Sexual Assault Feelings

If you have experienced a sexual assault, here are some things to keep in mind:

  • Your safety is important. Are you in a safe place? If you’re not feeling safe, consider reaching out to someone you trust for support or call us to speak with a counselor/advocate. You don’t have to go through this alone.
  • What happened was not your fault. Many survivors blame themselves and worry that the assault is their fault. Something happened to you that you didn’t want to happen—and that’s not OK.

You might be feeling:

  • Distrust: It may take a while to feel like you can trust people again. If you were assaulted by someone you know, you may question your judgment about people. If you were assaulted by a stranger, you may distrust the world.
  • Loss of control: Sexual assault robs you of control over your body, so afterwards, survivors often feel powerless. An important part of healing is feeling that you have choices, and they will be respected.
  • Fear:  Sexual assault is frightening, and it is normal to feel scared. You might feel scared at night, or having nightmares, or feel especially vulnerable in locations that remind you of the place you were assaulted.
  • Overwhelmed: You might not know what to do, or who to talk to. Friends and family might be giving you advice on what actions they think you should take. You have the right to get accurate information about options and to make your own decision.
  • Residual Trauma : It is normal for survivors to experience residual trauma in the years following an assault.  Trauma can be triggered by a range of things – like a smell that reminds them of the incident, or a friend sharing a similar experience.
  • Guilt:  Sexual assault survivors sometimes feel guilt or responsibility after being assaulted.  A survivor might talk about the things they could have done differently to prevent their assault.