There are several treatments available for survivors of sexual abuse. A therapist can assess a person’s situation and determine which treatment is most appropriate.
The following therapies are commonly used to treat sexual abuse:
In-depth therapy focuses on a person’s unconscious thoughts, feelings, and memories. In therapy, a person can learn how unconscious emotions affect conscious behavior. As self-awareness increases, a person may learn to recognize and change problem behaviors.
Eye Movement Desensibilization and Recycling (EMDR) therapy uses precise eye movements to help “reprogram” the brain. EMDR can change the way a victim handles memories of violence. In this way, the memory appears less present and dangerous.
Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) can teach survivors to let go of dysfunctional patterns of thinking and behavior. In therapy, survivors can work to reduce anxiety through mindfulness exercises.
Play therapy can help young children who are sexually abused. Young children may not understand what happened or be unable to express their feelings. Play therapy can help children express their feelings and help them process difficult memories.
Sexual therapy can help adults who may have intimacy problems after recovering from sexual abuse. It is not recommended for people who are still learning to deal with trauma. Sex therapy can help couples or individuals.
Treatment is usually confidential. There are exceptions in cases of child sexual abuse. If a therapist has reason to believe a child is being abused, they are required by law to report the abuse to authorities. Pediatricians, teachers, and other professionals are also required to report.
Even if the physical wounds heal, the psychological wounds of survivors may still remain. Recovering from sexual assault or abuse takes time. It is important for victims to be patient with themselves and practice self-care.
A husband and wife are exercising outdoors along the river. If you are recovering from sexual abuse, you may not be motivated to carry out daily activities. Yet your body still needs nutrition and sleep. Physical health and mental health are closely related. Even basic routines can make a person feel more “in control.”
You may also want to find an outlet for your emotions. Some people exercise to feel good and energetic. Others record their feelings in a journal or express their feelings through art. Any activity that makes you happy will help you.
It is recommended to pay close attention to content alerts when interacting with media. If you’re not sure if a book or story will bother you, feel free to read it in a private place. If you run into a trigger, you can always close the book or turn off the computer. Even if you’re enjoying a movie with friends, you can leave the theater if something bothers you. You don’t have to prioritize other people’s feelings over your own mental health.
You owe nothing to anyone. You do not have to answer all the questions. You don’t have to answer anyone’s questions, not even close friends or family. If you want only certain people to know your story, you can ask those people to keep it secret. You can control your narrative.
No recovery scheduled. If you heal quickly, your resilience won’t make the attack any less serious. You’re also “weak” if it takes longer to recover. No one else can tell you how you feel about your situation.
Gender violence is a sensitive topic. If you have a loved one who has survived a sexual assault, you may not know how to handle the situation. Here are some tips to help survivors.
Trust your loved ones who tell you they have been abused not reported due to stigma, rape and other forms of sexual harassment People often avoid telling the truth for fear of blaming the victims. If someone tells you about their sexual harassment, they tend to trust you a lot.
False abuse claims are extremely rare. The false reporting rate for sexual assault is lower than the false reporting rate for other crimes. If you don’t want to suspect your loved one’s return, your suspicions of their rape are probably groundless.
Think about your language: Rape jokes can minimize the trauma of sexual assault. It can also trigger flashbacks or panic attacks in survivors.
When talking about sexual harassment, follow the example of those you love. This article uses the term “survivor,” but not everyone wants to call her that. Some people prefer to be called victims, feeling that “survival” is a disrespectful word.
A woman comforting a crying friend. Because of the stigma of sexual violence, communities can deport the victim. Survivors sometimes blame themselves for the abuses, especially if they know the perpetrator. You may need to remind the person that the abuse was not their fault.
Sexual abuse can leave permanent scars. Recovery may take longer than expected. Even if an attack happened a long time ago, you may still need to stay in touch with the person.
Use the resources at your disposal. Remember, it’s not your job to look for evidence of physical abuse or harassment. It is not your business to punish the criminal.