Sharing – Touch can reduce pain, depression and anxiety, say researchers

The more I see research like this, the more I become convinced that one of the most significant losses many sexual abuse survivors suffer has to do with how complicated touch becomes for us as adults.

More consensual touch helps ease or buffer against mental and physical complaints, meta-analysis shows.

But the key is the “consensual” part of that sentence. Can we, as adults, deepen our understanding of consent and personal safety? If so, we can take advantage of these benefits with people who are safe for us. Those benefits can go a long way in helping ease the mental health impacts of the abuse and the struggles of adult life. If we can’t find safe people who understand the importance of consent, we may never reach that point.

If you know a survivor, please ask them how to become that person in their life. Be there as they learn how to be safe, give consent, and respect whatever boundaries they need to get to a safe space with your relationship. You have no idea how supportive that is or how much additional trauma you could be creating for them when you aren’t safe for them.

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