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Did you know that? 

  • One in three women and one in six men have been sexually abused or assaulted. 

  • 70% of sexual abuse survivors report excessive use of drugs and alcohol.

  • 80% of sexual abuse survivors suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder.

  • 98% percent of sexual abuse survivors suffer from low self-esteem; and

  • 79% of those victims contemplate suicide and 35% of those victims attempt suicide.


Not Just Statistics. Crimes. Soul Breaking. Life Altering. Events.


What do I say?


What do I say to someone who tells me they have been sexually assaulted?

It’s not always easy to know what to say when someone tells you they’ve been sexually assaulted.  Consider the following ways of showing support:

  • Listen. Communicate without judgment.

  • Be there. If the survivor seeks medical attention or plans to report, offer to be there. Your presence can offer the support they need.

  • Offer support. Encourage the survivor to get support. Share resources like the National Sexual Assault Hotline 1-800-656-4673 but realize that only they can make the decision to get help.

  • Be patient. Remember, there is no timetable for recovering from trauma. Avoid putting pressure on them to engage in activities they aren’t ready to do yet.

What do I do?

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If you have experienced sexual assault - Self-care both Physical & Emotional are important:

Self-care is about taking steps to feel healthy.

Whether it happened recently or years ago, self-care can help you cope with the short- and long-term effects of a trauma like sexual assault.  You may be healing from injuries or feeling emotionally drained. Think about a time when you felt physically healthy, and consider asking yourself the following questions:


Physical Self-Care:

  • How were you sleeping?  
    - Did you have a sleep ritual or nap pattern that made you feel more rested?

  • What types of food were you eating?  
    - What meals made you feel healthy and strong?

  • What types of exercise did you enjoy?  
    - Were there any activities, that made you feel more energized?
    - Did you perform certain routines?  
    - Were there activities you did to start the day off right or wind down at the end of the day?

  • Emotional Self-Care - The key to emotional self-care is being in tune with yourself.
    Think about a time when you felt balanced and grounded, and consider asking yourself the following questions:

    • What fun or leisure activities did you enjoy?

    • Were there events or outings that you looked forward to?

    • Did you write down your thoughts in a journal or personal notebook?  

    • Were meditation or relaxation activities a part of your regular schedule?

    • What inspirational words were you reading?  

    • Did you have a particular author or favorite website to go to for inspiration?

    • Who did you spend time with?  

    • Was there someone, or a group of people, that you felt safe and supported around?  

    • Was there a special place, maybe outdoors or at a friend’s house, where you felt comfortable and grounded?

Trauma in Children:

FACT:  At least 1 in 7 children have experienced child abuse and/or neglect in the past year, and this is likely an underestimate.

Potentially traumatic events include:

  • Psychological, physical, or sexual abuse

  • Community or school violence

  • Witnessing or experiencing domestic violence

  • National disasters or terrorism

  • Commercial sexual exploitation

  • Sudden or violent loss of a loved one

  • Neglect

  • Serious accidents or life-threatening illness

It’s important to recognize the signs of traumatic stress and its short- and long-term impact.

The signs of traumatic stress may be different in each child. Young children may react differently than older children.


Preschool Children

  • Fear being separated from their parent/caregiver

  • Cry or scream a lot

  • Eat poorly or lose weight

  • Have nightmares


Elementary School Children

  • Become anxious or fearful

  • Feel guilt or shame

  • Have a hard time concentrating

  • Have difficulty sleeping


Middle and High School Children

  • Feel depressed or alone

  • Develop eating disorders or self-harming behaviors

  • Begin abusing alcohol or drugs

  • Become involved in risky sexual behavior

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