Dear Daddy

#DearDaddy Video Asks Fathers Worldwide to Help End Rape Culture

A powerful video entitled Dear Daddy released by CARE Norway, a non-profit organization (NPO) that advocates for women’s and girls’ rights, has gone viral after asking fathers around the world to help put a stop to rape culture and violence towards women.

The Norwegian sector of Care said that the five-minute short film, depicts the violations and violence many women face throughout their lives. Originally narrated in Norwegian, it quickly gained millions of views across Norway and Sweden, prompting a version with an English narration. The English version uploaded to YouTube by Care, currently has in excess of seven million views.

The video, directed by Swedish national, Jacob Ström, is narrated by an un-born baby girl who appeals to her father for help, in her chilling account of what could unfold in her future she speaks of all the suffering she could receive at the hands of men during her lifetime.

She tells her father:  “I will be born a girl, which means by the time I am 14 the boys in my class will have called me a whore,” by the time she turns 16 she continues: “a couple of the boys will have snuck their hands down my pants while I am so drunk I can’t even stand straight.”

In a particular poignant moment during the video she states that by 21 she had been raped, by the son of a man her father used to go swimming with every Wednesday, “the guy who always told insulting jokes, had you known that his son would end up raping me, you would have told him to get a grip, but how could you know he was just a boy telling weird jokes and in any case it wasn’t your business…but his son raised on these jokes becomes my business.”

Later in life her she says she finally meets “Mr Perfect”, but that perfect relationship develops into a life threatening abusive one.

The 5-minute film ends with a powerful statement: “Dear Daddy, this is the favour I want to ask, one thing always leads to another so please stop it before it gets the chance to begin, don’t let my brothers call girls whores because they’re not and one day some little boy might think it’s true, don’t accept insulting jokes from weird guys by the pool or even friends because behind every joke there is always some truth.

“Dear daddy, I know you will protect me from lions, tigers, guns, cars…without even thinking about the danger to your own life but dear daddy, I will be born a girl please do everything you can so that that won’t stay the greatest danger of all.”

The video does not imply that a boy who calls a girl a “whore” or a “bitch” will become a rapist, but what it does do is raise awareness and heighten understanding of how these “jokes” can lead to heinous actions. It is not intent on blaming and accusing every man but offers a perspective that they may not have seen before. It is about education and prevention, to prevent these crimes from occurring.

Secretary General of Care, Gry Larsen said: “It is quite obvious that we have hit a nerve with this campaign. Violence against women as a social problem does not usually get the attention it deserves. #DearDaddy campaign has led to an unusually strong commitment, and we are very excited.”

Care International operates in 90 countries and the Norwegian division, Care Norway, responsible for the campaign said it was launched to highlight abuse both at home and abroad.  In a statement they said: “One in five daughters in Norway are subjected to abuse from a partner. Daughters of all ages, in all countries and at all levels of society are at risk. Everyone can do something, and as a father you have a special responsibility and a very special opportunity to keep your daughter from being subjected to violence.”

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