Whether days, months, or years go by, the healing process after sexual trauma varies per individual. Nearly one in 71 men and one in five women are victims of sexual assault. These statistics are even more worrisome considering many victims choose not to file a police report.
Remember, you are never the one to blame. The fear, shame, and anxiety may feel like it will last a lifetime, but with the right coping mechanisms, it doesn’t have to.
Media is all around you. Movies, television shows, and social media are all powerful tools for spreading awareness about sexual violence, but it can also create challenges for some survivors.
Seeing sexual violence acted out can ignite a slew of negative responses, such as flashbacks, anxiety, irritability, or sadness. There are a few ways you control your exposure to media that can elicit these reactions:
Social media: Used correctly, social media is another tool to help survivors heal, but it also has the chance to do more damage than good. Many survivors share their stories online, but don’t feel pressured to share yours if you’re not ready. In fact, you may choose never to share your experience online and that’s OK. It’s your choice.
Movies and TV shows: You’re in control. Don’t force yourself to view a triggering scene to prove how resilient you are. Leave the room if an onscreen moment makes you feel uncomfortable. If you’re concerned about a movie or TV show triggering a negative response, research it ahead of time. Movie reviews and ratings can help you feel more comfortable about the content.
Some survivors feel like intimacy after sexual assault is hopeless, but there are tools to help you feel comfortable with your body again. Sex toy manufacturers are creating sensory tools to help women relax to intimate touch. Alternatively, love dolls, like the ones from California Sex Dolls, offer emotional and psychological benefits for male survivors recovering from sexual trauma.
The whirlwind of emotions after an assault can be frightening. You might even feel anger toward your own body. Rape causes you to see your body as the enemy, a violated, corrupted vessel.
Often, it’s best not to ignore these feelings, but to recognize them instead. Suppressing emotions does more harm than good, so seek out a high-quality therapist to help you navigate the emotional storm.
Relaxation techniques are also powerful ways to reconnect with your emotions and body. Both meditation and yoga are renowned for their ability to help patients manage stress, anxiety, and depression symptoms.
Any form of exercise can help you feel in control and connected with your body again. Nutritious foods and consistent rest are also important steps to follow in your self-care routine.
Prepare for airport security
Airport security is a hassle for all travelers, but it can be particularly challenging for some survivors. Thankfully, there are tips you can use to help you with your next trip.
If you are fearful or anxious about being touched, you can print out and complete a TSA notification card. Write a short phrase like “struggles being touched” or “PTSD” on your card. You’ll still have to do the screening, but it helps the security staff better understand your needs.
For pat-downs, you can request a private screening and a traveling companion can go with you. You can also request that someone of the same gender performs security screening. A TSA officer will not ask you to remove or lift clothing to reveal intimate areas.
TSA Passenger Support Specialists are another option. They are trained to communicate with travelers with specific needs to make the screening process easier.
Recovering from sexual trauma takes effort and time. Remember to surround yourself with caring, supportive people and nurture yourself from the inside out. You’re a survivor and worthy of a life filled with hope and happiness.
About The Author:
James North is a young entrepreneur, who has accomplished a great feat in the world of marketing and advertising. He is the husband of an accomplished writer and the father of two young adults. He has been contributing to a digital platform for quite some time now. He loves to share his innovative ideas and thoughts so that readers could be benefited. He loves playing cricket in his leisure time.