The FBI investigation on accusations laid on Brett Kavanaugh has been going on since a week and are almost over. However, due to the time restrictions, there hasn’t been any conclusive proof regarding the same. There has been news all over the web and channels regarding the proceedings, but there has not been any information about how women who went through the traumatic incident dealt with this. Psychologists have also recommended certain coping mechanisms. So, this post is dedicated to some advice I would like to give to women dealing with sexual assault in all walks of life.
There are still times when people consider counseling beneath them. Victims might not be able to take such steps on their own. Therefore, the family members should essentially make sure that they push towards counseling. Even women help centers mostly mandate the same. Proper healing, venting, and stepping out of depression are achieved with the help of psychologists.
Victims need social support almost immediately. Family members, friends, and relatives can help one adjust into the society. I know it sounds easy, but it is extremely difficult. Even if you do not feel like speaking to anyone and staying alone, trust me, talking to people you trust can help you recover.
It is common in such situations to feel helpless, isolated, and depressed. Try to challenge these emotions. Empower yourselves, remember that you have the power and strength to cope on your own. Do something that feels good, such as charity and helping other women cope from sexual assaults as well.
Consider taking self-defense classes and hosting talks on coping. Once you feel empowered enough to defend yourself in similar situations and at the same time inspire others, you will feel you can conquer anything. Social groups can also help with this point.
Be fully aware of your feelings and memories. If you feel suicidal and depressed, then immediately contact a counselor and your family members. Do not suppress those emotions because they will certainly affect all your future relationships. There are chances that the victim can find it difficult to trust anyone again and feel frustrated, if you are aware of these changes in you, do something about it.
Take Time Off
Do not try diving into work straight away, instead if you feel like it, try taking some time off, do yoga or meditation. These relaxing techniques can help with releasing negative energy and reconnect with yourself.
Try to avoid any triggering stimulation around you. Media content such as movies or news can make things worse. Avoid any visual imagery of sexual violence or otherwise. Bad memories and flashbacks can further the recovery process.
Avoid drugs or alcohol, any sort of substance abuse as a coping mechanism can be harmful. They can reverse the effects of medication and therapy. Inhibitions lowered, and emotional numbing are the last things that a victim needs. Family members should ensure that such activities are avoided, they can further push one into depression. Familial relationships can also get affected due to such instances.
When you are healing from trauma, it becomes extremely necessary to exercise more often, eat properly, and get good sleep. Taking care of your physical health is important because exercise can help in relieving stress, controlling your body, soothing the nervous system, and feel more powerful, ready to take on anything in the future.
The Human Touch
It can be difficult to reconnect with the human touch after sexual touch. If this is not resolved right away, it can too linger for a lifetime. So, it is recommended that you go for a massage therapy. It can be uncomfortable at first, but only if you push yourself for it can you finally find solace in any sort of human contact.
Some of the common symptoms experienced include escapism, detachment, physical pain, concentration issues, separatism from the rest of the society, feeling shut down physically, and compulsive substance abuse. If you experience most of these, then make sure you get help immediately and join a social group as soon as possible. Most importantly, find the strength to report and take the right action against the rapist or abuser, never let the guilty set free. That itself can empower you and other women!