The SHOW Center does not perform SANE (sexual assault nurse examiner) exams, but knows where you need to go for an exam if you are a victim of sexual assault. The SHOW Center does specialize in care and treatment after a sexual assault has happened. Sexual violence is shockingly common in our society. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), nearly 1 in 5 women in the U.S. are raped or sexually assaulted at some point in their lives, often by someone they know and trust. It can be extraordinarily difficult to admit that you were raped or sexually assaulted. There’s a stigma attached to being a victim and it can make you feel dirty and weak. You may also be afraid of how others will react and if they will judge you. It may seem easier initially to downplay what happened or to keep it a secret, but when you stay silent, you deny yourself help. Recovering from a sexual trauma takes time, and the healing process can be painful. But you can regain your sense of control, rebuild your self-worth, and learn to heal.
It can be frightening to get back in touch with your body and feelings following a sexual trauma. It’s also scary to face the intense feelings associated with the assault. The true danger to your physical and mental health comes from avoiding them. Once you’re back in touch with your body and feelings, you will feel more safe, confident, and powerful and accept control over your own body. You can achieve this through the following techniques:
- Rhythmic movement: Rhythm can be very healing. It helps us relax and regain a sense of control over our bodies. Anything that combines rhythm and movement will work: dancing, drumming, and marching. You can even incorporate it into your walking or running routine by concentrating on the back and forth movements of your arms and legs.
- Mindfulness meditation: You can practice mindfulness meditation anywhere. Simply focus on what you’re feeling in the present movement including any bodily sensations and emotions. Mindfulness combines body awareness with relaxing; focused movement and can help relieve symptoms of PTSD and trauma.
- After rape, you may feel uncomfortable with human touch. But touching and being touched is an important way we give and receive affection and comfort. You can begin to reopen yourself to human contact through massage therapy.
The SHOW Center provider has specialty training in rape/sexual assault and will work with you to develop a treatment option personalized to meet your needs that will encompass a complete and thorough approach to care.
*This information does not replace a provider consultation. You should schedule an appointment with your provider if you experience any of these symptoms.