Sexual Trauma and Domestic Violence Resources

The Ripple Effect:  Healing and Possibility

Living in fear is exhausting.  Many of my interactions at this point are with people who are worried about what is not only happening now but also about what is going to happen next.  Living with uncertainty is difficult for many reasons, but perhaps especially now. Anxieties are up across the planet, and as a result, many people are at risk of a variety of mental health issues and challenges.  Living with chronic stress takes a toll, whether it is because of what is happening now, our fears about what will happen, or because fear was there before the pandemic. Many are at risk of depression, substance abuse, physical and sexual abuse, and of course additional health issues, because our bodies are at risk of breaking down through the experience of living in a state of heightened worry.  What can we do when our hearts are racing along with our thoughts, and when our nervous systems go offline?  How can we stay present in the moment, take care of ourselves and those around us, when fear seems to threaten and overwhelm everything else?

There is a lot of value to living in the moment.  We cannot control what has happened or what will happen, but I am safe in this moment.  Let me say that again…I am safe in this moment.  In the space between here and what happens next, I am reassured knowing that is the case.  But this is not the case for everyone out there as I watch the statistics and incidents of domestic violence rise across the planet. People are in crisis because of the pandemic, but many were in crisis before.  If this is you, if you are unsafe for any reason, reach out, get support, and know that you are not alone.  

For Help NOW:

Domestic Violence:  https://www.thehotline.org/help/ 

Sexual Abuse/Assault:  https://www.rainn.org/about-national-sexual-assault-telephone-hotline

Your pain is real, your experience counts, and you deserve better.  Anyone who has ever experienced abuse on any level deserves better. The global crisis may appear to be overshadowing your experience, but your feelings are valid, and so are you.  Your story matters and so do you.

If you are safe now, but you were in the process of healing before this happened, be aware that you are still absolutely in the flow.  However, you may need to slow down, eddy out, and adjust your process for a time while we get through this.  Give yourself permission to take a break when you need, and put your past, present,  and future worries on the shelf when you need to.  Taking a break is perhaps the kindest thing you can do for your continued healing now, and there is purpose in that on a greater level. Use this as an opportunity to give yourself a corrective experience. 

Through ongoing abuse, our boundaries are violated, over and over again.  Through a perpetrator’s  intrusive actions, we are at risk of believing that what we want does not matter, and that our boundaries are meaningless.  What you want does matter, but abuse tells us otherwise. Perhaps you even think that you deserved what happened. You didn’t. Give yourself permission to have boundaries now.  If you are not a hundred percent right now (who is?) then adjust your day to match wherever you are once you take the pulse. If you are at 60% for example, then adjust your day accordingly by finding space and pulling back however you can. Your energy is precious so use it wisely.  Ask for what you need and be able to say no.  You get to say no.

We cannot change what happened back there, what is happening now, or what will happen tomorrow, but we can use this as an opportunity to give ourselves the acknowledgement we need.  This type of correction can have a profound effect on other areas and on other times. The ripple effect goes backwards and forwards. Giving myself love, kindness, and permission to make my needs a priority now can bring compassion to wounds that are still healing, and perhaps give me additional resources and strength to get through what is yet to come.

Clear Reflections

Am I safe?  (If you are not get help immediately)

What do I need?  How can I get my needs met?

What have I already done to heal from what happened?  What can I do now to amplify previous success?

How can I adjust my schedule in order to take care of myself right now?  How am I doing with establishing my boundaries?  What can I say no to?

What am I doing now that can have a ripple effect on what happened back there? On what is yet to come?

What am I learning now that will give me resources and strength to deal with additional challenges?

You are a survivor.  You will survive this too.

Resources

National Resources for Sexual Assault Survivors and their Loved Ones | RAINN

Home – The Blue Bench

Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault – Denver DA

Resources for Sexual Assault Survivors

Resources Specific to Victims of Sexual Abuse

Sexual Abuse

Rape Crisis Services | Colorado Coalition Against Sexual Assault

HOME | durango-saso

WINGS Foundation, Inc.

Sexual Abuse Resources – PublicHealth.org

International Domestic Violence Resource Guide: Coronavirus Update



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