Information for survivors

We believe that you are not to blame for what happened to you.

However you are feeling now, it is normal.

When a person has experienced something that is shocking, unexpected or traumatic, they are likely to experience deep emotional and physical reactions. They are natural safety mechanisms, your mind and body reacting to a threatening situation by protecting you. Some typical reactions that people can experience after trauma include:

Physical: Rapid heartbeat – dry mouth – hyperactivity – sweating – unsteady breathing
Emotional: Guilt – shame – anxiety – nightmares – panic attacks – insecurity – depression – poor memory
Behavioural: Changes in eating patterns – increased smoking/drinking – impulsiveness – personal neglect

These reactions are normal and will be individual to you. You may find that other people have similar reactions, but no two people react the same way to trauma. They may have been helpful ways to cope immediately after the trauma but may slow down healing later on.

You are not alone.

Tools to support your recovery process

For more information on reactions to sexual violence and advice on the healing process, you might want to download our Self Help Guide:

Self Help Guide

The effects of trauma and sexual violence can affect various aspects of your life, including your sleeping habits. Our Sleeping Problems & Nightmares Guide is here to help:

Sleep Problems & Nightmares Support Guide

Progressive Muscle Relaxation (PMR) is a deep relaxation technique to reduce stress and tension. If you’re like to give it a try, you can find step-by-step details in our Sleep Problems & Nightmares Support Guide above or click here.