COMMON REACTIONS TO A SEXUAL ASSAULT

The experience of sexual assault had different meanings for each person. No one knows precisely how an individual will react, but crisis counselors have identified some common reactions to sexual assault:

  • Emotional- I feel so numb.
  • Shock- Why am I so calm? Why can't I cry?.
  • Disbelief- Did it really happen? Why me?.
  • Embarrassment- What will people think? No, I can't tell my family..
  • Shame- I feel so dirty, like there is something wrong with me now..
  • Guilt- I feel as if I did something to make all this happen to me. If only I had....
  • Depression- How am I going to go on? I feel tired and hopeless..
  • Powerlessness- Will I ever feel in control again?.
  • Disorientation- I can't sit still. I'm having trouble getting through the day. I'm just overwhelmed..
  • Re-triggering- I have flashbacks. I wish they would stop..
  • Minimizing- Wasn't it just rape?.
  • Fear- I'm afraid of so many things. Will I get pregnant or an STD? Am I safe?.
  • Anxiety- I'm a nervous wreck! I have trouble breathing. .
  • Anger- I want to kill him!.
  • Denial- It wasn't really rape..

    In Texas, 20% of women and 5% of men will be sexually assaulted at some point in their lifetime.

    Currently, there are about 1.8 million survivors of sexual assault in Texas.

    This information comes from TAASA, Texas Association Against Sexual Assault.