Those of you familiar with Twitter will know that one of the ways of categorising tweets, giving people the ability to search for tweets on specific subjects, is to use hashtags. This is done by adding the hashtag symbol (#) followed by the particular keyword you want to apply to your tweet. (For more information about hashtags, please see Twitter's hashtag help page. We've also added a tutorial video at the bottom of this page) Hashtags are often associated with a particular organisation, or cause - for example, #RedCross or #childabuse, and can be pretty much anything. If used enough, they can become a powerful tool in promoting a cause, an organisation or a trend.
In March 2011, we launched the use of our own CS hashtag discussion trend on Twitter... one that can be tweeted to with anything related to abuse and survival issues & can be used by many people and organisations as a platform to promote their own survivors material such as blogs & support agencies. There are currently several abuse hashtags on Twitter, but few of them are very well used right now - with the exception of the 'violence against women' hashtag, #VAW. We hope to contribute to changing that, and creating a large community of survivors of abuse on Twitter.
The hashtag we've started is #FivePetals - a reference to our logo which features an almond blossom with 5 petals, symbolising the 5 things we feel are most important for survivors : Hope, Healing, Friendship, Safety, & Speaking Out.
Twitter members can search Twitter for the #5petals hashtag discussion, or simply click on the #5petals link in a Twitter post. Having this hashtag will enable everyone on Twitter who is part of the CS community to easily find tweets by other participating people from CS &, we hope, bring together other survivors & survivor organisations from outside of CS! (it's a great way to meet new, likeminded people.) We want to create a space for survivors to connect together & talk on Twitter & we'll be using the hashtag in combination with other relevant hashtags to get our messages out to a wide audience..
We very much hope that the survivor community will get behind us on this project, as it's something we can only achieve together! There are many things you can do to help get this project going!
"Small acts, when multiplied by millions of people, can transform the world." Howard Zinn
If you follow us on Twitter and you're sending us tweets, or if you tweet anything to do with surviving or abuse issues, (including your own or other people's survivor blog links), we'd encourage you to add #5petals to those tweets, along with other relevant hashtags eg. #vaw (violence against women), #childabuse, #domesticviolence, #dv, #abusestoppers, #trafficking #saam (sexual abuse awareness month, April) etc - this will start getting the hashtag known among the twitter population. See Psych Central's page to view a more comprehensive list of well used hashtags relating to mental health issues as well as the most relevant abuse related ones, which you may find useful.
You can also help us by re-tweeting things that CS tweets; by tweeting links to our forums or website pages, & by #FF'ing us on Fridays! (#FF, follow friday, is the way twitter members recommend their friends to other friends. Each friday you simply post a tweet with "#FF @survivoroasis" & any other friends you'd like to recommend to people. To get your FF's seen by more people than just those who follow you, you can also add hashtags to your posts, such as "#FF @survivoroasis #5petals #childabuse #VAW" so that all people following those hashtag discussions will see your tweet (if of course you haven't made your account private) and know that the people you're recommending are in the survivor 'world'.
You can permanently or temporarily add #5petals to your location on your twitter profile - a simple way of promoting us without any bigger changes to your profile. :) If you'd like to help promote awareness of the #5petals hashtag, please feel free to use one of our #5petals avatars, which can be found on our Twitter page. Or you can add a #5petals tag to your own avatar if you know how. We also have many link buttons available if you wish to promote CS or #5petals on your own website or blog. Please do let us know if you're linking to us, as we may be able to return the link.
If you're a survivor support or activist organisation, or if you're a survivor who blogs about survivor issues & would like to partner with us in these projects, please email us. We'd love to discuss the ways we can work together to make this project work!