Decisions to Consider
Every victim is different. You may experience shock, numbness, denial, or anger: any of the feelings victims typically have. You may have physical injuries such as bruises, cuts, scrapes, or broken bones. You may have a sexually transmitted disease. You may also have physical reactions (such as rapid heart rate and breathing, increased blood pressure, nausea or sleeplessness) to the emotional wounds caused by the crime.
In the face of all this, it's important to ask yourself vital questions and make decisions to work towards recovery.
Will you seek medical care to treat your injuries and be tested and treated for sexually transmitted diseases? You may want to seek such help, even if you decide not to report the crime.
Will you cope with your feelings privately, reach out to a friend or family member, or seek the help of a clergy member or professional counselor? Counseling can help you manage the emotional and physical impact of the crime and regain a sense of control over your life. You can choose from many different types of counseling.
One-on-one, in-person counseling by a counselor, therapist, psychologist, psychiatrist, or other professional trained to help victims recover from trauma.
Hotlines are also a form of one-on-one advice (by phone) from counselors specifically trained to help victims who have experienced trauma.
Counseling under the care of a mental-health professional in a group of people who experienced similar traumas.
Reporting the Crime
Will you report the crime? You may want to talk to a victim advocate to help you make this decision, guide you through the criminal justice system and help you solve problems that may arise as you cope with your reactions to the crime.