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Month: February 2023
Surviving in Stormy Seas
By Sophie Olson
There were so many days like this. Too many days. It feels like a lifetime of surviving. Often I wonder why I did survive. Sometimes I feel so very old.
This poem reflects a point in my life where I had reached out for help more times than I can remember. I had tried to be stronger, happier – more resilient. I had tried to focus on, and be grateful for the good things – there were many good things – but I was drowning and help wasn’t forthcoming.Continue reading “Surviving in Stormy Seas”
Sexual Abuse and Sexual Violence Awareness Week 2023 #ItsNotOk
By Sophie Olson
Today marks the last day of Sexual Abuse & Sexual Violence Awareness Week – the UK’s national week to raise awareness of sexual abuse and violence. At #TheFlyingChild we decided to engage by highlighting some important statistics, challenging stigma and sharing the work we’re doing with The Flying Child Project.
#ItsNotOk social media post
On Monday we shared the above image across our social media.
“Over 90% of sexually abused children were abused by someone they knew” (Radford, 2011)
On Tuesday we shared one of the statistics we use in our training.
A quote from The Flying Child Project training.
On Wednesday we shared this quote from The Flying Child Project. As we say to attendees, training is only a small part of tackling the epidemic of child sexual abuse. The biggest barrier we face to making meaningful change is society’s inability to speak about a taboo subject. One of the best things we can do as individuals is engage with the narrative. #ItsNotOk to turn away from the subject because what message does that send to children? What message does it send to perpetrators – that they can carry on whilst we look the other way? We can all play a part in tackling CSA. Yes – it’s uncomfortable to talk about but we must never prioritise our own comfort above the safety of children.
On Wednesday evening I spoke to SARSAS on a Twitter Space about my work as a Survivor Activist, my writing and The Flying Child Project. SARSAS also work with professionals and young people in schools and we came to the conclusion there is “a lot of work to do” (You can listen to the whole interview on the home page and on YouTube.)
Social media clip
ABC of CSA Exhibition by Viv Gordon Co
On Thursday, Anna and I travelled down to Exeter for the launch of the Viv Gordon Company ABC of CSA exhibition – ” a creative resource to support better conversations about child sexual abuse.”
We had the opportunity to view the wonderful artwork by Imogen Harvey-Lewis, catch up with friends and allies and listen to inspiring poetry read by fellow survivors of CSA.
On Friday we are worked with social workers at Together for Children Sunderland alongside the wonderful Sarah Pritchard from Barnardos Tees Valley Services. I always enjoy working with Sarah because she is what many would describe as a courageous practitioner – someone unafraid to open conversations, to say the words some might shy away from. Part of our training was to challenge the preconceived ideas people may hold about CSA. Due to a technical issue we were running late and it was encouraging to see how many choose to stay and listen to the end, and then ask us questions!
We finished the week by sharing our flyer for peer support in the local area. You can read more about the groups here.
The week ended on a bit of a high as I met with my publisher on Saturday. We have decided that #ItsNotOK24 will be the week we launch my book – The Flying Child. Keep an eye out for the formal announcement coming soon…