Since the Fall of 2017, we have seen a growth in solidarity behind Tarana Burke’s #MeToo movement. Hundreds of people have found the strength within themselves to hold their abusers accountable for the damage they’ve done. From the toppling of greats like Harvey Weinstein to our own friends speaking up, we’ve come to learn that more people, specifically women, have experienced sexual assault than originally thought.
Speaking up in itself is a form of healing. Finding the strength within to tell your friends, family, or even just your therapist is a great step forward in recovering from the trauma of the assault. Of course, there will be some roadblocks. Memories of traumas can seep in unexpectedly and haunt your sex life. It can be embarrassing, frightening, and absolutely frustrating.
Re-teaching your body how to enjoy pleasure is a great step towards healing yourself after experiencing assault. This doesn’t mean forcing yourself to masturbate every day until you like it again. It means exploring yourself slowly and sensually over time. It’s hard to say where to start because everyone is so different. It’s important, however, to begin with your triggers in mind so you know to avoid anything that will sour your experience. If you’re using toys, try ones that aren’t anatomically correct. Your end goal is to find things that excite you while feeling safe.
Healing from sexual trauma is a long, painful journey. Masturbation and exploring self-pleasure is just one small step in the process. For more information on the healing process, this Bustle article provides some easy steps to follow. No matter who you are, know you are not alone, we believe you, and there is a light at the end of the tunnel.