How to Cope With Triggering News About Sexual Assault and Harassment
It’s been a rough week in the news for survivors of sexual violence and harassment.
Of course, there’s power in survivors speaking out, naming their abusers, and seeking justice. These stories shouldn’t have to remain a secret. But the tidal wave of headlines, tweets, and Facebook posts about sexual abuse will inevitably be very triggering for survivors of sexual violence. In a media landscape where it’s difficult to avoid the news or social media altogether, coping with all the stories can be difficult, but it’s not impossible. Here’s how.
Give yourself permission to feel overwhelmed.
National Sexual Violence Resource Center (NSVRC) and Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape, tells Brit + Co that when survivors have psychological reactions to stories in the news, people around them will often undermine their experience, and ask things like, “Are you sure it was really that bad?” or “Wasn’t that a long time ago?”
Talk it out
Dr. Kathryn Stamoulis, a Licensed Mental Health Counselor who specializes in rape and sexual assault, says that “talking about the emotions and memories that these viral stories bring up can be very helpful.”