12th January day of the Haiti earthquake, 2 years on. Last month, I hosted and performed for two charity events, One By One For Haiti and Haiti: Year Zero +2. Both events aim to remind us that the after affects of the disaster are still deeply resonating amongst the din of so many other news reports.
I found my attention turned to the women and the young girls who are living at high risk in the 'makeshift' camps, which should be places where all survivors can come together in mutual support of each other after a catastrophic event. In contrast, there has been an increase in their vulnerability. There have been reports of up to "250 rapes in the first 150 days". Source: Women for Peace - Rape Crisis for Haiti: report.
It is never easy to talk about rape. Just the sound of the word alone is hard-hitting, chilling, anger-making. No one talks about it lightly. Though I've heard a few jokes round it that have made me guffaw purely because of the sheer brazen-ness of them. But in reality we've seen an increase globally in reported rape of both women AND men, an occurance so rarely talked about because of the shame. But the true shame is in the value judgment placed of one over the other when the act itself is as dehumanising for humanity all round. For whatever reason, attitudes toward sexual aggression is even more disturbing in its normalization towards women in the light of it being shocking and taboo for men.
Also, it is under circumstances of crisis when the abhorrence of a crime against another human being such as rape becomes magnified, because we must consider how rigid attitudes