Effects of Sexual Assault

Emotional

Every sexual assault victim's experience is different. Coping can be affected by various factors including the quality of the survivor's support system, prior abuse, level or type of intervention, avoidance of reminders of the assault, or access to resources. Common feelings include guilt/self-blame, fear of recurrence, fear of not being believed, fear of assailant, anxiety, depression, crying spells, mood swings, feelings of humiliation, denial, phobias, confusion, anger.

Social

Impact on peer relationships, acting out, withdrawal from family and friends, academic problems,

Physical

Appetite changes, tension headaches, fatigue, STDs, pregnancy.

Familial

Family can facilitate isolation by being over protective, blaming, display difficulty with anger or other poor coping that overflows onto sexual assault victim and affects health of family sytem overall.