Assignment 1: Continue the brainstorming exercise from class and create 2 or more thesis moodboards. Which focus area are you feeling drawn to? Why?
The above is my first Thesis moodboard! Focused mostly on healing journey, identity, hope, and telling your own story. Healing from trauma is extremely personal and for many it is a lifelong journey that takes a different form and path for everyone. For this direction of Thesis, I am interested in understanding how to make that healing more accessible to people especially to survivors of sexual assault and intimate partner violence. I want to understand what kind of support survivors are looking for long term (beyond immediate crisis care) and how this can be accessible to everyone. Sexual violence and IPV are unfortunately extremely prevalent but it is often hard to even begin to address it by yourself or on your own. Therapy is an option but often not for everyone so I want to begin to imagine how healing and hope can become more accessible.
My second moodboard focuses similarly on trauma survivors but more in understanding the struggles survivors have with connecting to others, how often survivors are met with shame and disbelief when they open up to a loved one, and the isolation felt when struggling alone. There is a quote by that goes " Trauma happens in relationship so healing must happen in relationship". As much healing as someone can do on their own there is still a great amount that happens interpersonally through connection, trust, and secure relationship with others ( whether that is friends, families, or partners). After doing research and writing a paper in Natural and Social Systems last semester, many studies have found that the most missed piece in healing is social/community support to foster long term healing. While crisis services are extremely valuable, survivors also need the support of their family and friends. I want to examine how this understanding can be fostered, what are creative ways to build that support for survivors within their own networks, and how other people can learn the best way to offer support.
I don't think that the two ideas have to be separate, however I am leaning more towards looking at how to build community support. As seen above from the class activity, I'm passionate about relationship building, listening, and fostering healthy romantic relationships. There are many created communities out there for just survivors but there are few tools/programs that help survivors within their existing relationships and help the people in their lives be more supportive. From my time in various support groups, I know that many women desire that support from their new partners, family, and friends but often feel more alone. I think it would make an interesting project to understand how to change that.