Sexual Assault Counselling
The experience of sexual assault can affect us in many ways. Common feelings and reactions that may happen immediately, or develop over weeks, months or even years after an assault are:
- feeling numb, shocked or disbelieving
- feeling very emotional or tearful, crying more than normally
- feeling very fearful of being assaulted again
- feeling anxious, panicky or worried, and unable to relax
- finding it difficult to concentrate
- being hypervigilant (always on the alert) when out and about
- consciously avoiding anything associated with the assault
- having nightmares, flashbacks or intrusive thoughts about the assault
- wanting to "numb out" possibly by getting drunk or high
- having physical symptoms such as nausea, tight chest, breathlessness or dizziness
- feeling disconnected, detached or spaced out
- having difficulty sleeping or eating
- feeling angry at the perpetrator, at family and friends who don′t seem to be able to understand, and sometimes at self
- feeling ashamed, or blaming self in some way for the assault, for example "if only I hadn′t been drunk"
These are all very normal responses to the trauma of sexual assault. Survivors often seek sexual assault counselling because these responses have become problematic in their lives.
Sexual assault counselling provides an opportunity to talk to a counsellor who will listen, believe you, and not blame or judge you. We are trained to help you to work through the difficult memories and feelings caused by the assault, so that they no longer stand in the way of you achieving happiness and health, both as an individual and in your relationships.