Healing Ceremony For Assault Victims

Debra Frick

When a woman is assaulted her self concept and self esteem not to mention her innocence and trust are taken from her. This is a ceremony that returns the sacred feminine power to a woman who has been assaulted sexually, physically or verbally. This devastation is life changing, brought about by a man or, in some cases, many men.

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In our society women now hold many positions of power and of healing. It is time to stand up and embrace our sacred sexuality and our inter-most feminine thoughts. In some cases our attackers have been punished; and in some cases, not. Punishment does not in most cases restore the balance that the act took away from us. We are taught that our higher power provides for us abundantly and that in that abundance all things we will be taken care of. In therapy, which many perpetrators never go to, we are taught that we have to take responsibility for ourselves and our daughters.

As women we are the symbols of motherhood and literally, the building blocks of tomorrow. Standing together with love in our hearts we can be a healing force for love. All of us in one way or another would love to support the walking wounded among us. So I say if a man can take part of us away, then the power of woman, the sacred feminine, will be able to restore and heal it. We have ceremonies in this life to celebrate all of the great life-cycle events of our life:

  • Weddings
  • Christenings
  • Bas Mitzvahs
  • Baby naming
  • and the like.

This is what brought me to this place of wanting something to restore the joy of living in our hurting sisterhood. Death is permanent, but rape is not, nor is sexual assault. Yet, they can feel as permanent as death. And even in Death we have a ceremony to help us deal with the reality of it. I am a sexual assault victim myself. In my higher powers greater wisdom I feel I have been chosen to bring a healing to all that would listen. By creating this ceremony, I am consciously choosing to heal and to empower other women to heal.

This ceremony should be as dramatic as the sexual assault was. Only in this way will it truly reach those wells of pain. In my efforts to keep this simple I have made this a ceremony that any group of women can perform. It can be performed at any beautiful place at dawn or in your own homes or in a place of worship. This is a ceremony not only for the young. It is for any survivor of a crime by a man.

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Preparations for the Ceremony

  • 6 women who will represent: Innocence, Trust, Faith, Purity, Love and Joy that have been taken from the celebrants and one woman to be the head running the show, so to speak.
  • A candle for each celebrant to represent their selves in a world of darkness.
  • One small planter filled with sand or a bucket that has been decorated.
  • Baskets for each Participants to have thier symbols in.
  • A basket for each Celebrant to put their symbols of restoration in.
  • White robes or capes for each to wear. This can be as simple as a white sheet with a bit of lace to lay on the head.
  • Symbols to put into the basket:

    • A teddy bear to represent innocence
    • Something with a sparkle like a beaded clear bracelet or necklace to represent joy
    • If this is being done in the context of a religion, a symbol of your faith will work for faith. If not, a polished rock or a small piece of metal can be used to symbolized the steadfastness of faith.
    • A small piece of rope or chain to symbolize Trust and how Trust binds the heart.
    • A heart made frilly and beautiful to symbolize Love.
    • A white rose to symbolize their restored purity

Participants in the ceremony stand with the head person in front and the others three on each side to form a V for Victory over adversity. Each participant wears very feminine clothes, taking pride in their womanliness. Celebrants should enter a total dark environment. The only light shines from the candles they carry. This is to symbolize their walk through darkness to the light of a new day. If you cannot do this at dawn then you can simulate dawn with lights behind the participants set on a dimmer to get brighter as they ceremony progress. The lights will be full strength by the end. All of the symbols that are used can be made by the women of the group. In choosing women to be participants, please try to have a mix of young and old with the head woman preferable being an elder of your community. If this is something that your group will be doing on a regular basis this might justify the making of some white capes with hoods. I suggest that the ceremony is preformed with only Participants and Celebrants with a breakfast served afterward with family and friends present then. This will add to the sacredness of the ceremony.

The Ceremony

Head Woman: "Maidens, I call you forward now out of the darkness to become a full and active member of life. From this day forward you shall walk with dignity and pride in yourself and your accomplishments. Know from your hearts that you are complete and loving. Take pride in the fact that you have survived and in the knowing of your survival take joy in your life. Today all will be restored to you that was taken. The power of man took away so now will the power of woman restore. We stand before you today in the formation of a V to honor your great victory. As you pass each of your sisters you will be given a symbol to have and hold each day as a remembrance of your restored self. Hold these always close to your heart."

(Each Participant steps forward now to form a straight line. Head woman takes a place at the end of the line. Have each celebrant put her lighted candle in a small bucket filled with sand. Next to the bucket have a small stack of baskets one for each celebrant. Have them pick up their basket and stand before each woman. Have a basket next to each participant filled with their symbol so they are close at hand to pass out. As the celebrants stand there, have the participants recite their words and hand each celebrant the symbol of what they represent. There they move on as a group to the next woman in the line.)

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First woman in line: "I am the essence of innocence I am the part of you that takes glory in the first days of spring; that blows bubbles, that skips and dances. With this symbol I restore your innocence and wonder in the world."

(hand each celebrant a teddy-bear)

Second: "I am the essence of Joy in your life. I am the part of you that soars with happiness at the everyday miracles in your life. With this symbol I restore your right to happiness and Joy."

(Put around the neck or wrist the sparkle necklace or Bracelet)

Third: "I am the essence of Faith I am the part of you that holds strongly onto hope. With this symbol I restore your faith and that with this symbol your faith with never crumble."

(Hand each celebrant your choice symbol of faith)

Fourth: "I am the essence of Trust, I am the part of you that believes in the goodness of others. With this symbol I bind and place with in your heart the blessing of trust."

(Hand each celebrant a piece or rope or chain)

Fifth: "I am the essence of Love. I am the part of you that feels for yourself and for others. With this symbol I restore your ability to feel and grant you the honor of showing your love to the world once more."

(Hand each celebrant a frilly Heart)

Sixth: "I am the essence of Purity I am the part of you that gives you confidence and strength in yourself. With this symbol I restore the purity of you that was stolen from you. Go now into the world with a renewed sense of yourself."

(Hand each celebrant a white rose)

Head Woman: "You have now completed your walk to self awareness. Proudly wear this cape as a symbol of your wholeness. Release from yourself the anger and pain as they no longer have a place to dwell in you."

(Have headwoman wrap each celebrant in the cape)

"I now place this white cap on your head wear it proudly as it is a symbol to the world that you are worthy and whole, having come through the darkness into the light of a new day."

(Cover each head with a square of lace or pull up the hood to the cape) "Go forth now and Celebrate!"

About The Author: Debra Frick is a mother of 5 and a grandmother to 8 grandsons and one granddaughter. She is a published author and poetress. Recycling and saving money are her passions. She also loves crocheting and cooking. She is also a pet rescue volunteer and has many pets of her own.

Comments

August 12, 20080 found this helpful

Thanks so much for sharing this. It is a wonderful idea and makes me feel good just reading it.

ReplyWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes

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