What to expect after sexual assault

What to expect after you have been sexually assaulted.

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

Take care of yourself.  When you are ready, trained counselors are available at HopeWorks  and you may call our Helpline at any time, day or night.  Many survivors find that counseling helps them to move forward and heal.  In addition to counseling, there are ways you can take care of yourself following a sexual assault:

  • Talk with a supportive friend, family member or spiritual adviser
  • Keep a written journal
  • Express yourself through art, dance or music
  • Exercise, get plenty of sleep and eat healthily
  • Join a support group
  • Pray or meditate
  • Realize that your are not alone or to blame
  • Be kind to yourself
  • Set a path and goals for healing and reward your progress