7 Ways to Give Survivors a Voice After Violence

Edith Mecha
Edith Mecha

Here are seven tips on how you can empower yourself after violence. These tips will help you find your voice again and share it with the world.

Violence has many forms. It can be physical, verbal, sexual, or emotional. And it can happen to anyone: men and women of all ages and backgrounds; in any country; in any culture. But no matter where you go or what form violence takes, the effects are the same. You lose your voice…and with it, you lose a part of yourself. It can be difficult to find your voice and share your story in a way that feels safe for you, especially if you were sexually assaulted or abused as a child. But staying silent is not an option when violence happens to you. Finding that voice again may seem impossible but it is possible.

There are many ways to give yourself the support and encouragement you need to break the silence around violence.

Give survivors back their power
Safe Speaks

Here are seven ideas that will help give survivors back their power:

1. Give yourself permission to feel

After violence, you may feel numb. You’ve been through a life-altering event, and the experience of being abused or attacked can be so traumatic that it’s easier to shut down than to deal with what happened. But if you don’t allow yourself to feel your emotions, they’ll never leave you alone — and healing will be difficult. The violence took away your voice, but you can reclaim it by allowing yourself to feel again.

2. Try something new

Violence can cause you to focus on the past or fear the future, so it may be difficult to enjoy yourself in the present. The good news is that getting out of that headspace and focusing on positive things helps bring about healing. Further, making time for a new hobby, challenge, or interest will help give you back your voice.

3. Trust yourself

Violence may have shaken your confidence, so it’s important to remind yourself that you can still make good decisions and trust your instincts. This won’t happen overnight. But it is possible for survivors to regain their faith in themselves after the abuse has taken its toll on them emotionally and physically. They just have to make the effort to trust themselves again.

4. Take care of your physical and mental health

Violence can be very traumatic to both the body and mind. While it is crucial for survivors of violence to take care of themselves physically, they also need some emotional nurturing as well. Violence can impact one’s focus and ability to make decisions. So it’s important for survivors to take care of themselves physically. Make sure you get enough rest and sleep, eat healthy foods when possible, and maintain an exercise routine if it suits you best! You deserve peace after that traumatic experience.

Take care of your physical and mental health

5. Speak up when you need to

Everyone needs a support system, whether that’s a partner or friend, family member, or counselor. Violence will cause you to have trust issues. In abusive relationships, victims sometimes stay because they are frightened of being alone and also feel that no one else would want them (especially if their abuser has isolated them from friends and family). The truth is that there are people who care about you, and if you’re in danger or at risk for self-harm, they will help. Violence may have stolen your voice, but you can get it back — one word at a time.

6. Get support

Violence causes a loss that can be painful and isolating. There are many ways that you can turn to sources of support when experiencing violence. Speaking with a counselor, turning towards domestic violence shelters or programs, and talking about the experience with someone else who has gone through it. These connections can be an important part of starting your recovery process so don’t feel alone- reach out! Check out more resources here.

7. Know that you are not alone

Violence is traumatic — and silence can feel safe, almost natural, after an attack. But once you start opening up about what happened to you, you’ll see how many people have experienced similar horrors. Sharing stories with others who’ve experienced violence can help heal old wounds and reconnect fragmented parts of ourselves we may feel ashamed about. You’re not alone in this struggle; in fact, sharing your story can help others start sharing theirs.

Violence and abuse have many forms, but all of them can leave survivors feeling silenced, powerless and hopeless.  You don’t need to be a victim forever. Use these tips to give yourself back the power you’re owed, and never let violence silence you again.

Violence is never the fault of the victim.

Violence can take your power, but it doesn’t mean you have to give up control of your own emotions. You are in charge of how you feel about the attack that happened to you — and what happens after the attack is just as important as dealing with trauma from when violence has already taken place. Violence changes a person’s perspective. Often people blame themselves even if they had no way out or were not at all responsible for what happened.

Reach out for support not only during tough times but also afterward – don’t try this alone. It’s hard enough without having another human being there! Speak openly, report incidents committed against yourself so those accountable will be stopped before doing more harm than necessary. Never give up! Violence has no place in the world.

There are many things you can do to heal your heart and mind. Some of them may not be easy, but they will yield huge benefits in the long term. We hope that today’s post has helped you with some ways to take care of yourself during this difficult time. Remember that there is no shame or weakness in asking for help when it feels like you need it most—and we know how hard it is to ask! 

If any part of our suggestions resonated with you, please get a copy of our Gender-based violence ending strategies E-book below. So, you can benefit from our helpful advice about self-care and healing from a place of love and compassion. You deserve nothing less than all the best at this challenging stage on life’s journey.

Gender based violence ending strategies E-book

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Edith Mecha
Edith Mecha

Edith is a writer, social science researcher and speaker who cares about communication, gender equality, and women empowerment. She loves adventure and comedy too! Edith believes that we can all be agents of positive change in our communities by making small but impactful changes every day.

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