You may be able to identify some symptoms or effects that you are feeling right now. While we believe that counselling is the best way to begin healing, there are some things that you can do yourself to lessen the impacts of the assault.
One of the things that can make it difficult to recover from sexual abuse or sexual assault, is that the world is full of things that remind us of those experiences so the wound keeps getting opened, but not in ways that help to clear it up. Figure out what it is that reminds you of those experiences and get them out of your life if you can. Read our list of safety and self care tips to get information on how to care for yourself.
One reminder of your experience that can be difficult to avoid is a sexual relationship with an intimate partner. You and your partner both have the right to a fulfilling and intimate sexual relationship, so try to get this sorted by learning how to reclaim your sexual self so the abuse doesn’t wreck your relationship.
If the person who hurt you is still in your neighbourhood or family, it can be difficult to avoid them. The ideal way to protect yourself in these situations is to fix the relationship between you and the perpetrator if that’s possible. By this we don’t mean that you need to just “get over it” and forgive them, but a process like the specialist restorative justice programme, Project Restore, can help people to co-exist.