- In situations of trauma the neocortex (or"thinking brain") shuts down and problem-solving abilities are harder to access.
- Survivors often blame themselves for not acting or avoiding the situation, when sometimes what is happening in the brain during a traumatic event will not allow them to fight back.
- The functioning of the brain during and after trauma may cause survivors to experience flashbacks unexpectedly.
- There are a range of common reactions to trauma that can be physical, emotional, cognitive, and/or social. Examples of this could be changes in eating and sleeping patterns; flashbacks; embarassment or shame; fear of people or places that remind them of the traumatic event; etc.
- If you feel immediately triggered, simple activities such as slowing down breathing, drinking water, and making a list of activities to do when feeling triggered may help
- In many cases, healing from trauma can only occur once basic needs such as food, sleep, taking medication regularly if necessary, and other forms of self-care are met
- Long-term healing and support can occur through counseling or support groups for trans or gender non-conforming people.
- SAPAC and CAPS offer CONFIDENTIAL and FREE crisis intervention and support for survivors of all genders. The 24-hour crisis lines for each services are:
- SAPAC: 734-936-3333
- CAPS: 734-764-8312
- SAPAC and CAPS offer referrals to trans-knowledgeable survivors in Ann Arbor. We can help answer questions about payment and insurance.
- An additional list of national services for trans survivors is included BELOW.
LGBT anti-violence programs (AVPs)
A growing number of communities have agencies that specifically focus on LGBTQI victims of crime. The majority of these agencies are members of the National Coaltion of Anti-Violence Programs. (You can find a complete listing of all AVPs at www.ncavp.org.) All should be able to help survivors of sexual assault. These are typically multi-faceted agencies that can hep with advocacy and referrals. Many offer direct services such as support groups.
National sexual assault hotline
1-800-656-HOPE (4673). This is a 24/7 hotline run by the Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network (RAINN). It uses a computer program to automatically connect each caller to the nearest rape crisis center or community rape treatment center, where trained volunteers will answer. RAINN says of this arrangement, “Each local center is the best resource for victims in its community, not only for counseling but also for information about community resources and emergency protocols. In addition, because rape and sexual assault laws vary by state, local centers are in the best position to advise survivors on the legal aspects of the crime.”
You can read more about the hotline at http://www.rainn.org/get-help/national-sexual-assault-hotline
LGBT community centers
Some LGBT Community Centers house an LGBT anti-violence program (see listing above), while others provide other types of supports to people who have experienced abuse. Many maintain referral lists for LGBT-friendly therapists and other professionals.
You can find the LGBT Community Center nearest you through http://www.lgbtcenters.org/Centers/find-a-center.aspx
There are many supprort groups specifically for trans people around the world. There are many different types of groups with different goals and focuses so it is best to look into a group and see if it is the right fit for your needs. One collection of groups from around the world can be found at https://transsupportgroups.com/
FORGE has been serving the transgender and SOFFA (Significant Others, Friends, Family, and Allies) community since 1994. Although located in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, the majority of [their] work is conducted nationally (either virtually, or traveling to other locations for conferences and trainings).
Our national services for transgender and SOFFA survivors of violence and the professionals who serve them have evolved over time and with the availability of funding. FORGE staff currently devotes 100% of their time to anti-violence issues.
FORGE provides peer support listservs, referrals for transgender and SOFFA survivors for therapists, local support groups, and LGBT anti-violence programs.
Munson, M., Cook-Daniels, L., (2015, September). A Self Help Guide to Healing and Understanding. Retrieved from http://forge-forward.org/wp-content/docs/self-help-guide-to-healing-2015-FINAL.pdf
A University of Michigan-affiliated organization, the Spectrum Center is committed to enriching the campus experience and developing students as individuals and as members of communities. With sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression as our framework, Spectrum Center’s work is accomplished through a student-centered, intersectional lens. Please note that the Spectrum Center is non-confidential.
Learn more at http://spectrumcenter.umich.edu
Integrative Empowerment Group
Integrative Empowerment Group is a collective of therapists who share a vision of affirming diversity, empowering individual expression and promoting integrative mental, emotional, and personal growth. Their practitioners understand that it is often not easy to reach out for help; especially if there is concern that people may not “get it” or understand your experiences. Therapists are engaged in continuous consideration of how multiple oppressions (sexism, racism, heterosexism, classism, ableism, sizeism) in the current societal and historical context may be contributing to distress.
Integrative Empowerment Group seek to create a safe and affirming environment where clients are free to truly be all of who they are without fear of being judged, pathologized, or otherwise feel misunderstood.
Feminist principles of collaboration, empowerment, and respect for multiple worldviews form the foundation of our approach.
Learn more at http://integrativeempowerment.com
Jim Toy Community Center
The Jim Toy Community Center is a resource center that exists to provide information, education, social events, and advocacy by and for the Queer and Ally community in the Washtenaw County area. JTCC welcomes all who support its mission to participate in its activities. JTCC envision an inclusive community where people of diverse sexual orientation and gender identity are visible and live together in equality, respect and happiness.
Learn more at http://www.jimtoycenter.org/
The mission of Connally Counseling is to enhance and sustain the health and well-being of all persons with particular attention to the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and HIV communities by mental health services and programs that create community; empower community members; provide essential resources; advocate for civil and human rights; and embrace, promote and support human diversity
Learn more at: https://connallycounseling.squarespace.com/
Sexual Assault Prevention Awareness Center
The Sexual Assault Prevention and Awareness Center promotes healthy relationships, teaches non-violence and equality, supports survivor healing, and fosters a respectful and safe environment for all members of the University of Michigan community. SAPAC provides educational and supportive services for the University of Michigan community related to sexual assault, intimate partner violence, sexual harassment, and stalking. We are committed to fulfilling this mission in a culturally-sensitive, empowering, and empathic way to University of Michigan students, faculty, and staff. We serve all racial, ethnic, religious, class backgrounds, sexual orientations, and gender and social identities. SAPAC serves survivors of all genders and have training and experiences in assisting trans and gender nonconforming survivors.