Common Responses to Sexual Assault

March 26, 2014

Survivors of Sexual Assault Display a Whole Range of Emotions and Responses:

child abuse

  • Some may deny part or all of what happened to them, while others may minimize how deeply it has affected them.
  • Immediately after an assault, the survivors may appear controlled and calm while masking feelings, or may express feelings freely and openly.  They may be in shock or confused.
  • Fear of further harm and concern about the reaction of others are almost universal.
  • Survivors may feel dirty, ashamed, degraded and humiliated. Trust may be shattered.
  • Survivors may feel anger at the perpetrator, the legal system, the medical system, their religion, their family and/or their friends who have failed to protect them.
  • Healing time varies from person to person following a sexual assault.  With support, care and understanding survivors can go on to live full and satisfying lives.

How to be Supportive

  • Be Comforting – Try to provide a safe environment for the survivor to talk
  • Be Reassuring – Sexual Assault is NEVER the survivor’s fault! Let the survivor know that only the perpetrator is to blame.
  • Be Understanding & Patient – Recovery is a long term process.  Fear, anxiety, guilt and anger are normal and understandable.
  • Encourage Action – Encourage the survivor to report the assault to the police, seek medical attention, contact a counselor, and hire an attorney if the assault was done by a person or entity that should have been protecting you.
  • Empower, Don’t Push – The Survivor must ultimately make the decision about what to do.  Trust and support their choice.

Speak with an attorney to learn your rights

If you know that your child, or a child you know, has been the victim of sexual molestation or abuse, please contact Estey & Bomberger today. We offer complimentary consultations regarding your rights.

We handle claims not just against perpetrators, but against the organizations and entities responsible for preventing the devastating consequences of child sexual abuse. To speak with a legal representative now, please call 1-800-925-0723.