As shattering as sexual assault is, the aftermath can be equally harrowing. Individuals who have suffered sexual assault may suffer from severe anxiety and depression, and they may experience nightmares, intrusive thoughts, and sudden mood swings.
They may also suffer from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). If you have been the victim of sexual assault, then it is important to know how you can cope with your trauma.
Know What Steps You Should Take Immediately
If you are experiencing suicidal thoughts after your assault, call 1-800-273-8255 to speak with a trained crisis worker. You should receive a SANE exam at a hospital in your area as soon as possible. Some individuals may choose to file a police report about their assault.
If you are unsure of what your legal options are, then schedule a consultation with a compassionate and helpful Dallas sexual assault victim lawyer at Crowe Arnold & Majors, LLP.
Be Prepared For Your Body’s Reaction To Trauma
When a person undergoes a traumatic experience, it isn’t always easy to predict how they will respond. Many people who have been assaulted find themselves feeling constantly on edge, unable to calm down.
There are a number of ways in which you can cope with these unwanted emotions. It can be a good idea to try to avoid “triggers” that can set off a feeling of panic, such as seeing names or sights that you associate with your assault. Always listen to your body and be alert to signs that you are panicking, such as rapid breathing or repetitive thoughts.
Practice simple steps that you can take to calm yourself down, such as shutting your eyes, taking deep and slow breaths, and counting backward from 100.
Find A Way To Reach Out To Others
For sexual assault survivors, one of the most common emotions is a feeling of isolation. You may be feeling shame about the assault, and/or you may feel that you need to hide what happened. It’s important to know that you do NOT have to go through this trauma alone, and that there are many people you can reach out to who are ready to help. You may want to confide in a friend, family member, or other trusted individual about your experience.
Consider exploring support groups for survivors of sexual assault, which can help you cope with your feelings and feel less isolated.
Do Not Blame Yourself For What Happened
Those who have survived sexual assault often feel responsible for the experience. They may blame themselves for trusting the individual who assaulted them, or they may feel upset with themselves for not being able to prevent the assault. It is crucial to remember that only your attacker is responsible for the assault. Many people freeze up and are unable to defend themselves when they are suddenly put in a traumatic situation. Responsibility for sexual assault lies with the perpetrator and not the victim.
Look Into Professional Counseling For Your Assault
Many people who have been assaulted feel that it’s best to “move on,” without working through the trauma. However, avoidance is not a long-term solution for the psychological effects of assault. The sooner you seek out professional counseling, the more likely it is that you will be able to avoid severe suffering and lasting distress.
There are effective therapies for trauma available, and a mental health professional will be able to help you find the best strategy or treatment options that work best for you. Our Dallas sexual assault victim lawyers can help you find the right resources to cope with your experience.
How Our Sexual Assault Victim Attorneys Can Help You with Your Case
Unfortunately, sexual assault is extremely common. According to the National Sexual Violence Research Center, 1 in every 5 women and 1 in every 71 men in the U.S. have experienced sexual assault at some point in their lives.
At Crowe Arnold & Majors, LLP, we understand how difficult it is for survivors of sexual assault to relive their experience on a regular basis. We work to advocate for our clients so that they can win the compensation they deserve for their medical expenses as well as their pain and suffering. Our Dallas sexual assault victim lawyers will always fight hard to protect your rights.