Sexual Assault Awareness Month is More Triggering than Healing
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Sexual Assault Awareness Month is More Triggering than Healing

You never know how your story might effect someone.

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Sexual Assault Awareness Month is More Triggering than Healing
Edwards Airforce Base

Sexual assault awareness is a cause I've been fighting for for the past four years. it's a cause that is extremely important, because it goes without being talked about. However, as a survivor myself, the advocacy around it, especially April (sexual assault awareness month) can be extremely triggering instead of healing, as it's intended to be.

Of course, knowing that there is help, knowing that there is hope, knowing that I'm not alone, is always helpful. However, the issue with this month is, I have to be reminded constantly that something horrible happened to me that makes me a statistic.

The idea behind the awareness, such as the #MeToo project, is for survivors such as myself to tell their story. It's an opportunity to bring to light the faces behind those who have been assaulted. It's powerful, it's uplifting, and it's extremely scary.

I'm lucky that I no longer have contact with the person who assaulted me. I'm lucky that I don't have to see his face anymore. But I'm not lucky that I have frequent panic attacks when I remember what happened to me. I'm not lucky that despite everything that happened, I have an undying emotional need to talk to him again or have a connection with him again. This is the other issue with "awareness" around sexual assault. No one talks about that emotional stress. No one talks about how that will never go away. I met a woman once who was assaulted as a child, and still remembered the event in detail at age 82. MY biggest fear is that I will become that woman.

The best thing I can do now as a victim is to become an advocate. I can share my story, I can work in the field of Social Work (check and check), and I can become aware of myself as a bystander and what happens around me. But, becoming an advocate has it's drawbacks. One of those being triggering myself and others.

In this time of year, I ask that survivors come forward if they're ready, and stand together. Especially women, because when one woman stands up for herself she stands up for all women. I ask that bystanders, friends, and family take the time to LISTEN. To not judge, but be open and take in the stories of these survivors, because confiding that information in someone is extremely difficult.

While this time is meant to be helpful, hopeful and inspiring, it is also a very difficult time for a lot of us. Be kind, you never know the battle someone is facing.



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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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