September 25, 2011

A safe place - Guest post from Band Back Together

When I was contacted by Band Back Together to see if I would be interested in participating in a promotion they are doing this month, I was so honored. I greatly admire the mission of the site, and how it provides a safe place for people to share their stories of survival. To tackle tough issues and be surrounded by the support they need. Started by Aunt Becky of Mommy Wants Vodka in 2010, the site has been extremely successful, demonstrating that it filled a critical need for many. 

The Mom Pledge will be featured on Band Back Together this coming week. And I am thrilled to have a guest post today written by Becky's partner Jana Anthoine. Thank you, ladies, for all you do to make the internet a safe, supportive place!

Bipolar. Baby Loss. Postpartum Depression.
Rape. Abuse. Divorce.
Breastfeeding or Not. Miscarriage. Chronic Pain.

What do all of these things have in common?

That’s right. They’re all things that nobody really wants to talk about. They’re either hot topics, troll magnets, stigmatized or “too sad” to mention.

A lot of people fear writing about these topics on their own sites for many reasons. They don’t want to draw attention from people who make nasty comments about their mental illness or they don’t want their boss to read about their divorce. Maybe they want to speak out about their rape but are too afraid to do it on their own site for fear of their attacker finding it.

The need for a safe place for people to post without fear of judgment was necessary. The internet needed a safe place for people to feel welcome, comfortable, loved and included.

Becky Sherrick Harks, aka Aunt Becky from Mommy Wants Vodka, realized that this type of place was needed after her daughter Amelia was born with a previously undiagnosed neural tube defect called an Encephalocele and she felt so alone. Becky put out a call for stories and had lots of responses, including one from me.

Somehow through the power of the internet and the universe, I ended up becoming the Tennille to Becky’s Captain! Band Back Together was launched on September 10, 2010 and we haven’t looked back.

Since our launch, we have provided an open forum for our Band Members to submit stories of love, loss, fear, pain, traumas and victories in our safe and moderated environment.

We enforce our guidelines of mutual respect and support. In other words, we live by The Mom Pledge.

As editors and moderators, we carefully read each and every comment and post that comes in. We don’t allow inflammatory or hateful tones to be used and our readers and contributors respect that.

It’s been truly amazing to see this happen. In a year, and with over 1300 posts published and 14,000 comments  moderated, there have only been a handful that haven’t been acceptable.
Perhaps it's the clearly stated guidelines on our mission or the supportive community we've fostered, or maybe we simply have the best readers and contributors on the Internet, I don't know. But we've managed to keep the negativity out and keep the love in.

In a space that none of us are alone in our struggles and triumphs, or pain and our joy, we have proven that what the blog world needed was a safe place from the rest of the Internet. We have truly put the Band Back Together.

And we look forward to you joining us. All are welcome.

You can join Band Back Together on the site, Twitter and Facebook

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