In response to the recent sexual assault on 48th and Springfield, the Philly Survivor Support Collective would like to put ourselves out there as a resource to survivors of sexual assault, including the survivor of this incident, and to anyone who is supporting a survivor. For those of us who are survivors, news of this incident may bring up upsetting memories or feelings about our own experiences. Please feel free to contact us if you are looking for support.
Sexual assault affects not only the survivor but also the surrounding community. We believe that the survivor should be the one who makes the decisions about what makes them feel safe and what helps them in healing, and the people around them should support these decisions.
There are a lot of things that a survivor may find helps them feel safe and supported immediately after a sexual assault and during the healing process. Things like talking, not talking, writing, crying, having people around that they can ask for help or being alone but knowing who they can call when they need help, keeping distracted, telling their story over and over or not telling their story to anyone at all, screaming, having someone cook for them, having someone hold them or having no physical contact with anyone, setting their own boundaries, working with others to hold the perpetrator accountable, working with neighbors to make a safer home or block or neighborhood, drinking beer and talking shit, playing music or listening to music or breaking bottles or sleeping for a very long time, or anything the survivor can think of that might help. Or there may be nothing that feels like it helps.
Philly Survivor Support Collective is a group in West Philly that offers support to survivors of sexual assault in directing their own healing, creates alternatives to the legal system for survivors seeking justice and safety, and works to transform our communities to end sexual violence. You can contact us at SurvivorSupport@riseup.net, or call (215) 618-2020 and leave us a voicemail.