Strategies for Recovering from Sexual Abuse

    Sexual Abuse
    Sexual Abuse

    Around 81% of women and 42% of men report having experienced some type of sexual abuse in their lifetime. Moreover, one in five women experienced completed or attempted rape during their lifetime. Sexual abuse has a host of long-term consequences for one’s physical and mental health. These include having a higher likelihood of chronic health conditions (including heart disease) and psychological effects (including anxiety and depression). If you have experienced sexual abuse, it is important to take key steps to mitigate these long-term effects.

    Seeking Help from an Experienced Therapist

    In order to move past your trauma, seeing a qualified, experienced therapist can help. This is because being a victim of sexual abuse is traumatic and many who experience it go on to develop conditions like depression, anxiety, and PTSD. Your therapist can recommend a number of different approaches, including psychotherapy (cognitive-behavioral therapy and dialectical behavior therapy), group therapy, ketamine infusion therapy, and more. A therapist can help you feel sexually healthy once again, improve your physical health by addressing and treating the effects of sexual violence, and help you feel more in control once again.

    Battling Stress Daily

    In addition to receiving any therapy recommended by a professional therapist, you should also aim to battle stress through mindfulness-based activities such as meditation, yoga, and controlled breathing. A 2016 study by researchers at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill has shown that yoga has potential benefits for teaching mental health issues related to trauma. Yoga and mindfulness meditation, meanwhile, have been found in study after study to lower levels of stress hormone, cortisol. When this hormone is chronically present at high levels, it is linked to a bevy of health problems, including heart disease, Type 2 diabetes, and obesity.

    Seeking Legal Recourse

    If you know the identity of your abuser, then seeing a specialist sex abuse law firm is an important step. Reporting a case of sexual assault and starting criminal and civil processes can be intimidating at first, but it can help give you closure and help you heal from your trauma. It can also ensure that the person who harmed you does not do the same to other victims. When choosing a firm, go for a team that has expertise in the area of sexual abuse, understands your needs as a survivor, and is committed to seeing your case until its conclusion.

    Building a Support Group

    After sexual abuse, you can feel more vulnerable. If you are bringing a lawsuit against your abuser, then you can also feel more stressed than usual. There are dedicated sexual abuse support groups, but it is also vital to build your own personal network comprising family and/or friends you can turn to when you need to talk or when you feel lonely. This network can also advocate for your rights and support you at key stages—including after therapy sessions, meetings with law enforcement and your legal team, and similar.

    If you have been through sexual abuse, it is important to know that this traumatic experience can have long-term effects on your health. Seeing a professional therapist can help you recover more quickly and feel stronger and more confident. Seeing a lawyer, meanwhile, can help you obtain much-need closure. Finally, engaging in mindful pursuits such as yoga, meditation, and controlled breathing can aid in stress relief.

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