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After the Assault: A Guide to Self-Care

After experiencing sexual assault, you may find that your mental, emotional, and physical states have taken quite a toll on you. While caring for yourself after an assault can seem like the last thing you want to do, it’s extremely important to give yourself time and care.

Grab a journal

If you’re upset or shaken, keeping a journal is an excellent way to help you work through your feelings. As you look back on what happened, writing down your emotions and thoughts can help you clarify how you’re feeling and make sense of how it has affected your life. If journaling doesn’t appeal to you, talk about what happened with someone safe.

Don’t Forget About Sleep

After a sexual assault, you may find yourself having trouble sleeping. This is common. It’s important to take care of yourself, especially when you need it most. Make sure that you get enough sleep each night; even if it takes a while for your body and mind to calm down after an assault, making sure that you are rested can help relieve some of your stress and get back into balance.

Be patient with yourself

It’s also important to remember that you don’t have to do everything at once—you can start small and build up from there. For example, try taking a shower one day, then go for a walk another day. It will take time before you feel ready for the world again; be patient with yourself.

Seek professional help if needed

If you experience any distress or negative consequences following a sexual assault—or if you’re concerned about your own mental health or that of someone else—seek help from a professional who can walk you through what happened and guide you toward appropriate next steps.