Like so many others, I've been overwhelmed with December.
It's not just the holidays, but the buzz and speed of the year ending, the economic crisis, family gatherings, and holiday obligations all combine to make December one big TO DO list.
I thought about what I wanted to write about this week and began reading some of my favorite feminist bloggers for inspiration. As I clicked on my usual suspects, a surprise settled over me, "Is there a reason why so many blogs are posting about rape?" My brain, in lightning speed, reviewed the month themes and reasoned that September promotes Women's Health Awarness, October is Domestic Violence Awareness month, March is Women's Herstory month, and April is Sexual Abuse Awareness month.
The only December theme I could think of was World Aids Day, which was December 1.
I couldn't think of any direct tie to sexual assualt.
Was there a reason I was finding so many posts about rape?
As a sexual assault advocate and educator, a field I've explored for several years, I quickly felt shame as realized I had forgotten a very simple lesson about sexual violence: there is no specified time for sexual assault awareness, every day is a day of rape for women in the world. Why should there be an allotted month to focus solely on this issue when it happens every few seconds of every day, holiday or not, December or July, sexual assault occurs. Why should I not be fiercely glad that on any given day, a no-name day like today, I can find this issue being discussed with resolve, strength, and bravery. There is no time for rape. It happens in the brightness of days and darkness of night. I've heard the stories from my friends and listened to strangers in emergency rooms before undergoing a rape kit. Everyday, too, is a time to heal and a time to speak for someone, somewhere in the world. In the age of accessible media making for everyday women - the face of sexual violence - we are capable of understanding more than ever the complicated and painful road of admittance, healing, and sharing one's experience for the world to hear.
I quickly reminded myself that I should not be so worried if I had "missed something" when I read so many posts about violence against women in one day. I am thankful that so many brave women are utiliizing media to get their stories out, creating voice when there was once silence, and committing to put an end to rape.