Where am I? It’s dark, cold, I am alone. The door opens, at last, a glimmer of hope. I was hoping, no, praying, for the touch of another compassionate soul. What I get instead is the icy cold touch of violation. Who is my rapist? A corrupt official or protector, a narco, a coyote, a faceless corporate entity… All spew the poisonous combination of shattered promises, broken dreams coupled with threats to keep us in line. I’m afraid that I’ll end up in a ditch somewhere, yet if I survive, I know I will never be the same. These are my choices: end up a corpse, or a hollow shell if I’m lucky. I am a woman of Juarez. This happens to me not because of one person or group, but because of a poisonous mentality. One that separates me as an individual from the whole of humanity, a mentality of the other and us. But I have found that in my oppressed broken isolation, I am not alone. We are the sisterhood of the disappeared, the souls of the forgotten. Our families remember, but our people don’t. We were once treasured wives, sisters, and daughters. We are a sisterhood of broken hearts. I stand before you today as a member of that sisterhood, and as its voice. I stand before you as a woman of Mexico, of Argentina, and of India. I stand before you as a woman of China, of the Philippines, and of Subsaharan Africa, and as a woman of Afghanistan. I come here today to tell you that the mentality of the other, and of the separate is simply an illusion. We’re all just compassionate souls yearning for the touch of other compassionate souls. Compassion, the viral spreading of compassion is the change I wish to see in the world. So I bring you this new reality. The reality I bring to you today, is that there is no such thing as the other, the only thing that is real is the concept of us. And if we are all one, then I ask that we treat ourselves well. I am, as are we all, a woman of Juarez.