#NOwords #NOvember ‘Silence is golden’

Dec 16, 2015

Is silence really ‘golden’? It was certainly hard won – for me and for those around me who had to translate my charade-like existence for the 5x 24 hours that I had set aside.
Silence brought more reflection on daily life – on words, situations, and relationship dynamics. It sharpened the focus, enabled me to tune out the non-essential; it stripped me of my armour (words) and at times bought about a sense of disconnection. But it also, wonderfully, created a space in which I didn’t need to have all the answers, space to think, to consider, and to breathe.
Silence also brought about some amusing moments.. in the hair dressers, co-teaching a tango lesson, in the shop, with friends who rang up on silence days to check if I was being silent, and with people who responded by whispering back to me! Once or twice I forgot and spoke a word, which brought much hilarity.
For me the biggest revelation that has come out of this silence is that SUPPORT IS CRUCIAL. I’m more convinced that the way in which we support women who have faced, or are living with, sexual exploitation is of paramount importance. To find the right support and information can be life-saving. For women to find people who ‘get it’, who don’t blame or judge, who will look at options with them and treat them like they are the ‘expert’ in their own lives. This means, for us as practitioners, not misusing our power by attempting to rescue women or treat a woman like a child. Instead: getting to know her, valuing her and her decisions to survive in the face of usually horrendous situations, and enabling her to take her next step. Sometimes that is leaving an abusive relationship, leaving a brothel, leaving a pimp or leaving her home or town. These women are the real reason for the #NOvember campaign – the women who experience exploitation and fight to survive awful odds and keep on going.
I was sincerely touched (bordering on the emotional) by the amount of support for the campaign offered by friends, who either donated or gave up the following; alcohol, biscuits, driving to work, coffee, chocolate, shopping, sugar, tea and gave what they saved. From them (and others who gave anonymously) we have seen so far over £2,100 come in. A big thank you goes to those who supported me personally – so far I have raised £455 (of which I will match the first £150) totalling £605.
For me, silence is not only golden it’s profound.

Posted by Beyond The Streets on 03/12/2014 at 02:26 PM