By Alison Bowen
WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) Joyce Marter, a licensed psychotherapist and founder of “Urban Balance” says the news of the Harvey Weinstein scandal and the conversation that has followed may be too much for some survivors of sexual abuse. Marter shares her advice on how to best care yourself in the midst of the ongoing revelations.
Women who have been sexually assaulted or harassed might realize a need for self-care this week, as personal stories of abuse emerge online.
Allegations of abusive actions by Harvey Weinstein have built throughout the past week, after The New York Times reported multiple sexual harassment settlements involving the movie mogul.
Reading such stories can be a trigger for women who have experienced abuse, said Joyce Marter, licensed psychotherapist and founder of Urban Balance, which has multiple therapy sites in the Chicago area.
“That can be re-traumatizing for somebody who is a survivor,” she said. “Seeing the social media feed can be triggering, and it can bring about previous symptoms of their trauma.” These can include difficulty concentrating or making decisions and anxiety.
This week the #MeToo hashtag adds to the conversation, as women share personal experiences of abuse to raise awareness of the sheer scope of how often and how many have been affected.
“It can be normalizing and validating for people to know they’re not alone,” Marter said.
But at the same time, she said, “it can be very overwhelming to see the magnitude of the issue.”
Not everyone will benefit emotionally from sharing a personal experience.
“In order for them to take the best care of themselves, it may be best not to post, and that’s OK,” she said, adding, “We need to respect the boundaries of these women whose boundaries have been violated.”
Marter recommends the following tips for women who have suffered harassment or assault.