Sex crimes against children (boys and girls both) in Afghanistan

CNN has posted an important article about a family in Afghanistan who has bravely come forward to talk about the rape of their 12 year old daughter and the lack of justice in their community. Rape and sexual assault are, unfortunately, fairly common experiences for young girls and boys in Afghanistan and given issues related to Islamic law that require there to be 4 adult male witnesses to rape (!), very few are actually prosecuted. I strongly encourage you to take a few minutes out of your day in order to become aware of the situation faced by these Afghani families by reading the CNN article - and how, in spite of the absence of news about Afghanistan, this is a situation where no news most certainly does not mean good news. (Case in point: one of the recent rape victims was a 3 year old child).

The Revolutionary Association of the Women of Afghanistan (RAWA) is an activist and advocacy group based in Afghanistan that aims to educate women, advocate for the rights of women and children (both girls and boys) and that demands humane treatment and an expansion of justice. They feature heavily in the CNN article; you can learn more about their work and how to help them on their web site, such as through donations of money, books, cameras to document certain issues, or ways to raise awareness. 

I know that we all have busy days and lives, and families and friends of your own. Given the general neglect of Afghanis (in spite of our country’s presence there), I’d like to encourage you to consider ways to embrace these individuals who are part of our human family, by learning about and becoming aware of some of these issues, even if there is little else that you feel you can do at this time.

Thanks for your time.

About Dr. Debby Herbenick

Dr. Debby Herbenick

Dr. Debby Herbenick is a sex researcher at Indiana University, sexual health educator at The Kinsey Institute, columnist, and author of five books about sex and love. Learn more about her work at