Across the nation today many of us shared in the good news about Cleveland’s 3 missing teens who were found ALIVE and after being held captive for 10 years by a pedophile and rapist! We applaud Charles Ramsey the neighbor who rescued one of the girls from the house after hearing her screams for help.
This horrific incident sheds light on the serious problem of gender-based violence and sexual assault. National Organization of Women reports that women ages 24 and under suffer from the highest rates of rape. The Justice Department estimates that one in five women will experience rape or attempted rape during their college years and that less than five percent of these rapes will be reported. Moreover, women of color, especially African-American women are disproportionately victims of sexual assault that go underreported and receive limited media attention. Now add the growing human trafficking crisis, targeting young girls.
In my recently released “Diary of Tippy Ellis,” this crisis plagues many of the novel’s female characters. There are at least five different cases: a date rape, a human trafficking/kidnapping, gang rape, sexual assault of two underage victims by known adult assailants. If you haven’t read my novel you may be wondering why I chose to include so many events, depicting violence against women.
In my biography, I mention that my personal life inspired me to write this story although fictional. And writing it was healing in many ways. Mostly, my hope is to keep the light on this epidemic through continued awareness, giving our girls and women the tools to protect themselves and for everyone to have the courage – like Charles Ramsey and countless others – to act. Stomp out violence against our girls and women now!