Memory: A traumatic experience can impact your memory. A victim may recall the event hesitantly, or may have accurate but fragmented memory of the event and experience difficulty recalling what happened in a linear fashion.
Emotions: In reaction to trauma, the victim may experience unexpected emotional reactions. While recalling an incident, they may remain unemotional or experience extreme emotional swings.
Physical response: Know that trauma can cause temporary immobility in a victim, that causes the body to freeze in situations that provoke extreme fear. Resisting or escaping for a victim experiencing this is not possible. At this point, a person experiencing trauma will not have full control over their muscle response. DO NOT FEEL GUILTY FOR NOT REACTING DURING THE INCIDENT.
Report. The perpetrator deserves to be punished for his crimes. Many times, the police will not be interested in taking your statement. In fact, the police sometimes refuse to write a report even when the victims themselves go to file the report. In such cases, you can call up helplines and NGOs like Nakshatra, where experts can take up the situation and try to help the victim with legal justice, medical treatment and psychological aid.
GET COUNSELLING HELP. Sexual violence can have psychological, emotional, and physical effects on a survivor. These effects aren’t always easy to deal with, but with the right help and support they can be managed. Therefore, counselling is an extremely important part of recovery for victims OF sexual violence. We stress on the importance of counselling for the victim, for as long as required.
Many times, victims think of attempting suicide. Suicide is preventable and suicidal thoughts aren’t permanent. If you are thinking about suicide, there are resources to give you the support you need to get through this tough time.
Send a text message to someone—it can be about anything. It can be about how you are feeling or something that seems unimportant. Keeping your hands busy is important, and texting a friend or loved one can help you get through this time.
Draw on yourself or use henna to draw on the part of the body where you wanted to self-harm.
Tear up newspapers, magazines, or cardboard into the smallest pieces you can make.
PREVENT FLASHBACKS AND ANXIETY ATTACKS:
Breathe. Take slow, deep breaths by placing your hand on your stomach and taking deep breaths. You should see your hand move out with the inhalations, and watch it fall in with the exhalations.
Look.Look around you. Make a list of the items in the room; count the colors or pieces of furniture around you.
Listen.Listen to the noises around you, and/or turn on music.
Smell.Breathe in a comforting scent, or focus on the smells around you.
Touch.Hold something cold, like a piece of ice, or hot, like a mug of tea. What does it feel like?
Write your story. Support others who may be going through sexual abuse or who know of a person undergoing sexual abuse. They will be inspired to act if you share your story. Write to us. We respect the victim’s privacy. You can write to us anonymously. Even if you write your name or the victim’s name, we will not disclose it to anyone other than our small team of blog-editors under any circumstances.