Survivors' Forum: Supporting survivors of sexual abuse
7 March 2018
Silke Grygier, founder of the Not The Only One Project, will be facilitating five Survivor Forums. The forums will take place from 18.30-20.30 on:
- 16 March (Rutherford Ext 12)
- 20 April (Rutherford Ext 12)
- 18 May (Rutherford Ext 12)
- 15 June (Rutherford Ext 12)
- 20 July (Grimond Seminar 2)
The main aim of this format is to create a safe space for survivors of sexual abuse to come together, meet others, share experiences, and discuss the issues and themes which affect them. The experience of being in a space with other survivors, can be hugely empowering for survivors and can alleviate common feelings of shame, stigma, and isolation, and foster experiences of connection and feeling understood.
The first one or two forums are usually open in topic, to allow for participants to explore and bring themes they find important. Subsequently, forums might focus on a particular theme which seemed important, or include workshops on specific issues.
In the Survivors' Collective, Silke has facilitated forums on themes such as 'access to healthcare', 'media representation', 'our experience in education & the workplace', and workshops such as 'speaking out', 'connecting to our body', as well as a 'giving testimony session' where survivors had the opportunity to tell their story.
Not The Only One is a project designed to reach out to university students who have experienced childhood sexual abuse (CSA). As a group, CSA survivors are often invisible, not only to society, but also to each other, and suffer stigma and isolation. At the same time, survivors tend to experience great difficulties especially in young adulthood, and are often left with a lack of understanding and support. Through workshops, presentations, info-stalls, support groups, open forums, and therapeutic support this project aims to raise awareness, create spaces for survivors to come together, and offer specialist support.