Broken to Brilliant was thrilled to have the abstract 'The Benefits of Blogging for Survivors' selected to be a presentation at the 2021 Stop Domestic Violence Conference, in the lived experience and healing and recovery theme. The conference was held at the Gold Coast it was a blend of face-to-face and video presentations.
What is the Blogging GEMS program?
Broken to Brilliant supports the long-term recovery of domestic abuse survivors through a lived experience and 'pay it forward' model to create a process of mutual rehabilitation (1).
Broken to Brilliant developed a creative writing capacity-building program called Blogging GEMS designed to run through COVID19, delivered via Zoom in 2021. The program enabled participants to safely connect and be supported to practice the GEMS model of evidence-based self-care strategies including Gratitude, Exercise, Mindfulness Yoga, Service and Support.
What did we try to achieve?
The Blogging GEMS program aimed to improve survivors' knowledge and use of self-care strategies. We wanted to enhance survivors feeling of empowerment and improve their overall sense of wellbeing. The program was also designed to help improve the participants' writing skills in the genre of blogging. The survivors published blogs will inspire fellow survivors to select and practice self-care strategies.
What did we do?
The Charity enrolled eight domestic abuse survivors to participate in the 8 zoom-sessions covering the self-care strategies of the GEMS model. Participants were educated on technical blog writing and each of the self-care strategies. A buddy system was established for peer support. Participants were encouraged to practice each self-care strategy and to write about the reality of their experiences with each self-care strategy (2). Each participant received tailored writing coaching. Blogs were published on the Broken to Brilliant website.
What was achieved?
The Blogging GEMS program provided connection for domestic abuse survivors during a pandemic. Participants:
enjoyed the program,
improved their writing skills
they shared their reality of practicing self-care strategies
they learned new self-care strategies
enhanced their sense of empowerment
improved their overall senses of well-being.
Three key points were:
Survivors need to test and experiment with self-care strategies to support their healing journey
Effort and focus is needed to build self-care strategies into everyday life
There is no one size fits all model of self-care, and survivors need to be empowered to choose what works for them.
Blogging GEMS blogs
You can become a self-care blogger and join the Blogging STARS. Find out what self-care strategies worked and didn't work when you read all the amazing blogs from the Blogging GEMS below:
Mindfulness Meditation Yoga Blogs
Running away from being still
Self-care Plan Blogs
Evans I., 'Battle-scars: Long-term effects of prior domestic violence,' Centre for Women's Studies and Gender Research, Melbourne, 2007. http://www.chilliwebsites.com/sitefiles/553/File/Battlescars.pdf
Sinclair, E., Hart, R., & Lomas, T. (2020). Can positivity be counterproductive when suffering domestic abuse?: A narrative review. International Journal of Wellbeing, 10(1), 26-53. doi:10.5502/ijw.v10i1.754