After experiencing a sexual assault, many victims feel somehow responsible, dirty and/or damaged. One of the first steps in healing sexual trauma is understanding that the attack was not your fault.
Whether or not you knew the person, were using drugs or alcohol, had sexual relations with the person previously or dressed in a way that some would say was provocative, you are not at fault! You were the target of someone else’s dysfunctional behavior and it is the other person, not you, who is responsible.
Healing sexual trauma often takes time. And it can be confusing as well as painful. Confusing because of cultural messages that make you think you may have been responsible in some way for what happened.
Many survivors continue to experience some aspects of the sexual trauma long after the event itself is over. It’s also true that healing happens at different times for different people.
Finally, the severity of the symptoms and the length of recovery can be affected by a number of factors. For example, your relationship to the perpetrator, the length of time during which the sexual trauma occurred, the severity of the assault and your age at the time of the assault are all contributing factors to making a full recovery.
One very helpful fact to remember is you are not alone! Reaching out to other survivors can be a very valuable practice in healing from sexual trauma. One website that has helped many survivors is www.pandys.org. It is an on-line community that includes helpful resources, daily affirmations, messaging, posts and education. Also, there are some great survivor books such as Kay Scott’s, Sexual Assault: Will I Ever Feel Okay Again?
At Solutions Treatment Center, Santa Fe, we understand the nature of healing sexual trauma and assault. Our team is fully committed to your healing process. We offer professional support, a full range of clinical services, comfort and safety, and creative solutions to healing from trauma.
Solutions – we can help you find your way again. Call one of our intake counselors for a free consultation – 877-499-1354 or 505-424-3170.