Any PROFESSIONAL who you invite into your story of sexual abuse should embody the following characteristics:
1. Qualifications based upon higher education
3. Trauma Informed
4. No dual roles (ex. Not your friend, someone with whom you are intimately acquainted, or someone you lend money too)
“To impede communication is to reduce men to the status of things — and this is a job for oppressors…” (Freire) — not for professionals.
Any professional you invite into your sexual abuse story should also help you to:
- Think your own thoughts — not theirs.
- Govern your own world — not govern you.
- Partner with you for your own liberation — not be your liberator.
- Help you to find your own word — not speak for you.
ANY professional that does ANY of the following are red flags:
- Gives you advise rather than information
- Requests information not required by the nature of your relationship
- Discloses his/her personal relational/sexual problems
- Gives gifts to you
- Places you on a list of “preferred clients”
- Grants you 24 hour a day access to him/her
- Invites you any social engagement outside of the professional relationship
- Shows any sort of interest in you as a personal partner
- Uses any form of flattery whatsoever
- Requests private encrypted modes of communication for his or her or your security above and beyond normal email correspondence
Professionals need to get paid — but they must BE professionals. Being a professional means you some sort of degree and met basic competencies of your profession. Look for someone with both competence and compassion.
There is a growing group of peddler’s who dabble where they have absolutely no business doing so. Sadly they are also often appealing to the poor in spirit in some way. Trauma is a veritable playground for predatory and profiteering behaviour.
Peddler’s will not like what I have to say, neither will profiteering guru’s… but if you have been sexually abused chances are really high that you need trauma informed care for an extended period of time. You are worth having good care — there is someone beautiful in there.
“… some kind of help is the kind of help thats helping’s all about and some kind of help is the kind of help we all can do without.” — Shel Silverstein