I once worked as the sexual assault Outreach Advocate for the state of Virginia.
Here is what I learned. What one thing that I learned is that no human being can tell everyone’s story. It is just impossible.
It is why I like to build platforms to give others an opportunity to tell their own. I like to empower others to lift their voices. And, I like to provide people with the tools that they what they need to speak.
That gospel song folks sing along with in church is absolutely correct. The lyrics say: You can’t tell it like I tell it. Let me tell it.
If we are ever going to make a dent in sexual and domestic violence, we must make sure that all of the voices that want to sing are able to do so.
So in the black community a certain singer performed on a popular awards show and the community has been divided about it ever since.
We also have the ongoing Cosby debate.
At the same time there is marinating outrage over the injustice at the intentional lack of media attention to police officer Daniel Holtzclaw who is at this writing on trial for raping 13 black women. One person was a minor at the time of Officer Holtzclaw raped her.
These are obstacles to getting information through to the community.
Experience has taught me that every single community has obstacles that block the flow of information. If it ain’t one thing it is another. The burden always falls on truth tellers to locate an entrance and deliver the truth to the people.
Our Trojan Horse
Today I wanted to talk about infographics.
So, I go to a site. There is a heated battle about a certain child sexual predator in the black community. But he makes tunes that people like to dance to so you know what that means.
“But y’all don’t say that about the other people…”
“He wasn’t convicted, though…”
“Those girls wanted it…”
Just insert every crappy victim blaming, distracting excuse ever uttered in the history of humanity. “_____________”
Reading this stuff, I wanted to cry. I wanted to get mean. I wanted to get wicked, for a little while. Just so you know, I don’t always like people.
Anyway, once I cooled down. I realized that I was taking the bait. I allowed myself to be distracted with their ignorance.
Of course you can respond back to these comments with facts. But in a way that’s just preaching to the choir. The folks who don’t agree will never learn.
Listen, more Survivors have to take our rightful positions as experts. That’s just the bottom line.
I know most all of you have heard of infographics.
How to Use in Our Work
I used Canvabecause it was easiest. Here is a great link for others (click here)
I personally get easily distracted in trying to figure out how to use a new system if it is complex. Decide what your infographic will be aboutIn this case I was responding to some of the commenters. For example, someone actually said something along the lines of, ‘With all of the problems that we have in the black community today, why are you even talking about this?’ They were wondering why the author was talking about R Kelly and child sexual abuse at all. I decided to make an infographic with stats that were current and showed the impact of sexual violence on the community. I also wanted to keep it short. Add your informationFor this infographic, I decided to use statistic.I just happened to have a few statistics on my website. I still needed to supplement what I had with more stats. Anytime that you need statistics about sexual violence, I usually go to these stand bys:
The statistics on these sites are easily organized, current, and plentiful.
Personally, I tend to use just a few. In my experience, people’s eyes begin to glaze over after about five.
3 Important things that you can do with them
Distribute these on social media channels, blogs, or websites. It not only builds awareness, but spreads facts and truth. The myths are killing us. By us, I mean ALL communities.
If you are a speaker or ever decide to speak, you can pass them out to audience members at the end of your talk. You can also ask audience members for their email addresses on a sign-up sheet. Your infographic can be part of a bonus that you send to them as a reward for their email address. (I would also add a helpful tip sheet as well). FYI: This works for blogs and websites too. Finally Not everyone believes in domestic and sexual violence. I have to force myself to say that. I can’t believe I have to say it. DV and SV is not Santa Clause for goodness sakes. I want to ask them whether or not they are well? Good grief. Any who, please always include a reference section with links or something so that people can look at the source for your stats. There is usually at least one will make an attempt to challenge. (1 in 4, 1 in 6. Sounds pretty high. How do you know that?) These types are never happy. You could say, 1 in 1000 and they wouldn’t be satisfied. They don’t care about the issue. They simply want to be a distraction. But, aside from the non-believers, they are also great to have for average folks too. So try to always include them.
You Never Know
See, however you make your living, you can also help to shed light on the problem of domestic and sexual violence. Especially if you’ve been there somehow.
This is yet another way that you can help others. Another way that you become part of the solution.
People need to hear the stories that come from everyone-various regions, races, ethnicities, religions, socioeconomic statuses, ages, sexual identities, and a re-mix of all of these. You never know who may be waiting to hear you or read your words.