Sex after sexual assault can be tough. Mental, emotional, and physical hardships are entirely legitimate, but the stereotype of sexual assault survivors as damaged and unable to function “normally” is utterly false. We all deserve a healthy sex life if we want one. So here’s a helpful guide to getting all the self-care and pleasure you deserve after surviving sexual assault.
As feminist allies to survivors, we must believe that a survivor’s account of their sexual assault is true. Please read this article to understand why — even if we experience their account as disoriented, foggy, or even factually incorrect — we must understand that they are still telling their own deepest truth, and we must honor that. Survivors deserve our support.
I’ve had this experience a million times. It’s one of the complicated realities that come along with being a progressive-minded person: The jokes just aren’t as funny anymore. When we can see the humanity behind the people who these jokes target, and when we understand the implications of the privileged laughing at the marginalized, we lose our ability to laugh at their expense.
Rape jokes are just not funny. They can be traumatizing and anyone around you may be a survivor without you knowing it. To see why these jokes continue, we need to understand how sexual violence is made insignificant and normalized, the ways we contribute to rape culture, and how to address people who make them. And most importantly, we need to take care of ourselves when it happens.
No one wants to think about the sexual abuse of children, particularly involving their own kids. But it’s a devastating reality that too many children face, and we help no one when we avoid it. We must be educated in order to be prepared to help the survivors – your kids, your nieces and nephews, your friends’ kids. So here’s a breakdown of what is it and what to do if a child is being abused.
For as feminist as I am, and for as committed to appreciating every body at every size, and as interested as I am to redefining my own understanding of health, I too fall into the trap of shaming my body for having flesh and weight. And my guess is that I’m not alone. So here are some ways to get into a loving frame of mind toward your body and exercising
There isn’t a person on this planet who can say that they have never reacted on pure emotion when it may have been more appropriate to first take a deep breath and to calm down before reacting. But that takes a certain skill set that most of us haven’t yet mastered. Here are a few helpful acronyms to remember and to practice as we find the best ways to handle our emotions.
Menstruation. That dirty little secret that half the population is expected to keep. That shameful reality that we take extreme measures to avoid. It’s completely reasonable that one might not enjoy a period. But those are not reasons to be shamed for having a body that bleeds. We need to reclaim this experience and find power in the blood that unites us!
As social creatures, we thrive in community and rely on each other for our very survival and use empathy to connect and build that community. But we train empathy out of our bodies by shielding our eyes to what we do not want to see – ignoring the raw humanity and need that is right in front of us, that would make us ache if we would only let it. This has an impact on us as individuals and as a community.
While there are many glaring examples of rape culture, there’s also a covert nature to rape culture that often goes unnoticed. We must also look beyond the overt ways in which rape apologia exists and recognize exactly how it sneaks into our everyday life. So let’s look at some pervasive and normalized parts of society that contribute to it and what you can do about it in your life.