Take Action Today To End Sexual Violence in Conflict

This is a guest post by Jaclyn Friedman.

If you’ve been following my liveblogging here or my livetweeting at @jaclynf, you already know what a sickening and preventable crime against humanity sexual violence in conflict zones is.

If not, may I recommend reading the hashtag #endrapeinwar? Or a few numbers:

-Up to 500,000 women were raped during the Rwandan genocide.

-Over 64,000 women were raped in Sierra Leone.

-Over 40,000 women were raped in Bosnia-Herzegovina.

-Over 1,000 women are raped every day in Sudan and Democratic Republic of Congo.

The good news? There’s something you can do about it. Right now. You can join Nobel Peace Laureates Jody Williams, Shirin Ebadi and Mairead Maguire to TAKE A STAND to end rape in war. Today. Because enough is beyond enough.

It’s easy. Today is the international day of action against sexual violence in conflict. And it only take a few minutes to urge your elected officials, wherever you are, to make ending sexual violence in conflict a top national priority.

Following the unprecedented conference in Montebello, Quebec, where I was humbled to join 120 women from 36 countries to discuss strategies to address sexual violence, the Nobel Laureates took a stand this morning in Ottawa – addressing Canadian parliamentarians and urging them to take the lead to end rape in war. Together we can also take this message to governments all over the world.

Here’s how:

1) Go to the UN Action Stop Rape Now website and download the sample letter asking your elected official for increased action against sexual violence in conflict – and send it!

2) Then take it a step further to tweet or share on Facebook. (See below)

3) Make sure to check the NWI blog and follow the #endrapeinwar hashtag. Use it in your posts – let’s make it trend!

And thanks. We can really do this together. I’ve been meeting this week with women who know how to get it done. But it’s going to take all of us.

Sample tweets:

Hundreds of women will be raped today. TAKE A STAND and send a letter to your gvt urging to #endrapeinwar http://bit.ly/m4GiDb

Almost 48 women are raped every hour in Congo. TAKE A STAND and send a letter to your gvt urging to #endrapeinwar http://bit.ly/m4GiDb

Women Nobel Laureates are taking a stand to #endrapeinwar. TAKE A STAND and send a letter to your gvt urging action: http://bit.ly/m4GiDb

Sample Facebook posts:

As you sit at your computer right now, hundreds of women around the world are being raped as a strategic tactic of war. Tell your government: enough is enough! TAKE A STAND and send a letter to your elected official urging them to take action. link: http://bit.ly/m4GiDb

Women Nobel Peace Laureates are TAKING A STAND to end sexual violence in conflict. Why don’t you? Send a letter to your elected official urging them to be a leader by acting to end rape!

link: http://bit.ly/m4GiDb

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4 Responses to Take Action Today To End Sexual Violence in Conflict

  1. jjuliaava says:

    Do not forget THE RAPE OF NANKING! estimated 20-80000 raped and covered up by the Japanese government. http://www.amazon.com/Rape-Nanking-Forgotten-Holocaust-World/dp/0140277447

  2. Tony says:

    Thank you Jaclyn. The Atlantic has an article on this subject ‘Is Rape Inevitable in War?’ this week which you’ve probably seen. Here’s what caught my attention:

    Forcibly recruited men … meld into a cohesive unit through gang rape, a process she calls “combatant socialization.” A risky, time-consuming, and inefficient practice (as opposed to swiftly lopping off someone’s head), gang-rape, she writes, “creates loyalty and esteem from … initial circumstances of fear and mistrust.”

  3. Jeff H says:

    I’m all for preventing rape, whether as a part of or separate from war. But doesn’t it make more sense to try to stop the war, rather than just stop the rape in the war?

    If rape is being used as a tactic of war, ending the war would stop both the rape and the killing of human beings…

  4. len says:

    “Go to the UN Action Stop Rape Now website,” That’s rich coming from the UN; infamous around the world for its UN ‘Peacekeepers’ rape of women and children. Excuse me while I vomit.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2005/mar/25/unitednations

    “The reputation of United Nations peacekeeping missions suffered a humiliating blow yesterday as an internal report identified repeated patterns of sexual abuse and rape perpetrated by soldiers supposed to be restoring the international rule of law.”

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