Monday, December 10, 2007

Call for Survivors to Speak Out

This is from

On May 9, 2008 the Sexual Assault Yearly Speak Out (SAY SO!) will take place in Union Square from 12pm-10pm. This year, in an effort to create a safe space for survivors to tell their stories on their own terms, we are putting out a Call for Speakers far in advance.

We hope to convey the spectrum of sexual violence, as well as the depth of many survivors' experiences, through personal stories told in the format of a time line. Using the time line, survivors can tell aspects of their story that they feel are significant, rather than focusing only on the sexual assault or abuse. Survivors may choose to tell about the ways their lives have been affected afterward so that the audience might better understand the ripple effects of sexual violence. The time line format is a suggested template, but does not have to be linear or complete -- it is open to interpretation and adjustment. Participants will be given support, training and feedback before, during and after the actual event.

Each survivor will participate in a workshop to assist in writing their story in their own words as well as another workshop to practice telling that story in front of an audience. Participants will be encouraged to use a time-line format when drafting their story as a way to express the depth of the experience. The story can include the actual assault or abuse, but does not have to and is not limited to that. Aspects of the time line may include before the assault or abuse, the healing process, triggers, etc. Survivors will be given blocks of time to speak throughout the day, rather than being limited to one time slot. Participants will also attend a debriefing session after SAY SO! to have the opportunity to discuss the personal impact of telling their story on stage.

Good candidates for this program will:

- have worked through the initial trauma of the event enough to comfortably share it in public.

- not be in the middle of a criminal or civil suit related to the assault or abuse. This is for confidentiality reasons.

- and are able to commit to all three two-hour workshops (see dates below) as well as to spend at least four hours (does not have to be consecutive) at SAY SO! on May 9th, a Friday that may overlap with work. (10-hours total commitment time)

These workshops are for people interested in speaking out. If you are a spoken word artist or performance artist please contact Emily at about performing.

Workshop and SAY SO! Dates:

February 13 – 6:00-8:00 pm – Writing Workshop

March 26 – 6:00-8:00 pm – Speaking Workshop

May 9 – 10:00 am-10:00 pm – SAY SO! (Commit to four-hour or more block of time, does not have to be consecutive)

May 14 – 6:00-8:00 pm – SAY SO! Debrief

If you are interested in participating, please contact Chris at to be sent an application. Applications must be completed by January 21, 2007. Participants will be notified by February 4, 2008, and workshop details will be sent at that time.