Choose Respect

"Respect: Lead the Way" won Best All Around in the Choose Respect Poster Contest! (Drew Nanouk)

“Respect: Lead the Way” won Best All Around in the Choose Respect Poster Contest! (Drew Nanouk)

Rape isn’t something I hear about very often, but it came up several times this week and simply cannot be ignored.

The first time I heard it mentioned was in conjunction with some FBI crime data that showed Alaska as having the highest per capita rate of reported rape in the nation. According to 2012 data, “an estimated 80 rapes are reported in Alaska for every 100,000 people”—roughly three times the national average and seven times the rate in New Jersey—and “59% [of Alaskan women report that they] have experienced sexual or intimate partner violence… and nearly four in ten have been raped or sexually assaulted.”

These statistics are mind-blowing and disturbing, to say the least. Fortunately, people in more than 170 Alaskan communities have decided to mobilize this week and to hold “Choose Respect” rallies in honor of the victims and survivors of sexual and intimate partner violence. And their message is clear: “Silence is the poison that lets rape and sexual violence continue… enough is enough.”

Rape appeared for a second time this week when Brazil’s Institute for Applied Economic Research (IPEA) released a study with some controversial—and frightening—results.

According to IPEA, more than 65% of Brazilians believe (or partially believe) that “if dressed provocatively, women deserve to be attacked and raped.” What’s more, nearly 59% agreed that “if women knew how to behave, there would be less rape.” As shocking as these statistics are, they become even more so when you consider 66.5% of the survey pool were, in fact, women. How crazy is that?

In an effort to bring attention to these horrifying facts—and to start the conversation on a more global scale—Brazilian women immediately took to social media to share their outrage. A Facebook event has been created and many Brazilian women have started posting semi-nude pictures online under the hashtag #NaoMerecoSerEstuprada, or #IDon’tDeserveToBeRaped. Most of these photos show the women topless—and covering their breasts—with this hashtag prominently displayed somewhere on their bodies—like this one, for instance:

No one deserves to be raped (#NaoMerecoSerEstuprada)

No one deserves to be raped (#NaoMerecoSerEstuprada)

Since rape has come up so much this week—and since I stand united with everyone interested in bringing an end to sexual violence (and violence in general, for that matter)—I now offer the Gnostic Bent contribution to the “Choose Respect” Initiative… with some Brazilian flair to show my support for the women of that great nation… and all the nations of the world.

End violence and choose respect... or I may be forced to use this (Pin It)

End violence and choose respect… or I may be forced to use this (Pin It)

Be good to each other.

Posted on March 30, 2014, in Perspectives and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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