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Effects of Sexual Violence

Everyone experiences different effects after sexual violence. Effects can be emotional, physical and psychological.  If you have been harmed by sexual violence, know that you are not alone.  Below are some of the effects survivors may experience after sexual violence:
  • Depression
  • Flashbacks
  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
  • Dissociation
  • Self-harm
  • Eating Disorders
  • Sleep Disorders
  • Suicidal Thoughts
  • Struggles with Intimacy
  • Withdrawal from friends and family
  • Difficulty Trusting
  • Lack of interest in once enjoyed activities
  • Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs)
  • Anxiety/Anxieties
  • Other Health Effects
Surviving any sexual violence takes a huge toll on the person.  A person’s brain cannot process trauma in a logical way, so after experiencing sexual violence, a survivor may seem irrational. Their behavior or feelings could appear reckless, withdrawn or even apathetic. Their memory of the trauma will likely be jumbled and confusing.
Sexual violence impacts every person differentlyThere is no right or wrong way to react.  What you experience may or may not be in the list above, and that’s ok too. Give yourself the grace to heal in whatever way you need to.
Effects of sexual violence can be difficult to cope with, but help is available.  Learning more and finding the right resources can help you with your healing process.  Additionally, if you’re concerned about a loved one, we can help.  Call today to speak with an advocate at 1.800.770.1650 or text 'IOWAHELP' to 20121.