Silence Is The Enemy: Putting our Money Where our Mouths Are

i-9dc84d4d9156dccb30d5f62466b4219a-swblocks.jpgSheril, Isis, Alice,Zuska and many others have introduced you to the Silence Is the Enemy project, aimed at condemning and reducing sexual violence in places like Liberia, Congo, Darfur and other conflict ridden places in the world. In Liberia, for example, as many as 3/4 of the women have been raped, often repeatedly. And 28% of new rape victims are under the age of 4. Those are girls the age of my daughter and the girls who play on the playground with her. Raped and left to suffer a lifetime of physical and psychological consequences. (At the bottom of this post, please watch an important video from Nicholas Kristof of the New York Times as he talks with a 7-year old Liberian rape victim.)

As Alice pointed out, even in the peaceful and prosperous United States, women and children are raped and sexually assaulted every day. It's not just a distant problem in some other part of the world, it's your sister, mother, daughter, best friend, girl-friend, or colleague. Or your brother, father, or son.

So Alice and I are joining the coalition of bloggers who will be donating the proceeds from our blogging to the people who work tremendously hard to reduce rape and sexual violence and to care for its victims. We're small fish compared to some of the big name bloggers, so we're upping the ante and we're pledging to donate double whatever blogging income we earn this month. Every click on these pages counts twice. And we're recognizing the parallel problems of rape and sexual violence in conflict-ridden regions abroad and here in our local communities. So we're going to give money to Doctors Without Borders and to a local rape crisis center, hot line, or shelter in the United States. (Nominations are welcome in the comments.)

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Thank you for donating your money. I nominate Rape Victim Advocates. I have volunteered with them for 6 years. We provide medical/legal advocacy and counseling for victims of sexual assault in Chicago, Illinois. The funding is constantly in flux. Please help this wonderful institution continue.

I know that this isn't local, but RAINN (Rape, Abuse, Incest National Network) Hotline is amazing. Through one hotline, you can be connected to all your local resources (which can be helpful during a crisis) and it's completely confidential. Even if you all decide that you want something more local (which I completely understand), I figured it was worth a suggestion.