Each year in the US, over 1.5 million women and 830,000 men are raped or sexually assaulted. This is an astounding figure which can have a significant impact on the mental health and well-being of the people involved.
Victims of sexual assault can suffer significant long-term psychological effects, including depression, anxiety, weight loss or gain, sleep disorders, nausea, sexual dysfunction, and lowered self-esteem. Most of them find it very difficult to cope with what they have been through.
Fortunately, there are some things you can do to get your life back on track. If you’ve been the victim of sexual assault, and you want to know how to cope with what has happened to you, here are some of our top tips to help you:
1. Seek Professional Help
Whether the assault occurred many years ago or it happened recently, it’s a good idea to seek professional help from a mental health professional. They will be able to help you to understand what has happened to you and will assist you in coping with what you have experienced. This type of help is non-judgmental and confidential, meaning you can tell them anything, and it won’t go any further.
2. Face Your Fears
Most people who have experienced trauma, such as a sexual assault, will do everything possible to avoid being reminded of what happened to them. However, facing your fears is one of the best ways to cope with what happened.
3. Take Up a New Hobby
Hobbies such as Yoga, Pilates, painting, and walking have been proven to help you to move on from a traumatic experience. These activities help to relax your muscles and calm your body’s psychological responses, such as a rapid heartbeat.
4. Practice Meditation
Consider meditating if you need time and space to think about what happened to you. There are many benefits of meditation. Meditation is a great way to clear your mind so that you can think clearly about what to do next.
5. Talk to Others
While you may not feel ready to discuss what has happened to you straight after it occurs, when you are ready, talking to other people is a great idea. You don’t have to talk to your family and friends; instead, you can talk to people who have had a similar experience. There are lots of groups online for people who have experienced sexual abuse.
6. Get Justice
Although not everyone wants to talk about their experiences in a courtroom, getting justice for what has happened to you can help you feel a sense of calm. However, before you start searching for a lawyer, it’s essential to be aware that there are different lawyers for different types of abuse. For example, if a member of the clergy assaulted you, you will need to contact a clergy abuse litigation lawyer for help.
As mentioned above, sexual assault can come in various forms. However, the emotional toll it takes on your life is often the same. Fortunately, there are some things you can do to move forward in a healthy way after suffering a sexual attack, including practicing healthy coping strategies, such as the ones we’ve listed above.