Click here to join our chat for survivors of any trauma, abuse, or assault.
The chat begins 27 August, 6-7:30pm BST/UK time (10am Pacific, 1pm Eastern).
Our full schedule of chats for August is available here.
Please follow this format for your nickname: nameofyourchoice_pronoun (for example, “anonymousfriend_they”).
Contact us if you have trouble joining, questions, complaints, feedback!
What to expect in our chats
Our chatrooms are friendly spaces for survivors to be among other survivors, to be anonymous as you want to be, and to talk about anything or just be present in the space. Themed chats are spaces for people who identify with the theme, but you don’t have to talk about the theme at all unless you want to.
When you enter the chat, you’ll be given a prompt to enter a nickname, then be greeted by a facilitator. The facilitator is a survivor who is there to help the chat run smoothly by answering questions, keeping conversation going, and ensuring a safe space. If the chat has a theme, the facilitator will “fit” that theme (e.g. LGBTQIA+ chats are facilitated by a survivor who is LGBTQIA+). The facilitator will also share a link to a separate chatroom which is for “no difficult or triggering chat”, so you can take a break from the main chat, or spend the whole time there – it’s up to you.
Once you’re in the chat, you can participate as much or as little as you want. The facilitator will ask you what you’re looking to get out of the chat that day as an icebreaker, but you don’t have to answer this. If you have dropped in during an active conversation, the facilitator will summarise for you.
We have a few rules: Don’t screenshot or save any part of the conversation unless given explicit permission; don’t ask invasive, identifying, or pressuring questions; content warn your messages where possible. Additionally, we have no tolerance of the following, and may ask you to leave the chat if you make oppressive or harmful comments: transphobia, racism, anti-sex work sentiments, fatphobia, ableism, classism, misogyny, abuse or assault apologism, homophobia, biphobia, or anti-LGBTQIA sentiments, vicim blaming, or abuse/rs, or other forms of oppression.
Every chat is different, so it’s hard to say what to expect. Some chats don’t discuss trauma at all. Sometimes conversation moves slow or fast. Sometimes one person talks and everyone responds to it, other times multiple people are talking about separate things. The important thing is the space is there for you in whatever way you need – you can ask for what you need, but it’s also just as ok to not know. It may be helpful to think about whether you want (or don’t want) one or any of the following: to be listened to, advice, reassurance, validation, sympathy, to hear similar experiences.
Remember, our facilitator is a peer, not a professional: please arrange support for yourself before and after the chat as necessary. We’re working on guidance on how participants can better do this for themselves, especially if someone is in danger.
We’re working on a video to give you a better idea of our chats, but for now you can visit this link to get a feel for the website we use. You can change the colour scheme by bringing up the menu: on a computer put your cursor on the right side of the screen, on a phone tap the upper right corner.
Who the space is for
Our chats are for survivors: a term we use for people who have experienced any form of trauma, abuse, or assault. We don’t have a strict definition for what that means, and we don’t ask you to explain why you’re a survivor. If you’re not sure, you’re welcome to join us. If you don’t want to be called a survivor but have experienced trauma, abuse, or assault, you’re also welcome to join us. If you’re still unsure, you can ask in the chat or contact us.
We have themed chats for specific groups and open chats for all survivors. Our themed chats are only for people who the theme applies to: please do not join a themed chat if it doesn’t apply to you.
Suggest a theme for a chat
Contact us to suggest a theme: we either find someone to facilitate a chat for the requested theme, or you can also facilitate the chat yourself (see below).
Past themes have been: Black Survivors, Sex Workers, POC, LGBTQIA+, Adult Survivors of Child Abuse, Sexual Violence Survivors, Domestic Violence Survivors, Isolation & Trauma.
Become a facilitator
Contact us to become a facilitator: you don’t need any previous experience, you just need to be a survivor and have attended at least 1 of our chats. We’ll talk to you about what themes you’re interested in facilitating for if any, share with you our guidance document on how to facilitate, and do a brief mock facilitation session. We’ll also discuss your availability: we currently run chats every Thursday from 6-7:30pm BST (UK time), but are open to running other days and times.
Facilitating is currently a voluntary role, however we get donations to try and pay our facilitators a UK living wage. So far, we have been able to raise enough money to pay our facilitators for all of our weekly chats, and we are looking for more funding sources. We can’t promise that you’ll be paid for facilitating.
Support our chats
If you have money, the best way you can support our chats is by donating. We prioritise paying our facilitators, many of whom have lost their incomes during the pandemic.
Sharing our chat info on social media is also extremely helpful. We share a full calendar at the beginning of every month, and details on each week’s chat at the start of the week. We’re on twitter, instagram, and facebook, and really appreciate every share of our info, especially if you add your own comment to the post. If you have organisations, groups, or networks you feel able to send our posts to, please do. Thank you!