Blindfolded women singing an anti-rape chant on the streets of Chile is powerfully haunting

Protests seem to be sweeping the planet, from Hong Kong to Iran to Chile, over issues from democracy to gas prices to social and economic inequality. Recently, amidst other protests, a powerful feminist movement showed up on the streets of Chile to highlight the issue of sexual violence.


Scores of women gathered to rally outside of the Ministry for Women's Rights and Gender Equality to protest police violence that has taken place during the country's ongoing protests of extreme inequality. According to an article from Common Dreams:

"The Chilean Special Forces, National Police and the military have reportedly killed at least 26 people, detained over 15,000, caused thousands of gunshot wounds, and been accused of 1,100 cases of torture and inhuman treatment; they've also been charged with over 70 cases of sexual violence and countless allegations by women of beatings, rape, and threats of rape. A Santiago psychologist reported arrested women have been stripped naked in front of men and touched in the genitals; many were penetrated by a rifle and told "they are going to be raped and then killed."

RELATED: 5 million Indian women just made a 385-mile human chain for equality.

Hearing such accounts makes the chant sung by the blindfolded women gathered at the rally all the more powerful, as they call out the police and those in power as perpetrators of violence instead of the protectors they are supposed to be.

According to one commenter, the chant is loosely translated as follows:

The patriarchy is a judge

who tries us for being born

and our punishment

is the violence you now see.

It's femicide, impunity for my murderer,

it's disappearance, it's rape.

And it wasn't my fault,

nor where I was,

nor how I was dressed (x4).

You were the rapist, you are the rapist.

It's the police, the judges,

the state, the president.

The oppressive state is a macho rapist (x2).

The rapist was you. The rapist is you.

Sleep calmly, innocent girl,

without worrying about the criminal

because your policeman lover

is watching over your sweet and smiling dreams.

You are the rapist (x4).

RELATED: Australia is banning entry to anyone found guilty of domestic violence anywhere in the world.

According to the World Health Organization, one in three women around the globe will endure physical or sexual violence in her lifetime, with the UN classifying such violence as one of the "most widespread, persistent and devastating human rights violations in our world today." And it's a near-universal fact that sexual assault victims rarely see justice served, literally adding insult to injury.

Until women feel safe with and protected by those charged with their protection, we will continue to see them uniting in the streets to make their voices heard in beautiful and powerful ways.

Photo courtesy of Justin Sather
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While most 10-year-olds are playing Minecraft, riding bikes, or watching YouTube videos, Justin Sather is intent on saving the planet. And it all started with a frog blanket when he was a baby.

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In kindergarten, Justin learned that frogs are an indicator species – animals, plants, or microorganisms used to monitor drastic changes in our environment. With nearly one-third of frog species on the verge of extinction due to pollution, pesticides, contaminated water, and habitat destruction, Justin realized that his little amphibian friends had something important to say.

"The frogs are telling us the planet needs our help," says Justin.

While it was his love of frogs that led him to understand how important the species are to our ecosystem, it wasn't until he read the children's book What Do You Do With An Idea by Kobi Yamada that Justin-the-activist was born.

Inspired by the book and with his mother's help, he set out on a mission to raise funds for frog habitats by selling toy frogs in his Los Angeles neighborhood. But it was his frog art which incorporated scientific facts that caught people's attention. Justin's message spread from neighbor to neighbor and through social media; so much so that he was able to raise $2,000 for the non-profit Save The Frogs.

And while many kids might have their 8th birthday party at a laser tag center or a waterslide park, Justin invited his friends to the Ballona wetlands ecological preserve to pick invasive weeds and discuss the harms of plastic pollution.

Justin's determination to save the frogs and help the planet got a massive boost when he met legendary conservationist Dr. Jane Goodall.

Photo courtesy of Justin Sather

At one of her Roots and Shoots youth initiative events, Dr. Goodall was so impressed with Justin's enthusiasm for helping frogs, she challenged the young activist to take it one step further and focus on plastic pollution as well. Justin accepted her challenge and soon after was featured in an issue of Bravery Magazine dedicated to Jane Goodall.

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Photo by Gaelle Marcel on Unsplash

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