Welcome back to our continued series on surviving sexual abuse and assault. In our previous post, we examined the statistics on abuse and assault reporting and the aftereffects of these traumatic events on the victim's mental health and well-being. We also briefly looked at the different therapies that have been used to treat these lingering effects successfully.
Legacy Freedom offers survivors a staff who is experienced in working with the debilitating effects of sexual assault and abuse. Our brand of Columbus mental health service cannot be beat. Our care team is highly trained in helping our patients learn to cope with depression, anxiety, post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), eating disorders, insomnia and other manifestations of these events. Together, you and your team will create a care plan that is entirely focused on you, your needs and your interests. We offer more than ten different types of alternative therapies to help you heal and empower you with new coping skills. Utilizing traditional talk therapy in both groups and one-on-one sessions allows you to connect with yourself and your feelings and find support among survivors just like you. We also understand that involving friends, family and loved ones in your care and healing process is critical so we offer opportunities to include them as it is appropriate.
When someone you love has been sexually assaulted or abused it is important to help support them as they begin to cope with these experiences. Here are some of the ways you can contribute to support your loved one as they heal:
- Choose your words carefully. Some who have endured these experiences have difficulty with the words 'victim' or 'survivor.' They may not be ready to accept either of these labels as they begin to navigate their healing journey. It is important to allow them to tell you how they wish to be referred to. You may also be able to ascertain their preference by listening to them talk about themselves after the experience. If the words you are using are making them uncomfortable, be open to that feedback and meet it with acceptance and understanding.
- Believe and empower those who were abused. As difficult as it may be for you to hear someone you love or care about say they were assaulted or abused, it is equally hard for the person to tell you. Many victims wait years before telling anyone about the incident. Believe them and encourage them to seek help from law enforcement, therapists or support groups, whichever is appropriate for the situation.
- Be aware of triggers. Triggers can be many different things, depending on the person. These may be sounds, situations or smells that remind the person who was assaulted or abused of the attacker or of the attack itself. Help identify these triggers and work to cope with these situations as they arise. Often, positive reassurance and a gentle reminder to use their coping techniques are enough to help diffuse the situation and restore calm and control.
When in doubt, ask your loved one what they need. If the day has been particularly challenging, encourage them to indulge in a hot bath, read a book, or enjoy a sweet treat. Be open to listening and discussing the event, their treatment goals or their struggles. Ensure that you find a support system for yourself as well. As your loved one heals and shares with you, you may find that you are overwhelmed or becoming anxious or depressed. It is crucial for you to have someone to turn to for help and support.
Columbus Mental Health Service You Can Trust
When you are ready to heal, or if you are concerned about someone you love, give Legacy Freedom of Columbus a call. Your journey towards healing begins today.