1. Who are you?
Threads of Compassion is just the name of a group of people who want to offer some comfort and support (in a small way) to those who have been sexually assaulted or abused. There are different chapters in different cities. People can participate by getting involved with a chapter in their area or by sending scarves or to supplies to another one.
2. Where do the scarves come from?
The majority of scarves we receive are made by people who have experienced sexual violence in their own lives, and know all too well the pain that victims face. Others are made by friends and family members of assault survivors, or by people who want to do something to stand out against the sexual violence they see in the world around them.
3. Why scarves?
The main reason we have chosen scarves is because they are simple to make, which allows more people to be able to get involved and contribute. One aspect of Threads of Compassion that we never planned on, but yet has proven to be huge, is the effect simply making scarves has on survivors of sexual violence. So many have written thanking us for giving them the opportunity to reach out and offer support to others.This in a way helps them in their own healing.
The other reason is that scarves can serve as a tangible reminder that the victim is not alone. They can be worn, touched, and held…a symbol of support you can wrap yourself in knowing that each stitch was made with concerns and thoughts for you. It is also a silent and private form of support; to others the scarf is merely an article of clothing. The true meaning is something only the owner knows.
4. Do I have to wear it?
That is up to you. Some choose to wear the scarf as a way to feel supported during painful times of stress. Others merely keep it in view, such as draped over a chair, to serve as a silent reminder that they are not alone and that there is someone else out there who understands. Still others choose to keep the scarf in a drawer and then pull it out during those times the pain feels to overwhelming and they need something to hold onto. There is not a right or wrong way to use the scarves.
5. Do you really think a scarf is going to take away the pain I’m feeling?
We wish there was something we could do that would take all your pain away. The scarves just provide a small amount of support and comfort while you are dealing with your pain. In no way do we mean to imply that a scarf is all you need to feel better. We know all too well the amount of pain victims of sexual assault and abuse face. A victim of sexual violence needs an abundance of support, way more than one scarf can provide. Organizations such as RAINN can help you get in touch with agencies that can give you the additional support you need. Here in Oklahoma City the YWCA has a variety of services available to you. We encourage all sexual violence survivors to reach out to others for help. You don’t have to face this alone.
In addition to offering some comfort and hope to those who have survived this violence, we also wish to start breaking through the silence and shame that surrounds rape and sexual abuse and to let people know they don’t have to suffer alone.
6. How do I get involved?
You can donate a knitted or crocheted scarf to be given to a survivor. You can help collect handmade scarves from people you know. Simply e-mail [email protected] to get started or check out the donate tab for the mailing address.
7. What size scarf should I send?
If you’re sending us a completed scarf, we ask that it be 5–8″ wide and 65″ long so that everyone receives a similar size.