Sharing an incident about sexual abuse can give you more power to deal with it

Published on: 12 March 2022, 08:00 am IST

It’s not easy to share the bitter memories in your life, but if you do with the right person, it might help you a great deal.

sexual abuse
Sharing your trauma makes you stronger! Image courtesy: Shutterstock

Remember that impactful scene from the movie Highway, where Alia Bhatt shares how she was been sexually abused by her uncle? Have you noticed how relieved she was, after releasing her trauma? Well, the point we are trying to make here is that communicating or sharing an incident of sexual abuse won’t make you weak. In fact, it makes you stronger.

Sexual abuse is not a recent lingo, although, people have now started sharing their experiences. This has not just created awareness amongst parents but also kids; most of them know that if something wrong happens or someone touches you and you feel uncomfortable, there should be no hesitation in telling your parents or another person you trust. Believe it or not – communication is the key.

Sharing your sexual abuse history can avert the chances of major mental health issues

As per experts, if you keep trauma within yourself, it literally haunts you. It won’t just shake your confidence, but will also cause trust issues. It can isolate you from the rest of the world. If you are cut off socially, there are chances that you will keep rewinding that episode in your head on loop, and this will make it even worse.

nightmares
A healthy mental space is important. In case, you have an unresolved issue dominating your mind, then it won’t be possible. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

According to Dr Sapna Bangar, psychiatrist and head at Mpower The Centre – Mumbai, sharing can simplify a lot of things. She says, “Absolutely, it is especially important to reveal this to a professional. Sexual abuse victims go through a lot of negative emotions like shock, distress, shame, anger, guilt, self-doubt, and subsequent lack of trust. So, it is very important to discuss this with a professional, as sometimes you may believe that the abuse happened a long time ago and is unrelated, but usually, unresolved trauma can lead to multiple issues. There is never a right or wrong way or time to reveal sexual abuse. The victim should be mentally prepared to face the subsequent emotions that this might bring about like reliving the trauma, repression, shame, and doubt. But if the feelings are not dealt with sensitively, it may leave long-term issues like PTSD, anxiety, depression, substance abuse, and personality disorders.”

Also, sharing your history with your partner can also help you make your bond stronger.

Sharing instances of sexual abuse can warn others too

If you keep things to yourself, it gives confidence to the abuser that s/he can escape the consequences. Also, it will also make the family aware of the act of the person, and they will be more vigilant.

So, your coming out can not just help you, but other people too!

helping someone with depression
Everything seems more challenging when you’re dealing with depression. Keep that in mind, when you talk to your friend. Image courtesy: shutterstock

Planning to disclose an incident to someone? This can help

  • If you have decided to share it all, be sure who is going to be your confidant. It can be someone from the family or maybe a professional. But always pick a person who trusts you and who can comfort you, because such disclosures can be emotionally charged.
  • When to disclose your story is also important. The person must have his/her full attention so that s/he can understand and be mature enough to understand your plight.
  • The place where you want to share the incident also matters. It should be someplace, where you are comfortable talking about it. In such cases, a private place is always better, because in case of any unforeseen discussion, there shouldn’t be a moment of embarrassment and agony.
  • How you want to do it is also totally your call. You want to do it in person or you want to talk over a call – the decision lies with you. Just see where your comfort lies.Also, watch:

    Even if the result of the conversation is not what you had desired, but remember you are stronger than this, and this will help you!

Nikita Bhardwaj Nikita Bhardwaj

Six-pack abs are all that Nikita needs, along with her daily dose of green tea. At Health Shots, she produces videos, podcasts, stories, and other kick-ass content.

Mood Music

Listen to science-backed mindful
music to elevate your mood

Listen Now