“Don’t pray for an easy life, pray for the strength to endure a difficult one.”
- Bruce Lee
It is failure, loss, loneliness and grief that we all have faced at some time or the other. At some point of our life, we have wanted to end this life, however short the moment might be. Loss of a loved one, loss of self-respect, failure in an examination, failure to provide for family, failure to be someone respectable in society and so on. With so many challenges and obstacles that life presents us, there are numerous man made challenges like abuse, trafficking, murders and other criminal activities. The trail doesn’t end here, there are incurable diseases like Cancer to natural disasters; there are wars to droughts to hunger and poverty. Every day we wake up to face a new challenge in order to survive another day. In a perfect world, a father works hard to support his family, a mother works hard to feed her family, a child works hard to assure the future of the family. The daily life starts with posing outright obstacles and ends with a relief of living another day.
Suicide is said to be a cowardice act, a crime in eyes of law, an evil deed in Lord’s eyes. We often hear it is easy to end a life; it is difficult to live one. But how often have we taken the initiative to learn the reasons where a victim is forced to take his/her life? How often have we looked over our shoulder to provide support to the one who has lost the battle? How often have we offered a hand of support without expecting anything in return? We often say something like we are so busy in our lives; we have so many problems to deal with; I have given a donation to a charity; the company that I work for has charitable branch and I donate monthly. But, have we ever given a thought to whose life are we making a difference to in such a support? Have we ever wanted to listen to part of the story of the victim?
Project Hope Island is a place of serenity created by Arwen Mannonen for individuals who need help; people who are distressed and want to commit suicide. It is a peer to peer support group, functioning to give resources and encouragement for the one who have none. Resources like Help-line numbers, Support groups, Domestic Violence resources and Books to prevent suicide.
Photography Credits: Leela Qissinger
A few of the resources are listed below.
· Cut by Patricia McCormick
· Cutting: Understanding and Overcoming Self-Mutilation by Steven Levenkron
· A Bright Red Scream by Marilee Strong
Groups for Help with Self Injury
· Safe Haven: Online http://gabrielle.self-injury.net/
· Daily Strength: online http://www.dailystrength.org/c/Self-Injury/support-group
· S.A.F.E Alternatives: http://www.selfinjury.com/
Visiting the resource office would enable one to open the doors to hot line numbers to national and domestic violence in U.K., U.S.A. among others. The National Domestic Violence Hotline answers more than 21,000 calls per month from victims, survivors, friends and family members, law enforcement personnel, domestic violence advocates and the general public. Hotline advocates provide support and assistance to anyone involved in a domestic violence situation, including those in same-sex relationships, male survivors, those with disabilities and immigrant victims of domestic violence. All calls to the National Domestic Violence Hotline are anonymous and confidential.
How does the Hotline Services work?
According to the Project Hope Island Resources, these are the following pointers.
- · Crisis intervention, safety planning, information about domestic violence and referrals to local service providers
- · A direct connection to domestic violence resources available in the caller’s area provided by a Hotline advocate
- · Assistance in both English and Spanish with Hotline advocates having access to more than 170 different languages through interpreter services
- · Assistance through e-mail on the contact page
- · Informational materials on such topics as domestic violence, sexual assault, battering intervention and prevention programs, working through the criminal justice system and related issues
The list doesn’t exhaust here, Terminal Illness Resources, Suicide prevention and survivor resources, Internet Resources like http://www.save.org and other books like “Step Back from the Exit: 45 Reasons to Say No to Suicide by Jillayne Arena” among others are available. Books are peer support for trans-person and their family are also available like the book written by R. Nick Gorton, MD; Jamie Buth, MD & Dean Spade (2005) on "Medical Therapy and Health Maintenance for Transgender Men: A Guide For Health Care Providers", attempts to provide the knowledge necessary to care for transmen before, during and after transition.
Domestic Violence is seen in almost any households today. Stress, peer pressure, money and power, societal norms and sometimes religions too among other stimuli pose a threat to an individual. Irrespective of a developed or a developing country, domestic violence not only includes abuse to women but also child abuse, child sexual abuse, elder abuse, rape or sexual assault to both women and men among others. This leads us to the bravest step of asking ourselves, “Am I being abused?” in the name of love and care. If yes, please don’t hesitate to ask for help from a family member, friend, relative you trust or call the help line number of your locality. There are numerous organisations fighting to stop abuse. However, the first step and the bravest one are in your hand. Project Hope Island is a community within a virtual world to offer help and support.
Photography Credits: Leela Qissinger
When you are writing your story about your life, don’t let anyone else hold the pen for you. Take the first step to fight back. Your step would end the tyranny and would help and others you love to face a new day with a new hope.