Over the past few months, as Donald Trump’s abhorrent treatment of women moved into the spotlight, many survivors of assault have found themselves triggered by his words, his voice, even just the sight of his face. Though many of us assumed that Trump, and the stress that comes with him, would disappear after Election Day, this week offered up the nasty surprise that Republican nominee Trump is President-Elect Trump. How can a survivor cope when a stark reminder of some of her most traumatic moments is ensconced in the Oval Office?
I reached out to Kirstin Kelley, a sexual assault and domestic violence advocate at Call to Safety (formerly Portland Women’s Crisis Line), to get some tips on how to manage the anxiety and emotional exhaustion that comes with seeing the personification of sexual assault and abuse get elected to the presidency.
For starters, Kelley notes that self care differs from person to person; there’s no one definitive list that will work for everyone, but she does have a handful of strategies she recommends to survivors who call in to the crisis line when they’re struggling.