We took some time out to celebrate International Women’s Day this March where the focus was about breaking the bias in our communities, workplaces, schools and unis. This International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women marks the launch of the UN’s UNiTE campaign, November 25- December 10. It’s an initiative of 16 days of activism concluding on the day that commemorates the International Human Rights Day December 10. So, it’s a resounding shout out again to holding respect and our consent high as well as calling out harassment, violence, abuse, gender bias, discrimination and stereotyping each time you see it. We continue to strike that pose and show our support in the best way we can!
Any bias, discrimination, harassment, violence and abuse as well as the effects on our health can be significant. No matter where your opinions lie, it is significant for everyone! It’s important to get an awareness and grasp how these can affect us and look to ways of always moving ahead and forward.
Say it loud ok….
No matter what may have happened to us or how we may feel, the crux of the matter is that we are still responsible for how we think and respond…. All day. Everyday! We choose to make a sound that’s meant to be heard and taken notice of.
Done with Grace
Grace Tame – Aussie advocate, given an even greater platform to do her stuff by being crowned Australian of the Year for 2021 has used her voice resoundingly. Many of us now know her, admire her strength and courage as a brave and passionate advocate for policy and systemic action forcing change in our nation to prevent child sexual abuse and more. Her story speaks loudly…. just like it should for anyone else’s experience! Respect.
Speak Truth to Power
Some of you saw or heard the formidable team she made with Brittany Higgins earlier this year in lending their voices to #SpeakTruthToPower. Maybe even adding further solidarity to the progression and evolvement of Global #MeToo movement here in Australia. Their guts and determination to shine a light on sexual harassment, exploitation, abuse and assault by sharing their own stories have personalised these difficult issues……making a noise that’s hard to ignore for those in power.
Break the Bias, calling out harassment and abuse
We know there are others out there with the same or similar…. but maybe even different experiences to Grace and Brittany that are still so raw and relentlessly valid in this space! The stats say that 1 in 6 of us have experienced the trauma of sexual abuse here in Australia. So, calling out any gender bias, discrimination, harassment, abuse and more as well as the effects on our health is always an awesome step in helping women move ahead and level the playing field. Many of us have been inspired to fight for justice and #BreakTheBias for this year’s International Women’s Day, hold our#Respect high and Listen, Believe and Connect for this Week Without Violence…… and beyond!
Together is better
Here at Go Against The Flow #GATFaus we’re about focusing on what young women can do when we support each other and work together! GATF is designed to change our direction, how we view things, to encourage us to fight against norms that have held us down. To build each other up, so we feel more positive and better about ourselves, so that young women can be the best they can be. Speaking LOUD …… with no shame!
Harassment and abuse and the effects on our health
GATF is centred on incontinence …. but we’re also big on encouraging young women to talk about taboo issues ….. especially health issues!
Encountering any form of bias, abuse or violence can impact our health, especially our mental health, because it can be traumatic for us to experience. Its not easy for sure. Getting professional help can give us a huge hand in dealing with the effects that some of us may feel very deeply. Taking a step at a time is so important along with having a trusted and supportive network to help us along the way to HEAL! If talking with friends or family is not easy, then see below for some trusted help from reputable organisations here in Australia in taking those important steps.
Keeping it simple down below
Talking about our sexual health is not always easy, …… but getting things out in the open in trusted environments helps with that pathway to heal.
Keeping it straight and simple, research shows that some of us who have experienced the trauma of sexual abuse or abuse in any form may also experience some uncomfortable symptoms to do with Continence and Pelvic Floor function.
Remember your Pelvic Floor health helps with your bladder and bowel function as well as your sexual function and health.
Look here for more bite size information to get you aware and empowered.
Things you may experience are:
- Going to the loo may be tricky, your flow stops and starts, can’t get it all out or can’t completely empty.
- There may be a struggle to use your bowels and pass a bowel motion.
- You can’t insert a tampon because it is too painful
- Sex may be too painful or it’s a just a ‘don’t go there’ at all for you.
Putting a full STOP to things you don’t have to put up with
You don’t have to keep putting up with uncomfortable symptoms like those mentioned above if you or someone you know is experiencing them. We’re here to tell you there’s support and help there if you want and need it!
Allowing ourselves a space and a pathway to heal inside and out if we’ve encountered any sort of terrible trauma, is really important. Remember, this is about moving ahead in all aspects of our lives, including our important and treasured sexual parts that we don’t often feel free to talk about….
But we’re about talking about it …….
Reaching out via contacting us, even anonymously is a good call. You can even pick up the phone and call the National Continence Helpline. We have supportive and experienced Nurse Continence Specialists – yes there are health professionals specialised in this area! They can listen and then advise or direct you to further help for your sexual and pelvic floor health near to where you live if you want and need it!
Again, if you’re needing to talk more about issues raised in this article and talking with friends or family is not easy, then see below for some trusted help from reputable organisations here in Australia.
Shining a light on any harassment and abuse, violence, bias, discrimination, and the affects on our health can help us all move ahead! It’s a shout out to calling it out and holding our respect as well as our consent high for everyone.
- 1800RESPECT National Sexual assault, Domestic Family violence counselling service
- LifeLine lifeline.org.au
- Headspace headspace.org.au
- R U OK? ruok.org.au
- ReachOut reachout.com
- Embrace Multicultural Mental Health embracementalhealth.org.au