This morning at approximately 7:30 a.m., Harvey Weinstein, the former powerful Hollywood Producer, surrendered to the police department in Manhattan amid allegations of undisclosed sex crimes. Since October 2017, it was shocking to see how much he has aged in that time and he stumbled as he approached the Police Department. He was fingerprinted, photographed, forced to relinquish his passport and was fitted with ankle monitoring device.
We have since learned from the Court that he has been charged with first and third degree rape against one woman and first-degree criminal sex act against a second victim.
Rape is a crime of sex, but is also a crime crime of power. He held the power of his victims careers and economic success. Actress Ashley Judd was one of the first women to bravely step out of the shadows to share that she refused Weinstein’s advances and her career did not reach the level of success that she and others visualized. Weinstein refused to allow the director to cast her in the Lord of the Rings and other films as well.
At this point you may be asking – why does the Women’s Recovery Center care about Harvey Weinstein and Hollywood actresses? We care because since 1998, there have been 17,700,000 women that have reported a sexual assault. We also know that according to RAINN (Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network), the nation’s largest anti-sexual violence organization, that only 310 sexual assaults are reported for every 1,000 perpetrated.
A traumatic experience such as a sexual assault is extremely damaging mentally, as well as, physically. Victims suffer many consequences of sexual abuse, including depression, low self-esteem, PTSD, and many other problems. One prominent problem that can manifest because of this type of abuse is addiction. There are multiple studies that have concluded that victims of sexual abuse have an increased risk for addiction and substance abuse problems.
Women often develop addiction to escape the memories and pain of the memories of the assaults helping them feel normal and feel in control. More than 90% of the clients treated for a substance use disorder, have experienced one or more traumatic events. The Center’s treatment curriculum is trauma integrated to incorporate multiple therapeutic intervention and models to create alternative communications including journaling and art therapy.
Thank you to the #METOO Movement to increase the dialogue and encourage those that have been victimized to take their control and power back.