Within two weeks, 94 percent of women survivors will experience PTSD. #HealMeToo wants to give them a place to share and recover.
In November, an online campaign inspired by the #MeToo movement launched in the hopes of encouraging sexual assault survivors to seek the resources necessary for recovery. Suitably named #HealMeToo, the campaign was created by Meghan Patenaude with the National Organization of Women, New York chapter, and is bringing the issue of trauma caused by sexual assault to the general public. Since a video created by the #HealMeToo campaign went live on the Huffington Post in November, it has been viewed about half a million times.
Patenaude, who is a survivor herself, describes the importance of bringing attention to these traumas. “It just seemed like there was really something missing, and we wanted to be able to connect with people and share the aftermath,” she explains. “It doesn’t just end with the story. Everyone who just posted to #MeToo is also suffering, most likely, from PTSD, and that’s kind of the story that we have never really heard before.”
Within two weeks following sexual assault, 94 percent of women will also experience post-traumatic stress disorder, reported the Journal of Traumatic Stress in 1992. PTSD is a mental health condition that’s triggered by a terrifying event—either experiencing it or witnessing it—and includes a variety of symptoms, varying from flashbacks and nightmares to severe anxiety and uncontrollable thoughts about the event.
Patenaude wanted to bring attention to PTSD among survivors, and found that linking to the #MeToo movement would be the best way. The campaign has been featured on Refinery29, Teen Vogue, The Huffington Post, and Ebony Magazine.
To read more of Desdemona Dallas' article, please click here.