Thank you, RAINN (Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network), for offering some strategies for survivors this holiday season:
The holiday season is a time of celebration and a chance to reconnect with family and friends, but it can also present challenges for some survivors of sexual assault.
Perpetrators of sexual violence are usually someone the victim knows. This is especially true for those who have experienced child sexual abuse. For survivors, holiday gatherings may mean facing painful memories, feelings of anxiety, or a chance of repeated harm. Large gatherings can also make it more difficult for survivors to control if someone who hurt them in the past will be around them. Fortunately, there are ways to help survivors feel safe as they plan for holiday gatherings.
“Each survivor’s experience and healing process is unique, and for some people the holidays may be an especially tough time,” says Keeli Sorensen, vice president of victim services. “Simple safety tips, self-care strategies, and the support of loved ones can sometimes make all the difference.”
In addition to the painful memories and feelings of anxiety survivors may face during this season, for those traveling during the holidays going through airport security screening or spending an extended period of time in enclosed spaces can be difficult. To learn more tips—such as how to fill out a TSA notification card, request a private screening instead of a pat-down, or request a TSA Passenger Support Specialist—check out RAINN’s article on airport security for survivors.
MESA is here to listen and provide support and resources to help survivors who are going through a difficult time. Our 24-hour sexual assault hotline is available 365 days a year, including holidays: 303-443-7300.