Understand the Effects of Sexual Assault

Submitted by admin on Fri, 05/28/2021 - 18:34

It is important to understand that survivors may exhibit different behaviors in the days, months, and even years after an assault. Survivors may not be able to operate at their full capacity after an assault, but with appropriate support and resources, survivors of sexual assault can heal after what happened.

A survivor may experience some of the follow after sexual assault. Please note that this is not an exhaustive list, and a survivor may exhibit all, some, or none of these behaviors.

  • Anxiety
  • Mood swings
  • A sense of helplessness
  • Fear or phobia
  • Depression
  • Rage
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Eating difficulties
  • Denial
  • Withdrawal from others
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Flashbacks
  • Dissociation
  • Self-Harm
  • Suicide

Additionally, research has shown that experiencing trauma can have significant effects on the brain, including how it takes in and processes information. These effects may also cause a survivor to react in a certain way during the event, or hold onto memories in a different way, which can last days, weeks, and even years after the assault. You can read more about symptoms and behaviors, as well as how trauma affects the brain here, or by contacting Safe Helpline.