At the Washington Coalition of Sexual Assault Programs’ 10th Annual Conference I presented a keynote presentation that connected how the coping skills children develop to survive child sexual abuse can leave them vulnerable for sexual attacks as adolescents and adults. This conference of sexual assault advocates, mental health professionals, public health nurses and domestic violence advocates explored how all aspects of abuse in the lifetime of an individuals life. We looked at the direct connection between dissociation and being identified as a person who can be victimized.
In the workshop setting we examined how dissociative disorders look and feel. We also explored how they can help immigrants and refugees in particular, by understanding their experience better. We also talked about how they can help victims who show signs of trauma. First, learn more about trauma. Second, recognize that dissociation may be a sign of a person being triggered or overwhelmed by their current situation. Third, help that person get grounded again if they are triggered and overwhelmed. Finally, refer that person to a mental health specialist who understands trauma and their cultural experience.
The Sum of My Parts Now Available
This memoir follows Olga as she splits herself into “parts” and develops dissociative identity disorder with the abuse, and then struggles to merge these parts and overcome the disorder in adulthood.
A Survivor’s Story Now Available
Olga’s critically acclaimed first-hand account of the impact of violence in her life is available in both English and Spanish.