Effects Of Sexual Assault

Effects Of Sexual Assault

Surviving Adult Sexual Assault

Sexual assault is a traumatic event. Most victims will develop a range of post-traumatic stress symptoms.

Sexual assault can produce physical and emotional responses or unwelcome thoughts from ‘out of the blue’. You may feel emotions and sensations you have never experienced before. You might have a range of physical symptoms, not all of which seem related to the assault. You might find yourself ‘spacing out’ as a way of coping. You might have flashbacks, when memories of the assault come up without warning, and you may have nightmares and trouble sleeping.

As strange as it may seem, these are normal reactions to traumatic events. You are not ‘going crazy.’ These experiences are painful and unpleasant but normal after a traumatic experience, and will usually improve and pass in time.

Not every survivor of sexual assault will experience all the following effects, but most will recognise one or more of them. The sooner any of these impacts can be addressed, the less likely they are to cause long-term problems. Click on the link to find out more information.