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  • Writer's pictureMarisa Bortz

Help is out there.

“Recovery can take place only within the context of relationships; it cannot occur in isolation,” states Judith Lewis Herman, an expert on trauma and recovery.

Countless victims are hesitant to disclose their abuse story out of shame, fear, or distrust of others. Nearly 1 in 5 women in the United States are raped or sexually assaulted at some point in their lives, likely by someone they know and trust. Due to that severed sense of overall trust, victims are significantly less likely to initiate openness and communication to those around them. However, awareness and ceaseless support must be heavily emphasized to all individuals recovering from abuse. It is up to YOU to continuously reach out, check in, and support your loved ones. Encourage openness and communication, without judgment or prying too deep into their trauma. Break the wall that victims so often build between them and the rest of the world. And be that welcoming and willing system of trust, openness, and honesty to them, that they so desperately need in order to heal.

There are countless trusted adults who are more than willing to help and support victims of abuse and their families. There are available mental health providers, child advocates, abuse educators, therapists, teachers, child protective services, and law enforcement, all who would do everything in their power to protect and aid any and every victim. But it all starts with the victim’s willingness and openness to receive help from those individuals. While asking for help and support is in no way an easy task, the importance of communication and trust is absolutely essential. In order to properly accept and heal from one’s past, victims will need some help and support from those around them.

To victims: Do not hesitate to ask for help, call a loved one, call your county abuse hotline, and reach out for support. And never forget, there are countless individuals who are here to help YOU, some individuals who have experienced the same struggles that you are trying to overcome too. Just know that you are not alone in this fight and journey of healing. Recovery is possible. Support is available, but it all starts simply with your willingness and your yes to ask for help.

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