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Society for Survivors of Sexual Violence. watch

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    A society to help with coping with the aftermath of rape, sexual abuse, and sexual assault. Support for flashbacks, chronic pain, nightmares and anniversaries. The soc encompasses a wide range of information and will constantly be expanded. If you have anything you would like to add, be it a new definition, article or link then feel free to ask

    Rape

    The criminal act of forcing another person to submit to sexual intercourse. The term rape covers any situation where the victim is deemed legally incapable of consenting if she or he is known to be mentally incompetent, intoxicated, drugged, or below the age of consent at the time of the incident. It also covers forced sexual intercourse within a relationship or marriage.

    Sexual Assault
    Covers other forms of physical sexual intrusion that is unwanted and unwelcome - including touching, rubbing and masturbating on or over someone.


    Sexual Abuse

    Is the illegal activity of sexual acts towards a minor by a parent, guardian, relative, or acquaintance.

    Sexual Harassment
    The making of unwanted and offensive sexual advances, or of sexually offensive remarks or acts. Especially when the person is in a superior or supervisory position or when acquiescence to such behaviour is a condition of continued employment, promotion, or satisfactory evaluation.

    Incest

    Sexual relations between relatives who are forbidden by law to marry; for example, father and daughter or mother and son.

    UK phone helplines:
    Rape and Abuse Line 080 8000 0123
    NSPCC: 0808 800 5000
    Careline [London]: 0181 514 1177
    Reporting Elder Abuse: 0181 679 7074
    Samaritans: 08457 90 90 90

    Flashback help:
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    The Grounding Technique.

    It is basically using your senses to keep you in the present.

    ~Take deep breaths, in through the nose, out through the mouth, breathe in for the count of 4, hold for 2 and out for 5 (but counting slowly). This will stop you panicking.
    ~Think about all the things you can see, make a list (be that mentally, verbally, or actually written down, often a written down list can draw you back to the present easier), say them one by one, think about each of them, their texture, colour, where they are, etc.
    ~Think about what you can hear, and work through touch, taste, feel, as well, in the same detailed manner.
    ~Think about who you trust that is around you.
    ~Remind yourself of todays day, the date, the month, year.
    ~Tell yourself that you are safe and can not be hurt.
    ~If you can, look in a mirror, look at yourself now, at this age, remind yourself that you are safe, talk to yourself in the mirror.
    ~If appropriate hold something that grounds you, or that makes you feel safe, like maybe a little teddy, or stone, or keyring or something.

    Keep doing it over and over and it will work, often doing it with someone can make it easier for you to focus on bringing yourself back to the present.

    It won't be a quick and easy solution, but the more you practice the easier and more effective it should be.

    Holding your breath and closing your eyes – Hold your breath for a little while and shutting your eyes really tight. It helps because when you open them again, the senses are heightened and you can concentrate on them for. The only thing is getting through the closing your eyes bit because it tends to intensify the flashback.

    Don’t fight it – Flashbacks are horrible and scary that’s true….but the fact is you have already lived through this it can never hurt you in the way it hurt you back then. Fighting the flashbacks can often make them get worse. They wont to be seen and heard so they can be dealt with and you can heal. So when its safe to do so – don’t fight the flashback. Go with it. Don’t fight it. Its OK to cry, its ok to hurt and be angry, Whatever your feeling it is OK to express….but remember you already got through the hardest part.

    Take control – Flashbacks are in your head. This means though it feels there in control YOU ARE. Try and control; manipulate, the images your seeing. When it comes to mind push the image away make it smaller an smaller…bring it closer. Spin it upside now. Pause it (that’s a good one) or even change it. Put Mickey mouse ears onto the person it involves or give them a giant tash. Make them fall over before they get to you. How about even changing the outcome? Saying NO STOP in the way you couldn’t back then. This taes a lot of practice but can really help.

    Focusing on counting your breathing can help – keep thinking of the numbers focus only on the numbers. Breath 1, 2 , 3, 4, out 2, 3, 4 in 2, 3, 4

    Visualisation – When you start to flashback close your eyes and picture somewhere safe. Create that place in detail. Things in that space, smells, sounds. This safe space is a place you cant be hurt. It’s a place you have complete control of.


    A small object in your pocket - When you're out, try and have something in your pocket that's small enough to hide easily. Giving yourself something to "mess with" if you will helps you try and focus on something else other than the flashback. It could be something as simple as a coin, try to figure out what coin it is, and see if you can feel which side is the heads, and which side is the tails. Sounds stupid, but it helps.

    Waking up other senses - Another thing that helps some people is waking up other senses. You could try things like splashing water on your face, moving up and about, smelling a comforting smell (like perfume), or playing a comforting song or something like that.

    Carry a small object in your hand - Something you can fit in your hand and something that has texture that you can feel. think about the object and why you have it and such.

    Talking to yourself - Say to yourself what you wanted to say then and what you wanted to do...it changes the image in your head and once it's changed for the better you can let it play and know that you'll be safe.

    Counting - Counting can help distract your mind, and keep you focussed on something that isn't the flashback. It's also very discreet to count in your head. Try to count by 2's (although doubles can also work) as it is slightly challenging to see how far / fast you can go, and the further you can do the calmer you might get, so it can help you measure what level of focus you have. You might get so frustrated at counting it can completely distracts you!


    Potentially useful books:
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    Neglect

    Child neglect: contemporary themes and issues. Jowitt, Sharon. Glasbury-on-Wye: Bridge Publishing House, 2003

    Wednesday's child: research into women's experience of neglect and abuse in childhood, and adult depression. Bifulco, Antonia and Moran, Patricia. London: Routledge, 1998


    Child abuse

    Child abuse lasts a lifetime. O'Grady, Michael. New York: Michael O'Grady, 2001

    Child abuse: implications for child development and psychopathology. Wolfe, David A. London: Sage, 1999


    Physical abuse

    Development after physical abuse in early childhood: a follow-up study of children on protection registers. Gibbons, Jane et al. London: Her Majesty's Stationery Office (HMSO), 1995


    Domestic violence

    Bitter legacy: the emotional effects of domestic violence on children. Webster, Alison, Coombe, Alan and Stacey, Lisa. Ilford, Essex: Barnardo's, 2002

    I Closed My Eyes: Revelations of a Battered Woman. Weldon, Michele.

    Sexual abuse
    Creating a safe place: helping children and families recover from child sexual abuse . NCH Children and Families Project. London: Jessica Kingsley, 2001

    Breaking the silence: working with adult survivors of childhood sexual abuse. Community Health Sheffield. Brighton: Pavilion Publishing, 2002

    Young men surviving child sexual abuse: research stories and lessons for therapeutic practice. Durham, Andrew. Chichester, West Sussex: Wiley, 2003

    The ultimate guide to overcoming sexual and childhood abuse. Adamson, Liz Leybourne, Kent: Diviniti Publishing, 2003

    Out of the dark. Caine, Linda and Royston, Robin. London: Corgi Adult, 2004


    Emotional abuse

    Overcoming Emotional Abuse Book, Susan Elliot-Wright. Sheldon Press

    Healing the Scars of Emotional Abuse. Gregory L. Jantz Ann McMurray .

    Emotional maltreatment of children. Garbarino, J., & Garbarino, A. Chicago: National Committee to Prevent Child Abuse, 2nd Ed. 1994


    Self care tips:

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    • Keeping a Journal

    Many survivors find that a journal is a good place to record any feelings they may be having about what happened. Journals can provide you with a very safe space to record any anger, frustration, fear, loneliness, triggers, guilt or doubt you may be experiencing. It can also be a good place to discuss any issues you wish to bring up with your therapist before you see them.


    • Being Creative

    Can you sing, dance, act, write, draw or play an instrument? The arts can provide a wonderful outlet for your emotions and are also a brilliant way to reach out to others. This site has its own creative arts forum. Check out the work of other people or submit your own.

    • General well being

    It is so important that you look after yourself. You are precious and deserve the best care possible. You have been through a terrible ordeal and need to take extra special care of yourself. Make sure you start this off by eating properly and getting enough sleep. If you have food issues or are struggling with insomnia please seek professional help. Dealing with trauma is exhausting; you need all the energy you have!


    • Treat Yourself!!!!

    Do you have a favourite film? A CD you have wanted for ages? A particular wine that you love? Get It!!!! You deserve it!!! While being silly with money is never beneficial, you are more than worth of having a wee treat when you are struggling.


    • Relax

    This possibly ties into number 4 - find ways to relax. Getting a massage, running a bubble bath, eating ice cream! However you relax, make sure you make time for it, especially if you are having trouble sleeping. If you are having severe problems with insomnia please see your Dr.


    • Call a friend

    Contact a friend, even if it is just for a chat. Contact with those who care about you will lift your spirit.


    • Exercise

    Exercise can be a great way of connecting with your body again. Go for a run or a walk, join a dance or aerobic class or go for a cycle ride. You will gain from the fitness and the time to yourself. Exercise is also known as a natural anti-depressant and if you join a class it is a great way to get to know people.


    • Laugh

    They say laughter is the best medicine so rent funny movies, watch childens cartoons, watch comedies on TV or go to a comedy club - anything that makes you smile.

    Remember you are worth taking care of!


    Some of you might feel uncomfortable posting publicly about sexual violence, in which case you can post anonymously here and use the society thread for general support without having to give intimate details.

    This society is here to help for whenever you're feeling fragile, vunerable and generally finding things difficult.
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    According to the definitions given, I've suffered from sexual abuse.
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    sorry, i meant sexual harrassment. but im not sure.
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    (Original post by Anonymous)
    According to the definitions given, I've suffered from sexual abuse.
    I'm sorry to hear that. You sound cynical though. Would you not agree with the definition?
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    (Original post by 35mm_)
    I'm sorry to hear that. You sound cynical though. Would you not agree with the definition?
    By that definition two 15yr olds having sex would be commiting sexual abuse against eachother.
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    (Original post by 35mm_)
    I'm sorry to hear that. You sound cynical though. Would you not agree with the definition?
    I'm not being cynical, I just think that the definitions are not very clear. Where do you draw the line between sexual abuse and sexual harrassment?
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    (Original post by Reue)
    By that definition two 15yr olds having sex would be commiting sexual abuse against eachother.
    Age is utterly irrelevant when it comes to abuse, I'd say. Children (minors, whatever) can be more vicious in terms of sexual violence and when it comes to physical strength a child attacking another child can cause as much damage as an adult attacking another. I wouldn't, however, say that consensual sex between 15 yr olds is 'abuse'; it's referring to non-consensual.

    Regardless of the age of the abuser the emotional effect is the same and therefore the victim deserves as much support as anyone else.

    But if people don't agree with the definition then I can, of course, change it. It's not a problem
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    (Original post by Anonymous)
    I'm not being cynical, I just think that the definitions are not very clear. Where do you draw the line between sexual abuse and sexual harrassment?
    The dictionary definition of sexual harrassment is: unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature that tends to create a hostile or offensive environment. Sexual abuse, in this context, is towards a minor.
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    (Original post by 35mm_)
    Age is utterly irrelevant when it comes to abuse, I'd say. Children (minors, whatever) can be more vicious in terms of sexual violence and when it comes to physical strength a child attacking another child can cause as much damage as an adult attacking another. I wouldn't, however, say that consensual sex between 15 yr olds is 'abuse'; it's referring to non-consensual.

    Regardless of the age of the abuser the emotional effect is the same and therefore the victim deserves as much support as anyone else.

    But if people don't agree with the definition then I can, of course, change it. It's not a problem
    Do change them. Making definitions of terms according to what you think they mean is very subjective. Try consulting the legal definitions for each of these offences (if you can be bothered...).
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    (Original post by Anonymous)
    Do change them. Making definitions of terms according to what you think they mean is very subjective. Try consulting the legal definitions for each of these offences (if you can be bothered...).
    Of course I can be bothered or I wouldn't have bothered even making this thread. Fine, I'll opt for the 'legal' definitions.

    The legal definition of sexual abuse is also limited to minors, though, it's not just my subjective opinion!
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    (Original post by 35mm_)
    The dictionary definition of sexual harrassment is: unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature that tends to create a hostile or offensive environment. Sexual abuse, in this context, is towards a minor.
    in that case i think ive had both.

    when i was under the age of consent, i remember this man knocked on my door. I naively opened it despite my mother's instructions not to answer to anyone, and he closed the door and pulled down his trousers right in front of me. No harm came to me from that though, he left afterwards.

    then ive also been touched inappropiately (down there) without my consent. but that was a friend and we were messing around in the swimming pool so im not sure it counts.

    men are weird creatures.
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    (Original post by 35mm_)
    Of course I can be bothered or I wouldn't have bothered even making this thread. Fine, I'll opt for the 'legal' definitions.

    The legal definition of sexual abuse is also limited to minors, though, it's not just my subjective opinion!
    ok
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    I really hope people will be able to focus on what this society is actually for rather than bickering, because this is a very good idea.
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    Have submitted the request so hopefully it should be up and running soon-ish.

    and yes, rule no.1: no bickering
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    (Original post by 35mm_)
    Have submitted the request so hopefully it should be up and running soon-ish.

    and yes, rule no.1: no bickering
    I would support this society.
 
 
 
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