Primarily affecting women, especially the younger generation, sexual abuse is a popular menace seen in almost every part of the globe. It happens to women of all ages (not necessarily underage women) and involves the nonconsensual use of force, violence or authority upon a woman or child. Even men can be victims of sexual abuse. Even though most cases of sexual abuse involve physical touch and forced intercourse, sexual violence doesn’t necessarily have to involve touching. All around the globe, it’s a crime that can land the perpetrator, many years in jail along with or without hefty penalties. Apart from Rape, the most common one, other types of sexual abuse include sexual assault, attempted rape, sodomy, and incest.
To be honest, it’s an inhumane act and no one deserves to experience sexual abuse. After the act, victims of sexual abuse often have a lot to deal with, including serious effects such as depression, PTSD, panic attacks, dissociation, sleep disorders, substance abuse, and self-harm. Some may even think of attempting suicide, especially if the act causes pregnancy or a sexually transmitted disease. But the good thing is that being sexually abused doesn’t have to be the end of life, thanks to sensitization, the law, and the power of hope. If you’ve been sexually abused, no matter how minor or major the situation is, you can always find help to get you justice and get your life back on track.
Here are some suggestions on how to seek help when you’ve been sexually abused.
Talk To A Lawyer
One of the first things to do if you or a loved one ever fall prey to a sexual abuser is to contact a sex abuse/assault attorney. The professionals from Abuse Guardian say that sexual abuse against both adults and children is widespread and taking action by contacting an attorney as soon as the incident occurs is one of the best ways to find help. By doing so, the perpetrators will be brought to justice and you will be compensated for your pain, injuries, and emotional suffering. It may not bring back your dignity or reverse the incident but it will be key towards your recovery from the victimization and the effects that follow. Sexual offenders belong behind bars and they ought to pay for your pain and suffering; it’s that simple.
Seek Support from Friends and Loved Ones
After being sexually victimized or abused, there’s a big chance you’re hurting physically and emotionally. This is not to mention the numerous mental health effects of sexual abuse as earlier mentioned. In this situation, the last thing you want is to be alone. This is the best time to reach out to your most trusted friends and family members for support, comfort, and companionship. In addition to offering you comfort and strengthening you, they could also help to see that you get justice and compensation for your suffering as earlier mentioned.
Approach A Counselor
Sexual abuse comes brings a lot of mental and emotional turmoil to the victim. Some feel that their dignity has been stripped away and start having suicidal thoughts. Some want to harm themselves, whereas others are overly depressed and the image of the perpetrator doing the act can resurface over and over in their minds in the form of flashbacks. In case your support circle isn’t helping much, it’s important to talk to a mental health therapist for help. In addition to consoling you through the trauma, they can also recommend medication and treatment that may help treat symptoms such as PTSD and depression. They can help you find meaning and purpose in your life again if the situation is so dire. You can never underestimate the importance of counseling after a traumatic event such as sexual abuse.
Join A Club/Support Group
There is magic in listening to people share their traumatic experiences. There’s always a chance that two or more people will have faced situations worse than yours and this gives you consolation. It is therapeutic to the mind and the spirit. Additionally, members of support groups encourage and support each other, especially emotionally, and even financially. Joining a support group after being sexually abused can be a great way to regain your self-confidence and get your mental health back on track while maintaining a positive attitude towards life.
Needless to reiterate, no one should have to go through the frustration of sexual abuse. It can feel as if the world is ending and your purpose in life is gone. However, it doesn’t have to turn your life into one full of agony in case it happens. The above are just a few ways you get help and ensure your health and wellbeing after being sexually abused.