My new goal with these recaps is to use the most hilarious thing we discussed at meetup to be the headline for these blogs. A little humour does the heart good.
Our conversations during our free monthly meet-ups take us in a variety of directions (clearly), and in order to ensure we circle back for reference, we post these resource blogs the day (or two) following a meet-up. The intent is to provide a roundup of resources or references from the conversation that night.
On Wednesday, we hosted our first meetup of the month, this one at Serenity Now Wellness. There were some new people and many returning faces, including some friends from the local Bikers Against Child Abuse (BACA) chapter.
- The word “abuse”, can it be misleading for children? A recent Oprah special made reference to the idea that children may have trouble identifying abuse because the word “abuse” sounds scary, and sometimes abuse isn’t scary. It’s that idea of grooming that makes the word possibly confusing. We discussed how important it is to call it what it is but broaden our conversations to explain what abuse really means.
- “What happened to you?” Asking this question, either out loud or in our heads, can give us some awareness about why other people behave the way they do. Instead of passing judgment, we need to ask “why”. There is always a reason for the behaviour.
“Listen with the intent to listen, not with the intent to reply.” — Dragon, BACA member
“It’s easy to look at people instead of into them.” — Dispatch, BACA member
- Addictions and harm reduction: There is a school of thought that addicts can never rid themselves of their addictive behaviour. We can get sober and healthy, but we will oftentimes gravitate to another “addiction”, but if it’s not harmful to ourselves or other people, isn’t that okay? We had a great conversation about this and most agreed that working, or fitness or cleaning, etc were acceptable harm reduction behaviours that addicts could take on.
- Your brain on porn: the website yourbrainonporn.com is an incredible resource on learning about how pornography changes our brain chemistry.
- Evolution of sex-ed: sexual education has remained relatively unchanged in the school system since the 1970s. We had a large discussion about the need to teach children in school how to define and identify sexual abuse, consent and healthy sexual behaviour. Most of us in the room remember learning how to put condoms on bananas but never learning the basics of human sexuality and proper education on what abuse is not who to be afraid of (strangers). There is a strong desire for change, what can we do? I would love to hear some ideas. The consensus in the room was that as parents, you can at least encourage open conversation and dialogue with your children to bridge the gap that exists in the education system.
Thank you everyone for the incredible conversation! Upcoming meet ups and events can be found here.