Why I’m Rising

On Sunday, the migrants of Hong Kong will join the global campaign to end violence against women called One Billion Rising. This campaign stems from Eve Ensler’s book called the Vagina Monologues and her subsequent organization that raises awareness about violence against women called V-Day. Check out the details of the campaign on: http://onebillionrising.org

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I am rising to protest violence against women around the world. 1 in 3 women will experience some form of sexual violence in her lifetime around the world. One in Three; that’s one billion women on the planet right now who will be raped or physically assaulted in her lifetime, and it needs to stop. Today.

As a society, we need to stop making excuses for the way that we treat women. We need to acknowledge that we live in a world that does not value women’s lives.

Rape is about power not sex. Women do not invite rape. There is no “legitimate rape.” In war, men use rape as a tool of social control to humiliate and pacify the enemy. Hundreds of thousands of women were raped during the civil wars in Sierra Leone, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Liberia, the Rwandan and Bosnian genocides, World War II, and the list goes on.

But rape doesn’t only happen “over there in Africa.” Nearly 1 in 4 female college students will experience sexual violence during their tenure at university in the US. Every two minutes, someone in the US is sexually assaulted. Husbands rape and beat their wives, boyfriends their girlfriends. Guys drug random girls at the bar and take them home.

And our society says that she “wasn’t being careful enough.” “Why did she leave the bar with him? Why did she leave her drink unattended? What was she wearing? Did she give him mixed signals?” No. Wrong. He put something into her drink. He attacked her because she said no. He forced her to have sex because he wanted power over her.

I’m angry and I’ve had enough. I am tired of watching my drink at bars. I’m tired of reading about victims of rape in the DRC. I’m tired of society explaining it all away that “boys will be boys.” So I will stand in solidarity with the migrant women of HK and dance. I invite all of you to find an event and join in the dance. Together, men and women all over the world, we can stop it.

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