By Christine Murray, See the Triumph Co-Founder
A few days ago, I wrote about the unique, and important, role that survivors can play in advocacy work to address intimate partner violence (IPV). As important as this role is, I want to emphasize that it should always be up to each individual survivor to choose whether or not to engage in this sort of work at any given point in time. Survivors need not feel any pressure--either from themselves or from others around them--to take on advocacy work.
We’ve learned from survivors in our ongoing study on overcoming abuse that there are many reasons why people may choose not to take on advocacy work, and any and of these reasons--even simply that they do not want to do it--are valid and worthy of honoring.
We heard from several participants in our research about some of the reasons they did not want to take on advocacy work.
For example, some felt that it wouldn’t be a good match for their skills:
This is one of the reasons that we would love to see all people consider if and how they can help advocate to end the abuse and support survivors--regardless of whether they have any personal experience with IPV or not. With IPV, we’re facing a massive social problem that has been entrenched into cultures for generations and generations. The more voices that join this cause, the more powerful a message they can send together. However, it is important to honor survivors’ choice whether to join their voices with larger advocacy efforts.