I wore orange yesterday to raise awareness about violence against women. The UN’s idea was that we would go out in force and people would ask why everyone wore orange.
One problem: in my Oklahoma city, nobody else knew about the campaign. Yet violence against women around the world is pandemic. It’s something I address in my books and I want to share a few facts you probably didn’t know:
1 in 3
Worldwide, 1 in 3 women have experienced physical or sexual violence — mostly by an intimate partner. When accounting for sexual harassment, this figure is even higher.
It’s something I dealt with in both Distortion and my Veils, Halos and Shackles poem. The Distortion scenes brought a lot of mail about them being (as one reviewer put it) “hard to read.” (I took that as a compliment from her 5-star review on Goodreads.) Fact is, anything about domestic violence should be hard to read. We have to address reality.
1 in 2
Worldwide, 1 in 2 women killed were killed by their partners or family in 2012. In contrast, 1 out of 20 of all men killed were killed in such circumstances.
This statistic broke my heart. No words. We have to stop normalizing domestic violence. We have to stop looking the other way. Period.
of all trafficking victims worldwide are women and girls.
3 out of 4
of trafficked women and girls are trafficked for sexual exploitation.
The UN site didn’t mention it (that I could find), but the average age is 13. I learned that while researching the next book. It disgusts me.
Ironically, Oklahoma City is a major crossroads and thus major stopping point for traffickers in the US–trafficking drugs, people, etc.
What can you do? Go to www.UNWomen.org and learn more. If you have a personal experience, share it in an 8-word story. Raise awareness by liking or reblogging this post or one of the UN’s–or write your own . . . Because we HAVE to talk about this.
And if you see or hear something, treat it as real. As the VIOLENT ACT it is. Never assume anything. You might save a life.
Together, can we change this.
Global and regional estimates of violence against women, WHO, 2013; Global Report on Trafficking in Persons, UNODC, 2016