You Don’t Have to Try

This has been floating around Facebook, so many of you have probably already seen it.  But it is definitely worth viewing.

As women, we are continually given messages–both spoken and tacit–that we need to be better.  More beautiful.  Thinner.  Perfect.  Our hair should shine, our smiles should be bright, our makeup flawless.  All while we have 2.5 perfect children, get a master’s degree, and run our own business.

Yep, no problem.  I can do that!

I know amazing, talented, bright women who refuse to leave the house unless they are made up perfectly, their hair done, and dressed for success.  This is to go to the grocery store.

I called my mother recently to see More

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The Power of the Pen

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You go, Malala!  And you too, my fellow writers!!!

12 Ways to Support a Survivor of Abuse

Some great tips for how to help if a friend or loved one is a survivor. So often, we just don’t know the right things to say.

Purposefully Scarred

Tips for Being a Good Support Person (from The Healing Center, full article linked above):

1. Listen. Listen. Listen.

Try not to interrupt or overreact with your own thoughts and feelings. You may need to process your own reactions with someone to support you too. Most importantly, the survivor needs you to “be there” for her/him. Let them know that you are open to hearing anything they wish to share, and that although it’s painful and upsetting, you are willing to enter those difficult places with them and to receive their words with respect. Ask how you can be of help in the healing process and honor the answer. Acknowledge and validate the survivor’s feelings. If you have feelings of outrage, compassion, pain for their pain, do share them. There is probably nothing more comforting than a genuine human response. Just make sure your feelings don’t overwhelm theirs.

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Owning Our Stories

Owning Our Story

This was a Facebook find today.  I think it’s an amazing statement.  We all have a story.  And many parts of that story are very, very bad for survivors of rape and abuse.  But it’s us.  It is part of who we are.  Too often we push that part of our story down and silence it because it is so very painful.  Bringing it forward and owning that part of ourselves takes great bravery and courage.  And with it comes power.  Power over our rapists.  Power over our past.  Power to change our futures.  There is a lot of wisdom packed into this one short sentence.

Human Rights Ads (74): Rape (“Viol”)

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Translation: Rape, a crime against humanity

Rape Worldwide

(I should put a special trigger warning on this one.  This information is very distressing, especially to survivors.)

I found a very interesting site today called WomanStats.  The site has so very much information about the status of women worldwide that I have only begun to read it.  But I was fascinated by the maps they provide, giving a clear visual picture of the conditions that women live under in various countries of the world.  I highly recommend that you spend some time perusing the site.  It’s extremely informative. More

Quote of the Day

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We Are Winning

A fellow survivor wrote this on a message board I follow.  It really struck me and went right to my heart.  Her words of encouragement were just what I needed to hear that day, and she graciously gave me permission to share them with you on my blog.  I hope they bring you comfort.

“This is something I wrote and wanted to share with all of you, from my heart, with love and acceptance.

If you are reading this, you are winning.

You are winning the hardest battle that you have faced, and that is to simply stay alive. You have come through a nightmare and survived. You are a warrior of strength and courage. You have a story worth telling. More

Great Resource

Hi, just a quick post tonight to share an unbelievable resource I just found. You may already know about it, but it’s new to me.

After Silence is a website dedicated to helping survivors of rape and sexual abuse. It has a message board and chatrooms.  The forums are broken down into all different types of categories.  There are special boards for women, men, young and “more mature” survivors.  There are boards for specific types of abuse–date rape, stranger rape, abuse by a family member, etc.  There are spots to share your story, if you so desire. More

Broadblogs does an excellent job of showing the process of how a man “grooms” a woman for abuse. There are many aspects of Shane and Maggie’s relationship that I can relate to. She goes on to list some signs of an abuser: charm, jealousy, isolation, emotional abuse, control. Again, these were all present in my situation. It’s an important read.

BroadBlogs

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It’s not often – if ever – that you can witness a man grooming a woman to accept battering. We now have a visual record of how one man attempted it. And it may help to warn women away from potential abusers.

Sara Naomi Lewkowicz, a grad student at Ohio University, had planned to study the stigma of being an ex-convict. While at a local Corn Festival she spotted a tattoo-covered man who was gently cuddling a cute little girl. She approached and asked him and his girlfriend if she could photograph them over a period of time for her project, and they agreed.

Our photographer had met the couple only about a month after they’d gotten together. Two and a half months later she photographed Shane as he battered Maggie in their home. And she had already amassed a photographic record of how he had groomed her for…

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