Healing After A
Sexual Assault

As a survivor of sexual assault, it is natural to feel confused, frightened, embarrassed, powerless, and angry. You may be left with physical and emotional wounds that need time to heal. Every survivor deals with an assault experience differently. Reading the following information may help begin the process of regaining a sense of healing and control in your life.

  • What is Sexual Assault?

    Sexual assault is any unwanted sexual contact. Forms of sexual assault include rape and attempted rape by an acquaintance, boyfriend/girlfriend, spouse or stranger; child sexual abuse, molestation, and incest; sexual harassment at work, school, or on the streets; and obscene phone calls. All forms of sexual assault of are violating and traumatic.

  • Why did this happen to me?

    When an assault occurs, it is natural to wonder why. Many survivors question whether they could have prevented the assault. Any person can be sexually assaulted, regardless of age, race, sex, class, sexual orientation, ability, looks, education, or employment. Nothing you did or did not do provoked or justifies the assault. Sexual assault is an act of aggression designed to dominate and humiliate in order to gain power and control over someone else. No one deserves to be assaulted.

  • What can I do if I was recently assaulted?

    It is important to focus on your safety. It can be helpful to talk with someone. You always have the option of reporting to getting medical attention and/or law enforcement. TESSA advocates can help you understand your options and help you along the path toward healing.

  • How can the healing begin?

    You may want to talk about it. You may feel too upset to talk about your experience right away or you may by uncertain of how others will respond. It is important to share your feelings with someone who will be non-judgmental and supportive of your needs. Consider what you can do to be safe. If the assault happened in your home, you may not feel safe living there. It can be helpful to stay with a friend or a relative for a while or you may prefer to have someone stay with you. If needed, TESSA offers safehousing. Contact the 24-hour Crisis Line at (719) 633-3819 for more information. Consider taking a self-defense class. The verbal and physical skills learned could help you feel more powerful and less

  • Be gentle with yourself

    Try not to expect too much from yourself. Telling yourself, “I should be over this by now” may not always be helpful. Acknowledging and expressing your feelings may assault in your healing. Everyone has his/her own pace of healing. This is a time to take special care of yourself. You have a right to regain control in your life.