So, Nicaragua is considered, by Amnesty International, to have a violence against women issue, and gives statistics that are interesting.
The total ban on all forms of abortion remained in force. Two thirds of rape victims whose cases were recorded between January and August 2009 were under 18. – Amnesty International Source
So at that point, I thought that the number of 1259 was rather low for a whole country, so I looked up their population. 6 million, give or take. So in order for that number to make sense for me, I tried to find an area that was comparable in number, if not in all statistical areas – in other words, it isn’t a perfect 1:1 ratio, but it gave me an idea of people. And the place I found? My home state. The state of Missouri has about the same number of people. Last census in Missouri was in 2010 and there were just under 6 million people, with an estimated just over 6 million for 2016. Nicaragua’s last census shows just over 6 million. So we are talking about the same size population. And so I looked up the rape statistics in our state. And I was floored.
The State Highway Patrol has released the crime statistics in the state. The 2016 rape statistics are 2,543 reported and a clear rate of 1,029. 16.42% of these reported crimes were committed by juveniles only. And the last three years have seen nothing but an increase in reported rapes. According to RAIIN, only 344 out of every 1,000 sexual assaults are reported to police. That means about 2 out of 3 go unreported. Source
So if 2 out of 3 go unreported, we are looking at 5000 unreported rapes. Not 5000 total – 5000 rapes are unreported. That gives a working number of 7500 rapes per 6 million residents. I don’t have a number of unreported rapes for Nicaragua, but if they are anything like our state, we can assume for every rape reported, there are two that are not. But even if we go with reported rapes, we still stand much worse off than a Central American country that has a bad rating on Women and Children’s rights. How is it that a state in the Midwest of the United States, that has, theoretically a better infrastructure, a better legal system, a First World country that has First World problems like lack of cellphone coverage, outpaces this entire country in the lack of care for Women and Children. If this is what Amnesty International thinks of Nicaragua, what in the name of Bob must they think of us? If we were rated as if we were a country, our rating on the support of Women and Children would be horrific. I mean, I don’t even want to try to find maternal death rates as I think it will just depress me even more.
When I think of places that are dangerous for women to live, I list places like Yemen and the Democratic Republic of Congo and Honduras. I don’t think The State Of Missouri Where I Live. And if you asked me to break down the rape statistics, I would assume, based on nothing but my own experience, that college towns have the highest rates of rape, both reported and unreported, per capita. Rolla, Springfield, Kirksville, Maryville… Towns that are almost completely shaped around the universities that reside there. And that, during the school year, more than triples what we would consider inhabitants. But I don’t even know that this is true. I am just guessing. And I find that I don’t really want to know. Because my middle child lives in one of these College Based Towns. And they were raped. And they didn’t report it. My child is a statistic upon statistic. And while at the time, we made certain assumptions about their self identification, I now know that “queer” and “non binary gender identification” adds to the statistics. Which aren’t positive ones.
And to think this all started from me reading the tag on a women’s racerback tank top that I ordered online and had been asked to review.
So I haven’t touched on illness, mental or otherwise, but believe me when I say it’s always there, lurking in the background. I cannot even tell you the last time I made it all the way downstairs on a day where I am here alone. I go down to do laundry. And my dining room is starting to turn into my depression nest. I am cleaning it, slowly but surely, and separating stuff out for a garage sale, but I am starting to think this is like my friend’s mother who didn’t leave her bedroom for years. And I mean YEARS. I have always been vaguely jealous of her. I wonder what it takes for someone else to accept that you can’t leave a single room in your house. She had a master bathroom, though. I don’t have one of those and if I need to do my hair, like I do right now, I would be out of luck. So out of my room I must come to pee and get coffee and let out the dog and take the kid to band camp and take the cat to the vet and get the kid *from* band camp. I was keeping a pain and depression diary and a planner. And I have totally let that get away from me. And all the things I had planned for us to do, including walking so that I can lose some of this weight and get back to a size 12, sweet Jesus, what I wouldn’t give. But, I digress. It feels like the dining room table, where I have my Cricut and my laptop and can plug in the phone and iPad and diffuser and ignore the world, has become the latest for me in a strange and never ending hide outs from the world. And that was OK when I was still being social. But now that I am not social, I wonder how long it will be until I can’t do anything or go anywhere.
And here’s a closing thought. One that I have been chewing on for about a week now. Either you are angry because my illness has made so many things hard on you, but you don’t feel like you can be angry because that then makes you an asshole. Well, I have news – you are being the asshole without telling me why. Which doesn’t translate well. And you should dump outward, not inward. I am the one who has the fucking diseases, so how about you find someone outside of me to dump that shit on. There is a thing called the Ring Theory that I found a while back that comes in helpful when things are starting to go wahoonie shaped. I am in the center of the circle for Sarah’s Depression, Anxiety, Immune System Crashing and Burning, and Drug Side Effects. Individually and collectively. Draw one circle or draw six. But the center for the things that I have wrong with me make ME the center of the circle. The only person I will allow that should be able to inhabit the center of the circle of my illnesses is my 12 year old son. Bear has every right to be in there with me as he is the one who has lost the most in his life with having a sick mother. The following is a paragraph from the original article from the L.A.Times. I have included it to try to give a clearer picture of what I mean. Draw a circle. This is the center ring. In it, put the name of the person at the center of the current trauma. For Katie’s aneurysm, that’s Katie. Now draw a larger circle around the first one. In that ring put the name of the person next closest to the trauma. In the case of Katie’s aneurysm, that was Katie’s husband, Pat. Repeat the process as many times as you need to. In each larger ring put the next closest people. Parents and children before more distant relatives. Intimate friends in smaller rings, less intimate friends in larger ones. When you are done you have a Kvetching Order. One of Susan’s patients found it useful to tape it to her refrigerator.
And while I can’t tape this to the refrigerator, as that would be seen as being passive aggressive, I can tape it to my blog. And that isn’t perfect, but it will have to do for today.