Unsilencing the Silence through Words

My amazingly talented “bloggy friend” (one of many, wow you people are amazing) Maggie Dammit is deciding to use her talent for good. She’s using her writing, to help those who may feel they’ve lost their voices, are afraid to raise them loudly enough, speak out. She has created

Violence UnSilenced and I’ll let her tell you more herself:

The day I announced I’d be starting a domestic violence blog, I signed up for two Google alerts. Any time the words “domestic violence” and “murder suicide” appeared in the national news, I wanted to know about it. At the time I wasn’t exactly sure what this new blog would be, and I thought the alerts would be a good start, a practical way to stay up to date on blogworthy news items. I thought it would give me ideas. I expected a handful of emails and a truckful of inspiration.

But from day one my inbox was bombarded. In fact, I was so overwhelmingly inundated by domestic violence and sexual assault related emails that I had to cancel the alerts to preserve my sanity. I’m not gonna lie; I felt very discouraged and small. I felt like this was a mistake. I knew this was a huge issue, but I’d never really looked at the prevalence of violence on a day-to-day basis and it blew my mind. Frankly, it delayed this project for a while. After all, who the hell am I?

I am not an expert. I am not an educator. I am not a counselor. I’m just a woman hobbled by an old experience, a journalist inspired by a story, and a blogger — and that’s when it sunk in. I’m a blogger who has been touched and astounded by the power of this community over the past two years. I know what it can do.

And that’s something.

I’m starting small, and I’m sticking to what I know. My vision for this site is to bring the survivor stories of other bloggers to you with the hope that you will see yourself, or your brother, or your daughter, or your neighbor, in their words. With the hope that you will feel safe enough and inspired enough to chime in. With the hope that by the telling and the listening we will all be better people. I know what you people are capable of. I’m here to collect and disseminate your stories of abuse. I’m here to ask you to tell them, to hear them, and to spread the word.

Sure, I still want big things. I want to make a difference. I want to ‘be the change.’ I want to spark awareness and I want to reach you through your computer screen and I want to shake you and show you either that you are not alone, or that you are blind to what is all around you. I have such high hopes. But every big thing needs a beginning. This is ours.

Here is what I’m asking you to do.

1. SPEAK OUT: Tell your story. Read this, and email me at maggie [at] violenceunsilenced [dot] com with questions.

2. TAKE THE PLEDGE: Read the stories of your fellow bloggers. Subscribe to the feed, grab a badge for your sidebar, and add ViolenceUnSilenced to your blogroll and I’ll return the favor on the pledge page.

3. SPREAD THE WORD: Share this post in your Reader, Twitter it, Stumble it, Kirtsy it, Digg it, whatever it is you Internet savvy folks do. There are gazillions of personal blogs out there, and one in four women share this experience. I’d venture to guess a hell of a lot of men do, too.

So for Maggie, and for those who feel silenced, help begin the unsilencing, the using of words for good, the telling of stories to raise a sound, a noise, a voice that won’t be silenced. Thanks.

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5 Comments

  1. washwords » Blog Archive » Unsilencing the Silence through Words | menarebetter.com said,

    Wrote on February 17, 2009 @ 1:02 pm

    […] washwords » Blog Archive » Unsilencing the Silence through Words […]

  2. maggie, dammit said,

    Wrote on February 17, 2009 @ 2:03 pm

    Thank you SO much, hon. I can’t tell you how much I appreciate the support. XOXO

    maggie, dammits last post: Up

  3. washwords said,

    Wrote on February 17, 2009 @ 8:27 pm

    but of course, mon amie @maggie, dammit: a very very worthy cause. I’m impressed anew by your considerable gifts. I stumbled, dugg, twittered etc. too. mwah!

  4. washwords said,

    Wrote on February 18, 2009 @ 10:51 pm

    Oh Maggie, how timely your site is, how needed you are. today i read this: http://www.fungkeblakchik.com/2009/02/battered-women-at-the-hands-of-battered-minds/ and now this about the TV executive beheading his wife. I am saddened and dismayed. sigggh. hug the good ones tight tonight.

    (@maggie, dammit)

  5. Words For Friends Cheat said,

    Wrote on November 18, 2013 @ 5:09 pm

    Words With Friends ROCKS. Words With Friendsis gonna make me fail my classes!

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