Thursday, April 15, 2010

Translation of the text: Every day, thousands of women are victims of violence...and every year, some women die from it.

Domestic violence, sexual harassment, forced marriage, prostitution, rape...

Let's react. Call 3919

I thought that this was an excellent PSA because it highlights how scary the sound of silence can become when one is immune to the constant sounds of violence which this neighbor experiences. Of course, the French social services wants the neighbor to call their hotline prior to that silence--they want him to react!

Now, this is a complex issue and for many reasons I do understand why neighbors do not call the police or social services when they witness or infer violence. The possibility that you might become a victim of retaliation is both scary and real. For someone like me, it is a professional obligation to report any possible instances of abuse I witness, whether at home or out and about professionally.

In terms of contacting authorities in general, I know that many people shy away from doing so for very mundane things. For example, once my neighborhood's power went out and I thought "surely someone has called" but after about 15 minutes, I called just to make sure that I was an additional "voice in the crowd" of complaint and guess what? I WAS THE FIRST PERSON TO REPORT THE BLACKOUT! Some many people are sheep and its important to remember that when you witness a car accident or their's a power-outage or similar, YOU MIGHT BE THE ONLY ONE WITH THE WHEREWITHAL TO CALL!!! So, call folks, call.

You don't have to give your name if you are witnessing abuse, everything can be confidential.

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