Are you a Brave Woman?
One in four women experience domestic violence (intimate partner violence) at some point in their lives. These women need all their courage to find a way out.
People often wonder why victims of domestic violence don’t just leave. They do not realize that it takes a special brand of courage to believe in yourself after the person you think you love has told you that you are worthless. Someone has made you feel isolated and invisible.
Long after the bruises heal, the emotional damage saps your confidence.
And even many years later it is difficult to talk about it because someone’s feelings might be hurt. Because you are too smart to have done something that stupid. Because you are too scared to say something.
That’s what abusive people count on. They count on our silence.
As a community, we can stand up and say, “No More Violence.” No more violence against women, against children, against people we are supposed to love. Can you imagine a world without violence?
We can support these sisters of ours by letting them know that someone notices them, someone cares, someone believes in them. Just let her know you are there…if she wants to talk. Most likely she will not take you up on your offer but you have at least planted the seeds: I see you. You are there. You matter to me. You have friends who care.
Even better, stop the violence before it happens. Make sure you are modeling healthy relationships for your children. Talk to your preteens about intimate partner violence before they even ask if they can start dating. Don’t wait. Do it now before someone else sets their expectations and understandings of a relationship.
Will you stand up with me? Will you pledge to be brave and to help others be brave in 2012?
I am going to silence those voices inside my head that say that I do not matter. I am going to live my dreams. I am going to write from the heart.
If I see something, I am not going to turn away in embarrassment. Because there is no shame in telling a friend that she is brave and strong.
And I am going to make sure not just my daughter but my sons as well understand that we treat other people with respect and kindness.
You can take the Brave Woman pledge and make your voice counted among those who stand up to violence:
I pledge to honor and respect brave women and children who tackle the difficult journey of change from domestic violence to a new life. I acknowledge my own moment-by-moment bravery, will remain aware of what is happening to others around me, and speak up against violence in any form. I will stand up for human dignity and safety for women and children.
Disclosure: This post has been compensated as part of a social cause opportunity for CollectiveBias #CBias #BraveWoman. All opinions are my own.