Rape Impacts and Responses

There is no normal way to respond to such a life-threatening event. If you are blaming yourself in any way regarding how you reacted (this is often the case), then try to put the blame on the rapist where it belongs, and try to believe that how you responded then and now is a natural reaction to an unnatural trauma.


Post Traumatic Stress


You could be feeling some or all of the following:


  • nightmares;

  • replaying what happened in your mind over and over;

  • flashbacks: feeling it is happening right now;

  • fear of people, places, of crying and not being able to stop, of anything;

  • helpless and vulnerable;

  • shame, humiliation, blaming yourself;

  • on guard and alert to danger around you;

  • expending a lot of energy trying not to think about what happened;

  • feeling numb and not quite present.

To try and cope you may:

  • drink alcohol more than you used to;

  • take drugs to numb the pain;

  • self injure to transfer the pain from the inside to the outside of your body;

  • keep yourself very, very busy;

  • stay inside where you may feel safe;

  • avoid all intimate relationships;

  • use anger to channel your feelings of helplessness.

All of the above are ‘normal’ reactions to this terrifying crime.



Find details of local Rape Crisis helplines and services near you.

Freephone 0808 802 9999

12:00 - 14:30 daily

19:00 - 21:30 daily



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