From One Survivor to Another

February 7, 2012

A List of Survivors’ Rights.

  • In all discussions of abuse, priority should always be given to survivors first, with their voices and their feelings at the forefront. If abusers find useful ways to change, then that’s a bonus. But it should not be a focus.
  • In fact, it can be extremely triggering for survivors to hear about abusers in a sympathetic light. Because of this, discussions of abusers and how to change or help them should only ever be led by survivors (i.e., people who understand the difficult nature of the topic). Period.
  • Survivors have the right to think of abusers however they want to. If they see them all as monsters, then that’s their right. Whatever works for survival is okay. But remember that not all of us see our abusers that way.
  • Survivors have the right to lie if it is for the purposes of survival— for example, if you’re feeling triggered, making up a reason, such as a family emergency, to step out of the room.
  • Survivors have the right to time and space to themselves, on demand, without question— even if it is inconvenient for others. Survival is survival.
  • Survivors are under no obligation to be polite or nice to their abuser(s). 
  • Survivors are under no obligation to be polite or nice to people who say oppressive shit about their experiences. They are also not obligated to explain why they were hurt or offended.
  • Survivors never have to “forgive” anyone that they see as an abuser. Ever.
  • There is no one right way to “heal”. You don’t even have to heal if you don’t want to. Survivors have the right to do with their experience whatever they want, however they want, without judgment.
  • Every person who has experienced abuse has the right to label themselves however they want— victim, survivor, superhero, anything that feels right.
  • Survivors have the right to engage in risky behavior without having their motives or judgement questioned.
  • Survivors have the moral right to seek (or not seek) out revenge and justice on their abuser(s), by any means necessary. (This is not to say that I am advocating violence, but I am certainly not going to stop it if it happens to someone who deserves it).  
  • Survivors also have the right to decide if other people can/cannot seek justice in their name. No one has the right to usurp that.
  • Survivors have the right to not have it all together— to have messy lives, to be immature, angry, hurt, and bleeding their pain all over everywhere for as long as they need to, without shame.
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  12. bbrigina reblogged this from thesurvivorsmark and added:
    I love this list, but I will always be a pacifist because of personal experience.
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  15. missgingerlee reblogged this from thesurvivorsmark and added:
    This list. I like this list.
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