As proffessional, it is our responsibility to suspend judgement regardless of the circimstance. Treat each victim with respect and acknowledge the courage and strengths they have exhibited for reporting and seeking our services.
Sexual assault victims experience varying degrees of psychological trauma. An individual’s perception of how a sexual assault victim should look, dress or act, and the way those perceptions are conveyed can have significant effect upon the victim’s recovery process in the weeks and months following the crime. Each person has his or her method of coping with sudden stress. When severly traumatized, victims can appear calm, indifferent, submissive, angry, or even uncooperative and hostile toward those who are trying to help. Misinterpretations of a victim’s reaction to their assault may lead to further trauma and hinder the interview, evidence collection or legal proceedings.
Listed below are some of the feelings that may be felt by victims:
- Fear of offender
- Fear of what family and friends might think
- Fear of others finding out
- Guilt and feelings that she or he is responsible for the assault
- Sense of vulnerability and general fear of people
- Loss of control over her or his own life
- Concern for the offender’s well being, especially in cases of acquaintance or spousal rape
- Shame-loss of self respect
- Stupidity or foolishness
- Sexual Assault Crisis line (920) 436 8899 24 hours