The figures of sexual abuse in the world are increasingly worrying. Every day, hundreds of individuals suffer sexual aggression by unscrupulous people. Victims tend to be mostly women, but there are also many male victims of abuse.
According to data from the World Health Organization (WHO), at least one in five women in the world has been a victim of sexual abuse, a violence that leaves deep scars on those who suffer it. The agency also states that half of the women victims of this type of violence know their aggressor.
What comes after a traumatic experience such as sexual abuse is a mixture of pain and guilt, that prevents the person from talking about the subject, including, in many cases, denouncing the mistreatment suffered. As most of them occur in childhood and adolescence, the fear of being questioned, of not being believed in their version of events, is often paralyzing.
Therefore, victims of abuse can often only come to terms with the fact after many years, and during that time, the traumas left by the sexual violence experienced are carried over, preventing the development of a normal life.
In this article we leave you with 5 tips that can help you overcome these traumas, so that you can heal the emotional wounds that remain after suffering an episode of sexual abuse in childhood or at any age.
What clues can indicate that a person has possibly been a victim of sexual abuse?
According to psychologists specialized in sexual abuse cases, even though each person has a different life trajectory and their particularities in the process of living with and overcoming the violence suffered may vary according to each personality, it is possible to observe points in common.
Some of the most common characteristics of people with trauma or emotional problems caused by abusive situations may be the following:
- The person avoids physical contact, and may prefer to maintain long-distance relationships, precisely because he/she does not feel comfortable talking about it, not even with the people closest to him/her, much less with a romantic partner.
- It is also difficult for a person who has been abused to associate sex with pleasure, having difficulty feeling desire and, consequently, enjoying sexual relations.
- The person finds it difficult to trust someone again, which can lead to anxiety, isolation and can be the gateway to depression.
- Many people end up developing sexual dysfunction as a result of trauma, and in less frequent cases respond with hypersexualization.
It is clear that overcoming trauma is a long and difficult process, but it is important to dispel fears, find a trusting environment to talk about it and start the process of rebuilding individuality from the beginning.
How to heal the emotional wounds of sexual abuse?
There is a lot of advice that can help you overcome the trauma of a sexual abuse episode, however, each person knows his or her own pain and experience, so it is always important to seek professional psychological help.
Psychotherapy is a great ally in dealing with the trauma of sexual abuse. Talking about the lived experience is what will allow you to leave traumatic memories behind, giving new meaning to the memories and enabling the empowerment of your life.
5 tips to help you heal emotionally from sexual abuse.
- Understand that it wasn’t your fault.
The feeling of guilt is very common in victims of sexual abuse. You must understand that the responsibility for this occurrence does not lie with you.
- Talk to someone you trust.
Silence can work against you and cause you even more emotional pain. Talk to someone you trust about what happened.
- Do activities that motivate you.
Seek out activities that lift your spirits and distract you. Exercising outdoors, jogging or doing arts and crafts can be helpful.
- Be open to new relationships.
Although it may seem difficult after an episode of abuse, it is important to gradually think about opening yourself up to starting a stable relationship.
- Seek professional help.
Psychotherapy is never too much to help you heal emotionally. Look for professionals who can lend you a hand. In the #YoDigoNoMás movement we are here to help you.
Silence never helps.
To overcome trauma and heal emotionally from an episode of sexual abuse, it is always good to talk about it with a person you trust. Thus, in addition to finding emotional support, it will also be possible to get the impetus to take the decision to report the incident to the authorities.
Remember that silence only benefits the abuser. If you have an experience to tell, do not hesitate to do so with the #YoDigoNoMas movement. We will listen to you and provide you with all the tools you need to emotionally heal a situation of sexual abuse that you have suffered in childhood or at any age.
You too can be part of the change. Join this movement, share your testimony, and encourage other victims of abuse to speak out against child sexual abuse.