Back when I was in college the first time, I remember the stats given out about violence against women basically amounting to “it’s likely happened to a friend of yours or a friend of a friend.” If the response from yesterday’s journal is at all representative of the average, those numbers were way, way off in college.
First of all, a thank you to everyone who gave virtual hugs and support. It means so much! Second, an extra special thank you to those of you who shared your stories with me. I had no idea just how many women in my life have personally experienced something similar to or even worse than my own experiences! I always thought my history was relatively uncommon. I was very wrong.
I believe the reason those stats in college were so far off, and I thought my own experiences to be rare, is because the majority of women who have experienced it do not talk about it. We need to talk about it! This is why social movements like #YesAllWomen are so important! If just a few more women had shared their experiences with me over the years, I would not have felt so alone in mine. I also would have been much more likely to share my own experiences with other women before now.
I know how hard it is to share this stuff. I know how mixed up you can be with shame, guilt, anger, and more, and how that gets in the way of sharing. But, in sharing you help yourself to heal as much as you help others. In sharing you may even save a life. If you aren’t comfortable sharing your story publicly, then please consider sharing your story privately with a woman you trust. Also, please know that you are always welcome to share your story with me.