HEALTH

#HealMeToo: New Campaign Offers Assistance To Sex Crime Survivors

02/11/2017 6:01 AM AEDT | Updated 14/11/2017 8:47 AM AEDT

The New York chapter of the National Organization for Women is using a new campaign to highlight sexual assault survivors who suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder. 

In response to the viral #MeToo movement, NOW-NY created a new campaign called #HealMeToo to ensure that survivors sharing their stories have the resources they need to heal.

The media campaign focuses on survivors of sexual violence who suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder and how their struggles are sometimes overlooked because the public often associates PTSD with soldiers who have come home from war. People who experience sexual violence have a 94 percent chance of developing PTSD, according to RAINN.

“The aftermath of what sexual assault survivors experience is not well enough understood by the public. Survivors, women and men, often suffer in silence and shame,” NOW-NY President Sonia Ossorio said in a press release. “The purpose of this campaign is to make the connection that PTSD goes unrecognized and untreated for far too many sexual violence survivors.”

As part of the #HealMeToo campaign, NOW-NY created a powerful, one-minute PSA. The clip is minimally animated with an auto-tuned voice-over that begins the video by saying: “I have PTSD, but to you I’m anonymous because you won’t see my story on the big screen or read about the ambush that woke me up out of a dead sleep.” 

The voice-over changes from auto-tuned to a young woman’s voice when the narrator says her story “didn’t happen overseas,” adding: “It happened over the summer when I was raped at a party on the beach.”  

NOW-NY also created an informational website where survivors can go to find resources about dealing with PTSD. 

“At a time when so many sexual assault survivors are coming forward to be heard, the goal of this campaign is to give them the resources to be healed,” the #HealMeToo website reads.  

“We hope that by educating the public about the long-term effects of sexual violence on individuals, their families and communities,” Ossorio said. “We as a society will see the urgency in addressing and preventing sexual assault and healing its victims.” 

Head over to #HealMeToo to read more about NOW-NY’s campaign. 

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