A few weeks ago I was talking with a deeply wise woman, 63yrs young. We talked about a lot of things and eventually the conversation moved to sexual abuse, it’s impact on a person’s life and how so much goes unreported.
In the safety of the conversation, we both shared our own story of being sexually assaulted as children, not the details but the fact we never told anyone at the time. I finally told my family at the age of 32 years.
I am intensely aware we are not being alone in the experience of not reporting or talking about it. 80% of women I see in clinic have had some form of sexual abuse.
In 2021 the statistics show 23% of women have been sexually assaulted, that’s 2.2 million women who have actually reported it. You and I both know there is a huge number of women that don’t.
An essential part to reclaiming your body and pleasure is by becoming embodied in ways that feel good and safe.
Below are 7 ways to reconnect with yourself through embodiment:
1. Yoga practices, yin yoga is great for calming the nervous system and feeling the whole body.
2. Exercise, it can be a gentle walk around the block. Moving helps complete the stress cycle.
3. Breath practices, breathing in for the count of 4 and out for the count of 8 calms the nervous system.
4. Self massage excluding genitals.
5. Self pleasuring within your comfort level, not goal focused.
6. Having a bath, both relaxing and creates bodily sensation.
7. Being in nature, barefoot is very grounding.
Finding the courage to address it helps to heal the shame and dissociation it can create and restore agency to you of your beautiful body. In a way, it’s a key to finding love and compassion for yourself in a way you may never have loved yourself before. If you have been assaulted and would like support, please reach out to me or seek professional help, below are some helplines in Australia. I work with psychologists, psychotherapists, and counsellors who support clients psychologically whilst we work together to restore a pleasurable connection with the body.
Phone: 1800 737 732
NSW Sexual Violence Helpline now known as Full Stop Australia
Phone: 1800 385 578
Rainbow Sexual, Domestic and Family Violence Helpline
Phone: 1800 729 367