Co-survivors are people who provide all types of support to the survivors of violence, abuse or harm in their lives, including emotional, first responder and resource-driven support. Co-survivors come from all walks of life and can be loved ones, such as family members and friends of survivors. But, co-survivors can often be room- or suitemates and romantic partners (not the assailant). In fact, according to Princeton’s WeSpeak climate survey (2017), survivors (regardless of their gender identity) who report telling someone about unwanted sexual contact, sexual harassment and abusive intimate relationships most often disclosed to a roommate or suitemate, a friend, and/or romantic partner.
At SHARE, we use the term co-survivor to signify the vital care they provide and the need to address impacts of harm when someone they care about has experienced violence or abuse; there can be implications to the wellbeing and safety of those who care about and for a survivor. For these reasons and more, SHARE provides confidential support to co-survivors. It can be meaningful to have a private space to debrief with a professional about the stress, worry and emotional labor of caring for someone who has experienced (or is currently experiencing) an unhealthy relationship, sexual assault, sexual harassment, dating/domestic violence and/or stalking. In addition to addressing their own wellbeing, co-survivors can also work with a SHARE advocate to brainstorm ways to support the survivor, including helping with referrals, check-ins and safety planning.
If you are supporting someone as a co-survivor and would like to connect with a SHARE advocate, please feel free to request an appointment via the MyUHS portal. Instructions on how to get to our appointment request form can be found here: Request an Appointment.
Additionally, if you’d like to learn more about ways to provide trauma and culturally informed support to survivors, please consider requesting or attending an upcoming, How to Support a Survivor workshop (to be launched spring 2022), facilitated by our very own SHARE Peers.