Monthly Archives

December 2017

Thank you for letting me experience love, 2017!

love

2017 was the best year of my life so far. Honest. I have never been this happy or have ever felt this loved.

I fell in love with my partner and the best thing was he loves me right back.  With him came children, family and friends I now love so dearly. 2017 brought me other friends as well (<3). Several dreams came true. We had so much fun and we shared so many precious moments together, with our children and our friends and family. My children learned what it means to have a father and to experience all kinds of “firsts” with him that boys just don’t do with their moms.

But we had our portion of sorrows, mistreatment and sadness as well. Next to that we had to deal with illness and external issues. But to find someone you can share your dreams with, with whom you can share your heart, your life. Who wakes up next to you, who holds you, cares for you, treats you with kindness, respect, loves your children full heartedley..

Yes 2017, I am grateful and I will never forget you. But I am looking forward to 2018, to built further on the foundation we created in 2017.

Thanks for everything.

x Alianne

Love, Personal, Speaking

PAVE 004: UNwomen, CSW and International Womens Day with Ravi Karkara

Ravi Karkara is a Senior Advisor on Strategic Partnerships and Advocacy to the Assistant Secretary General to the UN and Deputy Executive Director at UN Women. With over two decades of experience, Ravi is an expert in various international development-related fields, driving innovation, building strategic partnerships, and promoting advocacy and programming in the areas of human rights, gender equality, accountability and social justice. He is also the Acting Head of Private Sector for UN Women.
  Ravi has been instrumental in supporting UN Women’s work on strategy development – this includes Strategy on Youth and Gender Equality, Working with Boys and Men in Gender Equality.
He has been awarded the Global Officials Award for his work on youth and gender equality and the Inter-Faith Award on promoting peace and harmony. He was also appointed as Junior Chamber International Ambassador.  Previously, he has also worked with the UN Millennium Campaign, UN-HABITAT, UNICEF and Save the Children and has written more than 80 publications/articles in his career spanning over two decades.

Topics discussed and organisations/events mentioned in this episode:

  • CSW – Commission status of women
  • International Women’s day
  • Life Cycle perspective to empower young women
  • Balancing private life
  • Working in gender equality is to transform both femininity and masculinity
  • Being a male feminist
  • Transforming patriarchy

More about Ravi Karkara

More about PAVE

Twitter.com/pave_podcast

Sponsors

If you want to be a guest on the PAVE podcast, a volunteer working for PAVE, if you are interested in becoming a PAVE sponsor, or want to collaborate with us in an other way, email me to see how we can work together to end the violence against women and children.

email: alianne@aliannelooijenga.com

Activism, Feminism, Gender Equality, Interview, Patriarchy, PAVE Podcast, UN women, Women's rights

About forgiveness, letting go and moving on

About forgiveness, letting go and moving on

If I only hadn’t provoked him/her

Why didn’t I leave him/her sooner?

Shouldn’t I have stayed?

Am I disloyal?

If I only I hadn’t taken so long about doing the groceries, he/she hadn’t had this outburst.

Many survivors of sexual abuse or domestic violence blame themselves in one way or another for the things the abuser did to them.

It is one of the biggest reasons why women stay with their partner, even though he/she has done so much harm to them.
They experience a form of guilt because they didn’t behave the right way causing the abuser to use this as an excuse to abuse.

This isn’t really odd since this thought pattern is used by many abusers to break the spirit of the victim and after that, it is imprinted in the thought patron of the (former) victim.

To get rid of your anger, resentment, and self-guilt you will need to forgive yourself first. I will show these steps in a minute but first I want you to answer me honestly.

  • How much influence did you really have about the situation?

In relationships where violence is an important factor, the abuser or sometimes even the family blames the victim. They will ask you why you stayed that long if it was really that terrible. Why didn’t you just leave and why didn’t you stop the abuser from abusing you?

Now listen. Know and accept that a (former) victim never, and I repeat, never is guilty for the actions of an abuser. Regardless of what you have done, there is never an excuse to abuse someone mentally, physically or financially.

Do you experience trouble with accepting decisions you have made? For example, staying with the person who hurt you? Or not leaving sooner? You probably never made the most decisions if you knew then what you know now. You simply didn’t know then what you know now so it is pointless to punish yourself for it. Accept that you were somebody else at the time. People make different choices when they experience anxiety than when they are relaxed. Decisions based on anxiety are only focused on short-term thinking (survival) and have nothing to do with careful and rational thinking.

But hey, Alianne, I really did something stupid!  

Okay, so you have done something incredibly stupid. Something you have had some influence over. You said something ugly to someone, or you broke someone’s middle phalanx.

Try to be as honest as possible and reflect on the circumstances that have taken place. Let go of anger. View the occurrence as if you are watching a movie and let it unfold picture for picture. What happened, what was your trigger that unleashed the behavior you regret now? What can you learn about the event?

Realize and truly acknowledge you have done something a bit stupid. Know then that everybody does stupid things. The purpose of it is to realize and learn from it, to share your experiences with other people. Own it and learn from your mistakes. Stop wasting your time blaming yourself and hurting yourself. Self-blaming keeps you down and you can’t help other people get up if you are laying on the ground yourself!

Your mistakes and shortcomings don’t define you. They never have and never will be. Acknowledge that you have the right to be forgiven and make use of your mistake to grow and learn from it.

First, you had a thought, which became part of a conviction and based on that you made a decision. Only by learning experiences do you learn that your thoughts and conviction are subjective and time bound. They are only snapshots of experiences you had until that point. You couldn’t react any different than with the knowledge you had up until that point! With the knowledge you have now you would have reacted quite different, if only to avoid the pain of your present emotions!

All that self-blame and guilt costs you a tremendous amount of energy and pain. Energy you could use for the better. If you decide to forgive yourself now, you can channel that energy to positive things in your present, instead of living in the past. All those negative emotions contribute to your body being tense and creating negative rituals and belief systems contributing to negative health for both the mind and your body.

Please note: Forgiving is something different as forgetting. It would be a waste to forget your experience. You have been through the ordeal and you gained an experience you’ve learned from. It would be a waste of time and energy to forget about it. But it is time to move on by letting go of your negative emotions.

Action plan:

  • Write down what happened or share the story of which you would like forgiveness with somebody else. Be as objective and detailed as possible.
  • Acknowledge and feel the pain that the memory gives you.
  • Grieve about the sadness the memory gives you or the pain it gives thinking about how long you hold on this emotion, all the energy you have given to this emotion, if you need it.
  • Realize that everybody makes mistakes. Acknowledge that you have learned from your experience.
  • Know that you are a good human being and that this memory doesn’t define who you are. Accept that you have the right to be forgiven.
  • Nobody has the right to hurt another. That’s why it is important to stop hurting yourself.
  • Create a mantra for yourself in which you tell yourself that the situation had its purpose: you learned from it and it is time to move on. For example, say something like this: “I should have taken care of the situation differently. I am not proud of what I did, but I am proud that I learned my lesson and I will close this chapter now.”
  • Give permission to yourself to move on and when necessary (for example, if you start self-blaming), interrupt yourself and remind yourself that you have forgiven yourself.
  • Take a deep breath through your tummy and when you release the breath, you imagine that you let go of all the negativity.

You are a wonderful human being.

You deserve to have a life with positive influences and empowering people, intentions, and dreams. Let go of what was and create a life and meaning as you envision it. Now grab your dancing shoes and let’s dance!

Mindset

PAVE 003: Jessica Eaton; researcher victim blaming, founder first UK male mental health centre

Jessica Eaton is an engaging, passionate speaker, lecturer, researcher and writer in the fields of sexual violence and mental health. With a career history in the management of victim and witness services in the criminal justice system, training and managing rape counseling services, setting up the first male mental health centre in the UK and training police, social workers, health staff, councilors, psychologists and local authority staff in child sexual abuse and safeguarding.

For listeners with an Apple product with the “podcast” app please visit: https://itunes.apple.com/nl/podcast/pave-professionals-against/id1203285774?l=en

Jessica Eaton

Topics discussed and organisations/events mentioned in this episode:

  • Who inspired Jessica to found the first UK male mental health centre.
  • Why she focuses on victim blaming.
  • Her research on victim blaming about the public view who is the blame for sexual violence.
  • Jessica’s new book
  • How she uses social media to have conversations, discussions and debates with people with different views and backgrounds like a pedophile about how he controls his thoughts and feelings about abusing children.

More about Jessica Eaton

More about PAVE

Twitter.com/pave_podcast

Sponsors

If you want to be a guest on the PAVE podcast, a volunteer working for PAVE, if you are interested in becoming a PAVE sponsor, or want to collaborate with us in an other way, email me to see how we can work together to end the violence against women and children.

email: alianne@aliannelooijenga.com

Abuse

PAVE 003: Jessica Eaton; researcher victim blaming, founder first UK male mental health centre

Jessica Eaton is an engaging, passionate speaker, lecturer, researcher and writer in the fields of sexual violence and mental health. With a career history in the management of victim and witness services in the criminal justice system, training and managing rape counseling services, setting up the first male mental health centre in the UK and training police, social workers, health staff, councilors, psychologists and local authority staff in child sexual abuse and safeguarding.

For listeners with an Apple product with the “podcast” app please visit: https://itunes.apple.com/nl/podcast/pave-professionals-against/id1203285774?l=en

Jessica Eaton

Topics discussed and organisations/events mentioned in this episode:

  • Who inspired Jessica to found the first UK male mental health centre.
  • Why she focuses on victim blaming.
  • Her research on victim blaming about the public view who is the blame for sexual violence.
  • Jessica’s new book
  • How she uses social media to have conversations, discussions and debates with people with different views and backgrounds like a pedophile about how he controls his thoughts and feelings about abusing children.

More about Jessica Eaton

More about PAVE

Twitter.com/pave_podcast

Sponsors

If you want to be a guest on the PAVE podcast, a volunteer working for PAVE, if you are interested in becoming a PAVE sponsor, or want to collaborate with us in an other way, email me to see how we can work together to end the violence against women and children.

email: alianne@aliannelooijenga.com

Abuse, Activism, Interview, PAVE Podcast

19 ways to become a confident woman

confident

I always enjoy seeing a confident woman. Not only because the power in me acknowledges the power within her but also because it is likely that she had to work hard for her confidence.

It’s sadly still very common in our society for women to be taught to be passive, and to give, give, give and ask for nothing in return. To give the best cookie on the plate to others so she is left with the crumbs.

This is especially true when we are abused. We are told we are nothing, we question our own intuition, our decision-making, but most of all, we question ourselves and shrink to the point that our self-worth, standards, and goals in life depend on the opinions of others. We forget that to take care of others we have to take care of ourselves first. A confident women isn’t afraid to speak her mind because she knows she has a message to share with the world. She will never talk negativity about herself because she knows that she is the only one that sticks with her, in good times and in bad until the end of her days. She learns how to become her own best friend.

So how do people become confident? What are their traits? What do they do?

Below I will share with you what I believe are the traits of confident women, what my believes are that made me confident and what you can do to become a confident woman yourself.

Read More »

Abuse, Love, Mindset, Personal

PAVE 002: Shruti Kapoor; educating, equip and empowering women and girls against all forms of violence

Shruti Kapoor is a speaker for UN women and the founder of Sayfty. Sayty is an organisation that educates, equips and empowers women and girls against all forms of violence by training young women and girls in self-defence.

For listeners without an Apple product with the “podcast” app, please visit: https://soundcloud.com/user-476654029/pave-podcast-shruti-kapoor-episode-02 to listen to the episode.

Topics discussed and organisations/events mentioned in this episode:

  • Why Shruti Kapoor founded Sayfty and how she became involved with UN women
  • New Delhi gang rape
  • UN youth network for gender equality
  • Commission on the Status of Women youth (see link below)
  • Youth agency UN women
  • How do you change age old beliefs and stereotypes
  • A moment that changed how Shruti looks at things
  • Breaking a brick with bare hands by changing your mental attitude
  • Restricting ourselves by our limiting beliefs
  • People extraordinaire, where inspiring women are interviewed
  • The quote that helps Shruti to keep going

More about Sayfty

More about Shruti

https://twitter.com/kapoors_s

Youth CSW61 Online Consultation link (open for youth aged 18 – 35yrs): https://www.empowerwomen.org/en/community/discussions/2017/02/have-your-say-csw61-youth

More about PAVE

www.aliannelooijenga.com/about/pave

Twitter.com/pave_podcast

Sponsors

If you want to be a guest on the PAVE podcast, a volunteer working for PAVE, if you are interested in becoming a PAVE sponsor, or want to collaborate with us in an other way, email me to see how we can work together to end the violence against women and children.

email: alianne@aliannelooijenga.com

 

Activism, Interview, PAVE Podcast, Personal, Speaking, UN women

Allowing yourself to truly love someone (and allow the other to love you too)

love

Being in love after abuse is really difficult and it is certainly not an easy task for your partner as well. For the survivor it is all about daring greatly. It is about deciding to trust while the butterflies are making you feel a bit unbalanced. It is re-finding yourself by standing in your power. It is deciding to trust in your future together, even if you are worried that he will leave.  It is about letting the one you love  see who you truly are; your beautiful soul and your strength, but also your flaws, your cope mechanisms and quirky ways. It is being your pure self despite the consequences. It is about letting love in, even if it is scaring the living daylights out of you.

Daring to trust that even without guarantees you are safe with this person and he won’t intentionally harm you, in fact, if he can help it he will go out of his way to prevent that very thing. It is discovering that he truly loves you for who you are. Feeling his embrace fill parts of you that you didn’t even know were empty.

It is trusting yourself and your own judgment and making the conscious decision to go for this relationship, to take a risk. Just because it is better to have tried and loved than to let yourself be guided by fear and never have loved at all.

It is being confronted by demons you thought were conquered years ago. It is deciding to trust even if you don’t understand everything he does, because most likely, it hasn’t got anything to do with you.  It is knowing that you are good enough to be loved and to accept that knowledge – whatever might happen-. It is about deciding that damn it! you are not letting fear standing in the way of your connection with him.

It is about accepting your emotions, knowing where they come from but refusing to be lead by them. It is about communicating openly because if you don’t, how could he ever understand what you feel? It is respecting your own boundaries and feeling comfort when he acknowledges them.

It is trying to let go of deciphering everything he says or does. Because one of the important reasons you will do that is just to find out if you are going to be harmed and if you should run for the hills.

It is falling in love when you two talk about your future together. It is loving him even more when he opens up his soul and shares his dreams, fears, wisdom and wishes. It is feeling the wonder, the happiness and the enormous gratitude that this man came into your life and the joy you feel because he decided to be a part of it. It is feeling the warmth in your heart while watching him sleep. It is laughing so hard that you believe your heart will burst if he is joking around. It is feeling the concern when he worries and feeling that you want to do anything to make him feel better again. The thrill of getting to know him better and better with every conversation you two have. But most of all it is finding comfort in the knowledge that this man, is yours and in his arms you are finally home.

Family, Love, Personal, Speaking