ASHA Against CSA : Our support group is for the adult survivors of child sexual abuse and allies | TheMindClan
Type: Support Group, Sharing Space :

ASHA Against CSA

Type   For adult survivors of child sexual only
ASHA Against CSA  Picture

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Accepts Participants via Email.

  • Fees Type: Free
  • City: Delhi
  • Facilitated By: Facilitators
  • Languages: English, and Hindi
  • Meets: Monthly
  • Participant Limit: 15
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  • What Is ASHA Against CSA About?

    ASHA Meet-ups is a peer-support sanctuary for the adult survivors of child sexual abuse (CSA) and their allies. This space is created by survivors, for the survivors.

    We host monthly meet-ups and explore different themes, patterns, coping mechanisms and life-strategies that we have adopted as the adult survivors of CSA. Through our meet-ups, we are lifting up the veil of stigma and shame, creating a growing community of survivors and allies.

  • What is your founding story?

    The genesis of ASHA Meet-ups could be traced back to an uncanny friendship that was developed between two friends, Annie & Sahil. Coming in contact through other people while holidaying on a desolate beach near Kolkatta, Annie spoke to Sahil first of her experiences of being a survivor of child sexual abuse. They immediately developed a connection but it took Sahil 6 months of their friendship to finally tell Annie that he is a survivor as well.

    What happened then was a waterhed moment for their friendship, where they started speaking the invisible language of two fellow survivors, together discerning the patterns and coping mechanisms, and progressing on their individual journeys as survivors. Over the time, they became curious if such a space, that they found in each other, existed for other survivors as well. This curiousity started their pursuit of a mental health space, which was sadly, nowhere to be found. There were clinical, therapy practices, but nothing that would allow survivors to come together and offer peer support. We know, we searched!

    Failing to find such a space, we decided to create it ourselves. The decision was followed by immense preparation, upskilling, research, and seeking support from other active mental health meet-ups. Finally, after 5 years of deciding to create such a space, we were ready to host the ASHA meet-ups. We held our first meet-up on 1 July 2018 and ever since, it has been a rewarding journey of learning & learning, seeking & receiving, and most especially, connecting with some of the most beautiful souls that we ever came across in life.

  • Who are the facilitators behind ASHA Against CSA ?
    The facilitator’s role starts with planning the meet-up. This includes coming up with a theme that would connect with the audience and promoting the meet-up on social media channels, e-mails etc. During the meet-up, the facilitator moderates the discussion, in line with the guidelines and the monthly theme. It is their responsibility to create a welcoming and inclusive environment for everyone and ensure that people from different backgroungs, sexualities & genders, feel safe and respected to talk about their experiences as a survivor of child sexual abuse. Through the questions, it is the facilitator’s responsibility to keep the conversation running towards self-reflective and insightful shares without rushing the participants through the process. Following the meet-up, the facilitator(s) also encourages the participants to reach out, should they feel like talking about their feelings around the meet-up or after.

    Notes: The above information may change from time to time, and is shared with you to understand the background of where the support group comes from.
  • When was your support group founded? How has the journey been since then?

    The genesis of ASHA Meet-ups could be traced back to an uncanny friendship that was developed between two friends, Annie & Sahil. Coming in contact through other people while holidaying on a desolate beach near Kolkatta, Annie spoke to Sahil first of her experiences of being a survivor of child sexual abuse. They immediately developed a connection but it took Sahil 6 months of their friendship to finally tell Annie that he is a survivor as well.

    What happened then was a waterhed moment for their friendship, where they started speaking the invisible language of two fellow survivors, together discerning the patterns and coping mechanisms, and progressing on their individual journeys as survivors. Over the time, they became curious if such a space, that they found in each other, existed for other survivors as well. This curiousity started their pursuit of a mental health space, which was sadly, nowhere to be found. There were clinical, therapy practices, but nothing that would allow survivors to come together and offer peer support. We know, we searched!

    Failing to find such a space, we decided to create it ourselves. The decision was followed by immense preparation, upskilling, research, and seeking support from other active mental health meet-ups. Finally, after 5 years of deciding to create such a space, we were ready to host the ASHA meet-ups. We held our first meet-up on 1 July 2018 and ever since, it has been a rewarding journey of learning & learning, seeking & receiving, and most especially, connecting with some of the most beautiful souls that we ever came across in life.

  • Who is your support group for?
    Our support group is for the adult survivors of child sexual abuse and allies. We require the participants to be at least 18 years or above. We welcome people from different backgrounds, sexualities & genders.
  • Explain your group's approach towards helping a person's mental health care.
    At ASHA Meet-ups, we believe that surviving child sexual abuse need not be an isolated and clinical experience. In fact, in our journeys as survivors, finding a safe community of people that one can trust and openly talk about their mental health challnges is crucial. Especially for survivors of CSA, because child sexual assault takes away from us our ability to trust others and we forever struggle with the same. Additionally, we refrain from advice-giving, because we all may have the awarenss or ways of accessing it. ASHA Meet-ups is a space for survivors to come, rest, reflect, and archive their own journeys as survivors. Every survivor story then becomes a metaphor for others to reflect upon, draw inspiration from, or just listen to not and feel so lonely in our own struggles and healing.
  • What is your group's approach towards professional mental health care interventions?
    We have resources of mental health professionals that we refer our participants to, should they need an intervention or help.
  • What conversations is your support group not equipped to support?
    There is space at ASHA Meet-ups for people to talk about thoughts of suicide or self-harm, among others. However, since we are not trained professionals, we don’t have the capacity to offer any immediate help. In case of an escalation, we would reach out to our contacts of therapists and mental health practitioners.
  • How does one sign up? What’s the coordination process like?

    We meet every month on a Sunday. The updates regarding the upcoming meet-up are available on our social media profiles, e-mails to the participants who have filled the meet-up registration forms, and WhatsApp updates, should a participant opt for it.

    There is a Google form link for the participants to register. We communicate further details via e-mail, Insta DMs, WhatsApp & Facebook Messenger.

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  • Walk us through the average format of your group session.
    We commence the meet-up by knowing the correct gender pronouns of the participants & a feelings check-in. We then introduce the theme and the guidelines, followed by the leading questions regarding the theme. Towards the end, we discuss self-care mechanisms and end the session with a feelings check-out.
  • What are your home rules/values?

    Welcome adults: 18 or Above
    The meetups are for adult survivors of child sexual abuse (and their allies). Anyone involved in the meetup, including participants, facilitators, counsellors, therapists, and help seekers, confirms to be 18 years of age or above. Anyone younger wishing to attend the meetup or be part of ASHA, can send us a private message prior to attending.

    Be kind ❀ Conversations at the meetup can get emotionally tumultuous. Participants are requested to be kind and compassionate towards each other. Even lending a patient, non-judgmental ear to someone can also be therapeutic.

    We’re in this together Many participants at the meetups are survivors, and some are allies too. But their lives have been affected by CSA in some form or the other. To create a safe and inclusive space, everybody in the meetups has to help us create that sense of support and responsibility. And instead of interrogating, advising or providing unsolicited diagnosis, participants are requested to share their own feelings and experiences.

    Accepting all shades of the rainbow The core of the meetup is inclusivity. Organisers and participants, including counselling/therapy professionals, are requested to be tolerant of all gender, sexuality, caste, class, religion, and region identities. Any form of discriminatory (transphobic, homophobic, biphobic, casteist, classist, etc) or hateful behaviour will not be acceptable in this space. We also understand that a lot of our communication is in English, and sometimes Hindi, but we are trying our best to find associates to help us with a multilingual outreach. We cannot bar anyone from participating in our events, but if anyone feels uncomfortable in the meetup space about anything or anyone, we urge them to please come and talk to us.

    Confidentiality People attending the meetup have the option of participating anonymously or discreetly. By its extension, photography, videography, audio recording, or taking notes is not allowed during the meet-ups, apart from the core team members and assigned volunteers. Team ASHA might click pictures, for documentation or promotional material in the future, but only after having explicit consent from the participants present there. At any point, should you ever want your picture to be removed or deleted or never to be used for any promotional or documentation material, to communicate the same to us? We’re kinda cool that ways.

    Consent We, as team ASHA, try not to overstep a participant’s definition of consent. We would refrain from giving advice on seeking help or defining a survivor’s experiences. We are, however, open to exploring options and discussing possibilities, in a manner that respects a person’s autonomy.

    Getting in touch with participants If someone wants to take anyone’s name/contact details or get in touch in or outside the meetup space, the best way is to directly ask the person. Do not pass around contact numbers, email ids, etc. without someone’s permission. We urge people to exercise caution while greeting a participant in public, or revealing their personal details/experiences to anyone, for not everyone is ‘out’ about their experiences. We request participants to exercise their own agency as an adult while interacting with each other, in and outside the meetup space.

    Assuming responsibility of the bonds we make It is natural for us to bond with people in the meetup, especially when we share such intimate and personal thoughts and emotions. The ASHA team members are not going to monitor or police these bonds between adult participants of the meetup. The team can be approached for any escalation, but an individual must assume their own responsibility while mingling with other participants.

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