According to the United Nations, sexual violence is rampant in developing and emerging countries where poverty levels are at an all-time high and where social and economic inequity and inequality are widespread. In fact, in a World Health Organization report, 2002 alone saw nearly 150 million girls suffer the nightmare of sexual violence.
The way I see it, sexual violence is partly a product of a culture that sees women as the weaker sex. This kind of mentality is lethal considering that it legitimizes the act in the minds of some people—both men and women—and it perpetrates this kind of monstrosity.
There is a great reason for governments and not just NGOs to act swiftly in trying to mitigate sexual violence especially in developing and emerging countries: Sexual violence, specifically forced sex among girls has also been found to be one of the primary causes of the spread of HIV, which can be considered a slow and tormenting death among people who still have a potential to live and give life.
This ought to be reason enough for treatments and prevention programs on HIV to cross over to promoting a greater understanding in gender equality and peace among developing nations, considering that this greatly involves a change in attitudes and mindsets.
More than that, sexual violence, according to the UN, often results in lost childhoods, abandoned education, and emotional instability among girls and women. Roughly this would translate into the victims losing their will and their motivation to live or even to strive hard for a better life.
For women in developing countries to experience this kind of plight is alarming, because in order for developing countries to finally develop and grow out of their emerging state, they need to harness the full potentials and capacities of their citizens—men and women alike.
Sexual violence does not only destroy a woman’s future. It destroys her country’s future.