In Their Own Words

Dec 21, 2010

“Child marriage is just one factor in the lives of many girls and women, but it affects not just their health, education and employment options but also the welfare of their communities.  We know that empowering girls is one of the most effective ways to improve the health and prosperity of societies.  Child marriage perpetuates poverty by keeping girls, their children and their communities poor. To realize change, we first need to provide greater options for girls by investing in them and supporting their families… We can all play our part in encouraging change on a larger scale.”

--Mary Robinson and Desmond Tutu, “Ending Child Marriage Helps Communities Across the Developing World,” Washington Post, December 5, 2010


“In October, President Obama and Vice President Biden announced unprecedented coordination across the federal government to protect victims of domestic violence and help break the cycle of abuse. Last week, the U.S. Senate took an important step towards the same goal by reauthorizing the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA) which also included the Family Violence Prevention and Services Act (FVPSA)… Taken together, CAPTA and FVPSA will help end abuse, give hope to victims, and build strong families.”

--White House Advisor on Violence Against Women Lynn Rosenthal, “Helping Children and Victims of Domestic Violence,” White House Council on Women and Girls Blog, December 6, 2010


“As WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange was taken into custody by Interpol on charges of sexual assault, and pundits right, left, and center got busy painting the accusations as frivolous and the accusers as lying, scheming sluts, I joined a small but dedicated chorus of feminist voices calling for a serious inquiry into the charges… As soon as a rape accusation makes it into the news cycle, it’s instantly held up against our collective subconscious idea about what Real Rape… looks like… But let’s face it, actual rapes almost never match up to this ideal… Piling on the accuser with victim-blaming language, or questioning why this account doesn’t match what we think sexual assault should look like, doesn’t happen in a vacuum. Millions of people are watching and listening as these rape myths are repeated ad nauseam… So the next time you hear me or one of my colleagues patiently (or impatiently) explaining the realities of consent, or why rape allegations aren’t the same thing as a sex scandal, or whatever incredibly basic thing needs saying over and over again that day, you'll know why.”

--Jaclyn Friedman, “What We Talk About When We Talk About Rape,” The American Prospect, December 10, 2010