An emotional reaction to a traumatic event such as sexual assault is quite natural. Many people feel “strange” or unlike themselves for different lengths of time after an assault. Emotional reactions may be of the acute or immediate kind, or long lasting, such as:

  • Worry about the assault happening again
  • Reminders of the assault trigger strong or overwhelming feelings
  • Difficulty concentrating or feeling “spacey”
  • Feeling like the assault is happening again
  • Mood swings and/or overwhelming feelings
  • Sleep problems and/or nightmares
  • Feeling depressed, detached or not wanting to be around other people
  • Eating more or less than normal
  • Shortness of temper, feelings of anger, or a lack of patience with yourself or others
  • Not interested in, or avoiding usual activities

Survivors may experience some or all of these symptoms. A call to the crisis line can be a first step to, or part of the ongoing process of sorting out what to do next to help you heal.

A survivor who has experienced one or more of these symptoms for longer than 2-4 months may want to call the crisis line for a referral to a therapist and/or for information about available support groups.