Four thousand holes in Blackburn, Lancashire.

Hello fair readers,

This morning I woke up, made some coffee, ate a small breakfast and decided to read the newspaper. The article that truly peaked my interest was this one.

Rape Epidemic Raises Trauma of Congo War

Certainly not the light reading I had been expecting but I am glad I read this article just the same. It is devastating that commonly in times of crisis, women both young and old end up bearing the brunt of brutality.

I think anyone who believes that rape is about sex should just read that article.

In my life I have always tried to support causes with the little amount that I can. The past few years the charities have varied from library advocacy to Environmental groups but after this morning, I know where my money needs to go. According to this website: Run for Congo Women there don’t appear to be many organizations aimed at this specific issue in this specific region. After a bit of research, I have decided that to send a little cash towards Amnesty International’s Stop Violence Against Women campaign. I like that the campaign is not just about helping victims but actually stopping women from being victimized in the first place, world wide, including the women in Congo.

It is easy to feel helpless after reading articles about rape. It is easy to feel helpless when you hear stories about women being raped. And it is easy to feel helpless when you have been raped. But what makes me feel strong is when I can stand up and say that I actually feel like I’m trying to instigate change instead of just standing by and closing my eyes. With a topic this ugly, it is surely easy to do. But read that article. Educate yourself. And maybe think about what you can do to help end violence against women. Need some suggestions? Sonas housing organization compiled a list of things you can do. Here are a few highlights:

1. Violence against women is a crime. Take action if you see or hear violence happening.

2. Expect and give respect in relationships. If someone is treating you with respect you feel:

Safe and not afraid of your partner

Free to express opinions and beliefs

Free to say no to things you don’t want to do

Free to end the relationship

3. Violence against women affects everyone. Find out how physical, sexual and emotional violence against women affect you and the people around you.

4. Take action to end violence against women.

Do something.

And have a lovely weekend.

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