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Scheherazade in Blue Jeans
freelance alchemist
27th-Jul-2007 09:23 am
I am a member of The Boston Area Rape Crisis Center's Survivor Speakers Bureau. What does this mean? It means that, staring this fall, I'll be doing regular public speaking events in which I tell the story of my rape and recovery.

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.
27th-Jul-2007 03:21 pm (UTC)
And, once again, I read the whole thing.

And, once again, you express the cause better than I ever could.

Bless. And all the best.
27th-Jul-2007 04:46 pm (UTC)
I like the fact you keep using the word "Survivor" :) Because that is what we are. I think it's great what you are doing! It definitely needs to be done and not all of us are able to so it's good for others to see someone who can.

Good luck on the Blogathon (I did a small plege today)
27th-Jul-2007 05:12 pm (UTC)
::smiles:: Thank you so much for doing this.
27th-Jul-2007 05:24 pm (UTC)
I want to sponser, but that link never opens for me. The page doesn't seem to load. :(
27th-Jul-2007 05:30 pm (UTC)
Hm! Try going here and searching for "scheherazade in blue jeans"...
27th-Jul-2007 05:32 pm (UTC)
It still doesn't work. WTF? Every time I click that "sponser me" link, I just get blank. Huh. Um... you know, I'll try doing it from my home computer tonight. Although I can't imagine why my work computer won't let the page load.
27th-Jul-2007 05:39 pm (UTC)
Ummm... I'm betting your company has the word "rape" in their firewall's blacklist. Speaking as a network admin.

ah... you might get an email from your boss over this, assuming they check their logs. I'd be prepared to explain what you were trying to access, if I were you.
27th-Jul-2007 06:01 pm (UTC)
No, the page doesn't even say "Access Denied" like it would if they didn't let me load. It's just... nothing. I work in a law firm, so the word isn't in their blacklist.
27th-Jul-2007 06:29 pm (UTC)
Absolute last resort?: Maybe just snail-mail a donation to shadesong. A thought, that's what that is...
27th-Jul-2007 06:39 pm (UTC)
That's an idea!
27th-Jul-2007 06:45 pm (UTC)
You're right, that is weird...*
resisting temptation to start troubleshooting
[and yeah, can't see that word being on a blacklist at your place, most other companies yes...]

Methinks it might be wise to drop a word into your I.T persons ear.

27th-Jul-2007 06:54 pm (UTC)
Well, I'll try and access the page at home, first. But I'm gonna mention this problem to my coworker. Her sister, who lives in Boston, was raped two months ago, and I'd been trying to show her ShadeSong's links when it happened. I'll tell her to try the link when she gets home.

I've heard of this sort of thing happening, where the page just stops loading and absolutely nothing comes up. My husband is a tech/IT project manager, so I'll take it to him tonight.
27th-Jul-2007 07:20 pm (UTC)
Could be that it's being so slow due to heavy traffic, that it comes up blank, but isn't actually timing out because it is still loading... you could try letting it just sit for a bit and see what happens.
27th-Jul-2007 07:34 pm (UTC)
See, I had thought just letting it sit would do something. Maybe I didn't let it sit long enough. You're right that some webpages are still loading even when it looks like they're done or dead.
27th-Jul-2007 10:42 pm (UTC)
Okay, I'm at home and it works perfectly. Weird!
27th-Jul-2007 10:53 pm (UTC)

...but a relief.
27th-Jul-2007 05:31 pm (UTC)
Add this to your list of whys: Showing there is no shame in something awful happening to you.
27th-Jul-2007 05:37 pm (UTC)
I've got that squealy-teen-girl-type excitement about tomorrow's blogathon. Thanks for spreading the word about it and for doing it. I'll be keeping you company tomorrow.
27th-Jul-2007 05:50 pm (UTC)
Dudette, it sounds like you are onto something there... if more men saw women as something other than a stereotyped doll-thing, a toy for them, then there would be less rape. [I won't say none, I think there's probably some that just can't see people as something other than objects.]

Yay Super'song!
27th-Jul-2007 06:19 pm (UTC)
I can only make a small pledge, but I'm interested in doing a blogathon for your cause sometime in the future.

Good luck!
27th-Jul-2007 06:49 pm (UTC)
I had a thought, I don't have the funds to donate [really don't, I owe the bank already]. But I've asked a friend of mine ginmar to give you a shoutout in her blog. She's got an f-list in thousands, and since she's pretty hot on this issue herself, I'm hoping that some of her friends will donate.

Best I can do, hope it helps.
28th-Jul-2007 07:52 am (UTC)

I'm one of Ginmar's Lesbian Harem. $10 to the cause, because I, too, am a rape survivor. Thank you for all your work, Shadesong.

Currently in Yosemite National Park, formerly from Rhode Island.
If you need a bit of visual analgesic to help you escape the ugly, stop by my Flickr photostream.
28th-Jul-2007 12:01 pm (UTC)
Oooh! I want a Lesbian Harem!

Thanks for the pledge. *grin*
28th-Jul-2007 11:53 pm (UTC)
I would sponsor if I had money. If my job pans out, I'll see what I can do.

I really liked your post. Too many people try to preach about rape, vilifying men, which is no good for anyone. I appreciate that you recognize that not all men are "potential threats" as one person told me in college and that you are willing to try to develop understanding.
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