Sexual abuse is one of the most traumatic incidents a person can be forced to endure. It is not uncommon for survivors of sexual assault to suffer from low self-worth, feelings of guilt, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) following an attack. It’s not an easy thing to overcome on your own.
If you have a loved one who has been the victim of sexual assault and you want to help him or her through this difficult time, continue reading to learn more about ways to help a sexual assault victim recover.
Handling Powerful Emotions
People who have experienced sexual assault often feel helpless and alone in the aftermath of the attack. Hopefully, your loved one has come to you about his or her trauma to reach out for help.
One way you can be of assistance is by being supportive and remaining calm during the description of the assault. A useful tool could be a rape crisis hotline or support group led by a therapist who has experience helping survivors work through their complex feelings.
It can also be helpful to keep reminding the victim that the attack was in no way his or her fault. Survivors often feel guilty after an assault, as if they did something that caused them to be attacked. A rapist or abuser is always the one to blame.
What the victim was wearing, his or her level of intoxication, or his or her trust in the assaulter is irrelevant. The only person who could have prevented the attack was the attacker.
Begin the Process of Reclaiming Life
Withdrawing from activities they once enjoyed is very common for victims after a sexual assault. Encouraging them to continue participating in those activities, volunteering, and attempting to find things they can enjoy are all excellent steps toward helping them recover.
Enrollment in a therapeutic program that can allow the victim to be completely open and honest about what he or she feels without having to worry about how he or she will be thought of is extremely beneficial to many survivors of sexual assault.
Additionally, seeking assistance from the authorities in holding the assailant responsible for his or her actions can be empowering for victims. If police are able to determine who the attacker is and build a case, he or she could face jail or prison time and be required to register as a sex offender.
We may also be able to seek compensation for the damages the survivor has endured in a civil claim against the perpetrator. The most important thing to remember is that victims of sexual assault often feel isolated following an attack. Being surrounded by love and support from people they trust can make all the difference.
Reach Out to a Chicago Sexual Assault Lawyer
If you are interested in helping a sexual assault survivor through this difficult time and aren’t sure where to turn, contact a Chicago sexual assault lawyer at Lane & Lane, LLC today.
We can help you build a civil case against the abuser, even if criminal charges haven’t been filed. Schedule a no-obligation consultation by filling out the form below or giving us a call at 312-332-1400.