How to help someone who has been abused, physically or mentally?
The Trauma Is Too Much To Bear!
Dealing with sexual abuse takes time, but what takes even more time is to recover from the trauma caused by sexual abuse and sexual assault. The recuperating procedure can be agonizing and excruciating. Violation of consent is very common in our society and figures suggest that nearly 1 in 5 women living in the United States are sexually violated at some point in time.
Irrespective of one’s age or gender, the impact of sexual abuse goes beyond physical injuries. The suffering of being raped or assaulted sexually can leave people feeling terrified, shattered, frightened, embarrassed, and deserted, all at the same time. Flashbacks, nightmares, and other vexatious recollections can further enhance the trauma of the victims. As a result of the aforementioned emotions, one may not confide in themselves, will lose trust in others, and may even go to the extent of blaming themselves for the heinous act. Questioning one’s self-esteem and blaming oneself for what happened enhances the already traumatic event. Furthermore, on top of that, in the same way as other survivors, one may battle with PTSD, depression, and anxiety.
How Does One Deal With Sexual Abuse?
Dealing with sexual abuse is a manifold process that starts with opening up about the abuse. This is a difficult part of the process because of the stigma that has been attached to rape and sexual assault. One may feel dirty and damaged when opening up about the heinous acts suffered. The thoughts of the judgment one will face from the society and peers, force the survivors to keep it a secret. But in the process of keeping the assault a secret, one denies help and strengthens the state of being a victim. One should reach out to someone they trust and this will set them free. If the survivor has no one who s/he trusts, they can reach out to a therapist or a rape crisis helpline. One can try helping others which will make them feel better and connected.
The next step in the process is to cope up with the feelings of shame and self-accusation. When the survivor will open up about the act, they will also start accepting how they are not to be blamed and how the manner in which they behaved, the way they dressed, whether they were drunk, etc. in no way led to the act. When one accepts that the event was not their fault, the blame-game which affects the mental health of the survivor can be stopped. When one accepts that they could not have prevented the act and accepts that their trust was breached, the mental health of the survivors improves. This can happen when the responsibility of the act is assigned to where it belongs: the rapist.
In order to deal with the abuse, prepare for the flashbacks and unnerving recollections. To prepare for this one can anticipate and prepare for things, smells, dates that may trigger the survivor. Flashbacks are a problem faced by the survivors and as such, there is no way to prevent them but one can calm themselves down by reassuring themselves that the recollection is a flashback and not the reality, one can also ground themselves in the present for the purpose of reassurance.
Reconnecting With One’s Body And Emotions Is Vital!
To feel better, reconnecting with one’s body and emotions is vital. It’s alarming to get back in contact with your body and emotions following sexual abuse. From multiple points of view, assault makes your body the foe, something that has been disregarded and debased—something you may despise or need to overlook. When you’re back in contact with your body and emotions, you will have a sense of security, confidence, and power. You can accomplish this through the subsequent procedures: Mindfulness meditation, Massage, Yoga, Rhythmic movement, etc.
It happens often that survivors feel detached and alone. It’s not unexpected to feel separated and disengaged from others following a rape. You may feel enticed to pull back from social exercises and your friends and family. Be that as it may, it’s critical to remain associated with life and the individuals who care about you. Backing from others is crucial to your recuperation. In any case, recollect that help doesn’t imply that you generally need to discuss or harp on what occurred. Having a fun time and laughing with individuals who care about you can be similarly curative. Participation in new activities, reconnecting with old friends, or making new friends can help deal with sexual abuse.
Take Care Of Yourself!
Neither the change can be seen overnight nor do the memories disappear completely but the following steps can help cope up with residual symptoms, fear, and anxiety: Take time to rest and restore your body’s balance, take care of yourself physically, avoid alcohol, and drugs and be smart about media consumption.
The process of healing is a gradual and ongoing one and hence, not losing hope is the most essential element of dealing with sexual abuse.
Get Legal Aid!
Stand up for yourself! You don’t deserve this, neither you deserve to feel low about yourself. Get legal aid. There are many laws to help you against such crimes, so know your fundamental right to seek justice.