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How do victims feel after an assault?

Shock and disbelief. Victims may wonder if they have really been raped when the perpetrator was not a stranger, if it was their partner, if no weapons were used, if they voluntarily drink or used drugs, or if they didn't resist in order to avoid physical violence. They may be numb and unable to feel.

Loss of trust. Victims may feel cautious about trusting others. They may even lose trust in their ability to judge others or situations.

Shame and embarrassment. Victims may not want anyone to know what happened.

Powerlessness and depression. When a victim's body is assaulted, her or his sense of personal power and control is assaulted. Victims may feel unable to control any of life's circumstances.

Fear and anxiety. Following an assault, victims are often afraid of everyday activities: sleeping, socializing, or leaving children in daycare.