October 24, 2016

5 Ways You Can Break the Silence of Your Abuse

There is solace in breaking our silence. A strength of spirit when sharing our truth. It all starts with the choice to live on the other side of Victim.

-Christine Macdonald-

There may come a time that you, as a survivor of childhood sexual abuse, will want to tell your story. You’ll want to break the silence that you’ve held for however many years. That’s a brave thing to do. When you feel that you’re ready to do it, here are five ways that you can break your silence. These are listed in order from the most private way to the least private way.

As you make the decision to talk about what happened to you, make sure that you do it in a healthy, safe way. There can be a risk of re-traumatizing yourself if you’re not careful. Above all, take care of yourself, stay in tune with your emotions, and if it gets to be too much, take a step back and regroup.

1. Write about it.

Although this may not seem like a “real” way to break your silence, it can often be the first step. Pull out a journal or a piece of paper or write on the back of an envelope. Just write it down. If you’re not ready to share it, go ahead and keep it secret or destroy it. Do this as often as you need to until you feel like you’re ready to be more vocal or more public about it.

2. Get artistic about it.

Maybe words aren’t your favorite way to communicate. Perhaps you’re better at sharing your emotions through another medium. Sharing your abuse through art, song, or some other way may give you the strength you need to vocalize what happened.

3. Talk about it.

Sit down with someone you trust – a parent, a friend, a therapist. Don’t just blurt it out, prepare them a little bit by letting them know that you’re telling them something that they may not know and that is difficult for you to talk about.

4. Share with others about it.

Join a support group for survivors of childhood sexual abuse led by a licensed clinician. It will give you the chance to share with others as well as hearing their stories. You’ll know that you’re not alone and you’ll be able to see what therapies and techniques have worked for others.

5. Post about it.

If writing it down is the most private way to break the silence, posting about it on social media would be the most public. It can also be the most dangerous, in terms of the response that you’ll receive. If you post it on your own page, you’ll be able to delete negative comments. If you post on another board or in the comment thread of another board, you will be at the mercy of the monitors of that board.

Talking about your sexual abuse can be freeing, but make sure that you are ready to reveal it in a way that is safe for you. There’s no pressure for you to share everything at once or to talk about it before you’re ready. Do what’s best for you and, above all, take care of yourself.