Healing from Sexual Assault

According to the National Sexual Violence Resource Center, nearly 1 in 5 women will be raped at some point in their lives in the United States. In addition, an estimated 13% of women and 6% of men reported experiencing sexual coercion. Keep in mind, for every one of these statistics, there are other men and women who have remained silent about their assault. Sexual assault is complex. It includes rape, attempted rape, unwanted touching or fondling, and sexual coercion. But sexual assault can also include things like:
  • Peeping or voyeurism (watching sexual acts without consent)
  • Public exposure
  • Sexual harassment or threats
  • Sending unwanted sexually-charged texts (sexting)

Long-Term Effects of Sexual Assault

After an individual has been sexually assaulted, they often feel fear, shock, shame, guilt, or a combination of all these feelings. In addition, people who experience a sexual assault may also have headaches, asthma, irritable bowel syndrome, trouble sleeping, chronic pain, eating disorders, anxiety, and depression.

You Can Heal with Help

While it can feel incredibly overwhelming after you’ve experienced sexual assault, please know that there are therapists who can offer effective coping strategies. Some forms of therapy can help you learn how your unconscious emotions affect your behaviors and the challenges you may now be experiencing. Other types of therapy, such as EMDR – or Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing therapy, can rewire the brain, helping you to change the way you process the memory of the assault. There are some very good resources available to you if you need support: The Blue Bench (a local resource) (303) 329-9922 National Sexual Assault Hotline 800-656-HOPE (4673) National Domestic Violence Hotline 800-799-SAFE (7233)