International women's day: a message from GRCC manager
Posted on March 17 2016 at 16:30
The Glasgow Rape Crisis Centre is 40 years
old this year and our manager, Isabelle Kerr, wants to mark
International women's day by sending this message of thanks to all the
staff and volunteers who work with us now, and also to all those who
have given their time over the past 40 years.
International Women's Day is a day of celebration, and this year we are
also marking 40 years of activism at Glasgow Rape Crisis Centre and 40
years of supporting women and girls who have experienced rape, abuse and
exploitation. For us, it's a day where we can join together to
recognise the strength we have and the work we do, for each other and to
help make this scary old world a better place for our daughters and all
those young women coming up behind us.
I wanted to take a few minutes to contact all of you to say that I am
proud to be part of this group of women, and to stand beside you in the
struggle against the oppression of women in all its forms. The work we
do is important so please never underestimate the part you play or the
difference you can make by being part of this organisation. And make no
mistake, we are not passive observers in this struggle: we are warriors.
Our fight is for all women to be able to live our lives free from
violence, abuse, exploitation, inequality, poverty and oppression. It's
an important fight but we must also remember that we, each of us, are
also important. Too many of us have burnt out and sacrificed our
health, so it's important that we recognise that we must keep ourselves
safe and well so that we can continue with our own lives and our work.
The struggle often does consume us though, and one of the best, and
worst things about feminism is that once we are on that journey, there
is no going back. We can't un-see the oppression around us, we can't
un-hear the sexist, abusive comments that so many of us experience on a
daily basis, and we can't un-know what is happening to our sisters
across the world. It exhausts us, but it also energises us and gives us
the strength to keep going.
But the best thing about feminism is that we are here, standing together
and making a difference to the women we work with, to each other and to
those around us. One of my favourite quotes from Jill Ruckelhaus says
it all, I think ...
"We are in for a very, very long haul .. I am asking for everything you
have to give. We will never give up ... You will lose your youth, your
sleep, your patience, your sense of humour and occasionally the
understanding and support of people that you love very much.
In return I have nothing to offer you but your pride in being a woman,
and all your dreams you've ever had for your daughters, and nieces and
grand-daughters . Your future and the certain knowledge that at the end
of your days you will be able to look back and say that once in your
life, you gave everything you had for justice."
Thank you all for working alongside me, I'm honoured to be your sister.
Glasgow Rape Crisis Centre manager