On Saturday, November 24th here in Ukraine we remembered the act of violence against the whole Ukrainian nation – Holodomor, the genocide of over 7 million Ukrainians in the Ukraine Soviet Socialist Republic and another 3 million in other parts of the Soviet Union in 1932-1933 under Josef Stalin. Today, November 25th, is the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women and Girls. People kept silent about both of these topics for a long time; even now some people will not admit them.
Today, with a group of like-minded people, we discussed that when we don’t resist something wrong we become its accomplices. The same is true about violence: In keeping silent about it we contribute to its support and spread.
From my experience, when you begin to expose violence and resist it, you are the one to be accused of stirring up trouble, not respecting authorities and, actually, having a problem. It applies particularly to institutionalized violence, which is embedded in the structure of the society or organization so deeply and so familiarly that it seems normal.
There is no point in waiting for those who commit violence to come to their senses, tell themselves, “Oh, no, that’s bad,” and stop. It’s the task of sufferers to find their voice and courage to speak up against violence and its consequences, and to resist and counteract it in non-violent ways.
For more about Veronika Voloshyna: Click here.