#metoo brought about a lot of awareness around Sexual Trauma - both negatively and positively. It became clear just how many survivors there were, and many survivors got push back for the fact that they came forward with this information. Were they telling the truth? What was their intention for coming forward now? Why did they wait so long?
Statistics about Sexual Trauma
1 in 4 women are Survivors of Sexual Trauma
1 in 6 men are Survivors of Sexual Trauma
1 in 5 people are Survivors of Sexual Trauma
So, lets take a moment to answer some of these common questions that people have asked with the #metoo movement.
Why DID the Survivor wait SO long to come forward?
Coming forward about being a Survivor of Sexual Trauma is much more complicated and painful than most people understand. I want you to take a moment for a second to imagine the most painful thing that you have experienced. Maybe it is embarrassing, humiliating or angering. How many people have you talked to about this? Probably not many. When we have an experience that is really personal and evokes a lot of emotion, it can be really difficult to think about sharing it with others, because it is unknown how they will respond.
Why wouldn’t a Survivor come forward sooner?
Were they telling the truth?
It is not my job to figure out if someone is being honest about coming forward. To come forward with this kind of information is SO difficult, anxiety inducing, and down right SCARY. Many people make judgments on a Survivor after they come out with this information and can often speak out against the Survivor. The Survivor risks many people knowing such personal information about them. There are many risks that a Survivor takes when they decide to come forward about Sexual Trauma. Therefore, the most supportive action that can be taken with a Survivor is to validate their experience and believe them.
Why did they come out with this NOW?
It is a very common feeling for many to feel alone in what they are experiencing. This leaves us feeling very isolated and alone. To know that we ARE NOT ALONE in our suffering can be so relieving. To know that someone else has experienced and understands similar pain brings peace. To know that there is the opportunity for community and support from others can help Survivors feel seen, heard, and felt. Survivors often do not come forward about Sexual Trauma for attention - in fact, most Survivors don’t come out sooner because they don’t want people to know that this happened to them, it is very shameful.
Is there a Survivor in your life? How can you move towards providing support and validation for them?
“There are wounds that never show on the body that are deeper and more hurtful than anything that bleeds.”
- Laurell K. Hamilton
Nurtured Hearts Counseling's Blog
I am a Licensed Therapist in Lone Tree, Colorado and my goal for this blog is to explore taboo subjects that no one is willing to talk about and I am eager to bring awareness to.