I’m so thankful that Megan Westra has agreed to write about a topic in which we both care deeply about. Thanks for this contribution, Megan!:
Evangelical Christians often champion the ‘sanctity of life.’ This phrase typically refers only to abortion. Many Evangelicals argue that a culture that allows legal abortion does not truly value human life. While many Evangelicals have fought against abortion for decades, we have yet to see a movement that expands the idea of ‘sanctity of life’ to fighting for the ‘quality of life.’ If we truly believe that all life is sacred, then the logical conclusion is that once a life is born we continue to fight for that life to have equal opportunities to live up to its potential.* – Nicole Baker Fulgham
When I think about the disparities in the education system, I don’t just think about how some schools succeed and others fail, I think about the ways that our perceptions skew which schools are capable of success or failure. How the way we perceive certain students or certain neighborhoods determines whether or not we ascribe value and sacredness to their lives.
It’s my honor to introduce Megan Westra as she shares her battle cry against gender-based violence and the hope she has for safe communities for all women. Welcome Megan.
I grew up idyllic and carefree in a valley just beyond the coal fields in West Virginia.
I heard about abuse, I read about it, I knew that it sometimes happened. That sometimes a woman would get beaten by a boyfriend or husband. I knew about rape, but it never happened in my world. It was a far off “other” thing that you only thought about when you were already sad and needed that one more gut-wrenching thought to push the tears over the brim of your eyelids.
I never would have imagined the scope and magnitude of violent acts committed against a person simply because she happens to be female.
But I began to learn. I went to college, a pint-sized Christian liberal arts school in my hometown. During my freshman year, I heard hushed whispers around campus about a girl in my class who was raped. Shame coursed through the words, “She deserved it though, I mean, what a flirt.”