Leanne Stewart-Haugh, Ocean Shores
Thank you to Mandy Nolan for sharing her story. It is courageous and unbelievably brave to share such an intimate story.
Many women have had their trust betrayed and been subjected to dreadful experiences, simply because they are female. It is empowering to hear that other women have transcended such horrifying experiences.
As a survivor of both childhood and marital abuse, it is easy to feel alone and isolated. Thankfully, my experiences with police and community-support agencies have all been very positive. It is saddening to read that others have not been treated with the respect, empathy and dignity, or the justice they deserve. Mandy Nolan’s story was so powerful and I am grateful that she wrote with such honesty.
Women need to speak out and stand together against violence. These experiences affect us all – no matter our race, colour, age or educational level.
Abuse also affects boys and men. However, statistics indicate it’s more commonly females who are victims of abuse and violence. This violence creates dark ripples of fear that affect every aspect of our society.
Unfortunately, many people undermine women’s experiences of trauma by their judgmental, archaic and ill-considered attitudes towards abuse. To fellow victims of abuse I would say speak out and share your truth, no matter how uncomfortable and disquieting it may be for the perpetrators, or those who cover up their behaviour. Abuse against women thrives in the darkness and shadows of silence; shining the light of public scrutiny on this issue removes its power.
Women can either be empowered survivors of abuse, through sharing our stories with others, or choose to continue our lives as silent victims. Fear and silence keep women small and defenceless. Fear and silence also keep women compliant and controllable.
It is truly inspiring to know that so many competent, capable and strong women have transcended the crucible of abuse and violence to become such resilient, inspiring advocates for the basic right of all women (and girls) to live without fear.