There being currently no symbol, flag or animal for Survivors in evidence, much less for the Avoidant Survivors who are 85% of Survivors, we Avoidant Survivors here adopt the Phoenix's Head as our symbol.
Others are welcome to adopt that too, or to make your own symbol.
We choose the Phoenix for we are reborn from the ashes after what was done to us. But we are reborn!
And the Phoenix is Fantastic and Strong.
Like some of us are!
Or like some of us wish to be!
And we will be!
[What is an Avoidant Survivor? Avoidant Survivors are more or less those who don't consider the current state of the Police or of the Law to be safely approachable by such as ourselves. Around 85% of Survivors are such according to recent and by now publicly quite well-known large-scale surveys...
We suspect that this criterion can be strengthened, in so far as almost all of us also don't consider 'Doctors, Counsellors or Pastoral Staff' to be approachable either. Let Avoidant Survior be a Spectral notion!
So, more accurately, one might consider oneself to be an Avoidant Survivor to some extent if one views some, most or all of the 'official professions and vocations' which are 'supposed to be there for the wellbeing of all' are, in fact, not in their current forms safely approachable by Survivors whose circumstances are as ours.
This can be because we or what happened to us is non-normative. Or because we're not OK with, say, how Counsellors are trained or regulated in our country. Or with the Law being based on such as 'winning', 'precedent' or 'exploiting weaknesses' in the accused and accuser alike. Some Feminists have said 'rhetoric can on occasion be violence', and a similar argument can be given for basing court proceedings on 'winning', 'precedent' (dating back to before, say LGBT* people, or women, had any tangible rights), or 'exploiting weaknesses'. Avoidant Survivors quite often buy into some Trans* peoples' by now familiar argument that medical-type professions contain a number of people who 'gatekeep' others, Except that, again, we see somewhat more professions and vocations that contain gatekeeping, including no safe way of pointing out gatekeeping or transferring to only dealing with individuals we trust not to be gatekeepers.
Avoidant Survivors can also have very different priorities to 'bringing their abuser to justice'. Avoidant Survivors may not be able to contemplate that until we are safe, and many of those paths to safety do not involve confronting abusers, especially not rich, powerful or unscrupulous abusers. We defend ourselves whatever ways we can, and not just according to the narrow confines that certain 'political ideologies' demand of us. Avoidance is itself an extremly strong form of first-line defense.
We declare as an inalienable right that Survivors can defend ourselves by Avoidance rather than just in some 'confrontational' way that those who lack knowledge about the history of human conflict, or are blinded therefrom by 'political ideology', would hitherto have appeared to 'demand' of all Survivors.
Some of us are also Conscientious Objectors to the 'justice system'. Having been abused is no excuse to mete out abuse, so some who view 'the state' as a monopoly on force and 'the law' as a sanctioned method of abuse, quite simply will not make use of 'the state' or 'the law' ourselves, despite what our abusers did to us. The notion of a Conscientious Objector can be taken to apply to any kind of manifestation of force or power, rather than solely being about military service. Few of these views here are shared by all of us; indeed some of us are Conscientious Objectors to the necessity of consensuses :) By this, readers should in no way feel bound to agreeing with anywhere near all of waht we say here to consider yourselves, too, to be Avoidant Survivors.
Thank you for reading.
Phoenix, Phoenix, Phoneix, ..., and Phoenix.]
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