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[Content Warning: Sexual Assault] Survivors Infobus - What Should We Talk About?

Hey RO people!

 

At the moment, we're organising to do another Infobus session with SARC (the Sexual Assault Resource Centre in WA) for survivors of sexual assault and I really wanted to get an idea about what you guys think would be good to talk about during the session (here's a link to the session we did last year to get an idea of what we've talked about before). What topics around the experience of being/knowing a survivor do you think would best serve our community? 

 

If this post has been in any way triggering for you, I'd really encourage you to get in touch with 1800 RESPECT and there is a list of local resources by state here. Take care of yourselves Smiley Happy

Re: [Content Warning: Sexual Assault] Survivors Infobus - What Should We Talk About?

hi @Chessca_H

 

im up for this chat.

one thing i would reccomend talking about is how to realie the assult wasnt your fault and how to get through those feeling of self blaming

**NEVER be afraid to ask for help because you're WORTH it!**

Re: [Content Warning: Sexual Assault] Survivors Infobus - What Should We Talk About?

Hi @Chessca_H.

 

I myself am a sexual assault survivor, i still have a hard time saying that. Specially because when you speak those words to family, friends as i experienced with family it was an instant rejection.

 As a 7 year old no one believed me, as a child people think your imagination has gone wild or you're striving for that attention. As an adult that belief is still there, when you speak that sentence 'sexual assault survivor' it feel's like an never ending battle of explanations. 

 

My question to everyone would be, 

 

As i have noticed speaking out as a survivor of sexual assault, it often has a ‘ripple effect’ on families, creating tension, uncertainty, troubled emotions. Different family members are likely to be affected in different ways. What’s one piece of advice that you could give a survivor in dealing with facing that uncertainty from loved ones? 

   

 

Re: [Content Warning: Sexual Assault] Survivors Infobus - What Should We Talk About?

@Mila28 that is a fantastic question - well done. You sound like an incredibly strong and well rounded human being after all you have been through. Heart

Re: [Content Warning: Sexual Assault] Survivors Infobus - What Should We Talk About?

Some questions that I'd be really interested to see discussed are:
1. What are some ways to communicate with sexual assault around family and friends (as in- how do you tell them what's happened and how you want them to best support you)
2. What are some ways that teenagers can cope with the legal aspects of sexual assault (if it comes to that) - so support groups, your legal rights, etc.
3. What is victim blaming,how do you identify it and how do you respond to it?

Re: [Content Warning: Sexual Assault] Survivors Infobus - What Should We Talk About?

I've also been sexually assaulted and it has had physical repercussions on my body that I've only found out about this week, after seeing my doctor.

While I understand the emotional impact is huge, it has hit me more after realising that while mentally, I had detached myself from the event (though I have a support system in place), I now have to live with its physical consequences, which keep triggering feelings of shame and self-blame.

Therefore, as part of the chat, I think it would be really important to discuss the physical ramifications of being assaulted, and how this 'daily reminder' affects one's already vulnerable mentality after this kind of traumatic event.

 

Re: [Content Warning: Sexual Assault] Survivors Infobus - What Should We Talk About?

@sweet_baking this is such an important and often overlooked part of the discussion around sexual assault, thank you for sharing that with us and it's definitely something we'll address in the Infobus Smiley Happy

 

So we seem to have a few themes coming up here, I'm going to have a go at putting them together and you guys can let me know whether I'm on the right track:

  • Addressing and responding to blame, both in the form of self blame and wider victim blaming
  • Support from family and friends - communication, handling the 'ripple effect' of assault
  • Handling the day to day reminders of assault, particularly the physical ones
  • Support resources in general

Does that sound about right?

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Re: [Content Warning: Sexual Assault] Survivors Infobus - What Should We Talk About?

I think that's a really well-rounded list of themes, addressing a lot of concerns and issues part of sexual assault!

Re: [Content Warning: Sexual Assault] Survivors Infobus - What Should We Talk About?

Thanks @sweet_baking!

 

The session won't be until the end of October, so if anyone has an idea of a topic we should talk about don't hesitate to add it here Smiley Happy