Elizabeth Barrette (ysabetwordsmith) wrote,
Elizabeth Barrette

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Reading About the Aftermath of Sexual Assault

Someone asked me about my writings and other references on the topic of sexual assault. I am a gender scholar, so this is very familiar territory for me. Here's what I have ...

Recovery from Rape/Sexual Assault/Molestation

Path of the Paladins is a whole series about recovering from rape, in which one of the main characters is a survivor, and so is their goddess. Many poems deal directly with recovery issues.

Polychrome Heroics has many examples including some major threads. If you look at the top of that series page you'll find the Damask stuff, which doesn't have its own page yet. Partway through there is where Farce gets raped. It happens at a New Year party, so there's actually one interaction between Farce and Damask where Farce is completely off the handle and Damask has no idea why yet, in "The Impractical Cat." The revelation comes in "Rainy Day People" which begins that big story arc about Farce. Despite them being enemies, Damask makes a sincere effort to take care of Farce.

Within Polychrome Heroics, Danso and Family includes Hadyn who is a survivor of child sexual abuse. Several of her poems deal directly with that challenge.

Within Polychrome Heroics, Shiv is a survivor of child sexual abuse, later sexual assault, and lots of other horrible things. He is really a mess, but the arc focuses on what happens when he finally winds up with an actual support network and how they start trying to repair the damage. This one isn't as recent, it's been ongoing, but what got him into the solitary wing was someone trying to assault him and Shiv lashed out. He's pretty much given up on civilized communication -- because it hasn't worked for him -- and is down to "You touch my butt and I will cut you."

"Whose Conscience Approves" is about child abuse and molestation, with attention to how much trouble that can cause when molesting a superkid.

You might also like Officer Pink in Polychrome Heroics, which is not primarily sexual yet but has some groundwork laid for some of those things happening later. Thus far, there is a ton of stuff about Turq as a survivor of mad science torture and a great deal of emphasis on people helping him overcome that damage; much of the aftercare would overlap what helps rape survivors. Written, but not sponsored yet, is "To Acknowledge Our Interdependence" which is about what happens after someone gropes Ansel's hair. That one is basically about how to reclaim your body after someone puts their hands in unwelcome places.

"Echoes of Another" in Frankenstein's Family covers the aftermath of sexual and physical assault. It also begins a long thread about what happens to Csilla and Artúr.

Active Intervention During a Sexual Assault or Attempt

Within Polychrome Heroics, Antimatter and Stalwart Stan has touched on sexualized conflicts several times. "Dare Not Speak" has an interruption of sexually-driven roughhousing that probably qualifies as sexual assault under some codes, but the focus is more on the aftercare. "With Your Brain and Your Resourcefulness" involves some molestation and characters fighting back in creative ways.

"Pluck" in Fledgling Grace is about interrupting gay-bashing, but the sexual motivation is pretty clear.

So if you look at the examples of my writing, you'll see a range of age, sex/gender, orientation, type of offense, severity, duration, responses, different types of helpers and aftercare, etc.  If you want more, I'm open to writing this sort of thing; just ask for what  you want in any relevant prompt call.

Other Constructive Resources

Rule # 1: The MOST important thing to do for any trauma survivor is restore agency.  Most other help relates to that in more specific ways, such as ensuring physical safety and shoring up emotional needs.  When someone has lost control of their body/mind/life, they need to get it back before they can focus on anything else.  If someone is in shock immediately after a traumatic event, they may need someone else to make or help make decisions for a little while until their head clears; but as soon as possible, offer and support choices they can make themselves.  If something awful has happened to you, making decisions may feel really hard and you might want to ask your support network for help, but the more you can decide for yourself, the more it will erode feelings of helplessness.  This is the solid foundation upon which healing is built.

Helpguide doesn't have a page on rape but does have many other useful references:

Some references for sexual assault/rape survivors:

Some references for survivors of child sexual abuse:

Some references for male survivors:

Some references for friends/family about supporting survivors:

Here are some handbooks online. You can also look in bookstores for books on this topic; there are plenty.

Many survivors, though not all, find counseling helpful.  Here are some guides for that.

OutoftheFOG is one of my go-to sites for mental issues of many kinds.  This can be helpful if trauma has caused mental injuries which manifest as PTSD, depression, anxiety, etc.

If you are experiencing reactions which make your everyday life difficult, then you may want to make a WRAP workbook. You can pick and choose which pages to fill out that seem useful to you. It's very handy for organizing self-care, triggers, solutions, and a support network if you have one. Put it in a 3-ring binder and you can also add any other worksheets or resources that you find helpful.

Understand that recovery happens in stages. There are not a lot of resources that lay out that whole progression so you can scroll along it to see where you are, but there are a few.
Tags: activism, gender studies, how to, poetry, reading, writing
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