Following the breaking news of Bill Cosby’s release from prison, calls to our 24/7 hotline increased by 80% over that of the same period from the week prior. News like this can be triggering for survivors of sexual violence. This is normal. Indeed, multiple studies have shown that current events, especially news related to sexual violence, can be retraumatizing for survivors.1
The Blue Bench is Here
If you or someone you love is ever in need of support, we are here 24/7. Please call our hotline at 303-322-7273 (English) or 303-329-0031 (Spanish).
Tips for Survivors
Remember, you are in control of the news and media you choose to consume. If a particular news story is upsetting, remind yourself that you do not need to read or watch the story. You have the option to turn the page or channel or to scroll past the story on social media. Sometimes it might feel like the story is unavoidable. During these times, try to limit your news media consumption and try to avoid logging onto social media sites. Instead, focus on other forms of self-care.
Tips for Supporting a Loved One
If a loved one who is a survivor is triggered by current events, always start by believing—reassure your loved one that what they are feeling is valid and let them know that they are not alone. Don’t assume you know what is best. Rather, ask them what they need. Listen. Remind your loved one about resources, like The Blue Bench, that are available if they choose to seek support. Lastly, remember that our 24/7 hotline is available to answer any questions you might have about supporting your loved one at 303-322-7273 (English) or 303-329-0031 (Spanish).
1 See: Anderson, G. & Overby, R. (2020). The impact of rape myths and current events on the well-being of sexual violence survivors. Violence Against Women, 27(9), 1379-1401.