In the last weeks it has felt as though one after another many polluted waves have been crashing over us. As the truths many have experienced or known but have not before felt brave or safe enough to speak on come to light, institutions of the arts, politics & sports worlds get torn open to expose the rotting beams they are built upon. #MeToo is retweeted countless times across the world. Voices quiet or absent for so long venture into the arena, saying and this, and this and this. Powerful men, unmasked, are placed before a mirror and forced to see themselves. It's not a pretty sight.
This project has been simmering under the radar for the past eight months, and comes into the light at a most necessary and vital time. The Broken Spiral is an anthology of stories by Irish authors in aid of the Dublin Rape Crisis Centre. These generous and brilliant authors, and the many sponsors and supporters who have made this project possible, have knit together to create something that will both function as a much-needed fundraiser for the essential and underfunded services that the DRCC offer, and add to an already deafening, but crucial, conversation. Now is the time to shout, to scream, to demand; to refuse to hold tongues, hush voices, avert eyes. Now is the time to say, yes, and this, and yes, I believe, and yes, I knew. I knew, I saw, I heard, and I did nothing; but no longer.
All of us, in some way, have been touched by sexual violence. It is not a women's issue, although women are three times more likely than men to be victims. It is not only men who perpetrate sexual crimes, although men account for more than 90% of offenders. All of us are or know a perpetrator of sexual violence, or a survivor of it. It is no longer possible to hide, or avoid, or ignore, or pretend. The truth is foul, frightening, nauseating; but if we are to create meaningful change that allows freedom and safety for all without discrimination, we have to get our hands dirty.
You can pre-order copies of The Broken Spiral anthology here. 100% of in store and 80% of online sales go directly to The Dublin Rape Crisis Centre.
Contributing authors include Pat McCabe, Mia Gallagher, June Caldwell, Colin Barrett, Roisín O'Donnell, Louise O'Neill, Claire Hennessy, James Martyn Joyce, Geraldine Mills, Lisa Harding, Alvy Carragher, Rosaleen McDonagh, Sam Blake, Sinéad Gleeson, Oisín Fagan, Eoin Dolan Lane, Fiona O' Rourke, Alex Reece Abbott, Lillian Alford Patterson and myself.
This project was made possible thanks to Dublin UNESCO city of literature, Bodytonic, Jane Chadwick, The Irish Writers Centre and Mutiny.
RM Clarke is a writer and voice-over artist. She has written for various literary mags and anthologies and won awards. She has put her voice to most things she can think of.