For the sexual assault survivor, the attack is just the beginning of the trauma. Afterward, she may experience at least some of the following feelings and reactions:
Just as most women do not report their sexual assault to authorities - fewer than 10 percent do, it is estimated - many victims will not tell anyone at all.
Choosing to deal with the assault on their own, many sexual assault survivors feel that keeping the assault quiet is their only way to regain control of their lives. Fear of being blamed for the assault, and a sense of isolation, contributes to the decision not to tell anyone, at least not right away.
Whether or not the survivor confides in someone, she may be in a kind of shock for days. The survivor may have a feeling of surrealism, an inability to process what is happening. A sexual assault survivor may appear calm but feel out of control. All of these reactions may mean the survivor is in shock. Shock anesthetizes the mind and body to help the victim survive the assault.
Relatively few sexual assault survivors choose to get professional counseling. Yet, for many women, it may be helpful to talk with a safe, caring, and supportive person.This information provided by, or adapted from information provided by, Mid-Valley Women's Crisis Service.