After an Assault
There is no “right” way for a sexual assault survivor to react in the immediate aftermath of an assault. You may feel or appear numb or dazed, you may be calm and controlled, or you may react by expressing intense emotions. You may react to the assault immediately, or you may have a delayed reaction. These are all perfectly normal. How you are affected, and for how long, will depend on many different factors: the circumstances and nature of the assault, the identity of the assailant, the response of relatives and friends, and your life experience.
It may be helpful for you to talk about your feelings with someone who can provide support and understand what you’ve been through. Who you talk to is a matter of choice: it could be a supportive friend or relative, a healthcare provider, a counselor, or anyone with whom you feel comfortable.
The Rape Crisis Center offers lots of options: You can call our helpline to discuss your feelings and situation anonymously; you can schedule short-term individual supportive counseling; or you can attend a support group with other survivors of sexual assault. Many victims find support and discover their strengths by being able to talk about their experiences.
When you call:
- We will listen and not blame you.
- We will answer your questions courteously and respectfully.
- We will provide information about your options and your rights.
- We will respect your feelings.
- We will respect your choices.