Silence is the Enemy

Monday, June 1, 2009

From Sheril Kirshenbaum:

Today begins a very important initiative called Silence Is The Enemy to help a generation of young women half a world away. Why? Because they are our sisters and children–the victims of sexual abuse who don’t have the means to ask for help. We have power in our words and influence. Along with our audience, we’re able to speak for them. I’m asking all of you–bloggers, writers, teachers, and concerned citizens–to use whatever platform you have to call for an end to the rape and abuse of women and girls in Liberia and around the world.

In regions where fighting has formally ended, rape continues to be used as a weapon. As Nicholas Kristof recently wrote from West Africa, ‘it has been easier to get men to relinquish their guns than their sense of sexual entitlement.’ The war has shattered norms, training some men to think that ‘when they want sex, they need simply to overpower a girl.’ An International Rescue Committee survey suggests 12 percent of girls aged 17 and under acknowledged having been sexually abused in some way over the previous 18 months. Further, of the 275 new sexual violence cases treated Jan-April by Doctors Without Borders, 28 percent involve children aged 4 or younger, and 33 percent involve children aged 5 through 12. That’s 61% age 12 or under. We read about their plight and see the figures, but it’s so easy to feel helpless to act in isolation. But these are not statistics, they are girls. Together we can do more. Mass rape persists because of inertia so let’s create momentum.

silence_enemy

As a former sexual assault victim's advocate, this is an issue that is close to my heart. Please blog about this, or join The Facebook group, or donate to Doctors Without Borders.

Stay strong, my sisters.

H/T to The Bad Astronomer.

3 comments:

The Mechanicky Gal said...

I have heard the same thing about Haiti - because there are no repurcussions about rape, the young men think that it is just there for them to take... this IS the 21st century, right?
Right?

vince said...

Thanks to you and Carol Elaine. I've blogged about it today as well.

Carol Elaine said...

Thank you, Janiece - you realize we were posting about this around the same time?

Great minds and all that...