As a woman, I’m pretty well acquainted with all of the statistics, warnings, and “best practices” on how to avoid rape and sexual abuse.
Yet I – like most women – have someone that I love very much that’s been a victim of sexual abuse.
I recently found myself reading up on “when to not run in the morning” or – yes, I googled this – “the most likely times runners get raped.” I found myself thinking, as I scrolled through the thousands of hits, that this is ridiculous. Yet as the me too movement demonstrates, I am clearly not alone.
Did you know that every 98 seconds someone in America is sexually assaulted? And yes, I’m being incredibly gender-specific when I say “we women,” but women are MUCH more likely to be the target – 82% of all juvenile victims are female, 90% of all adult rapes are committed against women (RAINN, 2018).
This. Is. Ridiculous.
I know from personal experience that one of the best ways to help support someone that is going through this is simply by encouraging them to talk. And talk. And talk. This talking, this getting it out, is often a lifelong cycle – and frequently finds its best outlet through a journal. Enter this week’s project.
This week we partnered with the amazingly talented Alessandra at The Black Cat Diary to bring you a tutorial to create a journal and planner for these victims – and yourself.
You see, the week’s project also has a service component – an opportunity to be a part of the hotline team, from anywhere in the world, for women, girls, and all people that have experienced rape and sexual abuse. Keep reading to find out how you can get involved; let’s get cracking on creating this journal.
Note: Some of these links might include affiliate links.
- A5 Dotted Notebook
- Sharpened Drawing Pencils
- An Eraser
- Drawing Pens
- an espresso cup, or anything useful to draw a circle;
Use the cup and the pencil to draw a fine circle at the center bottom of the page. It is really important to keep the drawing light, so it will be easy to erase it at the end.
Remember not to draw a complete line: leave a blank space on the upper left of the circle.
Use the pen to start doodling branches from the circle line. They must not be perfect: you just want to take your time, keep them tiny and simple.
Follow the circle line, don’t overpass it, and remember to leave some space blank.
Once you’ve done doodling all along the line, start drawing inside the circle.
Once you’ve done doodling inside the circle, add some floating leaves and tiny branches, starting from the blank space.
Add a quote that makes you feel good.
Whatever kind of handwriting you have, it will work great: the only important thing is for you to write calmly.
If you want to recreate the “be free” style, just remember:
- write slowly;
- keep your letters tiny;
- keep the ascenders and descenders long and thin.
Make sure the ink is completely dry, and gently erase the circle line. Now, feel free to add as many details as you want, to color the leaves, or to keep everything minimal.
Here are two hints for setting a weekly and a daily spread in your journal.
Again, you can keep them simple, or add as many decorations as you want.
This is a simple, clean weekly layout for those who love to see the entire week at a glance:
- divide each page into three horizontal sections and three columns, so that in the end you’ll have six columns, one for each day and one for saturday and sunday.
If you prefer, you can divide each page into four columns, so that in the end you’ll have a column for each day plus one for notes;
- use the upper section for your weekly goals and to-dos, notes, reminders, shopping lists, quotes from readings;
- in the middle section, add a timeline in each day column, and schedule your appointments and to-dos;
- use the below section to add daily notes, jot down your ideas, track habits, personal projects and mood, whatever you want and need.
For the daily view, you might want to divide the page into four sections:
- in the upper left one, add a timeline and use it to plan the day in details;
- you can use the upper right section for your “morning notes”: how do you feel today?, how did you sleep? Write your morning thought, hopes, plans for the day;
- use the bottom right section for the “evening notes”: this is a place for your reflections at the end of the day. How did the day go?, is there anything about yourself you would work on in order to improve and grow?, what are you already improving?, what are you happy about?, what goals have you reached today?
- use the bottom left section for “a small, good thing”: everyday, write one thing that made you feel good. It doesn’t have to be anything extraordinary. It might be a friend calling you after a long time, or a pizza that tasted amazing, a sunny afternoon, a little fear you conquered. Write it down and read it again every now and then. Day by day, try to incorporate in your schedule more of these things that make you feel good.
Isn’t Alessandra AMAZING??? This project is SO fantastic, we are so, so blown away by what she has created!
Your Mission: Victims of Rape & Sexual Assault
Let’s get some more facts on Rape & Sexual Assault – and how you can help.
Did you know that worldwide 1 in every 3 women will experience rape or sexual assault? Neither did we.Worldwide, over 120 million women and girls have experienced forced intercourse or other forced sexual acts. Every year the cost of sexual harassment alone to the United States is $327 million – the cost of rape and sexual abuse is almost incalculable in terms of the long-term trauma it causes.
Your Organization: RAINN (Rape, Abuse, & Incest National Network)
RAINN is an Aina-Approved (i.e. amazing) nonprofit that is the national leader on sexual violence prevention and treatment. One of their most impactful programs is their Sexual Assault Hotline – a Hotline operated by volunteers to help people that have just experienced rape or sexual abuse. RAINN also partners with over 1,000 local service providers to get help where it’s needed the most.
According to RAINN, One of the most effective ways to deal with rape or sexual abuse is by keeping a personal journal to express and deal with your feelings. The journal project for this issue can be used either to give to a friend that is going through or dealing with rape or sexual abuse, or as a resource for people that want to get more involved as an online hotline volunteer for RAINN . If you’d like to volunteer with RAINN, you can sign up here.
YOUR CREATOR: ALESSANDRA at The Black Cat Diary
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Carmen Westbrook is the CEO and co-founder of Aina Giving, a female-led company that transforms women into world changers. Join the movement of DIY World Change and get our accredited projects, leadership coaching, and nonprofit consulting – email us and tell us how you want to change the world. We’ll help you get there.