I was recently told it is out of line for me to post abuser’s names on Survivorhood – by a woman. Not one of the women whose stories I have shared (When a survivor shares their story THEY dictate and approve every single word that appears in their post and choose whether their name and/or the name of their abuser is published. It is THEIR story and they share it when and how THEY want). Not by my mother who has a very personal stake in my level of safety (My mom is in total and complete support of me using my voice and standing up for what I believe in – acts which make her even more proud of me – as it should as a mother). No, I was told it is out of line by someone who barely knows me and clearly does not understand what is out of line.
What is out of line is someone putting their hands on another person without their consent, physically or sexually. What is out of line is society asking what she was wearing at the time of sexual assault – you know, in case she “asked for it.” Because wearing a mini-skirt and low-cut top is the same thing as wearing a sign that says please rape me. What is out of line is society NOT asking why that man thought he had any right whatsoever to touch her without her consent in the first place.
What is out of line is attacking your partner and telling yourself, “They made me do it.” Because not agreeing with you or confronting you for hurtful behavior causes you to lose all sense of your own self-control and self-regulation that your partner is essentially hitting themselves with your hand. What is out of line is statements like “If it was that bad, they would leave.” Because until you have been strangled by gaslighting or feared for your life, you have no clue how paralyzing the thought of leaving truly is.
What is out of line is the SILENCING of physical and sexual abuse survivors, not survivors using their voices. When we get to the point in our healing journey where we decide to share our story, it is our right to share as much of that story as we would like – because it is OURS to share. What is out of line is abusers getting to continue on with their lives like nothing happened while their victims live in fear and in shame. What is out of line is having more concern about further provoking an abuser than for the person who has decided to take back their voice and take a stand to heal themselves and to help others.
I will continue to post survivor stories in the exact way survivors would like them posted because someone has to give them a voice rather than take it away. If that means I am out of line, then I will continue to be out of line until the day I die – for every person and every story that has been posted on Survivorhood and for every person and every story that will be in the future.
Photo: Flickr – Quinn Dombrowski