On Valentine’s Day, women and men celebrated “One Billion Rising”. This was done in 205 countries around the world. The day is celebrated with dancing, personal testimonies and public awareness about violence against women.
With statistics like the one the UN released – 1 in 3 women will either be raped or violently attacked – this is not an issue to be swept under the rug. The issue of how some people are viewed has been brought up in the media, with reports of abuse of women (female police officers and civilians) by certain individuals in law enforcement. The code of silence/the blue shield were strong. I had always thought that the police were there to serve and protect, NOT to refuse to serve or protect people they saw as undesirable.
Then if you look at how certain segments of society are treated, crimes against them are sometimes not taken very seriously. It is events like One Billion Rising that people need to have, to remind society that this issue has not gone away. In British Columbia, there were two serial killers whose crimes have brought this to the forefront, illustrating how law enforcement has let this community down. Even with investigations being conducted on how the killings were done, the progress of the case has shown that some did not really take it seriously, and excuses were given. Prostitutes and native women were left vulnerable, and events not treated as seriously as they should have been because the women were looked down upon.
When you look around the world, it is even worse. In certain countries, rape victims can be forced to marry their perpetrators or are stoned for adultery. Until society is ready to treat everyone equally, we have lost. When the vulnerable in society are not protected, we lessen ourselves. Just remember, when we don’t protect those who need it the most, we give those who would engage in these behaviors permission to go after those who society does cares about. That’s true even if society doesn’t realize that it is doing that.