Violence

Children Should Not Be Pawns for Violence

Some of our ultimate values as a civilization have swirled around children. They have prompted our drive towards education, health, training and opportunity. What does it say about us, then, that we are willing to accept the increasing death of millions of children in conflicts in which they have had no responsibility?
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It's Time to Connect the Dots on Gender-Based Violence

When the headlines fade, the daily, persistent, and pervasive violence against girls and women around the world will continue unabated and generally unreported. And it will persist until people and their governments start connecting the dots between these headline-making atrocities and the everyday, out of the headlines, violence targeted at girls and women on public streets, in the household, in the workplace, and in and around schools and why these incidents happen.
ASSOCIATED PRESS

Prenatal Stress Causes More Harm to Babies Than We Think

Last month, it was reported that an Edmonton woman was badly beaten by her spouse. Though the attack put her in the hospital, the police offered a silver lining by stating that her unborn baby, at least, wasn't harmed. Sadly, this claim underestimates the profound effect severe stress can have on children's development in their first years of life, including while they're still in the womb.
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Why, When My Friend Got Attacked, Did No One Stop to Help Him?

I woke up Wednesday morning to a message from my friend Nathan. He had been attacked on his way home from another friend's house. In spite of how fortunate he is to be alive, this story didn't have to end this way. One of the most troubling parts of what happened is the fact that no one stopped to help him while he was lying there unconscious. We can't let it be this way. If you see someone being assaulted or attacked, please do something. I'm not saying that you should intervene or put yourself in danger, but there are so many ways to help.
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The Day My Friend's Baby Was Shot

They were at a cottage. Just two days ago on a crisp September morning. My friend sat on a raft with her 19-month-old little boy. They were cuddling and soaking up the sunshine when she heard a strange noise; her toddler started to shake and wail uncontrollably. When her husband rushed over to them, another shot hit the boat beside them.
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For Some Children, War Is No Video Game

"But all my friends have them!" implored by 11-year-old son Derrick, arguing once again for the purchase of M-rated video games (for "Mature"). How do I explain that there are children all around the world who don't play games like these -- their actual lives read like an ESRB warning?

Afghanistan's Real Tragedy

Perhaps the greatest tragedy of all is how little much of the world knows about the tremendous progress made in Afghanistan over the past decade, and just how much is at stake. This is not yet another chapter in an unending story of a country perpetually on the brink of self-implosion.
AMC

Zombies Aren't the Scariest Part of "The Walking Dead"

If the world was like The Walking Dead then it would be a world where nearly everyone alive speaks English, nearly everyone is white, and male. The biggest failure of the show is to have the audience rooting for a society that preaches tired principles of violence, lack of community, selfishness, capitalism, patriarchy, and shoot-first mentality.
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How Fist Fighting Made Me a Better Man

There are few sensations as rewarding as that of your knee driving into the soft, fleshy testicles of the guy who just butted in front of you in the lineup at Dairy Queen, but there are also risks. Clearly, there are situations in which a man has no choice but to stand up for himself; there are many more in which standing down is unquestionably the right thing to do. The key is knowing the difference.
Missing Manitoba Women

As an Immigrant, I Get More Respect than Canada's Aboriginals

The upcoming 7th annual Ottawa Sisters in Spirit (SIS) vigil is a special event for me as a recent immigrant to Canada. It offers me the opportunity to reflect on what it means for my adopted country to embrace and heal me, while neglecting the perennial issue of the missing and murdered Aboriginal women and girls. Canada restored that which Zimbabwe denied me for the first 32 years of my life: human dignity. But Canada cares for me, an immigrant, more than it cares for Aboriginal people. If there is another western country that has so many people from one racialized group missing or murdered and still has neither the political will nor strategy to find lasting a solution, please let me know.
AP

If People View Muslims As Intolerant, That's Our Fault

The film the Innocence of Muslims has recently been thrust into the spotlight and has played the willing role of firestarter to what can be seen as a tinderbox which harbours the sensitive feelings of my Muslim brothers and sisters. You, my dear Muslim brothers and sisters, fell for it. You have played right into the hands of this hate-monger filmmaker and into the hands of his bigoted friends who view Muslims as "crazy," "intolerant," "violent" all in the same breath. And thanks to you we have handed them another high profile example. On a big fat shiny platter.
AP

Politics and Violence: A Familiar Mix for Canada

"Never, never will I accept that Quebec is associated with violence," Quebec Premier-elect Pauline Marois declared in the wake of the recent election night shooting.Mme. Marois is not alone. Across the country, elected officials and pundits of all political stripes tell us that Canada is a "peaceable kingdom." The reality is quite different and it is a subject which we have been reluctant to even broach, let alone discuss.
AP

Dispatches From Damascus: Silence and Noise in the Old City

The sound of violence in surrounding suburbs has become a feature of life in Central Damascus. While the central parts of the capital have, for the most part, been spared the fighting that has beset some outer suburbs in recent months, residents here are frequently reminded of their precarious situation by the sound of explosions and gunfire emanating from surrounding suburbs.
AP

We've Seen Violence Like the Massacre at Marikana Before

Sixteen years after freedom and the end of the evil that was apartheid, South African police massacred 34 striking black miners at a place called Marikana. Pictures on TV and in our newspapers show them chasing demonstrators, firing into the crowd, standing over the dead like hunters counting their kill.
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A Western Safe Haven Against Religious Extremism

Alarmed by the rise in religious extremism and its consequences for stability in South Asia, Alberta's Dr. Wasim established the "Defy Enmity Encourage Peace" forum for peace. In Urdu, the acronym DEEP stands for a small clay lamp symbolizing light and hope in utter darkness. DEEP maintains a secular outlook and has managed to create a safe space where people can share ideas irrespective of religious or political affiliation, ethnic origin or sexual orientation.

Real Villains of Batman Shooting are Lax Gun Laws

The gas-masked gunman who opened fire at a theatre full of people, killing twelve and injuring dozens more, reportedly had a shotgun, two pistols, an assault rifle, gas canisters, and potentially explosives in his home. What I don't understand is how it can possibly be alright for a civilian to have access to these kinds of weapons.

Little League Baseball Has Grown-Up Consequences

I don't want my kids to think that violence, entitlement and disrespect are a regular part of sports. But maybe I'm wrong. Maybe they are a part of the experience and will help prepare them for what's ahead. But is that really what little league baseball is all about?

The Music Diaries: "Half Angel Half Eagle"

Someone's mother falls to the sidewalk; on the next street someone looks up. In the cathedral, a burst of laughter; in another city the pigeons fly up and scatter. Someone put down in a New York subway a newspaper picked up in Australia. For each event, the inarticulate glory, the equal and opposite, will tell the story.
AP

10 Things I've Learned From 9/11

1. I remember waking up and going to work on Sept. 11, 2001. At the time I was working at a call centre for a growing company with franchises throughout the U.S. The lines were almost dead, and we wer...