As we purge this seemingly 'epidemic' from the planet, we will one by one all come to bear witness for another's sexual abuse story. It may be first, second or third hand but all of us are now affected, it is undeniable.
It may feel overwhelming or confusing. We may wish to deny its existence and bury our head in the proverbial sand but it is this action that has enabled this deeply embedded trauma to seep into our human psyche.
As a collective we stand on the threshold of our consciousness moving from an old distorted paradigm into a new one, which is our original bliss state of love. We cannot be and live in peace until our joint trauma has been processed.
We must share this burden as one, by taking responsibility for our collective recovery. How then can you as an individual, offer a safe space for another?
HONOUR THE PERSON
Commend their courage in coming forward. Lost voices can take decades to be heard and if a person is sharing with you, access gratitude that your presence is a healing container. Sharing is not always easy, and the person will undoubtedly feel vulnerable and that they're taking a risk in their share. They will have weighed up fears such as, "I won't be believed", "They'll think it's my fault" or "they'll think I'm disgusting and dirty". It is imperative that you let the person know you believe them, and do not share any of your own fears or beliefs at this stage.
REMOVE BLAME, DISSOLVE SHAME
Reassure the person that what happened was not their fault, no matter the circumstances. As children, abusive touch can feel pleasurable which is why shame can take root. Reassure the person that no, it doesn't matter what they were wearing, it doesn't matter their state of sobriety, it doesn't matter if a well-known tantric teacher confused them, it doesn't matter if they changed their mind; it's not a yes without competent consent. Mirror back to them their innate knowing of the betrayal against their innocence, it will help them to realign with their truth.
It's a practical step but their safety is of paramount concern. Ask if they are still at risk from the perpetrator? Are there any children who could be at risk? Here in the West we do not live in communities where villagers would gather round to hold space to both the injured and the persecutor, so if the answer is yes there is a responsibility to either report it to the police or offer practical assistance to remove the person away from the environment. This may seem daunting to you but in staying silent, you only enable the abuse to continue. The person sharing may have a resistance to these steps, open up the dialogue and see where it leads. It may become transparent that fear of reporting existing abuse would endanger the person. Know that police do handle these matters sensitively and procedures can be taken to offer safety. Please remember that you solely are not responsible for carrying this burden.
YOUR OWN SHARING COULD BE A SALVE
Where appropriate, if you yourself have been sexually assaulted in some way, then in your sharing of your own story; this can provide a healing salve. It is important to not let your sharing dominate the other person's, sometimes the exchange of "me too" can be enough. Take cues from the other person, are they in a place to hear you? Maybe they will ask you questions, gauge through the knowing of your heart what is appropriate.
Sometimes being heard is enough in that moment but what comes next? Sexual abuse healing is not as simple as opening up and the job is done. There are many layers that can be revealed over time and old memories long forgotten, may come up again and again. For now your responsibility is to be a sign post. Explore the future with the person, what would they like next? Can you help them any further? Do they need anything from you? What healing modalities are available? Remember not to assume but to ask the person. They may not know what steps feel right for them, it may be an overwhelming experience for them. Trust them by finding your own centre as that loving witness.
After the share in the coming weeks and months, the person may have gone 'silent' on you. This doesn't mean they've dealt with their revelations but it could mean they feel embarrassed in their vulnerability. You can be accountable by staying in touch on occasion, let them know you haven't abandoned them. Let them know they weren't too much for you.
Most of all, stay accountable to yourself. In witnessing an abuse story, you yourself may be deeply triggered or have your own explorations to delve into. It is important that you don't stuff it down and away from your consciousness, use it for a catalyst in the greatest change for yourself and for humanity.
Suicide is the biggest killer of men in the UK right now because our brothers are receiving the backlash of the trauma inheritance of our forefathers, it's in their psyche and some in their actions.
Right now we are in the middle of an insurgency of the feminine aspect of humankind remembering her power, her sovereignty but most of all her voice. As sisters I call out to you the remembering of our unity, as you shift out of your pain body. The feminine is not better than the masculine nor the other way, and I pray we come home to the spiritual covenant of sacred family and relating.
The masculine is not a commodity! He is not a scapegoat for your pain. Our society has been in sickness for many generations but it takes a village to nurture and water our roots and to remember our wholeness together.
I'm so grateful for my son who taught me the innocence and the beauty of the masculine. I'm so grateful to his father who taught me that the masculine truly reveres family and community. I'm so grateful to my beloved who has held space for me as I elevated myself out of the ashes.
We are all climbing out of the ashes brothers and sisters, may we all fly together