By: Luana Mattos, Guest Blogger
That's the question that won't go away. When I heard earlier this year that a 13-year-old girl was raped by 15 men in São Paulo, Brazil, I was shocked! Later, I learned that she was running away from home after arguing with her father when she was found by a group of men (ages between 18 and 22) who abducted her to a house and gave her drugs.
The original article posted on O Dia (Brazilian website), drew many comments coming from men saying that this was, for many reasons, the girl's fault. Okay, I agree that a 13-year-old girl shouldn't go out alone at night. I also agree that she is too young to go to night clubs, which according to the website was the reason why she ran away. The girl obviously made a mistake, something she will deeply regret, but that mistake was leaving her home at night without an adult, what followed next was, by no mean, her fault.
So, who's to blame?
Some would blame the parents, some would blame the community altogether. Some would even blame the President of Brazil, only a few seem to blame the assaulters. But for me, it goes even further: it's a cultural and a social issue.
So, who do I blame?
I blame the silence. I blame the fear. I blame every time sexual assault happens around us and we cross our arms saying,"it's none of our business." In other words, I blame me. Because, unless we start to take responsibility for what happens in our community we won’t fight for changes, which I did months ago when I signed the petition for the #LeidoFeminicídio: a new legislation that imposes harsher penalties for those who harm or kill women and girls.
And today I was glad to hear that this law was enacted, the news came from Sophia Bush’s tweet, by the way. And I couldn’t be happier to know that my country is taking serious measures on this subject. And all I did was sign a petition, maybe all you can do is to retweet in support of a campaign, it doesn't matter how small your action is as long as you do it. And when we act together we can make huge changes!
#TogetherWeCan! #NOMORE DV/SA!
Let's Chat! Want to know more about the NOMORE movement helping to raise awareness about and put an end to sexual and domestic violence? Head on over to nomore.org and learn how YOUR voice can make a difference!
Luana is Christian girl whose faith inspires her to be the best version of herself every day. Besides her work as an administrative supervisor, she is a freelance journalist and writes a column about real life experiences, focusing on topics relevant to social projects, volunteer work, and awareness campaigns for the Brazilian website www.hollywoodeaqui.com. She also had the opportunity to interview Nicholas Sparks, Wm. Paul Young and L. J. Smith.
image via nomore.org