When do your support groups meet?
Please check our Groups/Workshops page for additional groups or time changes. Women’s Group: Every Thursday of the month, 6:30-8:30 pm. Check Facebook or call 772-200-4599 to check for changes during holidays or cancellations Men’s Group:Evening groups rotate, check calendar for updates, 6:30-7:30 PM Teen Group:Every Saturday morning at 10 am Let’s Talk About It:Every 2nd & 4th Monday at 6 pm Call or text 772-245-7608 for info Seeking Safety:Every Tuesday 11 am – 12pm Call or text 772-245-7608 for info.Please see our program page for additional workshops, such as the Use Your Words workshop, Equine Groups, Art Therapy, Reiki Master Healing Circle and others!
What does a typical meeting look like?
There is a range of 5 to 20 people who attend, of all ethnicities. Those who are comfortable enough, share stories and gain strength and support throughout the process. Additionally, there is a lot of laughter, celebration, etc., in order to lift each other up. In summation, we meet together in a safe, confidential environment where people share their stories and gain support. –Brooke Downham and C. Noel Huff
Who runs the groups?
The groups are led by fellow members. We recommend that you let people who are close to you know that you are attending a support group. This knowledge may help them to better understand the range of emotions that you may experience before and after group meetings.
Do I have to attend every meeting?
No. However, consistency is beneficial for healing and the more you attend, the more support you will gain and people you will meet Are there things I should expect while attending these meetings? Expect support, patience, and acceptance from others group members. However, be aware that group meetings may trigger certain memories, flashbacks, and emotions. Healing is hard work, but you will have support.
Why should I try this support group?
We are the only center that focuses exclusively on the needs of survivors of rape and sexual assault on the Treasure Coast. The Inner Truth Project groups offer a safe, confidential place to share and gain support of other people who have experienced similar things.
I have heard that people can experience Post-Traumatic Stress disorder after a rape/sexual assault. What is it and why do people get PTSD? I thought only soldiers could get it.
It’s a common misconception that only war veterans experience PTSD. However, PTSD is a condition that can be triggered by a traumatic event, any traumatic event, whether experienced by yourself or even just witnessing it. Even something as seemingly small as a car accident can cause PTSD, so it is no wonder someone who has experienced a sexual assault may develop it. Symptoms may not appear right away, but there are four types of symptoms common to sufferers of PTSD: Intrusive memories, avoidance, negative changes in thinking or mood and changes in emotional reactions. (The Mayo Clinic). These symptoms can seriously impact one’s life if left untreated. List courtesy of Mayoclinic.org: Intrusive Memories: Recurring, distressing memories of the event, relieving the event as if it were happening over and over again (flashbacks), upsetting dreams, severe distress/physical reaction to anything that reminds you of the event (triggers). Avoidance: Avoiding thinking, talking about event and staying away from places, people or activities that remind you of the event. Negative changes in thinking and mood: Negative feelings about yourself or others (shame and guilt may play a large role here), inability to express positive emotions, emotionally numb, lack of interest in things you once enjoyed, hopelessness about the future, memory issues, difficulty maintaining close relationships (such as isolating yourself, pushing away people you care for). Changes in emotional reactions: Irritability, angry outbursts, aggressive behavior, hypervigilance (always being on guard for danger), overwhelming guilt or shame, self-destructive behavior, trouble concentrating or sleeping, easily startled or frightened. If you are experiencing PTSD, or know someone is, there is hope! There are many successful ways to treat PTSD, including activities like Yoga. Even just speaking about your experience may help you come to terms with the event that has impacted your life in such a way. There is additional resources available as well, and we can help you find them.
How often do I have to attend group meetings?
There is no requirement to attend meetings, but we do advise that the more consistent you are, the better! We would love to see you as participate as often as possible. The friendly atmosphere and the supportive relationships you will form here are very important to healing, as well as promoting personal growth and lasting friendships.
I became aroused during my rape. What does that mean?
Both men and women can experience arousal during a sexually assault—it’s a physiological response that cannot be controlled. Arousal occurs in extreme situations where danger and fear is experienced, to heighten our senses. Arousal is not consent and it does not mean that you enjoyed what was done to you. www.rrsonline.org
Can men be the victims of rape?
There are many myths surrounding men who have been sexually assaulted. Men can be assaulted not only by other males but also by women. Male sexual assault is very much under-reported, but despite that, over 800,000 men have been raped or assaulted. It is important to remember the women can themselves be perpetrators of sexual assault and rape, not just men. Many men face a great deal of shame or guilt because they feel they should have been able to fight off their attacker. As just with women, this does not mean that it was not rape! If you did not consent, regardless of the circumstances, it is still rape. www.rrsonline.org
How can I help?
Donations of money, time, and materials are always appreciated! Please see our ‘How To Help’ page for our wish list and contact information to volunteer!
Do I have to pay?
Support group meetings are always free! Our classes, special events and workshops typically have an entrance fee or requested donation (please see our events and/or facebook page for upcoming events), and therapists set their own reasonable fees for services. Our goal is to never turn away a survivor in need of services – if you cannot afford a program at the Inner Truth Project, contact us and we will find a way. Of course, donations are always welcome to enable us to help those in need of services who cannot afford them.
When do your support groups meet?
The Share Your Truth Support Group: Women’s Group: Every Thursday of the month from 6:30pm-8pm Men’s Group: Every 1st & 3rd Wednesday from 6:30pm-8pm Please see our program page for additional workshops, such as the Use Your Words workshop, Reiki Master Healing Circle and others!
I am not sure if the Inner Truth Project is right for me because of my experience, age, or something else. How do I know if this is the place for me?
Contact us at (772) 200-4599. We know that making this call can be scary, but we promise that you will find a supportive person on the other end of the phone. If the Inner Truth Project turns out not to be the best fit, we are happy to provide you with other referrals.
What is the purpose of the Inner Truth Project?
The Inner Truth Project is a not for profit organization founded because there is no shame in living through any type of sexual abuse, violence or rape. We believe that speaking our truth in support of each other in a safe, caring and therapeutic environment can set us free. Focusing on the needs of women, The Inner Truth Project provides an environment where survivors can bravely share the truth about their experiences and receive the help they need to find strength, hope and health…one story at a time. Please contact us at (772) 200-4599 for additional information.
My significant other was raped? What can I do to help?
Acknowledge that the rape has happened and be supportive of your partner. If your partner resists or is unable to resume sexual activity, do not view this as a rejection of yourself personally. Additional couples counseling or family counseling may be necessary to help everyone process this traumatic event together and provide a supportive, safe environment to work through the aftermath. Making an effort to understand what your partner is going through and how they may be feeling will go a long way towards healing for everyone involved.
What if I’m being abused non-sexually?
Although The Inner Truth Project works with those who experienced sexual violence, we do collaborate with local agencies who can assist people experience domestic violence. If you contact us, we can give you information about these resources available to you.
What if I dated the person who raped me? Will anyone believe me?
Yes, we will absolutely believe you. All non-consensual, forced sexual acts are rape; it does not matter if you gave consent to a prior sexual encounter. If you do not give consent this time, it is rape. Two out of three sexual assaults are committed by someone known to the victim. These include husbands, boyfriends, friends or other acquaintances. Only 31% of rapes are committed by a stranger.
If I didn’t resist physically, is it still rape?
Yes. Lack of physical resistance does not mean that a rape did not occur. Sometimes, physical resistance may lead to increased violence during the act. Non-resistance does not equal consent. There is also a misconception that there are only two responses to danger: fight or flight. However, there are actually a variety of automatic survival responses that may come into play during danger: fight-flight-freeze-faint. Freezing is just as natural a reaction as fight or flight.
I’m not sure if I was really raped. How do I know?
If you did not give someone permission to touch you, they had no right to do so. You have the right to give your permission and then withdraw it – if you said stop and someone continued, they had no right to do so. Children can NEVER give their consent to engage in a sexual act with anyone. Women and men, adults and children, people of all races, ethnicities, religions, and sexual orientations are raped and sexually assaulted every day. Boys and men can be raped and sexually assaulted by men and women, just like girls and women can be raped and sexually assaulted by men and women. People who are drugged, drunk, or unconscious CANNOT give their consent to engage in a sexual act. Were you old enough to consent? Children under the age of consent cannot legally agree to sexual acts. States may differ on the age of consent (Generally it is 16-18 years of age, depending). Do both people have the capacity to consent? If there is diminished capacity, due to disabilities, being drugged/drunk or are unconscious, consent cannot be legally given. Did both participants agree to take part? If physical force or threats were used to force sexual contact, then it is rape. It does not matter if you said yes, at first. If you try to halt at any point during the encounter and your partner continues despite being told ‘no’ or to stop, this is rape.
Will yoga really help?
We store memories in our mind and in our body. To protect ourselves, we may shut down parts of ourselves – including our bodies. We may deny ourselves the opportunity to feel and connect with others physically. We do this because it helped to keep us safe – to protect ourselves from the hurt and pain that we experienced. However, we live most fully when we are connected to our mind, body, and spirit. Yoga helps to promote mindfulness and relaxation, important aspects that help you to learn to deal with negative feelings like stress and anxiety. It also promotes an invaluable reconnection with one’s body. Following a traumatic event, many people may experience a dissociation or lack of connection with their own body. Learning relaxation techniques and muscle control can help relieve the tension and stress that one may hold onto after a traumatic event. “For someone to heal from PTSD, one must learn how to control bodily reflexes. PTSD causes memory to be stored at a sensory level in the body. Yoga offers a way to reprogram automatic physical responses…What is beautiful about Yoga is that it teaches us-and this is a critical point for those who feel trapped in their memory sensations-that things come to an end.”–Bessel van der Kolk, MD, Trauma Specialist http://www.wcsap.org/healing-childhood-sexual-abuse-yoga https://yogainternational.com/article/view/transcending-trauma-how-yoga-heals
I’m really angry. Do I need to see a professional first?
No, you do not have to see anyone in particular before coming to the Inner Truth Project. Anger is a very common and natural response to any sort of traumatic event. The healing journey is different for everyone, and that is why we offer a variety of different programs and therapies at our center. If your feelings are having a negative effect on your life and relationships, we do recommend counseling in addition to our support group and offerings. The Inner Truth Project offers counseling with licensed, compassionate therapists who have significant experience working with survivors and believe it can be a beneficial component of your personal growth and healing.
How common is rape and sexual assault? Am I the only one?
You are not the only one and you are not alone. According to the Rape Crisis Center, every 2 minutes, someone in the United States is sexually assaulted. 1 in 4 women and 1 in 6 men will be sexually assaulted in their lifetime. This number is, in all likelihood, much higher as only approximately 39% of sexual assaults are reported. I’m afraid to share my story. I’m worried that people will judge me. Everybody’s story is unique and different and it is entirely up to you to decide what, if at all, you would like to share. We understand the shame, secrecy and pain that you may be feeling. The purpose of The Inner Truth Project is to provide a supportive and non-judgmental safe place to share your own story and to facilitate healing and recovery. It is up to you to decide what you are comfortable sharing.