Office on Women's Health Blog
In 1974, the women's liberation movement was in full swing. My class at Baylor College of Medicine had over 30 female students, more than in previous years. We felt powerful — like trailblazers doing our share for women and society. But I still wondered: Would it happen to me?
It might feel scary to ask for help or support, but help is available. Whether you were assaulted recently or many years ago, you can call the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 800-656-HOPE (4673) or use the Online Hotline. Both are free, confidential, and open 24/7.
According to national experts convened by SAMHSA, trauma results from events or circumstances that are experienced by an individual as harmful or life threatening and that have lasting adverse effects on mental, physical, social, emotional or spiritual well-being.
One in 10 American teenagers suffers physical violence at the hands of a boyfriend or girlfriend each year and many others are sexually or emotionally abused. This abuse, also known as dating violence, can have long-term health impacts, such as emotional trauma, lasting physical impairment, chronic health problems, and even death.
It can be difficult to incorporate new habits into an already overextended life, with work demands, harrowing commutes, busy families, hobbies (hopefully!), volunteer activities, and the curse of constant connectivity. So I like to think of January as a time to review my accomplishments from the previous year, focusing on what I achieved instead of what I did not.
My mother called me last Thursday night to let me know she was in the hospital and would be having surgery the next day. As I drove to North Carolina to be with her, I was thinking about how many people are in a similar situation, providing care for a family member from a distance.