According to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, PTSD occurs after someone goes through traumatic events. About 6 of every 10 men (or 60%) and 5 of every 10 women (or 50%) in the United States experience at least one trauma in their lives. One common type of traumatic event that leads to PTSD is sexual assault.
Survivors of sexual assault include men, women, and children alike. People who experienced nonconsensual, unwanted sexual contact and sexual violence would later see their mental health worsened. Luckily, trauma informed care is there to provide caring and supportive mental health services to help victims of sexual assault begin going on the path of recovery and to a joyful life.
Sexual assault affects everyone
Sexual assault, even if it occurred many years ago, still impacts the lives of people who have suffered through it. In fact, sexual assault can occur at work, school, home, or even in the military itself. There is a type of sexual trauma called “military sexual trauma” where sexual harassment and/or assault happened while a veteran was in the military.
Sexual assault and harassment may result in survivors to develop long term and short term symptoms of PTSD. Some of these symptoms include severe anxiety, insomnia, and emotional detachment. Unfortunately, it can also lead to survivors conduct actions like substance abuse and self-harm.
Trauma informed care is beneficial for survivors’ road to recovery
A trauma informed approach to care is just a treatment framework for treating trauma. To clarify, it focuses on understanding, diagnosing and responding to different kinds of trauma. People who decide to pursue trauma therapy do it because they want to remove tragic memories that they had. Some patients have various traumatic experiences that range from childhood abuse to combat/warfare.
For anyone who is considering trauma care, it will do wonders for their physical and mental health. Programs that conduct trauma-informed care integrate their knowledge about trauma into policies, procedures, and practices so that that they can help patients actively avoid re-traumatization. Furthermore, medical staff who have strong expertise in this form of treatment are able to realize the widespread impact of trauma and understand paths for recovery. They can also fully recognize the trauma signs and symptoms of their patients as well.
Coping with trauma from sexual assault
Physical scars from sexual assault may heal quickly but the emotional scars can remain for many years or even decades. Survivors may not even enjoy the activities they love participating or the places that they once enjoyed going to. That is why it is important to guide sexual assault survivors by showing them the practices that can help cope with their trauma.
Some best practices to cope with trauma include creating a soothing environment for sleep, regular exercise, and even exposure therapy. Regarding exposure therapy, it is a psychological treatment that helps patients to confront their fears. The more that the patient becomes exposed to the things or places that reminded them of their trauma, their feelings of fear will most likely reduce.
Survivors will never be alone
Sexual assault is always a horrible and tragic thing for many survivors to have experienced. According to the CDC, nearly 1 in 5 women have experienced completed or attempted rape during their lifetime. Also, nearly 1 in 38 men have experienced completed or attempted rape during their lifetime as well.
By emphasizing trauma-informed care, survivors will know they are still loved and cherished. Having treatment that genuinely understand the pain and trauma from tragic past memories will also result in the survivors to trust more in the treatment. People who have loved ones who encountered any form of sexual violence, embrace them and tell them that everything is going to be all right and that they have everyone supporting them unconditionally.