I dearly love women. I deeply care about women. It hurts my heart every time I see a woman disregarded, dismissed, belittled, ignored, covered in lies, sexually violated, physically assaulted, emotionally abused, or banished from a community because she spoke Truth.
I feel fortunate to have lived in the time of #MeToo – to have been part of such a profound time of women’s empowerment! As we move forward from this profound time of breaking open long suppressed truths, new supports are needed.
I heard on the CBC news yesterday that since April of this year, almost 700 battered women in Ottawa have been turned away from Violence Against Women Shelters. These women made what may be the most courageous decision in their life – to leave an abuser – and there was no safe shelter with support to receive them. The shelters are full of women saying no to abuse – indeed they are overfull!
Locally here in Halifax, a few months ago the Avalon Sexual Assault Center had to close its waiting list because they don’t have the resource to meet the needs of women recovering from sexual violence. The Avalon home page has a bolded message saying, “Avalon is temporarily unable to receive new counselling requests. We will be directing all therapeutic counselling service to those on the waitlist until we are able to estimate wait times.” A further over-stretched violence against women service.
In the midst of the startling changes happening now, it’s important to stay connected and talk. Thank you, dear reader, for your response to my post last week about what you are doing to meet the unique challenges of our time. In the same spirit as my post last week, I am seeking conversation about ways to be of support in these changing times.
I have been in dialog with Avalon Center and have offered to donate the Heal Your Heart Through Meditation program to the center for use by women seeking support. It is a way that I am able to offer support to an overstretched system. They are looking into the possibility of how this might work for them, and we will be in continued discussion.
I, myself, received a great deal of support from the Toronto Rape Crisis Center (TRCC) over the past three years. My former counsellor, Karlene, not only cared for me in my personal journey, but she also provided invaluable strategic consultations for my leadership of Buddhist Project Sunshine. Once I put the Heal Your Heart Through Meditation program on the market in 2020, I will be donating 10% of all sales to the TRCC.
In addition, I have offered to contribute to the TRCC as a motivational speaker for women who are thinking of doing what I did with Buddhist Project Sunshine (BPS). I know there are many stories that didn’t succeed as women hoped. BPS is a shining example of success, and according to Karlene, my work and BPS are already a source of inspiration to other women coming through their center.
Post-#MeToo, this is a new world that we are all actively creating. I believe each of us has something to contribute to making this a more loving and humane world. There are a lot of things happening that are encouraging. Let us nurture these things. And let us share our stories for a collective uplifting!
What are you doing to create a new world post-#MeToo? What would you like to do? Please feel free to post your thoughts below.