At a time when so many sexual assaults survivors are coming forward to be heard with #MeToo, the National Organization for Women (NOW-NYC) wants to ensure they have the resources to be healed.
The #HealMeToo campaign is intended to raise awareness about the alarming fact that women who are raped or assaulted have a 94% chance of developing Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) symptoms, according to RAINN, the nation’s largest anti-sexual violence organization.
To highlight the fact that a high percentage of sexual violence survivors experience PTSD symptoms, NOW’s campaign will launch on the opening day of Thank You for Your Service, a Dreamworks feature length film which features the story of a soldier’s journey struggling with PTSD upon his return home from the war in Iraq.
The #HealMeToo video will air in 7,000 theaters nationwide this Friday, October 27th and will tell a “war story” unlike any that we’re used to hearing.
“The aftermath of what sexual assault survivors experience is not well enough understood by the public. Survivors, women and men, often suffer in silence and shame,” said Sonia Ossorio, president of NOW-NYC. “The purpose of this campaign is to make the connection that PTSD goes unrecognized and untreated for far too many sexual violence survivors.”
As part of the campaign, NOW is launching www.healmetoo.com, a microsite with information and resources for sexual assault survivors and members of their support network who may be suffering from PTSD.
Jodi Omear, Vice President of Communications for RAINN, underscores the importance of this campaign; “Each year thousands of survivors are faced with PTSD as a result of sexual violence. The effects of these crimes are long lasting, and it’s important that we all support survivors at all stages of recovery.”
“We hope that by educating the public about the long-term effects of sexual violence on individuals, their families and communities, we as a society will see the urgency in addressing and preventing sexual assault and healing its victims,” Ossorio said.