Sexual assault is a traumatic experience no one should ever endure. Unfortunately, the effects of this experience can impact a victim’s life long after an assault has occurred.
This isn’t meant to suggest victims of sexual assault can’t move forward and live healthy, happy lives. It’s simply meant to highlight the major consequences of this experience.
Examples include (but aren’t limited to):
It’s not uncommon for victims of sexual assault to struggle with depression for long periods of time in the aftermath of their trauma. This depression can manifest in several ways, including:
The depression one experiences as a result of sexual assault can also have a negative impact on their academic or professional performance. Often, a victim will find it difficult to concentrate on their work, or they will simply lack the energy to remain focused.
This can have a lasting impact on their future. If depression affects a victim’s work performance, it may also have an immediate impact on their finances.
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a condition many sexual assault survivors struggle with. It can result in nightmares, anxiety that’s very difficult to manage, and intrusive thoughts.
Treatment is available to those struggling with PTSD. Regardless, this condition may severely interfere with a victim’s quality of life.
Survivors of sexual assault may find it difficult to cultivate and maintain intimate relationships. Because they’ve had traumatic experiences associated with sex, it’s understandable that feeling comfortable with sexual acts may not come easily to them. Or, they might struggle to set boundaries.
Often, sexual assault constitutes a betrayal of trust, particularly if the one committing assault knows their victim. Thus, sexual assault victims sometimes develop trust issues that may interfere with their relationships.
Again,this doesn’t mean a victim can’t enjoy a healthy romantic and intimate relationship with a partner. That said, doing so may be challenging for them in a way that it wouldn’t be for someone else.
Dissociation is an experience one might have both while they are being assaulted and later. It involves a feeling of not being present in the moment. Someone experiencing dissociation might feel as though they are observing their experiences instead of directly experiencing them.
Research indicates a correlation between sexual assault and substance abuse. Some survivors will turn to drugs or alcohol to help them cope with the mental and emotional pain they might experience due to their trauma.
Once more, although sexual assault victims are often left facing various struggles, they can still enjoy productive lives.
Doing so may be easier if they’re able to hold their abusers accountable and secure financial compensation for their losses. At Okabe & Haushalter, our Los Angeles sexual assault attorneys are on hand to review your case and explain what your legal options may be in these circumstances. We can’t change the past, but we can help you work towards a better future. Learn more by contacting us online or calling us at 310-430-7799.