Effects of Sexual Assault
Sexual assault is a personal and destructive crime. Its effects on you and your loved ones can be psychological, emotional, and/or physical. They can be brief or last a very long time. It is important to remember that there is not one “normal” reaction to sexual assault. Therefore, your individual response will be different depending on your personal circumstances. In this section, we explain some of the more common effects that sexual assault victims may experience.
Caring For Yourself After Sexual Assault
There is no “right” or “wrong” way to react after a sexual assault. One survivor may react very emotionally; another may react with extreme calm. People are unique and there is no “one size fits all” when it comes to reactions after sexual assault. Everyone is different and we all heal in different ways. One thing that is common to most survivors is that healing takes time. After the assault, you may feel different emotions at different times. Please know that you are not “going crazy.” Allow yourself to express any emotions where it is safe and private enough to do so.
You may feel like talking about what happened to you, however, it is best not to discuss details of your assault with others until you know you are in an emotionally safe place to handle their response. After experiencing a trauma such as a sexual assault, your mind and body need time to heal. The following is a list of suggestions for ways to minimize the impact of your recent trauma on your brain and improve your recovery process: