I can answer all three of those in a simple way:
- I want to raise awareness and support on this issue
- It's a bold statement (excuse the unintentional pun)
- This is something I'm passionate about.
...but I don't think this really covers the proper, full reasons. So here we go:
It's true I want to raise awareness about this ongoing issue and give support to a great organisation that help women through the process and help them recover and grow. We have a huge problem when it comes to rape and the rape culture in our society. Don't believe me? How about the Steubenville High School rape case when administrators and authorities tried to protect the people who raped the teenage girl and the flurry of social media posts suggesting she deserved it. How about all of the rape jokes you hear on a regular basis demeaning the entire thing? As if the threat of rape is something to enjoy! If that doesn't sway you maybe the statistics will: *every year in England and Wales almost 85,000 women are raped, *over 400,000 women are sexually assaulted. *1 in 5 women in England & Wales have experienced some form of sexual violence since turning 16. According to a BBC News report on 12th November 2007, there were 85,000 women who were raped in the UK (230 a day). That same year, the British Crime Survey reported that only 800 people were convicted of rape in that same year. That means less than 1% of reports of rape lead to a conviction.
Some cynical people might remark on the fact I'm just one person doing this. If it's such a problem, why aren't the government doing more? Well that's a good question to ask. I really don't know especially when the government's own research in 2007 suggested that as many as 75 - 95% of rape cases go unreported and you take into account all the statistics I've already discussed. Why aren't the government doing anything about this issue? Why are they cutting funds to womens services and instead inflating themselves with a £10,000 a year pay rise? I don't know - that's a question that should be asked of our current government leader, Prime Minister David Cameron and Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg. Whilst they're sitting on their hands on this issue, someone's got to make a noise. Someone has to raise the awareness and support the people who help those in need. Maybe that person is going to be me on this occasion.
Most importantly to me personally, I'm a survivor of rape and sexual assault. The road to healing is a long journey that I'm nowhere near finishing but that isn't going to stop me. What I have been through is not going to stop me from pursuing what I want to pursue. I want to stand in defiance and make my stand against those who enable rape culture, those who rape and those who think that it's ever justified to rape. They are wrong and will always be on the wrong side of history.
I'm glad to have support. Keep supporting by following this blog and donating to my JustGiving page in the run up to my almight Hair Cut.
Lots of love and solidarity <3
*Source: Ministry of Justice, Office for National Statistics and Home Office joint report "An Overview of Sexual Offending in England and Wales", January 2013