Sexual assault is defined as any type of sex-related violence. It may appear in a variety of forms including, but not limited to rape, incest and child molestation. If any form of sexual contact isn’t consensual, then it is assault. It’s important to note that sexual assault is rarely just about sex. Experts in the field state it is typically used as an attempt to gain or maintain power and control over another person.
Consequences are Life-Altering
Sexual abuse does not only leave psychological scars. It can also have long-lasting health consequences. Immediate professional intervention following sexual assault has been proven to reduce the effects of trauma and may even save lives. This may take the form of calling the local police to file a report and having a physical examination at a hospital.
A mental health therapist like Dr. Todi can also be helpful to those who have experienced sexual assault. There are many therapists who specialize in this field and have specific training as to how to best address these unique needs, and she is among them.
Dr. Nisha Todi brings her years of experience and dedication to helping survivors of sexual assault overcome the effects of the aftermath and live their best life moving forward.
- Every 98 seconds, an American is sexually assaulted.
- 1 out of every 6 American women has been the victim of an attempted or completed rape in her lifetime (14.8% completed, 2.8% attempted).
- Survivors are 26 times more likely than the average population to develop a drug addiction.
Negative Effects of Sexual Trauma
It’s common for survivors of assault to feel like their bodies are no longer their own. There are many painful and uncomfortable emotions that may result, to include guilt, shame and fear. It’s not unusual for survivors to blame themselves for the assault. As a result of the painful emotions linked to sexual assault, survivors are at risk for developing mental health issues. This may look like some or all of the following:
Mental Health Issues Related to Trauma
- Feelings of helplessness, hopelessness, despair; a reduced sense of one’s self-worth.
- These feelings may be mild and short-lived, or they can be extreme and long-term.
- Fear that the attack could happen again, which may develop into panic attacks.
- Others may be afraid to leave their home or interact with others, particularly those people who may physically, or otherwise, resemble their attacker.
- Intense memories of the attack.
- This may result in flashbacks, nightmares and heightened awareness of one’s surroundings.
- One may lose track of where they are in space and time.
- Classified by emotional dysregulation and difficulty with maintaining societal norms as it relates to healthy interactions and relationships with others.
- One may experience difficulty in maintaining a healthy work, school or personal life.
- Difficulty forming and maintaining healthy relationships.
- This may look like avoidance of relationships or the opposite, being too quick and eager to attach to others.
Counseling After Sexual Assault and Abuse
People cope with trauma in a variety of ways. Having a mental health issue does not mean that you are weak or that something is wrong with you. It takes courage to reach out, and Dr. Nisha is here to provide you with the support and coping mechanisms to begin the journey to recovery.
Therapy can provide a warm, secure and private place to get help without judgment. You are not alone, and you do not have to try to handle these issues by yourself.
Reach out to our office today and schedule a free, friendly consultation.