Recovering from Sexual Violence

Recovering from a sexual assault or abuse is a process, and that process looks different for everyone. It may take weeks, months, or years—there’s no timetable for healing. Survivors experience a wide range of emotions from denial, anger, powerlessness, fear, guilt, depression, self-blame, shock, numbing, anxiety and social isolation.

Below you’ll find some resources to help you navigate the process.

  • Therapy. If you decide to seek support from a therapist after sexual assault or abuse, you may have some questions. That’s perfectly normal. Working with a therapist at Sexual Trauma Services can help you deal with some of the challenges you may be facing. Our therapists know that to be comfortable sharing very personal information, you need trust that anything you share will stay between the two of you. STSM provides a safe, confidential environment for you to begin your healing journey.
  • Safety Planning. For many people who have been affected by sexual assault, current and long-term safety can be an ongoing concern. Safety planning is about brainstorming ways to stay safe that may also help reduce the risk of future harm. It can include planning for a future crisis, considering your options, and making decisions about your next steps. Finding ways to stay and feel safer can be an important step towards healing, and these plans and actions should not increase the risk of being hurt.

  • Self-Care After Trauma. Self-care is about taking steps to feel healthy and comfortable. Whether it happened recently or years ago, self-care can help you cope with the short- and long-term effects of a trauma like sexual assault. Physical self-care can be as little as regular sleeping habits, eating a healthy meal, or showering. Emotional self-care is activities like journaling your daily feelings, meditation exercises, and leisure hobbies.

It is important to take care of yourself. If you or someone you know has been impacted by sexual violence, contact Sexual Trauma Services Crisis Hotline at (803) 771-7273. You are not alone.