Effects of Sexual Assault

It is important that you remember everyone is different and there is no single reaction to being sexually assaulted, but it is important to know that you may experience:

  • Nervousness and anxiety
  • Fear and social isolation
  • A decrease or increase in appetite
  • Sleeplessness or nightmares
  • Depression and withdrawal
  • Drug and alcohol abuse
  • Relationship problems
  • Flashbacks
  • Physical ailments, headaches, stomach aches and other pain
  • Thoughts of suicide

How to Take Care of Yourself After Sexual Assault

When you are ready, trained counselors are available at your local Rape Crisis and Recovery Center. Many survivors find that counseling helps them to move forward and heal. In addition to counseling, there are ways that you can take care of yourself following a sexual assault:

  • Talk with a supportive friend, family member or spiritual advisor
  • Keep a written journal
  • Express yourself through art, dance or music
  • Exercise, get plenty of sleep and eat healthy
  • Join a local support group
  • Pray or meditate
  • Realize that you are not alone nor to blame
  • Be kind to yourself
  • Set a path and goals for healing and reward your progress

For more information, visit our Resources for Survivors page or contact a Rape Crisis and Recovery Center near you.