On Valentine’s Day we danced in Market Square. We danced with our mama, with our friends, and we danced with men, women, and children we don’t know. We were participating in a rally to stop violence toward women and girls. One Billion Rising and New Voices Pittsburgh organized the rally here in memory of Ka’Sandra Wade, who was murdered by her boyfriend on New Year’s Day.
One question we were asked to think about is, “Why are you rising?” We rise because in the US every 2 minutes someone is sexually abused! Because every 3 hours rape is reported in Pennsylvania! Because 44% of victims are under the age of 18 and 80% are under age 30.
When we opened the paper this morning we were disappointed to see that sale of Heinz was on the front page. The only thing we found about the rally in the entire paper is a small picture and a caption of 6 and a half lines! Several hundred people gathered to stop rape and domestic violence are more important than the sale of Heinz, right? You could have done a better job reporting it.
In the paper, we discovered that Olympic runner Oscar Pistorius murdered his model girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp. It’s proven that 2/3 of assaults are committed by someone the victim knows. We walk the road to an anti-abusive community one step at a time. We need recognition for this work.
Maighread (11) and Maeve (9) Southard-Wray