Friday, November 14, 2008

Violence Unsilenced

Twelve seconds.

That's how long it took me to read the 55 words in my last Flash Fiction installment. How long did it take you? Go ahead, time yourself. I'll wait.

Welcome back. So what's the verdict? Ten seconds? Twelve? Fifteen?

More than nine? Unless you're a speed reader, I figure nine second is a good minimum. So in the time it took you to read my 55 fictional words, one very non-fictional woman right here in the good ol' U.S. of A. fell victim to a very non-fictional instance of domestic violence.

And the clock started ticking for another one.

The comments on that most recent chapter brought a (tick-tock) grim smile to my face. "Disturbing" wrote one of you. "Not fun", said another. "Uncomfortable". "Intense".


It should be uncomfortable. Disturbing. And it speaks to your humanity that you found it so. And because this is fiction, you can stop reading it. Because it's fiction, I can stop writing it. I created this (tick-tock) world, I can disassemble it just as easily. I can turn the story in a different, happier direction. One that's less likely to bruise the sensibilities of my audience.

I could become one of those sleeping around my heroine to cowed by fear to speak or to act. We all could. Because this is (tick-tock) an ugly story isn't it? And with so much ugliness in the real world, do we really want to read it in our fiction? No, of course we don't. We'd rather it went away. Because it's gruesome. It's disturbing. It's frightening and we don't want to look at it.

And most of us have (tick-tock) a choice. But one out of every four women in this country isn't so lucky. For that 25% looking away is impossible. Because it confronts them no matter what direction they look. And every nine seconds that ticks by, one of them is brutalized, beaten, raped, even killed. Just since we've been talking four, (tick-tock) make that five, women have been victimized by someone who is supposed to care for them, to watch out for them.

So don't read any more of my story. Instead, go visit Maggie Dammit, and see what looking the other way has brought us to. She will soon be unveiling a whole new blog (tick-tock) called Violence Unsilenced which she hopes (as do I) will bring this crisis out of the dark corners where it lives into the light where it can be dealt with.

Resolution begins with awareness. And awareness means looking right into the teeth of the problem with unflinching courage and resolve. And if my fanciful (tick-tock) tale of one woman can bring even one person to that point, then it's worth every nanosecond I've spent writing it.

Aur main nahin rokunga| (And I will not stop.)


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Robin said...

I've got other words.

Horrifying. Unthinkable. Something fundamentally very, VERY wrong with our society.

Extremely good, powerful writing on a very difficult topic. I hope many listen and take action.

Anonymous said...

Mojo you're very crafty!

Maggie, Dammit said...

Thank you babe!

Kimmie said...

"Awareness" is the only way. I applaud Maggie for all that she is doing. So many hurt, bleed, and die at the hands of others. I got out of my first marriage alive, I was one of the lucky ones. I pray for all the women who didn't and for all that are trying to.

Daryl said...

Great ........awareness is the key...

Catherine said...

1/4 seems a so high rate! because we're not talking of voters, unemployment, or production, we're speaking of women! It means that taking a group of women like 3 of my friends and I, for instance, one of us would be a victim! It seems at the same time so impossible and also so close to us reading your post!
Thanks Mojo, to relate this information about Domestic violences, because speaking of it breaks the protective silence that allows this.

Kay said...

thank you for this


magiceye said...

well done!

Eaton Bennett said...

11.4 secs ~ I think the way you are portraying this is sensitive and certainly not offensive in any way.
Keep at it, it's good work and I am looking forward to more.

Your idea of asking us to time the reading and your lead into this 55
is a shot of reality.
Eaton. :)

Anonymous said...

Pointed portrayal of how time doesn't stand still for those women

Excellent post.
(Although none of this info is new to me, disseminating the info here publicly is needed awareness action.)