Sexual Assault: From Hollywood to Politics
The stigma associated with sexual abuse is a debilitating reality that most abuse victims face. Not only do these individuals feel burdened with the physical and emotional challenges while being victimized, but once they finally muster the courage to tell their stories they are faced with skepticism and doubt. If we continue treating victims this way, the vicious cycle will continue as well as the demise of our moral compasses.
Why are we shocked when we hear reports of sexual abuse allegations against celebrities and politicians? In response to the profusion of claims of sexual harassment in Hollywood, celebrities took to twitter to shine light on the extent of the problem with the hashtag #MeToo. People all over the world responded in an uproar, and thousands of victims came forward with their experiences.
In an interview with Marriage and Family Therapist, Ariana Savich, she states that unsurprisingly, there’s a theme with those in power taking advantage of that power. Though the actions may be physical, the catalyst to this type of abuse is the need for control and dominance. The attention to this problem may have started in Hollywood, but it made its way into politics, the workplace and many homes.
Savich explained that we are finally exposing the dirty secrets of what has been going on for years. We can no longer turn a blind eye because now these problems are being brought to light. As a society, our tolerance for abuse and injustice has decreased, which brings about hope for the future. According to Psychology Today, “For those seeking to increase sympathy for victims, a practical first step may be to change how we talk: Focusing less on victims and more on perpetrators—‘Why did he think he had license to rape?’ rather than ‘Imagine what she must be going through—may be a more effective way of serving justice” (Dorbin, 2017).
Now that these challenges have surfaced, let us take a proactive stance in how we respond. As a society, we need to destigmatize mental health treatment, and replace it with a supportive approach for those seeking treatment. Whether sexual abuse victims are suffering from depression, flashbacks, or post-traumatic stress disorder, there are evidence-based treatment modalities to help these individuals build the coping skills they need to thrive. Not only will therapy improve the individual’s quality of life, but will help create a more productive society by supporting people who can make contributions to our communities.
Written by Mashal Rezai
Intake Coordinator, Balance Treatment Center
Dobrin, A. (2017, May 08). The Victim Is To Blame. Retrieved February 01, 2018, from https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/am-i-right/201705/the-victim-is-blame