Mourning Dove Ava (mourningdoveava) wrote in help_them_heal,
Mourning Dove Ava

Community FAQ/Support Information

We're definitely interested in addressing a) the concerns of anyone either already a part of, or interested in joining, this community and b) providing some information that might prove helpful IRL to anyone caught in abusive circumstances or an abusive situation.  To that end, this post will function as a general FYI.

If you have anything to add to this post (especially the hotline part), please comment, and I'll edit and change it as necessary.  

1. What is a "trigger"?

A "trigger is anything - a word, an image, a scenario - that 'triggers,' or sets off, an unpleasant reaction in an abuse victim.  Reactions might range from the severe (flashbacks, hysteria, nausea) to the less severe (discomfort, withdrawal).  Typically these triggers - sometimes innocuous on their own, in a different context - become troublesome for abuse victims due to their relation to or symbolism of an abusive circumstance, situation, person, or event.  Many abuse victims seek to avoid triggers, as triggers can impede their healthy day-to-day functioning, while others attempt to confront triggers and return them to their innocuous state.

2. What triggering material should I LJ-cut?  Actually, what should I LJ-cut in general?

For starters, cut anything that's insanely long, just as a gentle gesture to other people's flists.  Cut anything that contains images, for the same reason.  I can't imagine why anyone would post any particularly graphic images here, but if you do, label them as such and label them as NSFW (not worksafe).  Graphic images - a picture of a black eye, for example - might be a trigger as well, which is why they should be cut and labelled.

As far as abuse triggers go, the situation is kind of tricky.  Certain profane words are triggers to my partner, for example, but it's not something he can particularly avoid in day-day situations, nor something others can immediately predict and avoid.  Triggers vary from abused person to abused person.  In general, though, LJ-cut any descriptions of abuse (of any kind whatsoever), any descriptions of trauma, any descriptions of abusers or abusers' traits, or any description of abusive situations.  Obviously, label the LJ-cut for these subjects appropriately (i.e., LJ_cut for mentions of abuse, rape) so that people will know why you made the cut.  Beyond that, if anyone within the community finds something triggering in an un-cut post, the user may request (politely!) via comment that the triggering material be cut.  Rude demands that something be LJ-cut will not be tolerated; neither will refusals to LJ-cut inappropriate material.

That said, if you forget to cut something that might be triggering and it's merely an accident, or you didn't think, one of the mods will gently nudge you to do so.  No big deal.  We're not militant.

And if you're saying, what is an LJ cut?  Go here to find out how to do it.

3. What type of topics are permissible to post?

Well, obviously, anything that pertains to being a SOFFA or an abuse victim.  Beyond that, though, we also welcome discussions that relate to various aspects of our lives that fall within those spheres (i.e., what faith exercises get you through tough times, or what about today made you smile?)  Since the goal of this community is support and warmth between members, we encourage familiarity, sharing, and openness.

4. What's abuse?

This is answered somewhat in the userinfo.  Essentially it's our concern that this comm address the needs of people confronted with all sorts of abuse, from the verbal to the physical to the spiritual.  It is necessary to this community that members respect and understand manifestations of abuse in all its forms and don't de-legitimise non-physical forms of it.  Abuse does not only happen to straight, white people, and it does not happen only with punches and kicks.

5. Why is membership moderated, and why are entries f-locked?

For the safety of the members.  Several abuse victims are part of this community, and it is imperative to their safety and comfort that their privacy is maintained, and that not just anybody can see their entries.  As such, membership is moderated (to keep trolls, voyeurs, and troublemakers at bay) and members are encouraged to f-lock posts.

6. What are ban-worthy offenses?

- any slurring of anyone in the community for any reason whatsoever.  We're here to support each other, not tear each other down.  Everyone is allowed to respectfully disagree on any issue, but the instant name-calling or insulting becomes a part of the matter, you're done. 
- proselytizing.  Again, it's hard to cultivate a supportive environment when people feel like they're being pressured to join a certain faith.  Everyone is encouraged to share helpful words from their faith or even to talk shop or discuss techniques for making each other feel better, but anything along the lines of "you know, if you came to the great god Cthulhu, you wouldn't be having these problems" is not okay.
- delegitimizing or minimizing anyone's experience with abuse
- ANY encouragement of abuse whatsoever.  It is never, ever okay.
- spam
- trolling

Again, we're not militant.  Everything listed above is, I think, pretty common sense.  If someone has an accident, that's one thing, and we'll all talk it over, but I hope everyone in this community would never have to think twice about these things.

7. Contacing the mods:

There are several maintainers of this community, including me, lai_lai_ranma , terasa , and belenen .  The last three are helper-mods who let people into the community, keep a vigilant watch over it, and occasionally come up with brilliant ideas about it to make my life easier.  However, they're all fiercely busy and several run communities of their own, so for personal issues/questions/anything beyond what's listed here, please contact me (mourningdoveava ) or Dani -

The National Domestic Violence Hotline: 1-800-799-SAFE
Community United Against Violence - a multifaith, feminist organisation to promote awareness and safety for SOFFAs and victims
National Teen Dating Abuse Helpline: 1-866-331-8453 or peer advocacy chat here
Rape, Abuse, Incest National Network (RAINN): 1-800-656-HOPE
National Sexual Violence Resource Center: 1-877-739-3895
National Center for Victims of Crime, Stalking Resource Center: 1-800-394-2255
The Gay Men's Domestic Violence Project: 1-800-832-1901
National Child Abuse Hotline: 1-800-4ACHILD
Gay and Transgender Hate Crime Hotline: 1-800-616-HATE
Trevor Helpline (LGBT youth suicide prevention): 1-800-850-8078
Tags: for your information
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