Anon 2

Location:South West
Story Number:Story-009
Themes: Flashmob, networks, One Billion Rising, VAWG

I don’t think activism came into my life until probably [pause, sighs] 2010 or beyond, so over the last eight years. Um, I’d, fled a very abusive – relationship. I say very, it wasn’t physical. Um – apart from the threats were very physical [noise in background]. Um, I felt very much – that it was something I was going through, something I had done – wrong and, um, I fled with my children and just thought we could carry on we started again. And um, [pause] it was through – getting support through – Safe. They were originally Women’s Aid. And, um had some support through them and joined a group with them and – um [pause, breathes in] really noticed a, a shift in my – feeling. I can be very [breathes in] – upset and feel very, um [pause, gently smacks lips together] victimised, traumatised but actually you get to a certain point where that starts to turn into anger [breathes in] – and – I was always scared of anger I always thought anger was aggression but it doesn’t have to be it’s just a really strong emotion, [breathes in] and you can put that to really good use to, t’ make a difference. So [breathes in] um, I got to that point where I felt very angry about [breathes in] what had happened to me but not just the fact that it was – me in isolation but it was happening to so many – people. And, um [pauses] just actually the more people you connect with the stronger you actually feel, but then you realise that actually [breathes in, coughs] [asks question in slightly lower voice] we haven’t come very far have we? In how, um and particularly – I suppose because of my experience with domestic abuse how, [breathes in] it’s not something we talk about and in fact it’s not something the general public really, understand or get.

[2.01] When I did the flash mob, the One Billion Rising ur, ur, that felt – absolutely amazing. Urm, and it really drew the crowds but it really felt – powerful because we were saying actually, what we’re doing is raising, um – awareness all around the world because there are people all around – um, the world – and everyone’s connecting and actually you’re doing it through dance which is – [breathes in] non-violent protest, is it, i – it’s just, um, it was really lovely and you do this bit at the end where you put your finger up. [The next sentence is spoken more quickly and energetically.] And you can almost feel the energy through that you can bring it down it’s like huh [sharp intake of breath] even just putting my hand up there is just you really feel that, it’s amazing. And for all those who – I think it just gives them that little bit of hope and that connection that actually they’re not on their own and there are people out there who get it and when they’re ready to [breathes in] – reach out for support they, they know that there’s people there who understand.