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Effects of Sexual Violence

Body Memories – Body memories are when the stress of the memories of the abuse experienced by an individual take the form of physical problems that cannot be explained by the usual means.

Borderline Personality Disorder – Borderline Personality Disorder, known as BPD, is one of many possible long-term effects of childhood sexual abuse.

Depression – There are many emotional and psychological reactions that victims of rape and sexual assault can experience. One of the most common of these is depression.

Dissociative Identity Disorder – Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID), previously referred to as multiple personality disorder (MPD), is a dissociative disorder in which two or more separate and distinct identities (or personalities) control an individual’s behavior at different times.

Eating Disorders – Victims and survivors with eating disorders often use food and the control of food as an attempt to deal with or compensate for negative feelings and emotions.

Flashbacks – A flashback is when memories of past traumas feel as if they are taking place in the current moment.

Military Sexual Trauma – Military sexual trauma (MST) is a technical term that refers to the psychological trauma experienced by military service members, as a result of sexual assault or sexual harassment, as classified by the Department of Veterans Affairs.

Pregnancy – If you were recently raped, you may have concerns about becoming pregnant from the attack. If the rape happened a long time ago, you may have concerns about a pregnancy that resulted from the attack.

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder – Survivors of sexual assault may experience severe feelings of anxiety, stress or fear, known as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), as a direct result of the assault.

Sexually Transmitted Infections – Many STIs can be transmitted as a result of sexual violence. This includes, but is not limited to HIV/AIDS, Chlamydia, Human Papilloma Virus, Herpes, Syphilis and Trichomonas.

Self-harm/Self-injury – Deliberate self-harm, or self-injury, is when a person inflicts physical harm on himself or herself.

Sleep Disorders – Many survivors of sexual assault suffer from sleep disturbances and disorders.

Stockholm Syndrome – Described as a victim’s emotional “bonding” with their abuser, Stockholm Syndrome develops subconsciously and on an involuntary basis.

Substance Abuse – Victims of rape or sexual assault may turn to alcohol or other substances in an attempt to relieve their emotional suffering.

Suicide – If you are currently thinking about suicide, or know someone who is, please reach out for help.

  • Suicide hotline
    • If there’s no one in your life that you feel comfortable talking to about your suicidal thoughts, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at (800) 273-TALK.
    • Your call will be confidential, and the counselors there can help!
  • Call 911 or go to the hospital
    • If you have already taken steps to harm yourself or feel that you can’t stop yourself from committing suicide, call 911 or go to the emergency room.
    • Tell the person on the phone or the front desk at the emergency room that you are suicidal.
For Additional Help

National Sexual Assault Hotline
800.656.HOPE

National Center for PTSD (For Veterans and the General Public)
802.296.6300

Mayo Clinic

National Institue of Mental Health

Anxiety Disorders Association of America

The National Child Traumatic Stress Network

Alcoholics Anonymous

Substance Abuse Treatment Facility Locator
Toll-Free Substance Abuse Treatment Referral Helpline
1.800.662.HELP (1-800-662-4357)

The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)

Preventing Drug Use Among Children and Adolescents: A Research Based Guide