Break the silence!
10 people who speak, make more noise than 10,000 people who are silent.
At Women Assist Counselling, we want to raise awareness about thriving after surviving abuse and psychological trauma. Breaking free from being a victim and the positive healing effects that talking therapy has for those who have been abused. If the relationship doesn’t feel right, then it is not right! You need to act quickly before it robs you of your mind, body and soul. Everyone deserves to feel safe, comfortable and loved.
Victims of domestic violence are surviving in the abuse. Unfortunately, the mortality rate for abused women is increasing. However, luckily many women survive the trauma and live to tell their story. Although there are many women who prefer to not talk about their experiences because they feel afraid, shame and guilt. They would rather forget all about it, or they may have been threatened by the perpetrator to not talk or else they or someone else will be harmed or killed. Unfortunately, the consequences for not seeking help and support early usually results in addictions, repeating the patterns, post-traumatic stress, and other destructive behaviours.
If people have been abused from childhood, then it is most likely that a child will not speak out. Usually it because the child is threatened, bribed and manipulated by the perpetrator. This must change! Children need to speak out sooner than later. A victim is more likely to recover quicker and heal when there is immediate help available, essentially when the abuse first occurs. However, if it is left unspoken, the victim carries the mental scars for years to come. Situations may trigger flashbacks, as well as smells, this is Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. PTSD adds insult to injury. A person has been violated physically, although their mind will not allow them to forget it, which prevents them to heal. Therefore, the physical injury heals and goes away but the painful memory stays!
Worryingly, boys often grow up being taught not to cry, not to feel sad, stand up like a man, don’t be such a girl and other horrible things. Therefore, when a boy is sexually abused, they stay silent for many reasons. The pain of the abuse causes them to feel less of a man. They don’t want to talk about it as they feel embarrassed and too shameful. Shame, is a fear based state of being unworthy and unlovable. Consequently, a lot of boys will not speak up, they are taught not to speak up, which sadly this secrecy keeps the abuse happening. Speaking out breaks the silence, the story must be unlocked so you can heal and perhaps even save others. Not speaking out may also lead to abuse being repeated, post-traumatic stress disorder, self-destructive behaviours like substance abuse and other addictions. Then it becomes less likely to heal. Relationships with others become damaged, difficulty in having positive self esteem which may lead to making negative life decisions.
Physical violence and sexual abuse is a worldwide epidemic, its national and a public health issue. People who have endured violence and sexual abuse are at higher risk of addictions, imprisonment, developing eating disorders and homelessness.
Feeling trapped and ashamed leads to more isolation and more self doubt. Not speaking about the abuse can lead to more abuse being repeated, PTSD, self destructive addictions and it becomes less likely to heal. So, speak out after an incident and seek help immediately. Children should be encouraged to do the same. It helps them to heal quicker and for the abuse to stop!
Finally, being abused is not your fault, shame was inflicted on you. You deserve more than surviving, you deserve to thrive! The shame must go back to the perpetrator, back to its rightful owner. Breaking the silence is essential so you can heal. When you become stronger you can then start to invite love in.Join our movement for female survivors of domestic and family violence and sexual assault, to share stories of pain, hope and change. Healing thrives in counselling sessions because talking therapy helps recovery.
You must deal with the demons before they deal with you. Don’t run, face it head on to avoid self-destructive behaviours and patterns. Every day, every hour, every minute abuse happens. Don’t be afraid to dig into painful, uncomfortable things that you have experienced. Don’t run from the painful memories. Triggers will always appear when you least expect it. Ask why? You may find some answers. It is your story, it is unlike others, embrace it, let it empower you and be authentic. Be a driving force for change, become an advocate and make a difference in our society.
I invite you to love all of yourself. Only you can grant your happiness!
Counsellor & Psychotherapist (and Thriving Survivor of Domestic Violence)