Individual Counseling: It’s Sexual Assault Awareness Month 2023

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Individual counseling with Terri can help many situations, and since April is sexual assault awareness month, some might need the extra support. Sexual assault is any unwanted sexual behavior or contact that is forced upon an individual without their consent. This includes actions like verbal harassment to physical assault and can occur in various settings. If you feel you could benefit from individual counseling reach out to Take Charge Inc today.

Sexual violence happens in every community and affects people of all genders and ages. A person may use force, threats, manipulation, or coercion to commit sexual violence. It is important to note that sexual assault is never the victim’s fault, regardless of the circumstances or the relationship between the victim and perpetrator. It is a serious crime that can have long-lasting physical, emotional, and psychological effects on the victim. It’s important to seek the correct help if you are a victim, including filing police reports if necessary and seeking individual counseling for trauma. Forms of sexual violence can include things such as rape or sexual assault, child sexual assault and incest, sexual assault by a person’s spouse or partner, unwanted sexual contact/touching, sexual harassment, sexual exploitation, and trafficking, plus more. Sexual violence is preventable through collaborations of community members at multiple societal levels—in our homes, neighborhoods, schools, workplaces, and other settings. We all play a role in preventing sexual violence and establishing norms of respect, safety, equality, and helping others.

Sexual assault can have a profound and long-lasting impact on a person’s physical, emotional, and psychological well-being. Here are just a few ways that sexual assault can affect a person:

  • Sexual assault can cause physical injuries, such as bruises, cuts, and fractures, as well as sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and unintended pregnancies.
  • Sexual assault can lead to a wide range of emotional responses, including fear, anxiety, depression, shame, guilt, and anger. Victims may also experience post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), which can include flashbacks, nightmares, and intrusive thoughts.
  • Sexual assault can undermine a person’s sense of self-worth and make them feel powerless, helpless, and unsafe. It can also damage their ability to trust others and form healthy relationships, and lead to problems with intimacy and sexuality.
  • Sexual assault can affect a person’s social life, including their ability to work, study, or participate in social activities. It can also lead to social isolation, stigma, and discrimination.

Individual counseling can be a valuable form of support and healing for someone who has experienced sexual assault. A trained counselor or therapist can provide a safe and non-judgmental space for the survivor to process their experience, emotions, and thoughts related to the assault. Some ways that individual counseling can help include validating the survivor’s experience, feelings, and reactions, and help them understand that what happened to them was not their fault, helping the survivor develop coping strategies to manage the emotional and physical symptoms of trauma, such as anxiety, depression, and PTSD, help the survivor regain a sense of control and empowerment by helping them identify their strengths and resources, and by encouraging them to set goals and take steps towards healing, provide information about the physical and emotional effects of trauma, as well as strategies for self-care and healing and provide referrals to other professionals if needed. It’s important to note that healing from any sexual violence is a complex and ongoing process, and individual counseling may not be the only form of support that someone needs.

Everyone is affected by sexual violence. The impact of sexual violence extends beyond the individual survivor and reaches all of society. Let’s talk about some statistics of sexual violence, according to Rainn (Scope of the Problem: Statistics | RAINN):

  • Every 68 seconds another American is sexually assaulted.
  • 1 out of every 6 American women has been the victim of an attempted or completed rape in her lifetime (14.8% completed, 2.8% attempted).
  • About 3% of American men—or 1 in 33—have experienced an attempted or completed rape in their lifetime.
  • From 2009-2013, Child Protective Services agencies substantiated, or found strong evidence to indicate that, 63,000 children a year were victims of sexual abuse.
  • A majority of child victims are 12-17. Of victims under the age of 18: 34% of victims of sexual assault and rape are under age 12, and 66% of victims of sexual assault and rape are age 12-17.

If you are a survivor of sexual violence and could benefit from individual counseling, contact Terri Dichiser at Take Charge Inc at (913) 239-8255. With individual counseling, Terri provides a safe, comfortable environment that allows you to put your thoughts and feeling into words, without fear of criticism or judgment. She will guide you into a better understanding and possibly a different perspective on your life’s circumstances.

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