With various people coming out of the woodworks filing sexual harassment complaints and identifying big names in the entertainment industry, one has to wonder, “how does all the recent news affect those who have been victims themselves?” There is still a large percentage of people who have yet to bring their claims forward while there are others who are still trying to cope with the harassment they experienced. But, with sexual harassment allegations streaming on various news source sites and being shared all across social media, what impact is this having on individuals who have survived an act of sexual misconduct?

Lifehacker has touched upon this topic and below we highlight the ways these constant reminders of sexual harassment occurring has affected those who have been victims of it. For some, it is a sigh of relief as they get to watch experiences that may have been “downplayed” in the past finally get the recognition they should have. There are people feeling thankful and appreciative that finally, something is being done to combat the ongoing issue of sexual harassment that has been swept under the rug for years now. We know it is occurring in various places and in all types of work fields, but rarely is anything ever done about it.

For others, it is a constant reminder of the pain they experienced and still do. According to Beth Enterkin, who is a trauma therapist and clinical training specialist at Rape Victim Advocates in Chicago, some individuals are now experiencing an increase in their level of anxiety. Some are even “experiencing PTSD and trauma symptoms.” PTSD, or Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, occurs within individuals who have gone through something traumatizing such as being raped, involved in a car accident, or another scary experience that causes them to suffer from anxiety and other disturbing feelings. For those who are suffering from PTSD, seeing constant news coverages of developing cases has only led to their PTSD intensifying.

Some Victims are Feeling Empowered as They Realize They Aren’t Alone

It’s common for someone who went through a traumatic experience such as being violated or having someone take advantage of you to feel alone and helpless. But, with so many individuals, the majority being women, coming forward recently, it has allowed others to feel as though they aren’t alone and they weren’t the only ones who had to endure the harassment.

But, the reactions continue to vary as everyone handles situations in the best way they know how to. Although some are experiencing PTSD while others are glad more light is being shed on the issue of sexual harassment, some individuals feel as though “they just don’t fit into the narrative that gets attention, and for people who are traditionally at greater risk-trans women and women of color-it’s very isolating.”

There are also survivors who might be feeling “downplayed, denied, and ignored once again” simply because they don’t fit the “profile” of someone who was sexually harassed. Clearly, there is a mix of emotions being felt by victims of sexual harassment as our news sources continue to provide coverage on all the developing stories.

How can victims of sexual harassment cope with all the constant news coverage surrounding this topic?

  1. Set boundaries with the media. Soaking up too much news might be overwhelming so it is best to allot a certain amount of time each day so you don’t overwhelm yourself or consume yourself in these types of cases.
  2. Set boundaries with friends, family, and co-workers.
  3. Know what your triggers are and how to avoid them.
  4. Don’t feel obliged to share your story just because others are speaking out. Be sure you are receiving the help you need and that you have taken the necessary actions to report your incident, but don’t think you have to disclose all the details of your incident to the world on social media simply because many others are.

And for those individuals out there who have yet to bring their claims forward or are fearful of the repercussions of doing so, consider speaking with a sexual harassment attorney in your city. USAttorneys.com works with some of the best sexual misconduct lawyers in the field who will not only provide you with the information you might be seeking but address the idea of getting your complaint filed. The only way sexual harassment claims can be addressed and handled is if the victim reports the incident. Staying quiet and keeping the details to yourself isn’t going to erase it from your memory.