When I wrote about rape a few months ago, a myriad of mixed reactions and even all sorts of threats fell upon me.
Some guys accused me of lies and “black marketing”; saying that I was scaring tourists off Lebanon (R.I.P. freedom of speech) and that people who wrote like this deserved raping.
They showed exactly what I was talking about. These guys are the same one who embrace violence and pretend they care… schizophrenia at its best! This is a personal non-political blog. Thank you.
Rape, domestic violence, verbal and sexual harassment are still considered as “sensitive” subjects. Parents throw the responsibility for sexual education on schools…some schools either don’t have enough budget or the right personnel to do something about it. So what happens is that students only get 2-3 hours of sexual education during 12-15 years of schooling. Some parents even raise their girls in the “Whatever happens to you is your mistake.”, “If you get raped, I will kill you.” and “It’s your husband; deal with it.”
When a rape happens, a heavy weighted silence is imposed on the girl because the family has a reputation to maintain and can’t “deal with the shame”. The girl is either given away for a quick marriage or taken to “reconstructive surgery”. In the event where a girl does report the rape to the police it is treated in an ill manner: They make her repeat the story a million times, tell her things like “you must have wanted/looked for this to happen”, give her personal contact to the family’s rapist, attempt to make her give up the case in exchange of money, leave her with no assistance nor protection etc..
In the workplace, it is sometimes worse: Some managers in some companies should be placed in mental institutions. Their criteria for hiring women are questionable, they give less to a woman than a man doing the same job, verbally and sexually harass women employees who have no one to turn to and family to support… Some sick managers even base their promotions on sexual favors.
We consider ourselves a “modern” society? Reminder: Women are HUMAN BEINGS and an INTEGRAL part of the Lebanese society. It took a man AND a WOMAN to make you.
Abuse happens when there are no CLEAR laws and penalties that are written to protect citizens. This has to STOP!
Everyone needs to be aware and trained on how to tackle these issues including company staff, police etc…
On Saturday, 14 January 2012, at 12 pm, Nasawiya is calling for a march from the Ministry of Interior in Sanayeh to the Parliament in Downtown Beirut.
“We, the women who reside in Lebanon, excuse ourselves from playing the decorative role that has been imposed on us.
We take to the streets today to say that we are aware and knowledgeable about the methodical war that state and society have waged on our bodies and our safety through their political parties and leaders.
From now on, we will not accept empty promises that are heaped upon us every time we call for our rights.
We will not give in to patience. We will not bite our wounds and postpone the battles of today to tomorrow.
Our voices will be louder than the bickering between your parties and your sporadic yet connected wars.
We call on Parliament to:
- Pass the draft law for Protection from Domestic Violence as it has been written and with no delay.
- Intensify punitive measures against rapists and those who attempt rape, amending the respective law.
- Treat verbal harassment as physical harassment, especially in the work place, making it a crime subject to judicial penalties.
- Deal with complaints related to sexual violence with rigor and consistency. We call on the Interior Ministry and the Municipalities to also apply those measures. The three bodies should work to make our streets and neighborhoods safe, especially during the night-time, by ensuring proper street-lighting, and permitting us to carry tools of self-defense, like taser guns and pepper spray.
We extend this invitation to all women and girls who have been exposed to rape or attempted rape or harassment in all its forms, to all so-called “housewives” that have been subjected to beating and verbal abuse, to all those employees, teachers, activists, workers and union leaders who experience sexual abuse time and time again, and to all those who feel the injustice and lack of equality. […]
We women no longer possess anything but solidarity with one another. We must stand shoulder to shoulder and unite. What lies before us is the last of our battles: the defense of our rights, bodies and security.
We have nothing to lose but our chains. The time is now.”
More about this event on Facebook.