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Sexual Trauma

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“If you think that rape is wrong for the wrong reasons, you are part of the problem. The reasons we condemn rape often strengthen the same power structures that lead to rape in the first place. The common arguments against rape are also the common contributing factors to female oppression, denial of female agency and sexual violence as a tool of punishment.” Join Shreena Thakore as she deconstructs the complexities of rape culture in an Indian setting and elucidates the right reasons to think that rape is wrong. Shreena Thakore is the co-founder of No Country for Women – an organization dedicated to fighting institutionalized rape culture in India. Their work focuses on bridging the gap between academia and activism, and has gained significant national and international recognition. She studied at Brown University, USA.

… Continued: I could tell story after story of pretending to be asleep and him coming into my bedroom regardless if my mom was home or not. He raped me at 11 and a half and I ran and locked myself in the bathroom in pain. I then had a babysitter who must have been in her 20’s as I remember she had a baby. I decided that if Mary had a baby without sex then I might be able to pass off having a baby and say that I was like Mary. I understood nothing but somehow, I was frightened of getting pregnant and then explaining what had happened and I was so ashamed I did not want my mom to know. This babysitter must have thought that I was crazy, as I argued that this could happen.  Well, one day I brought home a paper to go to the…

Sometimes being an adult that suffered from child molestation or rape never leaves my mind and the repercussions of it have affected me deeply. The effect is a scar just like the kind that you receive when you’re badly injured and get stitches. I cannot speak for others as I have only had my own personal experience.  The severity of mine was very bad, it was cruel, it was terrifying, it was unmentionable and scary.  I was frightened most of my young life and it was ongoing from 7 to 17.  I was in a very innocent age at the time being born in the 50’s.  My generation did not have TV depicting much about wholesome family unit shows.  I had no Internet to look up things and asking people might have revealed something I felt ashamed, guilty, uneducated, and unknowledgeable about.  I had a small teaching of the Bible from a few Sunday School classes.  I…

The childhood trauma Lauren Book suffered robbed her of her childhood, but forced her to learn how to find her voice and rebuild her life with purpose…through her TED Talk, she challenges viewers to do what she’s been challenged to do through her journey from victim of physical, sexual and emotional abuse to struggling survivor and now thriver and internationally recognized advocate for change. Along the way, Lauren’s journey has often been three steps forward and ten steps back. Seeking to address and unearth the root cause of behaviors and decisions within her own life, and society’s take on child protection issues and child sexual abuse at large, Lauren explains how she found her driving force – her X – by choosing to face, instead of run from, some of her darkest places…and finding her (wh)Y? Lauren Book, M.S. Ed, is an internationally respected & renowned child advocate, former classroom…

One of the most discriminatory stereotypes that persist is the incorrect association between mental health problems and violent behavior. People often avoid living or socializing with people with mental health challenges because they assume people with mental health challenges are dangerous and violent. As a result, these individuals often face all sorts of discrimination and stigma which can lead to low self-esteem, isolation, and hopelessness, and may stop them from seeking mental health care. The media play a significant role in portraying that people with mental health problems are violent. There are few positive stories that highlight the recovery processes of individuals with serious mental health challenges and family members. On television, characters with mental illness are often depicted as the most dangerous of all groups. Many people believe this stereotype. However, review of research on violence and mental illness has found that the contribution of people with mental health challenges to…

As a survivor of childhood sexual abuse and a member on the Board of Trustees and an Ambassador for the charity Safeline.Org, Lydia hopes this emotional account of her personal journey can help to empower fellow survivors.  A recently approved foster carer, she acts on stage at The Priory Theatre Kenilworth in her spare time. Confidence is the belief “I can do this”. Lydia embraces this value in every aspect of her life; she wants to empower survivors and others to do and feel the same – each and every day.

They say with time it gets better They say you stop asking why They say talking helps They say writing helps They say you’re safe They say it can’t happen again They say he can’t reach you again They say relax They say be happy They say stop looking over your shoulder THEY don’t know that the fear never stops, never goes away, the shadows never leave, and the hands never stop. THEY don’t know that he is always behind me, reminding me, reliving it, and never forgetting. THEY don’t know. – Z.T.

“You feel as if the world is rushing at you. Noises become very pronounced and it makes your head swim. Sometimes you find it difficult to focus, sometimes you feel disoriented. Your heart rate soars and you become very aware of your breathing. And you sometimes have pins and needles in your hands or a sudden tension across your shoulders. Other times you feel an intense bolt of fear, which makes you want to move away but roots you to the spot…like when you’re dreaming and want to scream but no sound comes out. The attacks pass quickly but arrive with no warning. You know they go away eventually, so it takes a little of the edge off…” According to research almost everyone will experience an anxiety (panic)attack at least once in their life time. People who behave more anxiously than normal often experience many anxiety attacks. Approximately 3 percent…

Sexual assault teaches victims that their bodies are not really their own. Victims often report feelings such as shame, terror, and guilt, and many blame themselves for the assault. In the aftermath of a sexual assault, survivors face extremely difficult and painful emotions and experiences. Every survivor responds to traumatic events in their own way. It is important to note that: Sexual assault is never a victim’s fault. Sexual assault is a crime motivated by a need to control, humiliate, and harm. If the victim does not fight the acts, it does not mean consent. Also when sexual assault is referred to as the act of “forcing a victim to perform sexual acts…” that ‘force’ does not only mean physical force, but includes manipulation, coercion, threats, and situations where a person is unable to give consent. Sexual assault can have a variety of short- and – long term effects on…

Every day now in the news, we learn of various cases of rape and sexual abuse. On the one hand is the incident and on the other is how perpetrators respond when accused, and how it is handled by the authorities. Both the response and outcome are crucially important. A good response, in addition to a satisfactory resolution in court can at least do some good (sincere apologies, and where there’s lack of one – seeing perpetrators get a full  conviction for what they did, can be healing). But when nothing happens, it not only exacerbates the harm of the first injury, it also inflicts new injury, and makes it difficult for the victim to recover. It is very important to be a good listener when a friend or loved one discloses a difficult or upsetting experience like sexual assault or harassment, it is called giving the gift of presence.…