Rape, sexual abuse, sexual assault, and sexual harassment are crushing as they are illegal. Research reports that for every 90 seconds, one American is sexually harassed, and for every 8 minutes, the victim is usually a child. Sadly, there are only 6 of the 1,000 sex offenders that will end up in jail.
Typical Mental Health Issues Seen In Sexual Assault Victims
No two individuals respond to a given circumstance in the same way. Their partner could have assaulted two individuals, but they may respond entirely differently because of previous experiences, support networks, and personality traits, among others. Remember that the term ‘normal’ here has a very wide scope. However, most victims – both female and male – are distraught from rape and sexual assault. Below is a list of some typical mental health issues that could emerge after sexual assault.
Depression. An individual who was raped and whose body was physically disrespected will obviously have a difficult time coping. This can generate feelings of incompetence and hopelessness and a sense of not being in control in many areas of her life. The individual might start to doubt her own actions regarding the actual assault, and it is usual for her to think negatively of herself. Self-esteem also starts to sink in. There will also be periods when concern about meeting the sex offender again results in the victim eventually secluding herself and spend more time alone, which in turn heightens depression. Depressive emotions can be minor and transient, or they can be severe and chronic.
Sleep Problems. Occasionally, sexual assault victims and survivors have trouble sleeping. A few times, they may also suddenly wake up from a terrible dream or experience bouts of panic attacks in the middle of the night.
Relationship And Attachment Issues. If a person has been sexually assaulted, raped, or abused, it can be very hard for her to trust anybody. Victims may also find it difficult to establish positive connections even with those they used to know before the devastating incident. Relationship issues are particularly real in kids who have been sexually harassed. They have not formed as many healthy experiences and are still acquiring wisdom about their views and perceptions of the world surrounding them.
Grief. A person whose virginity was lost through rape will most likely mourn her past self or what she had yearned for in the first experience with sex. College students who were raped during their career lived in apprehension and fear of meeting their offender on the school grounds will lament over the freedom that they expected to get in college. A successful career woman who stopped working because of constant sexual assault may grieve the loss of a job that she had imagined for herself.
Anxiety. This is very typically seen after any trauma. Victims or survivors may be scared that the assault could occur again. Panic episodes are usual. Some can have agoraphobia, where they feel hesitant and scared to get out of their homes. College students who have been raped or abused on the school grounds are so scared that if they get out of their dorm, they will come across a sex offender. In some scenarios, a victim or survivor could dread seeing people who look similar to those who assaulted them. For example, if their offender had long black hair, they may start to notice themselves getting more anxious each time they meet a person with the same hairstyle, even if they are logically sure that not everyone with that hairstyle is their offender.
Anger is an extremely typical feeling following sexual abuse or rape, and people are often uncertain of how to respond with anger. This kind of anger can be projected to anyone – towards the sex offender, family, or friends that the victim hopes saved them from the ordeal, or individuals who are entirely unrelated to them. Victims and survivors may act in ways that they don’t totally understand, and they might start saying that they have an anger issue without realizing the link between the trauma they went through and their strong feelings.
A person who just endured sexual abuse or rape may have strong memories of the incident through nightmares or flashbacks. They may also begin to avoid people, places, or things that make them remember the assault. It’s typical for victims and survivors to nurture unpleasant beliefs about themselves and their surroundings.
Consulting A Counselor Who Focuses On Rape And Assault Victims
Numerous counselors focus on different treatments for trauma, but sexual traumas can be significantly distinctive from any experience. A person who has dealt with others who have experienced assault or rape can help you manage your feelings and give you a reason to hope. They understand the matters involved in the trauma treatment for sexual abuse, assault, or rape. These are distinctly terrifying circumstances. There may also be reassurance and relief for you upon knowing that your counselor already ‘knows all about it.’