Effects of Sexual Assault and Rape

It’s never easy to ‘get over’ such a trauma. Heck, it is not even possible to just move on from sexual assault and behave like nothing had happened. Many people do not understand this, especially those who have never been through sexual violence. The victims of sexual abuse undergo tough moments for the rest of their lives due to the psychological effects of sexual violence. But then, is there a way you can ever really recover from childhood trauma or sexual assault in adulthood? Yes, you can! There are steps you can take to start your healing and live your life without being held back by the past.

My heart goes out the young men who have suffered sexual violence and rape in childhood or adulthood. The society tends to view men as stones that withstand storms without wearing out or breaking.

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To begin the healing , first you have to discover the effects of sexual assault and rape in your life. The revelation of how you behave and handle situations that remind you of the trauma will help you find how deep the wound is. Once you have understood your patterns, then can you overcome the sexual assault and rape trauma. I have listed several effects of sexaul assault on both men and women in this article to help you discover what makes you act and behave the way you do everyday. However, it is important to note that the list is not exclusive. Seek medical and psychiatric help to get a better understanding of other effects of sexual violence.

Once you have understood your patterns, then can you overcome the sexual assault and rape trauma.

Read Also: Psychological Effects of Domestic Violence On Children

Fear or Hatred of opposite gender or same gender

As a victim of sexual violence, you may tend to dislike or loath anyone who reminds you of the assailant. In this case some women may be hostile towards men, and the men hostile towards women. Sometimes, the assailant was a person of the same gender, this makes you despise those of your gender. At times, you are drawn to being alone and anything that involves socialising with that gender you hate is put off immediately.

Post traumatic stress disorder

This is common in many victims of sexual violence. Your stress is triggered by something familiar. It may be the darkness, empty or closed room, sounds, smell, or a feeling. Most often than not, the PTSD manifests after a while. To those whose mind completely shut the childhood trauma out, you may be prone to anxiety attacks, unnatural inclination to dislike certain gender, food, smell, or places. You may also experience nightmares, flashbacks and panick attacks.

Depression, low selfesteem, suicidal thoughts

Sexual assault and rape is not something you can shrug off and walk away. The whole ordeal keeps on haunting you until you feel you have no control over life, and that everything is meaningless. The truth is, you are not alone. Life may have dealt you a bad hand, but there are people who will be devastated to lose you. You are beautiful and nothing in this world can take that beauty from you, not even the assailant. Normally, depression comes as a result of losing hope. Do not let this effect of sexual assault/ rape keep you from being who you really are.

For women, the fight still goes on. We are not sexual objects and what happened to you is not your fault. No one has the right to violate your rights based on your dressing, race, status, or gender.

Read Also: What Christian Faith Says About Polygamy

Self-Harm and Eating Disorder.

One of the effects of sexual assault and rape is self hatred. Others focus the anger on themselves. They think it’s their fault they got raped or assaulted. Some feel ugly and unwanted after the ordeal. Therefore, they cut themselves, take drugs, engage in masochism, or flat out refuse to eat.

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Dissociation and Double Personality

Unfortunately, victims of sexual violence experience immense pain, torture, and suffering when it happens. Hence, they tend to disconnect from their sorroundings inorder to escape the trauma. This is known as dissociation and it is a defensive mechanism of the brain to protect the individual. In others, the dissociation is taken to extreme levels whereby the victim develops a multiple personality. Each personality is different from the rest and tends to be a form of ‘security’ that ‘shields’ the victim when they feel cornered, stressed, or afraid. Many parents or spouses fail to detect this effect of sexual assault and rape until it’s too late.

Low performance at work, school, hobbies, social activities

This goes without saying. Post traumatic stress disorder, depression, and other effects of sexual sexual assault and rape , leaves the victim feeling nothing but a shell. Without help, the pain and suffering gnaws through their confidence and will. When it goes on for too long, the victim losses interest in school work, job projects, social events, and hobbies.

Read Also: Behind the Kenyan Teenage Pregnancies

The Silver Lining in Your Cloud Is Here!

On the other hand, you can find healing from effects of sexual assault and rape. My heart goes out the young men who have suffered sexual violence and rape in childhood or adulthood. The society tends to view men as stones that withstand storms without wearing out or breaking. No, that’s not the case! As a man, you deserve a voice. It doesn’t matter what people say, you can receieve your healing from sexual violence by being around people who care about you. For women, the fight still goes on. We are not sexual objects and what happened to you is not your fault. No one has the right to violate your rights based on your dressing, race, status, or gender. You can be part of the fight against sexual assault and rape by joining The ME3# Movement.

It’s time to break the loop. It’s time to start living again.

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