The past forty-eight hours have been exhilarating. They've been exhausting. They've been heartbreaking, and triumphant. I'm a mother of two daughters and I almost feel as if I've just given birth again and, in a way, I have. The baby is named Violence UnSilenced.
It is a collective blog, a body of voices united in a single cause: to shed light within the blogging community on the epidemics of domestic violence and sexual assault. It was several months in the making and when we went live on Tuesday, the response was overwhelmingly positive. Within twenty-four hours we'd had more than 2,000 hits, and a mind-blowing volume of support. It's a strange thing, to feel this heady mix of excitement for the promised success of the blog, and profound sadness for the authors of the stories themselves. For myself. For my daughters.
Before I became a parent more than nine years ago, there was so much I didn't know about the job. I expected difficult moments but I never appreciated the subtle complexities that come with loving other human beings so much -- the irrational fear, the sleepless nights, the gut-aching worry, the second-guessing and indecision. These are the kinds of things you can never really know until you get there, and as I lay in bed last night worried sick over a couple of comments I'd had to delete because they might cause additional harm to survivors at their most vulnerable, as I let another comment remain that questioned my motives and made me feel personally attacked, as I worried over what consequences telling the truth might bring to these survivors, as it began to slowly sink in that I love this site so intensely already, it occured to me: Loving this blog, like parenting, is going to be harder and more complex than I ever envisioned. There will be unexpected sucker punches. It's going to hurt sometimes. It's going to be hard.
But the best things are.
I hope you will embrace and co-parent this cause as your own, because it is. One in four women will be victimized in her lifetime. If we keep talking about it, if we spread the word far and wide, if we support those brave enough to share their sorrow, who knows what this community can accomplish. Who knows what we can do together.
Please visit www.ViolenceUnsilenced.com.