Rape Related Trauma
Sexual assault is never the victim’s fault–ever. No matter what was said or what clothing was worn, whether there was alcohol involved, or if the perpetrator was not a stranger. The victim’s body is their own, and no one has permission to do anything against their wishes.
Regardless of much or little time has passed since the assault, emotions and thoughts can be overwhelming. In learning the facts about rape and how to get help, victims will discover that the symptoms they experience, while confusing, are to be expected given the trauma of such an attack.
Often times we expect a sex offender to be a stranger, but actually, more often than not sexual assaults committed are by someone the victim knows.
There are some circumstances in which the victim is not able to give consent. Sexual assault is defined as any sort of sexual activity in which a person is involved against their will.
The Emotional Impact
While the nature of rape is in itself a physical assault, the fact remains that there are emotional injuries that others cannot see. There are those who believe that the lack of physical injuries after a rape means that the victim was willing. This is not true. Every victim does the best they can at the time, and those actions should not be questioned after the fact. The assumptions of others shouldn’t be a barrier to recovery; it’s best for the victim to be surrounded by those who will believe them and provide the compassion and empathy needed at this traumatic time.
Sex offenders often leave their victims with far worse emotional scars than physical. For victims with a significant other, the intimacy that was once so comforting and special between the victim and their partner may have changed. Distance and a feeling of isolation, as if both partners are suffering separately, are not uncommon.
The victim’s partner has experienced the trauma as well. Of course, the primary concern is the sexual assault victim; however, it’s important to recognize that the spouse or significant other may be overwhelmed by what has happened, and having confusing feelings such as guilt, rage, and helplessness.
Many partners feel the need to do something and take action, and this is the time that the victim of a traumatic crime can needs to be comforted with unconditional love and support.
The Physical Impact
The fear of touching and being touched following sexual assault is a tragic consequence and one that can be discussed with a therapist. Although it may take some time to develop comfort in discussing these subjects, it is an important step to recovery.
Treating Trauma at Milestones
At Milestones at Onsite, we want you to know that we stand behind you one hundred percent. We want to support you and walk with you into your recovery. We believe in unconditional love and provide a safe environment for you to do the work that has been needed for a long time. We are here to help and we’d be honored to have the opportunity to show up for you and help you discover joy in your life.