NOT THE ONLY ONE
Not The Only One is a project designed to reach out to university students who have experienced childhood sexual abuse. As a group, CSA survivors are often invisible, not only to society, but also to each other, and suffer from stigma and isolation. At the same time, survivors tend to experience great difficulties especially in young adulthood, and often face a lack of understanding and support. Through workshops, presentations, support groups, and open forums, this project aims to create spaces for young survivors to come together, raise awareness, and offer specialist therapeutic support.
Presentations are delivered by a team of survivor activists to raise awareness and share knowledge about childhood sexual abuse, its impact, and access to support. As all presenters are survivors themselves, the presentations not only provide vital information for all students, but also give them the opportunity to meet survivors as complex people with talents and interests, beyond the ‘damaged victim’ stereotype.
Workshops are run by a team of survivor activists and cover themes such as speaking-out, coping with uni, survivor activism, telling our stories creatively, connecting to our body, supporting peers who have experienced sexual abuse, etc. Depending on the themes we offer workshops for open audiences as well as for survivors only.
We offer long term support groups based at universities with fortnightly sessions during term time for students who have experienced sexual abuse. These are facilitated by survivor activists with professional training in psychology, dramatherapy, and art therapy. The groups allow students to have a uni-based continuous source of both professional and peer support which can be crucial for survivors in accessing higher education.
Our staff training is suitable for all staff members who have direct or indirect student contact, such as lecturers, support staff, and administration. It provides an understanding about sexual abuse, trauma and how this can affect their students, as well as important practical knowledge on how staff members can respond to disclosures and support students in their individual role.
The Survivors’ Forum is a format of creating a space for CSA survivors to come together for informal support and facilitating activism. This can be a one-off event to connect students with experiences of childhood sexual abuse and support them with forming their own group, network, or campaign, or we can facilitate a series of monthly forums.