By Christine Murray, See the Triumph Co-Founder
Tomorrow will mark one year since we launched See the Triumph on New Year’s Day 2013. As we reflect on this past year, I wanted to share some of my thoughts about what we’ve done this year and where we hope to go next year.
First, I am so thankful to everyone who has supported See the Triumph in any way. We have connected with so many amazing people through our various social media platforms, and it’s an honor to work alongside you in our efforts to end the stigma surrounding intimate partner violence. We are especially thankful to all those who have contributed blogs and other resources for us. We have a great team! In addition, we are very grateful to our partners at the Stop Abuse Campaign who have helped us to grow and refine our message.
Second, the further we’ve gotten with See the Triumph, the more I’ve realized the depth of the stigma that we’re up against. We knew based on our research and clinical experiences that this stigma is a significant problem. However, as we’ve connected with members of our various social media communities, we’ve heard so many more stories and seen so many more examples of just how deep the stigma can run. And the more we have been paying attention, the more we see of the stigma all around us--and especially how intimate partner violence is often depicted in the media. We know that this stigma makes it more difficult for survivors, as well as for the organizations that work to prevent and respond to intimate partner violence. There is much work to be done to end this deep-rooted stigma.
My third reflection here, though, is that the inspiration, strength, and desire to help that survivors demonstrate will be the fuel that drives the social changes needed to end the stigma surrounding intimate partner violence. In our research, we heard time and again from survivors that they wanted to share their stories so that they could help others facing similar challenges. We’ve also seen this same spirit through our social media campaign. We’ve heard from survivors all over the country who want to share their stories and other resources to help others. In addition, many survivors feel called to become advocates for ending domestic violence, and it’s been an honor to connect with survivors to work in partnership toward these advocacy goals. When survivors share their stories of the seemingly insurmountable challenges that they triumphed over, it shatters the stigma and promotes a new view that survivors are triumphant, courageous, and resourceful.
Fourth, our work with See the Triumph has shown me yet again the value that lies in going outside of your comfort zone. Allison and I are both academics, and to be honest with you, when we began See the Triumph, we had no idea what we were doing! We had virtually no training in how to manage a social media campaign, and the type of work and writing we usually do--especially the process of scholarly research--is a far stretch from the social media world. Connecting with Andrew Willis at the Stop Abuse Campaign has been a real blessing, in that he’s been a great mentor for us. And, we thank all of you for your suggestions and help (and patience!) as we’ve been refining what we do along the way. Sometimes, stepping into unknown territories brings the greatest rewards!
When I look ahead to See the Triumph’s second year, I’m beyond excited! We have a plan for things we want to accomplish next year--including continuing to grow our social media resources, maintaining our research agenda, and developing some in-person programming--and we look forward to sharing more about those initiatives in the coming weeks and months. But perhaps what is most exciting are the unknown directions that will arise! Every new connection we make and idea we pursue offers amazing potential for growing our campaign. We want to continue to grow and evolve so that we can continue to do all we can to end the stigma surrounding intimate partner violence!