About Violence UnSilenced
Violence UnSilenced gives a voice to survivors of domestic violence, sexual abuse and sexual assault and raises the public’s awareness and understanding.
Violence UnSilenced is a resource site that has been fostered by a community of rape, domestic violence, childhood abuse survivors and personal bloggers. Formerly a non-profit organization guided by a board of directors, the site is now maintained by Violence UnSilenced founder, journalist Maggie Ginsberg. From 2008–2104, the Violence UnSilenced project published personal accounts of interpersonal violence, giving voice to over many hundreds of survivor stories. The project is no longer accepting new submissions or comments, but it still offers access to the existing body of stories to stand as powerful, collaborative testimonial that honors survivors everywhere. Please continue to read, to speak out, and to support one another.
The violence is everywhere, and yet the stories are not:
1 in 3 women is abused by an intimate partner in her lifetime.
1 in 6 men experience sexual abuse by age 18.
A child abuse report is filed every 10 seconds.
Bearing witness to the stories behind these statistics is a critical first step to create the conversations that will lead to change–and for the survivors, being witnessed often helps to lighten the burden of their personal history.
What Violence UnSilenced Did
Violence UnSilenced published approximately two survivors’ stories of abuse each week. Site visitors were invited to take an annual pledge to listen and offer support, and offer comments in a safe and supportive for survivors and advocates alike.
Survivors were empowered and validated both by telling their stories in a safe space and by reading the stories of others, ensuring they were not alone, but part of a larger, sympathetic community.
Readers were given insight into the long-lasting and damaging impact of abuse, building a larger community of awareness and understanding so that the real work of ending violence can begin.
The volunteers who manage this site are NOT trained professionals, nor experts in any sense of the word. This site is not intended to take the place of a true domestic violence advocacy website, such as the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence. or a true rape, abuse, and incest crisis support site, such as RAINN. Please visit those sites for support. If you are a victim of domestic violence and you need help, call the National Domestic Violence Hotline: 1-800-799-SAFE (7233). There are additional resources listed here.
Please make sure it is safe for you to be here. Take note of the pink “quick escape” buttons on the right hand sidebar at the top, middle, and bottom of the page. Clicking these buttons will instantly take you to a blank Google page, but you will still need to erase your browsing history. Even this is not a complete fix; Computer, cell, and handheld device use can be remotely monitored and is impossible to completely clear or hide. There are programs for purchase that can be installed on computers and cell phones alike, without your knowledge, that track and record every single keystroke. If you are in danger, please use a safer computer, call your local hotline, and/or call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE (7233).
One of the last hurdles to eradicating abuse is the culture of silence and shame that exists yet today. You very likely have people in your life that are being abused, you just don’t realize it. Victims are led to believe they are alone, that no one will believe them, and that people will think less of them. Heavy societal pressure generally falls on the victim (ie, “Why doesn’t she leave?”) instead of on the person committing the crime (ie, “Why does he do that?”)
Every situation is complicated and unique, and there is no stereotype. Every single survivor of abuse is different from his or her comrades, and by sharing stories here we can educate ourselves as to just how pervasive domestic violence and sexual abuse/assault is, and how it crosses all cultural, racial, gender, sexual orientation, and socioeconomic lines. This is our society’s collective issue, not simply a problem of those directly impacted.
Violence UnSilenced is widely supported around the world by advocacy professionals and non-professionals alike. Violence UnSilenced has been featured on a Madison, Wisconsin CBS news affiliate, iVillage, AOL’s Parent Dish, BlogHer, Momocrats, and was mentioned in the HuffPo. Alltop created a new domestic violence channel after learning about VU, and Violence UnSilenced was a 2010 Bloggies finalist for Best Community Blog. In summer 2010 Violence UnSilenced was recognized as one of five Bloganthropy award finalists in New York City. In 2009, Domestic Abuse Intervention Services of Dane County in Madison, Wisconsin recognized Maggie Ginsberg with a community service award specifically to support Violence UnSilenced.