Elizabeth Cush on Sexual Assault

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Reporting Sexual Assault: Telling Our Stories — Or Not

Recent headlines have raised many questions about sexual assault reporting. In this episode of the Woman Worriers podcast, host Elizabeth Cush explores why more women don’t come forward immediately — if at all — when they are sexually assaulted.

We need to change the culture of blaming and shaming sexual assault survivors.
— Elizabeth Cush, LCPC

Show Notes:

If you’ve turned on the TV, picked up a newspaper or browsed social media at all in recent days, chances are you’ve heard about a long-ago case of sexual assault. Much of the coverage raised questions about the incident: Did it really happen that way? Why wasn’t it reported immediately? Many people, especially those who have experienced sexual assault themselves, have found the coverage itself and the challenges to the victim’s credibility, very upsetting. In this week’s episode of the Woman Worriers podcast host Elizabeth Cush, LCPC, a licensed professional therapist and founder of Progression Counseling in Annapolis, Md., shares her own experiences and insights as well as expert research on the complicated issue of reporting sexual assault.

CAUTION: This content could be triggering if you have experienced sexual assault.

Listen and learn:

  • How common sexual assault is

  • Who is most likely to be a victim of sexual assault

  • The long-term effects of sexual assault

  • The difference between rape and sexual assault

  • What portion of those who experience sexual assault report it

  • What the American Psychological Association says about reporting sexual assault

  • The cultural responses that discourage women from reporting sexual assault

  • How victims of sexual assault are often doubly traumatized

  • Why the blame-and-shame culture is so dangerous to victims of sexual assault

  • The choices available to you if you have experienced sexual assault

  • Where to get help and resources

Learn More

> National Sexual Assault Hotline: 800-656-HOPE (4673) connects you to a local provider

> RAINN (Rape Abuse and Incest National Network) article: Sexual Assault

> RAINN sexual violence statistics

>  RAINN article: Steps You Can Take After Sexual Assault

> American Journal of Community Psychology article, “Being Silenced: The Impact of Negative Social Reactions on the Disclosure of Rape” by Courtney E. Ahrens

> Statement of APA President Regarding the Science Behind Why Women May Not Report Sexual Assault

> Progression Counseling


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