Rebuilding Your Social Network After Abuse

Welcome to Right-On with HFG Happy Families Support Network Inc. (HFG)

HFG is a not-for-profit support group that provides ongoing support to women and children who have experienced abuse

HFG is a free support group for women and children who have experienced abuse, run by women who have experienced abuse

The topic for today is – Rebuilding Social Network After Abuse

Definition of social network – a network of friends, colleagues, and other personal contacts

Now that you have started working on rebuilding your self-confidence, you are ready to start rebuilding your social network

Self-confidence will give you the strength and courage to speak up at support group meetings, and trust new friends

Self-confidence will help you to step out and join that exercise class at the community centre where you will meet new friends

When you have self-confidence you believe in yourself, and know that you have a lot to offer in a friendship

So what is your social network and who would you like to have in this network?

Your social network is made up of people who care about you and make it easy for you to be you

Your social network can include Family, friends, co-workers, neighbours and acquaintances

It is your choice who you include in your social network, but remember you must be able to be yourself when they’re around

How does your social network help you?

  1. Social network gives you someone to talk to and do things with so you don’t feel isolated
  2. Social network gives you accountability, once you’ve committed to a path or goal they help to keep you on track
  3. Social network gives you an encouraging ear to share your ideas, dreams, hopes, goals, needs, fears
  4. Social network is there for you on tough days, is a helping hand, a meal you didn’t have to cook
  5. Social network can also help you find solutions to your problems. My mom used to say “Many minds make light work”

How do you rebuild your social network after abuse?

You may find it hard at first to start reaching out to people after being isolated in abuse, but start slowly

Reach out to friends and family who are positive and you can be YOU when they are around

To rebuild your social network, find a group activity, join a support group, a reading club or volunteer

You do not have to tell everyone the details of your experiences, but choose based on your comfort level

Remember, your social network should be people that are positive, encouraging, empathetic and non-judgmental

Your social network should have more than one person in it, as each person will have something different to offer

The more supportive people you have in your life the more effective your social network will be

You can start your social network with the professionals in your life, doctor or therapist, then add others as you connect

Speak up about the types of support you need, emotional, physical, financial or in-kind, sharing ideas and information

The only way your social network will know what you need is if you tell them. Don’t be afraid to speak up

Ask people in your social network to recommend others who may be able to help you. This will broaden your network

Be patient and remember that you won’t be comfortable with everyone you meet. Take it one day at a time

It can take a while to feel close to someone and feel like you can trust and count on them

Take care of your new friendships. Be a good friend and offer support when you can. A social network is about give-and-take

Support from a healthy social network should increase your level of joy, purpose, and satisfaction

Stay away from people who are overly critical, if you feel anxious around them they shouldn’t be in your social network


REMEMBER, open up to your social network and let them know what you need

Stay engaged and find opportunities to include your new social network in your daily, weekly, monthly life

Thanks for joining Right-On with HFG

We look forward to seeing you next Wednesday September 24 for our weekly Right-On conversation

The topic for next week is – Rebuilding Your Career After Abuse

Please email your questions and comments to

If you would like more information on the HFG support group please email

Have a great day! HFG Hugs!!

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