Crime Victims Services - Sexual Assault - Emotional Concerns

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Emotional Concerns after a Sexual Assault

It is important to realize that certain reactions and feelings are normal for women and men who have been raped. Some of these feelings are listed below:

  • Shock and numbness - Wondering what to do first and who to tell.
  • Shame and humiliation - Feeling personal violation and degradation.
  • Fear - Afraid that the rapist will come back to hurt or rape you again. Afraid of others misunderstanding.
  • Anger - Both at the rapist and at the world in general.
  • Dirtiness - Feeling damaged, and perhaps wanting to take many showers/baths.
  • Guilt - Feeling that the assault was your fault or that you “should have” tried to do something different, that something is “wrong”.
  • Powerlessness and helplessness - Feeling that you have no control over your own life or body.
  • Distrust - Feeling suspicious of the world and being very cautious.
  • Fright - Feeling that you want someone to be with you at all times.
  • Sexual fear - Feeling that you wish to stop sexual relations with the significant person in your life, or that you will never enjoy sexual relations again.
  • Talking with a counselor and/or people in your support system can be very helpful if you are having feelings that upset or confuse you.