Trauma-Informed Running

Trauma-informed care is a perspective that takes into consideration the impact of trauma and the myriad trauma responses when providing services. We have seen increasing attention to providing trauma-informed care in the fields of medical and mental health services, but we have also received requests for trauma-informed dental check-ups, moving companies, and many other services. That makes sense because trauma impacts all areas of life. I recently discovered that this also applies to marathon training.

I am a runner. My running journey began almost 10 years ago when the rape crisis center at which I volunteered held an annual 5k fundraiser race. 5ks led to 10ks, which led to half marathons, and eventually marathons. My dream was to one day make it to the Boston Marathon, and through dedication and hard work, I got there. I ran the 2016 Boston Marathon, using the race as a way to turn my passion into a fundraiser in support of OCRCC, again uniting my interest in running and interest in working to end sexual violence.

I am also a social worker. In my role at the Center, I regularly work with clients who have experienced sexual violence. I bear witness to stories of personal healing, tumultuous relationships, bureaucratic response systems, and social norms that allocate blame and judgment where they don’t belong. I love what I do, but sometimes this work can be hard.

Although I had run marathons before, and although I was beyond ecstatic about running the Boston Marathon, I found it nearly impossible to train for the race. Based on what I know of marathon training and what I know of trauma, it seems to me that the physical demand of training was more difficult because of the emotional toll of my work. Continue reading “Trauma-Informed Running”

The Power of Social Connection

PowerOver the past year, the Center and NCCASA (North Carolina Coalition Against Sexual Assault) have collaborated to develop The Power of Social Connection: Developing and coordinating sustainable support group programs for survivors of sexual violence, a support group manual and training program that will help rape crisis centers and other human service organizations learn how to create, improve, and manage support group programs.

With limited support group opportunities in North Carolina, we hope that this manual and training program will greatly expand healing services for survivors of violence across the state. Monika Johnson-Hostler, Executive Director of the NCCASA, said, “NCCASA is proud to partner in creating this comprehensive resource that sets the standard for support groups not only in North Carolina but across the country. As one of the three partners of the National Resource Sharing Project, we will share the manual with other state coalitions.”

Continue reading “The Power of Social Connection”