I am so overwhelmed after doing an AMA on reddit last night. I am in complete awe that my post has had almost 80,000 views. The supportive messages and other survivors opening up made me very emotional. I was apprehensive when I first started doing this, but it’s now only a month down the line and it already feels like this has been worth it.
Something very important that was raised to me last night, is the meaning of “raising awareness”. It’s a phrase that is chucked around a lot to the point it’s almost unclear what it means, and I think the meaning is subjective in that it can mean a different thing to each person. I think there is confusion over what the benefits of raising awareness are and the impact of raising awareness. I wanted to take some time to explain what raising awareness means to me and why I think it is valuable.
A common thing for people to feel after they have been through trauma or had personal struggles is shame. People can be nervous to open up to people and feel embarrassed about the way they feel. The more people that open up and share stories and experiences that other people can relate to, that shame gradually starts breaking down brick by brick. In opening the door for discussion, you empower other survivors to feel strong and proud of what they’ve lived through rather than ashamed. These harrowing stories are transformed into a way of healing and give hope to others living through it for a better future and a chance for growth.
Not only is it important for the impact it has on those struggling with similar circumstances, but I feel it is important to educate people that may be out of the loop with domestic violence. I believe every person has a unique experience, no two stories are the same and each has their own individual lesson to be learned. Domestic abuse has many forms as I have previously mentioned, and in sharing a variety of different experience’s these different forms can be demonstrated and build up society’s knowledge on the variety of ways domestic abuse can present. I can only talk about my own personal experience, I am in no place to discuss the aspects of domestic abuse that I do not understand myself.
Raising awareness is finding the strength to speak out and in doing that, encouraging others to speak out. I’ve used the example of the me too movement a few times, as it is a relevant example of the catapult one person’s bravery can create. I also think writing is extremely therapeutic and I want to encourage other people to use writing as a way of expressing themselves. If you can turn your bad experience into something that other people can learn from and gain empowerment from then it gives a bit of positivity from that experience.
So, I hope that explains a bit about why I value raising awareness and what it means to me. I’m more glad than ever that I started this website and at only a month down the line, I am excited for what the future brings.