Every year Domestic Violence Awareness month seems to have a new hashtag.
What kind of woman stays in an abusive relationship?
It takes courage to stay. It is not easy to stay alive in a den of lions.
You will be play if you run while the lion is watching.
It takes courage – and HELP - to leave an abusive relationship.
WARNING: I know from experience, the risk of harm goes up the closer we get to safety.
It is difficult and not safe to do it alone.
Even when we are safe, it is scary to share our story.
What kind of person invites the world, including their professional relationships, in to open those wounds and watch them be abused, raped and humiliated?
#MeToo was created over a decade ago by a brave young activist Tarana Burke as a silent support group to help young women of color who survive sexual abuse, assault and exploitation.
It is difficult to call out for help when you are scared, hurt, in pain and staring in the face of your captor.
What kind of person remains silent?
Despite our numbers, despite our outbursts, despite our hashtags, there remains a breeding ground that nurture and feed monsters by normalizing their behavior and blaming their prey.
Rape culture places all the responsibility on the victim to avoid, escape and seek safety.
Rape culture masked as “personal safety”.
Personal safety lists imply guilt to the foolish girl who went to a party un-escorted at night.
If she stayed home, she would not have been raped. It was her fault because women should not go out at night. NOT TRUE!
Personal safety advises girls not to drink. If she drinks, the rape is her fault. Not true!
What is the perpetrator’s responsibility? Where is the 'how not to be a perpetrator' list?
Personal safety tips claim to help the victim outsmart the perpetrator. Stay one step ahead and you’ll be safe.
What if his legs are longer than yours?
How can culture change if the focus and responsibility remains on the victim?
Let’s be brave.
Women should be safe to walk outside at night, go to parties or whatever else without being raped.
Beasts shouldn’t put rape drugs in drinks.
Let’s be courageous and stop asking what the victim is wearing.
A completely naked incapacitated woman isn’t an invitation, it is a call for help.
Bystanders speak up, distract and help.
Let us not assume puberty makes boys forget the social skills they learned in kindergarten. Specifically:
keep your hands to yourself (boundaries)
say please and thank you (consent)
accept no for an answer (consent)
call for help if someone is hurt (empathy) and
if you make a mistake, take responsibility and apologize (accountability).
Stop calling some girls good and others not.
All women deserve respect including:
women of color
women without financial resources or support, and
I peek my head out and wonder.
Has the world changed? Is #MeToo having an impact?
Thirty years ago I was raped. #MeToo
Twenty-seven years ago I married an abusive man. #WhyIstayed
Twenty-six years ago I escaped. #whyIleft
I changed. And I will keep changing.
I am running for office to help other women find their voice and a path to safety.
What will 2019 October Domestic Violence awareness be like?
Will the world be a safer place? I hope so.
Let’s be brave!
Growl 4 Justice
Authorized by Friends of Karen Simpson
Donna Flaharty, Treasurer