Women are powerful. We are powerful as individuals and a force to be reckoned with in groups. We can organize and execute an action plan with lightning speed and efficiency when needed. I got to witness a brief example of this recently at my salon.
My hair stylist, while in the middle of coloring my hair, got a call that her son had been injured at daycare and needed stitches. Immediately, the other women in the salon went into action – taking over on my hair, getting my stylist’s calendar and calling and texting her clients, and checking their own calendars to work in her clients that they couldn’t reach. Within a few minutes, she was out the door to get her son. It was beautiful to see these ladies jump into action to help their friend and coworker without a moment of hesitation.
There are many other examples like this that I could reference. As you are reading this, I bet you can think of examples as well. Friends providing meals, childcare and transportation for a mom diagnosed with cancer; business women organizing an event to raise thousands of dollars for a local charitable organization; and women coming together to create an international organization that teaches young women in underdeveloped countries about their menstrual cycle and provides washable feminine hygiene kits are a few more examples that I can cite.
One of my biggest goals for Sisterhood Purses is creating a format where women can encourage and help other women. I recently posted a question on my personal Facebook Page to my girlfriends – “If you could give a survivor of domestic or sexual violence some words of encouragement, what would they be?” And my friends did not disappoint. Here is some of what they said.
- “You are not alone. It’s ok not to be all right. Move forward one step at a time. You are worthy.”
- “Keep keeping on – one foot in front of the other. You ARE good enough.”
- “You are stronger than your circumstances. You are good enough, you are smart enough, you are beautiful.”
- “It is not your fault.”
- “Just when the caterpillar thought her life was over, she began to fly.”
- “You are a hero, because you are changing the world by saying no to abuse.” (Quote from a domestic violence survivor.
- “Always remember you are braver than you think, stronger than you seem, and loved more than you know.”
- “No one else’s actions or words can define who you are. God made you in His image, and only He and you are in control of you.”
- “You are not what happened to you. You are what you choose to become.”
- “Your future belongs to you. No one can take it from you.”
- “You are strong enough.”
I love all of these quotes! Many of my friends are survivors, also. We get it. We may not have been through exactly the same things as the women receiving these purses, but we want to empathize. We want those seeking help to know they are loved and strong enough to make it through this incredibly difficult time in their lives.
Women are coming together now more than ever to raise our voices against sexual harassment, sexual violence, and domestic violence. It is an uphill battle against deeply entrenched cultural beliefs of disbelieving victims, victim blaming, and minimal sentences for convicted offenders. However, if we continue to work together, staying committed and focused, we will shift the culture. We may not be able to completely eradicate sexual and domestic violence, but we can create a world that focuses on equality, healing, justice and empowerment for all survivors. For the sake of our daughters and future generations of women, we have to get there.