I know a number of victims of abuse. You do as well. I won't quote statistics to you. You can look them up as well as I can. Statistics. don't have an effect anyways. People have been trying to convince people with numbers for years. Would a figure like 90% of women being abused at some time in their life convince you to do something? Probably not, not unless you are already doing something, it would just be a little more fuel on the fire. I'm not trying to talk to those of you that are already in action. I'm also not trying to convince the abusers that they are doing something wrong and must stop. I can't do that alone.
I heard them talking about it on the bus. They were in the seat across the aisle from me. They didn't whisper. They weren't talking about stopping abuse. They weren't talking theory. They were discussing how they fended off their boyfriends, how they kept the people they loved from raping them.
I'm not a saint. Maybe I don't always pay strict attention to what my girlfriend is saying, and maybe I've made her feel uncomfortable once or twice. But these girls weren't talking about being hugged too hard, or kissed too long, they were talking about scratching, kneeing, gouging, and afterwards throwing up. Maybe there's a gap in communication. Maybe, but how could you not know that a knee in the groin means no?
I'm talking to the wrong people here, of course. You people don't do anything like this, but maybe, knowing that this happens will make us want to do something. It doesn't have to be much, just something to show that this school won't simply accept abuse any more.
I'm not someone who's going to get out and start an anti-abuse organization. There are already a couple of those in the school. But I'll wear a white ribbon next week, to show that I'm not going to lie down and let these things happen. Maybe it's not much. Not maybe. It isn't much. And it's not enough, but it's a first step, and it's a step we can all take.
The Peace Club invites you to take that first step. Support the white ribbon campaign by Men to Stop Violence Against Women. Wear a white ribbon next week to show that we will not allow the abuse to continue.
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This work is Copyright (c) Mike Fletcher 1991