How to deal with a woman traumatized by rape
Let’s make things clear from the beginning. Rape is a violent act where one person takes control of the other’s body and exploits them for sex. Moreover, it’s also when one manipulates the other into having intercourse without them giving consent. Either way, both males and females can be victims. Still, statistics show that women are often targets of such violent acts way more often. The same goes for developed countries like the United States.
Rape is a heinous act — there are no two ways about it. Sexual abuse is as horrible as anything else you can come up with. But it’s not just about us preaching about this topic online, hoping that no one attempts it from now on. It’s way more important to help actual rape victims at this moment. A logical question to this would be, “How can I deal with rape victims?” Well, either as a friend or family member, there are quite a few ways. Let’s check them out.
One of the dumbest arguments people have is saying that the victim was responsible. “She shouldn’t have worn that short skirt,” or “It was her fault for walking alone in the dead of night.” Such horrible phrases are more than typically in comment sections on social media, making the whole deal worse for victims. Many victims are in a bad mental state, and some might start believing this nonsense. That is why we need to stop such comments as soon as they appear.
But how can you stop anonymous profiles on Twitter or Instagram? Well, you can’t. The only thing we can do is not make such outlandish claims ourselves. Firstly, it’s deeply wrong, and no human being should say horrible words like those. On the other hand, it’s bad manners to talk ill of anyone suffering. Not only does this justify the wrongdoers, but it also hurts the mental health of victims and gives out a bad example for future generations.
Don’t Preach About the Bible
It doesn’t matter what your religion is — don’t preach any religious texts from either the Bible, the Quran, the Talmud, etc. None of that can help turn the tide and prevent the actual rape from happening. It can only make things worse, as many of these religious texts justify such acts directly or indirectly. That can, again, make matters worse for the victim’s mental state and disrupt the healing process.
Rape and sexual assault aren’t any divine interventions. They are terrible crimes that mustn’t go unpunished. And no, we’re not going into a zealot spiral, talking about how we should stone the wrongdoer at a public square. Not at all. We’re are talking about how survivors of sexual assault require actual medical care. They need to see a gynecologist and a psychiatrist before seeing a priest in a confession booth. Spiritualism can come after, and only if the sexual assault victim is looking specifically for it.
Help Them Seek Support and Counseling
The unfortunate reality of sexual violence is that it’s a prevalent crime, even in first-world countries like the United States. There are numerous national sexual assault hotlines, support groups, and councils that can provide help. They should be first on your list if you’re looking to help a victim of rape. Moreover, instead of talking to them about things you don’t know and haven’t experienced, encourage them to seek actual help.
These groups are full of women who’ve gone through the same experience, which is what you’d want in a situation like this. Luckily, each state or county has its local sexual assault service, and you can Google them up and reach out to someone who can inform you of your further steps. Nevertheless, there’s no need for you to push your friend, partner, or family member into doing this. Allows them to take their time and feel comfortable before reaching out to any support group or professional assistant.
Be Consistent With Communication
Although we’ve said how you shouldn’t preach or talk about things you don’t understand, we didn’t mean that you shouldn’t communicate at all with the victim. We encourage anyone in contact with a sex assault victim to reach out to them not because you can say something witty and have a particular angle about dealing with this topic but because victims need to stay in touch with society.
It’s easy for victims to feel like they don’t belong after experiencing a horrible event like that. What’s more, many of them do feel like that. Therefore, they engage in numerous automatic negative thoughts. That means that they, by default, find the root of the problem inside themselves, which isn’t the case. And even if it were, there’s no room for such thinking, as it can only take them down, spiraling even further.
Never Encourage Them to ‘Fix’ Things
In the end, we need to mention yet another warning. If your friend, intimate partner, or family member has gone through such a traumatic event, we strongly urge you not to tell them to fix things. That is almost in line with blaming the victim. That is, it’s counterproductive and borderline offensive to call them out like they’re down for no good reason. Like with other types of sexual and domestic violence, rape isn’t something that can go away if you concentrate hard on it. It never can. It’s part of them for the rest of their lives.
Telling someone to fix their feelings is like adding fuel to the fire — it can only worsen the problem. Fixing something means that you’ve broken it. In other words, telling someone to fix everything implies that you’re the one to blame for it. Even if you have good intentions, treating this type of sexual violence doesn’t work like that.
The only way to beat this trauma is to work with professionals who study their whole lives to help victims of rape and other forms of violence. Therefore, we once again suggest reaching out to a local support group before handing out advice on topics you know nothing about.