Adventists Say No to Violence
Annual magazine, Breaking the Silence, encourages rape victims to find help and hope in the 2017 issue.
South American Division (SAD)
[Brazil] Every year, thousands of people become victims of a nightmare: rape. Weakened by the violence they suffered, they carry deep wounds. In 2004, the World Health Organization (WHO) estimated that 30% of women in the world has suffered some type of violence, whether physical or sexual. In Brazil, 70% of the victims of rape are children and adolescents.
One victim, we will call her N.L., became part of these statistics when she was raped by her boyfriend at age 16. Today, more than 35 years later, she still carries with her the scars of a story that did not have a happy ending. Left alone and hurting on the floor of her house next to her torn clothes, N.L. only had one wish that long ago Sunday night. “I looked for pills and found some. I took about 15 pills. I just wanted to end the ache in my soul," she recalls. "At that moment, I was thinking about suicide.”
Stories like hers, in most cases, are silenced inside the victims. Fear usually does not allow them to seek help. That is why the magazine Breaking the Silence, prepared by the Women’s Ministries (WM) Department of the South American Division (SAD), deals with a very delicate matter, but it needs to be discussed openly in society. The 2017 issue encourages victims to find help and, above all, to find hope even amidst these traumas that are still very vivid in their memories.
During the action of the project Breaking the Silence of this year, 821,000 copies of the magazine shall be distributed, and almost 1.5 million copies of a kid’s version magazine. It will be one more opportunity for the Seventh-day Adventist Church to present the initiative for the population of eight South American countries, and thus help people to begin a new chapter in the book of their lives.
Contributed by Marli Peyerl, WM director, South American Division
Published in Mosaic, 2017 Q2