We’re not passive women. We aren’t here to play second fiddle to whatever our husbands want to do with their lives (though happy to support them!), we have (strong) opinions, big ideas, and a deep sense that every life has value. When we observe something painful in the world, we’re compelled to act.
June is Gun Violence Awareness Month and we’ve realized over the years that we’d kept a conservative (and perhaps emotionally protective?) shield over ourselves that riddled a little like this: “Ah, that gun stuff only happens to to other people. In those neighborhoods. With those relationships. Not us.”
It’s embarrassing that we ever thought so naively, with such an undertone of racism and misogyny and such a cheap perspective on life. Guns and bullets don’t discriminate. Domestic and sexual violence don’t either. We know that. Hell, we knew that. But anyway, even if they did discriminate, what difference does it make? Shouldn’t we stand up for the dignity of all life, full stop? Why did we wait until kids were being killed in schools to step up and speak up? Or did we wait? Maybe we were just young before so how could we know? And around, and around, and around we go…
As you can see, this is something we care about. Inherent safety. Justice. Life.
And as with most awakenings, we’re a little wiser now. A lot more alert. A helluva a lot more ready to show up and do what we can to support the smart people with basic-but-effective ideas about how to curb this. All of this. Any of this.
Enter Survivors Lead. They provide professional and peer support, advocacy and political training for survivors or gun violence, sexual and domestic violence. They take a municipality-based approach to curbing gun violence, focused on survivor-led efforts to end gun violence in our cities. They work with families and assist them in advocating for their murdered loved one in unsolved/active cases, provide peer support throughout the trial, and beyond. They work with law enforcement to address police violence and mass incarceration in communities of color, and offer political training to assist survivors of violence in running for public office.
It’s the running for public office piece that particularly gives me hope. So much hope. Feels like a way to grab the problem at the root, focus where we put our tax dollars, shout from a soap box that these things are effecting EVERYONE.
We chose Survivors Lead as our June partner because we believe in their work, and we believe it will help every person in every community. We all deserve to be safe. To experience justice. To be treated with respect and dignity.
Now get shopping so we can help Survivors Lead make all of those things happen.
Allyssa + Amy