The World Health Organization recently released findings from a global study that shows 35% of women around the world have been raped or physically abused and that about 80% of the time this violence occurs at the hands of a partner or spouse. One of the contributors to the report, epidemiologist Karen Devries BSc PhD says, “For me personally, this is a shockingly high figure.”
Which figure is it that is shocking, I wonder? That more than a quarter of women on the planet have reported being raped or abused? That the majority of violence is at the hand of a man whom the women should have been able to trust?
It is unclear to me why Dr. Devries is quoted in the NPR.org article as saying she finds this figure to be “shockingly high.” Is the figure shockingly high to her because she was unaware that violence against women is prevalent, crossing socioeconomic, age, and racial lines all over the planet? Is the figure shockingly high to her because statistics continually show little advancement in attitudes toward women even in countries claiming to be world leaders? Is the figure shockingly high because since the beginning of recorded time violence against women has been entertaining and sexually stimulating to men? Don’t believe that? READ THIS NEW YORK TIMES ARTICLE written in 1984.
Yeah, almost thirty years ago!
For all the talk about violence against women, the best attempt of not-so-shockingly ineffectual policy makers was the 1994 Violence Against Women Act which was allowed to expire. It is unclear to me if the reason for this shockingly troglodyte lapse in judgment was to gauge whether or not women would notice or if the national priority is not the health and safety of its citizens, but the gross domestic products Viagra and Debt. Perhaps it was just another congressional tragic hero/comic villain drama that needed to be played out on the public stage for two years. Price of admission – our tax dollars.
The NPR.org article concludes with the quote, “There is no magic bullet, no vaccine or pill” for rape and abuse. […] “But what we hear from women is that often times, just having an empathetic listener who can provide some practical support and help her get access to some other services — that in itself is an important intervention.”
I think we can do better. We MUST do better. Check out this video to see how people working together solves problems.