Systematic rape in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), hideous sexual assaults in India, vicious attacks in small-town America and thousands of other daily acts of violence against women around the world have prompted protests, launched high-profile court cases and started debates everywhere from the pages of the press to the most basic village huts.
Never before has the global community been so united in its force and urgency. And never before have we had an opportunity like this one to empower women all around the world.
Here are two things you can do right now to be part of it:
- Donate. We need your financial help to continue our critically important work on gender violence.
As an ActionAid supporter, you’ll know we understand helping women claim their rights is the path to ending poverty. But no daughter, mother, grandmother or sister can claim her rights when she isn’t safe; isn’t able to find justice, or isn’t helped to heal.
Solange Ngobobo is a mother of seven who started her own organisation to help local women. She lives in Kivu province, Democratic Republic of Congo, where 12,500 cases of rape were reported in one year alone.
Solange was teaching sewing skills to a group of women one day, she told me, when the reality of sexual violence really came home to her:
“When coming home from my classes one night I met a girl who had been raped and left semi-conscious and bleeding by the side of the road. I was really shocked.”
Solange was given training by ActionAid in how to help rape survivorsstand up and demand justice, both in their own communities and on the international stage. She told us:
“One woman I worked with was able to give testimony about what happened to her in front of the US Senate. It was one of my proudest moments. Thanks to this woman, the whole world is aware of the atrocities committed on women in the DRC.”
“For 14 years I lived a life of violence" says Etelvia Calix, a 50-year-old mother from Honduras."I was locked up indoors. My husband used to beat me, I was subject to physical abuse, and he didn’t feed our children."
But Etelvia fought back with ActionAid's help, teaching herself to read in order to get justice:
My husband was angry at me because my family couldn't provide a dowry. He wanted to sell me to someone in Saudi Arabia. I didn't want to go, so he threw acid in my face and ran away. I was 14 years old."
Today, with the support of a survivors’ network set up by ActionAid, Neela is rebuilding her life:
Courage around the world
It's easy to feel shocked and helpless in the face of such awful stories, but there IS something you can do about it. And the time to act is now.
Our teams work day in day out, all around the world to support women determined to free their own lives and that of their communities from the taint of violence.
We need your financial help to continue this critically important work. Please donate to our work on stopping violence against women today.