People who have experienced sexual assault deal with shocks differently. Some choose not to discuss it, while people do like me in public. All healing paths are unique to the individual. How to be there for survivors of sexual trauma
It can be difficult for couples, friends and family to know how to respond when survivors talk about their experiences. It is understood that the issue of rape makes people uncomfortable. Most of them say something like “I’m sorry that it happened to you.” However, there are those who become defensive or treat the case as a burden.
“Why do rape victims want to talk about it if the experience is too painful for them?”
“It happened to you years ago. You must conquer it.”
“We have all had bad experiences. It looks like you are just complaining of interest.”
Knowing these types of reactions is very difficult for survivors. When you do your best to recover, you cannot keep people who reduce trauma or claim it to be a disturbing choice.
If a person is being sexually assaulted, here are some steps that you must take and what you cannot do to help them.
Do: try to understand why they might want to talk about it.
It may be tempting to assume that survivors are shocked by sympathy or social capital. But the truth is that victims of sexual assault are often met with suspicion and hostility to speak.
Your pet may want to talk about his traumatic experience for several reasons, such as:
For survivors, it is often necessary to talk about their trauma in order to treat and recover.
They may want to raise awareness about the facts of sexual assault and the fact that it is very common.
They may want to open up to help you understand them on a deeper level.
They may question your opinions about sexual assault to ensure you are “safe”. Understanding will help you understand how you can be supportive. You don’t have to give advice or psychotherapists. In fact, this is not recommended and should be left to the professional. Just listening and maintaining your space to speak will provide you with great service.
Do: Read about PTSD.
Sexual assault is one of the most common causes of PTSD. I thought I knew what PTSD was until I was diagnosed. It is not only haunted by a memory that we cannot forget. It may end up influencing one’s perception of the entire world, behavior patterns, and emotional coping mechanisms. You may notice the following:
- Confidence issues: We tend to be skeptical of new people, and we may need more time than usual to trust them. Doing this may seem like a big risk.
- Excessive mindfulness: We often do our best to make sure that nothing bad happens in the future, constantly looking for red flags.
- Difficulty falling asleep: We can sleep too much, too little, have trouble sleeping or have frequent nightmares.
- Anxiety: People with PTSD are often on the edge of a cliff, fearing that something terrible will happen at any time.
- Memory problems: In cases of chronic long-term PTSD, our focus is on avoiding danger, which can make it difficult to establish neutral or positive memories. At the same time, we may retain details or entire parts of time related to the traumatic experience itself.
- Emotional Disorder: People with PTSD can develop severe feelings of sadness, anger, or fear due to scenes, sounds, thoughts, or feelings associated with psychological trauma. This can include panic attacks, flashbacks, and breakouts.
- Self-blame: We can blame ourselves for the choices of others in an attempt to feel in control.
- Negative world view: We can see specific types of people or humanity in general as evil, selfish or unreliable.
- Difficulty concentrating: PTSD patients often have parasitic thoughts related to the trauma they experienced, leading to a short period of interest or an overall feeling of “brain fog.”
If the person close to you suffers from PTSD, knowing its triggers will help you maintain a feeling of light and positivity. Some stimuli are clear. For example, many assault or assault victims will avoid the area where the crash occurred.
Other triggers may be hidden and more difficult to understand. One of my emotions is surfing, which was the main hobby of a rapist. When the topic comes up, think about it and the event every time. So I prefer not to talk or think about surfing, and I definitely don’t want to try it. This reaction will no doubt sound strange to strangers, but it is ingrained in my brain.
It is important to note that people with PTSD cannot simply “get rid of it” and control their symptoms. If it were that easy, we would go ahead and do it. PTSD is a serious condition and an ongoing struggle for some, not a joke or a choice. It can be cured with time, personal support and professional help, but it is unlikely to magically go away.
Do: provide peace of mind.
Survivors of sexual trauma are often under pressure as they form new relationships. We may have doubts about the people in our lives long after trust has been established in their minds. This is not necessarily a sign that you did something wrong, so don’t take it personally. There are things you can do to assure trauma survivors that you are trustworthy.
- Tell us how you feel, especially about us. If we’re not sure, we can unconsciously end up filling in the blanks with the worst-case assumptions that are far from the mark. (Unfair, I know!) No need to flatter or flatter. Just tell us that you dig us once in a while.
- Explain that you are a great fan of approval. We want to know as soon as possible that you are not one of those people.
- Point out that our feelings are logical. People with post traumatic stress disorder often fear that it is “too much” for people around them to isolate themselves or impede their feelings as a result. It’s healthy to be angry about being sexually abused, right? Remind us of this if we apologize for our feelings.
- Tell us that you are here to stay, in good times and bad. If we are confident that you will not let us collapse or open up to you, true trust and affection can begin to flourish.
Do: Honor Borders, BIG-TIME.
For many, the most traumatic part of sexual assault is the memory of crossing our borders regardless of our feelings. It is a feeling of use and objection, and the pain of knowing that people can be heartless. When something personal is taken from you, it’s hard to ignore the fear that it might happen again.
Do what you can to respect the limits of your loved one. If they don’t want to be touched, then don’t do it. If you want to leave a place, leave them. If you voice someone in the room or say you don’t feel like having sex, then don’t push them at all. Being someone they can trust to respect their independence.
Do: Create positive experiences together.
The more confident a person is in your credibility and compassion, the more comfortable they will feel with you. The more positive experiences they share together, the more likely they are associated with it.
This does not mean that you have to smile with a smile and act to preserve things at all times. Conflicts and problems in personal relationships go hand in hand with relationships. How you approach these challenges will determine if your loved one feels safe while working. It is important to maintain respect for communication.
Aaaaaa now, some don’t.
No: try to fix it.
You cannot resolve or erase the trauma of your loved ones, so don’t try. It is something they will have to navigate.
All you need to do is do your best to support them as they take steps to heal.
Don’t ignore what they say about their shock.
If your loved one talks about their experiences of sexual assault, it means they want you to listen. It may be awkward to hear that, but if you care about them, this is part of understanding who they are.
No: acting as a sexual assault is rare.
Sexual assault is much more common than we all want to believe. One of the most painful things you can do is question, suspect, or underestimate your loved one’s experience.
They are probably telling the truth.
No: tell them to skip it.
To repeat: survivors of sexual trauma cannot just hold their fingers and suddenly be healthy. The road to recovery can be long for some and often requires professional help.
No: tolerate abusive treatment of them.
You can suffer from your love much more than what happened to you. While your feelings are true, they are not an excuse to mistreat or mistreat others. Set limits in these cases and communicate them clearly. Your well-being and happiness are as important as theirs.
Studies of sexual and post-traumatic stress, in particular, have shown that social support or its lack has a strong and direct impact on the chances of recovery from recovery. I am not responsible for the shock of your loved one, but its effect can help a lot.