The SPRING Manual is a comprehensive guide that focuses on the sports and psychological rehabilitation of survivors of Sexual Gender-Based Violence (SGBV), primarily concentrating on female survivors. The manual defines “survivors” as women who have faced severe endangerment to their safety, abuse of their human rights, and violations of their dignity through humiliating or violent acts. The aim of the manual is to help these survivors regain a sense of empowerment, heal from their traumatic experiences, and develop practical strategies for coping with trauma-related reactions.
Key points from the manual include:
1. Target Audience: The manual is designed for individuals working with GBV survivors, providing them with tools to understand and support survivors’ emotional and psychological needs.
2. Integrated Approach: The manual combines sports and psychological exercises to address the holistic needs of survivors. Participants engage in a series of exercises that help them comprehend the impact of trauma, survivors’ reactions to trauma, and the reasons behind these reactions.
3. Individual and Group Work: Participants engage in individual and group activities to foster a deeper understanding of trauma and its effects. Through personal stories and shared experiences, participants gain insights into trauma and its management.
4. Practical Skills: The exercises provide participants with practical skills for effectively working with trauma survivors. These skills empower helpers to offer respectful and supportive assistance to survivors, whether in long-term engagements or brief interactions.
5. Grounding Exercises and Role Plays: The manual emphasizes the importance of grounding exercises and role plays. These exercises help participants experience the physical and mental effects of grounding techniques, which can aid survivors in managing their distress.
6. Storytelling: The manual employs a recurring story, that of the Butterfly Woman, to illustrate common responses to gender-based violence. This storytelling approach reinforces learning and memory, while also allowing for a shared understanding of survivors’ reactions without delving into personal cases.
7. Challenges: Some participants might initially find certain exercises, like grounding exercises and role plays, challenging, especially if they are unfamiliar with such methods. However, these exercises are crucial for participants to experience the physical and mental effects of grounding techniques.
Overall, the SPRING Manual provides a structured framework for addressing the needs of female survivors of SGBV through a combination of sports and psychological exercises. It seeks to equip helpers with practical skills, insights, and a compassionate approach to assisting survivors on their journey toward healing and empowerment.
This manual was developed and implemented with funding from the United Nations and the European Union under the Spotlight Initiative in Nigeria.