Sexual harassment or a sexual assault is one of the most painful and traumatic experiences someone can go through and sadly, this type of thing happens far more often than we might like to think. That has been one of the ultimate takeaways from the #MeToo movement, which has seen countless women and men come forward to discuss their experiences of sexual harassment and assault, as they try to hold the perpetrators accountable. This has been a very powerful movement that has led to the downfall of countless celebrities, news personalities, and powerful business people.
However, this movement goes well beyond just a way to get justice for wrongdoing. For the women and men who have come out to share their experiences, this has been a powerful form of self-care and a vital part of their road to recovery. As the professional online therapists at Talkspace point out, self-care, especially for victims of sexual crimes, is incredibly important but particularly difficult. This type of assault and harassment is especially pernicious and can have wide-reaching implications in the lives of the victims.
One of the things that therapists like those at Talkspace continually point out is that the road to recovery after any sort of trauma is going to be long and sometimes arduous. There is such a wide range of emotions and responses associated with sexual harassment and assault, that it can be particularly difficult, especially since so many victims feel helpless, shame, or even some level of guilt over what happened to them. This is why it often takes years, if not decades, for people to come forward and admit to having been through an experience like this.
Talkspace Defines Self-Care
Self-care is a difficult thing to define, as professionals at Talkspace note, because everyone heals in different ways and at different speeds. What self-care in this case ultimately involves is being able to discuss what happened to you, abdicate any responsibility you think you might have, seek justice if that is important to you, and learn how to cope and move forward after the experience. You have to be patient with yourself. Many mental health professionals describe how sexual harassment and assault can lead to post-traumatic stress disorder, which is a serious condition that needs to be handled with care.
Therapists at Talkspace know that guilt and shame are two of the most powerful and commonly associated emotions that people feel after experiencing sexual harassment or assault. Survivors question themselves, their actions, their culpability. They may feel shame or guilt in calling out the perpetrator or worry that people may not believe them if they do come out with their stories. And sadly, the past does not do much to quell these concerns. One of the best things to come out of the #MeToo movement is that victims have more confidence in coming out with their experiences, knowing that the climate is supportive and they are going to be believed and get the support that they need.
Sometimes, the biggest part of self-care after sexual harassment or assault involves finding a neutral party that you can discuss your experiences with. Many people who have experienced sexual crimes keep it inside and don’t even talk about it with those that are close to them. This is clear as we have seen many of the victims coming forward recently are describing assaults that they have kept to themselves for years or even decades. This means that they have held their experiences inside, suffering in silence, often having lost the ability to trust in the legal and judicial process.
Expertise From The Therapists
As the therapists at Talkspace have pointed out, regaining trust and confidence after harassment or assault can be a long and difficult road, and this is especially true if one has been holding in their experiences for many years. Self-care in this case involves not only talking about your experiences and learning how to love and trust again, but forgiving yourself and regaining your own sense of agency and control over your life. Being harassed or assaulted has a way of removing the victim’s agency over their lives. Once one has started on the road to recovery, they slowly start to take that power back from the perpetrators of their trauma.
The #MeToo movement has opened a floodgate, allowing victims who have been suffering in silence to come forward and share their experiences and even hold those responsible accountable for their actions. It is an opportunity to discuss those experiences and to attempt to tackle what is a quiet but enduring problem in our society. This wellspring has allowed many victims the opportunity to talk about what happened to them and to learn how to trust and recover from their trauma. It allows victims to forgive, learn how to love and trust again, and to reclaim their agency over their lives, which is incredibly powerful, indeed.
Learn more about the service, and the therapy that they provide on the Talkspace Instagram.