Breaking the Silence: The Healing Power of Confessions for Survivors of Trauma

Written by Anjali Bisht
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breaking the silence

 

Now is the moment to foster an environment where victims of sexual assault feel comfortable speaking up. Survivors should feel safe opening up about their experiences of trauma and be met with empathy, compassion, and understanding.

 

An actionable campaign can be launched during PTSD Awareness Month. Let’s encourage and affirm those who have overcome adversity. Also, let’s stop believing the falsehoods about rape that fuel the public’s negative reaction to victims coming forward.

Crucial Things for Survivors

One of the most crucial things you can do for a victim is to believe them. They need to know they are believed, even if they are disclosing unpleasant things.

  • ● Resources:

A rape crisis center in your area is another excellent resource. If the survivor chooses to go to the hospital or the police station, advocates are often available to accompany them.

 

  • ● Affirming/Affirmations:

Provide comforting words and affirm the survivor’s bravery by praising their openness to sharing her story and taking the first step toward healing.

Everyone who faces the ordeal should feel they can speak up and be taken seriously. It’s important to remember that rape culture can make survivors feel even more like they’ve lost their voices already. Therefore, allowing them to talk while you listen to them (without passing judgment, without interrupting, and without asking probing questions) can be extremely therapeutic. Your skill as a listener is more important than you think.

  • ● Empower:

The attack wrested power from the survivors. The right to control one’s body is among the most fundamental human rights, yet this was flagrantly disregarded. So, it’s crucial that those who have survived can regain a sense of power. Particularly, those who have survived must regain control over their territory.

While a friendly pat on the back or reassuring embrace can make some people feel safe and cared for, you should never assume that such physical contact is pleasant for everyone. Before making any physical gesture, it’s best to ask permission and get a clear “yes” that they’re okay with it.

CONCLUSION

Using the BRAVE communication model, you can be prepared to respond with kindness, compassion, and the gentle care survivors deserve when they break the silence about their experience of sexual violence by speaking up. Your response may play a crucial role in their recovery.