Nowadays, sexual assault is one of the most widespread crimes, which is quite destructive in its nature because it affects victims and their families considerably and in many ways, including physical and emotional. Its negative effects usually last for a long time, and the most important ones are discussed below. Support people or others working with the victims of sexual assault should help them determine and normalize these effects.
Right after this horrible incident, many victims feel shame because they think that they are dirty or wrong and guilt as it may be hard for them to blame offenders for different reasons. Sometimes, abusers are those individuals who are close to them so that they may want to protect them. Most of them also feel a denial of this crime and try to minimize it, which is an effective copying strategy.
Some victims of sexual assault may not be familiar with boundaries so that they need help to handle this negative effect. This crime is all about the betrayal of their trust so that survivors find it hard to trust people again. When it comes to safety, they may end up with its unrealistic sense because they start assessing dangerous situations as safe, and vice versa. Their isolation is one of the biggest issues in terms of sexual assault effects. Many victims feel that they don’t even deserve any support because they feel tainted. Some of them may decide to avoid exposing their negative experiences because of their fears of negative judgements.
Sexual assault survivors may not remember anything related to these horrible incidents so that they suffer from amnesia. They also tend to dissociate and feel betrayed by their own bodies in a number of ways. That’s why they may try to numb from them to avoid experiencing the feelings related to this kind of abuse. Victims often have specific somatic complaints, such as anxiety, eating disorders, trouble concentrating, and other physical symptoms.
In addition the emotional effects of sexual abuse are quite expressive and they include sadness, anger, denial, disbelief, and others. Victims may not be able to block their memories and thoughts about this crime and they often have nightmares. Other common negative effects include high suicidality rates, causing self-harm, substance abuse, sexual problems, and specific mental disorders, such as post-traumatic stress or depression.
Nowadays, sexual assault is one of the most widespread crimes, which is quite destructive in its nature because it affects victims and their families considerably and in many ways, including physical and emotional. Its negative effects usually last for a long time, and the most important ones are discussed below.