Safe Online Space (SOS) for Healing Conversations support group will meet from 5 to 6 p.m. Monday.

The discussion topic will be on “Managing Your Emotions.” The online support group can be accessed by visiting www.ourhousevoices.com.

The support group is anonymous and available to survivors of sexual assault in the Mississippi Delta and its surrounding counties. Safe Online Space is sponsored by Greenville-based Our House Inc. in partnership with RAINN (Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network).

The service is the first of its kind to be offered to sexual assault survivors in Mississippi. The online chat moves beyond crisis intervention to support survivors who are ready to take the next step and engage with others impacted by sexual violence in an anonymous judgement-free space.

“We are honored to offer this additional service,” said Dilworth Ricks, culturally specific sexual assault advocate. “Anyone affected by sexual assault, whether it happened to you or someone you care about, whether you are receiving other help or not, can benefit from the chatroom. If this service is speaking to you, I encourage you to join in on the conversation.”

Organizers say that the online chatroom works like other instant messaging and online chat systems, but with enhanced security measures. All data is encrypted. The service does not capture users’ IP addresses or save session transcripts, and participants cannot share personally identifying information.

Chatroom sessions are moderated by highly trained staff, a facilitator and a reviewer, according to the support group’s organizers. The facilitator guides the conversation for the topic of the day and provides local referrals. The reviewer ensures that no personally identifying information is shared and can approve, disapprove or edit posts to ensure they comply with the service’s ground rules. Together, these precautions help keep survivors safe while still allowing them to engage with and support each other, organizers say.

The SOS for Healing Conversations sessions are held on the third Monday of the month.

Our House Inc. New Birth to Violence Free Living is a non-profit ministry that provides advocacy services to survivors of sexual assault and domestic violence and their supporters in nine rural Mississippi Delta counties, including Bolivar, Carroll, Grenada, Holmes, Humphreys, Leflore, Sunflower, Washington and Montgomery.

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