During the last ten years, nearly 10,000 survivors have shared their deeply personal stories of experiencing domestic and sexual violence on the NO MORE “Gallery.” The Gallery of Stories has had a tremendous impact, both as a tool for healing for survivors themselves and as a resource for the rest of us to learn from them.
But the Gallery was created a decade ago, prior to many technological advances. So it has limitations in its functionality, presentation, and shareability.
That is why we’re so proud and excited to launch a new and improved platform in partnership with Our Wave and Speak Your Truth. The platform – NO MORE Silence: Speak Your Truth – uniquely allows survivors and their loved ones to share their stories and find support from experts safely. It will also serve as a tool for policymakers, advocates, and all community leaders to better understand the support that is required and the policies, research, and culture changes that are needed to stop and prevent domestic and sexual violence.
What is new with this platform vs. the old gallery? It’s easier to use. It’s searchable, so survivors and leaders can get information on a specific topic. Perhaps most importantly, everyone who shares a story will be contacted by an expert and provided access to support services.
Why is this so important? When we come together to create safe spaces for survivors to share their stories, it
Removes Stigma, Shame and Secrecy.
By speaking out about their personal stories and struggles, survivors of domestic and sexual violence can break free of the secrecy, shame and stigma that often wrongly surrounds the experiences they faced. When survivors share their experiences, it can make others feel more comfortable and possible to do the same. We need to shine a light on the problem in order to make real progress.
Many people do not realize the prevalence and severity of domestic and sexual violence. When survivors speak out, they put a human face to the statistics, helping others to understand the real-life consequences of assault and abuse and to be inspired to become part of the solution.
Provides Validation and Support
Survivors often doubt the validity of their experiences, especially if they have been gaslighted or manipulated by their abusers. When a survivor shares, they let others know that they’re not alone and what they are going through is real. This validation can be a powerful source of strength and healing.
Encourages Others to Seek Help
One story can be the catalyst that encourages someone else to get help and take steps toward getting out of an abusive relationship. The stories often provide invaluable information about support resources, legal options, the importance of seeking professional help, and more.
Drives Societal Change
There is power in our numbers. Each individual story shared becomes part of a collective, a movement to dispel myths, push for policy reforms that protect and support survivors, and implement prevention strategies and stop violence before it starts. Simply put, when lots of people speak out, the magnitude and scope of the problem becomes clearer and it will inspire greater action.
As our partner Hannah Hollander, Founder and CEO of Speak Your Truth Today, said: “After reading thousands of survivors’ stories and witnessing hundreds of survivors gain encouragement and support by connecting with other survivors in our Facebook support group, I cannot emphasize enough how incredibly empowering it is for survivors to use their voice and their stories to reach others, educate, and celebrate freedom. We are pioneering a new, accessible way for survivors to thrive in community with one another within the digital space, and it will be a game-changer when it comes to survivor support. NO MORE Silence: Speak Your Truth allows survivors to connect with other survivors who share similar experiences or demographics, further emphasizing that they are not alone.”
Our Wave Executive Director/Founder Kyle Linton added: “We are so excited to launch this partnership with NO MORE and Speak Your Truth Today. After founding Our Wave in 2019, it has been our mission to amplify the stories of domestic and and sexual violence survivors. By listening to the experiences of survivors, we can improve the way we deliver services and provide resources based on survivors’ unique needs. We also believe survivors are the true experts of their own experiences and aim to leverage their stories and insights through research to improve prevention and response efforts. This partnership marks another step in our journey to collect the largest categorized survivor story database to better understand global patterns and provide survivor-centered healing resources for individuals of all backgrounds and identities.”
Looking for an easy way to get involved this Domestic Violence Awareness Month and make a difference? Share the NO MORE Silence: Speak Your Truth platform with your family, friends and colleagues. Encourage them to safely make their voices heard and find support. Together, we can amplify their stories, celebrate their strength and encourage more people to say “NO MORE” to domestic and sexual violence.
By donating today, you join a community dedicated to ending domestic and sexual violence. Together, we can create a society where everyone feels safe and respected.