Sexual Abuse

U.S. long-distance swimmer Diana Nyad, meets with a group of fellow endurance swimmers to answer skeptics about her record-breaking crossing of the Florida Straits last week, on a conference call in Huntington Beach, California September 10, 2013. Nyad vigorously defended on Tuesday her record-breaking, 110-mile (177-km) swim from Cuba to southern Florida after skeptics raised questions about the grueling trek. A triumphant Nyad, 64, staggered ashore in Key West, Florida, on Sept. 2, after having swum about 53 hours, to become the first person to complete the treacherous crossing without a shark cage. Nyad's swim was her fifth attempt and only successful one. The highly publicized crossing sparked a social media debate about whether her journey meets the requirements to break the world record. REUTERS/Alex Gallardo (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT SWIMMING TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY)

Legendary Swimmer Diana Nyad Opens Up About Her Sexual Assault

For five decades, long-distance swimmer Diana Nyad has been publicly discussing how her swim coach repeatedly assaulted her when she was 14. She knows her situation is not unique, and she hopes that c...
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Why We Need To See More Representations Of Sexual Abuse, Mental Illness And Depression

One day in 2012, after graduating college, I watched and read Stephen Chbosky's The Perks of Being a Wallflower. I've never related to a character like Charlie before. He was an introvert, he found it difficult to belong, to "participate". He was sexually abused, suicidal and good looking. After the initial "so relatable!" freak out and heartbreak, I realized how comforting the story was.
Meriel Jane Waissman

A Rape In My Backyard

Last night I noticed unusual action at the main gate of our housing society. The usually quiet entrance of the apartment complex had been busy through the evening: there were men walking in and out of the gate, the office was still open and the security guards seemed far too alert. Looking from my 9th-floor balcony, I could tell something was happening, but what?

Deciding To Heal From Child Sexual Abuse, Part I

Child sexual abuse can affect every aspect of your life but it may be difficult to say exactly how it may have damaged you: perhaps it caused your lack of self-confidence, your issues with trust and boundaries, challenges when it comes to intimate relationships, your sexuality and/or your difficulties with parenting.
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Torn Pages From My Harassment Diary

I have never felt as wordless as when I was trying to articulate my experiences of sexual harassment on the streets of India. When these incidents took place, all I wanted to do was to perhaps take a lesson from them and then move on, forget about them. They made me feel emotionally weak, helpless, as if freedom was out of my grasp. I could imagine others saying, "So what? After all, she was never raped."

One Tight Slap: Safe And Unsafe Responses To Street Harassment

In India, the perceived "honour" or "dignity" of a woman (that's oddly contingent on what others say or do to her) becomes more important than her safety. And women often jump to defend that "honour" even if it means self-endangerment. What we really need to talk about more in India is that threats or use of physical force to confront street harassment is unsafe, unwise and at times also illegal. In dealing with harassment in any place, safety should be a woman's number one concern. Here are some dos and don'ts.
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5 Things To Do If Your Partner Discloses He/She Was Sexually Abused As A Child

You may have just been told by your partner that he or she was sexually abused in childhood. You may have been suspecting this for a while. The world, as you know it, is reeling, and worse, you may know, and even like, the perpetrator, if it was a family member Remember that you must see your partner's disclosure in a positive light: they are entrusting you with a very private part of their life. What should you do to honour that trust and help in the healing journey?