“The strength of one rape victim willing to speak up may empower more women and girls to do the same” (One Girl’s Courage, Mr. Nicholas D. Kristof).
The commentary “One Girl’s Courage” (October 14, 2011) by Mr. Nicholas D. Kristof: the emotional exposition about a determined rape victim to seek justice – with the corresponding plethora of complex challenges – highlights a destructive culture of fear, lethargy and taboos in these communities. Ad-hoc undertakings by individuals, celebrities and non-government organisations provide much-needed assistance through the providence of manpower and resources; unfortunately, these efforts fail to keep pace with the disproportionate increase or spread in the number of sexual transgressions, and the status quo has proven to be woefully unsustainable.
Progressively, there needs to be the harmonisation of regional, national and global initiatives; though in the short-term, reinforcement of international treaties – such as the Convention On The Elimination Of All Forms Of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) – can strengthen the moral imperative for action to be taken. A strong mandate from the assemblies of the United Nations will not only validate the endeavours of on-the-ground workers, but also encourage respective administrations to put in place more stringent policies, or introduce further reforms and mechanisms.
Heightened legal intervention – including the handling and reporting of cases – can overcome the inherent challenges of social stigma in traditional societies. Mr. Kristof notes critically that a single victim’s determination may empower others to stand up for their rights; along the same tangent, this ripple effect would apply to the concept of deterrence if prosecution is taken more seriously. As potential perpetrators become more cognisant of the ramifications, it would ensure the maintenance of collective resolve that is imperative for the global eradication of unsanctioned sexual violence.