• Aisha Marie Sho

Overcoming Sexual Abuse

Sexual abuse can take many forms and it can leave its survivors feeling powerless with nowhere to turn. Note that I use the word survivor with intention - I will not refer to those who have been sexual traumitized as victims, that will only serve to enhance their victimization. They have survived a trauma and that should be recognized. Those who have experienced sexual abuse often choose to remain silent, for fear of the stigma attached to being a victim. Statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention state that 1 in 5 in women will either face rape or sexual assault at some point in their lives. With odds like this, it is necessary that those with a voice speak out against sexual assault and raise awareness.

Recovering from sexual trauma can leave the survivor with an overwhelming and unshakable sense of shame. Feeling dirty and worthless are common words used to describe the state of one in recovery. Many experience PTSD which keeps the survivor in a continuous loop of traumatization. In order to break this perilous cycle it is necessary that the survivor reaches out and reaches within. What I mean by that is, reach out and seek help. Seek therapy, find a licensed therapist, psychologist or psychiatrist in your area and speak to them about what you’re going through. There are many different types of therapy, such as cognitive behavioral therapy and EMDR, which can be used to heal and work through the trauma.

Meditate; I find that this helps tremendously. Meditation helps you to get in touch with what you are truly feeling. Allow the racing and repetitive thoughts to come and go and focus on relaxing. Find yourself in the moment amongst the chaos and fear that you feel inside. Remember that you are stronger than your circumstances, and just as you survived the attack, you can survive the negative thoughts of your own mind.

Overcoming sexual abuse and trauma is no easy task. The path of healing is a journey that one should not take alone. Reach out to those who support you and find the courage within to rise above the happenstance and create a new reality based on your own availability to love yourself to recovery.