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Sexual Assault • The Aftermath of Rape

As a victim of sexual assault you may find yourself attempting to cope with a variety of strong feelings, including:

You may be feeling any, all, or none of these but keep in mind that whatever you're feeling is a common reaction to being sexually assaulted and many victims have similar reactions.

As a result of this crisis and all its related feelings, you may experience any or all of the following behaviors:


Seek professional counseling to help you through the crisis.

Discuss your feelings about the assault with your family and friends.

Share the details of the sexual assault with those people you feel can handle it if you want to.

Work to resume your normal activities.

Discuss your feelings with your partner about resuming sexual relations-it's okay if you want to wait.

Plan a course of action to help prevent a sexual assault from happening again.

Treat yourself with kindness.


Blame yourself for the sexual assault. No matter what you were doing or wearing, you did not asked to be raped. Everyone has the right to decide whom he or she has sexual relations with. Remember that you are the victim, not the assailant.

Hide the fact that you've been sexually assaulted. Close friends and family whom you trust for support can be very beneficial in helping you cope.

Pretend the assault never happened. The crisis will not disappear by avoiding or denying it.

Withdraw from your daily activities.

Worry about how you handled the assault. You survived!
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