It’s heartbreaking. It’s brave. But more than anything, it’s sending a statement.
Women in Aleppo are offing themselves rather than giving their attackers the satisfaction of raping them. And since rape is more about power and control than it is about sex, committing suicide is a bold act of defiance.
Thus far, Mirror reports that up to 20 women have elected to kill themselves rather than be raped. One of these women, an unidentified nurse, left a suicide note behind. In the note, she writes:
“I am committing suicide not due to no reason but because I do not want several members of the Assad Regime to savor raping me while just yesterday they were afraid to say the word ‘Aleppo.’”
The latest news comes right after reports indicate that conditions have worsened in Aleppo. Members of the Assad Regime are expanding their reach, and have now taken control over most of the city.
Abdullah Othman, head of the Consultative Council in the Levant Front, said that the city is in a state of complete chaos and destruction.
“Men, women and children were being cooked alive by barrel bombs dropped right where they stood. Women and children—their screams can be heard underneath the rubble,” Othman stated.
The graveness of the situation prompted a response from the United Nations. On December 13, 2016, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon urged the Security Council to “do all we can to stop the carnage.” Ban Ki-moon was also quick to note the failure of the Security Council to act in the past.
“Since September, the Security Council has failed to adopt three resolutions that could have enabled a humanitarian truce, evacuation of civilians and the entry of lifesaving aid,” Ban Ki-moon stated.
One can only hope that this time around, the Security Council decides to take action. Until then, thousands of peoples’ lives hang in the balance.