By Amanda Kippert
If you haven’t been pulled into a podcast yet, what are you waiting for? Since its launch on iTunes in 2005, the medium has been rapidly growing in popularity. According to Fast Company, there are currently more than 525,000 active podcast shows with more than 18.5 million episodes available for your listening pleasure. From fiction to nonfiction, drama to humor, whether you’re curious about economic sanctions against Iran or how to start backyard composting, podcasts are basically an auditory Wikipedia of any topic you could ever want to know more about. Including, of course, domestic violence.
Survivor Misty Chaviers began as a blogger, when those were at the height of popularity, but says she felt like she needed to speak out loud in order to be heard, especially given where she came from.
“I felt so silenced because, in Alabama, you don’t talk about abuse. I felt like I could maybe through my voice help women become free,” she says.
Her podcast, I’m a Survivor, is comprised of short, impactful episodes about enduring and healing from domestic violence. She delves into such difficult topics as toxic masculinity and victim shaming.
“I thought, even after I’m gone from this world, my voice will always be a beacon of light for someone out there who needs [to hear] someone else who’s been through what they have been through.”
And when Misty isn’t talking about domestic violence, what does she like to listen to?
“I like The Stokecast. It’s about adventures and outdoors and ultimately people who are resilient like myself. I’ve literally survived it all, I feel like.”
Below, 10 podcasts that survivors may find helpful, intriguing or empowering. Of course, with all survivor-related narratives, make sure to practice self-care before and during listening, and prepare for possible triggers that may be emotionally challenging. It may help to speak with someone at a domestic violence hotline about how you’re feeling after you listen.
10 to Tune Into:
- I’m a Survivor. Most of survivor Misty Chaviers’ podcast episodes are under 20 minutes, perfect for finding inspiration as you commute to work or school.
- Dirty John. Based on the terrifying true-life reporting from the LA Times of an abuser who infiltrated the life of survivor Debra Newell and her daughters. The series was also made into a TV series for Bravo. Don’t worry—Newell and her family make it out alive.
- Shatterproof: Thriving After Domestic Abuse. A survivor-created podcast about changing yourself after abuse “from the inside-out.” Creator Mickie Zada interviews survivors about how they reinvented themselves after escaping an abusive partner.
- Spotlight: The Podcast for the Domestic Abuse Sector. Interviews with advocates and experts on important domestic violence issues like support for LGBT survivors and how homelessness and abuse intersect.
- Targeted—True Crime: Domestic Violence. This one may be difficult for some survivors, but fascinating to others. This true crime podcast delves into real life cases of family violence, examining how similar crimes might be prevented in the future.
- I, Survivor. Another that may be tough for some survivors to listen to, but this captivating series features inspiring survivors of all types of trauma telling their first-hand stories of perseverance.
- PAVE: Professionals Against Violence Podcast. Listen as experts from all corners of the world speak about preventing all types of family violence. Listen to this episode on the Safe Child Act featuring Barry Goldstein, expert advisor for DomesticShelters.org.
- The Practical Feminist. More issue-focused, listen as two women dig into and discuss feminist topics including domestic violence, the #MeToo movement and reproductive rights.
- The Survivor’s Guide to Life. Self-care is so vitally important during and after escaping abuse. Learn how to foster resilience in yourself with this podcast from two life coaches and mentors.
- Therapy for Black Girls. Find strength and inspiration from licensed psychologist Dr. Joy Harden Bradford in this popular podcast where she offers strategies for improving your mental health.
Thinking of Starting Your Own Podcast?
Do you have a personal story to tell? Do you want to interview others? Anyone can start a podcast, so go for it! But if you’re talking about abuse, especially the abuse you survived, ask yourself these questions:
- Is it safe? Make sure you take the proper precautions to keep yourself safe before speaking out. This could include changing your social media passwords, concealing your address or getting an order of protection if you suspect an abuser may retaliate once you go public.
- Do you know what you want to talk about? You don’t just have to talk about your own experiences with abuse, though you can. You may also want to consider interviewing advocates, experts or other survivors.
- Who’s your audience? Decide if you want to talk to survivors with your content or if you want to start a wider discussion, educating a broad range of people about domestic violence.
- Do you have the right set-up? You’ll need a mic and a few other things in place before you begin. Check out Anchor.fm for free help with editing tools, background music, distribution and analytics.