As bloggers, readers and writers, we all know how to use our words, so to speak. We can write to uplift, to make people laugh, to share pain, to support, to befriend, to make a connection, share news, urge action.
But did you know your words on your blog could save a woman's life? By reaching out with a message and pathways to help at a moment she most needs to receive it?
As a magazine editor for many years, I have seen the power of using my words to reach out to women who are suffering through an abusive relationship. For 15 years, I have worked with the amazing team at Liz Claiborne, Inc.—the company behind Love Is Not Abuse, as well as a major funder of the two primary relationship abuse hotlines (for women and for teenagers,) to share information about abuse, provide help, and most importantly just to TALK ABOUT IT, to bring it into the light and lift the veil of secrecy and shame. Just doing that can show other women that there is an entire COMMUNITY of people who understand, who have no judgment and who want to help.
Credit Image:jma.work via Flickr
That's a pretty powerful possibility, isn't it? Well, next Thursday, December 8, is the Seventh Annual It's Time To Talk Day, a day that is dedicated to just this one goal: to start and continue conversations about relationship abuse, domestic violence, and emotional abuse, to join together in making an effort to raise awareness and reverse the humbling statistics:
- 1 in 3 women will be in an abusive relationship in her lifetime.
- On average, more than three women a day are murdered by their husbands or boyfriends in the United States.
- Teenage girls are reporting dating abuse at rates higher than women, which makes them the most at-risk group for abuse in America.
- One in five tweens—ages 11 to 14—say their friends are victims of emotional, physical or verbal dating violence.
Don't be paralyzed by these statistics. Know that the best action any of us can take is to talk about it: with our friends, our sisters, our daughters, our bosses or employees. So please, join BlogHer and Liz Claiborne Inc. and LoveIsNotAbuse.com ON DECEMBER 8 to help women everywhere know that this is not their fault, they are not to blame, and that all of us care about them and believe they deserve love that does not hurt.
Here's how to join in to this conversation:
- •Commit to writing about relationship abuse on December 8, and share the link to your post in the comments of my post kicking off It's Time To Talk Day here on BlogHer.com on December 8.
- Have a conversation with a friend, sister, daughter, son or husband about how pervasive relationship abuse is and how it disproportionately affects women. Help them understand that it is not a "choice" of "leaving" or "staying," but a systematic takedown of a person's self-esteem and sense of worth that leaves her believing no one will care. That the perpetrators of abuse need help and attention, too. That no one wants to be in an abusive relationship.
- Run a link to the post on BlogHer.com that will run December 8, written by Violence Unsilenced's Maggie Ginsberg Shutz, who launched a site for speaking out and healing, where men and women can anonymously or publicly share their stories of survival.
- Simply run a notice on your site that says the following: "LOVE SHOULD NOT HURT. If you are a victim of relationship abuse, know two things: It is not your fault. And there are people who want to help you." And include links and phone numbers to the hotlines, which you can find for your post on Violence Unsilenced or Love Is Not Abuse or the Domestic Violence Hotline or Futures Without Violence or one of many other sites whose sole purpose is to reach out and help when someone needs it most.
Thank you for caring. Thank you for considering taking part in this important day and important conversation. Thank you for daring to take the time to USE YOUR WORDS to help those who need help the most. Here's to women, and our endless reserves of resilience and compassion. Let's shine it out there for all to see on December 8, and help change some lives. Because It Is Time To Talk About It.
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