Every 68 seconds, someone in the U.S. is sexually assaulted. That equates to almost half a million sexual assaults per year. The result of sexual assault often leaves victims with deep emotional, mental, and physical wounds that can take years, if not an entire lifetime, to heal.
This article discusses the six steps you can take after experiencing a sexual assault to begin the long-term healing process. They include assessing your needs, reaching out for support, seeking medical help, processing the assault, and reporting it to law enforcement.
Continue reading to learn more.
1. Assess Your Needs and Maintain Your Safety
Victims of sexual assault often feel anxiety, uncertainty, shock, and a general lack of safety. After experiencing any type of sexual assault, it is essential to re-establish a sense of normalcy by utilizing various techniques and coping mechanisms to minimize the stressors associated with the incident. Examples include connecting with loved ones, securing yourself in a safe place, taking a long walk, or anything that will help you feel a bit better and safer at the moment.
2. Reach Out For Help And Support
Roughly two out of every three sexual assault incidents go unreported. A major reason for the lack of reporting is that victims often feel a sense of shame, don’t want to be “victim-shamed,” or don’t have anyone to confide in that they trust. Mental health experts generally recommend finding a person with whom you can confide.
However, if you are unable to find that advocate in your personal life, you can always reach out to the National Sexual Assault Hotline 24-hours a day to anonymously speak with a trained support counselor.
3. Consider Seeking Medical Attention
Many sexual assault victims are uncomfortable seeking medical attention immediately after a sexual assault. However, just about any sexual assault attorney familiar with these cases would recommend going to a medical center or hospital to be evaluated. A trained physician can not only identify and treat your injuries, but more importantly, they can collect DNA samples and additional forensic evidence to help convict the person who committed the act and increase the chances of a successful civil suit.
4. Process The Incident
Sexual trauma can pervade every area of your life, including your relationships, career, and overall mental health. With that in mind, it’s essential to fully process the event via self-reflection, therapy, or other means. With hard work and time, processing sexual trauma can decrease the adverse psychological effects of the event while helping you to move forward in your recovery.
5. Consider Reporting The Assault To Law Enforcement
Even if the sexual assault offender hires an experienced attorney, their chances of getting away with such a crime are minimal if proper evidence is cataloged and preserved. While individuals who have suffered from sexual abuse may be reluctant to file a police report, it’s essential to remember that you have options. Further, you may be able to pursue a civil case against the offender in addition to criminal charges. Contact BIKLAW today to speak with a proven sexual assault attorney.
6. Continue The Healing Process
If you’ve been the victim of sexual assault, it’s important to process the event, seek medical attention, and work with a therapist. Healing after a sexual assault takes time. However, with each small step you take, you get closer to getting back to “normal.” For more information about what to do after you’ve been a victim of sexual assault, contact the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN).
Seek Justice Today
If you are looking to seek justice against your abuser, contact the Trial Law Offices of Bradley I. Kramer, M.D., ESQ., for your free initial consultation. Bradley Kramer is a licensed medical doctor as well as a proven sexual assault lawyer who is here to help you through the healing process by seeking proper justice on your behalf.