Why We Still Will Not Be Silenced – Christine E. Ray

Adapted from a post published October 13, 2018

I am a writer, an editor, and a publisher with a background in clinical social work and neurodegenerative research.  I am a mother, a wife, pansexual, dyslexic, living with Bipolar II, and fibromyalgia.  I am an artist, an avid reader, and a lifelong advocate for social justice.

I am also a sexual abuse survivor.

Like many sexual abuse survivors, I kept my story to myself for many, many years.  For decades, I only shared my story with the people I was most emotionally and physically intimate with.

Partially my silence was to protect the innocent who could still be hurt by the fallout of my story, partially because of shame, partially because I told myself that what happened to me wasn’t so bad compared to what had happened to so many others, and partially because I didn’t want to be viewed as damaged.  I didn’t need, or want, anyone’s pity.

When I turned 50, I realized that my silence was slowly eating me alive and was keeping me stuck in a place in a place of shame and self-blame that served no one but my long-dead abuser.  So I started to write and tell my story creatively.  It was terrifying, painful, empowering, healing and incredibly validating when others started to tell me what an impact my writing had on them.  They told me they felt less alone.  Some said that I had written exactly what they had always needed to say but couldn’t.  I cannot express how profound this feedback was or how motivating.

Eventually, I connected with other survivors who shared my belief  that we needed a place to collect the stories of trauma survival warriors and show that they were so much more than victims.  Thus Blood Into Ink was born.

Last October, the Kavanaugh Supreme Court Nomination hearings rocked the United States, communicating to the world how little our stories as survivors are valued, how easy it is for people to turn a blind eye, and how many would rather accuse a survivor of lying than accept that rapists and harassers are not always monsters who live in dark caves, but can be the boy next door, the classmate who is a star of the basketball team, our judges, our heroes.  Like many survivors,  I was heartsick at the publish backlash toward sexual abuse survivors.  Then, like many survivors, I became furious.

Candice Louisa Daquin, Kindra M. Austin, Rachel Finch and I believed that it was more important than ever for women AND men who have been sexually harassed, sexually abused to tell their stories.  To be heard.  For our diversity and our commonalities to be seen.  We Will Not Be Silenced was the seed we planted to respond to these events that had shaken us, outraged us, and motivated us to encourage others to break their silence, to use creativity and community to heal, to connect, to fight back.

We are incredibly proud of We Will Not Be Silenced and the 95 authors around the world who chose to break their silence and contribute.  We continue to fight to provide a voice for the voiceless, to educate, to connect, to support, and inspire.

To all the sexual harassment and sexual assault survivors who are not yet ready to share their stories:

You are not alone.

You are not alone.

You are not alone.


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