Protected in Hilo

Mondays Musings from Melinda by Melinda M.

Um, so right now, I’m having trouble summoning one of my light-hearted and sentimental Monday musings. You see, for the last week, I’ve been musing about how so many of us chose hate over love. How so many of us chose a man who proved his disdain for truth, discourse, and non-whites over a woman they felt they couldn’t trust (spoiler alert: I was/am with her).

Hawaii is as blue a state as the ocean surrounding it, so the spattering of Trump signs I saw around town always made me scratch my head: Trump? Really? He spouts such hate. Our geographical isolation, our multi-ethnic and economically diverse communities, and our aloha culture shelter us from most of the causes that supposedly gave rise to Trump. Those stressors and tensions are largely unfelt or at least unseen here and our climate often makes it feel like we are perpetually on vacation.

Funny enough, that’s part of the reason why some of my family and childhood friends don’t get why I love living here – it doesn’t seem like a “real” place to live, work or raise a family. But unfortunately Hawaii does have it all: poverty, inequality and even racial tension (see: Micronesians). We also have sexual assault and abuse. And since we as a country have just elected a known and unabashed sexual assaulter who surrounds himself with other known misogynists or abusers (e.g., Giuliani, Gingrich, Ailes), I will do my part to make sure that the men and boys in my community do not read this election as a sign that they can handle women and girls in that way and that women and girls know that they shouldn’t be handled that way.

ywca-hawaii-logo

I am honored to sit on the board of the YWCA Hawaii Island, which operates the only 24-hour sexual assault hotline on the island. The YW does more than provide the nurturing pre-school most of us know – it trains and hires nurses and advocates who specialize in post-sexual assault trauma and offer immediate crisis support. The YW also provides therapy to survivors and their families so they can heal. Last year, the YWCA Hawaii Island took about 1,000 crisis calls and provided more than 1,000 hours of therapy. Fifty percent of our victims are under 18.

So no, we’re not really protected here. Nor will we be in the years to come. Please support the YWCA and the women and families in our community they support. As an advocate for women and against racism, the YW couldn’t be any more relevant today than they have been for the last 100 years.

If you would like to get involved with or donate to the YWCA Hawaii Island, please call 1-808-961-3877.

If you have been a victim of sexual assault and need help, please call 808-935–0677 (Hawaii Island) or 1-800-656-HOPE (4673) (nationally).

8 comments

  1. I was shocked that Trump won the election. Our new president is a classic text book sociopath as well as a self proclaimed sexual predator. I didn’t think he had a chance. One thing is clear, men alone did not elect him. An awful lot of women must have voted for him as well. We are, and have always been, our own worse enemies.
    That being said, he is our new president; like it or not. There fore it is our democratic duty to set our differences aside and support him to the best of our ability because THAT is what democracy is all about. We get to vote again in 4 years.

    Liked by 1 person

    • We can’t sit by and just wait to vote again in 4 years while women’s rights are trampled. This wasn’t a democratic vote ! Less than half of eligible voters voted and hillary won the popular vote by close to 2million. Not sitting back or standing by just enjoying my white privilege. We are ALL one Ohana! what happens to any group happens to all of us!! “If you don’t stand for something, you are likely to fall for anything”.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Thank you. That is exactly why I beleive the YW and its mission (and that of The Nature Conservancy where I work) are so critical. No matter who you voted for, we need to be vigilant and give voice to the voiceless.

        Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for your brave and respecful comment. I have to hope that those who voted for Trump did not vote for “all” of him — that we will work together to keep him from erasing hard fought civil/human rights gains. 💗🌎

      Liked by 1 person

  2. The weeks since the election have shown that Donald Trump will continue to act like he did on the campaign trail even as President. It is important that we all stay vigilant and pay attention to what is being said. Check the facts. We need to listen to the tone that is being set and CALL our local elected officials when we hear or see something that we disagree with. We must be active citizens.

    Like

    • Very true. And especially for those who voted for him despite his character – I hope they will be inspired to stand up for those who will likely be stepped on in exchange for “change.”

      Like

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