Common Responses of Survivors
Everyone is affected by sexualized violence differently. Our ways of coping, reactions and access to supports are shaped by age, gender, race, ability, class and other social locations. It's important for people to understand how sexual violence impacts people affected by sexual violence and other forms of gender-based violence.
- Disrupted sleep patterns
- An inability to concentrate or focus
- Fear of leaving a safe space
- Anxiety and/or depression
- Appear flat or calm
Each one of these reactions is normal to a traumatic event. There is not a right or wrong way to act when telling one's story of sexual violence. That's why it is so important to show support to all acts of disclosure of sexual violence or any other acts of violence.
Trauma can show up differently in everyone. It can be subtle and unexpected, or blatant and impossible to ignore. For example, you might be wondering why your child is more irritable or why they are experiencing panic attacks. Below is a video and a website that can help explain what trauma looks like in our brains and bodies, and how this can affect our everyday lives.
- Emotional and Psychological Trauma, external link, opens in new window: Healing from Trauma and Moving On (Help guide). Tips on how to dealing with traumatic events, both first-hand and vicariously.