By Christine Murray, See the Triumph Co-Founder
At See the Triumph, we celebrate the triumphs of survivors of past abuse every day, but we’ve taken a special focus on these triumphs this October for Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Even though the month is ending today, we remain committed to celebrating survivors’ triumph--individually and collectively--long after the awareness month comes to an end.
Celebrating the triumphs of survivors is about way more than raising awareness about domestic violence, however. Of course, sharing survivors’ stories is important for helping people understand the dynamics of abuse, and especially more complicated questions like why people stay in abusive relationships. Awareness about domestic violence is crucial for ensuring that victims and survivors have access to the services and resources they need to stay safe, as well as for helping friends, family, church members, neighbors, and others be able to recognize, understand, and offer support when someone they know is experiencing abuse.
As important as it is to keep raising awareness, a deeper transformation will only be possible when we are able to achieve more in-depth changes to the systems that contribute to the perpetuation of abuse, make it more difficult for people to leave abusive relationships, and fail to hold offenders accountable for the abuse they perpetrate. This is why it is so important to support, recognize, and celebrate the triumphs of survivors. As survivors triumph individually, they break through barriers and open more doors for others. Survivors who triumph over systemic barriers--including public policies, organizational practices, and even societal stereotypes--are chipping away at longstanding obstacles to ending future abuse.
And so, we can triumph on our own, but we can also triumph together. And together, we are able to triumph in bigger and bolder ways! Not every survivor is able to--or is interested in--sharing their story publicly, but as we’ve discussed before, it’s important for every person to maintain their own freedom of choice for whether, when, how, and to whom they share their stories (For more on this topic, please see our Collection, Every Survivor Has a Story).
Whether your own triumphs include overcoming abuse or supporting someone else in doing so, and whether your triumphs are shared publicly, shared with just a few close supporters, or celebrated privately, we hope that you continue to celebrate your own triumphs and join in celebrating others’ triumphs, too. And let’s always remember that even things that may seem small at the time--making a phone call to reach out for help, taking a step toward becoming more economically independent, and even simply getting out of bed some days--is an act of triumph. These small steps grow into larger triumphs, just as individual triumphs grow into community and societal triumphs.
For those of us who care passionately about supporting survivors and, ultimately, ending abuse, we know that a lot of work still needs to be done. We owe deep gratitude to those who have gone before us in the movement to end intimate partner violence and other forms of abuse, and we have a commitment to mentor and encourage those who will continue the work into the future. As we move forward with this work, let us always remember that we can triumph on our own, but together we are able to triumph in bigger and bolder ways!