When the Worst Happens: What You Need to Do After a Sexual Assault

Sexual assault is one of the most traumatic experiences a person can endure.

If you believe that you’ve just been sexually assaulted, you may be experiencing a myriad of confusing emotions. You might be feeling shocked and numb, fearful, full of anxiety, anger, or destroyed.

Whatever range of emotions you’re going through, it’s important to know that there are recovery steps you can start taking immediately after the assault that will help get you through it.

Here, we’re going to teach you sexual assault recovery steps so that you’re better able to help yourself if the worst happens. Just keep on reading.

1. Seek Help and Safety

The most crucial step you can take after being sexually assaulted is to seek help and safety. If you’re able to, remove yourself from the situation and the setting as quickly as possible.

If you aren’t sure where to go and you’re struggling with shock and derealization of what just happened, here are a few safe zones you should consider:

  • hospital
  • police station
  • close friend’s home
  • family member’s home

Make sure that you get to people who will support you wholeheartedly. Once you’re safe, you can start the process of dealing with your trauma.

2. Get a Sexual Assault or Rape Kit

Choosing to get a sexual assault or rape kit done can be difficult for the victim. They may feel a sense of guilt or shame and don’t want the people around them to know about what happened. However, seeking medical help after an assault can help identify and prosecute the perpetrator and it ensures your own health and safety as well.

Professionally-trained personnel will complete a patient and compassionate examination to make sure the victim isn’t physically injured (internally or externally) and may even test for STDs or pregnancy.

3. File a Sexual Assault Claim

Whether or not you decide to file a sexual assault claim is up to you, but luckily there are laws in place to protect victims of sexual assault and bring criminals to justice.

Even if you don’t file a sexual assault claim immediately after, you can still decide to do so later on. You may choose to sit with the idea for as long as it takes before making a decision.

Filing a sexual assault claim not only exposes the perpetrator, but it also ensures they won’t be able to assault someone else.

Interested in understanding about your state’s sexual assault laws? Learn more.

Take These Steps Towards Sexual Assault Recovery

When the worst happens, it can be difficult to manage your emotions while trying to make crucial decisions that will impact your health and wellbeing. You may feel defeated now, but you’re far from alone and can get through it with the right support system.

Now that you’re aware of these sexual assault recover steps, you’ll know what to do after a sexual assault.

Was this information helpful to you in any way? If it was, make sure you read our other articles about health and safety.