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Friday, April 23, 2010

After the Earthquake in Haiti: Rampant Rape

In the aftermath of the earthquake in Haiti on Jan. 12, 2010, there was a groundswell of support across the United States to provide aid to the Caribbean country, founded in 1804 by enslaved people who broke free from the French colonialists. It is the only successful slave revolt in history, where the enslaved pushed out their oppressors.

But all these years after hundreds of thousands of courageous Haitian survived that brutal 12-year battle against the colonialists, brutality remains a palpable part of everyday life, especially for Haitian girls and women.

It wasn’t even until 2005 that rape was considered a crime in Haiti. The aftershocks of the earthquake that tumbled Port au Prince into a large pile of rubble and death continue in the form of mass rapes of girls and women.

So it is not enough to rebuild the country, to send money to reputable organizations, to send clothes, food and medicine. Those of us outside Haiti must also send a message that the only true way to help rebuild a country founded on freedom by its own liberators, is to insist that its girls and women be safe from predators.

That’s why I signed the petition to help make Haiti safer. Send money, send hope, send prayers, send the petition.

Click here to sign the petition.