In this week’s Love Essentially, I interview therapist, Dr. John Gobby on the topic of sexual abuse, specifically the therapy process, how it can help, and why there is hope for survivors.
Sexual Abuse Survivors at ESPY awards Offer Hope
by Jackie Pilossoph for Chicago Tribune Media Group
Watching the 141 women gather on stage to accept the Arthur Ashe Courage Award at this year’s ESPY Awards, I kept thinking about how incredibly emotional and validated these brave survivors of the USA Gymnastics sex abuse scandal must have felt.
“To all the survivors out there, don’t let anyone rewrite your story. Your truth does matter. You matter. And, you are not alone,” said gymnast and Olympic gold medalist, Aly Raisman, as part of the group’s acceptance speech.
“As a survivor, I’m here to say, if we can just give one person the courage to use their voice, this is worth it,” said Sarah Klein, the gymnast who has said she was Nassar’s first victim 30 years ago. “If one more victim of sexual abuse feels less alone tonight, then our suffering has meaning.”
The survivors’ speeches got me thinking about the countless victims of sexual abuse who might have been watching the ESPYs, and the comfort it might have given, especially to those who have stayed silent.
According to the National Sexual Violence Resource Center, one in three women and one in six men experienced some form of contact sexual violence in their lifetime, and 81 percent of women (and 35 percent of men) report significant short or long-term impacts, such as post-traumatic stress disorder.
Dr. John Gobby is a licensed clinical psychologist and staff psychologist at the La Rabida Chicago Child Trauma Center, where he sees victims of trauma, which includes sexual abuse.