While the focus at That's What She Said is often about ways to pamper the woman inside the Mom, supporting that same woman is even more important.
I am beyond honored to have been given an opportunity to introduce a new online community for women, Brave Woman.
Supporting the Brave Woman movement is a very personal and heartfelt decision. Many readers are already in the know regarding the tragedy that devastated my family in 2010. In fact, we have just passed our one year Surviorversary in October, a year after my daughter was raped by multiple assailants, a group of seniors from her high school. Although I have shared portions of that harrowing experience through the pages of this blog, true to my inherent Mom martyrdom, I have never shared the experience I had with domestic violence as a young woman. One might wonder at the likelihood of such violence befalling both a mother and daughter, however the statistics of rape and domestic abuse paint a picture ripe with reality.
Somewhere in America a woman is battered, usually by her intimate partner, every 15 seconds. 1
My daughter lettered in three different sports as a freshman, travels the country competing in national level lacrosse tournaments and is an honor student.
I was raised in an exclusive upper middle class community, attended two universities, had expectation of attending graduate school.
We live in Suburbia, USA.
We are you.
Every two minutes, someone in the US is sexually assaulted. 44% of the victims are under age 18, 80% are under the age 30. 2
The disheartening odds being what they are, either you, a woman in your family or a woman you call friend has been the victim of violence against women.
Don't think so?
That merely means they just have not shared their experience with you.
60% of all rapes are not reported to the police. 15 out of 16 rapists will never spend a day in jail. 3
In the National Violence Against Women Survey, approximately 25% of women and 8% of men said they were raped and/or physically assaulted by a current or former spouse, cohabiting partner, or date in their lifetimes. 4
I remember, as a teenager, being exposed to the subject of violence against women from some nameless talk show on television on afternoon. With a series of guests sharing their desperate stories of domestic abuse, I was baffled. I could not comprehend why they would endure it; why they simply did not leave. Less than ten years later, I found myself in a comparable situation, a year and a half into a marriage with an emotional and physical abuser. The empty shell of the person I once was, void of any spark of life, of any feeling at all.
Studies by the Surgeon General's office reveal that domestic violence is the leading cause of injury to women between the ages of 15 and 44, more common than automobile accidents, muggings, and cancer deaths combined. Other research has found that half of all women will experience some form of violence from their partners during marriage, and that more than one-third are battered repeatedly every year. 5
The statistics regarding rape and domestic violence against women is beyond horrific.
The Brave Woman organization and community seeks to make a difference, to empower women to live free of fear and pain, as victors and not victims.
OUR SHARED VISION is that every woman and child will have the supportive resources they need to live without fear in their homes and see themselves as courageous victors, finally free from family violence.
That's What She Said and Brave Woman challenge you to step forward, speak out and take the Brave Woman pledge.
We are networking with international advocates to end domestic violence one woman, one family at a time. Become a Brave Woman Champion. Take the pledge today and join other brave women in your area. Everyone who joins the Brave Woman community receives a free download of Jana Stanfield’s song, What Would I Do Today If I Were Brave and other sources of reflection and encouragement.
Take the Brave Woman pledge
for your neighbor,
Celebrate the Brave Woman in you ~
Join the #BraveWoman Twitter Party on Monday, December 19, 2011, 1 - 2 pm, EST.
This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias.#CBias #BraveWoman
The opinions and experiences above are both honest and my own.
1 - UN Study On The Status of Women, Year 2000 http://www.feminist.com/antiviolence/facts.html
2 - RAINN http://www.rainn.org/statistics
3 - RAINN http://www.rainn.org/statistics
4 - Full Report of the Prevalence, Incidence, and Consequences of Violence Against Women, Findings from the National Violence Against Women Survey, November, 2000 http://www.feminist.com/antiviolence/facts.html
5 - Journal of American Medical Association, 1990. http://www.aardvarc.org/dv/statistics.shtml