Part of self-actualization (see Maslow’s Hierarchy of needs below) is accepting yourself at the highest level, spiritually, physically, mentally, and emotionally. People strive every day to reach the goal of total self-acceptance. It is tough to reach that self acceptance though when people, whom you believe care about you most, are hurting you with aggressive words or violent/physical demands.

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People who are abused usually keep that abuse to themselves, out of fear that they will be rejected by their peers and out of fear that their abuser will find out and hurt them even more than they already have been.

On Twitter today many people are posting on the hashtag #WhyIStayed, to show others why they have chosen to either stay with their abuser, leave their abuser, or explain why they are who they are based on their past experiences. This has all come about because of the elevator surveillance camera footage that leaked the abuse of Janay Rice, the wife and, at the time of the abuse, fiance’ of former Baltimore Raven’s running back, Ray Rice. If you are interested you can check out the story here. There is also another hashtag that has been opened documenting only the reasons womena dn men who have been abused have left their abuser. This hashtag is #WhyILeft.

These people, no matter the reason they are posting to the hashtag, are extremely inspiring. They have reached a comfort zone within themselves that has allowed them the ability to express their fears and hopes while sharing their stories. They are, sometimes for the first time, allowing people to see into their lives and experience their pain and suffering while accepting the pieces of themselves that may not be perfect.

https://twitter.com/P_OETIC_JUSTICE/status/509306884193804288

These brave women and men are not looking for attention or pity, they are searching for acceptance and strength in others who have survived similar experiences.

https://twitter.com/gemmadunning/status/509304941685792768

If you, or someone you know, has been a victim of abuse, don’t discredit them. GIve them some time and talk to them about their fears. Let them have a chance to unload all the negative aspects of their lives. One day, maybe you will need someone to lean on also. Take a moment and check out the hashtag, you may be glad you did.