November 2020

Supporting Survivors: Safe Space Winnipeg

Initially when I had started Safe Space, it was simply to continue the important conversation, that was so bravely being held on Twitter, to Instagram. I saw this as an opportunity for these stories to be consensually seen and heard by greater numbers.  I was inspired by the hundreds of survivors that came forward to either share their story or name their abuser. I truly had no specific plans for the page and had no idea that it would become what it did.

As a survivor of sexual assault and domestic violence, I have always been driven by my own experiences and remembering what resources may have lacked during my healing process. The way I felt during those traumas, will stay with me forever and I’m grateful for that because it’s allowed me to provide to others, what wasn’t provided for me. It’s allowed me to attain an overwhelming amount of empathy and care for others. A genuine, safe space is crucial for healing, crucial for self- worth, safety, and for taking back that power that was robbed of survivors. To give those a voice where they have felt silenced, for sometimes years.  I was moved, although saddened, to see how many survivors were in the position that I once found myself in. It was incredibly important to place emphasis on consent and allow survivors to be given the choice and for them to know that it Is and always was theirs to have. It was imperative for me to dedicate time to each and every story, offer reassurance, community resources and comfort.

Pages like Safe Space are nothing without the courage of survivors and their stories. The strength you must carry to take back what was stolen, albeit the fear and threats, is something that NEEDS to be recognized and protected. Without the courage of survivors who chose Safe Space, I personally, wouldn’t have been able to heal from some of my traumas that I refused or feared to acknowledge over the years. I’ve always seen It as a collaborative effort as I wouldn’t be here writing this without the courage and strength of those who chose to come forward. We are never alone in this although those experiences, may at times lead us to believe we are. Our traumas and life experiences form who we are as individuals, and we deserve to be heard. Survivors deserve to experience happiness, comfort and loving relationships, both intimate and non- intimate. I am incredibly proud of each and every survivor who came forward to reclaim their voice, and even more so for those who haven’t reached that point in their traumas. Healing isn’t linear and I hope that those who have stayed silent, remember that their story isn’t any less important than those who have spoken out.

I’m incredibly thankful for being given the opportunity to be involved in this campaign and for every survivior who have contributed to the healing of others and themselves.

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Written by the creator of the @safespacewpg Instagram account

I am incredibly proud of each and every survivor who came forward to reclaim their voice, and even more so for those who haven’t reached that point in their traumas.