|| Silence is Deadly ||
We often communicate our lives to the world in a way that we are able control what people perceive about them, however its what we keep silent that has the most significant impact on them. It can be powerful and it can be deadly.
For this specific challenge I chose to probe deep into something that enkindles such anger and sadness within me. That specific something is the abuse of women. The topic of abuse is usually never brought into conversation, its like a dirty little secret that no one wants to talk about. The reason i feel so strongly about the abuse of women is because when i was about 14 or 15 years of age I had a friend who’s mother was both physically and mentally abused by her husband. I saw it happen once and it made me feel physically ill, I thought to myself why wont she leave? why is she putting herself through this?
In most cases the victim suffers in silence; afraid of reprisal if she speaks out. They feel ashamed or scared that they will be blamed for the abuse. Even worse is when they do speak up to friends or family who recognises the seriousness of the situation they often grow impatient because the victim stays with the abuser. The victim is afraid of what will happen when she leaves, will he kill me? how will I earn money? will he take my children from me?
I spoke to my friend on numerous occasions about her mothers situation and she used to tell me that her mom would tell her to forget about it and try shove the whole thing under the carpet. It frustrated me so much, I just wanted to help her but i couldn’t. I couldn’t stand my friend seeing her mother being abused, I wanted her to live in a safe and happy environment. I was enraged at the fact that her mother never said anything about the abuse. She would cover up her bruises with make up and lye about what happened to her. She was always in an “accident”. I wanted her to break the silence. I wanted her to get help, realise that her life can change. It breaks my heart that this type of abuse is happening to so many women around the world on a daily basis.
Therefore to make myself completely and utterly uncomfortable I went 24 hours in the shoes of a women who has been physically abused. I broke the silence for a day and communicated to the world that I was a victim of abuse. I did not try cover up the bruises and i did not lye about what happened to me.
I covered my face, arms and legs with fresh bruises and knuckles with blood.
Throughout the day people starred at me as if i was a disgrace. I felt utterly embarrassed and ashamed. I wanted to run home and cry because i was so uncomfortable at the way people were looking at me. People that knew me ran up to me and asked me what happened and if Im ok. A few people thought that my boyfriend had abused me. I felt sick to my stomach wondering what people were thinking of me, I immediately make up their own thoughts in my head such as; she must be in a abusive relationship, maybe her family abuses her, do you think she got into a fight, why doesn’t she leave, she must be a weak person. These are the thoughts that took over my head and i hated them.
I completely broke the silence and let people know that I was a victim of abuse. Some people judge and some people help. It takes such courage and will power to let people know you were abused or are being abused. It’s time to speak up and make a change.