Violence against women and girls is a sadly prevalent reality in our world. Did you know that, worldwide, at least one in three women has been beaten, coerced into sex, or otherwise abused during her lifetime? Those are scary statistics, but they also show you that you are not alone. You probably know several other people who have experienced abuse. They may have talked with you about it or they may not have, but they are there.
First of all, please know how brave you are for visiting this site and looking for information, which is one way that women and girls can begin to heal and understand what has happened to them. There are other ways you can take care of yourself after abuse, and I have listed them below. Two important things to remember as you journey through the healing process are:
It is not your fault, no matter what. There is no excuse for abuse.
Everyone copes and heals in different ways. You know what is best for you.
Some of the ways people cope and nurture themselves:
- Talking with people they trust
- Partnering with a domestic violence or sexual assault agency advocate. Advocates can be great resources, both for talking about the situation and for navigating systems (like medical and legal).
- Keeping a journal or writing poetry or stories
- Painting, sculpting, drawing, collage, or making other kinds of art
- Exercising or playing sports
- Self-pampering, like bubble baths and chocolate
- Listening to or making music
- Screaming, punching pillows, and other healthy ways to release built-up anger
- Taking a vacation
- Getting a massage
- Playing with or petting animals
- What other things can you think of that you do when you’re feeling sad, angry, or upset about something?