“The Silence Breakers”

By Wendy Holdren
The Register-Herald, Beckley, W.Va.

WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) Patricia Bailey and her staff at the Women’s Resource Center advocate for and support victims, survivors, and witnesses of domestic violence and sexual violence. Bailey looks back on the events of this year and how the #Metoo movement has encouraged women to share their stories.

The Register-Herald, Beckley, W.Va.

As 2017 comes to a close, many people are taking time to reflect on the year’s events.

For Patricia Bailey, executive director of the Women’s Resource Center, perhaps the most significant part of the year culminated with TIME’s declaration of “The Silence Breakers” as the magazine’s Person of the Year.

“I don’t think anybody was expecting it, but given what has happened with the #MeToo movement and (sexual assault and sexual harassment) survivors speaking out, we’ve seen a change on a national level that we’ve not seen before,” Bailey said.

Bailey and her staff at the Women’s Resource Center advocate for and support victims, survivors, and witnesses of domestic violence and sexual violence. At the resource center, affected individuals can receive temporary shelter, counseling, advocacy and supportive services.

For decades, Bailey said many women have remained silent about unwanted sexual encounters.

“They feel guilt. They feel shame. They feel like it’s their fault,” she said. “They fear they won’t be believed or that they’re going to be questioned — what were you wearing? What did you say? What did you do?”

Bailey said victims have been blamed for the crimes of perpetrators for far too long, but she’s encouraged by the change caused by the brave women who spoke out this year.

“I don’t think there’s any going back now. All these women have come forward, and I think it’s going to happen around the country.”

Power dynamics have long impacted a woman’s ability to speak out, she said. For example, if a single mother relying on a job to support herself and her family is assaulted, does she speak out? Does she risk losing her job?

Related News

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *