Content Warning: Discussions of sexual violence and abuse
This Sexual Abuse and Sexual Violence Awareness Week, Disabled Survivors Unite is sharing messages on our blog written by survivors for survivors.
We recognise the importance of people speaking out about sexual violence, and we stand with all those who have told their stories, but we also know the current media coverage is overwhelming for many survivors. Due to how difficult these past few months have been especially, we decided to ask survivors to write messages of support and advice for other survivors who are struggling.
Today we’re sharing messages from Natasha and Alice.
For those days when it’s tough. Focus on small things little achievements from just getting out of bed or sending a message.
And know that no matter who you are and what’s happened there is something good in the world you live in if you look hard enough.
For me with having communication issues I found people would tell me I read the situation wrong. That I must have missed signals. But that shifts the blame to me when it still is not my blame to have. Don’t let people make you feel to blame just because you have more difficulties than other people.
People often say if we’re feeling overwhelmed we should just come off social media, but that’s really difficult for some people, especially for those of us who are isolated without our online communities and friends. A better solution could be to make social media safe spaces for yourself when you’re struggling.
One option for Twitter is to ‘mute’ certain words or hashtags. Another is use browser extensions such as Soothe which allows you to pick which content you don’t want to see and blurs this out.
You could also consider setting up new social media accounts where you can follow others who you know won’t post things you’ll struggle to see. For example you could set up a Twitter account just following certain friends, or an Instagram just following animal accounts. These separate accounts can be a safe space for when things are overwhelming, and you always have the option to go back and use your main accounts when you I want to.
Some people find limiting the amount of news they look at can help too. You could delete news apps on your phone temporarily or change the settings so you aren’t being sent news alert notifications.
There are also lots of apps for people who a struggling with their mental health. For example, Booster Buddy is a free app which lets you check in with how you’re feeling, reminds you about doctors appointments and when to take medication, and helps you follow self-care routines.