The Sex-Based Hate Crime Wreaking Havoc in Unlikely Place

Shaneen Clarke, right, in front of the Italian Senate.
Shaneen Clarke, right, in front of the Italian Senate. (Shaneen Clarke)

Earlier this year my book, Dare to be Great, was published in Italian, Osa Essere Grande. As a result, I was invited by the Italian Senate to address its senators in Rome last week on the subject of femicide, or the killing of women.

In Italy, this has become of epidemic proportion, and their government is becoming increasingly concerned. In 2016, over 100 women were murdered usually within families through domestic violence or in so called "love trysts." These are murders, and the amount of abuse on women is also increasing. With Italy's population of hovering around 60 million, only South America has a greater per capita region of femicide, with one woman dying every 30 hours.

My gospel message of the second chance and the ability to step out and speak up, not to remain silent was well received. I highlighted the dangers that social media and online pornography create unrest and unrealistic comparative living.

I stood firm on Judges 5:7, which states: "Village life ceased. It ceased until I, Deborah, arose; I arose like a mother in Israel."

I explained that there is a mighty force of Deborahs rising. This is not a feminist movement, but women who will highlight God's purposes embracing justice and empowering those to take a stand. Deborah was called to action and to be a remedy of justice within the community. Unity in government is needed today, just as it was then in Israel, and this non-partisan issue should be integrated in the society to combat. God is awakening many women just like Deborah to be the charge, and this is happening today through my being there and kindly being given a platform in this Senate.

The message was well received, and there were people from all sections of the community and police authorities were there to hear the message. Those from the Vatican were in attendance, and it was very encouraging to see this great nation of Italy seriously addressing one of today's many complex issues. A fire was lit in Rome, and I have been invited back to speak again.

Rome, such a beautiful city with incredible history, including the rule of law, can now again be the answer for this global problem and be a forerunner of change. I believe that the Italian women will rise and truly dare to be great for their nation.

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