Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’Category

Finding Hope

self_portrait_as_a_victimFour survivors share their stories, poetry, and art about finding hope after violence. In her non-fiction story, “The Truths We Can and Cannot Bear,” Kristin Brumm writes:

“Here is what I know. Each of us – daughter, father, lover, friend – walks the earth carrying the burden of certain painful truths, and at times we must set down our load. But the earth is patient and holds for us the truths we cannot abide and returns them when we are ready to bear them, if ever we are.

She guards our dreams and the quick tumbling years that stretch into the past to trace the fractured lines of our long-forgotten selves. She sees the broken lenses through which we view life and the means by which we take the measure, or mismeasure, of those we love, and looks upon all this without judgment, for only she knows the long history of the truths we’ve been asked to bear. The earth, who holds for us our hopes, who once held for me the lost pieces of myself, who now holds the ashes of my mother and father, who also holds the promise of riches yet to unfold.

From her I have learned many things. She has taught me how to untangle my truth from the easy words of those around me, how to retrieve it from the deepest reaches of darkness and breath life back into it. Because of her, I know that beneath what passes as restlessness is an unknown strength; that all these years later, I still belong to the wild. I know that to gain a foothold, we need to trust the slow unwinding of grace; and that in order to take flight, we merely need to let go.”

Check out the new work below:

Art

Self Portrait as a Victim by Snail

Stories

The Truths We Can and Cannot Bear by Kristin Brumm

My Story by Kayli

You Are There by Tracy L

Poetry

Caught by Lee Ann Walker

20

10 2010

Hope for Women around the World

Human Rights Watch reports on a new US bill, the International Violence against Women Act. This proposed bill could help women and violence survivors around the world gain access to medical services, victim’s support, relief, justice, and hope. Read more:

“Violence against women is a worldwide crisis, and a bill scheduled to come before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Wednesday, the International Violence against Women Act, would improve the way US foreign assistance is provided to address such violence. The US Violence against Women Act and several reauthorizations created critical funding, strategies, and structures to prevent violence against women and girls and to support survivors.  While this law has been immensely helpful in the United States, foreign assistance to combat violence against women in other countries has been patchy, meager, and uncoordinated.

The International Violence against Women Act presents a comprehensive plan for US foreign assistance to prevent and remedy violence against women and girls.  A structure would be created to support more coordinated and intensified local efforts in up to 20 countries to improve the full range of services that survivors need.  It would promote jobs and other economic support for women, and strengthen efforts to change social attitudes that condone violence against women.

The bill has important provisions for addressing violence against women during and after armed conflict.  It would support trauma counseling, medical assistance, legal services, and economic opportunity programs for women in countries affected by conflict.

After each gut-wrenching interview with a sexual violence survivor that we do as researchers into human rights violations, we walk away feeling angry and sad, but also hopeful.  Hopeful because of the resilience of these survivors, and their determination to speak out to stop these crimes.   Hopeful because at least some will reach organizations that can help them mend their health and their lives.  Hopeful because we know we can do something to support their efforts.  Passing this bill is an important step in that direction.”

Read the rest of the article by clicking here.

08

08 2010

New Poems and Stories!

We have just posted 6 new stories and poems from 5 very brave survivors. Take a moment to check out some of the amazing work below. And stay posted as we continue to raise funds to produce our print publication. We truly appreciate your patience!

Tara Cameron – The Innocence Thief

Marisa Knowlton – Consent and Traitor

Debby Willett – On the backseat of a station wagon

Tiffani – My Story

Cori – Bits of Stone

Thanks again for checking out End the Silence Campaign! We truly appreciate your support.

17

06 2010

SAAM Feature 29: Ronda

My Story

by: Ronda White

_

The abuse began when I was 7 years old. I use to believe my grandpa when he would tell me we are going to play a game that all granddaughters and grandpas play. He would tell me the game was really fun but it was a secret game. I never had fun but it was definitely a secret.

It all started the night my mom was in a serious car wreck. She was rushed to the ER and Grandma went to stay with her leaving me and my brothers alone with grandpa. My brothers and Grandpa decided I could have the only room in the house and they would all three bunk in the living room. About 12 am I was awakened by the bedroom door being opened and grandpa sneaking in. He told me to be quiet while we played a fun game. He began to undress me and touch me in places that I didn’t know I wasn’t suppose to be touched in. Before he left the room he made sure to tell me not to speak a word of our game to anyone.

This continued to happen for about 2 years. Then one of my friends told me about some man being arrested for touching little girls and I began to wonder is what he doing to me ok. The next time he came to play his game I told him I was going to tell my mom because this game wasn’t fun or right. He told me if I told he would kill my family. So I kept quiet and it continued for 2 more years and I got the nerve one sunday morning while helping grandpa make coffee to tell him that when I went to church I was going to tell the Preacher what he was doing to me. I never went to church that day because as soon as I spoke those words he threw a cup of coffee at me and punched me in the stomach. Then he said “I am the adult and you are the child. I know right from wrong and you are suppose to do whatever I say.”

So it kept happening because I kept letting it happen until the day I turned 13. I went to school and spilled my guts to the guidance counselor who assured me I was right to tell her and she contacted DSS. I went home that day and told mom everything. She didn’t believed me and called me a nasty whore who was trying to ruin her family and told me to get the hell out of her house. So I ran away. At this age of course the cops are going to bring you back home so I refused to go back and made a scene so the cops wouldn’t take me back there. I was taken to a local hospital and then put in to a mental hospital where I under went pysch evaluations for 1 month and took every medicine know to earth. I left there with the diagnosis of PTDS, Anxiety Disorder, and  Mood Disorder. I was put into foster care. I stayed there until I was tired of theraphy and being slapped with names of all kinds of mental disorders. So I began running away from there which resulted in me being put back in a hospital for about 1 or 2 weeks.

I finally gave up fighting the world and moved back home. To this day mom still doesn’t believe me, I still fight flashbacks constantly and I have never forgiven myself nor my grandfather. I never had my day in court because DSS investigated. They went to his house with the cops got him to confess and that was it. Nothing happen. I tell the truth and he confesses and gets to walk free. He has the ability to hurt another helpless little girl and there is nothing I can do to stop him.

29

04 2010

SAAM Feature 28: Ashley Michelle

I spit out the peel
when I heard the jury fill the room
my mouth puckered from the tart stab
of lemons against my tongue, bitter tidings
the foreshadow of two words:
“not guilty.”
not guilty, they had said, about you
but did they know
you weren’t innocent, either?
at the verdict, my dry mouth turned
to sahara sand
wishing there’d been more marks,
maybe a body or two…
or perhaps that you’d broken every bone in my body
maybe left me with visible scars,
something tangible
my life arranged in evidence bags
on the prosecutor’s table.
the courtroom adjourns
and I stay stuck on the wooden benches
writing your name on
the soft palate of my mouth.

28

04 2010