About this learning activity

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This activity allows participants to reflect upon and share experiences of online GBV.

A safe space is the main prerequisite for this activity, and some quiet time for the participants to reflect.

This activity happens in two stages:

  • Reflection Time, when each participant is given time to articulate and write down their story by answering a series of guide questions.
  • Story Circle, where all the participants share their stories with each other.

It is important to note here that this Story Circle is not for the purposes of therapy. Being able to tell your story, even anonymised, has some therapeutic effects, but it should be made clear that this is not the purpose of the Story Circle. If you are dealing with a group that you know has experienced online GBV, especially if there are people in the group who have very recent experiences, you can either make sure that there is someone in the facilitating team who can provide therapy, or skip this learning activity, if you don't think you can handle the participants being re-traumatised.

Learning objectives this activity responds to

  • An understanding of the forms of online GBV and its impacts on the survivors and their communities.
  • An understanding of the continuum of violence between the offline and the online spheres, and the power structures that allow it.

Who is this activity for?

This activity can be carried out with participants with different levels of understanding and experience of online GBV.

It is important to know before doing this activity if there are participants whose experience of online GBV is current or fresh, as this activity might be a cause for stress for them. Knowing who your participants are, and also knowing what you as a trainer / facilitator can handle is important before considering this activity.

It is equally important for you, as a trainer / facilitator, to be honest about what you can and cannot hold. This activity is NOT recommended for situations where:

  • you have not established trust between and among your participants
  • you have not had the time to get to know your participants prior to the workshop
  • you do not have any experience in handling difficult coonversations

Based on the experience of story circle facilitators, it is ideal to have two facilitators for this activity.

Time required

Assuming that each participant will need about five minutes to tell their stories, and about 30 minutes will be needed to collectively reflect, plus some leeway to give instructions, then with a standard workshop size of 12, you will need a minimum of 100 minutes for this activity.

This suggested time for this activity does not include well-being activities that might be needed to address re-traumatisation of participants, or to take a break when needed. Ideally, for standard group size, holding this activity for half a day (4 hours, including breaks) would be sufficient to include well-being breaks and activities.

Resources needed for this activity

  • Guide questions written down
  • Space for people to reflect
  • A big circle in the middle of the room for the participants to share.
Continue to this activity's next page (Mechanics)

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