If you’ve endured sexual assault, here’s what we know for sure: You are not as alone as you may feel, you don’t have to get through the aftermath on your own, and there is so much hope and healing to be had. Research shows that up to 19% of women will experience some form of sexual assault in their lifetime, along with 2-3% of men. And because the occurrences often go unreported, those numbers may actually be higher.
Care from a trauma-informed team of professionals, such as ours at The Green Room Psychological Services Inc., located in San Diego, California, can help you process what happened to you, lowering your risk of long-term complications and allowing you to thrive more fully sooner.
Sexual assault, defined
The term sexual assault might conjure up images of a stranger attacking someone in a dark alley. While that happens, there are many more common manifestations. Sexual assault and sexual abuse refer to any sexual activity during which one person involved is either unable or unwilling to consent, meaning give permission.
You might not be able to consent for a range of reasons, such as being intoxicated, intimidated, frightened, physically hurt, or experiencing the trauma reaction known as freezing, which causes you to feel emotionally or physically paralyzed in light of danger. Fawning is another trauma response, which leads you to leap to people pleasing, or trying to help the abuser. None of these scenarios are wrong or your fault. Rather, they are your brain’s attempt to survive.
Examples of sexual assault include:
- Exhibitionism, or flashing one’s genitals
- Rape or attempted rape
- Undesired sharing of intimate photos or videos of you, also known as “revenge porn”
- Unwanted sexual touch
- Voyeurism, such as spying on sexual or otherwise intimate activity
Getting the support you deserve
Whether you experienced sexual assault years ago or very recently, and no matter the specifics of the assault, you deserve support. Take pride in every effort you make to obtain it, no matter when you do so. Once you reach out to our clinic, your compassion provider starts by evaluating your current mental health. This helps them determine the very best approach for your treatment, which may include cognitive-behavioral therapy or psychotherapy for PTSD. Throughout your care, you’ll learn coping skills to help you better live with your trauma and deal with symptoms that flare up when you feel triggered.
Some of the benefits of sexual assault treatment include:
- A lower risk for ongoing or severe depression, anxiety, and PTSD
- A safe, judgement-free place to process your feelings
- Healing, so painful memories won’t feel as raw
- Improved self-care practices
- Improved sleep
- Reduced risk for heart disease associated with PTSD
- Stronger self-awareness
To learn more or get started on the road to better emotional well-being, call The Green Room Psychological Services Inc., or email us through our website. Our compassionate team of trauma-informed experts would love to assist you.