#TwitterDisco supports #purplefriday

As you know, at #TwitterDisco, we like a plan! And here are the details of a plan that we have given much thought and consideration to as we continue to try to use our highly valued and very special community of Discoteers to provide support wherever it is needed.

Perhaps we responded with our hearts when we agreed to show solidarity with David Lean & Sharon Norths’ amazing campaign to raise awareness of both CSA and CSE. But, we have also realised the need for some careful consideration of the implications of our involvement. As a result, we have regrouped and done our research and we feel that we have reached a position whereby we can offer the support that we had hoped to from the outset.

The survivorship demonstrated by David and many other members of both our real-life and Twitter communities is nothing less than immensely impressive and our appreciation is framed by the professional responsibilities and experiences that John, Louise & I share. We all work, in our own way, with vunerable communities, and have significant Safeguarding experience. It is never appropriate to share details about the intricacies of our working lives within our outings on Twitter but I state this here in order to demonstrate that we are fully aware that these are challenging issues that are in no way intended to be trivialised by our disco format. They require careful handling and sensitive consideration and we are well aware of the difficult lives that many of those that have experience of CSA and CSE have had, and often continue to lead.

We are grateful for the knowledge shared and the caution expressed by some, and also reassured by the support that has been offered by colleagues working alongside us in our professional fields. We have, after much agonising, decided that, on balance, the need for a raised profile for the well-being & safety of all of our children, and the need for heightened awareness of the issues raised by, and the preventative measures that should be advocated, for both CSA and CSE, outweighs a natural desire to shy away from controversy and difficult social issues.

We would never, in any way, intend to do harm, and so it is with this in mind that we share these thoughts about the context of our involvement in #purplefriday.

So, what is #purplefriday? On the 15th September, David Lean and Sharon North are encouraging people to support their message by wearing purple and posting pictures. David tells us that the colour purple has been significant to CSA Survivors for over 20 years, encompassing calming emotions, spiritual healing, imagination and dreams. David describes himself as a ‘football survivor’ and is passionately campaigning to connect people via social media and raise awareness of this topic.

We are asking our #TwitterDisco team to consider turning purple too, as we help to support David and Sharon in their quest. As we know, for many of us, music is a healing force, a force for good. And #TwitterDisco is ultimately about using music to promote friendship, care, kindness and social connections. We are proud to offer ourselves as the ‘warm-up act’ to David & Sharons’ big day, using our 8 million reach to encourage others to don purple and support their cause on Friday 15th September.

On Friday 8th September, from 7-8pm, we propose an hour of #TwitterDisco, using a set play list, chosen by David and his team, to show that survivors are not alone, to increase the signposting to #purplefriday, and to remind participants throughout of the support and help that is available should this be required by anyone in contact with #TwitterDisco on the night or in the subsequent days. We will be sharing relevant resources throughout #TwitterDisco on that night.

We know and trust that all of you who choose to join us will approach this event in the same vein. And that we will all remain cautious and respectful throughout our ‘broadcast’.

This is a sobering issue, as the tone of this message no doubt indicates, but within that, there is love and compassion and an opportunity for healing. And that is what we hope to be able to share.

Louise, John & Ruth

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