Guidelines for Support.
Below is a list of your rights and some guidelines for our support services. These can provide a better idea of what you can expect and how you can get the most out of support.
- You have the right to feel heard, respected, and comfortable.
- You have the right to access our services free of charge.
- You have the right to confidentiality and anonymity.
- You have the right to use a pseudonym if you’d like.
- You have the right to not be asked invasive or overly personal questions.
- You have the right to not be judged or told told what to do.
- You have the right to be open and honest about what you need.
- You have the right to express yourself in ways that are true to you. There is no ‘right’ way to respond to the issues you’re facing; you are allowed to feel angry, sad, depressed, numb, embarrassed, isolated, frustrated, overwhelmed, happy, etc. As long as anger is not directed at our counselors, you are allowed to cry, vent, swear, etc.
- You have the right to ask about our qualifications and experience.
- You have the right to not be contacted after receiving support (unless you specifically ask us to check-in with you).
- You have the right to not be asked for your personal contact information.
- You have the right to end a conversation whenever you want, for whatever reason, in whatever way you want.
- You will get more out of support if you have an idea of the type of support you’re looking for and if you can ask for what you need.
- All of our support line counselors go by the pseudonym ‘Sam’. We do this for two reasons. First, the animals rights community can feel like a small one at times; we want activists to feel comfortable giving and receiving support without barriers to confidentiality. Second, the support we offer is not about us- it is about you.
- We will support you wherever you’re at in your activism, whether you’re new to a veg diet, brand new to activism, or have been involved in activism for years. We’re here regardless of the type of activism you engage in.
- You will always receive a response to text and chat messages within 30 minutes and to emails within 6 hours.
- While a single support message can be incredibly impactful, a one-off message or session cannot fix everything. We encourage activists to access counseling services (if they’re comfortable with that) and/or to use our services regularly.
- We make every effort to protect your privacy and anonymity. We do not retain your personal information and we do not pass your information along to third parties. With that said, we still ask that activists using our services take steps to protect the identity of other activists. Please use pseudonyms where appropriate and please refrain from giving us details of any ‘illegal’ activist work you or others may be doing.
- Our support line counselors are here to provide: support; a friendly ear and non-judgemental listening; options; resources; brainstorming; and referrals.
- We provide you support, time, and space, but you do not need to return these things to us. Support is about you and for you; it’s not about us. We are here to help the people who help animals. Any activist who has committed to self-care and to reaching out for support has already paid it forward.