Threads of Compassion is a loosely connected group of survivors of sexual violence who desire to offer comfort and support to recent victims. The idea is simple. Anyone whose life has been affected by sexual assault or abuse is welcome to knit or crochet a scarf which will then be given to a victim of sexual violence when they enter the hospital for emergency treatment.
Having been through similar experiences ourselves, our hope is to offer support at a time when a person is feeling forsaken, fearful, and extremely vulnerable, and in a simple way let them know they are not alone. So many people are lost in how to respond to friends and family members that have been victims of sexual abuse or assault, so they opt to do nothing. Their fear of adding more pain by saying or doing the wrong thing results in silence. This silence is heartbreaking to the victim . . . a silence that offers no validation to the pain they are going through and that adds to their feeling of isolation.
The silence produces shame.
One of the main goals behind Threads of Compassion is to break through this silence by acknowledging the pain. The gift of a scarf not only shows the knitter’s/crocheter’s concern for the victim, but also expresses their sorrow for what has happened. Each scarf is made by someone who wishes to provide a small amount of comfort against the pain being faced, and by doing so, lets the victim know they are not alone. The scarves are tangible objects that can be held, wrapped around the neck or shoulders, with the deeper meaning known only by the wearer. As each victim touches the threads of the scarves they receive, they are connecting with someone who cares about what has happened to them. A beautiful message given through a few threads of yarn.
The added beauty of the scarves is that the gift is actually two-fold. Through making the scarves, survivors are provided an opportunity to help other victims.