Common Responses To Recent Sexual Assault/Abuse
Survivors differ in their responses to assault/abuse. The long term effects may be influenced by the severity of the assault, the survivor's existing coping skills, and the support the person has afterwards. Nevertheless, the following responses are experienced by many survivors.
  • A survivor's self-esteem often diminishes after an assault or abuse. Often she/he feels shamed, humiliated, guilty, angry, & powerless.
  • A survivor may find it difficult to trust and to be intimate with others.
  • A survivor's attitude toward his/her body may be negatively affected. This change may lead to self-abuse (e.g. alcohol abuse, overeating, self mutilation, etc.)
  • A survivor may experience flashbacks of the incident.
  • A survivor may experience fear of being alone and fear of a future attack.
  • A survivor may experience nightmares or other sleep disturbances.
  • A survivor may not be able to concentrate and focus. This can affect academic and/or job performance.