Imagine how incredibly powerful we would be if each time a woman or girl suffered violence against her person and body, we rose up as a family, a community, a town, a region, a nation, a world, all in solidarity to say “no more.” Imagine.
Hope this finds all of you well during this early summer. I wanted to share something with you. I recently shared some quotes and thoughts on Facebook about women and girls and the horrid reality of rape in our families and communities. Some put the reported statistics at 1 in 4, others say 1 in 3. In my various work and life experiences, and research for projects, I am starting to believe that it might be closer to 1 in 2. The occurrence of this in my life and in my family leads me to believe the ultimate unreported real odds might be just that. Recent events in my life have moved me to be more open and honest about my life trials, to bear witness in the hope that some young woman might know she does not navigate this existence as a solo traveler. Within 10 minutes of sharing these quotes on Facebook, I had proof that we can help each other simply by telling our truth:
“All my life I had to fight. I had to fight my daddy. I had to fight my brothers. I had to fight my cousins and my uncles. A girl child ain’t safe in a family of men.”
“Rape is one of the most terrible crimes on earth and it happens every few minutes. The problem with groups who deal with rape is that they try to educate women about how to defend themselves. What really needs to be done is teaching men not to rape. Go to the source and start there.”
― Kurt Cobain
“I found I could not not let the words flow.”
― Janet Bode, Voices of Rape
I was private messaged by two women. The first, just 23 years old, thanked me for sharing, and then shared with me that she had just been raped on Saturday night. She had been feeling completely alone…until she read my postings. The second woman, in her 60s, is a long time friend who, after I’d posted the same, shared with me that she was no longer willing to live the lies, and was now fervently moving forth with The Truth. How incredibly powerful that by telling our own truths, others will feel empowered to do the same. I wanted to share this with all of you. Our mental and emotional and spiritual health will only improve if we choose to no longer carry unhealthy secrets, and step forth in our own individual paths of truth. Collectively, we can come together and stand strong to claim our pasts and direct our future. Love and peace to you all.