There is not a single “right” or “normal” response to sexual violence. Below you will find some physical, emotional, cognitive, and social reactions common to survivors of sexual violence. If you identify with some or many of these reactions, you might find counseling helpful. If you are not ready to make an appointment for services, you can call our 24-hour crisis line (1-800-656-4673) anonymously. The decision is yours and we are here to help when you are ready.

Your Body | After a trauma your body may have reactions such as:

  • Nausea
  • Headaches
  • Sleep difficulty
  • Changes in menstrual cycle
  • Fatigue
  • Change in sexual desire
  • Exaggerated startle response
  • High levels of stress


Your Thoughts | After a trauma, you may have difficulty concentrating and making decisions. You may experience:

  • Flashbacks
  • Memory loss
  • Nightmares
  • Racing thoughts
  • Self-blame
  • Confusion
  • Thoughts of hurting yourself or someone else


Your Emotions | Experiencing a trauma is likely to bring a wide range of emotional responses including:

  • Depression
  • Guilt
  • Shame
  • Anger
  • Sadness
  • Irritability
  • Grief
  • Fear
  • Anxiety
  • Mood swings
  • Numbness
  • Emptiness
  • Feeling out of control


Your Social Interactions | Trauma can bring about changes in how you interact with those around you including:

  • Isolation from friends and family
  • Avoiding places and people
  • Fear of being alone
  • Change in sexual behavior
  • Loss of interest in things you used to enjoy