Giving Survivors a Voice: Maggie Ginsberg Schutz

By OBOS — April 12, 2010

From 2009 – 2011, Our Bodies Ourselves honored the work of women’s health advocates worldwide by asking readers to nominate their favorite women’s health hero. View all nominees by year: 2009, 2010, 2011

Entrant: Deborah Schutz

Nominee: Maggie Ginsberg Schutz, freelance writer and creater of Violence UnSilenced

Violence UnSilenced was created by Maggie Ginsberg Schutz in February 2009, to shed light within the blogging community on domestic violence and sexual abuse/assault by giving survivors a voice. From the mission statement:

One of the last hurdles to eradicating abuse is the culture of silence and shame that exists yet today. You very likely have people in your life that are being abused, you just don’t realize it. Victims are led to believe they are alone, that no one will believe them, and that people will think less of them. Heavy societal pressure generally falls on the victim (ie, “Why doesn’t she leave?”) instead of on the person committing the crime (ie, “Why doesn’t he?”)

Every situation is complicated and unique, and there is no stereotype. Every single survivor of abuse is different from his or her comrades, and by sharing stories here we can educate ourselves as to just how pervasive domestic violence and sexual abuse/assault is, and how it crosses all cultural, racial, gender, sexual orientation, and socioeconomic lines. This is our society’s collective issue, not simply a problem of those directly impacted. There are 70 million blogs out there, and one in four women will experience abuse in her lifetime. We who are active in the blogosphere have a responsibility to listen to our friends and to spread the word, so that we can strip abusers of this critical power. I also believe very, very strongly in the cathartic power of writing.

The video below was created in honor of the project’s 1-year anniversary.

10 responses to “Giving Survivors a Voice: Maggie Ginsberg Schutz”

  1. Violence Unsilenced is an amazing site. Maggie, along with everyone who has contributed, has formed a wonderful and incredibly supportive community.

  2. I blogged about this in the morning – didn’t come by til now. Silly (procrastinating) ME!!

    Love to see the internet used for GOOD. And this? This VU? It’s good. Nothing but love.

  3. Maggie, I just love you. You are my hero. Maybe someday I’ll speak out too. Btw, the video for the 1 year anniversary of VU made me cry like an effing baby. I’m SO proud of these guys and gals for speaking out. XOXO’s you’ve ALWAYS got my vote! @Jasperblu

  4. VU is an amazing way for people to make those who have suffered the unspeakable able to speak. I am constantly moved by those who share the details of their stories and am inspired by their power.

  5. I’m honored to be nominated alongside Maggie. I don’t know her personally, but I know her project (Violence Unsilenced) and think it is amazing and wonderful. Women who’ve experienced either domestic violence or sexual abuse are at a higher risk of getting postpartum depression, so this topic is important to me as well (along with being important to me, of course, simply as a fellow human being).

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