Friday Self Care

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Taking care of ourselves is complicated. Healing is different for every survivor.

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We asked folks in SACHA’s waiting room how they take care of themselves. Some of their thoughts with cats:

  • Making something (drawing, writing, sculpting, painting, etc) extremely self indulgent and just for myself.

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  • Friends

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What Has Been Helpful In Your Healing?

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Healing is hard work. The effects of sexual and emotional harm are complicated and make the path of a survivor unclear, nuanced, and volatile. What works for one person might not for another, and even what works for one person at one time, might not work at another. It can be draining to be constantly on the alert for what kind of care you need at each given moment, but with patience and support it does get easier.

Here are a few thoughts passers-through in the SACHA office have about what’s helping them heal right now:

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Messages for Survivors

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Hurt and healing are deeply personal for every person. This is at once validating, because it reinforces the realness of each survivor’s individual experiences, but it can also feel isolating. It can be tempting to try to build yourself back up on your own, as a way of reclaiming choice and power that had been denied and taken from you, but be reminded that community – good community – is here to empower you.

Here are a few messages passers-through in the SACHA office want to remind other survivors:

“No shame, no blame (not of you) J”
“We are OK”
“You did not do anything wrong.”
“Your worth is not based on others’ opinions…”
“You are NOT alone”
“It’s amazing how many of us are on the same road”
“You can do anything. You just can’t do it alone.”
“Smile
J”
“healing is possible”
“You are stronger than you believe”
“I AM
J”
“This is a good place!”
“Keep moving forward”
“Ask for help if you need it.”
“It’s NOT your fault!”
“Believe”
“Never lose hope”
“It is possible”
“It’s okay to cry!!! Don’t hold it in.”
“Breath.
J”
“Believe in healing.”
“Be kind to yourself.”
“Don’t quit!”
“Throw your mask away, you don’t need it”
“It’s not what you have – it’s who you are. Be yourself”

What is your message of support to survivors?

Zine Launch: Dreams, Healing & Safety

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sachaposterlaunch FINALFor the past month, SACHA – Hamilton’s Sexual Assault Centre –  has hosted Sexual Assault: The Roadshow which provides space for local survivors of sexual violence to produce art. The Roadshow art gallery– made of a modified shipping container –  will travel to 15 Ontario communities over the next three years.  In Hamilton, survivors worked with artist Heidi Cho to create zines about their experiences of safety and healing.

We are inviting the community to view the art created by local survivors and hear about their experiences

Where: Good Shepherd courtyard – 25 Ray Street North
When:  Tuesday August 30th, 2016 @1:00p.m.
What: Survivor Zine Launch with a workshop participant speaking

Sexual Assault: The Roadshow is funded by the Ontario Arts Council and is a project by sexual assault activist Jane Doe and artist/activist Lillian Allen.  In Hamilton we appreciate the support of Good Shepherd Hamilton.