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Peer Support for Abuse Survivors


The Survivor's Guide to Sex: How to Have an Empowered Sex Life After Child Sexual Abuse
Buy The Survivor's Guide to Sex: How to Have an Empowered Sex Life After Child Sexual Abuse


This book offers an affirming, sex-positive approach to recovery from incest and rape.

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Self Nurture

source: Child Abuse Survivor Monument Project

Soothing Words

  • Affirmations:
    1. Make a tape of affirmations. Have supportive people add messages for you.
    2. Have a “Daily Bread Basket” of affirmations to read, hold, carry with you.
    3. Get a book of affirmations and carry it with you.
  • Healing Notebook: Put in affirmations, pictures, messages from friends that remind you that you are safe and not alone. Carry the notebook with you.
  • Lucid Dreaming and Journalling: Use meditative and free writing techniques.
  • Self Talk: Tell yourself something that will remind you that you are okay.
  • Do a positive or nurturing HandPrints spontaneous writing.
  • Write affirmations cards or post-it notes.
  • Journal about hopes and aspirations.
  • Write a letter to yourself from someone who thinks highly of you.
  • With your non-dominant hand, write from your child self.

Soothing Deeds

  • Get into cozy clothes.
  • Get dressed up.
  • Treat your body as you would a child who has been hurt.
  • Cook something nice.
  • Bake bread.
  • Rest in a hot bath.
  • Take an oil or bubble bath.
  • Light a candle or your fireplace.
  • Soothe body memories: use lotion, essential oils, soft fabric on places that hurt.
  • Brush your hair.
  • Rub your feet or hands.
  • Buy yourself flowers or a houseplant.
  • Buy yourself garden plants and plant them.
  • Buy your inner child a coloring book.
  • Have a cup of tea or hot chocolate.
  • Have iced tea or lemonade.
  • Have a chocolate or other comfort food.
  • Buy something nice for yourself or your house.
  • Brush or pet your cat or dog.
  • Talk to your pets.
  • Turn on the radio or play music.
  • Buy a book or magazine.
  • Read a children’s book.
  • Read your favorite author or book.

Keeping Busy/Healthy Distractions

  • Mend clothes.
  • Rearrange your furniture.
  • Decorate a room.
  • Time out: Put thoughts and feelings to the back of your mind.
  • Create containment and set it aside for now.
  • Distract yourself and keep busy.
  • Count to 10.
  • Use breath work.
  • Make and put up a joy list.
  • Play with a small child.
  • Watch a sunset.
  • Go someplace you enjoy.
  • Go somewhere with a friend.
  • Go to a place with a fountain, waterfall, beach, stream, lake or nature trail.
  • Art And Playful Activity
  • Blow bubbles.
  • Play cards.
  • Make a collage.
  • Make art work.
  • Sing to your favorite music.
  • Watch a comedy.
  • Make a scrapbook with inspirational and empowering images.
  • Go to a play ground and swing or use the jungle gym.
  • Learn to laugh at yourself.
  • Play hopscotch or darts.

Taking Care Of Your Body

  • Get sleep if you need it.
  • Use aromatherapy.
  • Get a facial or a massage.
  • Get reflexology.
  • Eat something good for you.
  • Go for a walk.
  • Do a meditation or relaxation exercises.
  • Listen to what your body needs.
  • Ask yourself if you need to eat.

Physical Release

  • Do yoga, exercise or dance to expressive music.
  • Jog or run.
  • Roller blade.
  • Lift weights.
  • Sing really loud.
  • Run around and play.
  • Toboggan, ride a bike or swim.
  • Clean the house.
  • Clang pots and pans
  • Put on music and play the drums or bongos.
  • Go out and kick a ball.
  • Use a punching bag.
  • Punch a pillow.
  • Shake your body: allow the fear, hurt or anger to shake out of your arms and legs.
  • Allow yourself to cry or moan in a safe supportive place.
  • Breath deeply to release heavy pain in the chest.
  • Go somewhere safe and scream.
  • Scream into a pillow.
  • Stamp your feet.
  • Pound with a tube, hose or foam bat.
  • Ring a towel.
  • Swear into the toilet!
  • Use a stress ball.
  • Tear up newspaper, cardboard or a telephone book.
  • Build something with a hammer.
  • Trim the hedge.
  • Throw rocks in the water.
  • Squeeze or pound clay.
  • Have a pillow or marshmallow fight.
  • Have a food fight.


Disclaimer:   I am not a health care professional. I am an abuse survivor. The resources on this site are for information and education only. Information on this website is meant to support not replace the advice of a licensed health care or mental health care professional. Please consult your own physician for health care advice.

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