This year marks the third year that MRU and SAMRU are promoting the #SuvivorLoveLetter writing campaign. The campaign asks the larger MRU community to write and/or create messages celebrate the survivorship of those who have been impacted by sexual assault. Survivor Love Letter messages show survivors that they are believed, supported, and loved, some of the most critical and important pieces of the healing journey. The movement allows for survivors of sexual assault and their allies to publically celebrate their lives in a meaningful and creative way.
The movement was started by Tani Ikeda (link website), survivor and activist, in 2012 on the anniversary of her sexual assault, where she penned a letter to her younger self in which she ended with “this is my survivor love letter”.
So you want to support survivors, but have no idea where to start? That’s okay! There is no right or wrong way to craft a special message to a survivor, and while it may sound cliche, it’s truly the thought that counts.
Sarah Armstrong, SAMRU Relationship, Sex, and Identity Programmer, put together a list of writing prompts to ease first-time letter creators into the creative process:
1. Write a letter to a part of your body that you believe deserves some extra love for carrying you through as a survivor. For example, a thank you letter to your feet to continuing to carry and support you, physically and emotionally.
2. For allies, think of someone you love or care about who is a survivor. What are your favourite things about them? Why are you grateful for their choice to continue to fight and heal?
3. Don’t want to use words? Use art! Think of a strong feeling you had during your healing process, or a feeling you had while supporting a friend or family member through the healing process. What colour do you see? Are there any objects? Shapes? Single words or phrases?
Need a little extra support creating your Survivor Love Letter? Join MRU Wellness for a workshop on April 28, 2021, from 11-12:00 p.m. for some tips and tricks on how to write/draw/create a love letter to survivors. This is a peer-facilitated workshop with professional supports available. Click here to request a letter-writing kit and/or to register for the April 28th workshop.
All drawings and images courtesy of Kendra Varga, Mount Royal University student working in partnership with SAMRU & MRU on the Survivor Love Letters Campaign.