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Dr Funke Baffour-Awuah, Psychologist, Author and Nutritionist
Breaking the Silence:
#MeToo
The Impact on Mental
Health
Outline
#MeToo History
#MeToo Significant people
#MeToo Challenges
#MeToo Achievements
#Sexual Abuse/Assault Taboo
#Sexual Abuse/Assault in Africa
#Impact-Mental Health
Terms
Sexual abuse and sexual assault are umbrella terms used to refer to a number of sexual crimes. These crimes
include:
Rape: Forced sexual contact with someone who does not or cannot consent. Forcing sex upon someone who
does not want it, who is intoxicated, or who is not legally old enough to give consent all constitute rape
Child molestation is any sexual contact with a child.
Incest: sexual contact between family members who are too closely related to marry.
Sexual assault: Non-consensual sexual contact with another person. Sexual assault includes behavior such as
groping and any unwanted sexual touching. Attempted rape also falls into the category of sexual assault.
#MeToo History
Ms Tarana Burke, Founder
American
Civil Rights
Activist
#MeToo Backstory
◦ 13 year old girl talked about
being sexually abused by her
step-father
◦ She could not muster any words
◦ All she wanted to say was ‘Me
Too’
◦ Founded the Just Be Inc (promote
wellness for young girls).
Nature of #MeToo
AIMS
To help sexually abused women
#Specifically under privileged women
of colour
#De-sitgmatise victims by exposing
generality of abuse
#Supporting communities to act and
protect those at risk
MISCONCEPTIONS
#Targeting famous men
#Removing men from their jobs
Fast Forward to 2017
#Twitter blocked Rose McGowan account after
being vocal against Weinstein
#Led to many women worldwide boycotting
twitter
Alyssa Milano
#Hollywood Actress
#Prompted Women to tweet about their experiences using #MeToo hashtag
#12 million tweets were posted in next 24 hours
#After a sexual assault allegation from McGowan and Weinstein,
Alyssa Milano Harvey Weinstein
The responses on Twitter included high-profile posts from several celebrities, and many stories of sexual violence
were shared, including from Gwyneth Paltrow,Ashley Judd,Jennifer Lawrence, and Uma Thurman.
Until Lupita Nyong'o
spoke out, it was a lot
of white women that
brought attention to
this issue that has been
happening to so many
people for so long.
While women are
disproportionately singled
out for sexual violence and
harassment, #MeToo has
shown that men can be
victims too, and that
disproportions of power can
lead to harassment of men
as well as women.
#MeToo Challenges
#True aims have been
questioned
#Public figures speaking against
#Metoo
#Denevue claims it challenges
sexual liberty
#Online trollers said Burke was
“too ugly to be raped”
Catherine Denevue
Questions of
shaming: What did
you wear', 'why did
you go to their
hotel', 'why didn't
you tell anybody?'
are small daggers
that repeatedly jab
into the body of a
survivor.
#MeToo Challenges in Africa
#Women in many African countries still feel unable to speak out about sexual
assault.
#Women are told to be modest in order to have a good marriage
#Not all areas have internet connection
Sexual Abuse in Africa
Democratic Republic of Congo
#Over 36month, 20,500 females were raped in the South Kivu province
#Estimated that 1.69m -1.8m will be or have been raped in their lifetime
Nigeria
#¼ of girls have bee sexually abused before 18
#38% of these told someone
#5% sought help
#‘It is so endemic that it almost seem like a
right for men’
#Pressures of being ostracised from society
mean that many do not speak out
#Fear of not getting married if they speak out
#MeToo Nigeria
NIGERIAN WOMEN ARE BEING INSPIRED BY #METOO TO GO AGAINST THE TABOO AND SPEAK OUT
#MeToo Ghana
#Ghana should follow the
example of other nations
#Start the conversation
#Tackle the social norms
#Change the taboo mind-
set
#Those in prominent
positions to talk.
#METOO
#METOOGHANA
Mental Health
PTSD
Post Traumatic stress Disorder
Children are often too young to understand what is happening
Children are 3x more likely to be abused than adults
Psychological outcomes include
Withdrawn behaviour
Re-enactment of the traumatic event
Avoidance of circumstances that remind victim of that
event
Hypersexualised behaviour
Issues with poor esteem and promiscuity
ANXIETY
For many people who struggle
with anxiety, the feelings have
no clear source. But for sexual
abuse survivors, the loss of
bodily autonomy, coupled with
the fear that the attack could
happen again, can cause intense
anxiety.
HOSTILITY
Many survivors of sexual assault
experience feelings of hostility
towards the gender of their
offenders.
It must be recognised that given
their experiences, survivors
reactions are quite justified and
often these feelings of hostility
represent the beginning of a
natural, positive emotion rather
than a negative one.
Self Esteem
Lack of self esteem may stem
from
Sexual abuse
Lack of bodily security from
the abuse
Self-hatred
Self-blame
Psychological effect of #MeToo
#There are strength in numbers
#Women have become more assertive
#MeToo is so powerful, it’s hard to look
away from a problem that has long
remained in the shadows.
#The women that do not come forward-
doesn’t mean they are not survivors.
Some women prefer to remain private.
End Note
The #MeToo champaign can be the
beginning of a reframing of the discussion
of sexual abuse and assault.
It’s a powerful opportunity for mental
health professionals to intensify their
efforts to support survivors.
Thank You

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Breaking the Silence:#MeToo The impact on Mental Health

  • 1. Dr Funke Baffour-Awuah, Psychologist, Author and Nutritionist Breaking the Silence: #MeToo The Impact on Mental Health
  • 2. Outline #MeToo History #MeToo Significant people #MeToo Challenges #MeToo Achievements #Sexual Abuse/Assault Taboo #Sexual Abuse/Assault in Africa #Impact-Mental Health
  • 3. Terms Sexual abuse and sexual assault are umbrella terms used to refer to a number of sexual crimes. These crimes include: Rape: Forced sexual contact with someone who does not or cannot consent. Forcing sex upon someone who does not want it, who is intoxicated, or who is not legally old enough to give consent all constitute rape Child molestation is any sexual contact with a child. Incest: sexual contact between family members who are too closely related to marry. Sexual assault: Non-consensual sexual contact with another person. Sexual assault includes behavior such as groping and any unwanted sexual touching. Attempted rape also falls into the category of sexual assault.
  • 4. #MeToo History Ms Tarana Burke, Founder American Civil Rights Activist
  • 5. #MeToo Backstory ◦ 13 year old girl talked about being sexually abused by her step-father ◦ She could not muster any words ◦ All she wanted to say was ‘Me Too’ ◦ Founded the Just Be Inc (promote wellness for young girls).
  • 6. Nature of #MeToo AIMS To help sexually abused women #Specifically under privileged women of colour #De-sitgmatise victims by exposing generality of abuse #Supporting communities to act and protect those at risk MISCONCEPTIONS #Targeting famous men #Removing men from their jobs
  • 7. Fast Forward to 2017 #Twitter blocked Rose McGowan account after being vocal against Weinstein #Led to many women worldwide boycotting twitter
  • 8. Alyssa Milano #Hollywood Actress #Prompted Women to tweet about their experiences using #MeToo hashtag #12 million tweets were posted in next 24 hours #After a sexual assault allegation from McGowan and Weinstein, Alyssa Milano Harvey Weinstein
  • 9. The responses on Twitter included high-profile posts from several celebrities, and many stories of sexual violence were shared, including from Gwyneth Paltrow,Ashley Judd,Jennifer Lawrence, and Uma Thurman. Until Lupita Nyong'o spoke out, it was a lot of white women that brought attention to this issue that has been happening to so many people for so long.
  • 10. While women are disproportionately singled out for sexual violence and harassment, #MeToo has shown that men can be victims too, and that disproportions of power can lead to harassment of men as well as women.
  • 11. #MeToo Challenges #True aims have been questioned #Public figures speaking against #Metoo #Denevue claims it challenges sexual liberty #Online trollers said Burke was “too ugly to be raped” Catherine Denevue Questions of shaming: What did you wear', 'why did you go to their hotel', 'why didn't you tell anybody?' are small daggers that repeatedly jab into the body of a survivor.
  • 12. #MeToo Challenges in Africa #Women in many African countries still feel unable to speak out about sexual assault. #Women are told to be modest in order to have a good marriage #Not all areas have internet connection
  • 13. Sexual Abuse in Africa
  • 14. Democratic Republic of Congo #Over 36month, 20,500 females were raped in the South Kivu province #Estimated that 1.69m -1.8m will be or have been raped in their lifetime
  • 15. Nigeria #¼ of girls have bee sexually abused before 18 #38% of these told someone #5% sought help #‘It is so endemic that it almost seem like a right for men’ #Pressures of being ostracised from society mean that many do not speak out #Fear of not getting married if they speak out
  • 16. #MeToo Nigeria NIGERIAN WOMEN ARE BEING INSPIRED BY #METOO TO GO AGAINST THE TABOO AND SPEAK OUT
  • 17. #MeToo Ghana #Ghana should follow the example of other nations #Start the conversation #Tackle the social norms #Change the taboo mind- set #Those in prominent positions to talk. #METOO #METOOGHANA
  • 19.
  • 20. PTSD Post Traumatic stress Disorder Children are often too young to understand what is happening Children are 3x more likely to be abused than adults Psychological outcomes include Withdrawn behaviour Re-enactment of the traumatic event Avoidance of circumstances that remind victim of that event Hypersexualised behaviour Issues with poor esteem and promiscuity
  • 21. ANXIETY For many people who struggle with anxiety, the feelings have no clear source. But for sexual abuse survivors, the loss of bodily autonomy, coupled with the fear that the attack could happen again, can cause intense anxiety.
  • 22. HOSTILITY Many survivors of sexual assault experience feelings of hostility towards the gender of their offenders. It must be recognised that given their experiences, survivors reactions are quite justified and often these feelings of hostility represent the beginning of a natural, positive emotion rather than a negative one.
  • 23. Self Esteem Lack of self esteem may stem from Sexual abuse Lack of bodily security from the abuse Self-hatred Self-blame
  • 24. Psychological effect of #MeToo #There are strength in numbers #Women have become more assertive #MeToo is so powerful, it’s hard to look away from a problem that has long remained in the shadows. #The women that do not come forward- doesn’t mean they are not survivors. Some women prefer to remain private.
  • 25. End Note The #MeToo champaign can be the beginning of a reframing of the discussion of sexual abuse and assault. It’s a powerful opportunity for mental health professionals to intensify their efforts to support survivors.

Editor's Notes

  1. Famous people that have been sexually abused
  2. Brenda Uphopho Eurel Nwafor Chichi Ogbonnaya Oluwaseun Ayodeji Osowobi Omodasola