When you want to turn off your brain what do you do? I personally could sit in front of the T.V. for hours and forget that I’m even breathing. Cruising down a winding road on the West Side, windows down with the system up, can almost instantly flip my mood to a positive as well. Music is probably one of the most popular one that’s used. When getting lost in your favorite song or album, you can be transported out of consciousness and forget your woes. Music has also been used in a more clinical sense by therapists to help their patients cope with trauma. The use of music therapy in both individual and group therapy sessions provides an outlet for victims of sexual abuse to express their emotions, memories, and feelings related to their trauma.(Brooks,2007). We also utilized this outlet with the help of some local musicians. We asked they write a song on the topic of sexual abuse and allow us to record it. As a result we have a compilation album entitled “Voices” that illustrates personal expressions through music.
Keeping in tune with the fine arts as an outlet there’s sometimes nothing more powerful than visual expression. The Sexual Abuse Survivors Art Show (SASS) uses this powerful medium to give voice to victims in New York. You can check out some of their work, and get involved, if you’re interested at www.sass.fegs.org
Some prefer a more personally reflective outlet. Journaling, though not as popular as it once was, is still a common way for survivors to tell their story in a more private manor. Gaining comfort in their private writing can also give the survivor the courage to tell a friend, loved one, or post their story on an anonymous site like this one.
What I’ve learned most from writing this blog is that regardless of which outlet is chosen its most important to feel as though the survivor is being heard. The silence can be deafening.