“I am here today not because I want to be. I am terrified. I am here because I believe it is my civic duty to tell you what happened to me .”
Dr. Christine Blasey Ford
Conversely, it presents an opportunity for more people and communities to strengthen and assert our voices, not solely in the context of sexual violence but in any and all aspects of life in which we've been silenced or our voices subdued.
Personally, yesterday made me realize how I don't assert my own voice when discussing certain things, not because I don't have an opinion or that those opinions are not strong or informed but because I- often intentionally- have worked to keep myself out of the line of conflict by simply not speaking up. By doing so, I remain comfortable in my own world- a world I have worked diligently to maintain as a safe space for myself- even if it means playing small and remaining unchallenged, unacknowledged and ultimately stagnant.
I realized how much this reflects the society we currently live in and is exactly why my work with Better to Speak is so deeply personal to me. Christine Blasey Ford, and every person who has shared their experiences with assault and injustice, personifies Better to Speak in its mission to embolden individuals to be fearless in sharing their stories and ultimately inspire others to do the same.
"When we speak, we are afraid our words will not be heard nor welcomed. But when we are silent, we are still afraid. So, it is Better to Speak remembering we were never meant to survive."
Speaking up, particularly against longstanding power structures, puts you in the direct line of fire to be disagreed with, discredited and even disregarded entirely. Remaining steadfast in what you know to be the truth, in spite of what hits you (might) take, is a quality that gives me a deep respect and admiration for Christine Blasey Ford and every survivor who has ever spoken up about their own assault.
Read: Three Invaluable Lessons We Have Learned from Dr. Christine Blasey Ford, Forbes
As we continue our individual and collective journeys through this life, remember that remaining silent about things that move our spirit is an injustice to ourselves and the world we live in. Choosing tradition, habit or a "that's just how things are" attitude over growth, justice and love is an injustice to ourselves and the world we live in.
Today, make a personal commitment to do or say one thing that could potentially change the course of your life or someone else's for the better. Even if it scares you, always remember that honest, loving and full lives are never created out of fear and that you and your corner of the world will be much better because of it.