Lately it seems like sexual violence is everywhere. If you’re a survivor, or know a survivor (and more than likely – you do), it might feel like you can’t get away from it. What I know as a sexual trauma therapist is that among all of the heartbreak, disappointment, shock and controversy in the media right now is also an overwhelming amount of bravery, courage, strength, advocacy and important voices to be heard.
My heart goes out to any who have been struggling with sexual violence, and who may be struggling a little more right now than ever. I hope you know that you’re not alone. I hope you know that among the public accounts of victim blaming and shaming, there are also people who BELIEVE you and SUPPORT you. I am one of them, as well as many of my colleagues.
The president stated that right now is a “scary time for young men”. No, no it’s not. Assuming that it’s a scary time for all young men is assuming that all young men will sexually assault, which isn’t true.
It’s assuming that when survivors come forward with their story they’re lying, which also isn’t true. It’s a time to talk with young people (all genders) about what consent is and looks like and it’s a time to believe survivors when they say this happened. It’s a time to call out victim blaming when we see it, and to hold abusers accountable.
There are people in power in our country right now who have sexually harmed others, and even bragged about it; please recognize this and be critical of their statements on sexual violence. They choose not to be informed, but you can choose otherwise. If you’re confused about this or disagree, please, please reach out and get more informed on the facts of sexual violence and how sexual trauma impacts a person.
To all survivors: I’m so sorry and I’m here if you need to talk.