|Universal Reactions to Sexual Assault
Many men who have experienced rape or sexual
assualt report feelings like these. It is not unusual. Try to allow yourself
time to experience these feelings - they are your body's natural response in
your situation. However painful they may be, denying them is not helpful in the
- Emotional Shock: I
feel numb. How can I be so calm? Why can't I cry?
- Disbelief and/or
Denial: Did it really happen? Why me? Maybe I just imagined it. It
wasn't really rape.
- Embarrassment: What
will people think? I can't tell my family or friends.
- Shame: I feel
completely filthy, like there's something wrong with me. I can't get clean.
- Guilt: I feel as if
it's my fault, or I should've been able to stop it. If only I had...
- Depression: How am I
gonna get through the day? I'm so tired! I feel so hopeless. Maybe I'd be
better off dead
- Powerlessness: Will
I ever feel in control again?
- Disorientation: I
don't even know what day it is, or where I'm supposed to be. I keep forgetting
- Flashbacks: I'm
still re-living the assault. I keep seeing that face and feeling like it's
happening all over again.
- Fear: I'm scared of
everything. What if I have STDs or AIDS? I can't sleep because I'll have
nightmares. I'm afraid to go out. I'm afraid to be alone.
- Anxiety: I'm having
panic attacks. I can't breathe. I can't stop shaking. I feel overwhelmed.
- Anger: I feel like
killing the person who attacked me!
- Physical Stress: My
stomach (or head or back) aches all the time. I feel jittery and don't feel
|You can find
out how to manage these feelings in a practical way by reading our self-help
guide. Click here to find out more.
No-one deserves to
No survivor deserves the blame.
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