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Information for Survivors

This page offers information for survivors of rape, sexual violence and childhood sexual abuse.

Please note that a full list of  TST member agencies can be found here along with details of  National Helplines for Survivors here.

A list of Independent Sexual Violence Advisors working in England and Wales can be found by clicking here

Details of Sexual Assault Referral Centres (SARCs) can be found by clicking here

Further information on resources and reading materials available for survivors of rape or sexual abuse can be found or our Resources page or by clicking here.

The impact of childhood sexual abuse, sexual violence and rape

The long-term effects of childhood sexual abuse, sexual violence and rape can include many emotional, psychological and physical conditions. The experience of sexual assault or abuse at any age and whether male or female can have devastating effects on every aspect of a person’s being and life – on their mind, their body, their behaviour, thoughts and feelings.

The following list includes some of the effects now being recognised and acknowledged as the consequences of childhood sexual abuse, sexual violence or rape on many victims and survivors. The Survivors Trust wants to stress that it is not inevitable that all victims will suffer from all effects – the mix, severity and complexity is a unique experience for each individual.

Post Traumatic Stress symptoms

Depression
Anxiety
Dissociation
Flashbacks
Nightmares
Irritability and outbursts of anger
Suicidal Thoughts
Suicide
Alcohol Misuse and dependence
Sexual problems
Confusion about sexuality

Eating Disorders

Self-injury and self harming behaviour
Transient psychotic episodes
Borderline Personality Disorder
Dissociative Identity disorder
Somatisation – Emotional distress experienced as physical pain
Increased rates of physical conditions like heart disease and cancer

Homelessness

Revictimisation
Prostitution
Criminal behaviour (including for a small minority sexual offences)
Low self-esteem
Lack of confidence
Sleep Problems
Parenting Problems
Relationship Problems

If you are a victim or survivor of sexual violence, rape or childhood sexual abuse, the thought that you may be affected in any of the above ways may be frightening and daunting. Member groups of The Survivors Trust have the professional expertise and empathic understanding necessary to help survivors meet the challenges and difficulties they are experiencing as a result of abuse or rape.

Remember you have a right to be safe and to choose what happens to you. The Survivors Trust is determined to ensure that all survivors have access to appropriate counselling, support and advice so that they can reclaim their lives and obtain the justice they deserve.

Please see our Find Support page for details of TST support groups and services near you, or click here for information and contact details for Independent Sexual Violence Advisors (ISVAs). Additionally, details of  Sexual Assault Referral Centres (SARCs) based in the UK can be found here.

 

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