Dealing with the Aftermath of a Sexual Assault

Dealing with the Aftermath of a Sexual Assault

Sexual assault can have a tremendous impact on a person’s life, with the impacts of sexual violence often going far beyond just physical injuries and taking a psychological and emotional toll on survivors as well. Many people who have been sexually assaulted struggle with things like post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety, and depression – all of which can lead to changes in thoughts and behavior that can interfere with the ability to effectively function in different areas of life.

Although it’s common for anyone to experience emotional challenges after a traumatic event, for most people, these symptoms eventually begin to decrease in intensity over time. However, those struggling with PTSD often find themselves experiencing symptoms such as flashbacks, depression, withdrawal from social settings, apathy, and anxiety that cause them significant distress and may instead get worse over time.

The symptoms associated with PTSD are generally grouped into four categories:

  • Intrusive memories;
  • Avoidance;
  • Negative changes in thinking and mood; and
  • Changes in physical and emotional reactions.
  • Intrusive memories include things like:

  • Recurring memories
  • Flashbacks
  • Nightmares
  • Severe emotional or physical reactions to things that remind you of the traumatic event
  • Avoidance, or avoidance strategies, include things like:

  • Avoiding thinking or talking about the traumatic event
  • Avoiding places, activities or people that remind you of the traumatic event
  • Negative changes in thinking and mood, including:

  • Hopelessness
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Memory problems
  • Difficulty maintaining close relationships
  • Feelings of dissociation or detachment
  • Lack of interest in things you once enjoyed
  • Difficulty experiencing positive emotions
  • Feeling emotionally numb
  • Changes in physical and emotional reactions, including:

  • Being easily startled or frightened
  • Always being on guard for danger
  • Self-destructive or risk-taking behavior
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Irritability, angry outbursts or aggressive behavior
  • Overwhelming guilt or shame
  • Sexual assault survivors are also at high risk for developing substance use disorders, major depression, generalized anxiety disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), and eating disorders.

    The psychological effects of PTSD aren’t always easy to deal with, but with the right help and support they can be managed before they get worse. If you or someone you know is struggling with PTSD, anxiety or depression, there are a number of resources that can help, including the Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network (RAINN) and the National Sexual Violence Resource Center, both of which offer free, confidential support.

    GreeningLaw P.C. Wants to Help

    At GreeningLaw P.C., we understand that traumatic events like sexual assault and sexual abuse can alter someone’s life forever. Victims are often unable to work and may require medical treatment, psychological counseling, family interventions, and more, and we’re here to help through the process so you get the support you need.

    If you have been the victim of sexual assault, harassment or other misconduct, please contact us for a free consultation. We will review the elements of your case, discuss the possible compensation you may receive, and suggest the best course of action. We treat each case with the personalized care and respect we would afford our own families. From helping you get the medical and psychological attention you need, to dealing with the insurance companies and making sure you get the ongoing care you need, we’re with you every step of the way.

    All the lawyers at GreeningLaw P.C. work on a contingency basis, so you don’t pay a thing unless you receive compensation for your case. As one of the most recognized personal injury law firms in the state, we know how to ensure that victims of sexual assault are properly compensated for their suffering.

    We fight the legal battle so you have time for healing and renewal.

    Call (972) 934-8900 or visit our contact page today.

    1. Tull, M. (2020, March 25). Coping With Subthreshold PTSD. Retrieved May 18, 2020, from
    2. Effects of Sexual Violence. (n.d.). Retrieved May 18, 2020, from