SPEAK 1 Favorite 

Date: 

Mar 25 2013

Location: 

Online

Last night I attended an Intimate Partner Violence and Sexual Assault
Speak Out, where people across campus from the LGBT community and
coalitions of color came together in one sacred space to share their
stories with strangers. For many, including me, it was the first time we
spoke out publicly. It was empowering. It was liberating. Rarely do I
let myself shed tears over my repressed memories, yet I cried over every
story, cried for the beauty of each person’s strength; how their
experiences shaped them into the beautiful beings they are today. I
cried over the harsh reality of the world in which we live, for it can
be a despicable one. It is revolting how certain people think it
permissible to commit such untenable acts towards human beings. More so,
it is an abomination how humanity so quickly prefers to sweep these
so-called ‘taboo’ issues under the rug rather than discuss them. To this
day, fifteen years later, I still feel tainted. 


One thing I noticed was how much repression we, as survivors, hold
accountable within ourselves. Repression and blame- these are the common
denominators within all our stories, a shared disposition as a result of
our experiences. And this blame? It eats us alive. We need to talk about
this. People need to know that intimate partner violence affects both
men and women. I won’t stand for this any longer, not if I, as an
artist, can do something about it. We need to help others. We need to
teach young men and women how to treat each other with respect.

These tea lights are part of the candle lighting ceremony that took
place after everyone spoke. We gathered around the room and lit them,
one by one, in silence. These candles represent the voices that belong
to those who were courageous enough to speak; the voices who came out as
supporters to this cause, and most importantly, the voices who lost
their lives to intimate partner violence and thus could not be with us
that night. In those two, highly emotional hours, my life was forever
changed. Not only did this event teach me more about these issues, it
taught me that everyone is fighting their own battles, and though you
might not be able to relate to them, it doesn’t make their hardships any
less real. Spread the word. Speak out.

Posted by lizzitsu on