When you are a victim of sexual assault, it is hard to know what to do or how to feel. This period may be characterized by confusion, making it difficult to examine the options available to you. One of the important things to keep in mind is that you are not alone and that your family and friends can form an invaluable support system. While there is no right or wrong way to react to the issue, you should remember that what happened was not your fault. You should also try to make a list of your priorities and needs as you navigate the future of the unfortunate incident.
Ensure that you are safe
One of the most important steps to take once you have been sexually abused is to make sure that you are physically safe. This will give you the peace of mind that you need to recover and heal from the related emotional pain and trauma. This will involve moving to an environment in which you feel you are out of immediate danger. While safety is not the responsibility of the survivor, you should take the necessary steps that will enhance your healing process.
Get all the support you need
Healing from the trauma of sexual abuse will not be easy. It will require you to rely on the support of friends and family to not only feel safe but gradually recover from the pain and trauma. Holding on to a mentality of survivorship may do you more harm than good, leaving you with a feeling of loneliness and isolation that could lead to depression. Relating and talking to people you can trust can be curative and therapeutic. Make sure to identify the best person to share your experience and struggles with.
Take care of yourself
Sexual abuse or rape is an extremely awful experience. After such an experience, it is normal to feel anger, confusion, fear, hatred and sadness. One of the best ways to deal with the emotions or mixture of emotions is to take care of yourself. Whichever activity you feel will make you feel special and help you get rid of negative thoughts, you should engage in it. There is no doubt that you are going through a lot and you deserve all the care and kindness you can offer yourself.
Explore your choices
After being sexually assaulted, you will have several choices to make. You can undergo a forensic exam, seek medical attention, pursue a court case or report the matter to the police. You can also reach out to a therapist or counselor for emotional support. The decisions you make will be influenced by your circumstances as well as the consequences of such decisions and actions.
Take time to heal
It is very important to take time to heal by taking time off school or work, going on vacation or adjusting your daily life. With the support that you have, you should do everything that will put you on the path to complete healing.
Even as you explore the legal options available to you, it is advisable to contact a sexual assault lawyer. The professional will ensure that your rights are protected and justice is served.