the rape crisis in haiti

March 24, 2010

Sometimes? Sometimes, I don't really have my own words, or my own pictures. Sometimes I don't know how to tell you that I'm in the middle of midterms and I'm having to MAKE myself blog and sleep and think straight, and that I wanted to cry in the middle of work today cause all I want to do is go home and have a day to do nothing and sit with my mom.

And then? Then I look at my friend Angela's photos from her recent trip to Haiti, and I get beyond myself when I read about things like this that are going on in Haiti. Then I know why I am a journ student, and the reason that I am in the midst of midterms - because I want to be someone who writes for those who don't have their own voice -

  • A 24-year-old man raped a 2-year-old girl in a refugee camp in La Pleine during the week of March 8, according to the UNIFEM-led outreach team. Some members of the management committee (camp leaders elected by camp residents) told the parents that, instead of going to police, they should just demand some money from the man.

  • In a case that KOFAVIV encountered in a hospital, a one-and-a-half-year-old girl was raped by her mother's boyfriend on March 22. Her own father died in the earthquake.

  • A 2-year-old was gang-raped, her body then tossed away by her assailants, according to a second-hand report. The toddler survived and was later rescued by a woman who now wants to adopt her.

  • A 12-year-old girl, whose mother was wounded and whose father died in the earthquake, was raped in a camp in the national stadium. Neighbors caught the man and attacked him with rocks and sticks, killing him.

  • An 18-year-old who said she was "a good girl, I never talked to boys" was raped by four men, so violently that she could not walk the next day. She was left with a severe vaginal infection.

The rest of the story can be found here. 

I get beyond myself when I realize that my 7-year-old Haitian sister could be on the streets in Haiti instead of home in her new room in Northern, California with my family (HER family).

I went through and I found all of my friend's pictures of the women that she worked with this trip, because I wanted you to think faces, and real people, when you read these stories. I suppose that's the entire point of this blog. I want to, somehow, make need smaller and to bring it home, the way that the people around me (like Angela) do it for me.

I don't know where to tell you to donate. I don't know what to tell you to do. I'm overwhelmed by the sick feeling in my stomach when I think about these girls, and these women.

All I know is that I have to go back to studying for a midterm now - and that I'm not going to sleep a lot tonight because of it. But I wanted to catch you for a moment in your day, and to bring the present crisis to your attention.

You tell me --- what do we do?

(photos via Angela Fairfield).


angela said...

putting names to faces:
1. mme leodord
2. mme fritz
3. mama joassaint
4 and 5. nuesta the spirited
6. roseline

sweet, fun, wonderful, kind, caring women. women thankfully living in a courtyard behind a locked gate. the reports (and lack of reports) of raped women and children are horrifying and true.
o Heaven, hear our cry!

Phoenix said...

There are no words. The solution lies buried deep in the society, where the illness is, where it always is. Men cannot be raised to think that it is okay to do this to a woman, ever. Period.

I am a survivor of sexual violence. I don't blog about it because there's nothing to say that hasn't been said before and because I don't want to be thought of as a victim. Men in every nation, all over the world, from the day they are born, need to know what it means to respect a woman's body. There is no other way of holding back this tidal wave of violence against women than to deal with the men.

We cannot tell women to act differently, dress differently, marry faster, go into a nunnery...there is nothing women can do to avoid rape and there is nothing they do to deserve it.

Women must learn to fight back, teach their sons and daughters that goodness and love is not achieved through force, and educate other men, women, and nations about this terrible sickness.

It is the only way.

Kitty said...

We pray

Meg Fee said...

what a needed post. thank you for sharing. you're already giving people a voice.