I don’t know if Tumblr’s on this yet, but a 15 year old girl in the Maldives has been sentenced to be publicly whipped one hundred times for extra-marital sex. The girl in question has been raped for years by her stepfather, who also murdered the baby she bore as a result of his regular assault.
This petition needs another 400000 signatures before it can be sent to the president of the Maldives. It aims to force him to change the law and save this young woman. He is already feeling global pressure on the matter, but this petition will go for the jugular - the Maldives’ high-earning tourist industry. Once the petition has 1 million signatures, it will be presented to President Waheed with the promise that if he does not step in to save her, the island’s reputation will be severely threatened by ads in travel magazines and online.
This, unfortunately, is not a rare occurence in the Maldives. A horrifying one in three women between the ages of 15 and 49 have suffered physical or sexual abuse - and yet they’ve convicted precisely zero rapists in the past three years.
So please, sign. Let’s make a difference.
Please sign this petition!
TW: ableism, homophobia, murder
‘In the early hours of the 23rd of June, Steven Simpson was set on fire by 20 year old Jordan Sheard, who had gate-crashed his house party in Cudworth, near Barnsley. He had been verbally abused, stripped of his clothes and had phrases like “I love d*ck” and “gay boy” scrawled across his body. He was then doused in tanning oil and Sheard lit his crotch with a cigarette lighter, and the flames engulfed his body. Those involved fled as Simpson’s neighbour tried desperately to put out the flames. Simpson died the next day after enduring 60% burns to his body.
Steven Simpson’s murder was the result of the hatred and humiliation caused to him because of his sexuality, and his disability. He was bullied, de-humanised and then killed. It follows the format of many killings of LGBTQ people world wide.
Sheffield Crown Court’s view on the matter has been frankly disgusting. Judge Roger Keen dismissed the crime as a ‘good-natured horseplay’ that had gone too far, and sentenced him to a unusually short sentence of three and a half years in prison. Sheard’s defence lawyer called what happened to Simpson as a ‘stupid prank that went wrong in a bad way’.
This was clearly a hate crime. Simpson was being taunted for his sexuality and his disability. He was devalued so much in the eyes of those involved, that they thought setting him on fire was somehow acceptable. He was a bright young man studying at Barnsley College, but his last moments alive on this earth must have been dehumanising, painful and terrifying.
How Judge Roger Keen can dismiss this so flippantly as “horseplay” is beyond us. He is re-enforcing the same notions that lead to Steven’s death: that homophobic bullying is fun, rather than a crime against LGBTQ people, that it is okay to mock or take advantage of someone’s disability, rather than looking out for them and treating them with respect, that setting someone on fire and burning them to death is a joke gone too far, rather than one of the inevitable consequences of the way we still treat people like Steven in our society.
It makes us sick to the stomach to think someone so young has been killed because he was different – and the frightening fact is that could have been any one of us that lives with a disability, or who is LGBTQ. Many have commented on the lenient sentencing of Steven’s killer, however I think this misses the point. The point here is the criminal justice system is complicit in the oppression of LGBTQ people and disabled people, when it makes comments like those of Judge Keen’s. It is churning out the very same ideas that lead to hate-crime.
It is not a joke, funny, or horseplay to treat someone in the way Steven was and we should not condone it as such. If we do condone this behaviour we are sending out the message that LGBTQ people and disabled people are fair game to be bullied and preyed upon. We are sending out the message that this okay for other young people to do what was done to Steven. It appears it is all okay with Judge Keen, just as long as you don’t kill someone.
But the point is, the way Steven was killed, was precisely a result of how he was treated. If he had just been treated like any other young person, with a bit of decency or respect, it would never have happened.
This is the message that Sheffield Crown Court should have put out.
We hereby condemn Judge Keen’s remarks, call for him to make a public apology, and to make a statement recongising the daily battle people like Steven face because of their sexuality and their disability.
Steven’s death should serve as a reminder of what our LGBTQ and disabled youth face today.
I’ve not seen much about this on Tumblr, presumably because it happened in the North of England and not in the United States, but our disabled LGBT youth are important too! I encourage people to reblog so as many people sign the petition as possible.
Submitted by: drownedwiththefishes
i don’t think people on tumblr realize what petitions are
what a petition is:
- a document that people can sign to say whether or not they are in support of something
what a petition is not:
- an absolute 100% guarantee that said thing will or will not happen
please stop treating petitions like they’re going to miraculously solve all of the world’s problems because as nice as that would be, the world doesn’t work like that. people are shitty and are going to do shitty things regardless of how many teenagers on the internet disagree with them.
creating petitions for every problem under the sun is actually destructive because it leads people into thinking that all they have to do is to put their name on something and they’re done. causing change is not easy or immediate; it’s a long, arduous process and it’s fucking expensive. if you want to make a difference, invest your time and money into a cause you believe in instead of sitting at home and asking others to do it for you.
that said, i’m not opposed to petitions in and of themselves. sometimes they do work, and even if they’re not always successful, they can help raise awareness about things that wouldn’t have gotten much publicity otherwise. the problem is when people take petitions as absolute indicators that things are going to change when that’s simply not true.