Rape Is A Crime of Power & Control
Sexual assault happens when one person forces, coerces and/or manipulates another person into unwanted sexual contact. Sexual Assault is used as a weapon to dominate, manipulate, and humiliate others and is one of the most severe violations of a person's body and sense of self and safety.
It is Not Your Fault
Many survivors of rape or sexual assault blame themselves for their assault. "I should have listened to my partner, parent, friend." The truth is this, the only person to blame is the person that made the choice to commit the crime. You did not choose for this to happen to you. You are only responsible for your choices, not anyone else's.
Rape is Not a Natural Consequence of Any Behavior
The natural consequence of drinking is possibly getting drunk. The natural consequence of wearing revealing clothing is possibly getting cold. Nothing you do can cause someone to sexually assault you. Rape and sexual assault is strictly a consequence of one person choosing to commit violence against another.
There is No "Right" Way to Feel
Initially you may feel shock, disbelief, confusion, anxiety, anger, guilt, denial, humiliation, depression and fear. You may experience headaches, stomach pains and intestinal problems, fatigue, sleep disturbances, loss of appetite or increased appetite, nightmares and possibly an inability to concentrate. Some victims of sexual assault try to deny that the assault had any effect on them and will maintain a calm appearance, while others may cry openly and/or express anger at the person who assaulted them, the situation, or even themselves. There is no right or wrong way to react to the assault, there is just your own unique way.
Healing & Recovery Are Very Unique Processes
Just as reactions to assault are unique to each person, so is healing and recovery. There is no standard recovery process or timeline. While some victims/survivors recover quickly, others may take years to heal. Often symptoms will disappear only to reappear months or even years later. Over time, your feelings about the world, yourself and the assault may change. These changes, or healing processes, are a journey that can be significantly helped through counseling. You are not alone.
Rape Recovery Center
To seek support, call the 24 hours/7 days a week Victim Services at 801-467-7273. To find the rape recovery center or rape crisis center nearest to you, call 888-421-1100.