According to RAINN, the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network, an American is sexually assaulted every 109 seconds. Out of every 1,000 perpetrators, only 6 will end up in prison to pay for their crime.
Our cultural environment tends to play the role of the non believer when it comes to listening to stories of sexual assault. We like to blame the victim for not doing enough to protect themselves or change the situation. Sexual assault is highly stigmatized in our society, leaving victims of sexual assault feeling a double dose of shame. One of the best things you can do if your loved one has experienced sexual assault is listen to them actively. Active listening means creating the space to totally hear what they have to say without interruption, question, or judgment. After they are done, thank them for sharing, and remind them you are hear to listen to them.
Sexual assault is not just rape. Men and women are groped, mistreated, and physically/sexually abused each day. Around the country there are trainings on stopping sexual assault, caring for someone who has been sexually assaulted, and learning more about consent. Sexual assault can be traumatizing resulting in ongoing effects similar to those of PTSD which can include symptoms of depression and anxiety.
Millions of sexual assault survivors go without making an official report. Many feel a report only brings them more shame and judgment, that they are never taken seriously. A report should still be made, as well as a full physical inspection. Support them by telling them you’ll be by their side.
We live in a sex driven culture that often doesn’t consider the depth of its jokes. Understand that for years to come, your loved one might be sensitive to the hypersexuality around them. What might seem like a harmless joke may be a deeply disturbing trigger for them. Try to act respectful toward sex, sexuality, and topics of sexual violence.
Enlightened Solutions supports the treatment of substance use disorders which are co-occurring with mild or severe PTSD. Our facility is certified to treat dual diagnosis clients in order to meet all of their needs for recovery. Call us today to learn more about our programs, 833-801-5483.
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