Yoga For Sexual Assault Survivors

 
 

The need

Woman Warrior was created in response to a growing demand from survivors for safe spaces where they can join in community and heal. 

With the explosion of the #metoo movement in 2016, we have seen more and more brave women share the fact that they are survivors; but it’s not enough for us to simply acknowledge our trauma – to fully heal, we must work through it and that is often impossible alone. We need a place to heal in community, and that is what Woman Warrior provides, as demonstrated in the quote below from Robin, who joined our Woman Warrior workshop in Washington, D.C.:

"The Woman Warrior workshop was an incredibly amazing experience. I never imagined that being in a kind, loving space doing yoga and breathing exercises with other women survivors would have such a deep impact on me. I signed up for the workshop without expectations, and it provided me a sense of self love that I didn’t even realize I needed. I am so grateful for the tools that I now have to help navigate my life."

One in four girls experiences sexual abuse before she turns 18. One in three women experiences sexual violence and one in five women is raped.[1] Women of color experience sexual violence more often than white women and Indigenous women are two times more likely to experience sexual assault compared with all other women in America.[2] What’s more, women who live in underserved and under-resourced communities have much less access to the healing services that they need in order to be able to move beyond their trauma.

When survivors don’t receive the services they need to heal, the cost is heart breaking:

·         30% of women who are sexually assault experience PTSD months after the assault.

·         Survivors are 6 or more times likely to use cocaine or other major drugs.

·         38% of survivors experience work or school problems, which includes significant problems with a supervisor or colleague.

·         37% of survivors experience significant relationship problems, including getting into arguments more frequently than before, not feeling able to trust their loved ones, or not feeling as close to them as before the assault.

·         79% of survivors who were assaulted by someone they knew experience professional and/or emotional issues, including moderate to severe distress, or increased problems at work or school.[3]

Of course, yoga and meditation are not perfect solutions and each woman’s healing journey is different. But we know that both yoga and communal healing can significantly decrease the effects of post traumatic stress for survivors.