Submitted by Shelby Knox, Change.org
Tuğçe was a young woman like any other – a regular person who showed extraordinary bravery, and paid the price with her life.
Tuğçe was a 22-year-old German woman. One night, she was at a fast food restaurant and heard two teenage girls being harassed by three men in a bathroom. The restaurant was crowded, and many people heard what was happening, but no one did anything to help.
Tuğçe fought her way into the bathroom and stopped the men from attacking the girls. But one of the men followed Tuğçe outside and beat her into a coma. Her parents turned off the life support machines on her 23rd birthday.
Now, nearly 200,000 people worldwide have signed a Change.org petition calling for Tuğçe to be awarded the Federal Cross of Merit, one of the highest honors the German government can bestow. Click here to learn more and sign the petition.
This story is about Tuğçe, but it’s also about much more. All around the world, women are standing up and fighting back against the epidemic of sexual assault and violence against women. In Australia, three sex workers convinced a major chain store not to sell the Grand Theft Auto video game because of the violence it depicted against women like them. In America, a group of women who survived sexual assault in college successfully prompted President Obama to create a task force to stop sexual assault on college campuses.
In the movement to end violence against women, there are myriad heroes, people committing acts of unspeakable bravery every day, people whose names we’ll never know.
But we do know Tuğçe’s name. We know that she gave her life to protect two girls she’d never even met, simply because it was the right thing to do. Nearly 200,000 people think that honoring her memory is the right thing, too.