According to the Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network (RAINN), the top three reasons survivors of sexual abuse do not make a report are: feared retaliation, a belief that police would do nothing to help, and a belief that it was a personal matter.

Each of those reasons played a role in why it took me years to report my own experience as a survivor of sexual abuse.

When I was a child and reported my sexual abuse to an adult, they did not act on that information, which lead to further targeting and abuse.

My hope is that fellow survivors will find a loved one, teacher, therapist or law enforcement official to confide in who will take their report seriously and act accordingly.

It takes courage to consider filing a report because it involves sharing personal information with strangers and immersing yourself in an investigation that you will not be able to control.

It helps to temper your expectations.

Recently, I was finally able to report my experience as a survivor of sexual abuse.

That process forced me to adjust my goals. I realized that the criminal justice system was not able to give me the justice I had hoped for.

My new goal is to use my life experience and status on the Attleboro Council on Human Rights to help other survivors get the help they need.

Survivors often find therapy can be helpful in processing trauma but accessing mental healthcare can be a challenge.

Health insurance plans can come with a deductible, which can mean paying $50-200 per session for therapy.

For some telehealth visits, many insurance companies are waiving deductible and co-payments during the coronavirus pandemic.

So how do you know what your potential costs will be?

Some health insurance plans carve out their mental health coverage to a secondary mental health insurance company, which is often indicated on the health insurance card.

It is important to ask to verify the specific benefits for the desired service, whether there are any deductibles that apply to the service, what the co-payment or coinsurance costs will be, if authorization is required for the desired service, and which providers are within their network.

A list of providers within an insurance company’s network can also typically be found on their website as a directory.

If you or a loved one is a survivor of sexual abuse and is deciding whether to file a report, please know that you are not alone.

You can reach out to the ACHR for help by emailing AttleboroHumanRights@gmail.com, messaging us on Facebook, or by submitting an incident report form which can be found on our website: https://www.cityofattleboro.us

The writer is a member of the Attleboro Council on Human Rights.

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