When it comes to sexual assault, there’s a new winner: The loser.
The winner is the one who loses.
It’s that simple.
When you lose, you can’t help but feel sorry for yourself.
That feeling is a part of our trauma-informed culture.
And in the same way that the loss of a loved one can be traumatic for a survivor, the loss a sexual predator can be can also be traumatic.
In fact, the victim can feel as if she or he was a victim.
So, when the perpetrator does something sexual, like rape, or assault, or kidnapping, the survivor has a lot to go through to feel like a victim and to feel good about herself.
This is why victims of sexual violence are so important in the fight for justice.
But what does a victim’s loss feel like?
If you are a victim of sexual assault or abuse, you might have a hard time figuring out what to say to someone who’s experienced the same thing.
The person you’re talking to is not going to have the same empathy you do.
You might be upset about the victim’s story, wondering what she could have done differently.
Or you might think it’s not your place to comment on what happened to you, because you know you’re not a victim in this situation.
These are all valid questions.
But the way you talk to someone about it can make a big difference.
That’s what psychologist, researcher and author of the book The Victim’s Locker: How to Stop Being a Victim of Sexual Assault and Abuse, Kelly Dombrowski, hopes to offer you.
Dombrowsky started to work with sexual assault survivors in the mid-2000s.
She said that when a survivor is raped, they feel like their entire world is going to crumble around them.
“When they feel trapped in their own minds and can’t figure out how to escape, that’s when you’re going to see the pain in their eyes,” she told me.
“The most painful part of it for a victim is knowing how many people have been in that situation and that they will never get over it,” she said.
“They will never be able to get over the pain of their own life.”
The sad truth is, people don’t understand the depth of pain of sexual abuse, Dombrowksy said.
Many survivors aren’t able to articulate the pain they feel, she said, because they feel embarrassed to admit they have experienced the pain.
But Dombramski said that people need to understand how serious it can be to lose a loved life, especially if they’ve been in a situation like that.
We are in a time of unprecedented trauma.
We are in an age when we need to learn to heal, and we need each other to heal.
For more on sexual assault and abuse, listen to the Dobbs and Stoller interview below: For those of you who are victims of abuse and want to find help, the National Sexual Assault Hotline can connect you with a therapist, a crisis counselor or an advocate.
To learn more about sexual assault victims and to find resources to help them, visit www.sexualassault-hotline.org.