If you are a survivor of childhood trauma, you are not alone. You don't have to suffer in silence! Welcome welcome, you are in the right place :)
We are adult survivors of child physical, sexual, emotional, mental, verbal, psychological, ritual, financial abuse, incest, domestic violence, narssasitic parents, neglect or abandonment.
We meet weekly or biweekly on Sunday afternoons to listen, share, learn, empathy and support each other. We share experiences and resources.
Please note that this is NOT a therapy, a counselling, a coaching or a crisis group. It is just a peer support group to create a safe community to empower the survivors. The facilitator, Ghadeer, is neither a therapist nor a counselor. She is like you a survivor of child abuse.
If you are in crisis or need emotional support, please call 408-HELP line now at 416-408-4357. If this is an emergency, please call 911.
Victim Support Line: 1-888-579-2888 or at 416-314-2447 in the Toronto area.
Assaulted Women's helpline: 1-866-863-0511
Here are some group ground rules to feel safe, to protect our rights and to create a healthy environment. We can add more to them in our coming meetings.
Group Ground Rules:
1. You should be respectful and peaceful with the group organizers and every member of the group.
2. If any conflict happens, please bring it up to the event organizer to resolve the issue.
3. No religions or politics debates. No judging, no criticizing, no bullying and no hate speach. We have zero tolerance on that. You will be removed from the group immediately.
4. No advices to others unless someone asked you for that. You can ask questions to others, but they have the right to answer or not.
5. Please be mindful of the time while sharing to give the chance for everyone to share in the group.
6. If you don't want to share, it is OK you can be a listener. No pressure on you. You can just say "pass" when it is your turn to speak.
7. It is very important to give a TRIGGER WARNING beforehand, if you think you will share something that might trigger others in the group.
8. If you get triggered, don't force yourself to stay. You can leave the room, practise some breath or mindfulness excercises, have fresh air, walk around, call a friend or your counselor, take your time to be, then when you feel comfortable and ready to come back to the group, please do so. No one will feel offended when you leave the room to take care of yourself.
9. It is highly recommended that you have one to one (a face to face) therapist or a counselor to help you out when you are triggered by the group discussion and can't handle it by yourself.
10. It is highly recommended to take care of yourself and practise self compassion and self soothing after the meeting.
11. For the sake of confidentiality, every thing said in the group should stay in the group.
12. If you didn't attend 6 meetings in sequence, you will be removed from the group unless you have a valid reason for your long absence like travel, sick or taking care of your kids, etc.
13. If you RSVP and didn't show up, came late or updated your RSVP to not going in the 24 hours before the meeting, you will get a strike. If you get 6 strikes, you will be removed from the group.
14. It is highly recommended to have a visible profile picture and a real name there to make it easier for us to recognize you in the meetups.
15. There are applicable minimum admission fees of $5. The $5 will be collected upon your arrival to the group meeting. It is used to cover the costs of meetup group monthly subscription of $30, the facilitator organizing and hosting time and efforts, space rent, printing handouts, media kit, catering, logistics, etc.
There is also a secret facebook group. Please inbox me with your facebook account, if you want to be added there.
About the Facilitator:
Ghadeer Elghafri, a Palestinian-Canadian Poet from Gaza, born and raised in Dubai, living in Toronto, is a new immigrant, warrior, healer, feminist, activist and advocate. She completed her BSc. in Computer Science and MBA at the American University of Sharjah, United Arab Emirates. Ghadeer has published her poetry in newspapers, magazines and a chapbook, Poetry ReRooted: Decolonizing Our Tongues, has performed in dozens of poetry nights, reading her Arabic poetry with English translation, has organized multilingual open mic poetry nights in the Toronto area and received a grant from The Toronto Arts Council to start up a Multilingual Poetry Collective. She was elected as the Representative of the American University of Sharjah (AUS) Alumni in North America and started three on-line groups - Arab Cultural Cafe, The Toronto Poetry Club and Childhood Trauma Survivors. Ghadeer’s poetry inspires the community by conveying a message, changing narratives, breaking stigmas, reinforcing cultural heritage and creating awareness in the society. She performed in “Home Away From Home: An Art for Integration Event,” an interactive theatre performance by Mixed Company Theatre, opening the dialogue on the complexities and challenges Arab newcomers to Canada face, such as identity, loneliness, cross-cultural adaptation and homesickness. Recently, Ghadeer won the “Arab Women Excellence Awards” in North America in the community service category as a successful Community Leader and was invited to be a Speaker/Panelist in the 1st Arab Women Summit in North America. Ghadeer’s vision and mission in life is to stop, prevent and heal child sexual abuse, by working with adult/child survivors, creating awareness by educating care givers, children and schools and breaking the cycle of abuse. Presently, she is studying Expressive Arts Therapy and volunteering as a Crisis Line Counsellor at the Toronto Rape Crisis Centre/Multicultural Women Against Rape. Her dream is to open a clinic after pursuing her PhD in Psychotherapy.
We are all humans regardless of our differences. Let's embrace ourselves and each other.
You can enjoy watching my translated poetry in my YouTube channel: