domestic violence

Rape is Rape: Lebanon Edition

Sexuality in ColorIn Lebanon (or at least, in Beirut) the joke is that it is equally likely to see a woman in a mini skirt as it is to see a woman in a hijab.

In Lebanon (or at least, in Beirut), European tourists feel at ease that the Lebanese still speak a post-colonial French, and let Beirut be called the Paris of the Middle East.

In Lebanon (or at least, in Beirut), tourists and Lebanese alike flock to the beaches and the nightclubs, openly drinking alcohol, smoking hookahs, and belly dancing to both popular western and Arabic music, creating a strange moment that many see as cultural influence, and many others see as cultural infiltration.

Still—despite the post-colonial familiarity and acceptability of Lebanese culture—Lebanese women remain in many ways decorative objects, openly ignored, slighted or discriminated against in legislation.

kNOw more: Nearly One in Five Young Women Have Experienced Forced Intercourse

kNOw moreOne of the nation’s top violence prevention organizations today launched an unprecedented new initiative to raise awareness about a kind of abuse that is rarely discussed, but has severe consequences. The Family Violence Prevention Fund’s (FVPF’s) kNOw More initiative examines the reproductive health consequences of sexual coercion and violence, which include unintended pregnancy, HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted infections, miscarriage, infertility, coerced abortion, and a range of other serious health issues. kNOw More is designed to start a dialogue about the birth control sabotage and reproductive coercion that many teens and young women face, and help draw the link to the reproductive health problems it causes.

Advice from an Abuse Survivor

Never believe: "I love you, it will never happen again." It will happen again. The tears don't matter, the bruises don't matter, the broken bones and ER visits and warnings from friends and relatives don't matter. Those scars that we bury deep inside us, the mental and emotional scars that we try to pretend don't exist -- they don't matter. It will happen, again and again and again, unless someone puts a stop to it.