Zack and I have spent the last few weeks putting together a presentation that we can take to local businesses or people to start boosting our donations and hopefully kick off some really awesome opportunities, and as part of it, we’ve come across some statistics that will tug at the heart strings to say the very least. I took those stats a little further to really shed some light on the problem that we’re dealing with here:
First, 1 in 3 women worldwide is raped, beaten, coerced into sex, or otherwise abused or mistreated in her lifetime. Remember that.
Now let’s take a look at some real world numbers. The combined populations of California, Oregon, and Washington is just over 45 million people. Let’s cut that roughly in half to represent the female population, 22.5 million women. Now let’s talk about the 1 in 3 that’s being abused. That’s 7.5 million women in those three states alone. Now, those particular 7.5 million women have a little over 200 shelters and programs to assist and empower them. Sounds pretty good, right? Well, 7.5 million women over 200 shelters is 37,500 women per shelter. If we wanted to help all of those women within a year, not only would each shelter have to be able to accommodate at least 100 women at any given time, but they would have to go from newbie to graduate in the space of 24 hours. So basically there would be a daily turnover of 100 women, which would take an enormous amount of manpower, infrastructure, and logistics just to manage. No shelter has that many resources. Most shelters can handle between 10 and 30 women at a given time and the turnaround time is more like 10 days. At that rate, it would take 50 years to help all of those women, and that’s not including the millions of girls that will be born, live, and turn 50 while you’re still trying to help their mothers and grandmothers and aunts and such.
So get to the point, Bret.
We are struggling in a big way right here in our back yards. There simply are not enough resources to fill the need. Now consider this:
The country of Ukraine also has a population of about 45 million people, which translates into roughly 22.5 million women. Difference #1 – In Ukraine, 2 in 3 women is abused. That’s double the worldwide statistic. So instead of 7.5 million women being abused, it’s 15 million. Difference #2 – The entire country of Ukraine has 4 operating shelters for victims of domestic violence, all in one city. That’s a little more than 3.5 million women per shelter. Do you see where I’m going with this? These Ukrainian women have next to no support whatsoever, and let me tell you something, they’re not going to get it from their country or their society.
The good news is that a little support from us goes a long way to help the women over there. For example, a $20 donation pays for 1 woman for 1 year at one of the shelters, just to subsist there. $50 will pay for one of the women to sit in either a computer literacy training course or a manicure training course, both of which empower the women with skills and validation to be able to make a change in their own lives. $150 will pay for a manicure set for one of the women who complete the manicure training course, which will give her a chance to start her own business and become independent. $35 puts a woman through a group therapy course where she is trained on what domestic violence is, how to set boundaries, and what to do when those boundaries are crossed.
Think about what you would do with $50. I was at Banana Republic last night, seriously considering spending $45 on a nice shirt. A shirt is nice, but think about the difference in the world you can make by donating “that shirt” or “those jeans” or “that video game”, taking some of the money you’d spend on some cool things for yourself and giving it to someone whose life will be totally changed by it. You can make all the difference in someone’s life, and you don’t have to become a monk or dedicate your whole life to something. All it takes is a small sacrifice; a small sacrifice which will change someone’s life forever.
Think about it. Nobody deserves to be abused. You can make the difference.