From Laura Marie:
I think it's important that we speak up for causes that are close to our heart. Not everyone will be called to every cause and there are so many worthy ones. By no means is this a complete list of things I care about in the world. I'm sure I'll continue to add and feature different causes as time goes on and I hope you'll speak up and take action on behalf of issues that move you. Here's my story:
Why I never spoke up.
When I was 19 years old I went on a date. I was set up. A friend of mine was interested in someone but she needed a friend to double with her and his friend. So, I cancelled previous plans and agreed to go. It's that decision that has haunted me for years . It was the last decision I really remember making that night. Unless, of course, you count that one drink. I was underage but, I had drinks before and thought nothing of it. After that one drink I felt like something might be wrong. My friend and I discussed it but we were laughing and wondering how we could possibly be so drunk. It just seemed silly. It was silly until I became absolutely helpless to resist and completely unable to say no to our dates, the men who drugged us. I think you can imagine how the rest of the story goes. I don't have to imagine. I remember all of it.
And the reason I never spoke up? Shame. That's what date rape does. It causes tremendous shame in the victims. I was ashamed because I should have known better, ashamed because I wasn't more careful, ashamed because I couldn't and didn't say no. I was ashamed because I couldn't prove that it happened and ashamed thinking that it was absolutely, truly my fault that it had.
1 in 5 women are survivors of rape (***). This, sadly, does not surprise me. Many people I know are also survivors. 1 in 2 women and 1 in 5 men have experienced some form of sexual violence in their lives. Someone you know is a survivor and still needs your help and support.
I say NO MORE because it's time to let go of the shame that I've carried for far too long. It's time to let the shame rest where it truly belongs. For that to happen, we have to make it known. It has to be understood that taking away someone's choice to have sex through drugs or violence is wrong. And, if you think that it's not necessary to speak out in this day and age, just read the news. It's everywhere.
I'm asking you to join me in supporting NoMore.org and their partner organization Joyful Heart Foundation. Please, take a moment to listen to this week's song. You may download it for free along with a lyric pic via the Noise Trade app below or visit http://www.noisetrade.com/lauramarie/everything-is-haunted. Please, consider leaving a tip and sharing it with your friends. 100% of all tips will go to Joyful Heart Foundation. And, please, visit NoMore.org and join their social media thunderclap scheduled for the week of March 17th.
Thank you and much, much love - LM