We understand that many of the readers of our blog will have personal experience with sexual violence. We ask that survivors understand that this blog will often contain triggering words and ideas, and that we cannot be responsible for all comments.
You may read some things that you may already be familiar with and other information that may be new to you. Because we know that sexual trauma affects everyone, directly and/or indirectly, we also recognize that many of our readers will have a reaction to this information. Learning about the dynamics of sexual violence can evoke a range of emotions and will have an impact on you at some point – whether today or sometime in the future. Here are some things to keep in mind.
We are all survivors of sexual trauma and/or know a survivor. This is a given based on the statistics that repeatedly indicate epidemic levels of sexual violence in our society. Due to prevalent misunderstandings, myths, and misinformation about the dynamics and realities of sexual violence, there are likely people that may have experienced sexual trauma but not yet identified it as such. Similarly, because of the taboo and stigma associated with sexual violence, you may have a loved one who is a survivor but you don’t know it because they have not disclosed this to you. For this reason, it is important to be considerate of other’s perspectives and experiences and to be respectful in any discussion of the topics you read on this blog.
It is also important to note that something you read may bring about an emotional intensity similar to that experienced at the time of a sexual trauma. Whereas this can be extremely uncomfortable, it may also be viewed as your body’s way of letting you know there is something going on internally that is unresolved and may need to be addressed – similar to how a fever is the body’s way of letting us know we may have an illness that requires attention and treatment. With this awareness, there is a greater likelihood of seeking support for and healing from the trauma.
There also may be readers who recognize their own abusive and/or unhealthy behaviors in some of our articles. If such a realization occurs and it makes you uncomfortable, again, this new awareness should be viewed as an opportunity to examine your behaviors and ways of interacting with others, and to consider the impacts of that behavior.
Regardless of how you are affected, please remember you are not alone and that there are options for support. STAR has a 24-hr hotline that can be reached at (225) 383-7273.