This week has been a busy one! On Tuesday The Flying Child Project presented to a secondary school. It was successful for a few reasons: Firstly, we learnt an important lesson as to where our own limitations lie. We know that running the same workshop four times in one day is too much. When you do this work, you share from your soul. It took its toll and, during an important debrief meeting on Thursday, we decided how we can better manage the structure in the future.
During one of the workshops we found out something about data and policy that enraged us. Yesterday I reached out to a contact in government, who quickly flagged it with the children’s minister and special advisors in DfE. They have commissioned more information and will feed back to us. Watch this space. We will not be letting this lie.
The response was just phenomenal. We send anonymous feedback forms after our training and events to help us shape the project going forward, and it was, across the board – positive. Phew!
This feedback was sent across in a separate email and it confirmed that we’re delivering the relevant information in the correct way.
Honestly, I can’t say enough about the training you have given us. It was so powerful and impactful. I know it must’ve been difficult to do and I hope you realise that with training sessions like that you will have helped so many children in their most vulnerable moments. I work closely with a child who is a victim of intrafamilial CSA, and just yesterday she had a very difficult triggering moment. As a result of your training I felt I understood her more and was more confident in the things I was saying and doing to help her.Staff Participant
This week, for Sexual Abuse And Sexual Violence Awareness Week, The Flying Child has collaborated with Viv Gordon and helped to strengthen her #CuttingOut campaign. As part of this campaign I’ve shared things that have taken me out of my own comfort zone, but I believe it must be done. We need to tell our stories. Many stay silent to protect others, yet they were not protected in the first place. CSA is mostly an invisible crime, often witnessed only by the perpetrator and the victim. Storytelling is the only way we can shine a light on it, to invite others to step into our shoes, just for a moment, and to live it. Feel it. Only then will galvanise others into action. We need allies to allow us space to tell our stories and to support us in sharing these stories further. We need them to stop turning away.
Someone shared on Twitter about the shame they felt when they tried to share on social media with people they knew, only to be met with silence. The person ended up deleting the message. I understand these feelings of shame to negative responses. Only recently have I felt strong enough to pass my (no longer best friend) in the street and hold my head up high when she pretends she hasn’t seen me. I’m not going to be ashamed of having shared my story with her anymore. It’s not my shame. I choose to live my life without engaging in personal conflict if I can avoid it, but I am angry. How dare people react in this way, to me, to all of us? This anger fires me and I continue to direct it into my work and my activism.
Raise your words, not voice. It is rain that grows flowers, not thunder.Rumi
Silence is the cause of further harm – if you can’t express pain, you turn it inwards instead. There is nothing worse than being silent, or feeling silenced.
I was invited to take part in a meeting with other creative activists and this meeting was the perfect end to the week. There is nothing more powerful than a gathering of women, with the same experiences, the same fire inside them, the same sense of injustice and the same determination to influence change.