(pt 2 of the high school health fair) coloring books for little kids about who can touch their body and who can’t and what to do if someone does touch them inappropriately and stuff. they also gave us pinwheels that were supposed to represent preventing child abuse and i thought it was kind of ironic that one of the spokes on mine was broken (since i’m a csa survivor)
(pt 3 about the high school health fair) i wasnt going to send this but i feel like i should. tbh the booths at the health fair actually made me kind of uncomfortable. at the newhope booth the woman talking to us told us the “1 in 4 women will be raped” statistic then counted off the 4 of us standing in front of here and idk it made me kind of uncomfy bc i knew i was the 1 in 4. also the pinwheels and brochure about csa also made me uncomfy and idk why.
(sorry for another one, pt 4 of the health fair) i just feel bad for feeling uncomfortable with the csa and rape booths because they were actually really good resources for nonsurvivors (and survivors) and it’s not that i don’t want them there, they just kind of made me uncomfortable, as a survivor. idk why and i thought maybe you would be able to help me figure it out?
Thanks for writing in about what people are doing to raise awareness. It sounds pretty cool actually - non-confrontational and stuff.
I get it about the discomfort. I studiously avoid most things about… my experiences. Slutwalks I stay away from. As well as any kind of awareness thing, even the things run by victim/survivors like Red My Lips. It’s too confronting.
I think confronting is the word you’re looking for? You live with it every day of your life and it’s present in your head every day, and you feel uncomfortable because it’s getting shoved in your face very overtly. Maybe?
The other feeling I get is a slow-burning hate against people who don’t deserve it - anti-sexual assault campaigners and activists who haven’t known that experience themselves. My thought process is - how do I know that you know what you’re talking about? How can you stand so tall and be so loud when I and millions of people like me have been silenced? And, because I know plenty of people who claim to stand up for something but are actually atrocious at it - I have a lot of doubt and cynicism about the way that activism is conducted.
So it might be a little bit of that. The fact that people are speaking so openly about it, when you feel silenced by your community. And the fact that… no one was there when you were being hurt. A stall doesn’t stop someone from getting hurt.
Perhaps if this goes on again and there’s no way to avoid it - and if you feel safe to do so - you might have a quiet chat to them about how they are unintentionally triggering survivors/victims. You don’t need to identify yourself, and if they’re genuinely switched on - they won’t even ask.
Otherwise - it’s ok to avoid places and spaces like that. Your health and safety come first. You’re not being a bad survivor by not engaging.
I think the important thing is to recognize that you’re allowed to be uncomfortable. I know survivors of CSA who are uncomfortable watching parents be nice to their children-
and obviously its not that they dont want parents to be nice to their kids, it’s just that it makes them uncomfortable. Either because its something they never got, or because of what they did go through, any sort of kindness reminds them of the way kindness was used against them.
and while a stall might not stop people from getting hurt, like Pearl said, awareness does help. Both in terms of survivors realizing oh shit what I went through wasn’t okay/also isnt an isolated thing- and especially if they have resources for survivors.
and in terms of public awareness. But also… like i said with colleges- sometimes colleges have events and have everything up in the commons where students cant avoid.
and its important than when we have things about sensitive topics- that its optional to engage with them, for survivor safety.