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The Butterfly Hug Program

What is a Butterfly Hug?

The Butterfly Hug is a popular mental health treatment technique originating from the Eye movement Desensitization and Reprocessing  (EMDR)  school  of psychotherapy. Commonly used to treat individuals with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), the Butterfly Hug has the following benefits: 

1. Assists self soothing

2. Calms you if you are hyper-aroused

3. Opens the heart and balances the brains hemispheres

4. Resolves intense emotions after trauma

5. Supports anyone in times of intense stress or anxiety 

Here's a video by the TYF Support Group that demonstrates how you can practice the Butterfly Hug. 

Objectives: Why is this initiative called The Butterfly Hug Program?

Although The Butterfly Hug technique is primarily a self help method practiced during periods of intense emotions, team Imaara is here to let you know that we are always here extending our butterfly wings to give you a hug if you require additional support. We hope to calm you down and let you know you are not alone in your journey post confronting an incident of violence. We are striving for this by providing you with assistive resources to encourage help-seeking amongst survivors of violence .  

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These assistive resources include: : 

  • providing you with necessary resources (pan India) if you believe seeking these avenues are going to help you in your journey to heal. 

  • providing you with detailed  information on how each resource functions in the Indian context so that you can make informed, responsible decisions and know what to expect in return from systems and service providers. 

  • helping you try and make sense of what you may be experiencing - physically, emotionally, mentally, spiritually, etc.  We understand that trauma is complex and differs from person to person. We are here to tell "you do you" and that everything you are experiencing is valid. 

  • assisting bystanders through intervention tips before or during an instance sexual and gender-based violence and acknowledging that bystanders may experience trauma too. We are here to support bystanders and let them know that their experiences are valid too. 

Our online resources can be found here: 

Why should you support this project?

Survivors or victims  experience immense trauma during an instance/s of sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV). However, it is typically the experiences post the incident/s of SGBV that often remain undiscussed and can exacerbate trauma if the survivor or victim does not receive supportive remedial action. 

What are few things survivors or victims experience? 

  • A state of powerlessness

  • Being forced by others to pursue specific remedial actions which can cause survivors or victims to lose their sense of agency. 

  • Credibility may be questioned

  • Societal judgements

  • Disbelief from people about the incident/s 

  • Constant fear and feelings of untrustworthiness for one's surroundings

  • Friends or family may remain unsupportive of the survivor or victim due to judgements, blame, etc. 

  • The workplace environment, systems and support services, legal services, courts, etc. may remain unsupportive of the victim or survivor or cause re-traumatization through language or behavior. 

  • Deteriorating emotional and mental wellness of the survivor or victim.

  • Experiencing physical or medical consequences resulting from the violence itself or from stress caused after the violence. 

  • Monetary losses for the victim or survivor from having to pay for redress like legal fees, medical fees, mental health relevant fees, etc. OR from an inability to go to work and earn. 

  • If the person who is causing violence is a partner (example: in domestic violence or intimate partner violence), then the victim or survivor may find themselves in a state of instability because they may have to continually move locations to avoid the aggressor. 

  • Experiencing violence or any violation has the potential to change the survivor or victims entire future, their aspirations, their purpose, etc. 

  • Many survivors or victims may not have access to redress and resources at all due to their location

For every survivor or victim who has been effected in ways mentioned above, there remain detrimental societal implications including:

  • Lesser income and more remedial expenditures for the survivors or victims, which automatically places greater pressure on judicial systems, healthcare systems, social service systems, etc. 

  • Economic sectors that are handled by individuals or companies confront lower productivity rates from survivors or victims of SGBV due to factors mentioned above. 

  • Survivors or victims who are parents  can unintentionally pass on trauma to their children causing the aftermath of violence to be intergenerational. These children are more likely to experience  physical and emotional  issues which can transform into behavioral problems when they reach adulthood (example: greater chances of self-harm, drug abuse, alcohol abuse, etc.). Having constant exposure to violence as a child or behavioral issues that develop as a result of parents who have endured trauma can cause youngsters to become perpetrators or victims of violence in the future. Consequently, the cycle of violence would continue in societies. 

The Butterfly Hug Project was born out of a commitment to break the wheel of violence, its communal repercussions and to be of benefit to survivors of sexual and gender-based violence who DID NOT deserve to experience any form of abuse to begin with. 

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