PREPARING TO PUBLICLY COME OUT AS A CSA SURVIVOR

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Please read this document carefully before submitting a video. Before deciding to come out publicly as a Child Sexual Abuse (CSA) survivor, consider that you are not obligated to share your story. However, you may decide to do so, perhaps, because:

  • You can no longer be silent.
  • Sharing your story may advance something for you or something you care about.
  • You feel that your lived experience is important for the field or the movement.

 

Potential Risks

  • Think about personal and professional consequences of publicly coming out as a survivor.
    • How would family members, friends, colleagues, etc. react?    
  • Publicly identifying yourself as a survivor may invite a lot of unwanted attention.
    • How do you think you will emotionally respond to being center of attention as a CSA survivor?
  • People may say things or ask questions that are hurtful, inappropriate, or triggering.
    • What are the worst things you could hear or be asked? Is there something you can do now to prepare yourself for these responses?

 

Preparation and Self-Care

  • Who is a trusted friend with your best interests in mind with whom you could discuss the consequences of coming out? This is, ideally, someone who already knows you are a CSA survivor.
  • What do you need to take care of yourself on the day you make the video? How about when video is published?
    • For example, a celebration, a gathering of supportive friends, calling a trusted friend.
    • How can you be extra kind to yourself during these times?
    • Consider at least three self-care acts to practice as needed.
  • Who are the people who you don’t want to hear your story?
    • Take steps to prevent them from hearing your story. For example, adjust your social media settings, change privacy settings on FB, etc.
  • Who are the people who you want them to hear your story from you?
    • You may want to share your story with them before they hear it from another source second-hand.
  • What are the three worst things people may say or ask you?  
    • Practice your responses with a trusted friend. Silence is a good option.
    • If you don’t want to answer a question, say that you do not share those details.