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[Love Wants Sexual Blessing Series 321]Stability → Complaint → Conversion → Establishment → Reconciliation Help survivors of sexual assault out of the haze

[Love Wants Sexual Blessing Series 321]Stability → Complaint → Conversion → Establishment → Reconciliation Help survivors of sexual assault out of the haze

Transcript: Liang Yingxiu

(Kuala Lumpur News) Although we are already in a relatively civilized modern society, and people have a better understanding and awareness of gender equality and self-rights, there are still more sexual violence incidents than we thought.

According to reports, last year in Malaysia,

A total of 12,890 criminal cases related to sexual violence were reported,

These include rape, incest, sexual molestation, sexual abuse, child abuse or abandonment,

and domestic violence.

Everyone responds differently

Registered psychological counselor Xie Peiyi pointed out that these tens of thousands of cases remind us that sexual violence can happen to anyone regardless of age, gender, internal and external conditions, religious belief or socioeconomic status.

“The part I want to discuss this time mainly focuses on the self-adjustment and repair of the survivors who have established a substantive life and are psychologically safe and no longer threatened by sexual violence.”

She pointed out that incidents of sexual violence such as sexual harassment and assault are often regarded as a traumatic experience. The so-called traumatic incidents are often unpredictable and difficult for us to resist. It can also lead to a feeling that life safety is threatened, or that personal bodily integrity has been violated.

Therefore, the first thing we have to do is to re-establish a sense of security, establish a safe environment that can meet the basic needs of life, and no longer need to feel fear, fear, or threat. Only after we confirm our own safety can we have the opportunity to process and integrate this experience.

“What I want to emphasize here is that everyone is a unique individual, with different life experiences, different responses to stress or danger, and different recovery steps. Therefore, there is no such thing as a proper or correct emotional behavior response, coping method, or healing time.”

or experience multiple trauma responses

After experiencing sexual violence, survivors’ daily life, physical and mental health, as well as their sense of self-worth, order, and safety may all be affected, resulting in a sense of chaos, and they may also experience multiple trauma reactions. These chaos are the innate survival mechanism of human beings after trauma and are also part of the healing process.

“Survivors may present a variety of different reactions, and may also have confusing feelings. When dealing with integrating experiences of violence and memories, we need to allow these feelings and emotional responses to have an outlet.”

According to research, the road to trauma recovery can be divided into 5 stages, that is, stabilization, narration, transformation, establishment and reconciliation.

She said that after having settled down and decided not to be threatened anymore, survivors can talk about their experiences and release their emotions to trusted objects, such as family members, friends, professional counselors or social workers who can understand the survivors. Try to get someone the survivor trusts to know how the survivor really feels.

“If this kind of self-disclosure is difficult for the survivor, the survivor can first set up a psychological boundary, freely choose the time, environment and objects that make the survivor feel quiet, talk about this experience, and reveal the part that the survivor is willing to disclose, sort out and integrate bit by bit, and deal with the loss and pain caused by this incident in the process.”

“But these losses vary from person to person, and may be loss of trust in people, loss of autonomy and integrity of the body, loss of basic security, or other losses.”

Encouraging them to speak is also encouraging them to face up to this experience, and slowly heal that part of the injured self through various methods such as speaking, writing, or artistic expression, trying to break free from the solidified victim identity, and gradually regain control and autonomy of life.

ashamed of one’s own experience

She emphasized that it is recommended to be accompanied by professionals during this process, but in fact, it is not necessary to enter individual counseling or psychotherapy to be considered on the road to recovery. Everyone’s journey is different, and you can find a way that suits you. There are several parts here that are worthy of our consideration.

The first part is that while we often say to survivors, “It wasn’t your fault,” often when things happen, the idea of ​​blaming the victim is still prevalent.

Survivors in society and even survivors may have some tendency to self-criticize; such as: “Well! I should pay more attention to the environment!”, “I was really careless!”, or “You are still playing outside at that time, you asked for it!”

These concepts and thoughts are the stereotyped myths of sexual assault in society. Many survivors feel guilty and ashamed about their experiences, so that they often doubt themselves.

Here we must firmly believe that no matter when and where, no one has the right to infringe on other people’s bodily autonomy. In the face of sexual violence, what we have to do is not to review the survivors, but to condemn the perpetrators who violated others because of their desires, and the environment in which survivors are blamed.

Let emotions have an outlet

Do not reinforce feelings of victimization

Mention that survivors may have multiple responses and feelings of confusion, in terms of processing, integration

When experiencing violence, the most important thing is to let these feelings and emotional reactions have an outlet.

Please think about it: How do you view sexual violence incidents?

Xie Peiyi said that being sexually harassed or assaulted is an experience in life, but it should not be a label attached to the survivor. We understand that a traumatic experience is destructive to the individual, but no one has the right to help the survivor decide how to organize and digest this experience.

Create a Safer Telling Environment

“We have to be careful not to add to the victim’s sense of victimization in the survivor’s experience.”

For example, some people may really care about it, but they may not be able to help but say: “Your life has been ruined like this, what should you do in the future?”

She emphasized that these speeches have already experienced the inevitability and severity of trauma, and sometimes may bring more burdens to survivors; what we can do is to encourage society to break the silence and build a more inclusive and safer environment for speaking, so that various experiences have the opportunity and rights to be heard and recognized.

“If a survivor of sexual violence chooses to share their experiences with you, you can thank them for telling you about them based on emotional support and trust.”

She pointed out that choosing to speak out about trauma usually requires some conflicts and struggles. This is not an easy task. Even if you think he could have better protected himself, remember that the person we really want to blame should be the perpetrator. We must firmly support the survivor, take the initiative to care but not overprotect, respect his decision, and accompany the survivor to seek professional assistance when necessary.

Trying to Reconcile with Traumatic Experiences

“When survivors have the space and opportunity to talk about and sort out this experience, the next part of the effort is to try to transform this traumatic memory.”

In this, I can see and affirm my own efforts, as well as courage, try to transform the voice of self-blame into insightful self-reflection, and slowly regain my autonomy. The next step is to re-develop trust in myself and others, and rebuild the connection between myself and others.

She reminded that the last part of the next step is to try to reconcile with myself, and reconcile with past traumatic experiences, and find the sense of mission and meaning in my life again. To be honest, this is not an easy task, but it is not a distant or impossible goal. I hope that everyone can work together to create a more kind society that does not need to deliberately protect oneself.

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