This piece was written on August 5th, 2011. I intended to post it on Tisha B’Av, but the week before Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement [and Reckoning] will have to do instead. I have changed only a few words here and there, to clarify a few statements. My awe and respect haven’t changed an iota.
A recent conversation with someone who is probably not reading this got me thinking about strong women, femininity, and what it takes to face abuse.
I did promise a response [to Christina] on DSK and the rape case, especially regarding the role of Judaism in France as a political AND ethnic identity, but the more I think about it, the less interested I am in writing it down. You’ll have to catch me in person if you want to know more about my thoughts on that.
Rather than “picking a side” and accusing either DSK or his accusers, Nafissatou Diallo (New York) and Tristane Banon (France), of any crime, local or international, legal or moral, I would rather talk about what we as a society can do to support victims of sexual and domestic abuse. Now, I am not trained as a rape victim’s advocate nor do I particularly want to be. I am an activist by passion and vocation, but fighting rape on the front lines is not what I do best, nor what I want to get better at doing as a career. Still, that doesn’t mean I don’t want to talk about it as a feminist and as a moral human being.
Before I begin rambling:
- The National Domestic Abuse Hotline
- The National Sexual Assault Hotline
- National Jewish resources seem to vary state by state. Please Google for them!
Please, please, please call for help if you need it, or you think someone in your life does. If you don’t know what kind of advice or support that person needs — or how to give it — call these numbers and ask.
If you take anything away from this post, please know this:
YOU ARE NOT ALONE.
And so many people around the world, from all backgrounds, care so much about YOU. Yes, really.