I'm better with words than I am with numbers, so when I see statistics they don't really mean much to me. I've also worked in market research, and I know how questions, the answers gathered, and the resulting numbers can be skewed to support whichever point one is trying to make.
Many of us have heard the "1 in 4 American women will be sexually assaulted in her lifetime" statistic. The Bureau of Justice Statistics claims .8 of every 1000 females over the age of 12. Another site (I can't even remember which one, I looked through so many) claims that every minute, 2 women are sexually assaulted in the U.S.
(Incidentally, I was unable to find any current information--- the most recent statistics I was able to find for the U.S. are from 2009.)
What we have to remember about these statistics is that they only represent women over the age of 12 who reported one incident of sexual assault.
In the few days since my last post, I have received private messages from people telling me their own stories. Over half of the women (and a couple of men) with whom I've had any significant interaction over the last 2 months are survivors of sexual assault. Most of those went unreported.
Besides being heart-wrenching, it also tells me that the aforementioned statistics don't even begin to reflect the real numbers.
So, when my friend, local film director Andrew Warnecke approached me for help in spreading the word about his latest project, I had to help. I know that the new statistics coming out of the Congo, alarming though they are, probably only hint at what's really happening there.
Please check out this campaign, spread the word, and donate to the project if you can!
From the producers of the F*ck Apathy PSA and campaign:
New statistics show that over 400,000 women per year are raped in the Democratic Republic of Congo, where armed militias are using rape as a weapon of war to terrorize communities.
Since this statistic does not include men and children, the actual number is much higher.
By comparison, as of the last census, the population of Portland, Oregon was about 584,000.
Think about that: Almost the equivalent of the entire population of Portland, violently raped. Per year.
Seventy-seven aid organizations agree that the number one thing we can do to help stop this violence and put an end to the use of rape as a weapon of war is to convince President Obama to send a special envoy to the Democratic Republic of Congo, often referred to as "the worst place on Earth to be a woman."