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Erika
This is such a great article! Very helpful and practical! I'm also a sidewalk counselor and I was wondering where I can obtain the pictures of babies killed at a given gestational period that Jacob used as his tool to change the guy's mind? I can google pictures on the internet, but it'd be great if I could use the same ones that Jacob has found to be effective for his sidewalk counseling ministry!
Also, another question, do most sidewalk counselors hand out flyers? I usually hand out flyers that contain resources (like pregnancy centers, counseling services, etc.) and a fetal development timeline. However, I find it very difficult to strike a conversation with the women going in either because they are rushing to get to their appointment or because they just assume that we are a bunch of religious bigots. I am always really nice to them, but it's still hard to get a conversation going with them so I was wondering if anyone has other methods for me to try out?
Maybe I shouldn't hand out flyers to them right away? Maybe I should preface my conversation (without handing out anything to them) with something like 'I am here to listen and I want to help you find resources that will help you make an informed decision?'
I don't want to compromise the urgency to save the lives of the unborn either so any feedback would be greatly appreciated!
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Rachel Crawford
Hey Erika,
Great questions!! If you would like more information about how to get access to the same outreach brochure that Jacob uses for sidewalk counseling, please email our admin directly and she will be able to help you with that. Jen@equalrightsinstitute.com
Yes, many sidewalk counselors hand out information about local resources like you are mentioning. And I can tell you that you are asking all the same questions that we asked Jacob while developing the new sidewalk counseling training course that we are launching early this Fall!
Here’s a sneak peak about the training that might help you for now. In the course, Jacob teaches two methods of sidewalk counseling: the resource-oriented method and the conversation-oriented method. There are different strengths for each approach. In the resource-oriented method, you are hoping to get helpful literature, like a pregnancy center brochure, in the person’s hand right away. In the conversation-oriented method, you may offer the literature resource towards the beginning of the conversation, or you may choose to wait to offer resources until you’ve had a chance to hear their story, build rapport, or understand the circumstances of the situation so that when you offer the resources, the person is more likely to be receptive to the help you’re offering.
You’re right that starting the conversation is sometimes the most difficult part of sidewalk counseling and that is a huge focus of this training. We go into depth about how to start the conversation, how to introduce resources, how to use the brochure images that Jacob talks about in this article, and how to communicate that we are there because we want to help the families coming rather that to protest, judge, or shame them.
I wish I could get the training in your hands right now, but it is still in the final editing stages! If you are interested in placing a pre-order for the course, please let our admin Jen know when you email her because she is setting up the pre-order website page this week!
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crystalkupper
This is really good stuff!
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Crystal
I believe sidewalk counselling should be primarily a woman's job. Since it is women who are directly impacted by pregnancy it should be other women who are doing the counselling far more than men. It sounds rude and presumptuous for a man to tell me I should be pregnant, and I say this as a staunch prolifer myself.
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Anonymous
I don't think the author would disagree with you there. Only that male sidewalk counselors still have an important role to play, as they're more likely to be able to reach other men (which is sometimes necessary, as discussed in the article).
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Crystal
Is it true that sidewalk counsellors in general threaten, intimidate, abuse, and generally just present an unpleasant presence at an abortion facility? I have heard my pro-legal abortion friends claim this a LOT and I want to know the truth; could anyone help me out please?
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colinehay
Yes, it is true.
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Anonymous
I don't know if you could prove that one way or the other. There are some good sidewalk counselors and some self-righteous jerks, but which ones are more common probably depends on who you ask.
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acyutananda
I was glad to learn more about the great work of Jacob Nels.
Replying to acyutananda