All About Support Group
Safe Haven offers various support groups for survivors of abuse. Taking a first step to attend a support group is a huge milestone in a survivor’s life. However, before stepping into that support group setting, many have questions and are uncertain of what to expect. How many people will be there? Do I actually fit the qualifications for this group? What if I don’t like it? What if I know someone in the group? Will I have to talk and tell my story? And if so, what if I’m uncomfortable with that? All of these questions are valid, and can even cause many people to not seek out help or shy away from going into any setting with multiple people. What can you expect from a support group, especially here at the Safe Haven? Here are a few things to know.
- All support groups through the Safe Haven are confidential. Absolutely no information will be shared with the public, and all members must keep information confidential as well. This is established to all participants when becoming apart of the group.
- There are two support groups at the shelter. One is our domestic violence support group, which is peer led with a group facilitator. This group is educational as well as providing emotional support as survivors work through past issues and abuse. The second group is the sexual violence support group, which is therapeutic and is facilitated by a therapist. This group focuses on working through past traumas in a group setting, with the therapist leading. Again, both groups are confidential. There will also be a domestic violence support group forming in Loudonville later this year, and once that has begun we will be sharing information on those details through our social media. We encourage anyone wanting to attend a group to just call our office at (419) 282-6097. You can speak with those in charge of the groups and get any questions you may have, answered.
- Absolutely no one is required to speak at support group. There is no pressure to speak and share your story, ask questions or participate in any way. Of course, participating is encouraged and greatly helps in the healing process. However, everyone’s journey is their own and there is no pressure or expectation to come and speak and share what you are going through or experienced.
- Support groups are open to the public, so there IS a chance there may be someone you know. However, once again, these groups are 100% confidential and everything that is said or who attends the group is confidential as well. Ashland is a small town, and there is always a potential to run into someone you know if they are also seeking the same supportive services. If it makes you uncomfortable or you are unsure with how to handle it, we encourage you to speak with the person in charge of the group.
- Qualifications for each group differ. Both the domestic violence support group and sexual violence support group are open to primary and secondary victims of abuse. The domestic violence group is open to survivors of any type of abuse, while the sexual violence group is open to survivors of sexual abuse/violence. The domestic violence support group has a child's group that is led by our Youth Advocate while the adult group is going on. The sexual violence support group is for adults only, as well (18+), but also has childcare available during group so parents can attend without worrying about finding additional childcare.
There may be additional questions and concerns you may have for each group. For those concerns we encourage you to call our office and speak with someone. Both groups hold no obligation and survivors can attend as often or as little as they wish. Coming regularly is recommended, as it helps to facilitate healing, and many survivors find it reassuring to have a safe space to share their struggles, concerns and trauma on a regular basis. If you are on the fence about attending, hopefully you have some questions answered through this post and we hope to have you at one of our groups soon!