My name is Bill, and too many people I love have survived sexual violence.
I would like all of you who have to know that I'm honored to be your friend. Your courage in living past your experiences to be the bright, beautiful and caring people I know is beyond admirable. I get angry when I think about what you've been through, but who you are inspires and uplifts me.
No pity. No shame. No silence.
(With thanks to misia for originating this meme, to garrity and butterflykiki for the ideal modified wording, and to finabair for the original addendum.
Seen in the LiveJournals of many, including wiliqueen, tv_elf, thanatos_kalos, and finabair.)
Rape, Abuse, Incest National Network
National Association to Protect Children (PROTECT)
Edit, 14:00 CDT: Like praxes, I have not myself experienced sexual abuse, but have several good friends who have, and the statistics worldwide (not just in the United States, of course) are, IMHO, an outrage.
Edit, 15:00 CDT: A couple of other comments.
I've been checking my LJ friends page today as I work, and one thing I noticed belatedly is that misia had to shut down the thread due to an overwhelming response, mostly from survivors who bravely came forward to express solidarity. However, there was also a few disgusting examples of what John Gabriel called the "Greater Internet Fuckwad Theory" (GIFT) and what I have similarly referred to as "idiots crawling out of the woodwork".
You can read about the GIFT in burkhardt's cogent post about the effects of Internet anonymity (literal and figurative) a while back. Sadly, I think he's got it mostly right, though I think the tide will reverse as the notoriety of being online wears off for some. Having been online since I was 13 (late 1986), I tend to shrug off most of the "net rage", but it still hits me viscerally sometimes to see really awful behavior under the guise of an assumed identity.
I've been on USENET, in some of the most flame-laden newsgroups (not just for SF fandoms such as
alt.fan.tolkienbut for political and sociocultural communities such as
soc.culture.*), and the audacity of the trolls in misia's LJ still strikes me. At first I didn't think the trollage was very bad in her entry, until I noticed that she had already had to
set_bana few dozen of them in the first 24 hours.
Oh, and remember: starve a troll, feed a hobbit.
Several respondents in misia's thread, and suricattus, noted that action rather than pity, even sympathy, is a more appropriate response. As the child of a person who once took such action on behalf of a survivor, I just wanted to voice my agreement.
As another PSA, the National Association to Protect Children (PROTECT), which I just learned of through the above thread, seems to be another worth while organization to support.