Experiencing rape or sexual assault can be one of the most painful, secretive, and shameful events that can ever happen to anyone.
College is supposed to be a time where we are differentiating from our parents, figuring out who we are and who we want to be. It can be an incredibly scary time of the unknown but it could also lay the groundwork for allowing us to trust ourselves given the right circumstances.
If you have been raped or experienced a sexual assault in college or maybe even before, your sense of safety and trust is broken.
As a sexual assault or rape survivor, you may feel lost and alone. Below I’ve listed the top three things to begin to think about as you’re navigating this trauma.
1. COPING. Don’t do it alone. There is a saying that our secrets keep us sick. Shame is an emotion that thrives in darkness and silence. But you can’t get through this alone and dear one: it was not your fault. Please reach out to people that you trust and lean on them. You’re going to need some healthy attachment right now with other human beings.
2. LEGAL ACTION. You may be thinking or other people may be asking you if you were going to be pressing charges. This is absolutely and completely your decision. Other people might have their opinions on it but you need to make a decision that feels OK to you. There is no right or wrong. This is the time to start listening to your body and allow yourself to make this decision. If you want advice, ask someone that you trust or seek legal advice from someone that has worked with this before.
3. THERAPY. Therapy may be some thing that you are rushing to do or some thing that you want to avoid. Research shows, though, the sooner someone seeks therapy after a trauma, the less side effects it will have in the long run. Start looking up trauma therapist near you. My suggestion is to have a free consultation with a few and choose the one that makes you feel the safest.
There is nothing anyone will be able to say to completely soothe your body right after the event. But I want you to know that over time, healthy attachment and self- compassion, will make things easier to manage. Things will get better, dear one. I want you to know that there’s hope.
If you have any more questions about rape or sexual assault please reach out via the Metta Holistic Therapy contact page or email me directly at email@example.com – if you’re in crisis or an emergency please call 911.