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October 24, 2011 / kathrynllewellyn

Imagine

I spent this evening crying. I rarely admit to crying over articles I read, no matter how gruesome the tale. But today I read about a 61 year old woman, who had been gang raped in the DRC in Africa. I will quote her, so you can hear the effect this had on her, from her mouth, her words:

“…Every time I hear a noise, I jump. Every night, I am hiding in the bushes because I’m scared they will come back… It’s a miserable life. I would prefer to die,”

I think there are a number of reasons I ended up in tears. One was because my mother is this lady’s age and I can’t believe that a woman, a mother a person who could be my mother, had to go through and continue to go through such horror.

I think the reason I cried was because I can’t seem to galvanise the support I need to demand a voice for these women, quick enough. It horrifies me that more women will have to experience this. It horrifies me that they have no escape from this unacceptable abuse.

So I cried. For quite a while I cried and now I’m filled with renewed determination and strength to do something – to act.

I refuse to live in a world where we continue to let this happen. I refuse to live in a world where we don’t at least try and stop the gruesome violation and abuse of women and girls around the world.

Imagine your wife, daughter, mother, sister, niece or friend. Imagine they are faced with this reality, a reality where their ability to choose who and where to have sex is eroded. Imagine a world where, if she was raped and attacked, you could do nothing about it; the law doesn’t support them to bring the perpetrator to justice. That world exists; it’s our world today. But it doesn’t have to be. We have the power to change it.

Every time I read one of these stories of gang rape and violence, every time I meet a woman who has been raped, every time I speak to a girl who is being regularly raped and has no one to protect her – it makes my resolve stronger. If these amazing people can survive horrors that none of us would ever want to imagine, then I can continue to fight for them and with them. You can continue to fight for them and with them.

I want you to do something, act today. Join me today by doing something. Sign up to support Positive Women, or ask your company to, your school or your community group. Or write to your MP and demand that they prioritise women when they give aid. Demand that they do more, care more and act more.

It may feel like a hard battle to win but as a good friend of mine told me, “ You don’t get freedom without fighters” and so I’m going to keep fighting and hope you will too.

Imagine a world where no rape is ever condoned, where girls are safe and where we all have an equal chance in life. I set up Positive Women because I want that world. Please join me, make a change.

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3 Comments

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  1. Jennifer Balan / Oct 24 2011 8:27 pm

    Katheryn your words moved me almost to tears. I have such respect for you and ALL that you do. I would like nothing more then to give you all you need but unfortunately I don’t have anything ecept my time. If there is some way I can make a difference in these peoples lives I am happy to do it. Please…if you have any thing that I can do-just say the word. I will try my hardest to make it happen. I already donate monthly and encourage others to do the same at every turn. Please continue to fight for these women…to be their voice. You are such a force for hope. ~ @JBALAN ~

  2. Jacquie Yorke-Westcott / Oct 25 2011 3:36 am

    It’s 11.24pm and I’m sitting in my living room with tears in my eyes. These are not sorrowful tears. These are tears of anger. It enrages me that women and children all over the world are subjected to this kind of atrocity. Why don’t governments do more?

    You can count on me Kathryn. I can – and will – do more. ~~Jacquie Yorke-Westcott

  3. looktoyourpath78 / Oct 26 2011 9:14 pm

    Kathryn. I am with you all the way. Not just in rhetoric, but in action. I’m a fighter too, and I’m sure we can galvanise the support we need from like minded people to fight this wrong. I cannot and will not agree to sit back and do nothing whilst this goes on.

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