Is There Hope For Someone Who Has Been Sexually Abused?

young woman holding head

By Aubrey Garner, M.A. – Therapist

Can There Be Healing After Sexual Abuse?

 

“Violated to the core” is how many people describe the reality of being sexually abused.  People are left spinning in a world of confusion and nervous energy. 

Many survivors hit points in life when symptoms flare, not even aware that his or her thoughts, feelings, and behaviors are symptoms at all, charged or created by the traumatic experience.  The shock-waves of effects leave a person doubtful that life will ever “go back to normal.”  Some people experience prolonged abuse and have never known a safe and innocent version of “normal” to begin with. 

The cliché answer to the question is that life will not be the same, but life can feel good again, great even, and a person can even gain strength from such an experience.  Often people are empowered by their survival and pride in their endurance of such events.

How to Begin Healing After Sexual Abuse

Seeking empowerment is critical in healing from sexual abuse, and this can be done through putting words to the events that happened.  Expressing the narrative of the traumatic experience to someone who will remain calm but compassionate is critical in decreasing the magnitude of effects that the trauma has on one’s emotional life.  Some of the sting as well as the confusion and shame are decreased through expelling the story to someone who will be accepting of all of the details, especially the details that involve the victim having any responsibility or enjoyment throughout the abuse. 

Overall, finding meaning in the pain—a lifelong lesson or positive purpose for the abuse—can serve as a great tool of empowerment.  The abuse was never intended for good, but growth and positive change can come from such situations. 

While the person feels a jumbled ball of emotions regarding the experience, there is a great opportunity for learned lessons, increased gratitude for life, pride in surviving, pride in overcoming hardships, and even a more intimate relationship with the Lord.  Sometimes these effects are more powerful and irreplaceable than the old “normal.” 

If you or someone you know has been a victim of sexual abuse, contact us today. Crosswind Counselors are here to help victims cope with the situation and find hope for the future.

Crosswinds Counseling is Here To Help You

Crosswinds Counseling Exists To Restore & Reignite Hope For Individuals, Couples, and Families Through Evidence-Based Counseling.