From All Angles: 4 Ways Survivor Speakers Can Help Folks Heal, Know, & Grow
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Domestic and Sexual Violence are tough issues to discuss. BUT, thankfully, speakers have quite a few options for approaching the topic. In this blog post, I just list four. Trust me, there are so many styles and tools at a speaker’s disposal. You are only limited by the ceiling of your creativity, and your courage. Alright y’all, here are the four…….
Since the beginning of time elders, wise teachers, and faith leaders have used storytelling. What better way to help someone understand a complicated issue?
Audiences love stories. Not everyone understands what it is like to be a victim of a crime.
A lot of folks understand what it is like to be afraid of the dark. People understand what it is like to be frustrated and stuck in traffic. If you tell those stories, a lot of people can relate. That is what makes it easier for people to relate to the rest of your talk.
Renae McNeal is a storyteller. She presents monologues. I’ve had the amazing privilege to be in Renae’s audience. Her brilliant dramatic stories about domestic and sexual violence are fictional. Nevertheless, her plays definitely tell stories that need to be told.
This is an entirely different approach. It is highly effective because audiences love true stories. We get excited when we see someone on stage and see them bring their own experiences to life right before our eyes.
Frequently I give this type of speech to audiences like parents, law enforcement, teachers, or anyone who is most likely to come in contact with children or victims as a helper.
These are often used for purposes of presenting statistics, tips, and facts. Of course other creative aspects may come into this type of talk such as storytelling. I wrote this post about some of the questions that I am asked most often when giving this type of speech.6 FAQ by Parents & Caretakers about Child Sexual Abuse
This is actually the first type of speech that I have ever heard. It made a tremendous impact on me. It changed my life forever.
Before I saw former Miss America, Marilyn Van Debur, quite frankly, I wasn’t aware that people were speaking publicly about rape and abuse. Thanks to Maya Angelou, Alice Walker, Tina Turner, Ida B. Wells, and various other writers, I knew that people were writing about it.
But speaking about it out loud. No.
I figured that no one was volunteering for that type of vitriol and backlash.
In this type of speech, a Survivor may tell their story but may end it by making certain that the audience knows that it is possible to heal. In other words, they leave their audience with a sense of hope.
I wrote about that experience. In case you missed that post, here it is:
The Faith community is a whole different world. That means brand new opportunities to help people heal, grow, and thrive.
There are a few ways to approach this. A speaker could teach from a scripture, commandment, belief, etc.
Perhaps someone of a particular faith might take a particular teaching and illustrate/weave that in while teaching about domestic or sexual violence.
You know, your audience doesn’t have to practice the same faith as the speaker. I have had the privilege of sitting in the audience and listening to various teachings about violence from the perspective of many faith leaders.
It further cements that no matter who, what, where, or how; violence is wrong, disgraceful, and evil.
Some Survivors give variations of powerful faith filled testimonial talks. This is a great way to deliver a message of hope. When Survivors speak from this perspective, they have the opportunity to let audiences know that their challenges are indeed very real.
Healing from any type of rape, abuse, and trauma can be extremely difficult. Yet, when audiences hear the testimony of Survivors who are thriving, they witness for themselves why faith is a necessity for many Survivors.
FYI, here is a phenomenal, phenomenal resource for people of faith and people who work with people of faith. So, everybody!
I have followed this organization for years. I attended their workshops, purchased their books, called on them for help, attended their webinars.
They are humble, cross-cultural, and consistently excellent!!
Tonya is a Social Justice Expert with over 24 years experience as a speaker, group facilitator, crisis intervention counselor, writer, advocate & activist. She holds a BS in Organizational Management & Development. Her Tortie rescue cat MiaBelle, is her longtime co-writer. More Info…..www.tonyagjprince.com