The public knowledge and recognition of sexual assault has increased over the years, especially due to movements like the no more and me too movement.
There has been so much gaslighting and victim-blaming in our culture that it has made it hard for survivors of sexual assault to really recognize and admit what happened to them.
The purpose of this article is to help clarify and validate survivors of sexual assault.
Being a survivor of sexual assault can be one of the most difficult things than any human can go through.
People can often go through the five stages of grief when it comes to their assault, and one of the first stages of grief is denial. It feels easier for a nervous system to handle if what happened was in someway our fault. That’s why it’s really important to clarify, that sexual assault is never the fault of anyone other than the perpetrator.
SEXUAL ASSAULT IS ANY TYPE OF SEXUAL CONTACT WITHOUT CONSENT.
Below I’ve listed a few concrete examples of what sexual assault is.
1. If the survivor of the assault was under the influence, especially if they were experiencing brown or black outs (meaning they were drunk or high to the point where their memory was going in and out) they could not give consent. So if there was sexual contact made by the perpetrator when the survivor was heavily under the influence of drugs or alcohol, this would be considered sexual assault. We need to be in our conscious mind to give consent.
2. If the survivor of the assault gave indications verbally or non-verbally of being uncomfortable with a sexual encounter, but the perpetrator did not stop or ask for consent then this is considered sexual assault. It’s important for us to think about nonverbal communication because this is the vast majority of how we communicate as humans is using nonverbal’s. If the perpetrator was not paying attention to obvious nonverbal‘s such as anxiety as evidenced by breathing quickly and looking away, facial expressions of disgust or fear, then the perpetrator was not interested in consent.
3. The perpetrator felt obligated to the sexual contact, due to being in a relationship with the person or the survivor giving consent at some point in the past. Consent isn’t something that is agreed-upon based on being in a marriage or relationship. Consent isn’t something that holds up for years, consent is something that is agreed-upon in each new sexual act. Just because someone has had consensual sexual contact with someone in the past does not mean that they can never be sexually assaulted by that person. In fact, the majority sexual assault is by someone the survivor knows well.
Here are all the reasons for sexual assault:
1. The fact that the perpetrator wanting to sexually assault.
It’s never the survivors fault. No matter what they were wearing, what substances they were or were not on, their relationship to the perpetrator, their relationship to sex, where they were.
It’s important that we BELIEVE and STAND WITH survivors of sexual assault.
I believe you. And it wasn’t your fault.
If you have any more questions about rape, sexual assault, ptsd or trauma therapy please reach out via the Metta Holistic Therapy contact page or email me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org – if you’re in crisis or an emergency please call 911.