When being strong isn’t enough

Julie Ann Richards
2 min readJun 22, 2020

Recently a survivor of domestic abuse tweeted “I don’t want to be told I am strong. I want abusers to be held accountable. I want systems to respond appropriately to victims of crime. I want society to change its acceptance of abuse.”

Immediately this tweet resonated with me and highlighted the practical “ask” that survivors of Violence Against Women, Domestic Abuse and Sexual Violence continue to demand every single day.

It is necessary as survivors that we talk openly and honestly about our traumatic experiences and the long-lasting impact it has on every single part of our lives post-separation.

We share, we support, we strive to hold out our hand to the next survivor and tell her “you are not alone.”

But how many more survivors does it take to create transformational change and why does our normal mean surviving and being strong?

During COVID-19 we have the seen where there is a will there is a way. The governments of the devolved nations found money to ensure homeless people were given shelter during the epidemic.

Here in Wales Julie James, MS, Minister for Housing and Local Government has stated: “I am confident that we can now make a significant step change toward achieving our goal of ending homelessness in Wales.”

Where is the money, where is the will to act on the step changes already in place (in Wales) to eradicate Violence Against Women, Domestic Abuse and Sexual Violence?

How many more women and children must die before real, tangible change occurs?

How many more females have to suffer Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) before data is collected to identify children and adults ?

How many girls and women must be raped before you say ENOUGH?

The cost of the cumulative effect of violence and abuse on girls and women is more than any public purse could ever afford BUT please budget and plan and act through a gendered lens, through a survivors lens because We the Survivors are all tired of being strong.



Julie Ann Richards

Radical Feminist, Mam, Cymraes, heart always rules head, Trustee — Fair Treatment of Women in Wales, domestic abuse survivor — views are my own