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6 Reminders That Healing After Sexual Violence Is Possible (and 6 More Messages of Support)

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Editor's Note

If you’ve experienced sexual abuse or assault, the following post could be potentially triggering. You can contact The National Sexual Assault Telephone Hotline at 1-800-656-4673.

We probably already know what you’re thinking; healing after sexual violence feels impossible. But, what if we told you that you’re not alone in that thought? Lots of people feel that way, but healing isn’t out of reach — healing after sexual violence is possible. It’s right there, waiting for you. Everyone here at The Mighty believes so strongly in your strength, your ferocity, and your capability of overcoming the sexual violence you experienced.

That’s why we asked our trauma community to offer a few words of support. Below, you’ll find six reminders that healing after sexual violence is possible, along with six more reminders that every survivor of sexual violence needs to hear.

Ready to jump in?

Yes, Healing After Sexual Violence Is Possible

“You cannot blame yourself for what was done to you. It will pop up in your memories, but if you work towards healing, it will hurt a whole lot less. You can do it.” — @ladyoftheelephants

“It was not your fault. I remember the day that truth took root in my mind; it changed me. I started to heal. You didn’t deserve what happened, it didn’t happen because you are worthless, defective, or any of those other lies your mind is trying to convince you of. You are deserving of love and care.” — @ginger112

“No matter the reactions you’ve had because of your trauma(s), the fact that you are hurting and angry because of what happened to you doesn’t make you a bad person. When you decide that you want to heal, that is the time you will begin to see how strong and resilient you are and have been. That is when you will learn you can trust yourself to choose who you do and don’t keep in your life. You will go from victim to survivor to thriver.” — @kaylabrown08

“Please don’t carry shame. I carried it around for 40 years; I was 12 and never told anyone until I turned 50. It robbed me of being the person I was meant to be. Tell someone, see a therapist, and get help early on. You can overcome and do great things.” — @newkidney1

“It’s time to open the cell you’ve created for yourself. Close your eyes and go in and rescue that child from the situation. Take her home. Tell her it was never her fault. Tell her how much she is loved, that she is innocent. It was done to her. Then, take gentle care of her. Because she is amazing. There is no one else like her. Look at those unique fingerprints. I believe you. I’m sorry it happened to you. It was never your fault. I love you. Never give up on healing.” — RP

“Do what you love. Make decisions on the basis of what makes you happy, not on the basis of what you imagine some non-traumatized version of yourself would want. You’re adequate just as you are. Don’t feel like you’re lesser than someone without trauma.” — @catpi

Reminders Every Survivor of Sexual Violence Needs to Hear

“You’re so strong for continuing on. Do not lose heart.” — @_roslynnn

“You may feel like your assailant and the event make you less of a person, but they don’t. You are still incredible and worthy of love and happiness regardless of what anyone else says. The actions of others don’t change who you are — don’t let anyone steal your shine.” — Megan Glosson

“You survived. You are not alone. I believe you.” — @emilyvieweg

If your body responded to the assault, that doesn’t mean you wanted it or consented.” — Monika Sudakov

“The assault is not ‘you.’ It is what happened to you. It does not define you or represent who you are. It is the past, and you are a survivor.” — @marlamoi

“Forgive yourself because you did nothing wrong and you did what you had to do in that moment to survive.” — @kaysparkles

If you’re ready to heal from the trauma you experienced due to sexual violence and you’re not sure where to start, we’ve got you covered. Check out the articles below:

Getty Images photo via Tim Robberts

Originally published: April 13, 2022
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