And I have been asked why on Earth I would do this. *laugh*
There are so many reasons. Obvious ones:
* The need to let other survivors know that they are not alone, and that there's help.
* The need to remind people that rape exists.
* The need to unlock the silence.
But the big one...
* The need to put a face on it.
It's easy for people who haven't been affected by rape and/or sexual assault to lock away the knowledge that it exists. To figure that, since it hasn't happened to anyone they know, it won't. It's a distant thing.
I will bring it home.
If there's one thing I'm good at, it's drawing in and focusing attention. When I speak, they will listen.
The most important thing I'll be doing here is being a person.
That'll make sense in a minute. :)
Rapists often depersonalize. "This isn't a woman, this isn't a wife, a mother, a lover, a friend, a laughing living breathing silly intense loving person - this is an object to be used as I see fit." Gross oversimplification, but that thought process exists. I escaped with my life by throwing my rapist off script and then, for three hours, making myself a person. If you kill me, you're not discarding an object that you're done using. You are killing a person who has taste in music, who writes poetry, who would have talked to you in the coffeeshop had you only asked...
So one of the most important things I'll be doing is sitting there with people who may not think rape is a big deal... and making it a big deal. Being the face of the crime. Being a person.
I've done a lot of fundraising for RAINN and similar organizations. With your help, I've helped thousands of survivors get the help they need.
But this... what I hope to gain by this is stopping rape before it happens. Nipping that thought process in the bud. Effecting change.
I love that BARCC has this and other community education and outreach programs, in addition to their hotline and medical and legal advocacy programs. I am honored to be a part of it.
Please sponsor me in my blogathon for the Boston Area Rape Crisis Center.
Get survivors the counseling they need to recover, grow strong, keep walking. Get them the help they need in the hospital and the courtroom. Raise awareness of the effects of rape and sexual assault; raise awareness that no means no, and that this is a person just like you.
Thank you. It means so damn much.