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Haitian earthquake effect on girls and young women

January 17, 2010 2 comments

Women and girls have always carried the brunt of natural disasters. They become more vulnerable than they may already be. They become more impoverished, due to the fact that they were probably in a worse-off financial situation beforehand. Since they’re generally the primary caretakers, they have other people to take care of, so they don’t put their own needs first. Also, the countries are usually rebuilt on the shoulders of women. You get the picture. Obviously nature disasters effect men in negative ways, but women just carry the brunt of negative effects.

When I heard about the earthquake, I was immediately thinking about how women and girls were going to be effected, and now there is actually an acknowledgment that young women and girls are in more danger now than ever before in Haiti.

As of right now, relief efforts are being put into Haiti, and many have said that things like security is just not something that is important at this moment. However, Gerardo Ducos, a Haitian researcher for Amnesty International states,

“My worry is we put a lot of effort into bringing relief, but we have to have some protective measures to benefit women and girls to avoid their being victimized and sexually assaulted. It was already difficult in ordinary times.”

As Ducos said, it was already difficult during ordinary times. There are various reported numbers, but so many girls and young women do not report their rapes or other sexual assaults. During this time of crisis, this issue is just going to get worse. Yifat Susskind, policy and communications director for MADRE, says that women need more support during this time, but this is what happenings:

“They need support commensurate to the burden they are carrying. Instead, we see women and girls are targeted in all sorts of way, especially gender violence.”

She also mentioned that there are simply more losses for girls and young women, by stating,

“Her grandmother, the one person (a girl) could go to for protection or solace – she doesn’t know if she is dead or alive. Her school, the one safe place she could go every day is destroyed. … “

Ultimately, this earthquake has been such a huge hit for everyone, and it’s wonderful that the world is really stepping up and pouring out love to Haiti. We just can’t forget that women and girls are the ones that are going to be effected by this the most in the short and long run.

Update on the Richmond, CA gang rape

December 1, 2009 4 comments

This morning, all 6 Richmond, CA gang rape suspects appeared in court. They all pleaded not guilty (eye roll) to their multiple sex related felony charges. Just a reminder, they are all being tried as adults, even though three suspects are 15, 16, and 17.

Here’s a beauty from a friend of one of the defendants:

“As far as with the girl, I’m not saying she is a bad person, but I feel that there had to be something that attracted them if they did it — I don’t know,” said a friend of a defendant Shyan Mason.

Suuuuuure. It had to be HER that attracted them to do it. It of course has to be ALL HER FAULT. Honestly, I’m just going to flat out say that some people are stupid. There, I said it. Anyway, even if she HAD started something with them, the fact that she said NO multiple times means that it’s RAPE. This WAS NOT consensual sex. What don’t people get? Why do people think that even if it’s “the girl’s fault”, that once s he says no, and the sex moves into rape territory, that the perpetrators are any less guilty? Idiots. Sorry, I’m just so sick and tired of people not understanding what the hell rape is.

Click here to read the full news article.

A friend helps organize victim’s gang rape?

November 26, 2009 Leave a comment

Police are looking into a gang rape right now, which occurred last Monday in Monroeville, Alabama. There are two girls, and three boys/men involved. One girl being the one who was raped, while the other girl, who was a friend, possibly being the organizer of this gang rape. The three boys/men are 16, 17 and 20. They are being held on charges of felony rape.

When the investigation began, the girl who possibly organized this crime, told police that she and her classmate were planning on having consensual sex with all three of these boys/men. However, now she is being considered to be a part of this organized crime.

The actually victim of the rape did tell the police that it was supposed to be consensual at the beginning, and she felt that it was. However, soon after things started, she repeatedly said no, and yet no one stopped. All three took turns raping her. The other girl, who said that the boys/men tried to rape her, but “nothing happen”.

The victim had severe injuries and had to spend about 3 days in the ICU. Horrible, just horrible and disgusting.

Now what I’m hoping for this case is that it all of a sudden doesn’t become a “let’s blame the girl!” kind of thing. If she had anything to do with the planned rape, then yes, she should be punished. However, I just hope that three boys/men involved won’t be ignored. They are the ones that still chose to do this to a girl. It’s not like they didn’t know what they were doing.

What a discouraging story…especially after the horrific gang rape in Richmond, CA.

16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence Campaign

November 25, 2009 Leave a comment

Today marks the first day of the Commit ▪ Act ▪ Demand: We CAN End Violence Against Women! activist movement. So, why the 16 days?

November 25, 2009 marks the launch of the 19th international 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence Campaign – an annual campaign that runs from International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women through International Human Rights Day. (emphasis mine)

Over the next 16 days, I’m going to try and highlight the violence that women face around the world. If you’re interested in this endeavor, please visit the website and find out what some actions are that you can take to contribute to this movement and to the end of violence against women.

Conservatives using “rape” to create fear

November 23, 2009 Leave a comment

Thanks to RH Reality Check for this. Oh, and thanks Rachel Maddow for being awesome and bringing this issue up.

How pleasant, for conservatives to take liberty and use the word rape in this fashion.


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Brutal details of the Richmond, CA gang rape

November 11, 2009 4 comments

The suspect for this gang rape that was let go, Salvador Rodriguez, has now come out and spoken about what happened that night.

“They were kicking her in her head and they were beating her up, robbing her and ripping her clothes off; it’s something you can’t get out your mind,” Rodriguez said.

“I saw people, like, dehumanizing her; I saw some pretty crazy stuff,” Rodriguez said.

But then the article states that he actually got another person to watch the gang rape with him. Woooow. And this other person states,

“She was pretty quiet; I thought she was like dead for a minute but then I saw her moving around, I was like, ‘Oh,'” the 16-year-old witness said.

“Oh”? Really? I’m not going to try and put my anger and disgust about this horrendous act on those that were witnesses, but there should have been something done sooner about this. Rodriguez goes onto explain why he didn’t call the police about this.

“People say, ‘Why didn’t I call the cops,’ but at the same time, I live in Richmond, a neighborhood like this, snitching is something you don’t do, you know, I mean I have to walk down the streets now in fear of my life,” Rodriquez said.

So, ultimately, people are always looking out for themselves, even if a heinous crime is being committed. So much for believing in humanity…

(Sorry for my cynical nature today, it’s just one of those days!)

HIV is top killer for young women

November 10, 2009 Leave a comment

A new report done by the World Health Organization has stated that for the ages between 15 and 49, HIV is the biggest killer for women.

Women are “particular vulnerability” to infection by HIV, WHO says, due to both biology and gender inequality.

WHO Director General Dr Margaret Chan said:

“It’s time to pay girls and women back, to make sure that they get the care and support they need to enjoy a fundamental human right at every moment of their lives, that is their right to health,”

I couldn’t have said it any better myself. It’s true that women and girls need to have better health care, all over the world. This doesn’t just mean more care for those with HIV, but other things, such as reproductive health. As for HIV though, there does need to be more access to the treatment drugs which are available in Western countries for the many millions in Africa (and other underdeveloped countries) that suffer from this disease. Just because these people may not live in a developed country, does not mean that they don’t deserve the same treatment that people can get over here. It’s sad and shows true character when the rich don’t give to the poor.

And of course, more preventative measures need to be taken to stop this disease from getting a hold of people. Proper sex education must be done, for both women and men. None of this abstinence-only crap, where condoms are evil. Also, since so many women have this disease because of rape, we still need to fight institutionalized sexism all around the world. We need to make sure that we are taking measures to let men know that they have no right to rape anyone.

Ultimately, this is not a fair disease. This is not a fair disease because so many women and girls get it without even consenting to the sexual intercourse they get it from. This remains a feminist issue until many things change.