Letters to the Editor

BY DI READERS | APRIL 15, 2014 5:00 AM

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Girl Up for education

An education is one of the most important things that any child can receive, but in developing countries, it is often an unattainable luxury. Of the children in these countries, it is often young girls who are denied an education, which can have detrimental effects on the community. Girl Up is trying to change that.

In association with the Iowa United Nations Association, Girl Up advocates equal opportunities for marginalized young girls. Members of Girl Up travel worldwide to provide educational opportunities to these girls, a crucial aspect of leading a healthy, safe, and leader-oriented life.

Traveling across the globe is not always necessary to support this cause; there are always opportunities to help in your own community. Girl Up is hosting an open mike at the Iowa City Public Library on Thursday. This will give youths an opportunity to showcase talents and have their voice be heard. Through raising awareness, we hope that one day each child has access to an education and that girls are better prepared to be leaders and help change the world.

Kristen Baron

Bystander intervention

Recently, the issue of sexual assault has been getting much more attention. The community has recognized the importance of being involved to change our rape culture. This is called bystander intervention. Although bystander intervention does not only apply to sexual assault, its importance in this area is greatly recognized. In general terms, we can say that bystander intervention is accepting responsibility for taking action by not letting the victim be the only one accountable for her or his protection. It means speaking up for the injustices that we see and becoming allies.
Fortunately, this April, many organizations have worked on planning events that both raise awareness about sexual assault and educate on how to spot a perpetrator or be supportive to the victims.

Community involvement is the first step to change our rape culture. We know recognize that this is not an issue that only affects a group or many, it affects us all. We all have met someone who has been sexually assaulted. This makes us witnesses of their struggle. However, if we commit ourselves to do something, we can achieve wonderful results.

Bystander intervention not only means directly intervening to prevent or stop a sexual assault, it includes sharing your knowledge about this issue, believing the survivors’ stories, using situations where rape jokes have been used to explain why those are not appropriate, etc. These are a few examples but we all have different approaches, so use yours. Think about what you feel comfortable with doing to attack this issue. Plan your own strategy to change your future, your children’s, and your grandchildren’s because they will be raised in the culture that, today, you promote, build, and perpetuate.

Mariaisabel Perdomo

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