Photo credit: hebedesign
In the non-profit world we do a lot of raising awareness. In fact, when I began this blog, one of the primary purposes I outlined for this space was to reach a wider audience in order to raise awareness about sexual violence and the survivors of sexually violent crimes. When we raise awareness, we bring attention to injustices that are affecting our friends, family and neighbors so something will be done about it. It is talking – talking about the problem, so someone might find the courage to do something about the injustices that we see every single day. The truth is that there are just too many things to be angry about; unfortunately, there are just too many injustices to cure with one blog or one non-profit or one person. That is why raising awareness is so important. Here at RCASA we work daily to eradicate sexually violent crimes and to help heal the survivors who struggle with the aftermath of their attacks daily.
So in the end what do you focus on when you are trying to raise awareness? You focus on what is important to you or your organization. No injustice is less than another; no injustice is worth ignoring.
Two things have recently brought this concern to my attention, and that is all the press that Hilary Clinton’s requests to end the sexual violence associated with political and military conflicts in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and this article I came across entitled Undocumented immigrants: sexual victims or sexual predators.
Both topics are extremely important concerning sexually violent crimes, both those that occur on US soil and those that occur elsewhere. When there are victims that are suffering after being sexually assaulted, our prejudices should become irrelevant and our desire to help those who are in danger and in crisis should overcome any opinion we may have. This statement is prompted by comments and posts I have seen around the internet, which I will not link to here, that state we should focus only on the crimes that are happening close to home and only to those people who are US citizens. I’m afraid that this is a dangerous opinion to have. Here at RCASA, we devote our monetary and physical support to the survivors who are living in and around central Virginia, but that does not mean we will keep quiet about injustices against the victims of sexual violence, no matter what part of the world they are from or what their criminal background may be. Though our funds may not go immediately to protecting them, our words will, hopefully, carry further and arrive in the hands of those who can affect change in the lives of these victims.
So if you feel really strongly that one group is being ignored over the other, instead of belittling the efforts of someone who is only trying to address a specific injustice, raise awareness about your own cause. We are all trying to make a difference, around the world and for all people.