Rape Worldwide

(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):

Combined Scale of the Prevalence and Sanction of Rape and Sexual Assault of Women

Combined Scale of the Prevalence and Sanction of Rape and Sexual Assault of Women

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.

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8 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Emily
    Jul 17, 2013 @ 13:01:08

    I’ve been reading your blog regularly since you posted one of my posts from the forum, and I have to say it is an incredible comfort to know that someone feels the same way I do about sharing information and getting rid of the ignorance that is so prevalent in our society regarding this issue.

    We need to change this map. And the first step in changing it is making sure people see it.

    Reply

    • Aimee
      Jul 17, 2013 @ 13:27:00

      I so agree, Emily. I get so torn. On the one hand, I have not shared my story of rape with most of my friends and family. I have only done so here, with a pseudonym. I’ve taken that persona and created a Facebook page and a Pinterest page for her where I share all of this info. But part of my just wants to stand on the mountaintops, as my real self, and shout that I was raped and how awful it was, and then share all this info with my real-life friends and family. I’m terrified if I just start posting things like this map on my real Facebook page, then they will “figure it out” and it will start all kinds of conversations I’m just not ready for. My hope is that I can get my message out through this forum and hopefully my followers will spread the message far and wide. Thanks so much for following.

      Reply

      • resiann
        Jul 17, 2013 @ 17:04:11

        This is exactly how I feel – I want to scream it out, too! I want people who think they know me, who already have their own picture of me know what has really happened to me. I want to know if it would change how they look at me – it is as if I want to challenge them, put them to some kind of test. I don’t know why I feel this way, but it definitely bothers me. I just started a blog in order to really focus on getting out my story, all of it, even the parts that I hate to admit. While my immediate family and a couple of friends know I was raped, I couldn’t tell them how it happened. It’s been three years, but I still feel it in me. Writing it through is exhausting, but I feel like I must do this.
        Thank you for your post and all the best to you.

  2. Emily
    Jul 17, 2013 @ 14:43:26

    I know exactly what you mean — and don’t feel bad for wanting to keep parts of your personal life private. It doesn’t make you less brave to want to maintain the sanctity of your private head space. I am not “out” with all of my friends and family either. I think to be able to maintain the strength to help others, we have to first remember to protect ourselves. Working from behind the scenes can be just as powerful as broadcasting from center stage.

    Be proud of the work you are doing. You are an encouragement to everyone who reads this blog. We can be a force for change without showing everyone our faces.

    Reply

  3. Aimee
    Jul 17, 2013 @ 17:12:08

    It is exhausting, Resiann. But I think it’s so worth it in the end. I think it’s the only way to heal…get it out there, don’t let it fester.

    Reply

  4. thinkbannedthoughts
    Aug 09, 2013 @ 15:53:42

    Super disturbing, and yes, I think sharing the information is a good first step.
    I would be so curious to see a similar map, but of just the USA…
    I was talking with my husband about a trip we are planning – a walk across and around the USA – and I was telling that some states are simply no-go zones because they are not safe places for vaginas. At the time I was thinking politically, but I would be willing to put money on those same places not being safe for vaginas in a physical/tangible way as well…
    It is indeed a harsh world we live in, but together, we can change it.
    Remember the quote – “If you think you’re too small to be effective, you’ve never been in bed with a mosquito!”

    Reply

    • Aimee
      Aug 10, 2013 @ 14:51:12

      That’s a great quote! I am working on a post about how very small I feel sometimes against such a vast problem. I’ll have to remember the mosquito in those times 🙂 I bet we could find a map like this of the US if we hunted around long enough. I’ll have to check it out.

      Reply

    • Aimee
      Jun 05, 2014 @ 23:51:07

      Thinkbannedthoughts, for some reason I was rereading old posts today and I did actually go looking for a map of the US. It looks like most of the country is pretty unsafe for those vaginas, and I live in one of the worst 6 states. Here’s the map I found:

      http://www.cnn.com/2014/02/03/opinion/sutter-alaska-rape-list/

      Reply

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