Violence Unsilenced: Supporting Domestic Abuse Survivors

Most of us have heard the statistics before.

One in every four women will experience domestic violence in her lifetime.

Chances are that domestic violence has affected you or someone you know in some way, regardless of your race, age, economic status, sexual orientation or gender.  Domestic violence touches all of our lives, which is one of the reasons we chose to shine a light on Violence Unsilenced this month.

Breaking the cycle by breaking the silence

Ninety-two percent of women who were physically abused by their partners did not discuss these incidents with their physicians; 57% did not discuss the incidents with anyone.

Violence Unsilenced, which will mark two years on the web next month, is dedicated to giving the survivors of domestic violence a voice.  The site’s blog publishes two testimonials per week from victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, and sexual abuse.  Submissions have come from men and women, witnesses and survivors.

As the site’s mission statement says:

One of the last hurdles to eradicating abuse is the culture of silence and shame that exists yet today. You very likely have people in your life that are being abused, you just don’t realize it. Victims are led to believe they are alone, that no one will believe them, and that people will think less of them. Heavy societal pressure generally falls on the victim (ie, “Why doesn’t she leave?”) instead of on the person committing the crime (ie, “Why doesn’t he?”)

Violence Unsilenced was founded by Maggie Ginsberg-Schutz and is supported through volunteers who manage the website’s technical and financial needs.  The site is not about raising money, but about raising awareness and making sure people living with abuse know they are not alone.

Taking the time to listen can change the world

Violence Unsilenced is just as much about the audience as the survivors.

Readers are asked to take the pledge to subscribe to the site’s feed and leave comments on each submission, letting people who have gathered the courage to submit their stories know that they have been heard.  Giving survivors a forum to speak helps to break the cycle of silence that keeps so many victims living with their abusers.  It helps combat the feelings of guilt and loneliness.  It may sound like a small thing, but done consistently, it can make a difference.

How can we help?

Take the Pledge

The number one way Violence Unsilenced asks for your support is to take their pledge to listen to survivors when they speak out.  Supporters are asked to subscribe to the RSS feed and display a badge on their own websites.  You can show your support for Violence Unsilenced and victims of domestic violence by taking the pledge here.

Once you’ve taken the pledge, spend some time reading through some of the recent testimonies and lending your voice to the chorus of support in the comments.

This post is part of our Aiming Low Does Good campaign for January.  Be sure to come back next week when we’ll talk about how you can get involved offline to help stop domestic violence in your local community.

Statistics

About Aiming Low Does Good

Aiming Low Does Good shines a spotlight each month on causes that deserve attention and people who need help. We’ll give you some ideas of how you can help, either with your money, time or talents. We’ll also show you how to get involved in your own communities and how to spread the word.

Comments

  1. miss tejota says:

    Thanks for posting about this! I was totally unaware of this site, glad to know about it now.

  2. I feel lucky to have a place to tell my story and to see honesty spilling from so many.

    Thank you, Maggie, for all you have done.

    Twitter Name:

  3. Deb Rox says:

    VU has created an amazing, powerful space for healing, connection and information. I can’t begin to imagine the impact Maggie’s work has had on countless writers and readers. So important.

    Twitter Name:

  4. Ron Mattocks says:

    Powerful stuff. My wife has been a follower of this site for some time. It’s unfortunate to see people you know suffer through the aftermath of this. It’s inspiring to see them overcome it and help others by sharing their stories.

  5. maggie says:

    Thank you so much for highlighting VU on Aiming Low! It means the world to me and, more importantly, to everyone who is so personally invested in the site. Thank you from all of us.

    Twitter Name:

  6. Tiffany says:

    A beautiful community has been created out of such travesty. Thank you, I am proud to pledge! Well done Maggie, and thank you Aiming Low!

  7. Ashley says:

    I would put a big purple ribbon on my car if I could. I want it all to stop. I do not want another person to get through the hell that I did. But I survived! read my story

Trackbacks

  1. [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Bedford Pennsylvania. Bedford Pennsylvania said: RT @violatorstop: Violence Unsilenced: Supporting Domestic Abuse Survivors — Aiming Low http://bit.ly/dQtLsv [...]

  2. [...] and efforts to support victims and survivors of domestic abuse.  Last week, we talked about how you can support the VU website and help break the cycle of silence that makes domestic abuse [...]

  3. [...] Unsilenced and efforts to support victims and survivors of domestic abuse.  We’ve shared how you can support the VU website and how you can help domestic abuse victims in your local [...]

  4. [...] that heart is further evidenced by the Aiming Low Does Good feature. We’re grateful ALDG has already featured Violence UnSilenced, because there is so much overlap in the two communities. In fact, Aiming Low’s own Anissa [...]

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