Sexual Assault Resources

Sexual assault is a very real issue in our communities. Dominant narratives are that strangers are mostly responsible, but many of us also experience sexual assault, violence and other abusive acts from lovers, partners and family. The times I’ve been sexually assaulted, I felt like I was responsible for what happened to me and felt so much shame that I found it difficult to talk with people. It’s had a huge effect on my health, sex and life. I wished I’d at least had some things to read. So, here are links to resources I’ve found useful particularly for femme, queer and trans survivors (and ally articles too). Please take care of yourself when reading.

I’ve also included some ally resources for working with those who have abused others. I believe our communities need to work together to deal with each other in responsible ways to unlearn abusive patterns, rather than isolating and shaming people, whilst centering both survivors and the overall well-being of our communities.

I’ll add new things as I come across them –my website (Sunny Drake www.sunnydrake.com ) will the most up-to-date place for resources, as well as other resources such as trans, femme, sexuality, queer stuff, anti-racism etc.

ONLINE RESOURCES

– 4 Ways to Overcome Self-Blame After Sexual Assault

Yup this is real. Many of us know on an intellectual level that we are not responsible for the acts of violence we receive, but how do we actually get ourselves to really shift that toxic self-blame and insidious internal dialogue? Some useful suggestions in this article. Authored by Sian Ferguson.

 – 11 Truths Every Survivor of Intimate Partner Violence Needs to Know

This link covers a lot of myths about violence and acts of abuse and how equally valid different survivor responses can be. This is essential in learning how to be a responsible ally too. Authored by Kai Cheng Thom, who’s writing I love.

– 6 Ways to Confront Your Friend Who’s Abusing their Partner

Good ally article, authored by the fabulous Kai Cheng Thom.

– 5 Common Ways Our Communities Fail to Address Intimate Partner Violence

Remembering that we all are collectively responsible for creating change and have the power to transform cultures of violence. Also authored by Kai Cheng Thom.

– Gaslighting

A useful resource on gaslighting –when someone acts to manipulate another into questioning their own sanity. It can be used to make people who are experiencing abuse doubt their own experiences and often end up feeling responsible and blaming themselves or even thinking they are the ones being abusive. Good ally article as well in terms of skilling up on gaslighting. Authored by Shea Emma Fett.

– 6 Ways to Have a Healthy and Enjoyable Sex Life After Surviving Sexual Trauma

The article also acknowledges the different ways that we can reclaim our sexuality. Particularly helpful for was the section on how we might act when we are triggered during sex – it doesn’t always look like disassociation or curling up in a ball. Sometimes I’ve struggled to understand when I’m triggered during sex  because a big part of my coping with sexual assault has been to minimise my own experiences and try to pretend to myself (and others) that nothing was wrong. Knowing when I am triggered can help me take power back to be able to be responsible for creating my own healthy sexuality. There are so many ways we can reclaim sexuality and have awesome sex lives.

– Your Child Should Never Be Forced to Hug Anyone (Yes, Including a Relative) – Here Are 7 Reasons Why

– Love letters for survivors

This was just what I needed to hear. Authored by many different survivors

Consent skills video

– Campaign resources

* Consent campaign images

* Poster series – no-one is entitled to your body

* Barriers to reporting acts of sexual assault

* Article about campus sexual assault – mainly I like the “40 powerful images of survivors” at the bottom of link.

BOOKS & BLOGS

The Revolution Starts At Home: Confronting Intimate Violence In Activist Communities, Both a book and a blog, authored by Ching-In Chen, Jai Dulani & Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha

Everyday Feminism has lots of great articles on a wide range or relevant topics authored by fabulous people.

MY BLOG ARTICLES:

Here’s some relevant blog articles authored by me:

– Femme Ally Conversation Starter

Whilst this is not primarily about sexual assault, I include this link because of the disproportionate amount of abuse and other shitty behaviour and acts of abuse that femme folks receive.

2 articles about drinking/sobriety – which are relevant given that alcohol (and other substances) can often be involved in acts of unconsensual sex, and abusive behaviour

Wet >< Dry

The Brandy is Just for the Zit in My Throat

– When a Man & a Woman Love Each Other Very Much

Looks at teenage sex and sexuality and how we don’t prepare young people for either staying safe or actually having fun. Many educational programs have finally started acknowledging that teenagers have sex, but an exclusive focus on STIs and birth control doesn’t prepare young people to enjoy their sexy times, have consensual sex and prevent sexual assault.

If you have any other resource suggestions, particularly ones that are femme, queer, sexuality and trans positive, please email me (Sunny Drake) at sunny@sunnydrake.com

 

http://www.sunnydrake.com/#!__sexual-assault

http://sunnydrake.tumblr.com/tagged/sexual-assault

https://sunnydrake.wordpress.com/resources-links/sexual-assault/

sunny drake, trans, transgender, trans, transgender artist, trans artist, queer artist, trans performer, queer performer, transgender performer, trans writer, transgender writer, queer writer, transgender theatre, trans theatre, queer theater, theater, LGBT education, trans education, queer politics, trans politics, transgender politics, LGBT politics, toronto, canada, australia, tumblr, anti-racism, femme ally conversation, femme ally conversation starter, dude, sobriety, hand puppet, acts, contact, articles, authored, committed, responsible, feedback, reputation, sunny drake, sexual, sexuality, sexual assault, sexual violence, femme, sex, assault, healing, violence, survivor, trauma, ally, femme ally, sexism, misogyny, misog

Interview with Alvis Choi

Alvis Choi (aka Alvis Parsley) is an artist, curator, project manager, researcher, and an aspiring clown. Their project, Chinatown Community Think Tank, caught my eye and I was excited to find out a bunch more about Alvis and what they do.

Sunny: What was the first art or creative project you remember doing?

Alvis: I’ve been curating and programming since 2008 but the first performance that I did was in 2012 at the Radical Queer Semaine in Montreal. It was called “HOW TO DO GAY IN CANADA – A Survival Kit for Chinese Lesbian Newcomers”. I introduced a survival kit invented by my company Fantasy is Reality Unlimited (FiRU) with all the products that helped me survive during my short time in Canada. The piece talks about cultural differences, racism, my struggles as a “newcomer” and my experience in Toronto’s Chinatown as a queer person.

Image

 HOW TO DO GAY IN CANADA – A Survival Kit for Chinese Lesbian Newcomers, 2012, Meow Mix. Photo: viva delorme

 

Sunny: How has your approach to creating art changed over the years and why?

Alvis: My artistic practice revolves around my life experience, identity, and what I learn everyday. I came to Toronto in 2011. My identity here is very different from when I was in Hong Kong. I am a person-of-color, a temporary resident, and I’m in a different class. All these that define my marginalized identities have an impact on the content of my projects.

In terms of style, I’d like to think that my work is down-to-earth and connects with the audience in a genuine and truthful way. My performances are often witty and poignant, in a way that challenges the mind of the audience and political correctness.

 

Sunny: Tell us a bit about Chinatown Community Think Tank.

Alvis: Chinatown Community Think Tank (CCTT) is a dialogue-based neighbourhood engagement project. The aim of the project is to invite the Chinese-speaking community based in the Chinatown of downtown Toronto to collectively envision the role of art in the neighbourhood. I’m turning the storefront space of Whippersnapper Gallery into a social space for the Chinese-speaking community in Chinatown. My role is to engage community members in conversations about a wide range of social, political, and cultural issues that have an impact on their perception and definition of art. These dialogues become a bridge between contemporary art, which is often inaccessible to non-English speakers in the city, and the Chinese speaking community.

I speak both Cantonese and Mandarin and it has been a fruitful month meeting community members, getting to know them and building relationship through open dialogues. In July, we will continue these dialogues in the form of survey and conduct a series of community mapping workshops.

Image

Sunny: What inspired you to do the project?

Alvis: The project started with the question of “how is Whippersnapper’s programming accessible for the Chinese-speaking community in Chinatown?” As a Hongkong-Chinese who’s lived in Toronto for less than two years, I find Anglo-centrism in the city and the art world in general problematic. I wanted to share my creative practice with the Chinese-speaking community.

The first time I worked at Whippersnapper Gallery was at Nuit Blanche 2012. I was going to invite the Chinese-speaking woman who works at the print shop on Spadina Road to come see the project that I curated, but very quickly realized how inaccessible it could be because of the language barrier and the cultural differences. Since then, I continued to reflect on the incident and the issues that come along, and eventually started a conversation with Maggie Flynn, the director of Whippersnapper, about the potential of engaging this community in a deeper level.

 

Sunny: In your wildest dreams, if money was no barrier, what would you hope to achieve with Chinatown Community Think Tank?

Alvis: I would like to see Chinatown Community Think Tank grow into an ongoing project that facilitates and supports the Chinese-speaking community to engage in the arts in the neighbourhood, not just at Whippersnapper but also in other galleries or even museums. One of my many dreams is to work with the AGO to make the Art Gallery more accessible to the Chinese-speaking community. I’ve been thinking a lot about Whippersnapper as the west end of Chinatown and the AGO as the east end of Chinatown. They are at such perfect locations to advocate for improved access to arts for the Chinese-speaking community and I’m hoping that what I’m doing this summer will build a foundation for such advocacy.

 

Sunny: What’s a terrifying or embarrassing or confusing moment you’ve faced in your creative projects and how did you get through it?

Alvis: Ha! I don’t think I’ve ever had a terrifying or embarrassing moment doing creative projects. I am always excited about trying new things and going on adventures. I feel very positive about making mistakes. I think some of the questions that I continue to ask are whom I am making art for and if it matters if what I do is being called art. I am against art elitism. But at the same time it’s challenging to strike a balance between getting resources and presenting work that is accessible.

 

Sunny: What are some things that you couldn’t make art/ creative projects without?

Alvis: A free mind and an open heart – to feel free regardless of the surroundings and difficult situations. It’s challenging but a really fun thing to practice. Hopes keep me going, love, rage, and the magical universe – chance, coincidence, and strangers – things that I couldn’t live without!

Alvis’ work sounds amazing, doesn’t it?! Here’s how you can support their project: Chinatown Community Think Tank! Any donations small or large, gratefully received. Oh, and there’s awesome perks including haircuts and tea-leaf readings and mentorships (including a 2 hour mentorship conversation with me). Click here:

http://igg.me/at/cctt/x/3467782

Image

Photo: Bonz Merlin

Some other popular blog articles:

Racism is to White People, as Wind is to the Sky

Femme Ally Conversation Starter

Boy Tits in the Locker-room

the Boy Tit Finale Summer Collection

2 articles on sobriety: Wet >< Dry and The Brandy is Just for the Zit in My Throat

Like Sunny Drake on facebook, follow on Twitter or instagram, connect on Linkedin

Check out video, photos, theatre shows and workshops on Sunny’s website