What Do Victims Feel?

Common Reactions to Victimization

Victims of date rape may experience many different feelings in response to their crisis. Victims may be confused about whether to tell the police, their school and their family and friends about what happened. Some common feelings include:

• Confusion
• Self-blame
• Embarrassment
• Helplessness
• Denial
• Shock
• Fear
• Disbelief
• Anger

Victims sometimes want to forget that this happened to them. But surviving sexual assault creates many long term effects. Some common problems are:

• Nightmares or problems sleeping
• Memories and thoughts about the violence
• Depression
• Drugs and alcohol used as a way to calm down or forget
• Eating disorders
• Suicidal thoughts
• Trouble concentrating
• Health problems
• Trust issues in relationships
• Flashbacks

Victims deserve the help of a rape crisis advocate to help them cope with their feelings and decisions.