Seemingly every other day, another story comes out about a high-profile person disclosing what has happened to them. Or a new statement or speech is made about the movement that has swept across nations. With so much coverage, it’s been a difficult topic to avoid.
Greater awareness of this topic can be double-edged. It’s great that some many women have felt enabled to tell their story. Knowing they’ll be believed and that they’re not alone are two powerful factors that have made disclosures easier. The other side of it that it can be confronting and depressing when presented with the truth about what’s going on behind closed doors.
Here are some tips to help when listening or reading stories coming out of the #metoo campaign.
5 essential tips to help you cope with disclosures of sexual assault in the media
- Don’t read the details – In my experience, it is the explicit details in a report or a disclosure that are the most difficult to deal with. Your imagination conjures up an image of what you’ve read, and that can be hard to shake.
- Turn off news alerts on your devices – You don’t need to be alerted to every single news item that comes out. Give yourself a break and spend the time doing things that are enjoyable and soothing.
- Self-care – if you haven’t already done so, download my free ‘’First Aid Kit’’ which guides you step by step through different ways you can soothe your mind, body and emotions after reading upsetting news stories.
- Deal with the symptoms – You may find yourself dreaming or having nightmares about what’s happened to you in the past. And/or memories may be flashing before your eyes as if you’re being assaulted right now. If this occurs a mindfulness exercise can help you create distance between a memory and the present.
- Therapy – You may be upset or angry, particularly if you’ve already had some therapy, that images are coming back again. Why wouldn’t you be, it’s just so distressing. Take some time to think about whether the memories are a different aspect of the work you’ve already done. Often, they are. It’s the brains way saying there’s some unfinished business that needs to be taken care of.
If you need to speak to someone urgently, you can phone 1800 RESPECT (1800 737 732). This service specialises in sexual assault, domestic and family violence. You can also go to their website www.1800respect.org.au where you can have a web chat with a counsellor if a phone call is too confronting.
It’s important to remember that you’re not alone. There is always help available.
To make an appointment with Rita phone 0433 043 102.