What we offer
Membership is free, does not expire, and is offered to anyone who is legally over 16yo, believes they were abused, and agrees to follow our guidelines. It gives access to 60 forum folders for any abuse-related topic imaginable, seven chatrooms, three weekly hosted chats, journals, social groups, etc. Forum posts, chat logs, user profiles, etc are private, do not come up on Google, and are visible to Fort members only. Fort is open 24/7, there's plenty of us here, we come from all continents and time zones, so you're likely to find company at any hour.
Abuse and its aftermath can be terribly isolating and overwhelming, so talking anonymously to other survivors who are going through the same thing can be of enormous help. Collecting your thoughts and writing them down helps you make sense of what happened and what you can do about it now. Reading about how others deal with the same issues you have can provide invaluable insight and inspiration. Group discussions offer endless topics to ponder, which promotes personal growth. It's also a great way to practice social skills: all we do here is interact with each other in a protected environment with clearly spelled out boundaries, so you can work on social anxiety, shyness, embarrassment, boundaries, conflict resolution, and making friends. It's not as risky and scary as in 3D. Finally, it's a place to hang out with people who get it, where nobody will make rape jokes, attack you out of nowhere, promote drugs, or start pointless arguments with you.
A message board open to everyone, no registration required. It's a good option when you just want input on a specific topic, not ongoing interaction with a support group - or when you aren't allowed to register (e.g. if you're under 16yo or have never been abused). You can also use it if you do have an account at Fort but prefer this specific post to be completely anonymous: just log out and post it as a guest, nobody will know it's you. Public forum is open to whole wide world, so please be careful about posting details that could be personally identifying. There's a slight delay till your post becomes visible, just an anti-spam/troll measure. Since the forum is anonymous and we have no way to contact you, posts that clash with Fort guidelines or are offtopic simply get deleted, and IP addresses that such posts repeatedly come from get blocked from accessing Fort.
Over a hundred of pages written by Fort members and visitors (including mental health professionals) on a variety of topics relevant to abuse and its aftermath: self-help articles, survivor memoirs, tips and tricks on practicalities of life, etc. We also have:
- Documentary Films
A bunch of full-length documentaries on abuse and its aftermath, organized by topic, that you can watch right here at Fort. Self-understood that the content may be upsetting.
A list of books our members found interesting and relevant to the topic of abuse and its aftermath - some are classics, others are fairly new and/or controversial. Each comes with a picture, a short descriptions, and a link to buy it on Amazon.
No registration required, results are displayed to you instantly, and your answers are not recorded. All of the quizzes on Fort were developed by mental health professionals, but are provided here for educational purposes only.
- Calm Room
Abuse often causes PTSD and anxiety, so it's crucial for survivors to have a handy resource of grounding/relaxing/calming materials like nature videos and sounds, guided imagery, relaxation, meditation, etc. Our page has dozens of files you can playback here on Fort, feel free to bookmark it to use when you're triggered or struggling with insomnia.
It seems really helpful to abuse survivors to have an easily available and safe distraction from hard/triggery topics. Tetris, for instance, has been shown to lessen PTSD and flashbacks. Aside from Tetris we have a few dozen of jigsaws, physics games, nerdy puzzles, etc that you can play right here on Fort and that have no ads or triggery content, and a few links to other sites with cool distractions.
Art is a great thing for abuse survivors: helps you express your feelings when you're at a loss for words, offers a calming distraction when you're struggling with self-harming urges, and overall is just a cool hobby. We offer four doodling apps, from a silly kaleidoscope to a semi-professional photo editor, plus a few ideas to spark your creativity.
- Survivors' Art Quilt
Pictures speak louder than words sometimes, so feel free to browse our art or add yours. All of it was done by abuse survivors, most by members of Fort Refuge. We didn't include extra graphic content on this page, but we have a social group on forums where you can post it as well.
- Survivors' Poetry
Most of our poetry is on forums just because it's a sensitive thing, but we have a decent size page in library too. There's a link to add your poem to the collection too, no registration necessary.
- Memorial Wall
The place where you can post various abuse-related anniversaries, such as obituaries of children who died through abuse, birthdays of people who contributed to the cause, international awareness days, etc. Abuse is not a theoretical concept, it costs lives, and seeing pictures and stories of real people who were affected by it on today's date makes it a lot more personal.
~ Winston Churchill
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