War Violence Against Women: Part 1 of 4

Today while I was driving home from work and listening to the radio, I heard this story broadcast on NPR’s “All Things Considered.” It’s 4 minutes long: “Rape A ‘Significant And Disturbing’ Feature Of Syrian War.”  It discusses the report that the International Rescue Committee released last week. The report states, “Syrians identified rape as a primary reason their families fled the country” (IRC’s Press Release).

When I think about war, the term “rape & pillage” comes to my mind without thinking twice. But then I stop myself and ask… who’s being raped? Women are being raped and violated. Girls are being raped and injured. And then I ask… who’s raping them? Sons are doing this. Brothers are committing this.

It would be easy to say, “Those people are raping those people."

“Those people”… this is a term that always makes me cringe in a conversation. “Those people” is a negative phrase that (by my personal definition) means “human beings who I do not attempt to identify with nor show sympathy for and, for all intents and purposes, is unlike me and is therefore my enemy.” I think it’s used as a defense mechanism to distance ourselves from others’ suffering. Once we’ve crossed over a line in our belief system, I believe it’s possible for one human being to abuse another human being and sincerely not recognize the act as immoral and unethical.

So, why am I discussing this on a Fertility Awareness blog? Because I am wholly invested in women and the truth of the matter is that women, here and around the world, are often oppressed and violated (i.e. browbeaten, subjugated, demoralized, exploited). Want to make a difference? Check out the Colorado Coalition Against Sexual Assault