Sexual Assault : Getting Help

Finding Support

Support From People You Trust

Having support from friends and/or family members that you trust can help you heal from the trauma of a sexual assault.

Talking about the assault and its impact with people who are supportive and understanding can relieve some of the control it has over you and help you begin the process of recovery. You will also feel less alone.

Friends and/or family members who are supportive can also help you find the information and resources you may need after a sexual assault. They can also accompany you when you seek services, such as medical care or legal assistance.

Counseling

It can be especially helpful to talk with a trained counselor or a therapist who is knowledgeable about the trauma of rape and knows how to assist victims. Many sexual assault victims find that therapy is an empowering experience.

Therapy provides a safe, private place where you can deal with your feelings and reactions. A person trained to assist sexual assault victims will understand the unique concerns you have and know ways to help you cope with the physical and emotional effects of the assault. A counselor can also help you deal with the reactions of family members and friends.

Some sexual assault victims feel that if they avoid talking about the assault, they will be able to forget about what happened to them. Most victims who try this approach eventually find that they need to deal with the assault and its aftermath. If they don't, their unresolved feelings and fears hold them back from enjoying their lives and participating fully in relationships.