Louis C.K. Accused of Sexual Misconduct by 5 Women
On Thursday, the New York Times reported that five women have accused comedian Louis C.K. of engaging in sexual misconduct. The allegations include graphic descriptions of lewd and inappropriate behavior that may be difficult to read. You can read the allegations made against C.K. in the New York Times, but if you are a sexual assault survivor or someone who finds this news triggering, please know it’s OK to prioritize your own well-being when news like this breaks.
Accounts of sexual assault can be incredibly difficult for survivors to read and can trigger memories of past assaults, even in those without PTSD. RAINN, the nation’s leading anti-sexual violence organization, has “seen an increase in calls since the [Weinstein] story broke, as we often do when sexual assault is in the news,” its press secretary Sara McGovern told Tonic.
C.K. is the latest to be accused of sexual misconduct since the Harvey Weinstein assault claims last month, allegations which sparked a wave of survivors coming forward with stories about their own assaults. To start a conversation in light of allegations against Weinstein, actress Alyssa Milano asked people to post the phrase “me too” if they’ve ever experienced sexual assault or harassment, sparking a viral trend and putting sexual assault survivors and their stories further into the spotlight.
As important as these conversations are, it is OK if you find them tough to witness or participate in, especially if you’re still processing and recovering from your own experiences with sexual harassment or assault.
It’s OK to take a step back from the news.
While it might be easy to ignore an article, it’s often harder to ignore the commentary of friends, family and others on social media who are shocked or disappointed by the actions of someone they once admired.
It’s OK to unplug for a while to protect your mental health. If it makes you anxious to not know what is going on news-wise, enlist the help of a friend to keep you updated on non-sexual assault related news. Whatever you choose to do, don’t feel the pressure to “stay informed” if the news causes you psychological stress.
You don’t have to share your story.
When news like this breaks, it can encourage people to open up about their own experiences with sexual harassment or assault. If you do choose to open up, that’s OK. If you don’t feel ready to share or don’t want to, you have the power to make that decision. Do what feels best for you, and no matter what, know that you, your story and your feelings are important and valid.
You’re not alone.
If news like this is triggering for you, please know you aren’t alone. If you are struggling with past sexual trauma and need to talk to someone right now, call the National Sexual Assault Telephone Hotline at 800.656.HOPE (4673) to be connected with a trained staff member from a sexual assault service provider in your area. To learn more about sexual assault prevention and access resources, visit Rainn.org.
If you or a loved one is affected by sexual abuse or assault and need help, call the National Sexual Assault Telephone Hotline at 1-800-656-4673 to be connected with a trained staff member from a sexual assault service provider in your area.
Photo via “Louie” Facebook page