Rape is Not A Women’s Issue

Rape is not a women’s issue or a humanitarian issue.

The Asian Destination:: Rape is Not a Women's Issue

It is a global issue.

The Asian Destination :: Rape is Not A Women's Issue

Foreign Secretary, the Rt. Hon. William Hague and Special Envoy for the UK High Commissioner for Refugees, Angelina Jolie, have come together to co-chair the Global Summit to End Sexual Violence in Conflict.

This summit, happening on the 10-13th June 2014, is the largest to date and has brought together a number of Foreign Ministers, government dignatories from 113 countries and over 100 NGO’s, hosted at ExCel London.

The aim of the summit is clear.

-Shatter the culture of impunity

-Take Practical Steps in supporting survivors and also to challenge preexisting attitudes.

The Fringe Of Events

The fringe of events acts as an open forum to the public; with a theatre, cinema, gallery area, market place and art and exhibition centre. It hopes to act as chance to engage and interact with new audiences in the fight against sexual violence in conflict and to gain public support towards the new policy changes.

There is no denying Angelina Jolie’s passion for the cause:

“We are here for the nine-year-old girl in Uganda, kidnapped and forced into sexual slavery.

“We are here for the man in Bosnia, years after rape, still stigmatised, unable to earn enough money to buy bread for his family.

“We are here for all the forgotten, hidden survivors who have been made to feel ashamed or been abandoned.

“And for the children of rape – we want the whole world to hear their stories and understand that this injustice cannot be tolerated, and that sorrow and compassion are not enough.”

“Warzone rape is a preventable crime. So our response must never again be that these things simply happen. It can never be, that peace is more important than justice – or that money is in short supply – or that there are other priorities.” 

The hope is that the talks and new revised protocols will go some way to providing governments with a way of tackling sexual violence in conflict.

Some reading up on the summit like I have, may share the same question as I have.

Why only focus on sexual violence in conflict?

Why restrict such heinous crimes to those in war stricken situations?

Rape and sexual violence are preventable not just those in a war zone. 

Our response to these crimes should never be that ‘these things simply happen’ – apathy is a hugely dangerous attitude in any situation.

As the End of Sexual Violence In Conflict campaign boldly states:

Rape is not a women’s issue or a humanitarian issue.

That’s hugely true.

I have been empowered reading about the work taking place at the summit and I hope it does act as a step to acknowledge those affected and force us all to take some action.

However, though I can appreciate there may be differences in the way war zone rape can be tackled compared to other acts of sexual violence, I hope that a similar summit, focused to Ending Sexual Violence, Period, occurs.

Yet again we are hearing of another Indian girl being raped and hanged in the state of Uttar Pradesh, a women being raped in an Indian police station and Kashmiri women as victims of sexual violence by the Indian Occupying Force for years.

What about the rape that occurs closer to home in the UK.

It doesn’t matter that the number might be significantly less than other places in the world.

Rape, wherever it occurs, be it in conflict, or in the UK, India, Kashmir,

whoever it takes as its victim, young, old, female, male, affluent or not.

Rape is not a women’s issue or a humanitarian issue.

Rape is a global issue.

As always, if you feel like sharing your thoughts, please leave a comment below.

Have a blessed day & #HappyJune💛

Ana | The Asian Destination

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