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Author Topic: survivors in your life/community
atm1
Scarleteen Volunteer
Member # 37835

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I've been wondering how many people (survivors and non survivors alike) know other survivors in their communities.

At my college, I co-facilitate a support group for survivors of sexual misconduct, and so my name is on fliers that essentially identify me as a survivor. It's something that freaked me out at first and made me uncomfortable (having my physics profs know that about me is a bit awkward...), but I started to be really proud of it when a girl I know came up to me and told me how much she appreciated my public acknowledgment of being a survivor. She isn't a survivor herself, but just felt like it was important to have people in a community who are really open about it. That discussion got me wondering what other people think about it.

But my college is certainly not representative of the world at large... and I'd just like to hear from people about whether or not you personally know survivors in your communities, and what that presence or absence means to you. Has this changed over time? Have you worked to change it?

Thanks!

(ps I'm hoping this is a good section for this thread--feel free to move it if you think it fits better elsewhere)

Posts: 2262 | From: in transition | Registered: Apr 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
September
Scarleteen Volunteer
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(atm1, this is a great topic and it's definitely in the right place. Thank you for posting it!)

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Johanna
Scarleteen Volunteer

"The question is not who will let me, but who is going to stop me." -Ayn Rand

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rungirl1
Neophyte
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Its good you are putting yourself out there to help others. For me personally I feel I cant at this point. I live in a small town so things get around. It is hard enough having people come up to me saying how proud they are of me.
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Typical Young and Dumb Teenager?
Activist
Member # 37530

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Well, I'm not personally a survivor, but my mother is (of sexual, physical, and verbal abuse). In fact, she actually conceived my brother by being raped.. by my father. This occurred I would say about 14 years ago, when I was a infant/toddler; she divorced about a year and half later. Then, eight or so years ago she actually remarried, and she is still with him today..

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Young and Dumb.
"Life is a balance of holding on and letting go." - Keith Urban

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Heather
Executive Director & Founder
Member # 3

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I feel bad this thread is so small! So, I'll chime in.

The longer that I'm around the world for and very public about surviving, the more and more other survivors -- of both rape and abuse -- I hear from and get to know, both in my friendships and other relationships, as well as online and when I go out into communities to do talks on sexuality and sex education.

Even at times -- like this, which was a real trial for me -- where being so public can result in some folks stepping over my boundaries and me feeling more exposed than I'd like to be -- I feel like my own discomfort is outweighed by what has always clearly been the result of more survivors feelings less alone and less like they have to remain silent. I'd agree that it also helps a lot when it comes to raising awareness and empathy from non-survivors.

Back in the year I took off between high school and college, I read Dorothy Allison for the first time, who beyond her exquisite literary skills, was one of the first people I was able to see (or read, rather), who was "out" about surviving rape. So, I can even say that for myself, just seeing someone else I respected and knew was a strong, able and talented person be able to do it helped me get there myself a lot. I wish that I had been able to experience someone right in my life, in-person, be public, but those were also different times when that was very infrequent. Looking back, it's sometimes amazing to me how much things have changed positively: a lot of why everyone stayed so silent for so long was because...well, everyone stayed silent for so long.

[ 06-13-2008, 03:10 PM: Message edited by: Heather ]

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About MeGet our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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Love-Life
Activist
Member # 37952

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I'm not a survivor, and I've never been very affected by rape or abuse.

My sister is a survivor, and I never heard much about it until recently. I was young when it happened and my sister was having some emotional issues dealing with it all and didn't feel comfortable talking to me about it. I did, however, know that it had happened. Recently, I talked to my sister about it and so I know a bit more.

I really can't imagine all that survivors have to deal with; and my sister's experience, mixed with some of my child hood experiences have made me want to be an abuse victim/survivor counselor or psychologist. So I think that that was a good thing that happened to me from what happened. And I'm glad that I will be able to hopefully help others in the future so they don't have to deal with the experience all alone.

I think that its important to see positive outcomes from very horrible things, and my sister has learned to survive her experience and, i think she appreciates that I want to help other kids and people who suffered from abuse.

I hope that this was sort of linked to the topic, lol. I just felt like I should post here.

And *hugs* to Heather about the Television conundrum. I really appreciate all that you do, and I know lots of others do too!

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There is an upside to everything, sometimes you just have to turn it upside down to find it.

:-) Vikki (-:

Posts: 153 | From: British Columbia | Registered: Apr 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
   

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