Saturday, December 5, 2009

Letters of support for a young rape survivor in Italy

Greetings friends,
In 2007, a 15-year old girl from the small town of Montalto, Italy, was raped by 8 teenagers at a party. They have been released and the entire county is now publicly blaming the girl, including the police and town authorities.
Here are some of the hateful words that were said against her:
A local man: "These are good boys, they have no need to rape girls, it's more her fault, she hooked up with someone else earlier that same day."
A 70-year-old man: "If I were 13 I would have gotten in line."
A policeman: "Why wait a month to report it?"
The Montalto rape case, on TV against the girl: "She had fun too."
Brawl during interviews with the town's inhabitants: “The girl? She should be hanged!”
The mother: “My daughter is severely depressed; she's not doing well…”
Today, she is going through a horrendous court experience. November 25th through December 10th mark the global 16 Days of Activism against Gender Violence. On this occasion, let’s show her that she is not alone, that she has international support, and that people care about her, even if they don't know her.
Please send your messages of support and encouragement to Cynthia Martens at, who will forward them to the young survivor.
For more on this case, see the two articles below (in Italian):

In solidarity,

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Violence against women is a worldwide yet still hidden problem. Freedom from the threat of harassment, battering, and sexual assault is a concept that most of us have a hard time imagining because violence is such a deep part of our cultures and lives.