These quotes help raise awareness of the scope of the global rape epidemic. If you read something somewhere that inspires, informs or helps create compassion for survivors around the world please share it with us.
Sexual violence and discrimination against women and girls in the developing world have to be confronted. In Africa in particular, women are disproportionately afflicted with AIDS. What is happening to women leaves me feeling most helpless, most enraged. The growing ranks of AIDS orphans pose a major unaddressed crisis. We‚Äôre walking on the knife edge of an unsolvable human catastrophe.
¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†~ Stephen Lewis, former UN special envoy for HIV/AIDS
It’s estimated that $55 million dollars is spent on aftercare in Kenya alone every year. This model is not practical or sustainable and does nothing to address the growing epidemic of sexual violence. It’s crucial to get the world community to recognize self-defense as a viable means to prevention and begin a dialogue about how every single young or old woman can learn these simple life-saving techniques.
¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†~ Lisa Cole, filmmaker Lioness
The most important gift anyone can give a girl is a belief in her own power as an individual, her value without reference to gender, her respect as a person with potential.
¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†~Emilie Buchwald, author
The safety and esteem of a child are more important than anyone‚Äôs embarrassment, inconvenience or offense. ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†~ Ellen Bass, cofounder of KidPower
One is that if women’s sexuality in Africa wasn’t under assault, if women were able to say no, if women weren’t subject to predatory attacks by men, or predatory behavior generally, then you would have a disease in Africa called AIDS. But you wouldn’t have a pandemic.
¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†~ Stephen Lewis, Canadian politician, diplomat and former Special Envoy for HIV/AIDS in Africa, United Nations
Violence against women and girls is an international epidemic. According to the United Nations, one out of three women will experience violence at some stage in their lives‚ÄĒa ‚Äúsevere and pervasive‚ÄĚ situation according to former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan. Still, society rarely reflects upon the complicated roots of this devastating problem.
¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†~ Marianne Schnall
Studies conducted in a city in Zimbabwe found that half of reported rape cases involve girls less than 15 years of age and that girls are most vulnerable to sexual abuse by male relatives, neighbors and school teachers.
¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†~ Njovana E, Watts
Any institution where there’s no women around, like the church, like football, like the middle east, like fraternities – it just goes to hell. You need women as a moderating influence. I mean when men are just among men, they do stupid things. It’s really true. ~ Bill Maher
I’ll kill you, gal, if you don’t stand up for yourself. Fight, and if you can’t fight, kick; if you can’t kick, then bite.
¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†~ Cornelia (1844‚Äď?), U.S. slave
It is absolutely essential that the oppressed participate in the revolutionary process with an increasingly critical awareness of their role as subjects of the transformation.
¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†~ Paulo Freire
Awareness without action is worthless.
¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†~ Phil McGraw
Rape is a choice men make to use sex as a weapon for power and control. For rape to stop, men who are violent must be empowered to make different choices. All men can play a vital role in this process by challenging rape supporting attitudes and behaviors and raising awareness about the damaging impact of sexual violence. Every time a man’s voice joins those of women in speaking out against rape, the world becomes safer for us all.
¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†~ Men Can Stop Rape
In many poor countries, the problem is not so much individual thugs and rapists but an entire culture of sexual predation.
¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†~ Nicholas Kristoff, Cheryl WuDunn Half the Sky
And there‚Äôs one other matter I must raise. The epidemic of domestic sexual violence that lacerates the soul of South Africa is mirrored in the pattern of grotesque raping in areas of outright conflict from Darfur to the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and in areas of contested electoral turbulence from Kenya to Zimbabwe. Inevitably, a certain percentage of the rapes transmits the AIDS virus. We don‚Äôt know how high that percentage is. We know only that women are subjected to the most dreadful double jeopardy.
The point must also be made that there‚Äôs no such thing as the enjoyment of good health for women who live in constant fear of rape. Countless strong women survive the sexual assaults that occur in the millions every year, but every rape leaves a scar; no one ever fully heals.
This business of discrimination against and oppression of women is the world‚Äôs most poisonous curse. Nowhere is it felt with greater catastrophic force than in the AIDS pandemic. This audience knows the statistics full well: you‚Äôve chronicled them, you‚Äôve measured them, the epidemiologists amongst you have disaggregated them. What has to happen, with one unified voice, is that the scientific community tells the political community that it must understand one incontrovertible fact of health: bringing an end to sexual violence is a vital component in bringing an end to AIDS.
The brave groups of women who dare to speak up on the ground, in country after country, should not have to wage this fight in despairing and lonely isolation. They should hear the voices of scientific thunder. You understand the connections between violence against women and vulnerability to the virus. No one can challenge your understanding. Use it, I beg you, use it.
¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† ~ Stephen Lewis
Sexual violence became so acute in recent years that Doctors Without Bordersstarted its only mission in Latin America dedicated to treating sex victims in Guatemala City. The United Nations will open its Latin America chapter of its UNiTE to End Violence Against Women campaign in Guatemala.
“This is a humanitarian crisis,” says Patricia Parra , the chief of mission for Doctors Without Borders in Guatemala. “The level of this problem is similar to the levels during the war. We’re seeing conflict-level violence against women in what is supposedly a post-conflict country.”
¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†~ Christian Science Monitor
I declare to you that woman must not depend upon the protection of man, but must be taught to protect herself, and there I take my stand.
¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† ~ Susan B. Anthony
Abuse takes place in both urban and rural environments. A study in a rural population of South Africa found that 51 percent of children between six months and 15 years of age receiving medical treatment for sexual abuse have been abused by a neighbor, an acquaintance, a lodger or a stranger.
¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†~ Larson, Chapman , Armstrong
Men haven’t changed their behavior, so women somehow have to be strengthened to be able to ward off the men.
¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†~ Stephen Lewis
We sometimes think that Westerners invest too much effort in changing unjust laws and not enough in changing culture, by building schools or assisting in grassroots movements. Laws matter but typically changing the laws by itself accomplishes little. Change has to be felt in the culture as well as the legal code.
¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† ~ Kristoff, WuDunn, Half the Sky
A growing body of literature suggests that the prevailing journalistic and activist accounts of the nature of rape in the Congo are often incomplete, and, in many cases, simply wrong. While no one disputes that armed men engage in rape against civilian populations, the story of who is raping whom turns out to be significantly more complicated than the popular narrative suggests.
Rapes by non-military actors account for a large percentage of rape cases in the DRC. A 2010 Oxfam/Harvard Humanitarian initiative study found a huge increase in the number of civilian-perpetrated rapes between 2004 and 2008. By 2008, approximately 40 percent of rapes were committed by civilians, they found.
¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†~ Laura Seay, The Atlantic*
*Note: The spector of armed military gangs as the primary perpetrators in the vast majority of rapes in the Congo is often used to explain why Self-Defense strategies would be useless there.
There is a special place in hell for women who do not help other women.
¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† ~Madeleine K. Albright
A study by Interpol, the international police agency, has revealed that South Africa leads the world in rapes. A woman was raped in South Africa every 17 seconds. This did not include the number of child rape victims. It was estimated that one in every two women would be raped.
This means that on average approximately one thousand three hundred women can be expected to be raped a day in South Africa.
Rape is an occurrence which, according to official statistics occurred approximately 16,000 times annually during the 1980s. By 2006 the official figure for rape was over 55 000 , unofficially, based on the premise put forward by the National Institute of Crime Rehabilitation that only one in twenty rapes are reported, the figure is over 494,000 a year.
¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†~ South Africa Crime Statistics
Somewhere in America, a woman is raped every 2 minutes. ~ U.S. Department of Justice.
One in three Native American women will be raped at some point in their lives, a rate that is more than double that for non-Indian women, according to a new report by Amnesty International. More than 86 percent of rapes against Native American women are carried out by non-native men, most of them white, according to the Justice Department.
The Amnesty study focused on three areas: Oklahoma, Alaska and the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation in North and South Dakota. But its findings, said Virginia Davis, associate counsel for the National Congress of American Indians, are reflective of Indian country across the nation.
“It’s jaw dropping,” Davis said. “We’ve been talking about this for years. I think this is an incredibly complicated problem. Most Americans can live their daily lives and never think about it.”
¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† ~ Darryl Fears and Kari Lydersen Washington Post
If you don‚Äôt stand for something you‚Äôll fall for anything.
¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†~ Malcolm X
I‚Äôm tough, ambitious, and I know exactly what I want. If that makes me a bitch, okay.
A common myth holds that sexual intercourse with a virgin will cure a man of HIV or AIDS. Child abusers are often relatives of their victims – even their fathers and providers. According to researcher Suzanne Leclerc-Madlala, the myth that is not confined to South Africa. ‚ÄúFellow AIDS researchers in Zambia, Zimbabwe and Nigeria have told me that the myth also exists in these countries and that it is being blamed for the high rate of sexual abuse against young children.
¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†~ Suzanne Leclercs Madlala
A hundred years from now it will not matter what my bank account was, the sort of house I lived in, or the kind of car I drove . . . . but the world maybe different because I was important in the life of a child.”
¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†~ Kathy Davis
Young girls frequently report that their early sexual experiences were coerced. In a study in South Africa, 30 percent of girls report that their first sexual intercourse was forced. In rural Malawi, 55 percent of adolescent girls surveyed report that they were often forced to have sex.
¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†~ Njovana Watts
THERE is no happiness if the things we believe in are different than the things we do.‚ÄĚ
¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† ~Albert Camus, Philosopher, Writer
Among women aged between 15 and 44, acts of violence cause more death and disability than cancer, malaria, traffic accidents and war combined. Perhaps the most pervasive human rights violation that we know today, violence against women devastates lives, fractures communities, and stalls development.
¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†~ Say No UNite, Campaign to End Violence Against Women
I’m not a humanitarian, I’m a hell-raiser.
¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†~ Mother Jones