Silence is the Enemy
A couple of bloggers are spearheading an effort to raise awareness of the use of mass rape as a weapon as well as funds for Doctors Without Borders, which works with many of the victims of these crimes. Sheril at Discover’s The Intersection and Dr. Isis at ScienceBlogs’s On Becoming a Domestic and Laboratory Goddess are apparently coordinating the campaign, inspired by Nicholas Kristoff’s recent piece in the New York Times, After Wars, Mass Rapes Persist – a piece which focuses largely on mass rape in Liberia, where
“An International Rescue Committee survey in 2007 found that about 12 percent of girls aged 17 and under acknowledged having been sexually abused in some way in the previous 18 months…Of the 275 new sexual violence cases treated between January and April by Doctors Without Borders in Liberia, 28 percent involve children aged 4 or younger, and 33 percent involve children aged 5 through 12.”
Now, I expect that many of my readers are already aware of this terrible issue. Doctors Without Borders provides more information here, and Sheril and Isis also provide some links to more info in their posts. Here’s a 2004 piece from The Nation, and a web search for “rape as a weapon of war” turns up much, much more about this problem, and there are other organizations paying attention to the issue as well, including the UN, Amnesty International, UNICEF, and Physicians for Human Rights.
Sheril and Isis have explained their goals pretty well, so we’ll just use their words:
The goal is two-fold: Raising funds and–arguably more importantly–awareness. Since blogging revenue increases with traffic, we hope to get people to keep coming back for more information about what’s going on and thinking about how to make a difference. Do not feel obligated to donate, but it’s one idea. There are many ways to contribute: Write and email Members of Congress (Congressional Directory here), speak at community meetings, encourage others to get involved, or donate to our chosen charity (Doctors Without Borders). Help us maximize our donations by visiting Isis, Jessica, Tara, Neurotopia, Mike, DrugMonkey, Janet and returning here often because every click will help raise money. 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!
In short, even if you can’t donate money, you can inform your legislators that you care about the issue and click over to the linked blogs to help them raise revenue this month, which they will then donate. If you have a blog you make money from, you can also sign up to donate your June proceeds to Doctors Without Borders (go over and tell Sheril, not me). And, hey, there’s a Facebook group.