If you were victimized…
Survivors of all forms of gender-based violence can experience a wide range of feelings and reactions, including confusion, denial, anger, shock, numbness, fear, self-blame, shame, embarrassment, sadness, and helplessness. Remember that you are having a normal response to an abnormal event. It is common for survivors to have:
- a wide range of emotional responses;
- feelings of guilt and responsibility;
- concerns about their ability to make good judgments about people;
- difficulty trusting themselves and others or feeling safe;
- feelings of being violated, conned, cheated, and/or manipulated;
- difficulty accepting what happened as rape or abuse.
Sexual Assault can be a traumatic experience. It is common for survivors of sexual assault or rape to experience Post Traumatic Stress, (formerly called “Rape Trauma Syndrome.”) Seeking supportive crisis care or after-care counseling can be helpful to your own understanding of what you are going through and may aid in your ability to cope with these initial, intense feelings. In addition, there may be some time-sensitive options available to you that an advocate can explain.
Survivors of intimate partner violence may struggle with who to turn to for help because many of their friends or family don’t understand and just want them to leave the abusive partner. Seeking the neutral assistance of an advocate may be an easier way to to get the information and support needed, and advocates are familiar with the options and resources available.
Survivors of childhood sexual abuse and incest often begin to remember their experience or deal with the emotions associated with their childhood experiences for the first time while in college. This can be a scary and difficult time and can create a great deal of turmoil in the survivors’ life, even though the assault(s) happened years before.
Sexual harassment comes in many forms and it can be confusing to figure out whether an experience meets the definition. An advocate can listen and help you clarify what you want to do next.
The pages provided under this menu provide information and resources to assist you in understanding the various options available to survivors — medical care, evidence collection, reporting, counseling, financial, etc. The chart below may also be helpful.