The responses that I’ve received from this project so far have been mostly positive and from women. The question I’ve been asked repeatedly is “why am I doing this?” The short answer is that I want a world where my daughters can go anywhere at anytime without fear.
When you look at the statistics on sexual assault they’re pretty staggering. In the U.S RAINN reports a sexual assault every 107 seconds with 293,000 per year. The U.N. estimates that one in three women will experience sexual or physical violence in their lifetime. Right now the population of the world is at 7.4 billion. That means that over 1.2 billion women will experience violence in their lifetime. One study puts violence against men at one in six. That means 616 million men will experience sexual violence in their lifetime. The CDC indicates that a pandemic is where a disease spreads across continents and kills more than 7.7% of the population, today that would be 569 million people. Sexual abuse doesn’t always kill but it affects 1.8 billion people. Shouldn’t it be considered a pandemic?
According to a 2011 article in Politifact Rhode Island there were 728,000 registered sex offenders in the U.S. By 2015 that number rose to 843,680. Of those 843,680, one in seven are missing. That’s 120,000 that are missing. In 2000 there were 500,000 sex offenders. That’s a 70% increase in sex offenders from 2000 to 2015. Something’s just not working. The question is what can we do about it?
One way is to teach kids K-12 and their parents how to recognize the signs of sexual abuse and report it. That’s being done via Erin’s law which has passed in 27 states. Another way is to intervene when we see someone being taken advantage of. To me that is healthy sexual modeling and something I suspect is not being done as widely as it could be. If we had more models of what good healthy relationships look like I have to believe we wouldn’t have all this violence. That’s why I chose a solo show, to bring more attention to the problem.