5/15/2010

Can sexual assault and domestic violence victims heal emotionally

Almost everyone asks me this question. It doesn't matter if I'm speaking to a large group or a small one. Generally one person will ask and everyone else will nod or straighten in their seat. Sometimes a large hush will fill the room as everyone leans in to hear.

The answer is a resounding "Yes"! Victims can heal. I use the term victim here because once a victim makes a conscious  decision to move beyond the horror she or he becomes a survivor. This is no little feat but it is ultimately the most important one to make.

When a victim becomes a survivor they make a promise to themselves. It is a promise to find healing. Survivor don't just reach for healing. They hunt it down and claim it a their own. The journey is different for every person. Sometimes it may take awhile. Sometimes not. Sometimes we fall and have to get back up again. That's ok.

The most important thing is that healing after domestic violence or sexual assault is possible. The second most important thing is to reach for it.

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