Sexual Violence and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
One in three women and one in four men will experience sexual violence at least once in their lifetime. Sexual violence isn’t just about physical abuse, but includes any type of sexual act that is unwanted or without consent.
While sexual violence is not the victim’s fault, societal hurdles can keep survivors from reporting or seeking help. Survivors may be traumatized or disoriented after the assault, which can make it difficult to work or go to school. This can affect the survivor’s job, earning power, and overall well-being. Survivors are also at risk for developing post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
If you have been a victim of sexual violence, you may feel isolated or fearful. You may experience flashbacks, nightmares, and loss of trust. PTSD can also impact your ability to work or study. It can cause problems with your relationships with friends and family. In addition, it can lead to depression, anxiety, and insomnia.
If you are concerned about a loved one who has been the victim of sexual abuse, it is important to be patient with them. Instead of offering advice, let them decide what they want to do. Help them explore resources that can give them the information they need.
Although there is no known cure for PTSD, you can get the help you need. Psychologists and other mental health professionals can help you process and overcome the emotional effects of sexual violence. Also, the #MeToo movement helped bring attention to the issue.
Often, survivors don’t report the attack because they are afraid they will be a target of another sexual assault. Taking a few precautions can reduce your risk of being the victim of a sexual assault. Contact the police if you suspect someone you know is involved in an attack. Similarly, you can take a support person with you to the police station to make a report.
Survivors may experience a variety of symptoms after an assault, including flashbacks, PTSD, mood swings, and isolation. Despite the fact that these symptoms can be difficult to diagnose, they are a warning sign that you should seek assistance.
When you are thinking about reporting an assault, you should first decide if you want to talk to a counselor or someone else who can support you. Keep in mind that everyone is different. Some people will feel better after a few days while others will have to heal at a different pace.
Many people think that the victims of sexual assault were enjoying their abuse. However, it is possible for anyone to be injured or raped by an attacker. Regardless of whether you are the victim or the attacker, it is your responsibility to get the help you need.
For many, the assault was unplanned and unexpected. The perpetrators often use psychological or physical pressure to coerce their victims into accepting a sexual act. They may drug their victims or use threats. Survivors should contact their local support organization for more information.