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What are the consequences of a sexual assault?

A person can experience multiple consequences following a sexual assault.

Possible psychological consequences :

  • Feeling different, crazy or abnormal.
  • Blaming, hating or doubting yourself
  • Suspicion, fear and feelings of betrayal
  • Negative attitude towards your sexuality and your body
  • Repressed or denied emotions
  • PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder)
  • Phobia, hyper-vigilance
  • Sadness and depression
  • Anger, rage
  • Feeling ashamed, guilty
  • Loss of self-esteem
  • Suicidal ideas or suicide attempts
  • Confusion about one’s sexual orientation
  • Auto-destructive behaviors (self-harm)

Possible physical consequences :

  • Digestive and intestinal complications
  • Psychosomatic problems
  • Low response to one’s physical needs (food, hygiene, etc…)
  • Gynaecological complications
  • Sleep problems, insomnia
  • Headhaches, nausea
  • Physical injuries (bruises, fractures, back problems)
  • Sexual dysfunctions
  • Non-desired pregnancy
  • Muscular pain

Possible social consequences :

  • Prostitution
  • Intense or absent sexual activity
  • Fear of being alone
  • Social isolation
  • Feeling awkward in social activities
  • Change or termination of an employement or at school
  • Loss of confidence towards others
  • Withdrawal from the family, placement into foster family

Possible consequences for mental health :

  • Hallucinations (auditory, visual and tactile)
  • Confusion/disorientation
  • Loss of memory

***There are many possible consequences and even some that we haven’t identified here. Following a sexual assault, you can experience many consequences. Keep in mind that they are all normal. What isn’t normal is the assault itself.***