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  • Writer's pictureSamantha McMullen

Your body is not a weapon



These words are a mantra I offer to you:

  • if you have ever felt shame or embarrassment around your body

  • if you have ever been told to "cover up"

  • if you have ever felt like your body is "too much"

  • if you have ever been told that a certain type of clothing isn't for you

  • if you want to develop a more neutral relationship with your body (because toxic positivity is not healthy either)

  • if you have ever felt judged for the clothing items you wear or do not wear

  • if you have ever been blamed after an assault and felt like it was your fault

  • if you are a survivor of trauma*

*I believe all humans are survivors of some type of traumatic event


You are not alone. Your body is not a weapon.


When your bodies boundaries are crossed, you feel shame, and your mind often jumps to conclusions that this (rape, assault, abuse, sexualized comments, inappropriate touch etc...) was your fault. This is how our brain tries to gain control. It results in an avalanche of self blame and "what ifs," but unfortunately the "what ifs" are rarely based in reality. Unrealistic fears can take over and overwhelm your system and make your body feel unsafe.


Trauma survivors often experience exaggerated responsibility in many areas of life. But just as in war, it is not the weapon's choice or fault, it is the one who created the bomb and caused the harm who is at fault.


The reality is that if anyone shames your body, or assaults your body, it says more about them and their trauma/pain and nothing about you. There is nothing that you have done wrong.


Comments like, “Cover up or men will stare,” or, “put more clothes on,” are often said by persons who are not trying to shame, but instead, trying to protect. However, this doesn’t actually protect anyone other than the perpetrators. Why? Because it is this, our culture’s acceptance of the myth that, “men can’t help it,” that perpetuates violence against woman.


Research shows us that physical attraction is not why assaults happen- assaults are about power and control. What you wear, and how much skin you show does not factor in at all. Comments that blame the individual who survived the perpetuator's actions are called "victim blaming." Not only is victim blaming sexist and re-traumatizing, but it lets the perpetrator escape responsibility. This is unacceptable.


Perpetrators are the ones who have weaponized their bodies.


They are responsible for their actions, and you deserve to feel safe in your body. I hope that if these experiences resonate with you, that you can receive this mantra. Perhaps this is one of the first steps into changing your relationship with your body. You deserve to feel confident and badass in whatever you choose to wear or not wear, and I hope that you feel empowered to choose how much skin you show and how much you cover, based on your comfort, and not fear of other's actions.


By doing this you can claim your birthright- to exist in the body that is your home.


If you are interested in learning more about healing from trauma, please contact me through my website, email me at samantha@artsomatictherapy.com or call me at 818-465-8516.

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