I believe for all of us reaching out, it is important to understand where people are coming from. Some of that will make us uncomfortable, we will not agree with some of it and some of it will make us thankful for the lives we have.
A special thanks to Vancouver Public Schools Case Manager Coordinator, Christie Chapin, who shared with us the following heart-shattering stories from students, and her experience dealing with teen rape, incest and abuse among our youth.
“Every day I sit in my office and listen to girls talk…
…About how their boyfriend choked them to passing out during sex and thinking it was normal due to porn culture,
about being sex trafficked,
about their boyfriends beating them up,
about their child being a product of incest and how generation after generation of women in their families experience violence.
I don’t know a SINGLE woman in my life not affected by violence.
When I look at my nine-year-old daughter and see her innocence, I see me. I was nine when my innocence was stolen from me and over 20 years later I’ve only ever told a few select people.
It doesn’t matter if I teach her by asking for a kiss instead of insisting, or teaching her that it’s okay say no, I can’t protect her.
Her chances of sexual violence are more likely than not, and I sit in my office weeping and realize the problem is that we as a collective have ignored the painful truth that women are no better off today than a 1000 years ago.
There are more women in slavery today than all the slaves brought to the Americas.**
Little girls are killed or dropped off at orphanages all over the world for just being a girl*, and that even in America women are regularly taught how to protect against rape rather than teaching boys not to rape.
How can we expect girls to talk to anyone about these subjects when people don’t believe what they are reporting?
There are plenty of men in the world who haven’t raped or assaulted women, and plenty of men for our little girls to look up to. But men need to step up and use their voice to finally say enough is enough. It’s time to acknowledge the violence towards women that continues to perpetuate in silence. It’s time to teach all genders and ages that violence is not ok. There is help for both the offender and the abused.
I can only pray and weep for a future where my daughter isn’t afraid, is believed and held in a way that recognizes her beauty, strength, courage, and contribution to this world. How can you help change this?”
Have questions or need support? Birthright and our extensive network of caring individuals are here to listen. If you are a student or woman who may be suffering from abuse and need professional support, Christie will help you find the right resources. (360) 313-4436.
**1 Out of the 10.7 million slaves trafficked between 1525 and 1866, in the entire history of the slave trade to the New World, only 388,000 were shipped directly to North America. (www.pbs.org)
**2 40 million people are enslaved right now and women and girls account for 71 percent of the total making the women in slavery to date are approximately 28,400,000. (www.freetheslaves.net)
*3 At least 117 million girls around the world go missing or become neglected and abandoned following sex-selective abortions (pregnant with a girl.)