Hi, just a quick post tonight to share an unbelievable resource I just found. You may already know about it, but it’s new to me.
After Silence is a website dedicated to helping survivors of rape and sexual abuse. It has a message board and chatrooms. The forums are broken down into all different types of categories. There are special boards for women, men, young and “more mature” survivors. There are boards for specific types of abuse–date rape, stranger rape, abuse by a family member, etc. There are spots to share your story, if you so desire.
Aside from the message boards, there is a wealth of resources–websites, helpful books, information about recovery. It’s all a bit overwhelming, but so very useful. You have to sign up to post on the forums. Be patient…it took about a week for a moderator to approve my request, but it came through and now I can post to the forums. Look for me! Most of the forums are for members only, to protect the survivors. It seems like a very safe and supportive space…and appears to be well-moderated to protect the users.
After Silence also has a Facebook page. Now this was a bit tricky for me. As I have mentioned, I have only shared my story with 2 close friends and my husband. I very much wanted to “like” the After Silence page so that new posts would show up on my newsfeed. However, I was afraid that doing so would prompt a “Aimee likes After Silence…an online support group for survivors of rape and all types of sexual violence” comment to show up on ALL my friend’s newsfeeds. I was extremely hesitant. However, after experimenting, I found that you can go to your Timeline and find your “likes” section. You can edit this section so that your “likes” are shared with “only me”. This is what I did. I double checked by logging in as my son to see if “Hey, it looks like your mom is a rape survivor” turned up anywhere on his newsfeed. It did not. HUGE sigh of relief. I am NOT ready for that conversation just yet.
I highly recommend this site. You are free to “lurk” around the message boards. But, as I’ve said before, sharing my story has been a huge stepping stone in my recovery. If nothing else, reading the boards gives you a sense that you truly are not alone in this nightmare. I feel like a door has been opened to a world of people who can understand me. And I have been welcomed in.