Thursday, December 3, 2009

Further and Further Into the Nightmare

We started today's class with a statistic about the frequency of rape and sexual assault in United States and Sierra Leone. Though the rate in the United States seems very high, the occurrence of rape in Sierra Leone during that country's Civil War was astronomical. The rate in the US is about 1 in 5 of all women and the rate in Sierra Leone during the time period of A Long Way Gone was about 4 out of 5 women.

We've talked about the fact that rape is about power and control and not about sex. Already, we've seen that the Rebel Army in Sierra Leone used rape as a weapon against women and men in that country. Unfortunately, the people of Sierra Leone are still dealing with heightened levels of violence against women.

After discussing this topic, we moved on to read chapter twelve. Though we did not finish this chapter, we did manage to read most of it. Along the way, we had quite a few discussions about the fact that Ishmael has been inducted into Sierra Leone's Army. He is only twelve when this happens, but has had more than his share of life experience. At the end of class, you chose two or three of the most important words from this chapter to write a summary sentence about what stood out to you from today's reading. I look forward to hearing a repeat of those sentences to help start next class. Thank you for your serious approach to today's class.

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