I had the huge privilege of speaking to a great group of women the other day. The women and their children are taking part in a group called LEAF which stands for “Learning Effective Anti-Violence in Families.” The kids go off into their own groups and the women gather together to learn about violence and how devastating it can be in families, but mostly to find support from each other. As a LEAF alumni (I was in the group twice!) I can vouch for how important this kind of support can be.
I remember from my own experience that the LEAF sessions that I got the most from were the ones during which I left feeling that someone else had gone through the same kind of thing and that I wasn’t alone. There is nothing like sitting with a bunch of women and hearing them share their own experiences to make you feel better.
I remember when I was in the shelter, every Thursday morning was “abuse group” where the women would all get together and talk about some topic or other related to Domestic Violence. I felt like I literally “lived for” Thursday mornings. Looking back, I know it was because this was when I felt the most support and camaraderie with others; I didn’t know how to cope with everything going on in my own head and it was so helpful to hear others express what I was having trouble putting together.
At 1 in Four we know all about isolation and how terrible it is to feel alone. Just read over some of the blog posts on this site and you will see how well we get it! But saying we get it and posting stuff about it is not ever going to be as effective as being able to sit down with others and feel connected… so… we have come up with the next best thing: we have created a virtual support group through Facebook.
Go to the Message Board on our front page and you will see a link to the new 1 in Four Peer Support Group on Facebook, click on it (make sure you are already signed in to Facebook on your device or computer) and you can join the conversation. This is a closed group which means you have to request to join, it is moderated and our aim is for it to be a positive, supportive and safe space. We envision it as a place where people can offer tips, support each other and know that they are not alone.
See you on Facebook!
* Information about the LEAF program can be found on the Mission Services website .