Sexual trauma is a term used to describe any inappropriate, intentional behavior: (physical touching, visually showing them pornographies, or flashing genitals and verbal threats to sexual acts) that is intended to give the offender some form of sexual gratification.
It also describes any residual trauma around sexuality and sexual experience, including sexual abuse, assault, and violence.
According to research from 2017 and studies from past histories, the long-term effects of sexual trauma include:
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Severe distress
- Substance use disorder
- Increased risk of unplanned pregnancy or sexually transmitted infections (STIs)
It’s possible to recover from these effects no matter your age, sex, gender, or where you’re at in your healing journey.
It isn’t going to be easy but doing it consistently would help you transform and be the best version of yourself.
During the healing process, you would experience feelings of helplessness, shame, self-blame, and guilt but note they aren’t your reality except you give them the power to control you.
The following tips can also be helpful in your healing process:
Share And Discuss Your Story:
It will be challenging to open up and reveal your experience, but sharing is vital in your healing process.
- Tell someone who you trust and who can be a support system:
Do you have a best friend or family member who always listens and trusts your words? Allow that person into your life and share your experience. It will be challenging, but knowledge sharing helps release the burden you have been holding onto for days, months, or years.
- Join a support group:
A support group for survivors of sexual abuse can also be of more help to you while healing. They will help you feel less isolated, lonely, and alone. You also find people who understand what you passed through and can share your experiences with them.
There will also be access to invaluable information on coping with the symptoms and working towards recovery.
If you can’t find a support group in your society, look for an online group.
- Talk to a therapist:
Book a session with a trauma-informed th, therapist if you feel a best friend, family member, or support group won’t work for you.
Healing is a gradual and ongoing process; it doesn’t happen overnight. The memories can also make life complicated, but there are steps you can take to cope with the symptoms:
- Take time to rest and restore your body’s balance
- Take care of yourself physically
- Avoid alcohol and drugs
Do What Inspires Or Empowers You:
Find things that make you feel powerful and in control. Focus on what works best for you and not everyone’s choice.
It could be any of these:
- Having a new hairstyle
- Singing in front of a crowd
- Joining a book club
You can also read helpful resources for survivors:
- RAINN’s website or mobile app
- Women Against Rape (WAR)
- The Body Keeps The Score: Bessel Vander Kolk, MD