On October 5th following an expose by the New York Times of allegations of sexual harassment and assault by a Hollywood producer, women began sharing experiences at the hands of their perpetrators on social media. The #MeToo posts illustrate the magnitude of sexual assault and harassment that extends to nearly all industries.
For the Women’s Recovery Center, there is a correlation between sexual abuse and substance use disorder. Studies have shown that there is a strong correlation between the history of sexual assault and the manifestation of addictive behavior. Sexual abuse victims are three times more likely to suffer from depression. Six times more likely to suffer post-traumatic stress disorder and 26 times more likely to be diagnosed with a substance use disorder. With more than 90% of the Women’s Recovery Center’s clients citing a history of a trauma, women often begin using substances to simply feel normal and to cope with the memories of the trauma thus developing a pattern of addictive behavior and substance use disorder.
According to Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN), on average there are 321,500 reported victims of sexual assault and abuse each year in the United States. Fifteen percent are under 12 years old. The vast majority of perpetrators will not go to jail or prison. Out of every 1,000 sexual assaults, on average 310 are reported to the police, 57 reports will lead to an arrest, 11 cases will be referred to a prosecutor and only 7 cases will lead to a felony conviction.
The #MeToo hashtag allows all to share their experiences of sexual harassment and assault anonymously or publicly. Sharing these experiences are the first step in healing. If you need assistance with substance use disorder, reach out to the Women’s Recovery Center.