But health officials say it’s still difficult for them to speak about it.
Frederick, Md (KM) In recent months, a number of women have come forward and accused men in powerful positions of making unwanted sexual advances against them, which has led to the downfall of these men.
Shannon Aleshire, the Chief Executive Officer of the Mental Health Association of Frederick County, discussed that recently on “Success Happens” on WFMD, hosted by Jennifer Charlton. “As time has gone on,. people feel more and more comfortable talking about it. And I think that’s the floodgate that we’ve seen open,” she says.
It all started with revelation about Hollywood Mogul Harvey Weinstein, and spread to entertainers such as Kevin Spacey, and elected officials such as Senator Al Franken. Recently, Republican Senatorial Candidate Roy Moore was defeated by Democrat Doug Jones. Moore was accused by several women of pursuing them while they were in their teens, and he was in his 30’s. Moore had denied those charges.
Aleshire says it’s often not easy for victims to talk about their past experiences. “For some, these events are traumatic. And they do have a reaction to them that more than just ‘yes, I’ve experienced this but I’m moving on with my life,'” she says.
But she talking about it is the beginning of therapy and healing. “Talk about what happen, how they handled it, whether or not they processed it at that point in time, how it’s impacted their life and give them tools for managing it and moving forward,” says Aleshire.
On that same program, Aleshire discussed “adverse childhood experience.” She says a child can react negatively later on in life, even into adulthood, following sexual or physical abuse, neglect, the incarceration of death of a parent, and substance abuse experienced as kids.. This experience can even impact their physical health. “They have a two-time greater risk of being diagnosed with cancer, and four-time greater risk of being diagnosed with emphysema,” she says.
And the effects can go beyond one person. “It’s basically alters your genetic coding. Not just for you, but for future generations. So when you have children, that altered genetic coding is passed on to them,” says Aleshire.
She says solving many of the world’s problems should start when a person is young. “If we want to solve some of these big issues that our country is facing, that our community if facing, my recommendation would be to really focus on what we can do prevent adverse childhood experiences and build resilient children,” says Aleshire.
By Kevin McManus