Raise awareness and prevent gender-based violence

Raise awareness and prevent gender-based violence

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Ila Mitchell and Robina Nguyen <3 started this petition to New York Times

TW: R@pe


Even in places where huge strides have been made, gaps in equality remain. As Ellie Mae O’Hagan said– men built the system. On average, there are over 434,000 victims of rape and sexual assault each year in the United States. Cultural and social norms on how women and girls should be objectified and controlled are the leading causes of gender-based violence. Women have had to deal and dwell into the harsh reality that this world was not made for them, but designed for a man’s pleasure. 

“He took a piece of my soul.” After a stranger raped a home baker, she’s dedicated her life to making sure no other woman feels that pain. Justina Rucinski, a survivor, stood staring at her reflection in the mirror. The features reflected in the mirror were the same– the wide nose, big eyes, and straight bangs that dominated her face were all familiar. Yet, as she stood staring, she would have sworn that the person reflected back was not her. Like a colour picture left in the sun to yellow and fade, all the vivaciousness her smile held three hours before she was raped was gone. All the vigor she had for life was replaced by this “dirty,” “pathetic,” “worthless” person, she thought. And the pain; whoever this new person was, she was in so much pain. 

Elizabeth Moncrieff was at her mother’s birthday party, taking place in their living room. She had been drinking and had gone to bed earlier. The only men at the birthday party were her brothers, one who had later raped her while she was unconscious. She remembered little in her haze and thought she had hallucinated it. A few weeks later, her period was late and the pregnancy test was positive. She knew she hadn’t been sexually active all year, leading to her conclusion that she was carrying her brother’s child. She had an abortion. Elizabeth didn’t report the rape, despite the police becoming involved when the abortion clinic were duty bound to tell them. She later writes “In the eyes of the media, I deserved it. The rhetoric in the press these days is one of ‘victim blaming’... to me, it meant that I must have somehow been asking for it.” She believed that she was partially responsible and “deserved” it because she had been drinking and led herself to believe that she was safe. 

Yvonne was eleven years old when her mother passed away on Mother’s day. Three days later, and for eighteen months afterwards, her cousin began to assault her. She didn’t understand that it was wrong– she had never discussed periods, much less sex. He coerced her into silence and threatened her if she told anyone. About thirty years later, and as a mother herself, she began to look at her self development. As these issues were coming to light, she found it increasingly difficult to live with herself. Memories were triggered. She realised that even though decades had passed, it had slowly been eating away at the core of her soul and the silence was destroying her.

There are so many more untold stories regarding gender-based violence that we haven't had the chance to share. Raise awareness by signing our petition and honour them by saying their names. It's time to start educating people, and not just protecting your daughter.

Sources - stylist.co.uk, thehawkeye

0 have signed. Let’s get to 1,000!
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