The Sisterhood of Trauma: Sandy Hook, Violence, and Community Support

There’s a saying, “none of us are free until we’re all free.”

I’ve been thinking about that a lot.  And how the blood spilled from the victims of Sandy Hook elementary seems to have spilled onto the entire conscience of the western world causing high emotions, panic, and parental hysteria.

And it’s all appropriate.

Hundreds of miles away on at 9:35am on Friday, I looked at the time and thought, “It’s just past 9:30am.  What a beautiful open day in front of me.  I wonder what is happening in other parts of the world at this moment.”

Later that night, when I turned on the news, I found out what was happening at 9:35am.

Language exists to communicate, but there also must be understanding that communication does not guarantee perfect specificity of the meaning.  During times of such profound torment and suffering, there are no language skills, words, or even poems to describe the horror of Sandy Hook.  There are no words.

One might read this and wonder what it has to do with sexual violence.  What does the Dear Sister Anthology have to do with any of this?

The anthology is about community and love, engagement and addressing fear.  The anthology explores violence and oppression, cultural patterns that allow rape and violence to thrive in our communities.  How is it not connected to Sandy Hook?  How are we not all impacted by violence on such a large, horrific scale?  Rape survivors are never free from their trauma, the memories linger for the rest of their lives.  The victims’ families will endure a pain no one can walk alone and, like survivors of any trauma, must lean on community to move forward.

No one is free until we are all free.

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