bravery

I was excited to learn recently about a new organization called Brave Woman, which is working to change the perception of women facing domestic violence from a victim mentality to one of courage and strength. They're supporting women around the world to live without fear and challenging people to speak out against violence.

Learning about their initiative got me thinking: what is the definition of bravery? As a volunteer, I've worked with hundreds of domestic violence survivors and peered into the most hopeless of situations. I've been shocked to see, peering back at me through sometimes swollen and battered, tired eyes, a sense of determination. Even among women who have experienced the darkest despair, there's always been this glimmer of understanding that this doesn't define who they are. Survivors have a power that I honestly can't describe. They develop a strength from rising above it. As a survivor of child abuse, I know that I am brave. But what is bravery, really? If I had to come up with a definition to describe the strength of spirit that I've seen in these women, what would I say?

Bravery is enduring the unspeakable, and then speaking out about it. Bravery is being bold in the face of adversity. It's confidence that you can outlast your circumstances. It's a spirit that empowers you to do something, anything, to institute change. Bravery is sacrificing for what you hold dear. Bravery is knowing that you are important, even when the world tells you that you aren't. It's an unyielding belief that there is more than this moment.

Bravery is the courage, against all odds, to fight for what's right.

brave woman

If you want to take the Brave Woman pledge to stand up for human dignity, visit www.BraveWoman.org.  You can also learn more about the initiative on Twitter and Facebook. Also, join me at the #CBias #BraveWoman Twitter party January 17th from 8:00-9:00 pm EST!

This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for CollectiveBias. All opinions are my own.