If you’re anything like me, the last week or so of news has been triggering. Watching the Christine Ford testimony unfold: her a beacon of bravery and strength, Kavanaugh the epitome of a white male being held accountable for their actions for the first time, with Trump’s mockery of Ford acting as the patriarchal cherry on top. It’s been heart-breaking, enraging and mobilising to watch. Women have rallied to #stopkavanaugh, the FBI has found no evidence of rape (because they weren’t looking) and Twitter has been a continuous live feed – from every angle, it’s been overwhelming.
Sometimes, for our own wellbeing, we need to switch off. Go offline. Disengage from the constant barrage of injustices. If you’re a victim of sexual assault, it’s okay not to be okay. You don’t have to speak out. You don’t have to march. You don’t have to come forward. If you can find it within yourself, then you are brilliant and wonderful and strong. If you can’t find it within yourself, then you are brilliant and wonderful and strong. If you’re the latter and need some time out, that’s completely valid. With the below advice, hopefully, we can help you find some quiet again:
LOG OFF FROM TWITTER
Do it for a day, then two days, then a week. Take it in baby steps, remove the app from your phone, resist the subconscious reaction to open it and scroll mindlessly each morning. Twitter makes everyone feel like a news source, and sometimes this is great and inspiring, but other times it gives voices to people we really don’t need to hear. You don’t need to accidentally see a tweet saying that Ford is lying or “deserved it”. You don’t need to see that it has been retweeted thousands and thousands of times.
SPEAK TO OTHER SURVIVORS
There are lots of incredible support groups and hotlines for sexual assault victims. You can speak to a trained person confidentially, who will listen and give you guidance. The US National Sexual Assault hotline got a 201% increase in callers during Ford’s testimony last Friday; you are not alone.
CALL OR FIND A THERAPIST
Therapy is a brilliant tool, it’ll help you take care of yourself and manage being triggered or bushwhacked. However, we know that it is a class and privilege issue – if you can’t afford a therapist, then the NHS does offer services (the waiting lists can be long, but it is worth waiting if you are able to).
KNOW THAT WE BELIEVE YOU. AND BELIEVE HER.
There are millions and millions of people who believe you, who believe her. Sometimes that’s hard to remember when the voices of those who don’t are so loud and hostile.