Sexual violence is shockingly common in our society. In some Asian, African, and Middle Eastern countries, that figure is even higher. Regardless of age or gender, the impact of sexual violence goes far beyond any physical injuries. The trauma of being raped or sexually assaulted can be shattering, leaving you feeling scared, ashamed, and alone or plagued by nightmares, flashbacks, and other unpleasant memories.
Strategies That Helped Me Build a Healthy Relationship After Sexual Assault
How to Build a Healthy Relationship After Sexual Assault
Hypervigilance is one of the hallmark symptoms of trauma. It can look many different ways: military veterans who dive for cover when a car backfires, people who startle easily and always feel on edge, or folks who go into panic mode when experiencing certain triggers. It makes sense as a survival strategy. If the type of trauma you experienced was abuse or assault, then you were hurt by a person or people. And when we know our abuser, there is a breach of trust and emotional harm inherent in the assault.
Trusting Your Memories of Sexual Abuse
With many survivors breaking the silence, we have learned that there are shared reactions and experiences as survivors heal from childhood sexual abuse. It is important to find someone to talk to about your experiences and feelings, either someone you know and trust, or a counselor. It is important to know that childhood sexual trauma is not gender specific. The average age for the first time of the abuse is 8 years and 4 months old 1in6. Survivors of childhood sexual abuse may believe that since the abuse happened so long ago it would be better not to rehash the past.
When you've been in an emotionally abusive relationship, opening yourself up to love again is an uphill battle. You want to trust and love again but you can't help but worry that you'll fall for another manipulative, controlling type. While it's easy to fall back into the same old pattern, you're entirely capable of breaking it. Below, psychiatrists and other mental health experts share 9 tips on how to approach a relationship if you've been scarred by an emotionally abusive partner. Being in a toxic relationship can leave you with lasting emotional scars -- and you've probably given plenty of thought to why you stayed with your ex for as long as you did.