by Teresa Suarez, Women Arise Collective correspondent
“According to a 2013 global study published in the American Journal of Epidemiology, only 7% of survivors of gender-based violence formally reported the violence to police, medical, or social services.” This study was carried out by Stony Brook University Professor Tia Palermo, Jennifer Bleck of the University of South Florida, and Amber Peterman of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
World War II Onward
The numbers are overwhelming. And can lead to uncomfortableness and paralysis. You may ask yourself, “What can I do in the midst of such suffering and pain?” The better question is “What can we do together to help?” The moral arc of the universe may bend toward justice, but it only does so when we work against injustice and at the very least deny our consent to it.
What can you do?
- Listen and tell the stories of women, breaking the silence and demonstrating that life’s tragedies will not destroy us. Our voices heal others.
- Live across divisions, race, nationality, faith, income, gender, sexual orientation, age and sex. We are all made in God’s image.
- Help to train and equip women in behavior change communications, using mobile technologies, to reach urban and rural areas with lifesaving information.
- Live a life of generosity for the sake of others. Giving hope to people is not expensive – but neither is it free.
A life changed (saved) …
Bibiche was raped at 14 years of age. Four men abducted her and took her to the forest where they raped her fleeing when they heard others coming near. Fighting the pain, she walked to a nearby church and collapsed in the sanctuary.
A woman at the church came bandaged her wounds and cared for her before accompanying her to Bibiche’s home. Sharing the story with her family, their response was devastating: “The war is over! This cannot be true. You must leave!” Bibiche’s grandmother took her in.
At “Women Arise from Stigma” workshop, Bibiche shared her story among women in the community who knew her – yet did not know her full story. Her bold faith in telling others what happened released her from inner bondage to move forward with healing. The Mama Lynn Center, who cares for survivors of sexual violence has accompanied Bibiche on her journey to recovery. She graduated from high school and now is in nursing school, hoping one day to be a doctor.
Today (in Bibiche’s own words) …
“I am feeling proud to stand in front of my friends and even my own family is proud me. They are very happy to welcome [me] back home again. My father, [who] I did not talk to for [a] longtime, was very happy to see me and also very delighted to know I was doing great in [nursing] school. He [has] started to communicate more with me and text[s] more often to check on me. He’s now a proud man and happy to call me his daughter again, which he did not do in the past.
“I want to thank God first and secondly HHG for the support they have provided for my education.
“I want you (HHG) to keep up with what you are doing for me so that I can be able to continue with [nursing] school.” (There is someone who is paying her tuition after they read an article on https://www.harperhill.global/cwa/bibiches-story/)
The world has only changed for the better by individuals, working together, to change what is unjust. Robert F. Kennedy said, “Few will have the greatness to bend history itself, but each of us can work to change a small portion of events. It is from numberless, diverse acts of courage and belief …[that] sends forth a tiny ripple of hope and crossing each other from a million different centers … build a current which can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance.”
Living a life of generosity is what fuels opportunities for others to recover from injustice. Harper Hill Global has a proven track record of disrupting information poverty and training women in communication strategies and information that changes hearts and minds.
Harper Hill Global empowers the human spirit through media, messaging and mobile solutions aimed at improving lives and relieving human suffering.
Funding comes through partnerships and donations given by those who seek to live generously for the sake of others. Give today and help women arise!