Looking after yourself is essential. Whether it happened recently or years ago, self-care can help you cope with the short and long-term effects.
There is no right or wrong emotional response, each individual will have their own reaction. It is common to experience a mix of emotion and feelings; it is therefore important to seek support and practice active self-care.
Things you might find helpful:
- Be patient with yourself. If you have been subjected to sexual violence you need to give yourself time, be kind to yourself.
- Get support from friends, family and/or from professional support services, whatever you feel comfortable with. One way of getting your feelings out is to talk about how you feel. If you find it too traumatic to talk to others try writing your thoughts and feelings or expressing them through other creative activities.
- It is not uncommon to feel isolated but it is important to reach out to those that are close to you.
- What has happened may interrupt your life at University and it might affect your relationships with your friends and family. Try not to go through this alone and allow others to help you explore the emotions and concerns you have.
- It is important to look after your physical health. Try to maintain a balanced diet and sleep cycle as much as possible; looking after your physical health will help you deal with the emotional stress.
- Pay attention to your own needs and feelings. Engage in activities you enjoy and find relaxing.
Useful self-help resources
- Rape and Sexual Violence Project (RSVP) - Written self-help advice on dealing with the effects of sexual violence.
- Victim Focus - Free self-development course on caring for yourself after sexual violence.
- Survivors Network - Survivors Self-Help Guide