I've been wanting to capture this in a photo for some time.
I took this picture from a moving Metro train and one with incredibly dirty windows at that.
It is the phone number for a 24-hour rape crisis hotline.
Underneath the phone number is a picture of a hand picking up a telephone to call.
It is written as graffiti on the wall facing the train tracks.
And around it are radio towers, telephone polls, what looks like transformers, and a barbed wire fence.
It is quite an ominous setting for the ad placement.
To me, rape is one of the most horrendous and brutal crimes.
Ironically, it physically and emotionally violates a person through the very means that most people make love and life.
My first exposure to rape was in the opening scene to the movie Death Wish, where Charles Bronson's wife and daughter are brutalized--I saw this movie as a little boy and it left a huge imprint on me.
Over the course of my life, I have known people who have been both raped and molested and it changed them forever.
I found these rape statistics online, and even though rape is down 60% since 1993, 1 out of every 6 women in this country experiences a rape or attempted rape at some point.
Also, it means that 20 years ago, the percentage was about 26% or 1 out 4.
The Atlantic-2 years ago--reported similar numbers with 18.3% of women who were raped or where rape was attempted.
Honestly, I think the numbers may even be higher, since so many cases go unreported, and according to the American Medical Association is one of the most unreported crimes.
The numbers are outrageously high for a western, modern, civilized country or any nation!
What is even more shocking is that the U.S. is listed as the 6th highest country for reported rape.
Perhaps a large part of this is because we report more frequently in this country, but also maybe because we are more free and affluent and thereby, people are able to partake of vices such as alcohol and drugs, which are associated with sexual violence.
Rape is a horrific act and in medieval times, the crime of rape was often punished with castration or even death.
In Death Wish, Bronson became a semi-crazed vigilante and sought out his own form justice.
Today, in real life, we provide the victims a hotline number to call and the rapists--if they even get reported--and caught, prosecuted, convicted, and sentenced--may get some time or not, who really knows, but we should all care.
(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)