Resources that make an ImPACT

Recovering After a Sexual Assault

Sexual assault is a violation of a person’s physical and psychological boundaries. Beyond the immediate pain and shock of the assault, common after effects can include any or all of the following:

  • Anger and Rage (I’m going to strangle that creep if I ever see him again!)
  • Anxiety and Panic (I can’t breathe. I can’t go into that classroom.)
  • Self-Blame, Guilt, and Shame (I was so stupid to let this happen. I feel so dirty.)
  • Powerlessness (Will I always feel like a victim?)
  • Denial (Maybe it wasn’t really rape. Did I just make it up?)
  • Disorientation, Difficulty Concentrating (What day is it? What did I do with my keys? I can’t remember what the professor lectured on today.)
  • Flashbacks (Reliving the assault in your mind) and Nightmares
  • Sleep Difficulties (Trouble falling or staying asleep)
  • Hyper-Vigilance (Heightened awareness and scanning the environment for threats, even in places previously considered to be safe)
  • Physical Problems (Ongoing headaches or stomachaches, feeling fidgety and frazzled, loss of appetite)
  • Emotional Numbing, Substance Abuse
  • Sepression, Self-harm, Suicidal Thoughts
  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
  • STDs, Pregnancy

These effects can be experienced long after the assault has ended, and if left unaddressed many of them can reoccur throughout a lifetime. It’s important to seek help as soon as you are able. If you do not feel able, consider asking a friend to help you find and access the assistance you need.