About Sexual Violence & Coping Skills
Sexual Violence is a broad term used to define the continuum of acts of violence which can violate a person’s trust and sense of safety.
The continuum of sexual violence includes rape, incest, child sexual assault, date and acquaintance rape, statutory rape, marital or partner rape, sexual exploitation, unwanted sexual contact, sexual harassment, exposure, and voyeurism.
Rape is not about sex, but about power and control.
It is never the victim/survivor’s fault.
Healing or Coping Skills
Whether or not you are receiving counseling it is important to take care of yourself to reduce symptoms, prevent future long-term problems, and heal from the trauma. Everyone heals differently but here are some different ways you can try:
- Talk to a friend, family member or professional
- Eat healthy foods & drink plenty of water
- Meditate or try yoga
- Make sure you are getting 7-8 hours of sleep a day
- Pray or seek support from your faith
- Create art, dance or play
- Be with nature
- Listen to music
- Relax in a hot bath or shower
- What helps you in times of stress?
Learning how to cope with reactions after a trauma are vital as you may experience many things. Some of the reactions may seem “normal” while others may be confusing or counterintuitive.
Some Common Reactions In Adults
- Feelings of fear, anxiety, anger, sadness
- Flashbacks or intrusive thoughts about the assault
- Outbursts of anger
- Changes in appetite
- Shame, guilt, self-blame
- Changes in sleep – not wanting to sleep or getting to much sleep
- Suicidal thoughts or Self-harming behaviors
- Increased use of alcohol or drugs
- Changes in relationships with friends, family and lovers
- Decreased desire for sex
Possible Long Term Reactions if left untreated
- Posttraumatic Stress Disorder
- Substance Abuse
- Eating Disorders
- Sexual Dysfunction or Sexual Addiction
It is never too late to receive counseling for sexual assault. If you are an adult who experienced sexual violence please reach out for support. It doesn’t matter if the abuse occurred when you were a child or yesterday. Keeping the feelings to yourself is usually what prolongs the symptoms and may lead to additional problems.