Friday, June 05, 2009

Silence is the Enemy

I'm copying this from the Facebook page of the group Silence is the Enemy, a non-profit organization devoted to fighting sexual violence:


There has been a movement started on The Intersection and ScienceBlogs.com to raise awareness of sexual violence against women - with particular emphasis on the situation in Liberia where 6 years after the war ended, sexual violence has been used to control both men and women, and forced sex is regarded as a man's 'right'. It's not just women who are targets: 'more than 70% of the survivors of sexual violence treated by MSF in Liberia were children.' (Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors Without Borders)

Several bloggers are donating all their revenue from their blogs to Doctors Without Borders (http://doctorswithoutborders.org/) who work at the frontline - treating victims and raising awareness.

There are many ways to contribute: Write and email Members of Congress (http://www.congress.org/congressorg/directory/congdir.tt), speak at community meetings, encourage others to get involved, donate, and help maximize blogging donations by clicking on the urls below.

Spread the word. We want to make sure elected officials at multiple levels realize this is a global issue that matters to a large voting constituency!

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As blog revenue directly relates to traffic, clicking on any of the blogs below increases the donations given to Doctors Without Borders.

http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/intersection/
http://scienceblogs.com/isisthescientist/
http://scienceblogs.com/aetiology/
http://scienceblogs.com/bioephemera/
http://scienceblogs.com/neurotopia/
http://scienceblogs.com/authority/
http://scienceblogs.com/drugmonkey/
http://scienceblogs.com/ethicsandscience/
http://www.examiner.com/x-6875-Seattle-Grassroots-Examiner
http://moderateleft.com

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The Original Letter at The Intersection
http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/intersection/2009/06/01/silence-is-the-enemy/

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.

See also this article on CNN:

http://www.cnn.com/2009/LIVING/06/04/cnnheroes.betty.makoni/index.html

I don't make any money from this blog, or else I'd donate that. But I do plan to make a donation later this month. Please spread the word, follow the links, or help out if you can. We're all in this together.
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