Steps to Take After Sexual Assault

Reports of both child and adult sexual abuse and assault are becoming more prevalent in today’s society. There are some ways in which you can help protect your family from becoming victims. While these are never guaranteed, they may reduce the chance. Sadly, in the world we live in, it is necessary that people work to not be victims.

If the worst does happen, it is imperative that the authorities are informed no matter when the event occurred. Can you file a Boy Scouts of America sex abuse case when the incident happened months or even years ago? You can, although there may be a lack of evidence – do your research and find out the statute of limitations in your state. Regardless of when the assault occurred, there are things you can do to try to help you move forward with your life.

Journaling

Writing down your thoughts, feelings, memories, or dreams is one method that people use to try to work through their trauma. This is a safe way to process emotions and helps to prevent things from becoming bottled up and pushed aside. Some people find this helps as a means of confronting their situation, or find writing their thoughts and then burning the paper to be quite cathartic. You don’t need to show your writing to anyone if you don’t want to. Instead, use it as an outlet.

Allow Yourself to Feel

You may feel a plethora of emotions regarding the event, and that is completely okay. It is also okay to allow yourself to feel these emotions. It can do more harm than good to bottle up any feelings. If you need to cry or talk about what has gone on, you should do it, so long as it’s a safe space to do so. For any anger, you could try smashing plates in a controlled environment, or even punching a cushion. Allowing yourself these emotions can help to reduce the amount of mental stress on you and, while it won’t fix things, it may help you feel that little bit better.

Seek Help

Speaking to a counselor or therapist is becoming less taboo, but there is still a level of unjustified stigma attached. You shouldn’t let any hearsay or gossip stop you from attaining professional help. A counselor can help you to work through your feelings, memories of the incident, or potential triggers, making them more manageable. While this may come at a cost, or feel like a struggle to begin with, ultimately it can be a good step to take to reclaim your life and freedom.

When you take steps towards working through your assault, it can be difficult, or feel like you will never truly get past it. It is important to note that any feelings of self-doubt or self-blame need to be quashed immediately. The victim of a sexual assault is never the one to blame, regardless of their actions beforehand, clothing, or if they were intoxicated. Having a good support network, combined with medical professionals and law enforcement, can help you to start moving on with your life.

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