Well hello there! It has been a while hasn't it?! I hope everyone has had a good start to the year! I ended up taking an unplanned hiatus from social media for January which has been a nice amount of space to breathe and look around me after my Delhi trip. Although rewarding and productive I did find Delhi a struggle and was exhausted by the end to the point where I think my brain just needed to shut off for a while. I then moved to a new city and started a new job the first week of Jan and with my life being in boxes Daughters has taken a bit of a backseat. But I am here, the dream is still alive and Crowdfunder rewards are nearly ready to be posted out. I'm glad you're still here too :)
I had a lot of time to think about what I want 2018 to be whilst in Delhi and came to the realisation that I want to start this year in a very honest, open way that will set a tone of healing going forward. I honestly found most of 2017 very hard and I think this is the best way I can approach the future. I have been and continue to be exposed, both through my work and through Daughters, to incredible stories of adversity and strength from amazing women around the world and it is from this place that Daughters takes it's energy. Time magazine named the #MeToo movement the person of the year for 2017 and I am excited to be living through this sea change, this progress. The international Women's Marches have shown that the risks and hardships faced by women are shared the world over and as the conversations increase in number so does the volume and clarity of the message: We are united and we are not going away. The tide is turning.
I have been inspired by the women who have shared their stories and have considered for a long time, further back than this current movement, if and when I should add my voice to the fray. Remembering my intention of moving forward in an honest way, and in respect of those who have shared their stories with me, I am now ready to take my seat at the table and contribute what I can.
I am a survivor of sexual assault. I was raped when I was 21 years old, a couple of weeks before my graduation, by a stranger who it turns out most likely drugged me. I have spent the last 8 years, but especially the last 2 and a half years, coming to terms with this event and exploring what it means to me to have this on my life CV. What impact does it have on me as a woman and a human? Knowing, and after quite a bit of work also now accepting, that I can't rid myself of this event, I have reached the point where I have decided that what I can do is to own it. I can take this part of my story back by using it in a way that will hopefully positively impact others with similar experiences. It's a personal process and this approach wouldn't work for everyone but for me it is the honest way forward.
So this is where the birth point of Daughters can be traced back to. I have wanted to explain this for a while because without knowing the root of the project it isn't fully complete. Daughters is the product of my personal experiences, passions and skills. We aim to empower and support all women and to provide cross cultural links that will strengthen the power of this global movement towards equality. I have been so lucky to have a strong support network around me and I want to be able to offer this to any woman who needs it. It is a very small contribution and I don't know how to measure any good I might do but many drops of water make an ocean and I am ready to play my part in turning the tide.
Thank you for being here as I take the next step forward, I am grateful to be able to share this with you xx