How You Might Feel

It is important to know that what happened to you was not your fault and you are not to blame no matter how the situation occurred. Rape and sexual abuse are acts of control and/or violence.

You did not want or ask for the incident to happen and therefore it was non-consensual. The law does not require there to be any physical resistance in order to prove it was non-consensual.

You may have been threatened physically or emotionally, you may have been asleep or unconscious, or your body may have just frozen rendering you helpless to do anything about what was happening to you. You may have known and trusted the person that did this to you so you were lulled into a sense of security until you realised what was happening.

Even if you were flirting/ kissing/ petting and more with the person it does not give them the right to carry on if you say no. NO MEANS NO.

Many people who have experienced sexual violence blame themselves and look back at the incident to find ways they could have escaped the situation and question why they reacted the way they did at the time. It is easy to look back and think logically now you are out of the situation but at the time you were most likely crippled by your emotions. It is impossible to predict what might happen to us and there was no way you could have foreseen what happened to you.

Every situation is unique and although your feelings are individual to you, they are experienced by many people who have suffered sexual violence.

People can experience a number of different feelings. These could include:

  • A sense of being numb
  • Anger
  • Confusion
  • Self blame/guilt
  • Feeling strangely calm
  • Fear/anxiety
  • Loss of control
  • Disbelief

These are just a few examples of what may be experienced. Feelings are likely to change as time passes, and what happened may affect a person for the rest of their life. It is never too late to get help for what you have been through. It may feel overwhelming and confusing about what to do next.

Next:  What to do & What your Options are