By: Colleen Andre, LMHC
In 2016 as Election Day was nearing the head-line news became about Trump’s leaked conversation with Billy Bush in 2005. A large group of people consider Trump’s words to be deemed as sexual assault while others consider it just “locker room talk”. CNN’s article titled “Trump’s ‘locker room talk’ stirs real talk about sexual violence” highlighted the domino effects Trump’s conversation had on several women. In the article women tweeted story after story of their first sexual assault experiences.
According to the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN), every 109 seconds, another person experiences sexual assault and one out of every six women has been a victim of attempted/completed rape in her lifetime. Trump’s conversation may have been just “locker room talk” but sexual assault is very real for many people, particularly women.
Sexual assault is a devastating and tragic occurrence that happens more frequently than what most people realize. People who have been sexually assaulted often times want to forget and move past the incident without letting it affect their lives. However, there is a series of long-term effects that can occur to individuals that have been sexually assaulted.
Here are just a few long-term effects from sexual assault:
Have more likelihood to use drugs than the general public
- One way people choose to cope after a sexual assault incident is to numb themselves from the pain or to forget about the incident through substance abuse.
Experience post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) or moderate to severe stress
- Some symptoms may include difficulty concentrating/focusing, having flashbacks to the incident (you feel like you are reexperiencing the incident), irritability/angry outburst, sleep disturbance, extremely negative beliefs about self or in general
Consider or attempt suicide
- Some may cope through self-harm as well
- Struggling with feelings of sadness and hopelessness.
Trump may put aside his conversation as just “locker room talk” and as something from the past, but for several of you readers today sexual assault is not just of the past. The incident may have occurred recently or you are still struggling from a past violation. DO NOT let the incident prevent you from living and enjoying your life today. You do not have to just get by and survive through avoidance.
Seek out a local counselor or support groups if you or a loved one has been effected by sexually assault. The national sexual assault hotline is a 24hr and confidential hotline at 1-800-656-4673 available for those in need. Or, call Life Counseling Solutions today at 407-622-1770, for a free 15-minute consultation or a counseling appointment with me.
You are not your circumstances and you can break free from this incident.
About Colleen:Colleen values the importance of a comfortable and non-judgmental atmosphere. At the heart of her work, she seeks to create a safe environment in which clients can feel at ease while working through life’s difficulties. Her specialty is working with women and adolescents struggling with anger management, trauma, and anxiety. She also enjoys assisting those facing multicultural or racial issues. Ultimately, her goal is to help clients uncover the source of their distress so that they can begin to heal. See Colleen’s full bio.