By Erika Townsend
When someone is sexually violated, the pain expands beyond the physical. While wounds may take some time to heal and may cause scars that last forever, the duress on our spiritual and emotional health can make the most visible impressions on our everyday lives. The body is not the only thing that has been violated. That person’s sense of security has been violated. Their sense of control has been violated. Their trust has been violated. Their innocence has been violated. No matter who the perpetrator is or how the exact crime occurred , they are all thieves. They have taken things of the utmost value to their victims. Or have they?
It is important for victims to know that there are people all over the world that would answer this question with not only a resounding no, but outstretched arms that will work diligently to prove the contrary. While the National Sexual Violence Resource Center (NSVRC) provides materials to other organizations that battle sexual assault, many victims are searching for a more intimate forum in which to begin the healing process. This can even begin as early as immediately after an attack or decades later. RAINN (Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network) offers a 24 hour hotline and helps victims find crisis centers in their local areas.
The choice is up to the victim; or better yet, the survivor. Whether that person is ready to seek help or not, they have survived a traumatic event. This takes a tremendous amount of strength for some to live day to day; even hour to hour at times. While this may go unnoticed by the survivor or others, it does not diminish this amazing feat. It is important to harness this strength to further nurture self development so that that survivor rises to become a victor instead of a victim. The support of others is essential in the healing process yet it may be hard for some to accept this help. Our emotions are just that – our emotions. We have control over them and we can either let them lead us to destruction or success.
Not that the pain isn’t justified, it just doesn’t have to be debilitating. As mentioned before in a previous article, someone is sexually assaulted every two minutes. Again, most go unreported. Wouldn’t it be nice to take a stand against this horrific crime? If you are sexually assaulted or have been sexually assaulted, you could be one of the people that help to change this astounding statistic. You could be a source of inspiration to a teen that has just had their life turned upside down by sexual assault. You could head a local crisis center in your neighborhood. You can take a stand.
Whether you are a victim, survivor, or victor of sexual assault, it is imperative to know that your story matters. It is not so much of what happens to you in life, but how you respond to it. Our value is something that can never be taken; especially by external forces. Let your inner light shine to lead you out of the darkness and you will find angels all around you!