by Katerina Nikolaidis, MA Hons PD Pip, Brunswick Heads, Australia
I am writing to express my grave concern at your article published today: “New age ‘medicine’ of Serge Benhayon leaves trail of broken families”. I am a woman, 37 years old, single, and I work full-time for a medical distribution company. As I read your article, not only was I alarmed at the allegations made which are simply not true, I was also alarmed at what your article is implying about women.
Your article states (in reference to Universal Medicine) that ‘after breast massage clients are told… to not allow their partners to touch them without permission.’ What is your point? That a woman should expect that her breasts and her body are to be touched by her partner even when she may not want to be touched? Is a woman’s body her husband’s property? Not only does your article expose how low journalism is prepared to go to print stories that have absolutely no foundation of truth, it also reveals how women are still perceived as lesser. And not only lesser… but as property. That it is actually expected that whenever a man wants to feel ‘his’ woman’s breasts he is entitled to do it.
Perhaps you would be interested in publishing the following statistics from the IVAW – International Violence Against Women Survey:1
- Of a survey of more than 6,600 women, more than half had experienced at least one incidence of physical or sexual violence over their lifetime.
- More than a third of women (34%) had experienced this violence from a former or current partner, although violence from a former partner was more common, and more likely to result in women being injured and feeling that their lives were in danger.
- 12% of women reported experiencing sexual violence by an intimate partner (current or former) over their lifetimes, including instances of attempted (3%) and completed (6%) forced intercourse (i.e. rape).
- Women who had experienced sexual violence by their intimate partners were also likely to have been physically abused by them (73%).
These statistics show us that something is NOT ok. That domestic and sexual violence is happening, that women are having their breasts and bodies touched without permission, and that it is wrong. Why do you not investigate and report on that?
As a little girl I used to admire journalists. My father was a journalist, and I would admire how dedicated some journalists seemed to be to deliver what was really going on in the world. Now that seems ridiculous and naïve; almost embarrassing. That little girl, and many more little girls and women around the world, have been insulted gravely by what you have decided to publish.
1 – IVAW – International Violence Against Women Survey http://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs@.nsf/Lookup/4533.0Chapter2052011