The following was written by someone who was assaulted, just as you may have been. Print it out, write it down, keep it with you; read it as many times as you want to, as often as you want to. It may seem too “logical” for you right now, but these are things you must remember and remind yourself of anytime you need to.
- This assault was not your fault. No one can cause an assailant to attack, no matter where you were, what you happened to be doing or wearing or who you are.
- Almost anything you are feeling is normal. Different people have different responses. Your feelings may stay the same, or change suddenly. If you are worried about your feelings, check them out with someone who knows about these things.
- Talk to someone, or many people, when you want to, and talk to the person that you want to talk to.
- If someone you talk to hassles you, don’t listen to them. You deserve support and response from someone who doesn’t want to make your feelings go away.
- Don’t be surprised if you begin to feel better and then difficult feelings come back -fear, anger, confusion, or whatever – because that’s perfectly normal and probably how it will be for awhile.
- Make sure you follow up with your medical care: the tests for pregnancy and sexually transmitted disease need 6-8 weeks to “check out.”
- Don’t confuse rape with sex – they’re two different things, and can cause a whole lot of pain if they’re confused. Rape is violence, something you don’t ask for or consent to…sex is what you can have when you want to.
- This is a crisis – a serious one, the worst thing you could imagine happening – and you must take care of yourself. Do whatever makes you feel safe and feel better. Check it out with a professional if you are uncertain.
- You are not dirty, you are not bad…try to get angry at the assailant for making you feel this way about yourself.
- In spite of how you feel now, you are a good, courageous person who has survived a terrifying and violent experience. You will be stronger one day soon.
- There is nothing to feel ashamed about. Ask for help if you want it. You deserve all the support that’s available.
Sometimes, the circumstances of an assault can make us question ourselves or the response we will get from others – whether professionals or friends. All victims and survivors deserve the right to make decisions about what they want to have happen. They all deserve the right to find personal and professional resources which will provide a helpful response. Remember, no one deserves to be assaulted.
A call to Someplace Safe may be a first step in finding the support and identifying the resources you need to begin healing.