From 2009 – 2011, Our Bodies Ourselves honored the work of women’s health advocates worldwide by asking readers to nominate their favorite women’s health hero. View all nominees by year: 2009, 2010, 2011
Entrant: Deborah Schutz
Nominee: Maggie Ginsberg Schutz, freelance writer and creater of Violence UnSilenced
Violence UnSilenced was created by Maggie Ginsberg Schutz in February 2009, to shed light within the blogging community on domestic violence and sexual abuse/assault by giving survivors a voice. From the mission statement:
One of the last hurdles to eradicating abuse is the culture of silence and shame that exists yet today. You very likely have people in your life that are being abused, you just don’t realize it. Victims are led to believe they are alone, that no one will believe them, and that people will think less of them. Heavy societal pressure generally falls on the victim (ie, “Why doesn’t she leave?”) instead of on the person committing the crime (ie, “Why doesn’t he?”)
Every situation is complicated and unique, and there is no stereotype. Every single survivor of abuse is different from his or her comrades, and by sharing stories here we can educate ourselves as to just how pervasive domestic violence and sexual abuse/assault is, and how it crosses all cultural, racial, gender, sexual orientation, and socioeconomic lines. This is our society’s collective issue, not simply a problem of those directly impacted. There are 70 million blogs out there, and one in four women will experience abuse in her lifetime. We who are active in the blogosphere have a responsibility to listen to our friends and to spread the word, so that we can strip abusers of this critical power. I also believe very, very strongly in the cathartic power of writing.
The video below was created in honor of the project’s 1-year anniversary.