Depression, anxiety, insomnia and hypertension: These are just some of the long-term physical and mental problems that women survivors of sexual assault can face, according to a study published in JAMA Internal Medicine.
The study, authored by researchers at the University of Pittsburg, University Hospital Zurich and the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, assessed and questioned 304 non-smoking women between the ages of 40 and 60. Among the group, 19 percent reported experiencing sexual harassment, 22 percent reported experiencing sexual assault and 10 percent reported both.
Women who reported experiencing sexual assault were three times more likely to experience depression and twice as likely to experience anxiety in comparison with women who did not report being sexually assaulted, according to the study.
“In a sense the body is telling the story,” Nancy Krieger, a Harvard TH. Chan School of Public Health professor who was not involved in the study told CNN. “Not everyone is able and willing to identify what happened to them, but that doesn’t prevent the body from having opinions about it and expressing them.”
Sexual Assault – Harassment Trauma
Sexual healers have long been aware that there is a connection between sexual assault – harassment or abuse trauma and its effects on the body. Sexual healing sessions that include somatic treatment invariably find places in the body where the trauma refers and where there is typically discomfort, or numbness, and which trigger strong emotions.
The Body Knows
Emotional wounds from sexual assault – harassment or abuse trauma can fester and create referring symptoms which impact and limit the body’s health and normal function. Mental impairment and emotional armoring contribute to the malaise and depression many sexual abuse – harassment survivors experience.
Survivors Seeking Relief
It takes a great amount of courage and determination for a sexual assault – harassment survivor to seek help in finding relief from their symptoms. Some are helped by seeing a therapist, while for others this is not enough to release the tension and discomfort they feel in their body. This is where Safe Sexual Healers can be a great benefit to those who are ready for direct somatic treatments that work with sexual energy and the body’s clenched armoring to release the knots and blocks that prevent survivors from returning to vibrancy and wellbeing again.
Qualified adept sexual healers who maintain safe sexual healing practices are capable of getting to the knots and triggering locations harbored by the body and release them. Not every survivor is ready for hands-on somatic treatment, especially when this involves intimate places of the body, and survivors considering sexual healing will want to weigh their emotional readiness before they embark on a sexual healing program. Due diligence in screening a sexual healer is also important and pre-session interview conversations will help a survivor determine if a particular sexual healer is right for them.
What survivors need most is to feel accepted and believed by those they confide in and to feel supported by their community. If you are a survivor of sexual assault – harassment or abuse trauma, what would you recommend those who know about your experience do to support you? How can communities step up with consideration and practical support for survivors of sexual assault – harassment or abuse trauma?
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