I tend to be an all or nothing sort of person so for the topics that I am passionate about I’m very passionate about, and the topics that I have little or no interest I don’t give the time of day. I have a keen interest in the movements and campaigns targeted against the domestic violence, gender violence and rape against women. I have to be very careful when discussing this issue but it is something I feel that needs constant public attention. I have spent some time over the past few years assisting in mental health wards and therapy institutions, where I worked with survivors and continuing sufferers of the above. Consequently, the prevention and after care for victims is something I try to keep up to date with, as there are always new campaigns and advisory committee’s being set up in the UK and globally.
Some of the accounts I heard first hand and on paper were harrowing to say the least, something that at first I believed I could handle. Listening to them got a lot easier but I remember how quietly some of the women spoke, it was almost like they didn’t have a voice. Spending time with them made me think about the things that helped them recover, about what they would need and what they responded to. Most of them wanted somebody to take them seriously, to show compassion or to listen to them, without judgement, someone to feel safe with. Those that were scared about their current situation would avoid talking about it at all, unless you were able to build a relationship with them in order for them to trust you.
Domestic violence, gender violence and rape doesn’t just affect you for the time period in which it occurs. The scars are timeless. Imagine building relationships with people after experiencing such hatred and brutality. Imagine the lowest levels of confidence and imagine the highest level of fear being vividly present in your daily life. Physically scars heal quickly, imagine trying to heal a character, nurturing someone back to who they were. For this reason I thoroughly invest in any platforms that are trying to help and raise awareness.
Obviously my experiences have only been inside the UK, but this is something that happens globally and in places where there is even less resistance, less protection, and a lot of neglect where injustice is merely a consequence of class, status and conflict. Awareness should be global for the benefit of all women.