Recovering from rape or sexual drama is a process and may take some time. In addition, you may experience some mental health issues and need help with coping strategies.
The Definition of Sexual Assault
Sexual violence is unfortunately very common in the U.S. The CDC states that 1 in 5 women is a victim of sexual assault during her lifetime. Sexual assault is any type of sexual act where one person has not consented.
Types of Trauma
There are a few different types of sexual abuse trauma. The first is verbal, where someone expresses or implies unwanted sexual content. Another type is covert sexual abuse which includes stalking, photographing or videoing you without your consent. One of the most damaging is physical sexual abuse, including rape and other types of sexual trauma.
How to Recover
Learning how to cope after rape or sexual assault may be difficult. However, your well-being is the most important concern. There are dozens of helpful resources you can turn to for help. Some initial steps to take are:
- Turn to someone you trust and confide in them. Talking about your experience is the first step to healing.
- It may be difficult to face people or feel brave right now but take back your sense of control over your life and volunteer or help others who may benefit from what you have survived. Sharing your story could help someone escape from their own situation.
- Join a support group or sign up for counseling one-on-one with a specialist who understands what you are going through.
- Be patient with yourself. You may experience nightmares, anxiety, depression, or sleep disturbances. Everyone heals at their own pace.
- Find ways to self-soothe (meditation, gravity blanket, yoga, Tai Chi, massage, etc.).
- Stay connected with family and friends. Don’t isolate even if you feel compelled to do so.
- Take care of yourself by eating well, avoiding alcohol or drugs to cope, and getting plenty of sleep.
Who Can Help?
RAINN (Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network) is the largest national anti-sexual violence organization, and they can help. They offer an 800-number for victims. They coordinate with thousands of counselors and sexual abuse trauma treatment providers and can suggest one in your local area.
How to Restart a Normal Life
The first step in getting your life back is to seek medical attention and then report the sexual abuse. It’s essential to have a healthy support system of friends and family while you go through the process of healing.
Hiring an Attorney
As you rebuild your life after sexual assault, understand that this was not your fault, and you did not deserve the attack. It’s important to take steps to re-empower yourself and gain your confidence back. This may include proceeding criminally against your attacker or a civil lawsuit. If you need help with your case, please contact Baron and Herskowitz for assistance, even if a long time has passed since the attack. We are here for you.