What is sexual abuse?
Sexual abuse or assault can happen in many ways and it can happen to anyone. Men, women, and children are all affected by sexual abuse and no matter when the sexual abuse happened in your life the effects of the trauma can persist throughout the lifespan if it is not processed or treated. Many people suffer in silence from the scars of childhood sexual abuse, date rape, prison sexual assault or rape and this silent suffering is what creates the barrier to healing. By reaching out for support and breaking your silence with a trained trauma professional you can begin to heal.
What if it was my fault?
One of the most common effects of the trauma of sexual abuse or assault for most victims is the feeling that they caused or asked for the trauma. This is NOT true. Whether you were a child who was molested by a trusted family member or friend or someone who was forced to have sex against their will with someone they knew (date rape), it is not your fault. It is important to seek help from a well trained professional to help you process the event and your response to it in a non-judgmental supportive way.
How does sexual abuse treatment help?
Treatment for trauma helps in two key ways. One is to help you process the trauma and your thoughts and feelings associated with it and the second is teaching you skills to manage anxiety, depression, flashbacks, and other distressing responses associated with trauma. By providing support, skills, and a safe non-judgmental place to process your experience healing can occur no matter how long ago the trauma was. Sexual abuse affects one’s ability to experience healthy intimate relationships and feel safe in the world. Psychotherapy may allow you to finally trust your judgment, make better choices and feel safe in the world you live in.