Mental Health and Sexual Assault – #MeToo – Part 2
It is estimated that about one in three women, between the ages of 18-34, have experienced sexual assault and sexual harassment at work. Additionally, 81 percent of women have experienced verbal sexual harassment (jokes, name-calling, etc.), according to Atlantic Training (formerly known as Compliance and Safety). That kind of frequency leads many mental health professionals concerned about the affects of this type of sexual assault on a woman’s mental health.
The risk of triggering a traumatic experience is lessened as more women step up and validate the experience. “You think less that it’s my fault and I did something wrong and you’re blaming yourself,” said Lucia Gilbert of San Jose, California, a professor emerita of psychology at Santa Clara University. “It validates that you have been validated. NOW there’s a validation in the culture, and that’s huge.”
Terri Clinton Dichiser, a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor Overland Park, Kansas, believes healing and understanding go together and can be managed and maintained through a consistent, commitment to you and your mental health.
Recently, men and women took to a high-traffic area of Los Angeles for a #MeToo Survivors March. Tarana Burke, the creator of the “Me Too” movement which turned into a hashtag phenomenon on Twitter after Alyssa Milano promoted it over a month ago, took the stage at the rally saying that nothing could have prepared her for this moment which stemmed from an anti-sexual abuse campaign she started 10 years ago. (deadline.com)
“Admissions of being a victim are stigmatizing,” said John Pryor, a professor of psychology emeritus at Illinois State University who has studied sexual harassment for more than 30 years and is participating in a National Academy of Sciences study of sexual harassment in STEM fields – science, technology, engineering and mathematics. “Research has shown that people with stigmatizing conditions that can be hidden often engage in what is called ‘label avoidance.’ With regard to sexual harassment, the more people who come forward and say ‘me, too,’ the less stigmatizing the label,” he said. (usnew.com)
The mental health problems that can arise from sexual assault and sexual violence can vary greatly person to person. Terri believes consistent therapy, healthy relationships, stress management, avoiding toxic relationships, and compassion are vital for dealing with depression and anxiety, and also Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, another mental health issue associated with sexual assault and violence.
Terri can also help you not only address your issues, but also open the door to expand the scope of those to incorporate into the important relationships in your life. Let us help you address your concerns in new and constructive ways. Call today (913) 239-8255.
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