One of the blogs that I like to read is Maggie’s at Okay, Fine, Dammit.  (One day, I will have a functioning blogroll.  I will, I swear.)  Recently, Maggie started a new blog, Violence Unsilenced, which she created “to shed light on the epidemics of domestic violence and sexual assault by giving their survivors a voice”.  (I couldn’t say this better, so I’m quoting her words here.)

Each and every one of us knows someone who has been the victim of domestic violence and/or sexual assault.  Each and every one of us.

Each and every one of us knows someone who has abused someone.  Again, each and every one of us.

We might not know it, but we do.

Shame is a powerful thing.  It keeps us in the shadows, afraid to tell our truths.  It prevents us from standing up and telling the world and telling our family and friends, about our experiences.  It makes us think that what has happened to us is our fault.

I cannot say this too often or with too much emphasis:  It is not our fault.  If you are the victim of abuse, it is NOT YOUR FAULT.

(I didn’t think about this post before I started it, so I’m a bit all over the place.  And this is a hard subject.  Please pardon me for the scattered post, but keep reading.)

I am a victim of domestic violence.  And I will write my story, to post both here and at Violence Unsilenced.  It won’t be today, but I will do it.

The amazing people who have submitted posts to Maggie deserve to be heard.  Each and every one of us needs to be aware of this issue and the effects that it has on the lives of everyone it touches.  Go there today and read.  Tell everyone you know.  Take the pledge.

Today, I take the pledge.  As Maggie writes, “If bloggers who have survived domestic abuse and sexual assault are brave enough to tell their stories here, the blogging community owes it to them to listen.”

Therefore, If you are brave enough to share your story of domestic violence, I pledge to hear and honor what you have to say.

Do it today, please.