It’s simple, but not easy. A complacent society that maintains its sense of rightness for some by abandoning the defense of others works until some tipping point is reached– and rage spills over.
Rhode Island in the 1970’s was violent, and crimes against women were not prosecuted. The brutal attack on a nurse working at Rhode Island Hospital was the tipping point that led to the founding of the Rhode Island Rape Crisis Center, now known as Day One. Day One coordinates with the Victims of Crime Helpline to offer comprehensive services to all who need advocacy in recovery and obtaining justice in the legal system.
The fine building on Medway Street, and the large organization did not happen without fierce dedication and willingness to risk. At one point, the director, Peg Langhammer went to jail. She refused to break her promise to her clients that she would keep their records confidential. Rather than turn them over to a defense subpoena, she made a bonfire of the files.
In India, women and men are braving police violence to make their voices heard, to say, No More. When the flames of rage have died down the long, hard work begins. Dismantling rape culture, and the privilege and compromises men and women make will be the work of decades.
Here in the US it’s discouraging to have politicians attempting to reverse the legal protection women have worked so hard to build. But in this new century we see our commonality. India’s struggle is the struggle of women all over the world. Justice cannot be denied forever.
(Creds to Hindu Devotional Blog for the image of Blue Kali)