Social Media Creates a Global Community
Written by
Karyn Hall
September 2009
Written by
Karyn Hall
September 2009
A couple of months ago, I spent a day with young women who were survivors of abuse. They were struggling to establish a life for themselves safe from drugs, promiscuity, and suicide. Their stories were filled with pain and cruelty, often inflicted by family members they loved and they had great difficulty managing daily life as a result. I twittered about my concern about abuse in the home, wondering about how to make a difference. I said I’d thought about writing a book but no one would publish it and no one would read it. There is a wall of silence about abuse. That’s when social media magic hit. Several people answered me, stating if a book were written that told the stories of survivors along with information about how to address the problem, they would read it. Authors responded stating they believed the right publisher would publish it. And Dr. Stephanie Wright said she’d been thinking about a similar project for some time. A few weeks later, The Elephant in the Closet: Violence in the Home ( in process. People from several different countries are taking time to complete lengthy and detailed questionnaires. Survivors, providers, family members and the general public are all contributing and expressing their wish to make a difference for those who have been abused. Dr. Wright and I hoped we’d have enough responses to submit a proposal in the next few months. Thanks to the caring people responding and helping get the word out, we may have enough completed questionnaires to write the book in about one-fourth the time we anticipated. I’ve been a clinician for many years, (Yes, you noticed I didn’t say how many!) yet the responses to this questionnaire educate me about the factors that go into abusive situations, the long term effects and the ways people overcome the trauma. Survivors are heros. I t started with Twitter. I am grateful I found a new friend and colleague with a similar interest. Then blogs, list-servs, and websites all provided a way to get information from people all over America and other countries as well, in just a week or so. Social media can create community. Community can make a difference.

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