Processing the damage of sexual abuse is overwhelming and scary. Victims must often conjure up the bravery to press charges and get the professional help they need to reclaim their lives in the attempt to feel better. With so many sexual abuse cases going unreported, the assault rate is more likely to increase. Personal lives are shattered, and the need to go to the authorities often continues the feelings of vulnerability and exposure that victims are already dealing with.
To move forward and reclaim your life, you need a team of people ready to defend you. If you’re ready, contact the police, reach out to a lawyer, get mental health support, and spend time with people you love and trust. It is not easy to decide which direction to take for healing, but with the right support team by your side, the road to healing is not far away.
You don’t have to go through the path to healing all by yourself. You shouldn’t have had to endure what transpired in the first place. With the right sexual abuse lawyer and support, you can make it through. When you’re ready to make a move, consider the following four steps to start walking down the path to healing.
1. Contact The Authorities
Not all sexual abuse victims want to inform the authorities, and while it is, of course, a personal choice, know that if you choose to report what happened, the sooner you do so, the better. The sooner you contact authorities, the faster you can build your case and get the justice you deserve. It is also essential to consider the consequences of not going to the police.
The perpetrator may not be held responsible for their actions and may harm someone else. At the same time, what happened to you is personal, so consider your own needs as well.
2. Contact A Sexual Abuse Lawyer
Overcoming something as tragic as sexual abuse requires immense emotional and, often, legal support. There is no excuse for abuse. Get rightful justice with the help of a sexual abuse lawyer. Working with a sexual abuse lawyer can help you build your case, represent you in court, and inform you of the monetary gains you may be entitled to based on your case.
The right sexual abuse lawyer will understand the emotional weight these cases create for victims. Their top priority is understanding what you seek from filing your claim and going to court. Always work with a sexual abuse lawyer you trust, and never settle for someone who expects to be paid upfront. Remember to consider the lawyer’s reputation and find someone you feel will represent you well.
If the first sexual abuse lawyer you meet with seems disinterested or not emotionally invested in your case, you have every right to find a better sexual abuse lawyer. Take your time with the process, and don’t settle for less than you deserve.
3. Seek Effective Mental Health Treatment
Victims of sexual abuse have endured sexual trauma, which can interfere with one’s quality of life. Reclaiming ownership of your body and mental stability are two critical components for dealing with this trauma effectively. In addition to getting the proper legal support from a sexual abuse lawyer, you might also consider mental health treatment.
Seek out help from a counselor specializing in treating sexual abuse trauma and practicing self-care. It’s not easy to open up to anyone about sexual abuse, but you can gradually build a strong rapport with a counselor you trust and get the validation you deserve at your own pace. By speaking about what happened with a counselor, you may begin to feel more comfortable talking to a sexual abuse lawyer and taking active measures to resolve your case.
You may also find that you need more than one style of therapy to get your needs met. Trauma-focused therapies like EMDR are often supported by cognitive behavioral therapy, so you can learn to process what you went through. It may also be helpful to find support groups related to your trauma as supplemental forms of mental health support. Learning how to discuss objectively managing the effects of the abuse in the group may help you speak more openly with your sexual abuse lawyer so you can build case approaches together.
4. Spend Time With Friends & Family
Finding social support is just as important as the other steps. In the aftermath of abuse, spending time with friends and family may provide victims with a means to develop security and emotional support that is urgently needed at this time. Tragic events can often create a sense of urgency, which may mean that victims feel more compelled to spend time with friends and family as they heal. If for no other reason than a mental distraction, getting support by visiting friends and family can be a handy tool to find security and move forward.
The uncertainty of what transpired can often cause victims to seek the renewal of estranged family bonds. If you feel a need to spend more time with family and friends, explain this urgency to them so you can have your needs met. You don’t need to suffer in silence with family, friends, and a legal representation through a sexual abuse lawyer. Get the help you need.
You might also reach out to friends or family members you haven’t seen in a while. The more you can grow your network, the more support you’ll feel that you have around you. If part of immersing yourself in support requires that you relocate to be closer to family, this may be an additional step to take as you work towards healing.
You Deserve To Heal
Finding the courage to get the help you need to heal is an honorable achievement. It may feel like a battle, but you can reclaim your life and find peace again with the proper support by your side. You deserve to heal. Reach out to your support network today.