I have been debating whether to write about this as it is a hot button issue and it could be seen as political. But we are in a moment as a nation. Perhaps several moments, depending on the issue being talked about at any given moment in the media. However, the way we treat each other, learn to respect other's bodies, space, and personhood, matters deeply to me and many people I know.
Something I highly value as a social worker and counselor is empowering others to become healthier, better humans. Among many that I work with, this includes survivors of various types of trauma, including sexual assault. It also includes people who may have views and beliefs which end up limiting the potential of their humanity as well as that of others. This includes views about gender that may limit one's potential to see themselves and others more wholly. But no matter the side of any relationship in which you find yourself, I'm here to say that I believe there is always room for healing and growth. It's up to you whether you are ready to take steps towards yours.
So here is what I have to say about the issue of sexual harassment, assault and the present moment in our nation. I believe this has triggered many of us in different ways. For survivors, you may be triggered and/or re-traumatized by the Supreme Court nomination hearings and the outcome that has now come to bear. For those who are connected to survivors, you may be feeling the pain again of when your friend/loved one first told you of their experience. For others, particularly men, I know many of you are questioning past actions that may have or actually did hurt someone in this way. And you may be wondering whether you have done what you could to make things right and grow to become a better human being. No matter where you find yourself in this, I hope you are not trying to navigate this alone and that you have someone or many someones to walk with you through this. We need the community and perspectives of others more than ever in this time. We need to find the courage and humility to speak out. Because when we isolate and keep it all in, that pain, anxiety, depression, and shame will eventually destroy us. So please take that step towards the light.
Thanks for taking the time to read. I hope this has been helpful for you. As always, I welcome your comments and feedback below.
Isaac Jacobs, LCSW, is a counselor serving individuals, families, and adolescents. He specializes in improving communication between couples, working through life crises and transitions, and working on overcoming barriers to growth.