Picture yourself alone, in a crowded place. With no sense of danger, and lack of anxiety caused by your surroundings. That’s how a healthy human being should feel, we are social creatures.
When we face a situation that puts us in danger, our brain can build some kind of trauma as a side effect of the negative experience. This is one of the reasons why we should cease causing additional trauma to each other.
Some examples of trauma caused by the outside world can be car accidents, social violence, or harassment which can lead to abuse.
A way to steer clear of causing damage, or even helping out others, is actually doing something about harassment when you see it.
As victims, spectators, or even as offenders, we can learn and reflect in order to make future informed decisions. This added up, will build a better atmosphere for us and our future ones.
For offenders, the easy way is just to stop. For spectators, there are a few varieties of options in the menu of: “how to help out a victim”.
Each situation will need a different type of intervention but remember, if you encounter real-time abuse, creating conversation with the victim can be a good way to break the tensions and make the victim feel supported. This will also put the offender in an unexpected situation, putting pressure on the abuser.
There may be times that courage will be needed to take the first step, if you feel afraid just empathize with the fear that the victim is experiencing and try not to let them down. Also if there are more people around, it is very likely that they support you in case the situation keeps growing, but it won’t if you act smart.
There are times that we need to carry with the guilt that comes because of not acting, we can always seek support and break the chain in future situations. The same is for victims, talking to someone about it is always the best way to start mapping the next steps for dealing with this type of situation. Just remember that you are not alone.
If you or someone you know is in need of help related to sexualized or intimate partner violence, regardless of whether the experience was recent or in the past, please contact TRU Sexualized Violence Prevention & Response at firstname.lastname@example.org for resources or aid. If you find yourself in an emergency situation, dial 911.