5 Reasons Affordable Mental Health Matters For Sexual Abuse Survivors

Rachel Thompson
7 min readSep 30, 2021

Why helping survivors is important for everyone.

Most people don’t get involved in a cause until it affects them or someone they love. That’s how our brains, and hearts, work. We can only take, and do, so much.

As a childhood sexual abuse survivor at age eleven, who reported and testified (twice) against my abuser, this is my cause. Trauma. Survivorship. Healing.

I write about it (three books so far), created a chat to help others know they’re not alone (#SexAbuseChat on Twitter, every other Tuesday at 10 am pst), write blog posts, articles, sit on panels, speak, etc.

You name it, I do it — because we have nothing to be ashamed of, we survivors. We did nothing wrong.

So why am I writing about mental health? Because, on average, estimates put the economic cost of sexual violence in the United States in the trillions of dollars, primarily due to the aftereffects of abuse. Survivors need to be supported and believed when, in fact, we rarely are (another contributor to our mental well-being — or lack thereof). Let’s break it down.

The Emotional Toll

I started dealing with migraines in my late teens, early twenties, and most severely, in my early thirties. This coincided with marriage and the birth of my daughter at age 35, which, while amazing, also sent me into a deep anxiety spiral.

How would I keep her safe? How could I prevent what happened to me from happening to her? The thoughts became obsessive.

My Big Pharma company only allowed four weeks after her birth, so I dragged my frozen self into physician offices as if walking up icy mountains, chipping away bits and pieces each day as best I could simply to function.

The migraines were relentless. I missed many days of work due to pain, depression, and anxiety. Eventually, my gynecologist saw me and remarked, “Where did my happy mama go?” and directed me to a shrink, stat.

Thank goodness for her, and good health insurance because I needed help. The shrink immediately put me on a month’s disability, meds, and twice-weekly therapy. I’m thankful he did. I was a mess.

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Rachel Thompson

Author, 8 books. Writer: Start It Up, Writing Coop, Better Humans. Childhood sexual assault survivor/advocate. Book Marketer http://BadRedheadMedia.com