Today I am thinking about all the victims of any kind of violence. There is no hierarchy in violence and there is no hierarchy among the victims of violence and abuse.

On the occasion of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, I had the pleasure of being interviewed by Danila Calabrese in collaboration with PlusCollective about violence, sexuality, and the benefits of being heard and accepted! Today I am thinking of all people being abused, vulva owners and not, identifying as women or not, and also non-binary people. Reach for help, what happened once does not have to determine your future! You are worthy of a joyful life and fulfilling sexuality!

I wish this small contribution will give hope and some practical info, you can watch the video through this link on the PlusCollective FB-page: https://fb.watch/9v0Ru1k_pq/

During our lives, we could come to face situations that are in a fundamental way shocking and apparently beyond our resources. Getting into these situations activates a strong body and mind survival mechanism.

WHAT HAPPENED IS NOT YOUR FAULT! Under shock (eg. during an abuse) the nervous system can produce also sexual reactions – It is not your fault, it does not mean consent!

Don’t be ashamed of your reactions. Your body and mind reacted in the best way they could to preserve you alive. Humans are recovering, tenacious, and surviving creatures.

Surely in the long run those preserving mechanisms can be perceived as debilitating.

Can therapy help? What kind of therapy?

Therapy and therapist should make you feel safe to dismantle your preserving mechanisms. Sexual therapy can be of great help to reconnect with your sexuality and body.

Instead of shutting the door to your sexuality, you can try to draw energies from it. Tap into sexually positive and pleasant experiences to boost your resources also in other areas of life.

Yet I want to stress that sexual therapy might not be enough if you feel that you still need to process the trauma (in case it happened recently or if you just discovered that you have been abused eg. as a child and your mind shut down the memory for years). In this case, it is better to visit a trauma therapist or a psychotherapist with deep experience of trauma treatments. Sexual therapy can be set side by side with these other therapies or after them.

What  you should expect and hope from sexual therapy after a traumatic experience:

  1. To be encountered and heard on your terms.
  2. To be taken seriously.
  3. No additional suffering/no need to go through the trauma again.
  4. To feel secure, to grow hope for recovery.
  5. Rediscover the value and the healing potential of sexuality and sex.

Who can you contact in case of abuse:
Seri-tukikeskukset at Hus/TYKS/TAYS,
https://www.hus.fi/en/patient/hospitals-and-other-units/womens-hospital/seri-support-center-victims-sexual-assault
Phone, 24-hour phone service: 040 701 8446
THL serikesus’ page with all the links in Finland
https://thl.fi/fi/web/lapset-nuoret-ja-perheet/hyvinvointi-ja-terveys/vakivallan-ehkaisy/seksuaalivakivalta/seri-seksuaalivakivallan-uhrin-tukikeskukset
The federation of mothers and child shelter: https://ensijaturvakotienliitto.fi/en/
Nollalinja: https://nollalinja.fi/en/ tel.080005005
Naistenlinja: https://naistenlinja.fi/
Välitä-seksuaaliväkivalta suppurt groups and services. Tampere area:
https://thl.fi/fi/web/lapset-nuoret-ja-perheet/hyvinvointi-ja-terveys/vakivallan-ehkaisy/seksuaalivakivalta/seri-seksuaalivakivallan-uhrin-tukikeskukset
Seta ry: https://seta.fi/palvelut/tuki-ja-neuvontapalvelut/vakivaltaa-kokeneille/
Raiskaus kriisitukikeskus: https://tukinainen.fi/

Books:
Yvonne M. Dolan: “One Small Step: Moving
Beyond Trauma and Therapy to a Life of
Joy”.
Staci Haines:
”Healing sex- a Mind-Body Approach to
Healing Sexual Trauma”.
“The Survivor’s Guide to Sex”.
Wendy Maltz “The sexual Healing Journey. A
guide for Survivors of Sexual Abuse.”
Exercises:
3 min touch:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_KCzpNBNbVM
mindfulness exercises in English:
https://positivepsychology.com/mindfulness-exercisestechniques-activities/
Exercises in Finnish:
https://mieli.fi/vahvistamielenterveyttasi/harjoitukset/mindfulness-harjoitukset/
Mielenterveystalo self-help
https://www.mielenterveystalo.fi/aikuiset/itsehoito-jaoppaat/itsehoito/Pages/default.asp