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wednesday wisdom – self care for the abuse victim

Sexual Awareness month is almost over. However, even though we may be drawing the curtain on this observance, we still need to be aware of how we can keep ourselves safe and support others who have experienced this type of trauma.

Occupational therapy month

April also happens to be Occupational Therapy month. One of the main areas occupational therapists deal with is self-care, therefore as an occupational therapist, I was very pleased to see RAINN (Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network) focusing on self- care for the abuse victim.

What is self-care

Self-care involves not just taking care of oneself physically – observing proper grooming, diet and exercise – but also emotionally. Since your body and mind are interrelated, what affects one affects the other, therefore it makes sense to pay attention to both. My posts usually focus on the physical aspects of self-care, but in this one the emphasis is on the emotional aspect .

The importance of self-care

Sexual assault victims will heal physically from their trauma in a relatively short space of time, but the emotional scars will remain with them for a very long time. This is why it’s so important that they receive counseling and therapy to help them overcome this horrible ordeal.

Steps to emotional healing

  • Talk to someone. This is the first step to emotional healing . You can speak to a family member, friend, therapist or someone you trust.
  • Journaling. Writing your thoughts down helps to bring them into the open where you can deal with them instead of keeping them bottled inside.
  • Prayer and meditation . This will help to calm and relax your body and mind.
  • Read inspirational books. Reading the Bible and books by favorite authors can also help to take your mind off yourself and give you comfort.
  • Spend time with others. This may be the last thing you want to do. However, self-isolating is never a good thing. You should try to spend time with people who are supportive and uplifting.
  • Forgive. Like the previous step, this too may be difficult, but forgiving the person who hurt you may be the most effective step toward healing. Forgiving does not mean you forget, it simply means you release all pent-up feelings of hate or anger toward that person and move on with your life.

As Sexual Awareness month draws to a close, I pray that all victims may find healing, wholeness and peace. Taking care of yourself after a traumatic event may not be easy. If you need to speak to someone, you can call the National Sexual Assault hotline at
800.656.HOPE (4673) or you can fill in the form below to contact me.