Guest Author - Aisling Ireland
Have you ever Googled your own name? Many people do, out of curiosity, just to what activities those who share their name are engaged in. Sometimes one may discover another person with one's own name is an artist, a comedian, or a keeper of exotic animals.
But what if one discovers that a number of the people who share one's name also share a trauma - the trauma of sexual abuse?
That is precisely what happened to writer and filmmaker, Angela Shelton. Shelton, who co-wrote the screenplay for the film Tumbleweeds. Shelton looked up 70 women who shared her name and made the stark, startling discovery that rather than sharing an occupation or eccentric hobby, what the women who shared her name also shared was the trauma of abuse. Some women had been sexually abused as children, some raped, some suffered domestic violence. Shelton spent nearly two months tracking down the women who shared her name and traumatic past and filmed their meetings and discussions about the impact that abuse had on their lives. Shelton's research culminated in the confrontation of her own abuser, the father who sexually molested her when she was a child. The result of Shelton's filmed meetings and the confrontation of her father was the documentary film, Searching for Angela Shelton. Shelton has gone on to write a book, Finding Angela Shelton, found the Angela Shelton Foundation, and write a Survival Manual, a guide for those who have suffered abuse.
Angela Shelton Day is a day that commemorates not only Angela Shelton, but a day that was set aside as a day to remember all abuse survivors. Angela Shelton Day is 29 April, as set aside by the mayor of Asheville, NC. Angela Shelton Day is a day not just for remembrance but it is also a day for action. It is a day when all of those who were abused can help stop abuse and violence by breaking their silence and reporting the abuse that they have suffered themselves.
*~Aisling Ireland~* is long time human rights activist, a active member of Amnesty International, a One Campaign supporter, writer, and an ordained Spiritual Counselor.
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