Table of contents:

How to recover from sexual harassment
How to recover from sexual harassment

The main thing is not to belittle the significance of what happened and not blame yourself.

How to recover from sexual harassment
How to recover from sexual harassment

Recognize that a traumatic event has occurred

Denying an event, downplaying its significance, and distancing oneself from it are all common reactions of victims of sexual harassment. Many people say to themselves: "It happened so long ago", "Others had much worse", "It was not so scary." Men who have been harassed find it particularly difficult to admit to themselves, as a stereotype has taken hold that only women are victims.

Recognizing the trauma is very difficult, it brings up a lot of painful memories. But this is necessary. If you notice that you are belittling the meaning of what happened, tell yourself: "It happened and requires my attention."

"I deserve to acknowledge what happened to me and recover from the trauma."

Don't blame yourself

Society and the media very often transfer responsibility to the victim, and it is extremely difficult not to adopt this view on your own. You may think that you are to blame for what happened because of what you were wearing, how you behaved, what you said, or because you were in this situation at all.

But the sacrifice never nevercannot be held accountable for self-abuse.

Be aware of the possible consequences

Sexual trauma can dramatically change a person's attitude towards himself and his body, relationships with other people, and sex life. To recover from it, you need to imagine its consequences in everyday life. Here is some of them:

  • You get scared or flinching when someone approaches you, speaks to you, or touches you.
  • You are in a state of heightened alertness all the time.
  • It's hard for you to trust other people.
  • You are afraid of losing control of the situation.
  • During sex, you mentally try to think about something else.
  • You have stopped experiencing sex drive.
  • Difficulty getting aroused or reaching orgasm.
  • You feel disconnected from your body or even hate it.
  • You have painful sensations such as vulvodynia or urinary tract infections.

It is very important to understand the symptoms of trauma in your life. Then you can take action.

Define triggers

Certain words and actions can become triggers - cause negative reactions. Try to list your triggers. Under what conditions are you scared, uncomfortable, nervous? When do you feel disconnected from your body? What phrases and actions seem unsafe to you?

Making a list like this is likely to make you very upset. Therefore, also consider a list of safe actions. What activities in sex give you pleasure, seem safe? Feel free to write down everything, even the little things.

Set goals

Many victims of harassment feel as if the incident took their sex life away from them altogether. To regain your confidence, set sex goals for yourself. How would you like to see your sex life? What actions or words should be comfortable for you? How would you like to relate to your body, to yourself, to others?

Take care of yourself

Sexual trauma leads to depression, anxiety, and a host of other psychological problems. They reduce self-esteem and can even cause self-loathing. You may feel like your own body has betrayed you. Therefore, it is extremely important to take good care of yourself during this time.

Try to ignore negative thoughts and devote more time to activities that give you pleasure.

Think about when you feel most comfortable in your body? When are you happy, calm, contented? Perhaps when you are exercising, taking a bath, sitting in the sun, hugging a pet, meditating, watching movies? Try to do at least one pleasant thing for yourself every day.

Get support

You don't have to deal with the aftermath of sexual trauma alone. This is not your fault, and you deserve help. Consider which is best for you: a personal communication with a therapist or a support group.

When it gets really bad and you need to talk to someone, call the hotlines. For example, to the helpline of the Sisters charity center: 8 (499) 901-02-01. Or the telephone of the National Center for the Prevention of Violence "Anna": 8 (800) 7000-600.

Feeling supported is critical to recovering from an injury.

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