Support Zine

Support Zine

by Cindy Crabb

In a time when sexual assault and abuse are an increasing problem; even in so-called radical and punk communities, and when most women have been sexually abused in one way or another, Cindy Crabb (Doris Zine) brings us a document showing ways to prevent sexual violence and support survivors of sexual abuse. The zine helps to define consent, some letters that Cindy has received, listening, talking about sex, power dynamics, comics by Fly, and much more! A crucial resource that reads much like a regular issue of Doris.

 
 

Comments

avatar quinn 9/17/2011

this is probably the best and most helpful collection of writing dealing with sexual assault support i have ever read. i wish i had the money for 6 billion copies of this, because everyone in the world needs to have the knowledge in here inside their pretty little minds.

DiTKO! 2/28/2010

"A collection of stories and information on the subject of sexual abuse. Blunt truths and recollections of experience allow the reader to reach a catharsis that is either slightly uncomfortable or comforting, depending on past experience."

Lopegus 9/26/2007

I just was offered the Support zine on sexual abuse to read a couple days ago by a roommate. It's taken a few sittings, but I'm almost through it. It has been very difficult for me to confront these issues at first and I have been in enormous denial for a long time and am still trying to work through it. This zine has opened my eyes to the fact that I'm not alone and I am responding in a common way to past abuses. I had just figured I was a freak b/c of the way I spaced out during sex or got freaked by certain triggers and frozen or shaky. People often think i'm faking it (which is really hurtful). Even more hurtful is the manipulative nature of men, (sorry if I’m generalizing or being sexist) who I often think of as close friends, trying to have sex with me when I clearly don’t want to. It's hard to get anyone who I am involved with sexually to understand. At least I finally have a few awesome friends who are supportive. I think the zine is extremely real and helpful!!! I can’t believe how much it related to me and what I’ve been through and how people often talk and respond when you tell them you’ve been abused. The common “I’m here if you ever want to talk about it” response and of course I don’t want to talk about it and they don’t really want to listen to it so it’s all bullshit. But I need to and I need a thoughtful and reflective listener who seriously wants to help me. and I think maybe I shouldn't have casual sex anymore until I am more certain it will be completely consensual, with a condom, and with someone I can trust to care and understand the situation more than they care about their own orgasm. I’ve been getting really upset when I read it though. Having hysterical crying fits sometimes which I think make me look and sound crazy.. Talking to myself quietly and screaming and such.. Today has been a very difficult day. I had to call in from work b/c I couldn’t stop crying. I think it’s part of how I’m addressing the hurt and anger I feel.. We’re always taught to be so docile and not show any emotion except smiles. So it’s always been repressed. I’ve always felt like it’s wrong or bad to talk about rape or sex or anything serious and personal. But I know now it’s not “bad” or “wrong,” it’s really important. I needed to relearn that lesson. I know it’s gonna take some time to heal from this but at least at last I think I’m going in the right direction to heal. Thanks so much for making this. You amazing people rock!! Lots of love.

Elizabeth 3/17/2007

Kate - I know exactly how you feel. This zine was very difficult for me to read. I could not read it all at once, but little by little, I was able to get through it. Now, I read it all the time. It has helped me more than I can even express. The section on staying present has been the most important to me. If you or anyone you are close with has been sexually abused, this zine is a MUST. You probably know someone who has been abused, even if you think you don't, so everyone can benefit from reading this zine.
It also helped me to gain the courage to finally tell a friend. Hands down my favorite zine.

Wonkavision #34 11/24/2006

How do you define consent? And more importantly, “Have you ever talked about consent with your partner(s) or friends?”. I love this zine. Not because it asks these kinds of questions or deals with sexual abuse. Support is a treasure because it takes the medium and pushes it in a new, desperately needed direction. For those who are victims of sexual abuse, seek these words out immediately. They may not present all the answers needed, but they will help you understand that you are not alone.

robalicious 6/7/2006

It was in the middle of reading "Support" that i realized i had been sexually abused. I had denied it for six months. I feel lucky as hell I had that zine with me at that moment to give me a clue on how to climb out of the shit. It saved my ass. If i was organizing a school ciriculum, this would be one of the textbooks.

raleigh 4/13/2006

I've read tons, and tons, and tons of zines about sexual assault and supporting survivors of assault, but this zine is the best, most accessible and most ingenious of them all. Buy 10 copies and give them to all your lovers and close friends. Really. This is such an important work and there's so much intelligence and sensitivity behind it. READ IT!

rach 1/28/2006

This zine taught me a lot about sexual assualt that i didn't know. It really opened my eyes to what people who are victims of sexual assault go through. I recommend this zine to ANYONE and I plan on sharing my copy with all of my friends.

kelly 12/30/2005

This is the closest thing I have seen to perfection. A great zine that everyone should read.

Kate 11/20/2005

As someone who has been sexually abused, this zine was difficult to read. It was the kind of difficult that made me realize I was finally confronting what happened and that it is possible to move on. I definitely felt less alone after reading it, and it helped me work up the courage to tell my boyfriend that I'd been abused. He's going to read it and we're going to struggle through this together. Please read this zine and share it with friends!

leah 10/25/2005

yesSSSS! finally! No, I haven't read it yet but I've been waiting for a while and I know it's gonna rock!

Maximum Rock n Roll #273

Wow. This is an incredibly inspiring and empowering compilation/resource for victims and survivors of sexual abuse and their allies. I read this during my lunch break at work and kind of lost the rest of the day. Edited and mostly written by Cindy of Doris zine fame, with contributions from lots of different people, men and women, homo and hetero...lots of different perspectives and strategies and experiences. I am somehow not able to article how this affected me, but I recommend this zine wholeheartedly. It's useful, empowering, and beautifully written and illustrated.

Last Hours Magazine

The zine focuses on sexual assault and how we can offer support and friendship to people who have been sexuall assaulted, as well as how to prevent sexual assault in the first place. The zine comes out as sexual assualt and rape are at an all time high (it is estimated there were 50,000 rapes in the UK last year), whilst convictions - at least in the UK (I don't know about the US) - stand below 5% for reported rapes. Cindy discusses issues such as consent, power dynamics within a relationship, reprints some letters she's received, and includes a comic by Fly. The zine reads much like a Doris zine, but is much more than that. I personally think this is an essential read for everyone, and for everyone to consider how they personally can react and challenge sexual assault.

Slug and Lettuce #86

A groundbreaking collection of articles, letters, and information that is geared towards helping support survivors of sexual abuse. Originally aimed at who have not been abused, but who are wanting to support and help their friends and partners who have, this zine project grew and evolved into something that everyone can get something solid and important from. Personal stories are shared, advice is given, suggestions made on everything from how to approach new sexual relationships with anyone (always asking if things are okay, making sure there is consent, etc), to learning how to be a truly supportive listener to a friend who needs to talk, to knowing when someone needs to talk and when their privacy needs to be respected and understood. We learn about triggers and what causes dramatic mood changes, often times in the midst of an intimate moment. There is a lot of really painful stuff in here, and I know the creation of this booklet was rough. There is so much to be gained from reading this, whatever your own personal circumstances are. The more this topic is discussed, and the more people who become aware of the complexities of gender, sexuality, relationships, respect, and consent, and the feelings and pain associated violations and with abuse, the better off we all are. I highly recommend this. It's well put together, nicely printed, features a nice cover, and it's a thick resource guide, with valuable heartfelt sharing. The price is right.

Sean Stewart, New Pages

Cindy of Doris zine compiled this zine full of helpful stories and advice for how to support people who have been sexually abused. This is a thick resource, reprinted from the original sources, so it’s got a zine-y cut-and-paste look to it with a new cover drawn by Cristy Road. There is a wide variety of information in here, ranging from personal narratives and comix to advice on safe sex for survivors and how to give emotional support. Some contributors are anonymous, while others are credited on the final page where additional resources are also listed. Overall, this is a unique DIY resource that will retain its value for many years to come.

Nomy Lamm, Feminist Review

“How do you define consent? Have you ever talked about consent with your partner(s) or friends? Do you know people, or have you ever been with people who define consent differently than you do?”
Thus begins one of the best zines I have ever read on the subject of healing from sexual abuse. This zine is specifically geared towards friends, lovers and allies of survivors, and is written in an accessible, loving, realistic way, including writing and comics by a dozen or so contributors who are healing from or supporting others with abuse histories (many have experienced both). Their words are painful, but also comforting for those of us who have struggled in this realm – the message is not tragic, it is one of hope and community and, well, support.
Topics include: consent, boundaries, triggers, dissociation, power dynamics, survivor guilt, recovering from trauma, flashbacks, staying present, confronting rapists, denial, panic attacks, and more. Being in the middle of these experiences can feel out of control and indefinable, making it impossible to communicate with a partner, especially if they are taking it personally. So having these words to consult and share could really make a difference. The advice is straight-forward and specific, while still relying on your intuitive and empathic powers, which makes the healing journey feel more like an adventure and less like torture, no matter how painful it is.
“It’s okay for us to have to work hard at what other people take for granted. The goal is not to return to some arbitrary centerpoint of normalcy from which we were robbed as children. We are not deviants. The goal is to heal, to be on a continuum of healing,” writes Chris Somerville in his essay, “Safe Sex for Survivors.”
While we’re all aware that most sexual abuse happens to girls at the hands of men, this zine also includes a lot of writing from the perspective of male survivors, and several stories of men being pressured into sex by women, which I’ve rarely heard talked about. Also, this zine manages to avoid demonizing abusers while holding everyone accountable for recognizing power dynamics and honoring other people’s boundaries. In one piece, the editor writes about the fucked up act of initiating sex with a sleeping person, and admits to having done this herself:
“Do they think about our abuse histories? Or the fact that we can’t say “no” when we’re asleep? Do they understand our complex defense systems and how vulnerable and terrified we might feel waking up to this assault? … The truth is, I used to crawl in people’s beds too. I thought of course all guys wanted it. I never considered the fact that I might be capable of assault. But of course, I am. A lot of us are.”
Whether or not you think you need it, whether or not you’re a survivor, or dating a survivor, or even having sex, you would probably benefit from reading this zine. And the people you choose to be intimate with will probably thank you for making their safety a priority.

Zine Thug

"Like most Microcosm-related compilations, this mega-pamphlet for rape "survivors" (f/k/a "victims") is a well-produced aesthetic and stylistic hodgepodge. The unsteadily written first-person recollections are palm-on-the-stovetop stuff, as bracing and agonizing as zines get. I'd heartily recommend them to anyone who's nursing any sort of brain wound."