The sexual assault claims made about Harvey Weinstein have shocked the world, with more than 30 women coming forward, including many A-listers.
The revelations are distressing enough for most readers, but particularly survivors of rape, sexual assault and abuse for whom the reports may be triggering.
Meena Kumari, National Lead for Domestic Violence and Abuse at independent charity Victim Support said the trauma may be “exacerbated when the event or a similar incident are elaborately reported in the media, forcing survivors to relive that experience and past trauma”.
“Sexual violence is a traumatic experience and those who are subjected to it can experience post-traumatic stress symptoms in the same way that those who’ve survived other kinds of trauma might,” a spokesperson for Rape Crisis told HuffPost UK.
Approximately 85,000 women and 12,000 men are raped in England and Wales alone every year, and nearly half a million adults are sexually assaulted.
Not only could certain details cause flashbacks for these individuals, but he manner of reporting can have a lasting impact.
The Rape Crisis spokesperson said: “The way stories like this are reported can sometimes implicitly or less so imply that the victim or survivor was someone partly responsible for the violence perpetrated against them.
“This victim-blaming can add to their own sense of self-blame, shame or guilt, for not being able to prevent or fend off the attack or abuse, for example.”
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Caitlin Roper, founder of Collective Shout, a grassroots campaigns movement against the objectification and sexualisation of women, said that revelations such as this can be “devastating” for onlookers with histories of rape and sexual assault.
“It is a painful reminder of how our society regards women who come forward and speak honestly about what has been done to them, and a preview of …read more
Source:: The Huffington Post – UK Lifestyle