One of my very favorite people is someone I have never actually met, I know her only as Maggie. Maggie does something wonderful though, she organizes a brilliant web site called Violence Unsilenced, a place for “shedding light on the epidemic of domestic violence and sexual assault by giving its survivors a voice.”
Of course my very favorite person is my Gina – who shared her own experiences and Spoke Out on VU in October of 2009. I can never really express how proud I am of her for doing that, or how much I admire her strength and courage. She is a superhero in every sense of the word.
Violence Unsilenced is filled with strong people – men and women – who take the little chunk of the Internet that Maggie provides and fill it with their stories. Heartbreaking stories. Painful stories. But they are their stories, in their own voice, a voice no longer silenced.
As VU celebrates its second year, Maggie assembled a video compilation to recognize the folks who spoke out. Like the one from last year, it made me cry – sad tears to acknowledge the atrocities that folks face in their lives – but also jubilant tears for seeing the strength in those that participated – a strength that comes from sharing their stories.
I haven’t yet had the courage to share my story, in fact have only recently acknowledged to myself that there is a story. I can feel my voice stirring inside me though. I’ve always thanked Maggie for helping give Gina her voice – I think I can now come out and thank her for helping me find my own as well.
Please support Violence Unsilenced by sharing it with your friends, supporting those who share with your comments, or by speaking out with your own story.