“We believe you”
“You are not alone”
“You are allowed to be angry”
“You are loveable, You are loved”
“Healing can happen”
“It was never your fault”
These are just some of the messages members of the Uvic community have written for survivors of violence. At AVP, we hold survivors at the forefront of all that we do and it is with this knowledge that we aim to hold space for survivors. We hold space for them to be angry, to be sad, to be hurt, to scream, to cry and to heal.
Healing from violence can be a long, difficult and often stressing path. It can also be a beautiful one; through building and practicing community, we aim to provide an environment where survivors can be heard, believed and respected. We hope that providing such a space can allow folks to begin the difficult process of healing.
Outside of the AVP office in the basement of the Student Union Building (B027), folks will find a large paper banner titled “Messages for Survivors” with postit notes. Some carry messages already, others are blank waiting for a message . We invite members of the campus community to come by the office and write messages for survivors, and/or take messages for themselves or someone they know who is a survivor of violence.
It is with these messages that we hope to centre survivors in the ongoing work of challenging genderbased and sexualized violence. It is with these messages that we hope to empower survivors to reclaim that which was lost through the violence so prevalent on campus, and the community at large.
(Piotr is the Team Lead at the Anti.Violence.Project and a member of the coordinating collective of the Men’s Circle @ Uvic)