suggestions for campus mentorship program for women who have faced gender based violence that i am currently independently launching as a student org


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Londonmason

Please give me your opinions, ideas, concerns, share what you think may have helped you, what i should be prepared for, and how you think i can most effectively help others by starting this program. 

I am a university student. I faced gender based violence from a partner for over the course a year. Despite my friends trying to support me they were not able to understand the impact it had on me and eventually the way i handled the experience made them feel very upset and i was no longer only isolated in my emotions but was eventually isolated by my peers. It was not their fault, they could not understand how what i was experiencing had impacted every part of my life. this feeling of isolation, physically and emotionally made it very hard for me to escape the violence. I have recovered but have thought a lot about what i could have done better. In learning to forgive myself and acknowledging that being of victim of gender based violence made me act like a different person and that abuse is a cycle, i wondered if there were any resources that could have helped. I realized that the initial support i received from my friends and family  didn't help because the fact that they couldn't help and i couldn't change it made me feel like no one could understand and i felt like i was alone and that i was a failure for not reacting differently and that i was overreacting and acting irrational. I began to wonder if i had known someone else who had faced this would i have been able to feel less isolated, would that kind of support have helped me, if someone could understand and guide me through the hardships would i have been more able to get through them? I believe so, heck, it works in AA. I wanted to see if i could help people who are currently facing gender based violence, to give them the support that i didn't have, that may have made a difference for me. I went to my school and pitched the idea of a mentorship program, they loved it but acknowledged for legal reasons it needed to be a student organization not implemented by the school. So now I am independently launching this program and am reaching out to the community and the on campus support systems. I have a lot to consider and I want to use all the resources i can get to make this the most effective program i can. I know how gender based violence impacted me and for a year i felt trapped and was forced to do things and be someone i did not want to be, it took a drastic toll on every part of my life and i lost everything but my parents, my personal belongings, and my dog. I need to find ways to make sure proper sensitivity training is in place, i need to consider how to evaluate, for their own safety if students are ready to endure the hardships that may come up, i need to think of what to do in an emergency and the resources to provide for everyone involved and, what to do if there are triggers and how to help prepare for that and how to respond to that, i want to be able to help women find a way to feel supported enough, and to feel less hopeless so that maybe they will feel like their life is not gone and that they can move forward, to feel like there is hope. let me know any thoughts you may have, i want as much input as i can possibly get and hearing from those who have face GBV i think is a powerful and vital resource. thank you for reading and for any responses, positive or negative that you may have.

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