(I should put a special trigger warning on this one. This information is very distressing, especially to survivors.)
I found a very interesting site today called WomanStats. The site has so very much information about the status of women worldwide that I have only begun to read it. But I was fascinated by the maps they provide, giving a clear visual picture of the conditions that women live under in various countries of the world. I highly recommend that you spend some time perusing the site. It’s extremely informative.
Of course, my attention went to the maps showing the prevalence of rape and sexual assaults. It was truly appalling to see how common rape is worldwide. Here is one that I found (click on the image to view it full size):
Note the complete lack of any dark green nations, which would indicate that rape is rare. Also note the huge portion of the world in orange and red, indicating that rape is prevalent or endemic.
Endemic. Think about that word.
Dictionary.com defines endemic as “natural to or characteristic of a specific people or place”. Can you fathom a world where rape is so very common that is considered a characteristic of a people?? This is the world in which we live. In which our mothers and daughters and sisters live.
I am bereft. I do not know what I can do with this information. But I cannot forget about it now that I know it. My first step is to share it. With as many people as I can. They need to see this map and feel the same knot in their stomach that I am now feeling. This map needs to gnaw at them the way it does me.
Men need to see this and picture what it means for the people they know and love.
Women need to see this and reach out to their fellow women. Help me by at least sharing this information with those you know.
We need to eliminate the red off of this map and find some dark green somewhere.