Why Were We Silent. 2014

During a meeting with church leaders in KwaZulu Natal, a group of survivors shared their stories thru the attached poem…

“When we speak we are afraid our words will not be heard or welcomed. But when we are silent, we are still afraid. So it is better to speak.”   Audre Lorde 

Why Were We Silent?

Written by survivors of sexual violence from KwaZulu Natal, South Africa

We were silent because we were afraid that we would be judged.

We were silent because we have gone to our pastors and they have judged us.

We were silent because of the stigma that stays with us wherever we go.

We were silent because if we speak, we have nowhere to go.

We are not being silent any longer.

Too many people are suffering because we have been silent and you have been silent.

We ask you today to join us in breaking the silence. We survivors are creating a platform to speak out. Share our voices, faces, and experienced wisdom.

We are asking you to join out movement. Speak out against violence.

Violence against women is against Christian values. It Must End.

How do We Break the Stigma of Sexual Violence?

We do it by speaking out, but without you and your churches, we cannot change things.

You are powerful and influential.

You must help us do this work. We want to work hand in hand with you. We are more than willing to come speak to your congregation, to be the voice and faces of rape in South Africa.

We ask you to open doors for us. We want to enter your church with our truth as the real survivors, not just marginalized women. We have been harmed, but we are more powerful to change the world.

We are fighting for ourselves and every other woman who is still silent.