As soon as someone encounters an assault, tons of feelings and emotions surpass their brain and heart. Even though whatever has happened is not their fault, it leaves their soul shattered into pieces. The real culprit is the one who assaulted a completely innocent human being but still the victim continues to blame themselves for this traumatic experience.
Here are some of the common feelings rape victims go through.
Shock and Numbness
The moment after the victim faces an assault; their mind goes into a state of shock and disbelief. They become numb to their surroundings and cannot comprehend whatever is happening around them.
Some people react to the situation by staying completely normal as if nothing has happened and continue leading their normal lives. On the other hand, some victims face a lot of emotional turmoil and hence, enter a state of confusion and cannot focus and function in living a normal life.
Many times, victims have flashbacks about the horrific event they encountered. All those dark memories and harsh emotions come back to them, making them feel a lot of hate and guilt. They start to overthink and get mentally exhausted due to the pain and suffering they are facing all alone. This especially occurs when the victim is alone and does not have any other person to rely on.
While some people can showcase their emotions instantly after an assault, others bottle them up and keep them piling up inside of them. It may take several days, months, or even years before they can showcase their emotions to others. This leads to victims suffering from uncontrolled emotions. Hence, they would start crying during their day-to-day work as soon as something like memory triggers them emotionally.
Guilt, Shame, and Self-blame
In many situations, victims hold themselves responsible for whatever happened to them. They feel guilty and blame themselves for their circumstances. They fail to understand that whatever happened was not their fault.
Such feelings of shame and self-blame are often enhanced by the society around the victims. Individuals who learn about the abuse and trauma that was faced by the victims make it worse by telling them ways about how they could prevent it from happening and indicating that it was their fault.
However, it is crucial to understand that the assault was not their fault, and they are completely innocent. These victims are strong survivors and being assaulted does not make them responsible at all.
Don’t Deserve Justice
Many survivors of assault are too scared to fight for themselves. They think that by demanding justice, they would aggravate the situation and once the word gets out, everyone would start holding them responsible.
This is far from the truth and every victim deserves justice and to see the assaulters behind bars. According to the experienced crime victim advocates of SafetyRights.com, “Demanding justice and having the right team of attorneys to fight the case for those who have been assaulted is a fundamental right that no one should deny them.”
Hence, all the victims must take a stand for themselves and get legal help to make sure the culprits receive the punishment they deserve.
Distant from Relationships
Horrific events like sexual abuse and assault can leave a person traumatized for life. The victims have a very hard time getting back to normal. They can no longer trust people completely and often think that no one can understand them or what they are going through. As a result, they keep getting distant even from the closest relationships.
Many victims tend to stay isolated. They get irritable and anxious even about small things. They also face a lot of problems being intimate with their partners since it could revive them of the emotional pain and trauma they had faced earlier.
Effects on Mental Health
An assault does not only harm a person physically, but it also brings an adverse effect on the victim’s mental health.
Here are some of the effects on the mental health of the victims.
- Loneliness and isolation
- Grief and sadness
- Loss of appetite
- Abuse of narcotics and other substances
- Loss of self-control
- Suicidal tendencies and thoughts
Going through something dreadful like an assault is not an easy thing to get over with. It may take months or even several years for rape victims to get back to normal, both physically and mentally. However, getting help from the people they can trust and rely on as well as getting legal help to earn justice is important to help make the grieving process easier.
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