Why is psychological support for victims of sexual abuse important?

Why is psychological support for victims of sexual abuse important?

All people are different, and every situation can have a greater or lesser impact according to our personality, beliefs, values, among other traits. However, mental health professionals agree that dealing with experiences such as sexual abuse has a huge impact on the life of the person who suffers from it and, in all cases, it is necessary to have psychological support.

Although there may be therapies that work better for some people than for others, psychological support is essential to adequately process the trauma, heal many wounds that can affect the rest of one’s life, and identify the development of mental illnesses and disorders.

Did you know that sexual abuse can seriously affect mental health? Below, you can find some figures about it:

– A survivor of sexual abuse is 4 times more likely to develop symptoms of substance abuse.

– 33% of women who have been victims of rape have contemplated suicide.

– A survivor of sexual abuse is 4 times more likely to experience post-traumatic stress disorder.

– 13% of women who have been victims of rape have attempted suicide.

– A survivor of sexual abuse is 3 times more vulnerable to depressive episodes in adulthood.

In addition to the physical consequences, sexual abuse has serious repercussions on the mental health of the person who suffers it. Not having psychological support will undoubtedly aggravate the consequences.

Why is psychological support important in cases of sexual abuse?

There are many physical, emotional, and psychological ruptures generated by sexual violence, and although it is not easy to talk about this type of experience and seek help, psychological support is necessary to process the trauma in the best possible way. Find below some of the reasons why you should have psychological support.

A safe space to talk is required. Verbalizing a situation of sexual abuse is often difficult for the person who was sexually abused. Often, people who experience this remain silent for years. It is important that they find a space in which they can share what happened to them without being judged, stigmatized, accused of lying, or pressured to remain silent. Therefore, a mental health professional with experience in this type of trauma can enable the survivor of sexual abuse to share his or her experience without fear.

It is important that the survivor feels heard and that their experience is validated. Support groups can be very positive spaces for survivors to talk about their experience. Not only can they feel heard, but they can also meet people who have gone through the same thing and understand what they have experienced. If a survivor of sexual abuse is unable to express themselves adequately, they may develop disorders such as depression, eating disorders, and addictions, among others.

Releasing feelings and emotions is necessary. Holding back feelings and emotions after a traumatic event such as sexual abuse can have very negative effects on the victim. Relying on a professional to help you verbalize what happened, register emotions, and find a balance is essential in the process of overcoming the trauma and healing the wounds.

You may also be interested in: What is the impact of sexual abuse on physical and mental health?

You are not alone

Overcoming sexual abuse is not a process that can be handled alone. Although many aspects of the healing process can be worked on autonomously, it is necessary to have psychological support in order to overcome such a traumatic experience.

In the #YoDigoNoMas Movement, we are aware that talking about the experience of sexual abuse constitutes 80% of the healing process. Therefore, we want to tell you that you are not alone, and if you feel that you cannot find someone you trust to share your story with, in our Movement you can find the right space to break the silence, as well as several resources to understand how to face this situation and start your healing process. Learn more about our Movement and join our cause.