Sexual assault response
Understanding the options
It is the victim's choice
whether or not to report a sexual assault and how to proceed in the process.
There are many ways in which a victim can report a sexual assault. At any time
during the process, the victim has the right to speak up and stop the process.
A victim may choose how much or how little they wish to be involved in the
Common responses to sexual assault/abuse
Victims differ in their responses to sexual assault and abuse.
The long-term effects may be influenced by the severity of the assault, the victim's
coping skills, and the support the person has following the incident.
Nevertheless, a victim of sexual assault may experience:
- a decrease in self-esteem, including frequent feelings of shame,
humiliation, guilt, anger, and powerlessness
- a shift in the way they perceive their body, which can lead to
self-abuse a difficulty trusting
and being intimate with others a disinterest in sexual intimacy for some time,
or a desire to engage in risky sexual behaviors
- flashbacks of the incident
fear of being alone or another future attack
- nightmares or other sleep
- difficulty in concentrating and focusing, which can affect academic and