Rage Against The Silence

By Sheril Kirshenbaum | June 2, 2009 8:54 am

I’m encouraged and grateful that so many of you have taken up the call Silence Is The Enemy.

Since launch yesterday, Arikia Millikan has volunteered to create a central website (I’ll share the url when it’s live) and reader Christine set up a facebook group, which already swells with over 1,100 members. There have been a deluge of excellent blog posts, including one by Nicholas Kristof–author of the NYTimes piece that inspired me to act. I’ve been most touched by your emails of personal stories, making it clearer than ever that sexual abuse continues to be dramatically under reported here in the United States as well.

rape_by_slytherin_prince.pngOur blogger coalition grows every hour and more bloggers have joined us in donating all June revenue to Doctors Without Borders. Since income is determined by traffic, readers can contribute with each click to:

The Intersection
On Becoming A Domestic And Laboratory Goddess
The Questionable Authority
Adventures in Ethics and Science
Blog Of The Moderate Left
Seattle Grassroots Examiner

We’ll continue posting stories, updates, and progress (as well as regular Intersection topics) throughout the month. Tremendous thanks to all who have joined the initiative so far.¬† In less than 24 hours, we’ve started to create momentum.

..and this is only the beginning.

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Announcements, Culture, Education

Comments (9)

  1. please add me to the blogger coalition. I applaud you for your bravery in telling your story.

  2. My blog doesn’t generate any revenue, but I’m with you in this cause and will personally donate to Doctors Without Boarders. Sexual abuse is a global problem. It is the silent violence, sometimes explicitly sanctioned (in Berlin post wwii, now in Liberia), sometimes legally sanctioned (nearly so recently by Afghanistan). I am glad and grateful that in the west it is at least illegal and at least overtly condemned, but it is still rampant.

    Some stats:
    from University of Victoria’s Sexual Assault Centre:

    ” * 1 in 3 females and 1 in 6 males in Canada experience some form of sexual abuse before the age of 18.
    * 80% of all child abusers are the father, foster father, stepfather or another relative or close family friend of the victim.
    * Incestuous relationships last 7 years on average”

    We educate our children about stranger danger; there are street proofing programs in the school, but 80% of abusers are relatives, female relatives as well (not mentioned in the quote above). I’ve only heard this talked about in undertones among the moms in the park; the majority of the conversation is about strangers.

    Child abuse is the subject that common wisdom among publishers says doesn’t sell. Let’s change that. Let’s make it the topic of conversation, the thing we will not abide, and throw the shame where it belongs, to those who perpetrate this most intimate of violent criminal acts.

  3. Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU for taking action, raising awareness, and organizing a movement about this topic.

    I am proud to add my blog to the list.

  4. Sheril, you have been awesome pulling all of this together. Thanks so much – I’m proud to be a part of it!


    Mass rapings of girls across the globe?


    1. mass genital mutilations of young MALES

    2. mass conscription of MEN

    3. corporal punishment only for MEN

    4. no child custody after a divorce for MEN

    5. MALE homosexuality illegality


  6. Thank you Sheril, for your courage in speaking about your own experiences as well as the worldwide problem of sexual abuse. The effects are devastating to survivors, friends, and relatives.

    My blog now links here. It doesn’t generate much money, or much traffic for that matter, but every link helps.

    Thanks also to Doctors Without Borders. They’re getting my support too.


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About Sheril Kirshenbaum

Sheril Kirshenbaum is a research scientist with the Webber Energy Group at the University of Texas at Austin's Center for International Energy and Environmental Policy where she works on projects to enhance public understanding of energy issues as they relate to food, oceans, and culture. She is involved in conservation initiatives across levels of government, working to improve communication between scientists, policymakers, and the public. Sheril is the author of The Science of Kissing, which explores one of humanity's fondest pastimes. She also co-authored Unscientific America: How Scientific Illiteracy Threatens Our Future with Chris Mooney, chosen by Library Journal as one of the Best Sci-Tech Books of 2009 and named by President Obama's science advisor John Holdren as his top recommended read. Sheril contributes to popular publications including Newsweek, The Washington Post, Discover Magazine, and The Nation, frequently covering topics that bridge science and society from climate change to genetically modified foods. Her writing is featured in the anthology The Best American Science Writing 2010. In 2006 Sheril served as a legislative Knauss science fellow on Capitol Hill with Senator Bill Nelson (D-FL) where she was involved in energy, climate, and ocean policy. She also has experience working on pop radio and her work has been published in Science, Fisheries Bulletin, Oecologia, and Issues in Science and Technology. In 2007, she helped to found Science Debate; an initiative encouraging candidates to debate science research and innovation issues on the campaign trail. Previously, Sheril was a research associate at Duke University's Nicholas School of the Environment and has served as a Fellow with the Center for Biodiversity and Conservation at the American Museum of Natural History and as a Howard Hughes Research Fellow. She has contributed reports to The Nature Conservancy and provided assistance on international protected area projects. Sheril serves as a science advisor to NPR's Science Friday and its nonprofit partner, Science Friday Initiative. She also serves on the program committee for the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). She speaks regularly around the country to audiences at universities, federal agencies, and museums and has been a guest on such programs as The Today Show and The Daily Rundown on MSNBC. Sheril is a graduate of Tufts University and holds two masters of science degrees in marine biology and marine policy from the University of Maine. She co-hosts The Intersection on Discover blogs with Chris Mooney and has contributed to DeSmogBlog, Talking Science, Wired Science and Seed. She was born in Suffern, New York and is also a musician. Sheril lives in Austin, Texas with her husband David Lowry. Interested in booking Sheril Kirshenbaum to speak at your next event? Contact Hachette Speakers Bureau 866.376.6591 info@hachettespeakersbureau.com For more information, visit her website or email Sheril at srkirshenbaum@yahoo.com.


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