An excerpt from “Me Too: A Global Crisis,” chapter 6 of Sarah Dawn Petrin’s book BRING RAIN: Helping Humanity in Crisis
As an international relief worker whose career spans 20 years and 20 countries, I’ve worked to address many problems caused by war, disaster, and disease. But the one that has confounded me the most is sexual violence, which affects one in three women globally.
In order to end the cycle of violence against women, it’s important to understand why sexual violence is taking place.
PHOTOS BY HAWA IMAGES, USED BY PERMISSION OF WORLD RELIEF CHICAGOLAND
Years ago, a neighbor gave me a glossy 4×6-inch picture of Myanmar politician Aung San Suu Kyi backed by the red and yellow of the National League for Democracy’s flag. I no longer remember the giver’s identity—at that time my Burmese neighbors numbered in the hundreds—but since the country’s late-January military coup that imprisoned Suu Kyi and others, Myanmar (formerly Burma) has been on my mind.
When I reflect now, those three years among the Burmese were like bootcamp for me, a foundational, immersive course in relating to people different from me. At that time, I didn’t realize this would be a preparatory phase for longer-term work among refugees. I moved in with the idea that I would help them—I did not know how much my neighbors would shape me.
With this article from Joel Carillet, we wrap up a four-article series from contributors who have entered in various ways into the lives of the Rohingya people who have sought refuge in Bangladesh. In the height of their crisis last fall, Joel spent time photographing and listening to people living in several refugee camps in Bangladesh, specifically Jamtoli, Kutupalong, Shamlapur, Chakmarkul, and Balukhali. He shares with us one of the questions that has persisted for him since then.
With the photo essay this week from Nihab Rahman, you may begin to notice that we’re spending several weeks of our once-per-week publishing schedule on stories connected to the lives of Rohingya refugees from Myanmar (also called Burma) who have fled to Bangladesh, where they are living in refugee camps.