* I generally write using the pronouns he/him when referring to narcissists, but females are just as likely to be narcissists or exhibit narcissistic traits. So please don't think just because article uses the word him or he that it could not be a woman in that same role.
Sexual abuse is something that anyone can experience at any age. The aftermath of sexual abuse can be difficult to navigate. Healing is something that many people struggle to understand where to start. Keep reading to learn how to heal from sexual abuse.
Healing is incredibly important as it can help you learn how to deal with triggers. Oftentimes survivors will avoid feeling any emotions or memories associated with the sexual abuse they experienced.
This can make their trauma worse as they may react to things in ways that are uncommon.
Whilst healing from sexual abuse is not an easy task, it is one that is possible. Healing from sexual abuse takes time.
If you are not sure how to heal from sexual abuse, you’ve come to the right place. In this guide, we are going to help you by walking you through some tips on how to heal from sexual abuse.
Top 5 Tips For Healing From Sexual Abuse
Tell Your Story
One of the most helpful tips for helping you heal from sexual abuse is to tell your story to others. Acknowledging a problem is often said to be the first step to healing and by telling your story to others, you are acknowledging what you have been through.
In some ways, it is believed that by sharing your story you are taking control of your experience by not letting it isolate you.
Trauma is known for making you feel isolated which can lead to you feeling helpless and out of control. By talking about your story you are opening yourself up and allowing others in. This helps to get rid of the feeling isolated.
Create A Strong Support Network
Having a strong support network is a great way to get the healing process started. As mentioned before, sexual abuse and the trauma experienced from this can leave you feeling isolated or make you isolate yourself as a form of protection.
However, going through the aftermath of sexual abuse alone can make the road to recovering more difficult. By reaching out to family and friends you can find comfort in them. This can help you to feel more comfortable.
A good support network can help take some of the pressure off of you. This can be something as simple as helping you through your everyday tasks until you feel as though you have the power to deal with them yourself.
Or your support network can be there to simply be a shoulder to cry on. Whatever you feel as though you need, a support network can make you feel less alone.
Seek Professional Help
As important as it is to lean on your loved ones, it is equally as important to seek professional help. Seeing a therapist that is specialized in sexual abuse can help you to heal and overcome challenges you might be facing.
For example, licensed therapists can provide treatment plans to help you cope with trauma-related to your body. Survivors of sexual abuse often need to have therapies related to their bodies in order to heal from their trauma.
Without releasing the trauma from their bodies, survivors of sexual abuse might find it hard to trust others and handle intimate relationships.
The process of healing your body is not an easy one and it takes time. However, it is much better to have professional guidance rather than doing it alone.
There are many different treatment options available, in fact, some ways to help you engage your body again might not seem like treatments.
A few recommendations for helping survivors of sexual abuse connect with their bodies are taking yoga classes, going to a martial arts or self-defense class, or doing simple exercises like running.
Prepare For Triggers
Survivors of sexual abuse will often find that after the experience they have, their bodies are often on high alert as a result of going through something traumatic. This means these survivors can often be very sensitive to certain stimuli.
Survivors of sexual abuse might also experience flashbacks to the incident or frequent nightmares about it.
This then leads to them being stuck in a state of high alert. Remaining in this state for too long can lead to developing post-traumatic stress disorder.
There during the healing journey, it is important that survivors of sexual abuse become aware of their triggers and try to prepare them. By being aware of your triggers you can find ways to overcome them.
If you do find yourself being triggered then one of the ways you can try to cope with the anxiety is to slow your breathing down. It is important to self-soothe so that you can regain control of the situation.
Flashbacks can be more difficult to deal with as it is not always possible to stop them. However, if you do experience a flashback, one way to help you get through it is to ground yourself in the present moment.
Trying to remind yourself that the flashback is not what is happening, in reality, can help you pull through them.
Talk To Other Survivors
Another way to help you heal is to talk to other survivors of sexual abuse. Going to a support group for survivors can help you to connect with others who have experienced similar things to you.
Support groups are great places to find out tips to heal and you can get advice on your specific situation.
Healing from sexual abuse takes time and it is important to remember that each person is different. This means how you heal might not be the same way as someone else. However, following these tips will help you to start your healing journey.
We hope this guide has helped you understand what you need to do to heal from sexual abuse. It is important that you should always seek advice from a professional to heal. Thank you for reading.
Rape Abuse and Incest National Network (RAINN) is the nation’s largest organization fighting sexual violence: (800) 656-HOPE / (800) 810-7440 (TTY)
988 Mental Health Emergency Hotline: Calling 988 will connect you to a crisis counselor regardless of where you are in the United States.
The National Runaway Safeline: 800-RUNAWAY (800-786-2929)
National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) HelpLine: 1-800-950-NAMI, or text “HELPLINE” to 62640. Both services are available between 10 a.m. and 10 p.m. ET, Monday–Friday
National Domestic Violence Hotline: 1-800-799-7233
Suicide Prevention, Awareness, and Support: www.suicide.org
Crisis Text Line: Text REASON to 741741 (free, confidential and 24/7). In English and Spanish
Self-Harm Hotline: 1-800-DONT CUT (1-800-366-8288)
Family Violence Helpline: 1-800-996-6228
American Association of Poison Control Centers: 1-800-222-1222
National Council on Alcoholism & Drug Dependency: 1-800-622-2255
LGBTQ Hotline: 1-888-843-4564
National Maternal Mental Health Hotline: 1-833-TLC-MAMA (1-833-852-6262)
The Trevor Project: 1-866-488-7386 or text “START” to 678678. Standard text messaging rates apply. Available 24/7/365. (Provides crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer & questioning—LGBTQ—young people under 25.)
The SAGE LGBT Elder Hotline connects LGBT older people and caretakers with friendly responders. 1-877-360-LGBT (5428)
The Trans Lifeline is staffed by transgender people for transgender people:
1-877-565-8860 (United States)
Veterans Crisis Line: https://www.veteranscrisisline.net
International Suicide Prevention Directory: findahelpline.com
The StrongHearts Native Helpline is a confidential and anonymous culturally appropriate domestic violence and dating violence helpline for Native Americans, available every day from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. CT. Call 1-844-762-8483.
‘Find a Therapist’ Online Directories
- Psychology Today: https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/therapists
- GoodTherapy.org: http://www.goodtherapy.org/find-therapist.html
- American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy: https://aamft.org/Directories/Find_a_Therapist.asp
- Emergency: 911
- Hotline: 1-888-353-2273
- YourLifeCounts.org: https://yourlifecounts.org/find-help/
UK & Republic of Ireland
- Emergency: 112 or 999
- Hotline: +44 (0) 8457 90 90 90 (UK – local rate)
- Hotline: +44 (0) 8457 90 91 92 (UK minicom)
- Hotline: 1850 60 90 90 (ROI – local rate)
- Hotline: 1850 60 90 91 (ROI minicom)
- YourLifeCounts.org: https://yourlifecounts.org/find-help/