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.
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.
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.
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!
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!