My Heart Breaks

email_masthead_ruth_v3 AJWS

Dear Harriet and Bill,

Since last Monday I’ve been glued to the news from Boston, with my heart going out to everyone living through the horror there. And tragically, there was a second story this weekend that shocked and saddened me, too. As you may have read in The New York Times and other papers, a five-year-old girl was kidnapped, raped and tortured in New Delhi, India. As I read it, the anguish that I felt in December when a university student was fatally gang raped on a Delhi bus came flooding back.

But almost as soon as I had a chance to digest this news, I started receiving a string of e-mails from our staff in India that made me incredibly proud. Grassroots organizations that AJWS supports in India responded as soon as the news broke. They are helping lead a swell of activism all across the country from women and men who are determined to make the violence stop.

There’s one way we can help demonstrate our support:

Share this photo on Facebook to tell everyone you know that you stand with the people of India who are saying “no” to rape, “no” to violence and “no” to fear for women and girls.

No to Violence 

Sharing this message tells the world that you stand with AJWS grantees like Nirantar, in Delhi, and Shaheen, in Hyderabad, who participated in large protests over the weekend. They’re doing this and more: Shaheen is planning a night-time march for mothers outraged by the rape of young girls. Astitva, in Purkaji, is advocating for a stronger police presence in places where girls congregate. MBBCDS is staging protests throughout Howrah to engage women and men to stop sexual violence in their communities. Awaaz-e-Niswaan, in Mumbai, is meeting with a team from the UN this week and is working to organize a nation-wide effort to make sure that India is a place where women’s rights are respected.

By supporting them in their important cause we can make their voices stronger and help change come faster—in India and elsewhere in the world, including here in the U.S., where violence against women plagues society. Actions like these—by the women and men we support in India and by so many others—remind us what it means to be at our best in the face of horror. This is what inspires me to keep doing the work that I do at AJWS every day.

Thank you, as always, for your support, which makes this kind of amazing work possible. It’s so gratifying to see our dollars making a difference, in real time, on an issue that is so critical and urgent today.

Ruth W. Messinger
President, AJWS

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