway of Tears, Canada; trafficked and prostituted women in Germany and other parts of the world.
In Juarez, Mexico, 17-year-old Laura Berenice vanished in September 2001. She is one of the young, working-class women who have disappeared in this desert city near the Rio Grande River. Some were never found; others are discovered raped, mutilated and abandoned in empty cotton fields, in desert corridors, on barren hillsides.
Over a thousand women, mostly First Nations women, have disappeared along what has been called the Highway of Tears in Canada. Some bodies were found; some were never found. Nobody knows what has happened to them — whether they have been murdered or trafficked to elsewhere in the world.
AF3IRM, in a recent press release, said it aims to call attention to the relentless war on women, their commoditization which often leads to their demise, and the non-concern by the greater part of humanity as our sisters are decimated under various pretexts the world over. The group enjoins everyone to pay homage to the altar and seek justice for women. (With an AF3IRM press release)