One woman. One horse. 48 states for Domestic Violence Awareness

Check back often for the latest updates and stories from Meredith and Apollo as they journey 10,000 miles on a four year ride around the USA.






Break the Silence, End the Violence

One in three women, and almost as many men, will experience domestic violence at some point in their lives. Whether it’s from a spouse, a family member, or someone else in their life; whether it’s physical, emotional, financial, or other kinds of abuse; whether they are a child, a teen, or an adult.

Even more people - statistically, probably everyone - knows someone who has been a victim.  A friend, a family member, a neighbor, the person who bagged your groceries or sold you a car.  If you don’t know that you know someone who has been in an abusive relationship, it’s because of the silence.

The silence about abuse is a big problem.  It is only natural to not want to talk about what happened to us, as survivors.  There is a huge stigma in our society attached to the word “victim.” Plus, the very essence of abuse is to make the victim feel like it’s their fault, and to not talk about it because of the shame.  There is also a very real risk to victims who speak out, and also to many survivors, that talking about it will cause their abusers to hurt them in retaliation.  All of this aside, it’s a very uncomfortable thing to talk about, and something we survivors would rather just forget.

However, forgetting about it is not possible.  Not talking about it might feel good for ourselves, but it is a disservice to our fellow victims and survivors.  The world needs to know that it is still a problem, to hear about what really happens behind closed doors to break some of the myths about DV.  Women (and men) who are at risk of becoming victims may learn something from our stories that could prevent them going through that.  Women (and men) who are already in an abusive relationship could use our stories to see that there are options, that they are not alone, that there is hope.  

I have shared my story (click here, or select the tag for “domestic violence” on the right hand sidebar).  Nicole has recently shared her stepdaughter Breanna’s tragic story (click here).  

Today I would like to invite you to tell your story, too.  It can be anonymous, with or without a photo, about yourself or someone you’ve lost to violence, a paragraph or a long story.  Whatever you are comfortable sharing, you may share it here.

Talk about whatever aspect of DV you feel is most important.  For example: Why did you stay? How did you leave? What do you wish you’d known, or what would advice would you give someone else who is in an abusive relationship? What advice would you give a young person who is just starting to date? What advice would you give to someone whose family member or friend is in an abusive relationship? What did you learn about yourself, or about relationships in general? What stereotypes or myths about abuse would you like people to know the truth about? Or anything else you think people should know!

Your story matters.  Let’s break the silence! 

To share your story in a guest blog post, please email me at msmeredithcherry (at) gmail.com. 

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