The past few weeks have found this country rocked yet again: allegations of assault, dragging human beings through hell on both sides, the ever-increasing egotistical, power-driven, do whatever it takes to win, (no matter who gets harmed), money & greed fueled politicians and media…when and how does it stop? How do we rise above better than this? How do teach our children better? Ladies & gentlemen, I implore you, what are our next steps?
I have a few ideas and then a request from my readers (or anyone with whom you may share).
- Society clearly is broken in certain aspects
- Women & men are afraid to come forward
- Men & women are terrified of being falsely accused
- We are allowing negative, toxic behaviors to continue
- We are failing each other, especially our children
No More Will We
- Be silent
- Hide behind guilt and shame
- Tolerate abuse, assault, disrespect, dismissal
- Hide from family & friends
- Live in continual fear
- When safe to do so, reach out for emergency assistance or to create a safety or future escape plan:
- National Domestic Violence Hotline Website or 1-800-799-7233 (TTY 1-800-787-3224)
- RAINN (National Sexual Assault Hotline or 800-656-4673
- WCS and R U Safe App 412-687-8005 (In Pittsburgh—Women’s Center & Shelter and download for R U Safe app that will help you find resources across the country) *This shelter accepts small cats & dogs as well
- SafePath Children’s Advocacy Center If you suspect child abuse
- National Center on Elder Abuse
- Reach out to a trusted family member or friend
- Call 911
- Consider safety of children
- Seek a PFA
- Take abuser to court (there are advocates to assist you)
- Become A SURVIVOR!
- Understand & rebuild your personal finances & credit (Madison Blancaflor, Bankrate, Inc., 11/15/2018) Rebuilding Finances after Financial Abuse
Next Steps—Men and Women (Friends, Family, Coworkers)
- Believe her (or him)!
- Get her or him to hospital if needed and/or police station when applicable or when safe to do so
- Offer support; listen and do not judge
- Do not ask why she/he didn’t leave sooner
- Get them to a safe place or to a shelter
- Go with them to doctor appointments, court dates, therapist appointments, etc.
- Volunteer at a shelter or donate to one
- Cook meals, help with children, etc. as applicable
- No guilt, shame or judgement—love and support only
- Download the R U Safe app yourself or visit the websites above to learn the signs; don’t stay silent or in denial
- If you or someone you know is committing abuse, turn yourself in now or contact the police with the information you have
- Join me or start your own local group in creating educational material for children ages 10-18 on self-esteem, confidence, recognizing red-flags, empowerment, consent, etc.
Share Your Stories
I shared one of my stories in the post Surviving Scary and now I am asking you to find your brave and share your survivor tale. It doesn’t matter if it was yesterday or 40 years ago, it’s time to tell our stories (both women and men). I am working on a book as part of the Stand Up Be Seen portion of this blog. Every story will remain anonymous and confidential, identified only by a letter/number combination that I will provide to you. If you do not wish to remain anonymous and want your name associated with your story, I will provide an affirmation and confirmation document prior to using your story. Your writing may be a few sentences up to 4 pages in length. (I do reserve the right to edit for space constraint without losing any of the integrity or message. Re-writes will be shared with you prior to publication.)
All stories should be submitted to: StandUpBeSeen@gmail.com
Please share with any family or friends who may also want to convey their stories, I encourage women and men to participate. It is time the world knows that we will no longer be silent, we are finding our voices through different mediums, we are breaking the cycle of carrying guilt and shame and that we long to unleash the burden of this weight we have been carrying. It is time to be heard, to heal and to be free!