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With thanks and the highest regards (and hopes)


Dear President Obama and Secretary Clinton

I am a 35-year old South African woman of colour, a gender activist and psychologist, a daughter, a sister and an aunt. I have a problem with my eyes: I have seen too much. I have seen the youth drained from my younger sisters. I have seen my mother’s face soft and tender in all the wrong places and in all the wrong ways. In my office, I have seen too many women tortured by the terrible secret of their violation. And on the one occasion that a man struck me too, I had actually seen stars. I can not stand to see what I have seen reflected in the eyes of my nieces and nephews. Such bruised looks, such damaged frames, such dreadful reports…my eyes wish to witness no more. They tear up, they shut tight. They have seen enough.

Here is what I would like to see: genuine regret and respect in the eyes of men; healing and hope in the eyes of women and girls; compassion and commitment instead of indifference and blame; and most of all, urgent and effective action towards ending violence against women. This is, I believe, the vision inherent in the International Violence Against Women Act. If you could see to it that this life-changing, life-saving Act is passed, what a sight it would be for my so very tired, very sore eyes.

Yours faithfully,
Deidré Matthee

Please join the PulseWire community in speaking out against violence and urging the U.S. government to pass the International Violence Against Women Act (I-VAWA). Write your letter in your PulseWire journal to share your personal and observed experience in gender-based violence, both in your life and within your community. Tag your journal "IVAWA", and World Pulse will send your letter directly to President Obama, along with letters from women around the world. Learn more:



Lilith784's picture

Your writing is fantastic,

Your writing is fantastic, Daydri, very strong. Thank you for being a part of the PulseWire community!

Daydri's picture

thank you andrea : )

thank you andrea : )

jadefrank's picture

IVAWA update

Dearest Daydri,

Thank you for participating in the IVAWA letter writing campaign and for sharing your voice and your personal testimony with President Obama, Secretary Clinton, and members of the US Senate on the urgency of ending violence against women.

We sent copies of your letter in packages, along with your fellow PulseWire members', to these key decision makers, and I am excited to announce that on December 15, the International Violence Against Women Act was approved by the Foreign Relations Committee! Our voices were effective in supporting this bill!

Next step for the bill: Get passed by the Senate and House by the end of the year. I will keep you updated!

In friendship and solidarity,
Jade Frank

Online Community Manager
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