In celebration of our one year anniversary, we’re working to highlight other sites around the Internet that are Doing Good. Every Tuesday at noon (central time, yo), we’re bringing you a story of why someone else chooses to devote their time Doing Good.
You know our beginnings. Now it’s time to see theirs.
I’d like to introduce you to Kristin from Wanderlust and Speak Out. Kristin came to us and asked if we would be interested in being the designated charity for Speak Out, an event this Friday (Nov. 18) to bring awareness to domestic violence.
What Kristin is doing is amazing and also very humbling to us. We're beyond honored to be a part of this day.
But this is not my story to tell, it’s hers. Welcome to The Band, Kristin!
I can remember it like it was yesterday. Sitting huddled on the bathroom floor, cradling my crying children, listening to the 911 operator tell me to take deep breaths, repeat myself, that help was on the way. I didn’t know if he was still in the house. The bathroom door was locked, though the top had been shattered by his fists. I heard a loud knock on the door downstairs. “They’re here,” the operator told me, “the police are at your front door.”
Every abusive relationship has a pivotal moment. A moment when you stop making excuses for your partner’s behavior and see it for what it really is: abuse. For me, that moment arrived in August of last year when I was assaulted in my home.
Two weeks later my husband came under criminal investigation for child pornography and was prohibited from having any contact with me or the children. Fourteen months later, the investigation is still ongoing. For fourteen months, I have locked the doors at night, set the alarm and slept lightly.
When I started talking about all of this on my blog I was stunned at the number of women who wrote me and said they, too, had lived with abuse. Scores and scores of women. A few were still in the thick of it. Why are there so many of us, I wondered? How come no one talks about this?
Well, on Friday, November 18th there will be a whole lot of people talking about it. Together with Blogcatalog, I have created a social media campaign called Speak Out. In an effort to raise awareness about domestic violence (DV) and encourage those living with abuse to speak up and seek help, bloggers and other social networkers will be posting about DV.
When I spoke out on my blog I was overwhelmed and comforted by the amount of support that poured in. When I spoke out, I became firmer in my resolve to build a healthier life for me and my kids and to never, ever again tolerate abuse. When I spoke out, I found myself again.
If you take anything from my story, let it be this. Everyone, everyone, deserves to live free of violence, abuse and coercion. Everyone deserves to feel safe in their own home. Everyone has the right to surround themselves with people who will reflect back upon them love, kindness and support. If you are living in fear of your partner, you owe it to yourself and your children to seek help now.
Do you see that donate widget in the sidebar?
As part of Speak Out, we are raising funds for Band Back Together, which is wholly run by volunteers and donations, so that you and others will have a safe space on their internet to tell your stories. Would you consider throwing a few dollars their way?
I hope you will join us on Friday and put up your own post as part of the Speak Out campaign. If you’re not a blogger, you can tweet or Facebook your message. Even if it’s just one or two sentences, it needs to be heard.
Just one voice in the darkness carries great power. But together, we can change the world.
If you have found this site because you are scared and feel so alone, please remember we are none of us alone. One in every four women will suffer domestic abuse in her lifetime. On this site alone, you will see so many survival stories. You too can survive. Never, ever give up hope. We are here if you need us to listen and support you. We are all survivors of something. You too, will survive.
Call 911 for all emergencies.
The National Domestic Violence Hotline: 1.800.799.SAFE (7233)