Because it’s about freedom. To speak the truth of the sexual violence that happens to women is about claiming our space.
Because in a world where girls and women are taught to be afraid of men – and have reasons to be afraid – there is no freedom and no space.
Because a woman who is afraid is handicapped. She is a caged animal who, at best, paces along the fence, eyes locked on the wide expanse of land beyond her reach. Who, at worst, gets used to the limitations and starts calling them safety.
Because even if she complies and stays behind the fence, she is not safe. And when the attack comes, she cannot defend herself. The instincts of a caged animal are numbed. Her claws cut.
Because sometimes the worst damage is not done when he attacks her, but afterwards, when everyone else does too. When she attacks herself.
Because what keeps the wounds open and women trapped is the shame she’s expected to shoulder when someone has attacked her body.
I do not accept that shame.
It is not mine. Not yours, either.
Because shame leads to silence. The violated woman is expected to become silent. She’s expected to shrink and forget everything she still has to offer.
Because her voice is needed, and her experience. Her scarred gaze upon the world.
Because the violence against girls and women is a war, and someone needs to report from the battlefield
Because in a world where girls and women are brought up afraid of men, there is no freedom for men either. Only roles, to accept or refuse. And then we become little people, all of us. Capable of little things. Small citizens in a poor world where girl’s and women’s bodies are battlefields instead of sources of creative power.
Because we need our creative power. We need the whole story. Each other’s stories. Our most naked truths.
Because that’s what it takes.
Because truth is pure, unbridled strength.
Because I want to live in a world of unbridled women. Where our lives are not surrounded by fears – our own and others’ – and our voices are not muted.
Because the creative power that lies dormant in women’s silence is massive. Explosive. Frightening, for those who do not want their worldview shaken.
I want my worldview shaken.
It is about freedom. Yours and mine.
Breaking the silence is about freedom.
Anna is a writer, editor and conceptual designer at Write Your Self. She believes in vulnerability, creativity and the powerful medicine of our stories.
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