Rape and assault are not tolerated in any civilised society. All around the world girls are being raped and some murdered or married off as child brides as we speak, affecting close to a billion women and girls over their lifetime.
All around the world, gender based violence, including sexual violence is being inflicted on women and girls in epidemic proportions. There’s less freedom, and a lot less protection, different cultures have different understandings, and have different ways of dealing with sexual assault. We live in a country that has cracked down on sexual assault with doctors and people we can go to for help. Helen clark priminster of New Zealand in 1999, went to the police and said that sexual violence is not okay and all assault and rape charges must be investigated, and she put a huge impact on New Zealand and our sexual assault crimes. However this is still an issue everywhere else, women in Afghanistan have their rights stripped away from them, raped, tortured and even punished for it and young girls, having to marry while they are still in high school. Rape and assault are not tolerable in any civilised society.
Two months ago in Nigeria, thousands of women and girls who survived the brutal rule of Boko Haram armed group, were being starved, kept in locked camps, abused and raped. Instead of reviewing protection from the authorities, women and girls were being raped in order to avoid starvation and hunger, and this is how women and men in different countries and cultures are living, less freedom and less protection.
In the Democratic Republic of Congo thousands of women and children are being attacked in their homes, in the fields or as they go about their daily lives. In many cases women and often children have been taken by military as sex slaves or attacked and sexually assaulted in public, infront of family, or siblings or next to the corpse of family members. In addition to the trauma of rape, victims rights are further violated deepening their suffering. Most injuries or illnesses caused by rape are denied the medical care they need. We may be living in a nice little bubble Wanaka but all around the world this is the case.
There are 2 of the most noticeable cases, the most famous case in New Zealand involved a young woman named Louise Nicholas. A small girl form a all town, its got more bad stats than good stats, raped and abused by three senior police officers, with persistence she pushed her case. The police did everything they could to frustrate her, attacked her credibility, and did everything they could to discredit her. This gutsy young woman took on the police establishment and won. She went through multiple trials and won. She is a powerful role model to lots of women, and her story has been covered in magazines, movies and a book which has been a best seller.
In 1999 former priminister Helen Clark spoke out after hearing Louise’s story and achieved this by investing in all sexual assault reports, sadly we still have a very low rate of conviction for rape in New Zealand, but its not all bad news, Louise Nicholas has worked with New Zealand Police, she is apart of the program, she lectures, she talks, she has been instrumental, an attitude change for not only New Zealand but for people around the world who have dealt with this issue. If Louise Nicholas is able to do this, then all of us can say to our friends, stop we don’t want to go there.
Rape and sexual assault are not tolerated in any civilised society. In New Zealand the supporting leadership has been very active, occasionally of course it does slip. Rape and sexual assault come down to the unequal position of men and women. Women don’t have power. Causes and affects are power. There is a very famous American case, involving a high class producer in New York, raped one, however sexually assaulted many. The term “the casting couch” was used, meaning if you didn’t sleep with the producer you didn’t get the part. He sexually abused 2 very famous actors Angelina Jolie andJennifer Laurence. It was all about power, his perspectives were that he could do it, he could do what he wanted and was a very powerful man, a man who had been good friends with Hilary Clinton. Rape and assault are not tolerable in any civilised society.
Even in Australia we have our dark stories, we have the royal commission that is investigating people who are abused in state care including assault and rape, and in New Zealand there is currently and investigation taking place on kids who are put into state care in the youth homes who were assaulted and sexually abused by staff and by other boys. This inquiry will take place in New Zealand the year. This is a quote form an article called Is The State A Physcopath North and South Magazine July 2018 “consider an individual being accused of the crimes the state is accused of (and has been found guilty of or admitted to) serial rape of children, torture and violence against children and neglect of children”. Rape and assault are not tolerable in any civilised society. Despite that these can happen in state car, we are able to stop these things with a powerful role model like Louise Nicholas and rape crisis centres, throughout New Zealand and other countries. These crisis centres are a place for boys or girls where they receive support or help, they are open 24 hrs.
The most positive thing to hope is that in our generation hopefully we are aware enough to take care of ourselves and our friends, that is a challenge for us because we are going to get a fundamental change in our society. However within this room the power is in our hands, it is the message we tell each other and we tell our friends.