Are you looking for sexual assault support groups? Do you know someone who can benefit from a sexual assault support group? Are you a victim of sexual assault? Are you looking for support and assistance? If you answered yes to any of these questions, this article is for you.
My name is Sean Galla, a support group facilitator and moderator specializing in support groups for men. Coming to terms with sexual assault as a victim is one of the hardest parts of healing. Being part of a support group can go a long way in helping victims of sexual assault to come to terms with what happened to them, find healing and enjoy a normal, healthy life. I have seen firsthand how beneficial sexual assault support groups can be.
This article will tell you everything about sexual assault support groups and why every survivor needs one.
Table of Contents:
What Is a Sexual Assault Support Group?
A sexual assault support group is a type of forum or outreach dedicated to offering sexual assault services, resources, and help to victims of sexual assault.
Sexual assault support groups offer life-changing crisis intervention and community education for survivors of sexual violence and their loved ones. Sexual assault often leaves adult survivors feeling hopeless and as though they have lost power and control of their life. According to accounts given by most survivors, the sexual abuse experience takes away a part of their identity.
Sexual assault support groups serve as a reminder for survivors that there is more to them than the assault. While the abuse is part of their life experience, it does not control them and cannot take away their strength, power, and resilience. A support group is a reminder that there is life after the fact and that it is possible to live a rich, fulfilled life even after the assault.
Support groups are an opportunity for survivors to regain a sense of self and feel safe enough to speak about their experiences.
Most sexual assault victims struggle in silence for years while being burdened by shame, guilt, fear, and sometimes receiving little to no support even from the people in their lives. Joining support groups for sexual assault survivors allows them to connect with others who have survived the same form of violence, helping them break down barriers and live a successful, trauma-free life.
In a support group, survivors learn how to rid themselves of the feelings of guilt, shame, and isolation while getting the empowerment they need to find healing. While every experience is unique, being in the same space with others with similar experiences is a powerful form of support and validation.
Sexual assault support groups offer survivors a safe space to learn coping skills, overcome trauma, and expand their social support networks.
With proper training, facilitation skills, and preparation, sexual assault advocates can provide this valuable tool to survivors in different communities.
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Why Sexual Assault Support Groups Are Important
Sexual violence, be it sexual abuse, harassment, assault, coercion, discrimination, or exploitation, often leaves pain, restricted social access, and a feeling of shame in the survivors. While nothing can change what happened, advocacy and support groups can go a long way in helping the survivors deal with their feelings and thoughts brought about by their experiences.
Talking about the experience is the hardest part for most survivors. This is especially true for male survivors. While there are many support groups and services for women, very little is done to support male survivors of sexual assault. There is a lot of social stigma and silence around make sexual abuse and assault cases. This results in a lack of understanding and awareness about the adverse effects of these experiences on men.
Most sexual assault survivors gravitate towards avoidance as a coping mechanism. This contributes to the severity of the trauma induced by the experience, which affects the mental well-being of the survivor, especially child sexual abuse survivors. The process of confronting what happened is painful, so people prefer to ignore it. The best way to overcome sexual trauma, avoidance, and the side effects of traumatic stress is through talking about the experience. For this to happen, survivors need a safe space, which is exactly what a support group offers.
Having safe spaces where survivors can come and share their experiences without being blamed or judged is a step in the right direction for survivors looking for healing. Sexual assault support groups offer sexual abuse and assault survivors a haven. In these groups, members are free to talk about their experiences and struggles while getting the support and help they need to move past their experiences.
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Types of Sexual Assault Support Groups
When looking for sexual assault support groups, you have options between online or offline groups. Numerous advocacy, service providers, and national organizations and support services like the rape crisis center and RAINN offer statewide online, offline, or both support groups to sexual assault survivors and family members of survivors, including sexual assault hotline and helpline services.
Online sexual assault support group
Online sexual assault support groups are types of support groups that meet on internet platforms including websites, and social media sites. There are numerous online sexual assault support groups to choose from, including mensgroup.com that caters specifically to the needs of men. Like mensgroup.com, some open forums encourage peer support and education, while sexual assault support experts moderate others.
Some online sexual assault support groups allow members to share as they seek advice and assistance. Others meet on a schedule and follow a preset structure. A quick search on google will give you a list of online sexual assault support groups on platforms on Facebook and Reddit.
The best benefit of an online support group is that it is available round the clock; there is always a support group you can drop in at any time. Whether in New York or Washington, you can zoom in and join virtual meetings anywhere.
Online sexual assault support groups offer anonymity since members do not need to show their faces or talk while in attendance. These online support groups are the best way to get support when facing issues brought about by your experience.
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Offline/In-person sexual assault support group
Offline or in-person sexual assault support groups take place in predetermined locations such as support centers or community centers. In these types of groups, members meet physically in a group of 15 to 20 people. When choosing the best in-person support group, it is important to keep an open mind and try a few to get a feel of different options before choosing the best one for your needs.
A major drawback of in-person victim assistance chapters for sexual assault support is that members do not enjoy the possibility of anonymity since the meetings require the members to attend physically. This is a major hindrance to delivering support to survivors in need. Also, offline support groups are not available round the clock, making it hard for members to find support any time they need it.
Ultimately, your choice for a support group should be based on your preference, availability, and what you most feel comfortable with.
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Sexual Assault Support Groups for Men
If you are a man who has experienced sexual assault or abuse, it is possible to get the help and support you need to overcome your experience. Sexual assault amongst men can bring about shame, feelings of worthlessness, and even mental health issues. Finding a support group that specifically caters to the needs of male survivors can go a long way in helping you move past your experience and lead a healthy, guilt-free life.
Sexual assault support groups for men address general issues related to sexual abuse, masculinity, identity, self-care, and self-esteem issues that follow abuse, relationships and give you a reason to remain hopeful in life even after a traumatic experience.
MensGroup is one of the leading support groups for men that supports sexual assault male survivors.
Information about MensGroup
If you are a man interested in being part of a support group, the Men’s Group is a men-only online group you should join. The modern-day generation of men lacks a reliable support system to help them become better men. This is the foundation on which mensgroup.com was formed. MensGroup seeks to mentor all men while equipping them with the right additional resources to become better versions of themselves, including sexual assault and domestic violence survivors.
Whether you are looking for a healing, support, or just a haven, mensgroup.com has mentors ready to help you overcome your trauma while making new friends. By becoming part of MensGroup, you will build healthy relationships and become a better man even after the traumatic experience. Through this online group, you will connect with fellow men to help you heal and move on.
As an online support group, you can join a meeting from anywhere, whether in the heart of New York or a remote town in New Zealand.
For sexual assault survivors, the greatest hindrance to seeking help is the fear of being judged and even blamed for what they went through. Sexual assault support groups offer a safe space for survivors to come forth and be amongst other survivors. These groups make it easy for survivors to seek help and find healing away from society’s judging eyes. If you are a male survivor looking for support, MensGroup is an ideal support forum to find help and get back on your feet. By joining a support group, you can lead a happy and normal everyday life even after a sexual assault experience.
*Sources: 1. Online Resources for Healing & Resilience 2. Long-term support for survivors 3. National Resources for Sexual Assault Survivors and their Loved Ones 4. Developing and Coordinating Sustainable Support Group Programs for Survivors of Sexual Violence 5. Sexual Assault of Men and Boys