Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence sufferers are either unable or unwilling to seek help for many reasons and part of our thinking allows for the need to remain silent.
Every one of us, at one time will face a situation where we feel that it is best if we do not discuss this with another person or even inform another person of what we know. We have the absolute right to remain silent.
If it is about another person we are not equipped with enough experience to decide how to proceed. For example your best friend is happily married with a lovely family that are all happy and you accidentally discover one of the parents leads a double life with another person. This is very hard to resolve and we often worry a lot about what would happen if you broke your silence.
But what if your friend often has a small injury and appears to be suffering from domestic violence. We do know that your friend may be in real danger because in many domestic cases one of parties dies. (mostly women). Again this is difficult, but you should try to find the right time to simply ask if you can help in any way. If there are any children in the family all the more reason that intervention will be very helpful.
If it is about ourselves, when something happens that affects us personally, we also can decide to remain silent. We might have lost a lot of money, or a friend dies but there is no need to burden others with this ‘problem’ but people do notice. You seem quieter and show other signs that others pick up and ask “are you OK?” Such matters over time fade away as events of the past. One thing that doesn’t ever fade away is when we are sexually assaulted or when we are subjected to domestic violence. Due to so many reasons we decide to keep silent. Again this is our right to so do but in this case there is no relief as it stays in our mind forever.
But there is hope.
An old lady came up to Jane after she gave a speech outlining her decision to break the silence and fighting for Justice and said to her. “Thank you Jane. I was raped when I was young and never told anyone” Jane hugged her. No other words were necessary in this conversation as the old woman was now free. because someone cared about victims like her. Her name? Why would Jane want her name? Just being their Jane, the Empowertarian gave her strength.
The good news is that this story is repeated often and more and more people are coming forward. Our organisation provides tools and technology to demonstrate how to survive domestic violence and sexual assault in today’s world. We are slowly revealing myths and misconceptions, such as the strategy by rapists to blame victims or to plead that they had been drinking, or never intended to cause trouble, or that the rape was consensual etc.