I use the term survivor because I rose above what has happened to me and became stronger.
"Did he actually not think what he did was wrong? Or does he just not want to get caught?"
How we handle a disclosure from a loved one can either help or hinder the healing process.
No matter when or if someone comes forward with their story, it does not make it any less true.
Many factors can lead you to question if you were sexually assaulted or not.
Sexual assault is common, with incidents usually occurring between people that know each other. While there’s a big difference between being attacked by a stranger and having consent violated by a partner, the pain and degradation that results is much the same.
When the most common questions after an assault like this are, “why didn’t you fight back?” or “why didn’t you report it right away?” victims can be made to feel interrogated, demeaned, and further victimized. I hope that the following story can explain a little more about why people aren’t always capable of doing so.
TRIGGER WARNING: Sexuality, Coarse Language, Sexual Assault
Learning that your partner has experienced sexual abuse can be devastating. No one wants anyone they care about to be harmed. You might be feeling sadness for your partner, anger at their abuser, confused about what to do, or anything in between.
If you’re in this situation and you want to support your partner, here are some things you can do to help:
You’ve probably heard of the flight or fight response, but what is less talked about is the freeze response. This response is very common with sexual assault. While the brain uses this method to try to survive a threat, society will often view freezing or lack of fighting as a sign of consent and as a way to blame the survivor for not trying to stop the attack.
This is NOT the case. When your brain freezes, this happens outside of conscious thought; you don’t get to choose not to freeze.
While 1 in 3 Canadian women will be sexually assaulted in their lifetime, sexual offences are less likely than any other violent crime to result in a guilty verdict. Only 5% of sexual assaults are reported to police. The Government of Canada statistics say that an estimated 0.3% of perpetrators of sexual assault are held accountable, whereas over 99% are not. Time and time again we see sexual assault charges being thrown out or dismissed. And even if the person is convicted, the sentence usually isn’t too harsh. So, what should we do as sexual assault survivors? Should we report what happened to us or not?
Written for you, by therapists.
NWO’s source for all things relationships, mental health, wellness, and lifestyle: Kelly Magazine is a mental health outreach initiative created by Kelly Mental Health and supported by Kelly Mental Health Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to improving the community in the area of mental health.
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