Sexual abuse, in childhood and otherwise, and sexual assault and rape are relatively common crimes, which can impact on the lives of women, children and men.

Victims can potentially suffer a range of psychological effects, often for many years after the assault or abuse took place. Problems can include Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), depression, anxiety, psychosexual issues, self-harming, substance abuse, and more.

Unhelpfully, the media often perpetrates the idea that victims of sexual assault and abuse are damaged “for life” and that they are serving a “life sentence”, while our culture sometimes encourages people to look for blame in the victim’s behaviour.

If you have suffered from social assault, abuse or rape, you will probably have experienced some of the issues mentioned above.

In fact, while victims of these serious crimes often do struggle for years with the ensuing psychological fall-out, with the appropriate treatment and help, you can get better. Sexual assault and rape don’t have to carry a “life sentence”. Support, including psychotherapy, can make all the difference.

Support in a Crisis

When someone has suffered abuse or assault recently, they can be in a state of crisis. The event itself, and often subsequent events involving police and medical professionals, can be deeply traumatic. Psychological support at this very difficult time can make the recovery period shorter, and minimise the risk of long-term psychological damage.

Support over Time

Frequently, victims of sexual crime don’t seek psychological support until some time has passed after their experience, often many years. Adults who were abused as children may find that a difficult or significant period in their adult life “brings it all back”; if this sounds like you, it might have been when you became a parent, during a period of marital difficulty, or in the event of experiencing another assault.By using cognitive behavioural therapy or eye movement desensitisation reprocessing, a psychotherapist can work with you to help you to learn about the difficult emotions you experience around what has happened. Many victims struggle with self-blame, for example, and can learn how to focus on their resilience in surviving such a painful event. You can also learn how to more effectively manage your emotional reactions when you think or talk about what has happened. With time and patience, you can reach a place of healing.

If you would like to talk to someone about sexual abuse or rape, please get in touch with us at the Private Therapy Clinic by telephone at: 020 81507563 or by email to: info@privatetherapyclinic.com

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