Edinburgh Rape Crisis Centre (ERCC) was founded as a service and movement on the need to provide a space for survivors’ stories to be held and heard. Survivors tell us being able to tell their story, to speak their truth, whether through words, music, art, whatever means feels authentic and safe for each survivor, helps lessen the shame, stigma and sense of aloneness they have carried, and often felt silenced by, perhaps for many years.
Rising Free is a deeply moving anthology of creative writing by survivors who have used our services. It is about survival, healing, finding your voice and calling for change. The contributions in Rising Free are intended to share strength and voice with other survivors. It honours the power of survivor stories in creating change, both individually and societally.
In September 2018, a group of seven survivors first met at ERCC, and over the following nine months they worked incredibly hard to courageously give voice to their trauma, survival, healing, anger, and passion and activism for change.
A special mention is much needed for current and former ERCC staff members Nadine Aisha Jassat, who led the group creative writing workshops and the development and design of Rising Free, and Leona Jack and Jenni, who co-facilitated and supported the group. In this time group members not only wrote a book, no mean feat itself, but also spoken at a number of events, here at the Scottish Storytelling Centre, at the Scottish Parliament and in meetings with councillors and elected representatives. One of the group has formed a national movement, Speak Out Survivors, with other survivors across Scotland, to campaign for improved services and justice for survivors.
On 24 June 2019 we launched Rising Free, at a very special event which also marked the end of a year of events marking our 40th anniversary. We were deeply honoured to be joined by the courageous and inspirational authors of Rising Free, who read from some of their work and spoke about the need for change. We were also delighted to be joined by Sandy Brindley, Chief Executive of Rape Crisis Scotland and tireless campaigner and advocate for survivors’ rights, who spoke about the power of survivors’ voices to influence change and survivor-led activism for improved justice and support for survivors.
HOW TO GET A COPY
Copies of Rising Free, are available by donation from our centre or can be posted out for a donation, plus £3 postage and packaging. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like a copy.