PEACEFUL IMPACT – BLOG
Our Finnish delegation consisted of four people. Anssi Leikola, Kaisa Klapuri and myself, Carita Kilpinen, are writers from the book. We were also delighted to have, in our group, Mai Peltoniemi, who is an expert in drug addiction and trauma informed treatment in therapeutic communities. She is also President of the freshly founded Finnish Association for Trauma and Dissociation and a pioneer in critical studies of social work – she has made sense of her own life using the theory of the structural dissociation of the personality in an auto-ethnographic study.
Our presentation was heartfelt and well received by the audience. We had the pleasure of sharing the platform with another survivor from England, Mr. Peter Saunders, who also represented a nonprofit organization, NAPAC for abused adults. He gave an impressive and a moving speech about his experiences.
We were slightly surprised to find that, besides us, there were no other experience speakers at the conference. It seems odd to us that the survivors’ point of view on the matter is so marginal in this kind of international conference.
We were also asked how we, survivors, are able to work together without further damaging each other – another question that has no quick and easy answer, but would certainly deserve one. What must be said right now is that our collaboration at Bern has heightened us in to a completely new level.
In our work, we will discuss many difficult matters that involve a lot of resistance and arouse a great number of emotions, but we are well aware that the discrepancy in these matters will only be resolved through collaboration. Collaboration with survivors and collaboration with different fields of professionals. This means that we are open to complicated questions and discussions and try to send our message to the world in such a way that growth is made possible. As in the book Five Survivors, a Hundred Lives, we stand affirmative but the promise of hope is ever present and is made possible by the first-hand experience knowledge that we have. We aim to challenge the existing stereotypical prejudices. Together, we have slightly over 50 years of experience of different types of therapies and treatments. Although survivors, we are also professionals in different fields such as psychiatry, social work, languages, marketing, business, etc. We know what works and what doesn’t. We know that change in attitudes and cultures is possible. We are making it happen as we speak in Finland, and we know that by joining forces it can be done in the rest of the world too.