A lot of people who go through traumatic events in their life find it hard to cope and readjust for sometime after the event. The effects of sexual assault and rape can pervade the daily life of the survivor which makes it hard to heal. Below are some consequences of sexual assault.
It leads to post traumatic stress disorder. This is a mental health condition that is triggered by events that are terrifying. Symptoms that are linked with PTSD are nightmares, flashbacks, anxiety and uncontrollable thoughts about the event. With time and support, such traumatic reactions get better.
Depression is much more than feeling sad. Symptoms will include prolonged sadness, feeling hopeless, changes in appetite and a lot of weight loss or weight gain. Depression affects the outlook of a person which makes one to feel hopeless. This in turn is going to have an effect on their thought process and their ability to make decisions. In extreme cases, people might become suicidal.
Coping with the effects of sexual assault of rape can be quite overwhelming. Some survivors may start taking drugs or alcohol to help them cope with the feelings. Due to the fact that their control and sense of safety has been taken from them by the perpetrator, taking part in self injurious behavior will bring to them some sense of control over their environment and thus serve as a release of tension.
It is common for survivors of sexual violence to experience different feelings which might be confusing to them and create more anxiety such as feelings of anger and distrust. It is vital to acknowledge these feelings and practice self care. There is no right way to read these experiences as each person who goes through a traumatic event responds differently. The most vital thing is to be patient and know that you are not alone and it is not your fault.
Besides the emotional and mental trauma, rape can also impose physical harm on the victim. Despite the fact that there is no physical injury or harm, it does not mean that what took place was not sexual abuse. There are physical effects to trauma which become evident either in the immediate aftermath of the experience or it comes on later on. For pregnancy or sexually transmitted diseases, some physical effects are biological responses.
It is therefore vital to know the above effects of sexual assault so that you can be able to cope with the situation or help someone else.
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