+

What can people do when terrible things happen and the law doesn't respond?

Trigger warning: Descriptions of violence against women follow.


They can put on skirts and get out in the streets!


Turkey has a problem. A big problem.

Most recently, this problem claimed the life of 20-year-old Özgecan Aslan.

She was the last person on a minibus traveling across the city of Mersin in southern Turkey on Feb. 11. The young student never made it home. It's believed that the driver attempted to rape her, and when she fought back and used pepper spray, he murdered her. With the help of his father and a friend, he attempted to hide DNA evidence by cutting off her hands and burning her body.

Özgecan's murder is just one among many.

23 Turkish women were killed in incidents of domestic violence in February 2015 alone.

300 women were murdered there last year.

But these killings receive little media or political attention. What's worse, the criminals do not pay.

Turkish men, literally, get away with murder.

Although some laws on the books in Turkey protect women, loopholes allow judges (usually male) to regularly reduce sentences for perpetrators.

Murderers of women are not fully prosecuted for their crimes.

In fact, women are routinely accused of being responsible for the crimes against them. In 2009, after a 17-year-old girl was found stabbed to death and dismembered in a trash can, the Turkish prime minister at the time referred to a Turkish proverb: "If a girl is left unattended by her family, she will run away either to a drummer or a trumpeter."

Ms. Aslan's death rallied crowds of protesters in cities across the country in February.

The hashtag #OzgecanAslan was tweeted more than 3 million times, and an online petition calling for harsh punishment against her attackers gathered almost 1 million signatures.

The lack of legal prosecution is just one part of the problem.

Society does not view Turkish women as equal citizens, as individuals with the same rights as men.

Protesters showed their legs as a statement against the lax prosecution of violent perpetrators — but also against negative cultural attitudes toward women in Turkey.

They also wanted women in Turkey to know that they stand in solidarity with them.

Like domestic violence everywhere, the problem needs to be fought at every level. And no one should look the other way.

Recently, female lawmakers introduced bills that would remove the ability of judges to reduce the sentences of men convicted of violence against women. At first, they were ignored, but now they are being reconsidered.

Clearly, if lawmakers really stand by their commitment to combat violence against women in Turkey, they will pass these laws.

We stand with our women! Share this to show your support for the rights of women to feel safe no matter where they live.

True

Innovation is awesome, right? I mean, it gave us the internet!

However, there is always a price to pay for modernization, and in this case, it’s in the form of digital eye strain, a group of vision problems that can pop up after as little as two hours of looking at a screen. Some of the symptoms are tired and/or dry eyes, headaches, blurred vision, and neck and shoulder pain1. Ouch!

Keep ReadingShow less
Pop Culture

Someone asked strangers online to share life's essential lessons. Here are the 17 best.

There's a bit of advice here for everyone—from financial wisdom to mental health tips.

Photo by Miguel Bruna on Unsplash

Failure is a great teacher.

It’s true that life never gets easier, and we only get continuously better at our lives. Childhood’s lessons are simple—this is how you color in the lines, 2 + 2 = 4, brush your teeth twice a day, etc. As we get older, lessons keep coming, and though they might still remain simple in their message, truly understanding them can be difficult. Often we learn the hard way.

The good news is, the “hard way” is indeed a great teacher. Learning the hard way often involves struggle, mistakes and failure. While these feelings are undeniably uncomfortable, being patient and persistent enough to move through them often leaves us not only wiser in having gained the lesson, but more confident, assured and emotionally resilient. If that’s not growth, I don’t know what is.

Keep ReadingShow less
via Co-Op and Pixabay

Co-op CEO Shirine Khoury-Haq.

The CEO of Co-op, one of the UK’s largest supermarket chains has made an important statement about excess at a time when many families are struggling in the UK.

The Daily Mail reports that Shirine Khoury-Haq, the head of a company with over 3900 retail locations says she’s giving her twin, six-year-old daughters one present each this Christmas because she could not “in good conscience” give them more while millions of families struggle with inflation and high energy prices.

Khoury-Haq makes over £1 million ($1,190,000) a year after bonuses, so she pledged to give her family's present money to those in need. “It just feels like excess, given what’s happening in the world. In good conscience, I can’t do that in my own home,” Khoury-Haq said according to The Guardian.

“The rest of our budget will be given to Santa to provide presents for children whose parents can’t contribute to the elves,” she continued. “We’re going to go out shopping for those other presents and [we will] send them to Santa.”

Keep ReadingShow less

Chris Hemsworth and daughter.

This article originally appeared on 08.27.18


In addition to being the star of Marvel franchise "Thor," actor Chris Hemsworth is also a father-of-three? And it turns out, he's pretty much the coolest dad ever.

In a clip from a 2015 interview on "The Ellen DeGeneres Show," Hemsworth shared an interesting conversation he had with his 4-year-old daughter India.

Keep ReadingShow less
Democracy

Cuban immigrant’s reaction to getting his first American paycheck has gone viral

Before coming to the U.S. last year, Diaz made $12 a month as a computer science teacher in Cuba.

The Cuban and American flags.

An Instagram post featuring Yoel Diaz, a recent Cuban immigrant, is going viral because it shows a powerful example of something many of us in America take for granted. The freedom to earn a paycheck for a day of honest labor.

In the video, Diaz is ecstatic after he opens his first paycheck after getting a job as a seasonal worker for UPS. CBS reports that before coming to the U.S. last year, Diaz made $12 a month as a computer science teacher in Cuba.

"This is my first hourly paycheck that I feel every hour counted," he told CBS News. "That every hour of work has importance in my life and that I know I can work hard for something. I can't compare that emotion with anything. Because I never had that in my country."

The new job was a big change from life in Cuba where he had trouble filling his refrigerator. He told CBS News that sometimes he only had two items: "Water, water, water, five, ten eggs, water."

Keep ReadingShow less